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From the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, comes this story of a revenuer raid written by county historian George T. Swain and published on 27 May 1927:


Last Friday was a hectic day in the life of a certain newspaperman. Being invited by members of the state police and a deputy marshal to accompany them on a moonshine raid this reporter was naturally quite interested in viewing a moonshine still in operation. He had never seen an apparatus in action, having been all his life on the consuming end and not the manufacturing end of the industry.

However, we were assured by the officers that more than likely we could see a still in operation and have the added thrill of viewing them making a capture of the operators. So we were up bright and early as Popys would say and were off at record speed for a journey of many miles to Verner, where we left our car and headed for the mountain coves.

Nearing the nest of the moonshiners the party divided. Sergeant Jay Rowe elected to take one hollow and dispatched Deputy Marshall J.T. Reynolds and Trooper Wilson up another while he sent Trooper Fred Russell and ye reporter up the third one. All were armed with pistols and high-powered rifles save the reporter who was armed with a kodak.

We had been warned should we meet with the moonshiners and a battle was to ensue to get behind a tree or fall to the ground. We tucked this advice away in our little brain for future use. The matter of locating moonshine stills, we learned, is pretty much a matter of deduction.

The officers would get to the middle of a small branch and follow the stream ahead. Invariably right at the head of the stream they will find a moonshine still if there is any in the vicinity. Up the mountain side we clambered with a thicket as dense as a hedge on every side. Yet up and up we climbed while ye reporter’s legs grew weary and his breath came short and fast.

All at once Trooper Russell halted and we prepared for a nose dive. Pointing up and right ahead he said: “There she is” and sure enough there was a still still smoking while the embers were growing cold beneath it. We climbed up on the little mountain bench and there we found all necessary ingredients for the manufacture of the fluid that keeps the undertakers in business.

We sat there and patiently waited for the other officers to “close in” and they were not long in coming. Had the operators been there they would have been captured for we had it well surrounded by they evidently had left it only a few short hours before. We got out pictures and was informed that Trooper C. Wilson and Uncle Jim Reynolds had found another.

Everything being finished the officers started their work of “mopping up.” Everything was broken into smithereens and the old gasoline tank that served as the still was rolled to one side where she could be pumped full of holes. Ye reporter’s attention was diverted for the moment and Trooper Wilson raised his rifle and fired a hole through the tank. Thinking it was the moonshiners opening fire ye reporter kissed mother Earth one resounding smack and she sure tasted sweet. Already scared to death that little previous advice was well followed.

We mopped up on three stills and 200 gallons of mash and started for another when we found Mingo county officers had beat us to it. A tired and weary newspaper man arrived in Logan and is just now getting the kinks out of his legs from the weary climb. He prefers to do his hunting trying to find the characters on the keyboard of an Underwood, rather than climbing mountains while half scared to death trying to find moonshine stills set up ready for action. The mash nearby was enough to satisfy our thirst for strong drink. The concoction would surely kill a hog but men will continue to drink it.