Three Gun Wilson During Prohibition

Stereoscope – Jan 2010

Three Gun Wilson Swoops Down As Church Bells Ring

Holdrege Progress October 31, 1932. Five Simultaneous Raidsby Twenty Officers With Federal WarrantsLand Four Holdrege Peoplein Federal Jail at HastingsWhile Other Are Held HereA few minutes before the last church bells rang in Holdrege Sunday morning, a series of simultaneous raids on residences where liquor was alleged to be sold, resulted in fourteen arrests of local people on liquor charges.According to officers the following were arrested: D. S. Hayes, Carrie D. Wilmore, Herbert Hedstrom, Mr. and Mrs. Emil Steinke, Vona Hopkins, Lester Freeland, Opal Bragg, Ellen Lantz, Ray Verbeck, Vivian Davis, Lester Cobb and Joe McKean, all of Holdrege and Enos Clark of Wilcox.The raiding squad was composed of 20 officers, headed by Harold (Three Gun) Wilson, federal prohibition enforcing officer and included the local police force, sheriff, city attorney and Kearney county officers, in addition to a number of federal officers.Five raids were conducted at the same moment, 10:50 Sunday morning, after the officers had met outside the city limits and received their final instructions from their chief. They were armed with federal search warrants and all arrests were made on federal warrants. Raids were made at 820 Logan Street; 510 Garfield Street; Faggerberg apartment; 203 Tilden Street; 512 Grant Street; and 724 Arthur Street. In addition, a raid was made on an alleged bootlegger at Wilcox. In every case, it is alleged quantities of liquor were taken by the officers as evidence.As a part of the same clean-up tour, the officers made several arrests in Kearney county when Wilson and his federal men went on to Minden.Information concerning the raid created a sensation at the Presbyterian church services Sunday morning, when Mayor Frank Anderson, who spoke there was called from the church. After returning he concluded his address with the information that there would be no liquor sold in Holdrege that day and told his audience about the series of raids.According to City Attorney Storms, indictments are being prepared for the entire group. A number of patrons of the alleged bootleggers, who were taken in the raid, have been dismissed. Mr. and Mrs. Emil Steinke, Mrs. C. D. Wilmore and Herbert Hedstrom were taken to Hastings and confined to the federal jail there. The others are being held in the county and city jail here.

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