Detailed Evidence Supporting Liqour Report


Detailed Evidence Supporting Liqour Report


A detailed letter was requested by President McClelland of Pacific University providing a more detailed report regarding specifics of who and how much alcohol was being purchased in Forest Grove drug store. Focuses mainly on residents who were at drug store purchasing alcohol in hopes to be used as witnesses at a case hearing. Agent notes that drug store clerk states he is breaking Oregon state law by serving alcohol, while also notifying the buyers they were breaking the law by consuming and purchasing alcohol in Forest Grove.






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Portland, Ore. Sept 19th,1899
Dr Thos. McClelland,
Pres. Pacific University.
Forest Grove. Oregon.
Dear Sir:
Following please find reports of agent #1.
Thursday, Sept 14th.
To-day in Portland:
Pursuant to instructions to go to Forest Grove and secure evidence against parties there disposing of intoxicating liquor contrary to law, I was furnished with full particulars regarding the case, and left Portland at 4.50 P.M.
Arrived at Forest Grove at 6.20 P.M and went to boarding house of Mrs Sloan. After supper went around town. While getting shaved at Sears barber shop got into conversation with Mr Sears on general topics, and finally brought the subject of temperance around. Mr Sears stated there was more liquor consumed in the city,than any place of its size in the country, although it was prohibition town, that the drug stores done an immense business in this line and at time the streets were crowded with intoxicated men and boys. Called later at the city drug store and purchased some cigars and had a talk on general matters about the town and country with the clerk until 8.30 P.M. The streets being deserted and no prospect of accopmlishing anything I went to my room and after writing and mailing report discontinued.
Friday, Sept 15th.
To-day in Forest Grove:
During the forenoon became acquainted with Chas Rae, F. Kane, J. D. Westcott, Grant Hughes, Linden, Melki Johnson, Blacksmith Theo Wirtz and Linesman Johnson.
At 2 P.M three travelling men and myself went into corner drug store and on through to the rear where we found a small bar and an ice chest which contained hop gold beer in bottles also whiskey. A nickel in the slot machine was on the bar. The bar-tender was 35 years, 5 feet 9 inches 160 lbs, light brown hair, smooth face. We remained there until 4.30 P.M drinking beer and play the slot machine. While there a man evidently in business in town dropped in, and asked the crowd to have some beer, and remained for a half hour from 3 to 3.30 P.M. He was 28 years old, 5 feet 9 inches,165 lbs, smooth face, long blonde hair. While there four persons farmers dropped in and purchased beer and one of them whiskey. The bar-tender state there was a State law prohibiting the sale of liquors in Forest Grove, this proviso being made when the land was deed for the establishment of a university, that a good many of the people were 'kicking' but they kept on selling just the same, even if they were convicted and fined it would be a nominal sum which they could afford to pay and would not amount to what a license would in other towns. Beer was sold for 25 cents a bottle. After supper went about town and entered the drug store but there was no one about. The streets were deserted. By 7.30 and 8 P.M all the business places were closed including the drug stores.
Saturday, Sept 16th.
To-day in Forest Grove:
During the forenoon was in and out of the Millers drug store bar-room. Was accompanied by a hardware drummer named McClune and a man named Kerrigan, representing a Portland pickle firm. There was no on about bu an occasional farmer.
During the afternoon called on President McCleland and talked over the situation. He stated the case would be tried under a city ordinance regulating the sale of liquor which provided for a fine of not less than $50 or more than $200 upon conviction, that the City Recorder would make complaint if the evidence was at hand, and the case would be prosecuted by Congressman Tongue of Hillsboro, whom they had confidence would use his best efforts to suppress the traffic. While they realized the difficulty in preventing the sale of intoxicants and had no expectation of doing away with it, the intention was to restrict the sale which was being carried on in open violation of the law, which requires the liquor can only be sold for medicinal purposes when prescribed by a physician or registered druggist and duly registered, that the majority of the citizens of the town were in favor of making the drug stores adher to the law, and had no sympathy with its violators, and most any of them could relied up to give evidence on the stand if there were shown the circumstances of their receiving liquor was known. A good case was required as they had gone into it to win. Made an engagement to meet Dr McClelland the following evening.
After supper was about the City. A 8 P.M while in Millers bar room with Mr Kerrigan the travelling man drinking beer, was introduced to a Mr Anderson, a man who had recently been at Long Beach, but resided at Forest Grove wehre he was employed in a flour mill. While there a young man named Kane, brother to the Cashier of the Bank, came in. He drank a bottle of beer by himself and then started to go out, but was called back by Anderson and invited to have some more beer, which he did. Was introduced to him. He had on his old clothes and had just come in from a hopyard three miles out of town, where he stated he had been engaged in pulling hop poles. He had one of his fingers bandaged which had been injured. He stated he had recently worked selling liquor in the place. While there a man came in and stated to Kane he could beat him out of a bottle of beer shaking dice. The man was engaged in the threshing business and was 32 years old, weight 160 lbs, 5 feet 10 inches, brown mustache and hair. Kane beat him shaking dice and stated to call a reminder, Anderson, Kerrigan and myself, up to drink, as he had been drinking with us all evening. This was done. After drinking several more bottles with various members of the corwd, the man purchased a quart bottle of whiskey and black-berty, and went out. Mr Kane remained about drinking until 9.30 P.M then went home, stating he would have to take a bath.
A barber named Writz came in about 9 and joined the corwd, and remained until 10.45 P.M drinking, when he was notified by the clerk, who had been in the front of the store, that he was wanted by a party. He went out and I saw him go down the street with a woman evidently his wife.
About 10 P.M an Insurance man with a companion came in and remained there drinking with the crowd until it dispersed. During all this period Kerrigan done all the talking, relating his experience and telling stories which kept the crowd in good humor. The bar-tender was the regular clerk employed in the store. Anderson, Writz and Kane will undoubtedly be reliable men on the witness stand.
Sunday, Sept 17th.
To-day in Forest Grove:
During the day was about Millers and the City drug stores. The town practically deserted no one being about. At 7.30 went into Millers drug store with a man named Smith, travelling for optical goods. Found the clerk in the front part of the store, and in the bar-room Hanley Kane and a man who I was introduced to as a Judge----a Justice of the Peace. He was 54 years old, 5 feet 11 inches, 180 lbs, chin whiskers gray, was a G.A.R man. He stated a case against the City would be tried before him the following day. Called for a bottle of beer but the clerk was not in. Mr Kane went to the front of the store and told clerk he was wanted, when clerk told Kane to help himself and us which he done. Remained there about 45 mninutes drinking beer with the crowd.
While there a man came into the bar-room intoxicated, and stated he was did not see any drinks about. He went out and a few minutes after the clerk came in with an empty medicine bottle and filled it with whiskey from a metal pot, and stated this man Jones who had been arrested the night before last was in front drunk, and he was afraid would get them into trouble, and would give him some whiskey to get ride of him. The clerk being anxious to close up, the crowd departed about 8.30 P.M.
At 9.30 P.M called on President McClelland and reported progress. He suggested that I take my time and get more witnesses and make a strong case even if it took a week of more. He stated they had no desire to punish the City drug store as the man was a recent arrival and did not violate the law as openly as Miller, but if it came up right to get a case against him so that he oculd be induced to live up the law. Dr McClelland further stated that Mr Tongue, whom the expected would prosecute the case, had declined on the ground that he was Millers attorney in case of trouble.
Yours respectfully,