This week’s Time Capsule looks at explosive liquor, a rat hunt shooting and the Marietta Elks Club robbery.

100 years ago …

The Thursday, July 10, 1919, edition of The Cobb County Times reported that Mrs. J.E. McKenney of Powder Springs won the new $600 Ford automobile and a $25 cash prize in the subscription contest of the Cobb County Times. Mrs. John C. Cogburn of Marietta won the second place prize of a $285 Edison Talking Machine.

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Pvt. George Goumas of Marietta, who was awarded the distinguished service cross by Gen. John J. Pershing for gallantry and loyalty to duty in World War I, received the Croix De Guerre with palm and a citation certificate by the French government.

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In the “News From Our Correspondents” column was the following item:

♦F.A. Daniel purchased from James Mosley, an Atlanta capitalist, the Post Office Block in Austell. The $3,060 purchase consisted of three stores and two vacant lots for a total of 180 feet on Mosley Street. This was the first sale of real estate by Mosleys in the Austell district in 25 years.

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The Friday, July 11, 1919, edition of The Marietta Journal wrote on the front page, "As we predicted, (President Woodrow Wilson) is seeing a new light on the liquor question since he got back home. He no longer desires the exception of beers and wines from the operation of the war-time Prohibition act, and with his statement to that effect, away goes the last hope of the liquor forces in this country."

Locally, Sheriff W.E. Swanson and Atlanta Revenue men made a raid in both Cherokee and Milton counties, where they broke up stills. In both cases, lookouts enabled the operators to escape arrest. In the Cherokee case, located near Woodstock, "a very large quantity of beer was destroyed."

Another story reported that near the curb of the courthouse a crowd had gathered and a Journal reporter thinking there was an accident approached. As the man drew near "a terrific explosion rent the air, and from the middle of the circle fragments of a stone jug rose high above the crowd" which made a hasty retreat. In the street, a sheet of blue flame covered a wet place smelling of alcohol. Twenty feet back from the spot, a revenue agent "still grasping viciously the broken handle of the vanished jug" asked who struck the match to the jug of illegal liquor.

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The Tuesday before W.A. Florence of the W.A. Florence Dry Goods Company told police that 40 yards of silk shirting, which sold for $2.50 a yard, had gone missing from the store. Dubbed the "Silk Theft Mystery," police investigated and arrested Villa Johnson, a black woman, who plead guilty to the crime.

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Lawrence Milam, 13, was shot the Monday before when he and a playmate were chasing barn rats with a rifle. The other boy accidentally dropped the rifle, which discharged and shot Lawrence in the leg. The bullet passing through the limb then traveled on an upward angle into his chest. At first he was considered critically injured, but was recovering "very well" by press time.

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H.C. Dobbs sold out his hardware business on Park Square to the Busbee Hardware & Supply Co., a new firm in Marietta headed by T.P. Busbee.

The McClure Ten Cent Store in Marietta changed hands. C.W. McClure of Atlanta, who owned the Marietta store and half a dozen others in Georgia, sold the entire chain to the McClellan Stores Company of North Carolina. McClellan's was where Eddie's Trick Shop currently sits on Marietta Square.

"A new law firm hung out its shingle" that week in the Manning Building on Atlanta Street in Marietta. Col. John H. Boston and Lt. Charley Brown, both well known individuals, were the members of the new firm. Brown has just returned from WWI service in France. Boston was a veteran of the Spanish-American War.

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Marietta Mayor Jim R. Brumby was elected to the executive committee of the state association of Georgia mayors in Atlanta.

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In the Current Events column on the front page were the following items:

♦"610 miles in 246 minutes is the record straightaway airplane flight in this country made (that week) between San Francisco and San Diego by an army captain in an army plane."

♦"The Department of Justice has ordered that prosecution be brought against all sellers of beverages containing more than one-half of 1% of alcohol."

♦"One doctor just returned from France says that (WWI) was prolonged by the French love of wine. He says the French sent wine barrels to the front ahead of the ambulance, and after three or four weeks on the front they thought it was time to rest, and were disgusted with our men who wanted to fight all the time."

♦"Frances Vaughn, a 10-year-old girl of Dublin, was killed by contact with a broken light wire on the street of that town (the week before). Her father, a Presbyterian minister, who was a captain in the army died (in December 1918)."

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On the Editorial Page, the editors had the following item:

♦"1,000 sacks of mail from soldiers reached Atlanta (the Tuesday before), so with the ordinary dispatch of P.O. business you may expect to get a letter soon from some of the boys who got home last month."

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In the “News From Over The County” column was the following item:

Mozely Hill section — Hiram S. Reed was killed after being kicked in the side by a mule that he was hitching to a plow on July 4th.

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50 years ago …

In the Tuesday, July 8, 1969, Marietta Daily Journal, it was reported that Staff Sgt. Michael E. Fowler, 21, died on June 30, 1969, in Vietnam when his military unit came under attack by hostile forces.

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"Five rough-talking gunmen wearing black stockings over their faces (the night before)" were reported in the Thursday, July 10, 1969, paper as having robbed the Marietta Elks Club's 14 members and guests of about $7,000.

Damon Poirier is the Newsroom Administrator and Historian for the Marietta Daily Journal.

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