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Mail Tribune 100, Aug. 3, 1920

The following news items were drawn from the archives of the Mail Tribune 100 years ago.

Aug. 3, 1920


Tom Murphy of Medford Shoots George Douglas When Latter Insists on Sampling Domestic Stock — Wounds Not Serious — Offender is Held Under $2,000 Bonds.

Tom Murphy, the local hunk dealer, was cooking home brew yesterday evening about seven o’clock, at his residence on South Front street. The seductive aroma of the mixture of hops and corn, assailed the nostrils of George Douglas the upholsterer who was passing. George, who once imbibed of a Jacksonville mixture which raised boils on his neck, announced that he wanted a drink. Mr. Murphy left his kettle long enough to announce that the pilgrim of thirst was not welcome.

“You blankety blank bum,” proclaimed the upholsterer, “if you don’t give me a drink I’ll come and get it.”

“You enter this house and I’ll fill you full of daylight,” was the reported rejoinder.

Whereupon Douglas, who knows no fear when a drink is concerned, entered the sacred precincts of home brew and was met by a horse pistol about the size of Herr Krupp’s Big Bertha. A wrestling match ensued during which Murphy fired two shots, one grazing the intruder’s temple and the other inflicting a slight flesh wound in the chest. Murphy had the wounded man down and was endeavoring to rap him on the head with the heavy end of his fire arm, when Jack Plysale heard the rumpus and sailing in, separated the two men.

Night policeman Adams arrived at this point and placed Murphy under arrest, also corralling a copper boiler filled with what appeared to be sour mash, and two dozen bottles, properly corked filled with liquefied rough-on-rats.

At a hearing before Justice Taylor this morning Murphy was held under $2,000 bonds to the grand jury charged with assault with intent to kill. Tomorrow afternoon at 2 o’clock Murphy will be given a hearing on having a home-made still in his possession.

Douglas was able to be about as usual today his wounds being of a very innocuous character. The affair aroused considerable excitement on South Front street during the vesper hour. The trial promises to involve a hot legal battle over how far the proprietor of a home-brew castle may go in protecting his home and fire water.

News from 100 years ago