Archived Story

A look back at liquor

Published 11:25am Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Without question, the most controversial issue in this area for the last 150 years has been whether or not to have legal liquor sales.

March 20, 1909 —The Law and Order League has employed detective Frank Wilson of Birmingham to search out those who are selling liquor in Morgan County in violation of prohibition laws.

April 7, 1909 —Ministers, members of the Law and Order League, and special deputies raided several soft drink stands today and carried away bottles filled with some kind of liquids which will be analyzed. The soft drink proprietors say nothing stronger than ginger ale was found, however.

April 15, 1907 — The municipal campaign pot that has been simmering for so long boiled over tonight and boiled out two separate tickets for mayor and board of aldermen. A new feature was injected in municipal campaign affairs this year when the Women’s Christian Temperance Union put out a ticket.

April 19, 1901—Seven students have recently been “expelled” from the University of Alabama. Six had been indulging in an eggnog in the seventh man’s room while he was downstairs studying his lessons. He was dismissed as well, however, since the rules and regulations of the University declare that a man is to be dismissed if liquor of any kind is found in his room.

May 5, 1923 — The jurors in Morgan County circuit court apparently were in a convicting mood this week. Several men brought up on prohibition charges were fined heavily and sentenced to hard labor.

May 16, 1933—The Alabama attorney general in an opinion Monday held that Alabama municipalities have no right to authorize sale or possession of 3.2 per cent beer. There is little sentiment in Hartselle to do this anyway.

June 23, 1919—Mountain dew is still flowing quite freely in the mountain districts. Three copper stills were taken this week by the authorities and about 500 gallons of beer were poured out.

July 8, 1907 —Local churches have circulated petitions asking the legislature to pass the Sherrod anti-jug bill. It forbids the shipment of alcoholic liquors into a prohibition county from a county having legal sales.

July 18, 1933 — Upsetting a dry tradition of 14 years’ standing, Alabama gave a majority of 29,638 votes for national Prohibition repeal in today’s election. In Morgan County, however, a majority favored keeping it.

August 15, 1920 —A peddler who started out on the streets Friday morning ended his day’s work in Morgan County jail on a prohibition charge. Officers claim the man had drinkables mixed with his edibles. He drove a horse attached to a buggy and a search of it revealed the customary “little brown jug” filled with moonshine.

September 21, 1939 —Duke Palmer and his Trail Riders put on a nice, clean (no alcoholic beverages), and enjoyable program in Somerville Saturday night. The show was sponsored by the missionary society.

September 27, 1913 —A Syrian was found guilty of violating the state prohibition law yesterday in the Morgan County law and equity court and given a fine of $100. Officers found 96 bottles of beer packed in ice and stored away in his bathtub.

October 5, 1911 — The people of Hartselle gave a large majority against the saloon in the most recent liquor traffic. This was primarily because of their animosity to the beverage traffic in their community.

February 22, 1911 —Late last night some unknown party attempted to break into the storeroom where is stored a large quantity of liquors that have been seized in recent raids. A deputy, who was guarding the place, fired at the intruder and he fled without getting any of the “booze.” The night was a very cold one and evidently the fellow who tried to break in wanted something to keep him warm.

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