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Mail Tribune 100, June 2, 1921

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

June 2, 1921


Under the direction of the grand jury, Sheriff Terrill Wednesday afternoon dumped into a cesspool at the county court house, 64 gallons of contraband liquor, ranging from the crude concoctions of amateur distillers to the historic Old Crow. The firewater was destroyed upon an order issued by Circuit Judge Calkins, upon a petition filed by District Attorney Rawles Moore. J. W. Elden, foreman of the grand jury, and P. C. Bigham, a member thereof, were official witnesses of the tragedy.

During the operation, the air was heavy with the scent of hootch, and number of spectators viewed the ceremony — some rejoicing, some very sad. Very few knew the obsequies were going to take place.

Most of the destroyed beverage was of high grade, seized in the Siskiyous when California was wet, and the trip over the mountains had a strong appeal. There was some, however, that smelled of acid and copper, with blindness in every swig.

In many communities, the best of the liquor is turned over to the hospitals for medicinal and surgical purposes, and only the deadly portions destroyed.


Through Jess Winburn, the wealthy New York man, who recently located in Ashland and made heavy investments there, shipping the barrels of mixed wine and whiskey in bottles from his former home in New York to Ashland under a permit issued by the United States prohibition commissioner of the eastern state, the United Sates prohibition authorities of Oregon have an interesting problem to contend with.

Acting on information of the shipment he had received from some source, Deputy Sheriff J. J. McMahon late yesterday seized the barrels of booze in the express office in Ashland, and technically placing Mr. Winburn under arrest, notified the United States marshal’s office in Portland. Some Untied States official is expected to arrive in Medford today or Friday, to look after the matter.

There seems to be no question but that the booze was expressed to Mr. Winburn at Ashland by means of a permit issued by the proper authority. He had purchased the liquor long before the national prohibition act went into effect. It is said that Mr. Winburn never himself took a drink in his life, and that he is not worried at all and is confident that the seized liquor will be returned to him and that no charge can or will be brought against him.

— Alissa Corman; acorman@rosebudmedia.com