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Mail Tribune 100, Aug. 18, 1921

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

Aug. 18, 1921



Situation In Brief

Developments in the county-wide clean-up of suspected bootleggers and illicit stills up to one o’clock this afternoon were as follows:

Finding of three stills in the Jacksonville Hill district, and the arrest of their alleged owners and operators, Wednesday by state and county officials.

Announcement that a special prosecutor would be detailed by Governor Ben Olcott to handle the cases arising from the raids and arrests.

Departure of officers in two different directions this morning on a hunt for stills and booze peddlers.

Issuance of warrants for the arrest of men alleged to be engaged in the whiskey traffic.


In raids by deputy sheriffs and special agents in the hills back of Jacksonville Wednesday, three stills were located and seized, and two men, J. M. Rock, a farmer, and Ike Coffman, a homesteader, were arrested. Both were arraigned this morning in Justice of the Peace Taylor’s court. Rock pleaded guilty to the charge of having a half gallon demijohn of whiskey in his possession. Upon the plea that he was the father of five children, and a new arrival expected any day, he was allowed to go on his own recognizance until Saturday morning at 10 o’clock. The owner of the third still said he would appear today. A special agent, asked what Rock’s name was, divulged the information, that it was “Jim Stone.”

Coffman, through his attorney, George M. Roberts, was given until Friday morning at 10 o’clock to plead, and is at liberty on $250 bonds furnished by Jesse M. Taylor, a well known Applegate rancher. Coffman is charged with having in his possession “a mixture of figs, prunes, and water in the process of fermentation.”

“Squirrel Whiskey”

According to the arresting officers, the still alleged to have been operated by Coffman, was an emergency source of supply for Medford moonshiners. They claim it was a highly unsanitary proposition. His mash was kept in a tin boiler in a deserted shack, and dead gray squirrels and bats were found around the still, the animals having dropped from the rafters into the brew, and cooked alive. The tin boiler, the officers said, was enough to insure a partaker of the concoction instant death.

Attorney George M. Roberts, counsel for James (Shine) Edwards, and John Goodwin, taxicab drivers arrested early Wednesday morning, appeared before Justice Taylor this morning, and asked for arraignment. The court set the time at 10 o’clock Friday morning.

Edwards up to noon today had been unable to secure the $1,000 fixed for his release, after a day’s search for bondsmen. One man was willing to (cover) his bonds, but the second could not be secured.

— Alissa Corman; acorman@rosebudmedia.com