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Showing posts from July, 2017

Notorious Outlaws: Preacher Gill

During the days of Prohibition, more than a dozen members of one Snyder County family managed to keep lawmen busy around the clock. This was the infamous Gill clan of West Beaver Township, whose bootlegging exploits made headlines in newspapers across the state.

On November 22, 1924, a liquor raid occurred in Snyder County's West Beaver Township, spearheaded by Mifflin County detective H.A. Davis. The raid led to the arrest of John F. Gill-- known throughout the county as "Preacher"-- and three sons, who were charged by Detective Davis with liquor law violations under the Volstead Act.

Mystery of the Vanishing Moonshine

Though Davis was out of his jurisdiction, the raid near McClure was "officially" conducted by the State Police, with Davis acting as director, and a trial was held in Middleburg in December. It was an interesting trial, to say the least; the Gills were acquitted after a gallon of "evidence" was stolen from the courtroom sometime during …