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March 23 1905

The county local option law was passed in Indiana, allowing the people of each county to decide for themselves by referendum vote whether to allow the granting of liquor licenses.

January 1, 1906

Benjamin Bosse took oath as President of Board of  Public Safety. Captain Frank Tardy and Bosse were the Democratic members and Frank C. Hoelscher the Republican member.

June 13, 1906

Edgar Schmitt transferred from Evansville's fire department to the police department. 

January 1, 1907

Mayor John W. Boehne's new law to close saloons on Sundays went into effect.

March 1913

Congress passed the Webb-Kenyon Act which prohibited the interstate transportation of liquor to states that instituted prohibition.

August 31, 1913

The Vendome Hotel completed its $500,000 renovation, renaming itself The New Vendome Hotel.

November 4, 1913

Bicycle officers Schmitt and Friedle were laid off and demoted for their active support of Benjamin Bosse over incumbent Charles Heilman for mayor of Evansville.

November 14, 1913

Bosse won the mayorship with support from the Fred Ossenberg faction of Republicans. 

January 5, 1914

Bosse approved reorganization of police by newly appointed Board of Public Safety consisting of President Henry Karges, Commissioners John Hougland & Fred Ossenberg, and Clerk John Wimberg.  Edgar Schmitt appointed Chief of Police.

February 20, 1914

The Board of Public Safety empowered Chief Schmitt to release offenders guilty of minor charges.

March 21, 1914

Interdenominational religious census organized by John Nolan with the purpose of reaching every individual in the city and bringing them to some kind of religious faith for the betterment of the social and civic life of Evansville.

March 31, 1914

The public started asking Mayor Bosse what he's going to do about the vice that expanded to residential areas under the previous administration.

April 4, 1914

Mayor Bosse gave the police instructions to close down any vice found outside of the red-light district.

May 31, 1914

Reverend W. H. Brightmire was chosen by the National Anti-Saloon League to carry the proposition of holding a constitutional convention to introduce legislation on prohibition and women's suffrage in Vanderburg County. 

December 26, 1914

The Board of Public Safety awarded a contract for the purchase of an "auto patrol" to take the place of the horse-drawn vehicle.

July 27, 1915

There were over 65,000 automobile owners registered in the state of Indiana and by mid-1915 there were 1,499 in Vandenburg County. The police department started seeing an increase in traffic-related calls.

August 28, 1916

Dr. Henry Stough came to Evansville to hold a two-month revival. He visited the red-light district and declared that Evansville was one of the hardest cities he had visited in his fifteen years as a revivalist.

October 27, 1916

Dr. Stough publicly told the city administration that liquor was being sold on Sundays.

January 26, 1917

Indiana House passed the Wright-Dorrell prohibition bill (House Bill number 78). The Indiana Senate and Governor James P. Goodrich also passed the bill, bringing prohibition to Indiana. (This was not the national prohibition brought about by the eighteenth amendment).

February 22, 1917

Chief Schmitt and 122 defendants were indicted for election fraud in the November 1916 election. Twenty plead guilty.

March 3, 1917

The Reed Amendment, sponsored by Senator James A. Reed (D) of Missouri, passed. It added a $1,000 fine to the Webb–Kenyon Act of 1913 for transporting liquor into a dry state.

March 14, 1917

The Evansville Brewing Association released Sterling Beverage, a new temperance drink that tastes like beer but has no "kick."

July 3, 1917

Creation of a new food inspection system with Mayor Bosse's secretary, Carl Dreisch, to "work out" the new system.

September 11, 1917

Van Pickerill, of the Mint Springs Distillery, began purchasing the on-hand stock from liquor businesses that were shutting down before prohibition went into effect.

November 6, 1917

Honorable Erma H. Ireland elected to the city court bench having been placed on the ticket at the eleventh hour due to the death of Judge Rudolph Fritsch.  Mayor Bosse re-elected by landside and Herbert Males appointed to the Board of Public Safety.

November 24, 1917

The F.W. Cook Brewing Company filed three lawsuits in Vanderburgh County Superior Court against Prosecuting Attorney Lane B. Osborn, Sheriff William Habbe, and Chief of Police Edgar Schmitt, asserting that the Indiana prohibition statute is unconstitutional.  They won an injunction against being prosecuted.

April 1, 1918

Van Pickerill sold his Evansville wholesale liquor store and opened The Mint Springs Distillery in Henderson, Kentucky where liquor was still permitted.

April 2, 1918

Indiana's state-wide prohibition law went into effect.  Also, Chief Schmitt borrowed $150 from David Wolf to pay Jim Boner.

April 12, 1918

The last day that the Indiana prohibition law allowed liquor dealers to get rid of their stocks in the state.

April 18, 1918

After L.W. Henley, Secretary of the Republican state central committee, came to Evansville to reunite the Republicans of Evansville, Ossenberg split with Mayor Bosse.

May 15, 1918

City controller E.B. Oslage is charged with accounting irregularities resulting in (among other things) a $1,500 overpayment to Carl Dreisch, Bosse secretary.

May 16, 1918

Frederick Van Nuys was elected chairman of The Indiana Democratic state central committee.  That evening the committee crashed the Democratic Editorial Association banquet at the Vendome Hotel to kick off a "gubernatorial boom" nominating Mayor Bosse as the Democrat candidate for governor of Indiana.

June 3, 1918

E.S. Shumaker, Anti-Saloon League attorney, tells the newspapers that the F.W. Cook Brewing injunction applies only to the prosecutor in relation to F.W. Cook Brewing and doesn't restrain prosecutor, Chief Schmitt, or any citizen from prosecuting anyone else violating Indiana's prohibition law.

June 7, 1918

Registration of all men between the ages of 21 and 30 begins for WWI.

June 27, 1918

On appeal, the Supreme Court reversed the F.W. Cook Brewing ruling enjoining Schmitt from enforcing the liquor laws.

June 29, 1918

Van Pickerill agreed to purchase Jack Hampton's stock of liquor in Evansville but police raid Hampton before the liquor is delivered to Pickerill.

July 28, 1918

Republicans Herbert Males sought the nomination for sheriff and Phil C. Gould sought the nomination for circuit judge.

August 15, 1918

Chief Schmitt told The Evansville Press that the police department needed a boat to catch liquor violators along the river.  Schmitt said he wouild try to get a motorboat "from the administration."

August 21, 1918

U.S. Attorney L. Ert Slack announced he would petition Honorable Albert B. Anderson to add a mid-winter grand jury session to deal with the increased caseload brought about by prohibition. 

September 1, 1918

Van Pickrill had fish dinner with Dick Pennington, Chief Schmitt, and others at The Palace restaurant in Henderson, Kentucky. 

October 1, 1918

Van Pickerill gave Chief Schmitt a $250 donation for the Democratic campaign fund.

November 5, 1918

Democrats lost big. O.R. Lurhing (republican) won congress.

November 6, 1918

Heerdink, Lukeman, Sherwood, Pickerill, and Endress transported whiskey on an L&N railroad car. The extra padlock on the railcar tipped off L&N agents. 

December 5, 1918

Van Pickerill paid Chief Schmitt $525 to take care of government man who was going to indict him.  He began giving Schmitt $500 per week.

January 6, 1919

Mayor Bosse stated, in his address to the common counsel, that all of the brothels and undesirable places were closed down and that, for the first time in Evansville's history, there was no red-light district.

January 7, 1919

Gene McKinney finished his term as jailer (since 1915) under Sheriff Habbe after Herbert Males was elected sheriff. McKinney was then appointed special police officer, assigned to protect Morton Mannheimer's packing house from striking workers.

January 15, 1919

Chief Schmitt, Harry Helmrich, and Ave Lamb purchased a motorboat. McKinney was put in charge of it.

January 16, 1919

Edgar Schmitt & Deputy U.S. Marshal John W. Miller have a conversation at the police station concerning storage of liquor at a vacant house in control of Miller.  The Boyd/Kappler haul is landed in Evansville.

January 17, 1919

Sheriff Males received and executed a search warrant for the vacant Miller house.  Later, McKinney tried to bring the Helmrich haul to Evansville but Pickerill stopped him to tell him it's not safe to do so.

January 18, 1919

Chief Schmitt told McKinney to move the Boyd/Kappler liquor after twelve cases turn up missing.  Schmitt's report to the safety board recommended reduction in police department and boasts of 139 liquor arrests since prohibition started.

January 20, 1919

Captain Andy Friedle put in charge of the police boat.

January 24, 1919

Trautwein, McKinney, and Friedle used the police boat to capture Leonard Steele, Morris Steiver, and William Barnes who had 24 gallons of whisky in their boat.

February 7, 1919

Schmitt returned from Indianapolis where he was summoned by the federal grand jury to tell of the liquor situation.
Sheriff Males arrested Norman Clark (Pickerill's former employee), Frank Diehl, and Cap Jones with 53 gallons of whiskey for Clem Goedde in a truck belonging to Dick Pennington.

February 19, 1919

Van Pickerill and Fred Ossenberg agree to $1,000 payment to control the sheriff's office, circuit court, and Henderson Road.  

February 20, 1919

Sheriff Males and Deputy Ruhl captured Gene McKinney, Jim Boner, Eli & Roy Harp as they land the Fred Schroeder Jr haul (53 cases) using two boats belonging to Eli Harp. One of the cases, marked with sheriff deputy Ruhl's name, was sent to the Vendome Hotel. 

February 25, 1919

Pickerill visited Ossenberg to tell him of a rumor that Judge Gould was going to call Norman Clark back to testify and asked Ossenberg to stop it.  Clark does testify and implicates Pickerill.

February, 1919

Chief Schmitt and Fred Ossenberg plan a duck hunt in the police boat. Pickerill gave Schmitt $500 in order for him to take his wife to Hot Springs, Arkansas. 

March 20, 1919

Police arrest William "Puss" Meinert, Superintendent of Street Repairs and President of the Democratic Equality League who took several sacks of whiskey from the police station.  He was later charged with keeping and maintaining a gambling house inside the Marion County jail.

March 31, 1919

Van Pickerill tried to get out of the liquor business by buying the Clifford Hardware Company at Fourth and Sycamore Streets.  He renamed it the Van Pickerill Hardware Company.

April 1, 1919

Pickerill claimed this is the last day that he gave instructions to anyone about whether the roads were open/clear for liquor traffic.

April 19, 1919

Sheriff Males destroyed $3,000 worth of confiscated liquor that he was holding at the county jail.

April 23, 1919

Sherwood, Lukeman & Endress changed their plea to guilty in their federal liquor case. Van Pickerill changed his plea to guilty as to the first count and began disclosing to federal prosecutors others who are involved in bootlegging.  His sentencing is postponed.

April 30, 1919

Charles Cheatham, former police station janitor, was prosecuted for stealing liquor from the police booze cellar.  At his trial, he testified that many police officers occasionally drank the confiscated whiskey.

May 8, 1919

Chief Schmitt signed a $250 promissory note for the balance of Jim Boner's attorney fees in his bootlegging case.

July 7, 1919

Sentences deferred in the Diehl and Clark federal cases pending cooperation with federal prosecutor L. Ert Slack.

July 21, 1919

Ex-mayor Charles Heilman arrested driving from Henderson with thirty gallons of whiskey.  Also, the police boat was loaned to the navy for river recruiting trips.

September 1, 1919

A barge load of beer and whiskey was purchased by the Cohn brothers. Schmitt refused to let it land because it was "Anheuser slop."

September 17, 1919

The Courier, Evansville's Democratic leaning newspaper, turned against Mayor Bosse and started reporting on open gambling.

September 22, 1919

Vanderburgh County Circuit Judge Philip C. Gould wrote to U.S. Attorney Slack regarding his court's position on prosecuting defendants that were also charged in federal court. 

September 27, 1919

Courier officer confronted Schmitt about gambling and liquor violations. Schmitt said he is unfamiliar with such conditions in Evansville.

Fall of 1919

Newspaper reporters Loy Miller, Helen Graves, and May Cameron attended a dance at the Vendome Hotel where Bosse served them high-balls mixed by the hotel manager, Herman Steinhilber.

October 1, 1919

After Schmitt disclosed that he kept no record of confiscated booze, a group of clergy and Women's Christian Temperance Union workers go to the police station to see the confiscated booze. Chief Schmitt refused to let them see it.

October 3, 1919

Mayor Bosse denied the request of a committee of citizens to inspect the police confiscated booze cellar and demanded an investigation by the city counsel into charges against Chief Schmitt

October 4, 1919

Henry C. Murphy, owner of The Courier Newspaper wrote to U.S. Attorney Slack with a list of places where liquor was being sold.

October 7, 1919

A special committe of five city counsel members is formed to investigate Schmitt. Date for hearing not set pending a voter or taxpayer filing written charges. Prevailing public sentiment is that if there's a suspicion of a liquor violation, it's clearly a case for a federal grand jury investigation.

October 8, 1919

Federal probe into conditions in Evansville began.  Statements are taken from several citizens.

October 11, 1919

Mayor Bosse issued a statement that Chief Schmitt could account for every drop of confiscated booze. He further stated that some of it went to various charitable institutions such as the Red Cross.

October, 1919

The Courier Newspaper hired private investigator John Joyce to find where whiskey was being openly sold.  He implicated Verne Bennett's brothel at 333 S. First Street.

October 16, 1919

John Nolan wrote (in reply) to U.S. Attorney Slack to encourage him to investigate "Bosse and his crowd."

October 31, 1919

The Courier Newspaper reconstructed what it believed to be a partial accounting of the confiscated liquor that should've been in the police booze cellar. It also reported that the vice in the red-light district was back.

November 6, 1919

Federal investigators visited Evansville in liquor probe and continued to gather statements from citizens.

November 14, 1919

As federal investigators began serving subpoenas, U.S. Attorney Slack announced his departure from the Department of Justice at the end of his appointment on January 10th. Fred Van Nuys, Democratic State Chairman, selected to succeed him.

November 18, 1919

U.S. Attorney Slack states, in his rebuttal during the Boner/Harp trial, that witnesses in the case had testified and evidence showed that city officials were fixed.  Boner testified that Evansville is a wide open city.

December 9, 1919

Chief Schmitt sued the Courier Newspaper and owner Henry Murphey for Libel regarding a 10/5/1919 article alleging a conference with the chief and a "woman of underworld."

December 16, 1919

Federal agents were sent to Evansville to inventory the confiscated liquor in the police booze cellar and the sheriff's jail.

December 29, 1919

Journal-News sold for $200,000 to Republican syndicate headed by W.H. McCurdy and James A. Hemanway

January 23, 1920

Republican Henry W. Marshall, Lafayette publisher, bought the controlling interest in Democrat leaning The Courier Newspaper.  

February 10, 1920

The Evansville Press reported that many witnesses were quizzed by feds in the whiskey probe. Even Chief Schmitt was in a lengthy conference with agents.

Spring of 1920

U.S. Attorney Slack and federal agents formulated a list of charges to be presented to the grand jury.

April 12, 1919

The federal grand jury investigation into the Evansville whiskey conspiracy began.  It lasted an extra week after new evidence expanded the investigation.

May 1, 1920

The grand jury is persuaded of probable cause.  Seventy-eight defendants are indicted.

June 14, 1920

The whiskey conspiracy federal trial began.

June 19, 1920

The verdict is reached.  Chief Schmitt is found guilty but permitted to return home before serving sentence.

June 21, 1920

Police Chief Edgar Schmitt presented his resignation.

June 28,1920

Fred Ossenberg appealed his sentence.

July 6, 1920

Edgar Schmitt reported to Indianapolis to begin his sentence in Atlanta.