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Mail Tribune 100

Dec. 6, 1917


"Quaint old Jacksonville is some thing like Jonah — it can not be kept down," writes Daniel W. Hazen from Camp Mills, Long Island, N.Y., in the Portland Telegram. "A native of the City of Once-Upon-a-Time is the most advertised Oregon soldier in the American metropolis. Lieutenant Charles W. Prim, son of Judge Charles Prim, a Jacksonville lawyer, has been putting the fear of wrath to come into the hearts of Greater New York saloonmen who sell fire-water to soldiers.

"The lieutnent's name was printed in big type on the front pages of Gotham dailies, after he shot the Brooklyn barkeeper on the night of November 11. But a Brooklyn paper called him Trim, which is very good, while a Yonkers journal called him Lieutenant Brim; to this the Jackson county man objected.

"But Charley had an adventure the other night that he did not tell to the New York reporters. It might have been a big story; in that event most famous pioneer jurists would not have been around to tell the tale. A few days after he had wounded the Brooklyn saloonman, Lieutenant Prim received a letter purporting to be from a friend of the soldiers, and telling him that if he would visit a certain dive bar at a certain hour one night, he would see that whiskey was being sold there to men in uniform.

"The Oregonian is an officer attached to the military police of this camp. He "smelled a rat," but decided to take a chance. He and another officer dressed in privates' uniforms, and at the hour mentioned the two strolled into the New York saloon. In the center of the room stood three typical "hard-boiled" toughs of the gas-house district; the bartender looked equally inviting.

"The boys went up to the bar and ordered ginger ale. They sipped this slowly, thinking that other soldiers might come in and buy liquor. They also kept looking at the gangsters, who began edging around to get between the soldiers and the door. But the young man from Jacksonville and his companion kept moving so they would not be trapped. Each of the hoodlums had his right hand back of him, and the boys think that if they had made any false motions there would have been trouble."