Monroe County Historical Society - 78 Indictments & Poage's Joint

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Monroe County, Missouri

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Seventy-Eight Indictments

This article and "Poage's Joint" (below) were published in the Monroe County Quarterly, Vol. 2, Issue 4, Winter 2005/2006.

Monroe County Appeal, Paris, Monroe County, Missouri, 5 Jan 1906.

The grand jury adjourned Saturday, after finding a total of seventy-eight indictments. Of this number two were for forgery, five for gambling, one for alleged fraud in a real estate deal, and all the rest for illegal sale of liquors, distributed as follows:

Florida – Ford Poage, 5; James Ritchie, 5.

Monroe City – Sprinkle & Hayes, 10; W. B. Spalding, 5.

Stoutsville – Ed Ellis and Hugh Henderson, 6; Rolla Armstrong, 3; J. E. Wood, 1.

Santa Fe – James Bates, 5; Wm. Wilkerson, 3.

Granville – Frank Clay, 4.

Clapper – Towney Finnegan, 3.

Madison – John Forrest, 8; Abe Curtright, 6.

Indian Creek – Mr. Williams, 1.

Paris – O. P. Vaughn, 1; J. W. English, 4; R. Porter, 2.

J. E. Wood, a Stoutsville druggist, plead guilty to his indictment and to the charge of selling without merchant’s license, paying a total of $175.

Ford Poage, who maintained a joint in the rear of his blacksmith shop at Florida, plead guilty and was fined $200. Being without funds, he was sent to jail to lay it out. His wife and eight children are said to be in straightened circumstances.

All the others gave bond and the cases against them were continued until the next court. One of the indictments against R. Porter of Paris was for a bottle of whisky ordered in a sudden and severe illness in a prominent Paris family.

The indictments for gambling were against Monroe City youths. Chas. Young, one of the number, plead guilty and was fined $25.

Wilson Sanders took preliminary steps for an appeal to the supreme court in his suit for slander against John Cornick.

Mrs. Ella Foreman’s suit for divorce and $20,000 was continued until next term. (See page 4 of this issue of the Quarterly for further information.)

Howard Carroll was sentenced to 30 days in jail for cutting another Paris darkey.

Hugh Mudd lost out in his suit against the M. K. & T. for $300 damages. He owned a fancy team of drivers. They took fright at a train and ran away. Mudd alleged that their qualities as safe drivers were injured to the extent of $300.

Poage's Joint

The preceding newspaper article contained reference to Mr. Ford Poage, a blacksmith, of Florida. Intrigued by the “joint” in the rear of Poage’s blacksmith shop, the Quarterly has dug up a few interesting facts about this case.

A quick perusal of available records indicates that Mr. Poage was probably Thomas Ford Poage born 1864 in Illinois or Missouri to Monroe City businessman Cyrus H. Poage and Margaret Botts. Ford Poage married Virginia B. Bonsall about 1888.

In the fall of 1905, Mr. Poage sold intoxicating beverages to three gentlemen we can name: John Newman, B. D. Pollard, and J. B. Scobee. Each purchased a pint of whiskey for 50 cents and one pint of “larger” (lager) beer for 50 cents. These three customers of Poage’s “joint” later revealed their transactions causing the grand jury to indict Mr. Poage.

The indictments state that Mr. Poage did not have a license as a “dram-shop keeper” or any other legal authority such as medical to sell these substances.

After Ford Poage went to jail to “lay it out,” his friends and neighbors submitted a petition to the Circuit Court of Monroe County. They explain that Mr. Poage has a large family and his wife is “now in a delicate condition.” They request his release and suggest that Mr. Poage “promise to refrain from the use of or the sale of intoxicating liquor in our village.”

Court documents did not reveal if Ford’s neighbors succeeded in obtaining his release.

In the years before Prohibition, Missouri citizens adjusted to liquor licensing laws that were increasingly more restrictive. By viewing newspaper microfilm and court documents, we can surmise that several Monroe Countians did not adjust gracefully.

This page last edited on 11 Sep 2018.

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