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As It Was-Bandon, Ore., Couple Arrested During Prohibition in 1921

In February 1921, Mr. and Mrs. John Coy of Bandon, Ore., ran afoul of national Prohibition by possessing intoxicating liquor.

The authorities became suspicious when Coy hauled about six sacks of corn to his ranch every week for only seven chickens on the Coy premises.  An investigation uncovered two liquor jars hidden under a pile of clothing in the bedroom.

As Constable Goodman handed the first jar over to Sheriff Ellingsen, Mrs. Coy seized it, poured the contents onto the floor, and threw the emptied jar at Goodman.  The empty jar struck the second jar, breaking off its top, but enough liquor remained to use as evidence.

Test results indicated the liquor contained 19 percent alcohol.  Inside a shed, the authorities found a tin wash boiler alongside a10-gallon beer barrel containing cracked corn in a liquid, presumed to be mash.

In court, Mrs. Coy denied the liquor was moonshine, but rather a liniment provided by her mother and the mash was a boiled feed mixture for the chickens and hogs.

The Curry County jury wasn’t convinced.  It found Mr. and Mrs. Coy guilty and fined each of them $50.

Source: "Fined $100 On Booze Charge." Gold Beach Reporter, 10 Feb. 1921, p. 1.

Laurel earned a Bachelor’s degree in Geography from Humboldt State. Her research efforts as a volunteer for the Curry Historical Society produced numerous newsletter articles and exhibits and earned her a reputation as a seasoned local history buff. Laurel is the author of "Renderings from the Gold Beach Pioneer Cemetery", a 50-page booklet containing a walking tour and snippets about the lives and times of folks buried there. She is also a contributing writer to Oregon Coast Magazine.