The people who know me really well -my friends and neighbors and a few other local folks -all know I love to learn about the history of the village where I was born, raised and still reside as well as the history of the Township here too.
One of the ways I use to learn various things about the area is via a subscription I have to Ancestry.com which I use for some family tree research but mainly, my bigger interest in that subscription comes from searching and reading the archived pages from the local newspaper -The Clearfield Progress.
I had bunches and bunches of clips I transcribed from The Progress over a couple of years -all saved to floppy discs (because my other computer didn't have a read/write capacity for CDs, you see) and now, the A drive on this computer -for the floppies -won't work, so I can't access any of those many, many files until I get a new disc drive for this computer!
So, I started researching again on Ancestry.com recently but using a different search term than I had previously used and right now, for the time being, I'm transcribing clips and articles I find over to Notepad files and will then later save all of them to cds.
I love to read these old articles -mainly for the way the reporters wrote way back when!
Here's an example of a piece I came across tonight. This was a front-page article in the newspaper here back in February of 1923 about a bootlegging operation that was "busted." I can't imagine a report like this being published today although I do think if more pieces were written like this, it might just stimulate a lot more people into returning to reading newspapers again!
Read this and tell me your thoughts about this piece. I saw a whole lot of humor in it when I read it and transcribed it, for sure!
This is all taken from the February 23, 1923 issue of The Clearfield Progress as found on Ancestry.com's old newspaper records and files.
February 23, 1923 - page 1
COOPER TOWNSHIP UNDERGOES A "DRY" CLEANING
Drifting Distiller and Grassflat and Winburne Retailers Caught by State
Officer Buys WHisky at Adamitz Hotel at Grassflat; Distiller's Wife a
Match for Dempsey.
TWO SENT TO JAIL
During the European war the Germans always declared that Metz could not
be taken. Something of that spirit and belief was held by a lot fo
people with regard to the moonshining and illegal liquor selling in and
about Grassflat and other points in Cooper Township. But both Metz and
Grassflat have fallen and the banner of Mr. Volstead, the victor, has
been unfurled to the breeze on Knox Run Heights.
State Police officers, Working incognito, have been in the Cooper
territory for several days, during which time they secured evidence
sufficient to secure warrants for at least three malefactors. The first
crafty tactician to fall in the defense of personal liberty was Dan
FOlmar of Drifting whom the officers found presiding over a steaming ten
gallon still in his kitchen. In spite of Dan's protests that he was
"just makin' his own" the officers cruelly took the position that he was
manufacturing hard stuff and must make amends. They reasoned that Dan's
personal capacity must have known no bounds since the barrel the stuff
was flowing into was a forty gallon capacity and his cellar was full of
flasks ready for use.
The second font to fall was the Grass Flat Hotel, owned by Otto Adamitz,
now sojourning in Florida, while his son Russel, a youth under age,
operates the hotel. Young Adamitz sold the officers a quart of liquor
reported to be the real stuff at $12 per quart.
Then coming over to Winburne they made the acquaintance of Sandy Black
who slaked their thirst for a cash consideration.
After securing the evidence on the men complained of in numerous
complaints with the prohibition officials, the officers left the
territory. On Wednesday they returned to the field of their labors and
gathered in the violators. State Troopers H. W. Rodney and P. L. Boyer,
accompanied by County Detective Snyder and Constable Lee Sunderlin, went
first to the Folmer home but could neither find Dan nor get any
information as to his wherabouts. Later in the day they found the object
of their search in a mine hiding, after which they took him to his home
for a change of clothing in order that he might doll up as becomes a
prosperous moonshiner. His wife, however, was an unair obstacle in the
path of the officers. She bitterly attacked the officers and later
resorted to the use of her fists to prevent the arrest of her husband.
While she was planting a few stiff elbow hooks to the trooper's jaw, Dan
coached her with an "atta boy, good work, keep it up." It was **** Dan
was hustled in the waiting car that the round ended and the poor trooper
was able to massage his jowl and cheek. He was taken to Philipsburg for
a hearing after which he was remanded to jail in default of $1,000 bail.
Young Adamitz was the next man arrested but in his case was easily
procurable and he will have his liberty until the next term of court.
The arrest of Black was made in Philipsburg as he was about to board a
street car for Winburne and he too will have his mail directed to Fort
Lowell for some time to come.
These arrests are about the first relief that the Cooper Township
section has had under the prohibition law and this section was vieing
for first honors with Bigler Township. Mandy accepted the belief that
prohibition could not be enforced simply because no effort was being
made to enforce it and the men arrested all expressed themselves as very
much surprised at how easily they were taken across by the capable
officers sent to "get the goods"on them.
Many places in Grassflat particularly were under suspicion and it was
expected that the haul there would be much greater. There must be some
truth in the statement of one Grassflat citizen made some time ago when
he was directly accused by an officer of dealng in wet goods. He at
first denied that he ever sold any liquor but later told the officer
that in the early days he sold moonshine, as did others in the village,
but that there was one place where the thirsty traveler could get the
real stuff and he had to depend on home brew and the place selling the
real stuff put them all out of business.
Young Adamitz is under age and in charge of the hotel of his father Otto
Adamitz, who is spending the winter in the south.