John Barleycorn Gets a Victim in Farmington(1916)

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JOHN BARLEYCORN GETS
A VICTIM IN FARMINGTON

Bonne Terre Register, Bonne Terre, MO,  March 10, 1916

     Six or seven members of Farmington's "anti-labor" squad gave a party last Sunday evening and had invited in for the evening one R. E. Priest who had been in Farmington for the past several months doing furniture repair work.  The club's apartments are known as "Buzzard's Roost" and are located in the rear part of a building once occupied as a saloon.   When time came for refreshments, which were no doubt the main attraction of the event, the hosts produced a gallon jug of "bootleg whiskey" imported from Ste. Genevieve County.  After the jug had made the rounds several times, Priest reclined in his chair as if asleep, at least that's what his companions thought.  Certainly their own mental condition about that time was not of the brightest.  At this juncture, another member of the club put in his tardy appearance and while tapping the jug he passed it to the rest of the bunch but when he offered it to Priest he discovered that Priest was dead.  Dr. Weber was called and, after working over the body for half an hour, pronounced the man dead.  The body was at once removed to the Sheriff's office where there was a search made to discover some way in which to learn  of the man's relatives.  In his coat was found a number of letters and one giving the name and address of a woman supposed to be his sister.  The sheriff at once wired to that address but no reply was received up until Tuesday morning and the man was buried as a pauper. 

     At the Coroner's inquest Monday afternoon, the jury brought in the verdict of "death from unknown cause".  It is thought that if there had been a chemical examination of the whiskey it would have developed that some "importer" had been more watchful as to the size of his dividends than as to the quality of the article he sold.


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