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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

home : blogs : verde heritage August 28, 2014

Verde Heritage
By Glenda Farley, Cottonwood, AZ
Local historian Glenda Farley guides us on a journey back in time to discover fascinating moments that make up our Verde heritage and history.
Friday, April 25, 2014

1918: CLARKDALE; Bootlegger Escapes from Jail, April 25.

Verde Heritage

"COPS NAB A BIG WHISKEY CARGO NEAR JEROME: 'Curley' Reese Brings Ten Cases of Liquor but the Officers Sieze it Before He has Much of a Chance."

"'Curley' Reese of Jerome, said by the officers to be a professional bootlegger, was arrested at that place on Sunday night, while engaged in the popular sport of bringing in an auto load of whiskey from Gallup, N. M. 'Curley's' partner, Sam Fox, also wanted on a charge of being implicated in this importation affair, managed to escape, although the officers came very near getting him."

"Reese, according to the cops, had brought in ten cases of liquor and had cached five of the boxes in the mountains near Clarkdale. Five of the cases he had in the car at the time of his capture. Sam had been left to guard the whiskey which had been hidden in the rocks, and it was from this point that he made his getaway. The officers got five cases, which had been left in Sam's charge, however, thereby accounting for the whole shipment which the enterprising booze merchants had hoped to dispose of. Reese came to the Verde from Gallup on Sunday morning making the trip via Holbrook and Lake Rogers. Following his arrest he was placed in the jail at Jerome, and will be brought to Prescott today. The cops are still conducting a hunt for the fleet-footed Sam and hope to nail him ere long."

(Weekly Journal-Miner; Prescott; Wednesday, April 24, 1918; page 1, column 6; from Tuesday's Daily.)


"Jerome, April 26. --- Some unknown confederate of R. E. Reese, better known as 'Curley,' who was arrested with an autoload of bootleg booze Sunday evening by Deputy Marshal Fred Hawkins and Policeman Charles Smith, released the prisoner from the Clarkdale jail last night. The sheriff's office offers a reward of $50 and Deputy Sheriff Bartlett offers a personal reward of $25 for the arrest of the fugitive."

"Entrance was effected to the courtroom of the jail by sawing through the screen on the door. Then the padlock on Reese's cell was sawed through and the way to liberty lay open."

"Reese was last seen about 5 o'clock yesterday afternoon. When Officer Twitty called at 9 this morning to feed the pisoner he found that his bird had flown."

"Justice C. W. Bennett yesterday held Reese in the sum of $1,000 to answer to a charge of violating the liquor law. Mrs. Reese visited him at the jail and asked Twitty to hold him there until morning, stating that she would be able to raise the bail bond in the meantime."

"It is thought very unlikely that Reese's deliverer was Sam Fox, the former Jerome police officer who was his partner in the importation of four autoloads of liquor from Gallup. The officers failed to capture Fox at the time. Reese was rounded up and no trace of him has been discovered since. It is believed that he is hiding somewhere in the hills."

"Simon and E. J. Fox, the boys who were assisting Fox and Reese on the last leg of their journey to Jerome, are in the Jerome jail. Their bail has been set at $300 each."

(Weekly Journal-Miner; Prescott; May 1, 1918; page 4.)

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