47: Liquor

47:1 Tranquillo Scandal
47:2 Campaign for (W.C.T.U to Seek Dry Votes)
47:3 Ohio Votes Dry
47:4 Set Time Limit on Liquor Sale in Lakewood
47:5 Curren Says Law Enforcement to Start Immediately

Pg. 63-65

From the very earliest days, when Datus Kelly first preached temperance among the pioneers, Lakewood had been a stronghold of the drys.

Way back in 1874 a small band of women, led by a Mrs. Crosley, had gone about praying outside of old Rockport taverns.  In 1889, it will be recalled, an ordinance regulating the hours of saloons was passed at the very first meeting of the trustees of Lakewood Hamlet.

After Lakewood became a city, one of the most potent arguments against annexation by Cleveland was that no guarantee could be made that saloons would be kept out.  When national prohibition came, Lakewood helped bring it.

In the face of these sentiments regarding liquor, scarcely anything could have caused more of a furore than events following the night of June 13, 1921.

At about nine o'clock on that fateful evening the owner of a dock on the Rocky River lagoon, reported to police that a yacht named Tranquillo was laid up there and that he believed it was a Canadian rum runner.

Three regular officers, including some "Special Patrolmen" were sent to investigate.  On shore in a parked automobile were three men who told that "a man on the boat" said they could get some liquor.

The policemen found the boat deserted and on turning back to further question the men they had first met, were fired on from the shadows.  Their assailants escaped.

A closer examination of the yacht disclosed a cleverly concealed trap door leading into a filthy hold stacked with burlap bags exuding a strong alcoholic aroma.

A call for help was sent to the police station and more policemen were sent down there to help unload the cargo.  The Chief had just returned from New York City where he had done exceptional good work in trailing and arresting Mrs. Kaber for the murder of her husband.

All that night and much of the next day the crew toiled taking out the sacks and piling them into police cars to be delivered to federal prohibition officers.  Some of the men had been on regular duty all the previous day.  Sheer weariness, one testified later, caused him to lay down on the deck and fall asleep the afternoon after the discovery.

Bottles broke and the hold sloshed with liquor.  The deck was wet with it.  It was the slipperiness, another officer testified, which caused him to lose his balance at one time.  The air was so thick with the odor of spilled liquor that it would have been practically impossible to detect it on anyone's breath, but some of the men admitted they had taken a few drinks to bolster their strength.  All swore that no one was intoxicated.

About two weeks afterward it became known that the federal prohibition bureau was interested in the fact that considerably less liquor than had been billed out of the Tranquillo's Canadian port had been turned in by the police.

On July 6 city council authorized Mayor Louis E. Hill to investigate.

One patrolman testified that while the unloading was in progress "an understanding" grew that one car load would be taken to some place where police could "slip a few bottles home for themselves."

The exact number of cases which actually disappeared was never known.  The figure 47 was mentioned prominently, but police contended that no more than twenty were taken.

It was alleged one had sold four cases off the boat for $420, telling his customer the money was to finance a vacation for police.

These revelations split the town wide open.  One group insisted that every policeman who had anything to do with the case should be discharged.  Another group, whose will eventually prevailed, insisted that the subordinates in the department who only did what their superiors told them to do, should not be blamed.  Thirteen  men turned in their resignations to be held pending final determination of the case.

The following December the federal grand jury indicted a dozen men involved in the case.  Eight of them pleaded guilty and were fined amounts varying between $150 and $500.

In the department at that time there was a young lieutenant named L.B. Miller who had come up rapidly since his appoinment in 1910.  It happens that he is a total abstainer, and is still head of the force, a credit to the city and an honor to himself.


THE LAKEWOOD PRESS, OCT. 31, 1918, Pg. 1

Three hundred women, war mothers, wives, sisters and sweethearts, will make a silent appeal for "Dry" votes at the polls in Cleveland, Nov. 5.  Two women will be constantly on duty in each precinct to hand out sample ballots for the Lakewood Dry committee.

The work in Lakewood will be supervised by a committee composed of Mrs. C.F. Lawson, captain, and Mrs. Austin Meyers, lieutenant.  The different wards and workers follow:

    WARD NO 1.
Mrs. O. Leigh, Captain.
Mrs. F.M. Branch, Lieutenant.
Mrs. Burkheart.
Mrs. Harry King.
Mrs. C.W. Henderson.
Mrs. J.M.H. Frederick.
Mrs. Homer Clark.
Mrs. S.E. Brewster.
Mrs. F.M. Branch.
Mrs. Geo. Christman.
    WARD NO. 2.
Mrs. E. Lasberry, Captain.
Mrs. D.H. Mills, Lieutenant.
Mrs. A. Hardy.
Mrs. A. Bernhard.
Mrs. Harrison.
Mrs. Geo. Whitman.
Mrs. D.H. Mills.
Mrs. H.O. Merriman.
Mrs. Vollkopf.
    WARD NO. 3
Mrs. A.W. Barber, Captain
Mrs. Frank Nelson, Lieutenant
Mrs. F.W. Mead.
Mrs. Mrs. John Bracher.
Mrs. Chas. Hinman.
Mrs. Edwin S. Connor.
Mrs. W.G. Waite.
    WARD NO. 4
Mrs. Austin Meyers, Captain.
Mrs. Ellenberger.
Mrs. Robert Moyer.
Mrs. R.G. Curren.
Mrs. McQuoid.
Mrs. E.H. Roberts.
Mrs. Martin.
Mrs. O'Connor.


THE LAKEWOOD PRESS, Nov. 7, 1918, Pg. 1

Late returns, Thursday morning, sent out from Columbus, give 431,682 votes in favor of prohibition and 417,746 against.  Four years of persistent working, millions of pages of educational literature, thousands of speeches, and personal appeals have at last borne fruit by safely placing Ohio in the dry column of states.

The amendment to the constitution will require the closing of all saloons on the night of May 26, 1919, when the current license period expires.  This will be good news for the people of Lakewood.  The benefits of a saloonless community have been enjoyed and appreciated here too long for the people ever to wish for a return of the wet policy.  A few precincts are yet to be heard from, scattered over the state, but the final results are more likely to swell the dry majority than to encourage the liquor crowd.

The economical and social readjustments resulting from Tuesday's victory while serious will be easily made and Ohio will be more prosperous than ever.  Money formerly worse than wasted will now be diverted into legitimate commercial and beneficial channels.



Council Passes Ordinance Calling For 12:30 Closing During Week and Midnight on Saturday; Schedule of Penalties Set For Other Liquor Violations

Lakewood residents who desire their night cap of intoxicating liquor or beer over the 3.2 mark must imbibe before 12:30 a.m. during the week and 12 midnight on Saturday, according to an ordinance passed by city councilmen Monday evening.

Any public place hereafter must stop the sale of intoxicating liquor, wines or beer, over the 3.2 percentage, on the time stipulated in the ordinance or be subjected to arrest and fine of $10,000 to $50,000 and costs.

Among the other restrictions, many of which follow the state and city of Cleveland ordinances, are those classing as misdemeanors the opening of a bottle or flask containing liquor in a state store or licensed place of business, or the possession of a bottle of illegally purchased liquor in a state store or place of business holding a state license, and the consuming of any liquor in a motor vehicle.  The fines imposed on conviction will run from $10 to $200 and thirty days to 3 months in jail, according to the degree of violation.

Chief of Police L.B. Miller and Mayor Amos Kauffman then requested councilmen to work on some sort of regulation of the 3.2 beer parlors, which they declared, "house the chief element of noise, and give us the worst trouble."

Kauffman declared he had "rolled in at 4:30 a.m. Sunday morning and some of the beer parlors still had orchestras playing."  This ordinance will help some, but it won't get at the seat of the trouble," he declared.

The Rules and Ordinance Committee was then instructed to work out a measure to regulate 3.2 beer places and dance halls.

The following resolutions were adopted by the Lakewood Woman's Christian Temperance Union at a meeting held at the home of Mrs. H.J. Dickerson, 1494 Grace avenue, on Tuesday, June 19, 1934.  The action was taken after notice had been received of councilmanic action in regard to the new liquor ordinance.

1. Be it resolved that the Lakewood Woman's Christian Temperance Union go on record as heartily approving any action of the Lakewood council which seeks to limit the sale of alcoholic beverages in Lakewood and to control the closing hours of places selling them.

2. Be it further resolved that this organization express approval of and pledge support to the action of the churches of Greater Cleveland directed towards the securing of legislation from the city council and the state legislature for the control of the sale of alcoholic beverages near churches schools and libraries.

3. Be it still further resolved that our organization go on record as approving the action of the churches on their effort to do away with the showing of indecent films and as pledging support to this movement by continuing to refuse to patronize entertainment houses showing indecent films.



Judge Lee Skeel Holds City Has Power To Regulate; Closing Hour Is Set Forward to Midnight

The new Lakewood liquor ordinance which bans selling of 3.2 beer by the glass on Sundays and prevents selling of beer or liquor after midnight was upheld in a decision rendered yesterday afternoon by Judge Lee Skeel in the court of common pleas.

Enforcement of the ordinance-passed as emergency legislation-is expected to start at once.  Chief L.B. Miller said he was prepared to clamp down the lid immediately upon word from Law Director R.G. Curren said there would be no further delay.  Enforcement has been held up pending the decision at request of the court.

Court decision came as a result of a permanent injunction suit inagurated at instigation of the Lakewood Resturant Owner's association.  ALbert Amrsm, attorney for the association, contended that the ordinance was illegal on the ground that it was discriminatory, contrary to existing state law and an emergency did not exist.

Judge Skeel held that the ordinance was not contrary to existing statutes and the city was free to legislate as it saw fit pending enactment of conflicting state laws.

"It is not the responsibility of the court to determine whether the law is reasonable," Judhe Skeel told The Post yesterday.  "The question is simply whether the municipality has requisite authority and, in my opinion, it does."

Judge Skeel's decision was in the form of a short written opinion which followed a court hearing, filing of briefs by Director Curren and Mr. Amram and filing of an answering brief by Mr. Amram.

Only grain of consulation wets found in the court decision was the opinion that a clause raising age limit of those who may buy 3.2 beer from 16 to 21 years was illegal.  In addition
to tightening of closing hours the new ordinance also raises fines for many violations.

Meanwhile Mr. Amram's group has filed referendum petitions demanding repeal of the ordinance or placing it on the ballot.  Council Clerk H.A. Rees said more than 2,900 names were on petitions filed and Mr. Amram told The Post yesterday that between 800 and 1,000 additional names would be given Mr. Rees by tonight.  A total of 2,787 signatures of registered voters is required to make the referendum valid.  In event first certification by Mrs. Rees shows names insufficient, 10 days is allowed for filing of additional signatures.

It had been taken for granted by the wets that filing of the referendum would insure Sunday beer selling at least until the November vote.  However Mr. Curren said that there would be no delay in enforcement after the court decision because, as an emergency measure, the charter provides that the law becomes effective at once regardless of referendum.

Mr. Amram said he would have to consult his clients before announcing any further moves.

"However we will carry the case to the court of appeals and to the Supreme court if necessary," he said.  Mr. Amram said he was also considering attacking the charter provision which permits emergency legislation to become effective pending a referendum vote.