Confiscated liquor was occasionally destroyed, usually after the owners had been prosecuted. Whenever it was done (whether by the police or sheriff), a public display was made so that several witnesses were present. The events were often attended by Women’s Christian Temperance Union workers who would participate in the destruction.
At the beginning of Indiana’s prohibition, those who broke the law faced two prosecutions. They were first tried in the city or county court (depending on whether they were arrested by the police or the sheriff) for violating Indiana’s law. They then faced federal charges for violating the Reed Amendment. On top of that, sentences […]
The Indiana House passed the Wright-Dorrell prohibition bill (House Bill number 78) in January of 1917. At first, this wasn’t received as big news since it wasn’t the first time the Indiana house or senate approved a bill on prohibition. Previously, the bills would die before being approved by both legislatures. This time, however, the […]
When prohibition came to Indiana, Evansville’s 1,200 local brewery workers faced the prospect of having to move away to find employment. There were 210 local union bartenders and 287 saloon owners and liquor dealers, many of whom turned to dispensing soft drinks. Evansville was hit harder than other Indiana cities since it had some of […]
Even before the United States entered the First World War, there was a demand for all sorts of efficiencies to support the war effort in Europe. The temperance movement saw prohibition as the key to an efficient and productive society with which to secure victory.
What I first heard: during prohibition the Evansville Police Department had a boat they used for patrolling the Ohio River to catch rum runners. One night Captain Friedle and some officers used that boat to smuggle liquor from Kentucky into Evansville. They ended up getting caught by the sheriff and, after an investigation, Police Chief […]
Although it was widely known that Evansville was wide open, Police Chief Edgar Schmitt claimed to be unaware of the vice. Even out-of-town visitors found it simple to obtain liquor. After being in Evansville only a few days, William P. Warle, a visitor from St. Louis, wrote to a friend that the city was no […]
Evansville’s river front—a popular place for townsfolk to gather. In 1919 the River City became a city known for bootlegging. Evansville was wide open.
It must’ve been a “thing” to keep the confiscated booze in a jail cell. Sheriff Males did it, as did Police Chief Schmitt, who had a booze cellar—two jail cells full of confiscated liquor being held as evidence. People started hearing stories about how the police department’s stash was shrinking. Here’s a picture from the […]
Probably not a popular position to have had, but imagine how busy they were!