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  • Writer's pictureLawrence Lore

Guilty of Bootlegging 1821


Touissant Dubois House

Plaque on Stone by Elks Building

The first court record in Lawrence County, dated June 4,1821, shows that Michael Stufflebeam and Benjamin Matthews were indicted for retailing liquor without a license. Court was convened at the house of Touissant Dubois being adjacent to the old tavern on Charles Street torn down about 1931.


Henry DuBois was the Sheriff in 1821 at this trial. The grand jury of 23 men included Samuel Harris, foreman, William Spencer, Larkin Ryle, Daniel Grove, Benjamin McCleave, Reson Clubb, Benjamin Sumner, Samuel Ramsey, Scott Riggs, William Howard, Thomas Anderson, William Adams, Eli Harris, Daniel Travis, John Berry, Ezekiel Turner, Joseph Clayton, James Baird, Joseph Adams, William Bennett, Gabriel Scott, Abraham Cairns, and John Hindman.


The two gentlemen accused of bootlegging were indicted and bail fixed at $30. At the November term of court both Stufflebeam and Matthews voluntarily entered pleas of guilty and received fines of $12 each. (This appears to be a rather hefty fine because the next case was the State vs William Ashbrook for assault and battery. Mr. Ashbrook was only fined $1. Fisticuffs was apparently not as serious as selling moonshine.)


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