100 Years Ago in Bienville Parish: Bryceland Moonshiner Skips Town

In mid-August 1922, Sheriff J.E. Currie received a tip that D.H. Posey was operating a whiskey still near Bryceland.  Posey had recently completed a sentence against him for violating the liquor law.

The sheriff and deputy E.E. Howell immediate left to investigate.  Upon arrival, they easily located the still, other paraphernalia used in the manufacturing process of “White Lightning” including two barrels of mash.  Posey was not at the still, but they located his gun leaning against a tree.  They knew he was nearby.  

The sheriff and his deputy located two men nearby who were cutting stove wood and asked if they knew where to find Posey.  The men explained that Posey had gone for water, probably to use in the still.  They said Posey would soon return.  The sheriff and deputy waited for a long time until they decided that Posey had realized the authorities had found his still and fled the area. 

Sheriff Currie and Deputy Howell took Posey’s gun for their own safety and were walking away from the still when the met Posey.  The sheriff served Posey with a summons which required him to come before the grand jury.  Posey said that he would be in Arcadia on the following Tuesday to stand before the grand jury.  

During prohibitions, the common practice was for law enforcement officers to damage whiskey stills beyond repair or to confiscate the different components.  It is unknown what action the sheriff and deputy took in regards to the whiskey still. 

On the following Tuesday, Posey failed to appear before the grand jury.  This was the second case of operating a whiskey still brought against Posey, and the penalty for repeat offenders was stiff.  Upon investigation, the sheriff learned that Posey had “left the country.”  Sheriff Currie had little doubt that they would soon catch up with Posey.   

Source: Bienville Democrat, September 21, 1922, p.1. 

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