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By Logan County Genealogical Society

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Reprinted from Logan County Genealogical Society Newsletter, Vol. 32, Issue 1, 2009

Leaky Suitcase Gave Clew to Whereabouts Of Seventeen Pints of Liquor

From the Logan Democrat; June 14, 1917

Contributed by Mary Jane Sutton

If Wasie Vance had put his booze in an airtight suitcase, he would not be under sentence of 60 days in jail and a fine of $100. As it is, he put alcohol in an ordinary suitcase and the bubbles arising from the rain well into which he had thrown it gave the officers a clew to its whereabouts and led to Vance’s captivity.

Vance was arrested by Deputy Sheriffs Johnston and Dial in Cherry Tree bottoms. The officers went to his house Friday and Vance, they relate, fled from the front of the house to the rear and out into the backyard.

The officers searched the house thoroughly after catching Vance but found no incriminating evidence. Deputy Sheriff Johnston decided to take a stroll in the backyard and there he saw bubbles arising from the rain well.

This aroused his suspicion. He secured a pole and commenced to probe the bottom of the well. The more he poked a bulky thing down there the more bubbles arose and finally he dragged the suitcase out. The suitcase contained 17 pints of alcoholic liquor.


Logan County Genealogical Society meetings are held on the second Monday of each month at 6 p.m. in the Logan Area Public Library at Logan. Anyone wishing to learn more about researching their ancestors is welcome to attend the meetings or follow them on Facebook at Logan County WV Genealogical Society.

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