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Timeline

The Struggle Increases, 1923-1931

1923
  • Sheriff Pal M. Daniel is reelected.
  • Evangelist A.A. Haggard visits Girard and stirs up the prohibitionists.
  • Mayor C.M. Knowles, afraid for his personal safety, refuses to take action against the liquor runners.
  • Deputy. W.T. Miller, attempting to close a place in violation of the Prohibition Law, is shot four times (he lived) by the owner, Charlie Jinnet. Officer Will Hill doesn't try to stop him. George Davis beats on Miller. Miller and Jinnet are taken to jail... Miller’s wounds not attended to.
  • Evangelist A.A. Haggard draws a crowd of 8,000 people to his tent as he preaches against alcohol and other vices.
  • Governor of Alabama, William W. Brandon, comes to speak at Haggard's tent and suggests that Girard consolidate with the Eagle and Phenix Mill village next to them in Lee County. The result is Phenix City. (The "o" is dropped to end post office confusion with Phoenix, Arizona).
  • Gov. Brandon sends Walter K. McAldory to clean up.
1931
  • A morphine ring joins the liquor runners.
  • The Great Depression is in full force.
  • The boll weevil eats its way across Mexico, through Texas and into the Deep South, desecrating the south’s main source of income, the cotton crop.
  • Like most places across the country, jobs are largely unavailable. Residents of Phenix City are able to earn money through the illegal activities already taking place or jobs at the Columbus mills.
  • Jimmie Matthews arrives in Phenix City looking for work. He meets gambler Clyde Yarborough who teaches him how to gamble. Jimmie finds a job in the laundry at Camp Benning and soon manages to gamble $11,000 from soldiers. (25 times more than a mill worker makes in a year).
  • Jimmie meets Hoyt Shepherd, a gambler from LaGrange, Georgia. They form the S&M gambling syndicate which produces slot machines, crooked dice, marked cards, and a lottery called “the bug.”
  • Their main competition is another new arrival, C.O. (Head) Revel from Florida, who joins up with long time resident and liquor manufacturer Godwin Davis, Sr.
  • Slot machines are prolific. Children have open access to work slot machines and buy lottery tickets. (Children do not go into the back rooms where heavier gambling takes place or into nightclubs).
  • Hoyt Shepherd begins using his wealth from gambling to support political candidates. Favors are expected in return.
  • Ballot boxes are stuffed and votes purchased to ensure the selected candidates would win.

 

 

 

1798-1833 | 1909-18 | 1923-31 | 1937-53 | 1954-55

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Copyright December 3, 2002.
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