Sunday, November 28, 2021

Prohibition Begins in Missouri

   In my book Wicked Joplin, I wrote about how the last day before Prohibition was celebrated in Joplin, and I got to wondering how other Missouri localities observed the day. Although the period we know today as Prohibition did not begin until January 1920, the temporary Wartime Prohibition Act banned the sale of beverages containing more than 2.75 percent alcohol as of July 1, 1919. So, for all practical purposes, June 30, 1919, marked the last day that people could legally purchase booze.
   Known as a hell-raising town from its earliest days as a boisterous mining camp, "wet" Joplin was a frenzy of activity in the days leading up to the prohibition deadline. People from miles around who lived in “dry” territories trekked to Joplin to stock up on John Barleycorn, and record sales were reported. (The initial provisions of the prohibition act outlawed the sale but not the possession of alcoholic drinks.) On the eve of the law’s taking effect, Joplinites marked the occasion with wild revelry. All the saloons were jammed throughout the evening, as were all the cafes that served alcohol. “No New Year’s party in the history of Joplin...could be compared with it,” said the Joplin Globe the next day. “When midnight approached the merrymakers were well along toward that state where every one is a ‘jolly good fellow.’” When the fateful hour arrived, women jumped onto tables and starting singing “How Dry I Am” and similar ditties, while out in the streets “the revelry was nearly as bad. Men and boys paraded Main street shouting and yelling,” and both men and women in automobiles drove up and down the street screaming and shouting out the open windows. The Joplin police, reported the Globe on July 1, arrested seventy-eight people for drunkenness, even though they limited their arrests to those “who had become so intoxicated they will not realize until late today they were guests of the city....”
   Other towns and cities throughout Missouri marked the occasion with revelry as well, although their celebrations were more subdued in most cases.
   In Kansas City, "Last-chance parties abounded in hotels and cabarets," according to the July 1 Kansas City Times, "and the saloons did (a) heavy business." The celebration centered on Twelfth Street, where the merrymakers "made a noisy demonstration to the close." It was a "joyous and happy crowd," some woozy with liquor, but "not offensive." Some of the revelers were strangers to John Barleycorn but "made his acquaintance last night." One such newcomer to liquor was a woman who sat in an automobile outside the Hotel Muehlebach looking somewhat disheveled. "What do you think my Sunday school class would think of me now?" she asked as a reporter passed by.
   In St. Joseph, "The celebrators, or mourners, as the city's News-Press called them the next morning, "did everything they could to get rid of the liquor last night." Since the new law would still allow for light or "kickless" beer and wine, it was mostly "whiskey straight" that the St. Joseph partiers imbibed.
   For the most part, St. Louis, according to the July 1 Post-Dispatch, "permitted liquor to pass out last night with indifference. The expectation that the 'last night' would have aspects of drunkenness and revelry not uncommon to New Year's Eve was not realized." A fairly large number of people did take to the streets in the early evening, but when the crowds "realized that nothing to stir their risibility was going to happen, they dispersed to their homes." The St. Louis Star & Times largely agreed, noting that there were some large crowds throughout the city but that the celebration was "by no means of the New Year variety." Most of the celebrating occurred at "family parties, and revelry was the exception."
   In Springfield, "The ringing of church bells and the celebration at downtown cafes marked the passing of John Barleycorn and his stepbrothers," according to the Springfield Missouri Republican. Although some of the downtown cafes and saloons had more business than usual, there were no real parties like those normally held on New Year's Eve. When the clocks reached midnight, some of the churches in town, happy to see the death of John Barleycorn, rang their bells in dirge-like peals usually reserved for funerals.
   Many of the "thirst-parlors" in Joplin and elsewhere throughout the state closed after Wartime Prohibition took effect, even though the law initially allowed the sale of drinks with a small amount of alcohol. The saloonkeepers said that, with whiskey barred, they could not make enough money to pay expenses.

Saturday, November 20, 2021

The Murder of Violet Brewer

   About seven a.m. on the morning of August 27, 1970, fifty-year-old Violet Brewer, clerk at a Quick Shop at 3328 N. Glenstone in Springfield, was shot to death during a holdup as she was opening the store for business. Twenty-two-year old Donald Joe Hall was arrested as a suspect in the case in mid-September on a tip from Warren Martin, who told police that Hall had given him a .32 caliber pistol to dispose of shortly after the Brewer murder. Martin, who was under arrest on suspicion of armed robbery, said he’d thrown the weapon into Lake Springfield, and it was recovered a few days after Martin’s confession. Hall had a criminal record dating back to 1965 when he was a seventeen-year-old kid, and, at the time of his arrest as a suspect in the Brewer case, he'd been out on probation for the past ten months after pleading guilty to a charge of displaying a dangerous weapon because he'd pointed a gun at a policeman who was trying to question him for careless driving.

                                            Violet Brewer from Springfield Leader & Press

   Hall’s probation was now revoked, and he was charged with first-degree murder. At Hall's trial, Martin, a former cellmate of Hall’s at the state prison, testified that Hall told him, after he gave him the pistol to dispose of, that he’d “had to shoot a gal” with it during a holdup when the woman reached for a phone to call police and that Hall admitted it was the murder and holdup that had been in the news so much lately. Forensic experts linked the weapon taken from Lake Springfield to the bullet removed from Mrs. Brewer’s head. However, Hall took the stand in his own defense to deny killing Brewer. He admitted giving the pistol to Martin but said he’d done so before the murder. Although one is left to wonder why Martin would point police toward a murder weapon if he’d committed the murder himself, Hall planted enough doubt in the minds of jurors to win an acquittal.
   Hall still faced five years in the penitentiary, though, on the charge of displaying a deadly weapon, and when he got out of prison in 1973 after serving only about half of the sentence, he promptly resumed his criminal career, culminating in the murder of Springfield jeweler William Roscoe White in December 1992, a crime for which Hall was convicted and sentenced to death (later changed to life imprisonment).
   This story is condensed from my book Lynchings, Murders, and Other Nefarious Deeds: A Criminal History of Greene County, Mo.

Saturday, November 13, 2021

The Last Lynching in Missouri: The Murder of Cleo Wright

   In the wee hours of Sunday morning, January 25, 1942, 29-year-old Grace Sturgeon and her sister-in-law, LaVerne Sturgeon, were awakened from their sleep when they heard someone crawling through a window in the house where they were staying in Sikeston, Missouri, while their husbands were away in military service. Grace's 8-year-old son was asleep in another room. The intruder, a black man, confronted the women, lunging at them with a knife. LaVerne made her escape and ran from the house screaming for help, but the man grabbed Grace and cut her across the abdomen. He also slashed her hand when she tried to grab the knife. About this time, Grace's son was aroused from his sleep by the commotion, and the intruder took off. When LaVerne returned with help, Grace was lying in the floor with severe wounds.
   Law officers immediately went looking for the assailant. About a half mile from the Sturgeon home, Sikeston policeman Hess Perrigan and a citizen who was driving Perrigan's vehicle spotted a black man walking along the street with blood on his clothes. Perrigan arrested the man, took a knife away from him, and got into the back seat with his captive.
   Although Perrigan had his revolver trained on the prisoner, the man, later identified as 26-year-old Cleo Wright, whipped out another knife that he had hidden on his person and attacked Perrigan with it, severing an artery. Despite the severe wound, the officer managed to get off four shots, all of them striking Wright.
   Mrs. Sturgeon and Officer Perrigan were both taken to the Sikeston hospital with serious wounds, while the gravely wounded Wright was taken at first to the city hall, where the city jail was located. Walking under his own power, the prisoner, however, collapsed as he was led into the building. He, too, was then taken to the hospital and placed in the emergency room in the basement. Sometime after 5 a.m., however, he was moved back to the city hall and placed in a temporary detention room rather than the steel-barred jail in the basement. Here he reportedly admitted that he had attacked Grace Sturgeon.
   By about ten o'clock Sunday morning, a crowd had gathered at the city hall and were attempting the break down the ordinary wooden door of the detention room. A highway patrolman succeeded in temporarily dispersing the small group. The patrolman called for backup, and two other highway patrolmen and the city police chief arrived to help guard the prisoner.
   Over the next couple of hours, however, both the size and the determination of the crowd grew. About noon, prosecuting attorney David Blanton arrived and tried to reason with the growing mob, but his remarks only "seemed to inflame the crowd," according to the local newspaper, the Sikeston Herald. With shouts of "What are we waiting for?" the crowd surged into the city hall, shoved past the officers, and easily broke down the door to the detention room. Wright, already unconscious from his wounds, was dragged from the building. One report said he was immediately tied by his feet to the bumper of a car and dragged through the street toward the black section of town, while a conflicting report said he was crammed into the trunk of the car, taken to the edge of the black section, and then tied to the bumper. In either case, he was dragged back and forth through Sikeston's black neighborhood on the west side of town. After a few minutes, Wright's lifeless and nearly naked body was cut loose, gasoline was poured on it, and it was set ablaze "in front of the Negro school." The mob then gradually dispersed.
   The charred body lay unclaimed for several hours, before it was finally taken late that afternoon to a local cemetery and buried in the "Potter's Field." Grace Sturgeon and Hess Perrigan, on the other hand, gradually recovered from their wounds.
   As was generally true in cases of lynching, law enforcement made at least a superficial effort to identify and prosecute the ringleaders of the mob that dragged Wright from the city hall but to little avail. A grand jury early the next year failed to return a true bill against any of the perpetrators. Citing a lack of cooperation from potential witnesses, the jury said none of the guilty parties could be positively identified.
   The murder of Cleo Wright is generally considered the last lynching in Missouri, although the shooting death of town bully Ken McElroy in Skidmore in 1981 by an unidentified member of a crowd of townspeople who were confronting the hated McElroy has occasionally been characterized as a lynching as well. For a thorough account of the Wright lynching, I recommend The Lynching of Cleo Wright by Dominic J. Capeci, Jr.


Saturday, November 6, 2021

The Lynching of Roosevelt Grigsby

   Unlike some of the states of the Deep South, Missouri saw about as many white men as black men lynched during the late 1800s and early 1900s. This is not to say that blacks and whites were treated equally. No way! In the first place, even though the total number of whites lynched equaled or perhaps even exceeded the number of blacks lynched in Missouri, the proportion of blacks lynched as a ratio of the population was much greater. Also, black men were lynched more indiscriminately. Usually, when white men were lynched, there was pretty strong evidence against them and the offense of which they were accused was very serious. This wasn't necessarily the case with black men. They were often lynched on scant evidence and/or for relatively minor offenses, especially if the alleged offense involved a sexual advance toward a white woman. The lynching of Roosevelt Grigsby of Charleston, Missouri, is a case in point.
   About 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, December 18, 1924, Kathryn McFadden, a sixteen-year-old high school girl, started on foot with her younger sister from the confectionary store where Kathryn worked in Charleston to the girls' home a few blocks away. The girls were on North Elm Street just a couple of blocks from their house when a young black man jumped out from behind a fence and accosted them. He grabbed Kathryn and started dragging her across the street, but her and her sister's screams aroused the neighborhood and scared the attacker off.
   Kathryn had her dress torn and was in a "hysterical condition," according to the Charleston Times, when she was interviewed by law officers. However, she said she recognized her assailant because he had previously worked briefly at the confectionary where she was employed part-time. She identified the young man as Roosevelt Grigsby, who was about 21 years of age.
   Grigsby, who had previously served a stint in the state reformatory for an attempted assault on another young white woman in Charleston, was located at his home and brought to the Mississippi County sheriff's office in Charleston. Several other young black men were also rounded up for questioning. Grigsby admitted being in the vicinity of where the attempted assault had occurred, but he described two other young black men he claimed to have seen running from the area.
   Under questioning, Grigsby soon broke down and confessed, according to the local newspaper. About 8:30 p.m., after word of the alleged confession had spread throughout town, a mob, numbering at least 200, surrounded the sheriff's office. About half that number made a rush on the office and forcibly took Grigsby from the officers who were guarding him. The officers "attempted to interfere," according to the sheriff, "but were pushed aside."
   Grigsby maintained his composure and made no attempt to escape until after he was dragged from the room and into the street, where he began to scream and resist. Outside, he was attacked by several members of the mob as he was dragged to a tree on the east side of the sheriff's office. Someone produced a rope, and as the mob attempted to place the noose around Grigsby's neck, someone else struck him with the butt of a revolver, rendering him unconscious. One end of the rope was placed around his neck, and the other was thrown over a limb about fourteen feet off the ground. The victim did not appear to be conscious as he was drawn up.
   As the body swung back and forth, someone from the crowd fired a shot into it. After the body had hung for about thirty minutes, it was cut down, attached to the rear of an automobile, and dragged through the streets. With the mob traipsing along behind, the procession wound through the black district of Charleston, or the "bad lands," as local residents called the area. Several black families fled in fear after the lynching and the gruesome parade through their neighborhood.
   As the final act in the mob's cruel demonstration, Grigsby's body was tossed on a bonfire built near the intersection of Marshall and Elm and allowed to burn for some considerable time, with many in the mob hanging around until near midnight.
   Declaring that he planned to call a special grand jury, prosecuting attorney J. C. McDowell promptly launched an investigation into the lynching, but he got no cooperation. The mob was unmasked when they stormed the sheriff's office, and the sheriff and his deputies followed them outside when they dragged Grigsby from the office. However, the sheriff said it was too dark for him or his deputies to get a good look at any of the vigilantes and that he wasn't sure of the identify of any of them. A coroner's jury concluded the next day, December 19, that Grigsby had come to his death by lynching at the hands of a mob unknown to the jurors. McDowell enlisted the aid of the Missouri attorney general's office but to no avail. McDowell's successor, due to take office in January, announced that, on the advice of the circuit judge, he would not call a special grand jury but would, instead, wait for the next regular grand jury during the February term of court to take up the matter, since potential witnesses who refused to testify could not be punished while court was not in session. When the regular grand jury convened in February, it called at least twenty witnesses, but the jury announced after ten days that it had not obtained enough evidence to return a true bill against any of the lynchers. Thus, another lynch mob went unpunished.



Saturday, October 30, 2021

"Noted McDonald County Desperado" Bill Matney

   In 1929, the Neosho Times remembered William "Bill" Matney as a "noted McDonald County desperado." A reminiscent account in the Springfield Press in 1930 recalled Matney, who'd been killed in 1919, as a "bad man" and "one of the notorious gunmen of McDonald County." But what do we really know about the man. Not much, as it turns out.
   Matney first drew widespread attention in the fall of 1888 when he was about 27 years old. O
n Saturday night, November 24, he was carousing in Southwest City when he got into a dispute with a man named Lee Loudermilk, a resident of nearby Indian Territory. Apparently a grudge had existed between the two for several months, and it came to a head that evening in Southwest City. During the affray, Matney drew his revolver and shot Loudermilk in the forehead. Luckily for Loudermilk, the ball ranged upward and came out at the top of his head, causing only a severe scalp wound. After the shooting, Matney immediately left town and was not heard from again for some time. However, according to the Pineville News, Matney acted "wholly in self-defense." If this was true, he probably was not charged with a crime.
t any rate, he soon reappeared on the scene in McDonald County, where he quickly earned a reputation as a tyrant and a bully. According to the Springfield newspaper's 1930 account, when Matney "decided to 'take the town,' he met with little opposition.....Quick on the draw and absolutely fearless," Matney terrorized the residents of southwest McDonald County for some years, according to the Press.
   But Matne
y finally bullied one too many men. The Press told the story of his demise eleven years after the fact:

        One day, he met two men on Butler Creek near the present site of Noel. Matney drew his gun and ordered one of the men to crawl across the creek on his hands and knees, the stream being shallow at    that point. When the man reached the center of the stream, Matney ordered him to stop.
   "Now lap water like a dog," ordered the gun-flinger.... Matney then turned to the second man, who was standing on the bank of the stream, and ordered him to follow his companion into the water. The second man, who had been standing by watching the proceedings without a word, quickly drew his revolver and fired. Matney fell mortally wounded, and another bad man of the Ozarks hill country died with his boots on.

   That's the legend. The story of what really happened is less colorful, and the facts are sketchy. The only contemporaneous account I've found thus far of Matney's death appeared in the August 28, 1919 edition of the Neosho Times: "Bill Matney was shot and killed at Noel last week by Howard Smith and Horace Halbert. He was drunk and tried to make one of them wade in the river and dance."
   A bad man in truth, Bill Matney was even badder in legend.

Sunday, October 24, 2021

Republic Bank Robbery of 1932

   On the night of March 6, 1932, shortly after ten p.m., four young men held up the City Hall Drug Store in Springfield. Described as "narcotic addicts" in a local newspaper the next day, the four locked the employees and customers in the prescription room and made off with $150 in cash and an estimated $25 worth of narcotics. The four holdup men entered the store at the same time, three from the Boonville Avenue entrance and the fourth from Central Street. Three employees and at least four customers were in the store at the time, and the armed men herded them into the prescription room and then began rifling the drawers. At least one of the bandits had apparently scouted out the place, because he knew exactly where the money till was located.
   The next day, before any solid leads in the drug store case could be developed, four robbers, believed to be the same four men, robbed the Bank of Republic in western Greene County. Three of the holdup men entered the bank on the late afternoon of March 7 with guns drawn and forced two employees and two customers into a rear room. Two other customers were ordered to stand at the rear of the bank near the rear room. Two of the three robbers looted the cash drawer and safe of over $1,200 while the third stood guard. The fourth accomplice waited nearby in a getaway car. A large quantity of adhesive tape had been taken in the drug store robbery, and the fact that the bank victims were bound with the same type of adhesive tape and the fact the description of the bank robbers matched that of the drug store holdup men led investigators to conclude that the same gang had pulled off both capers. The bank robbers made their getaway in a black coach with a Missouri license.
   No suspects were publicly identified until the last day of March, when a man attempted to cash a money order at an Omaha (Nebraska) store, and the storeowner suspected it had been stolen from the Bank of Republic. Two policemen happened to be in the store trying on clothes, and they attempted to arrest the suspect after the storeowner notified them of his suspicions. The suspect pulled a gun and was fatally wounded when he attempted to shoot his way to freedom. Based on ID found on the man after he was brought down, he was tentatively identified as C. E. Darling, a resident of Pittsburg, Kansas, who had served two penitentiary terms. A sidekick who was with Darling in the Omaha store made his escape.
   Another suspect, identified as Virgil Harris, was captured in Lincoln, Nebraska, about a week later after he, like Darling, attempted to cash a money order suspected of being taken from the Republic bank. Also like Darling, Harris was an ex-con, having been sentenced to prison from Greene County in 1927 on a charge of robbery and grand larceny. Near the same time as Harris's arrest, Paul King was identified as the man who'd been with Darling at the time he was shot and killed. Like Darling, King was from eastern Kansas, and he was thought to be the third Republic bank robber. A man thought to be the fourth robber was also known to police, but his identity was not immediately revealed.
   Also an ex-convict, King was captured in North Carolina on April 12, along with his wife and her brother, Everett Collins. King admitted to being one of the Republic robbers, but Collins denied any involvement in the crime. The first three suspected robbers were all in the their mid-twenties, but Collins was only about 19. King's wife was not suspected in the Republic robbery, but authorities wanted to question her.
   A day or two after King's capture, Elmer Boydston, 28, was captured in Kansas City, He admitted his part in the Republic robbery, and was promptly brought back to Greene County. Collins continued to deny involvement in the crime, and authorities were inclined to believe him. Boydston, who had been a barber in Kansas City until recently, said he and the three other suspects robbed the drug store in Springfield on March 6, drove to Joplin, and then came back the next day and robbed the Republic bank. With his confession, officials considered the case solved.
   About the first of June 1932, Harris was convicted of bank robbery and sentenced to 50 years in prison. King and Boydston, both of whom had admitted their involvement in the crime, testified against the defendant. In return for their cooperation, King received only a 12-year sentence, and Boydston got 15 years. The Missouri Supreme Court later ordered a new trial in the Harris case. At his new trial in early 1934, Harris was again convicted, but this time he, too, received only a 12-year sentence.

Saturday, October 16, 2021

The Murder of Wilma Plaster

    After the dismembered body of a woman was found Friday afternoon, October 6, 1989, near Willard, authorities said “the crime was unlike anything ever discovered in Greene County.” The woman’s legs and pelvic area were stacked on top of her torso with her feet pointing skyward. Her head was in plastic bag nearby, and a knife and other items were found in another bag. The woman’s arms had been severed from her body but were nowhere to be seen. The missing arms and a lack of blood at the scene caused investigators to conclude that the woman had been murdered elsewhere and brought to where the body parts were found. Investigators further concluded that the parts had not been tossed from a moving vehicle but rather positioned at the side of the road.
   The time at which the body was placed at the side of the road was narrowed to a fifteen-minute window just before 4:00 p.m., but the time of death was uncertain. No clues to the woman’s identity were found at the scene. Her body was taken to Springfield and then sent to St. Louis the next day for an autopsy.
   On October 8, the victim was tentatively identified as sixty-six-year-old Wilma Plaster of Hollister, Missouri. Wilma was described by acquaintances as a friendly person and a regular churchgoer. Meanwhile, police were trying to locate the victim’s red 1969 Chevy Beretta, in which she’d left her Hollister home on October 3. Witnesses had reported seeing a car matching the Beretta’s description in the Springfield-Willard area on October 6 before the body was found.
   On October 9, Wilma’s automobile was found at a motel on North Glenstone in Springfield, and investigators began combing it for clues. The same day, the autopsy, although not yet complete, determined that the victim had been killed by a small-caliber gunshot to the back of the head. On Tuesday, October 10, investigators learned that someone had forged a check for over $4,000 on Wilma’s bank account about two weeks before her death. Officers theorized that the forgery was probably connected to her death and that she had been acquainted with her murderer.
   Later on Tuesday, a woman from Olvey, Arkansas, contacted authorities after she discovered a number of suspicious items on her property that had apparently been left there by fifty-three-year-old Shirley Jo Phillips, a friend of hers from Springfield who’d visited her on Monday and departed early Tuesday. The woman said Phillips appeared very nervous during her stay and that she had insisted on washing her car. Investigators went to Olvey, and the woman pointed them to items Phillips had stashed beneath a wooden porch adjoining her mobile home. The items, including several canceled checks on Wilma Plaster’s account and bloody floor mats, seemed to link Phillips to the forgery and very likely the murder. Further investigation revealed that Phillips and Plaster had met each other in Hollister about September 20 and that the forged check had been written just a day or two later.
   Phillips was arrested Tuesday night in Springfield and held on suspicion of forgery. Later, the charge was upgraded to first-degree murder. Phillips was charged in Greene County because it was thought Wilma was killed there, although the site of the murder was not definitely determined. Also known as Jo Ann Phillips, the suspect lived on West College Street in Springfield and had recently worked as a secretary. She also served as vice-president of a Branson entertainment fan club, and it was apparently through her connection to Branson that she had met Wilma Plaster.
   About a week after Phillips’s arraignment on the murder charge, her mother, seventy-six-year-old Lela Kyle, was reported missing, and soon after this announcement, Oklahoma authorities contacted Springfield Police to report that an elderly woman’s dismembered and mutilated body had been discovered in the north part of Broken Arrow on May 12. The dead woman was tentatively identified as Lela Kyle, and Shirley Jo Phillips, although not charged, was considered a prime suspect in her mother’s murder.
   Delayed several times, Phillips’s trial finally got underway in January 1992. Much of the prosecution testimony centered around Phillips’s visit to Nora Martin, her Arkansas friend, and the items found under the mobile home porch. Martin testified that Phillips cut a seatbelt out of the front passenger seat of her car during her stay in Arkansas and that she thoroughly washed and vacuumed the vehicle even though it already appeared clean. Phillips seemed very nervous when a newscast about Wilma Plaster’s murder came on TV, and she admitted that police probably wanted to question her about Wilma’s death. Forensics experts linked the incriminating items found under the porch to the defendant and the victim. They testified that a .38 caliber weapon found among the items was the gun that killed Mrs. Plaster.
   Phillips pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity, but her public defender also tried to shift blame for Plaster’s murder to the defendant’s thirty-two-year-old son, Glen “Buddy” Minster. In addition, the defense called witnesses from the Branson area to try to establish an alibi.
   On February 4, 1992, the jury found Phillips guilty of first-degree murder. The defendant showed no emotion, but, as she was escorted from the courtroom, she told reporters, “I didn’t do it.” The next day, the jury came back after deliberations with a sentence of death.
   Phillips’s subsequent appeals for a new trial were denied, but the Missouri Supreme Court ultimately threw out her death sentence and ordered a new sentencing hearing. Because of Minster’s refusal to cooperate and other circumstances, such as the fact that at least two witnesses were now dead, the prosecution decided not to pursue another death penalty, and in 1998, Phillips was resentenced to life imprisonment.
   This story is condensed from a chapter in my latest book, Lynchings, Murders, and Other Nefarious Deeds: A Criminal History of Greene County, Mo.



Prohibition Begins in Missouri

   In my book Wicked Joplin , I wrote about how the last day before Prohibition was celebrated in Joplin, and I got to wondering how other M...