Looking for any information on the organization of state prohibition officers. I have seen several mentions in newspapers from the 1910s that Gov. Cruce instituted a policy of hiring state agents to enforce prohibition. I am interested in the structure of the organization and how long this persisted. Any assistance is appreciated.
On the Trail
editor, Oklahombres Journal
On the Trail
Secretary, Oklahombres Inc.
Diron, I was going over some old photo copies and came across the story of a raid on a moonshine still in southern Garvin County, Oct. 24, 1912. The raid, conducted by deputy Sheriffs, netted six men, and a complete distillery including boiler, pipes, throughs, and a five gallon keg of whiskey. (The raid also netted the deputies $1.10, the amount in the poker pot none of the moonshiners would claim, not wanting a gambling charge as well.) But, what caught my attention are the final two sentence of the article: "The six men and the distillery will be turned over to the federal authorities to be dealt with. The Federal Courts are now prosecuting all bootleggers and other forms of violation of the old Indian Territory liquor laws and it is a good way to dispose of them...it stops the expense upon the counties for trying them." That doesn't sound like the state was interested in having a large role in dealing with boot leggers.
Is this the type stuff you want, or do you want more specifics? In 1912, the Supreme Court found that a provision of the enabling act mandated enforcement of a prohibition of liquor in the former Indian Territory for a period of twenty-one years after statehood. There was a controversy between the Oklahoma County Sheriff's office and "State Officers" over seizure of liquor. (The article named the guy in charge but did not name the organizatin or authority.) In March, 1913, the Webb Bill passed both houses over the President's veto, prohibiting wholesale liquor shipments into "dry" states. The measure gave states the right to seize consignments when the shipment came into the state's jurisdiction. W. J. Caudill was named as the State Enforcement Officer at OKC and he, working from warrants issued by a local Justice of Peace, immediately confiscated 4 barrels, 5 kegs, and 16 cases of whiskey and a barrel and 2 cases of beer at railway freight houses in OKC. This was listed as the first use of the new Federallaw by local state officials in enforcement of Oklahoma prohibition statutes.
I am working on the genology of Claude M. Tyler who was a Deputy Sheriff with the Oklahoma County Sheriff Department as early as 1917, He was also Effidence Man for Lewis R Morris County attorney and one of the first operatives for the OSBI. His carear ended while serving as Bailiff for Judge Crismore in the Common Pleas Court in OK City, after becoming ill. He died in December 1951 in Edmond OK. I found many articles in my research but I would appreciate any information anyone can contribute. Many of the articles where headlined as "BOOZE SLEUTHES CAPTURE" etc HE was my Daughters Great Great Grand father.
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Claude Tyler was one of the most outstanding lawmen of the 1920's and 1930's. He was the close friend of state crime bureau agent Luther Bishop. Bishop is the subject of my book coming out this summer titled "Alive If Possible, Dead If Necessary."
I got to meet Claude's son Melvin and visit with him about his father's career. Melvin shared some photos he had. I am very thankful to him.
Thank you so much, Yes, Grandpa Tyler had a very remarkable career. I never met him but I did get to meet Grandma Lena. I have been working on this family tree for over a year and have found many articles about GrandPa Claude's work while searching the Daily Oklahoman Archives. I also met Melvin in 1959, at that time he had a Gun Shop in Frontier City, He was also active in law enforcement.
Claude's brother Joseph also had an outstanding career as an Oklahoma lawman. I was told His brother Floyde was involved in law inforcement but can't find any connection. He was a dairyman in Edmond,OK. My daughter's father has told me a lot about Claude but he has no pictures, Claude was featured in at least two Detective magazines, I believe, in 1941 and 1951. I was able to get copies of the stories for my records. Any other information you are willing to share would be wonderful. I was promised pictures but did not recieve them. I read about Luther Bishop while researching OSBI history. I would like to read your book when you finish it. Maybe some day you will write about Grandpa also. Where can I purchase your book, and when? Again Thank YOU.
Below are a couple of articles which I have located that mention Deputy Sheriff Claude Tyler in the Daily Oklahoman newspaper archives located online. This is unfortunately a pay-site but is an invaluable tool to those of us interested in early-day law enforcement history:
On the Trail
Secretary/Editor Oklahombres Journal
Daily Oklahoman, August 2, 1918
Sheriff Raids Two Moonshine Stills
Seven Negroes Are Arrested On Charge Of Illicit Distilling
Two moonshiners came to grief yesterday afternoon when Deputy Sheriffs Homer Adrean, Claud M. Tyler, Luther Bishop, and Ben B. Moore, while scouting around the scene of an earlier raid, found a 40-gallon still and nine barrels of fresh corn mash on the farm of Jasper Cochran, just over the line in Logan county.
Sheriff Sherwood Called
While a sharp watch was kept on the men on the premises, Sheriff W.E.R. Sherwood of Logan County was summoned from Guthrie and assisted the Oklahoma county officers.
He arrested Cochran and another negro named Richard Kinney, alleged to have been Cochran's assistant in operation of the still, in the making of the corn whisky and in peddling it among the colored men of that locality.
Early Morning Raid
This raid followed a raid made before daylight and made the total results for the day seven arrests, two stills confiscated and 14 barrels of mash and a large quantity of malt destroyed.
All the men are negroes and will be turned over to the federal authorities for trial.
Still On Exhibition
The first raid was led by Sheriff G.E. Johnson and the deputies named about 2 o'clock when a 16-gallon still and five barrels of corn mash, also a large bell[?] of malt was discovered almost four miles northeast of Arcadia in a canyon more than 30 feet deep. The still, which iss now on view in the sheriff's office, was fresh filled with mash and the fire just started, when Deputies Adrean and Tyler appeared on the scene.
Daily Oklahoman, July 3, 1920
Still And Mash Are Seized Near Harrah
William D. Johnson Arrested In Case
Complete equipment for making whisky and five barrels of mash were seized yesterday afternoon six miles northeast of Harrah by county and federal officers. William D. Johnson was arrested on a charge of making whisky.
The still was found under an arbor in a wooded spot. Near it was a dummy. The officers believe the owner of the still had placed the dummy there with the expectation that if the officers appeared they would fire on the dummy, while the owner in ambush nearby might begin shooting at the raiders.
Johnson was arrested near the still. He declares he was just passing by and denies any knowledge that the still even existed.
The raid was made by A.D. Humbarger, Reid T. Miller, and Kirby Fraas, officers of the federal revenue collector's office, and Homer Adrean and Claude M. Tyler, deputy sheriffs.
On the Trail
Secretary, Oklahombres Inc.
Thank yo again! I Have been using The Oklahoman archive off and on for a year I have one of those articles. One I didn't have. I really appreciate your help. the more I read here on the forum the more I want to read you book and some of the others mentioned here. I am also finding a lot on the other side of the family in the Oklahoman archives it has been well worth price. I read a little about Luther Bishop when I researched the OSBI website history.
I am fairly new at using a computer and don't know much about attaching items to email but I would like to share the dates and location of some of the articles I have found about Claude M.Tyler and his son Melvin. On the off chance you might be want them I am sure Uncle Melvin gave you more than I have come up with ...I wish I could have talked to him, Unfortunately he died a short time before I started this research. Claude's middle name was McDermon. Some of the family have been very helpful and a couple promised and one flat refused to help because she plans to do her own research. That is ok , Maybe I will get to see a copy some day.
All of the article I list here were found in the Oklahoman archives
1...Booze Sleuthes Meet an Irate Woman
Oct. 27, 1917 pg. 14
2. Sheriff Raids Two Moonshine Stills
Aug. 02, 1918 pg. 6
3. Theft of Bonds Charged to Youth
Oct. 02, 1918 pg. 14
4. Sheriffs Raid Big Wine Plant Here
May 03, 1919
5. One Man Slain One Man Wounded as Plot at Marland is Foiled
Nov.13, 1930 Front Page cont pg 2
6. Claude was involved in the Jack Culley case.. Jack killed his wife.. I lost the date and page # She was killed aprox Aug 15, 1931
7. Camera Shy Evidence Man Spotted Issac Hemmingways Grave (also a picture of Claude.)
Nov. 24, 1932 pg. 19
( Hemmingway was murdered by Sam Wilkerson, there was a lengthy investigation and trial.)
8. I am told Grand Pa Claude was involved in the investigation of the Charles Urschel Kidnapping (July22, 1933) I can't find any connection to that information in my research.
9. Good Morning
Feb. 06, 1933 Front Page
10. City Briefs
Aug. 23, 1933 pg. 5
11. Slayer Quest
Sept. 08. 1933 pg. 8
12. Girl Cleared in Car Death of Messenger
Dec. 10 1933 pg. 12
13. Man Reports Hew was Robbed Then Goes to Hospital
May 24,1935 pg. 19
14. Three held in Car Crash Get Freedom
June 04, 1935 pg. 20
15. ˜Detective' is Baffled as Evidence Man Goes Psychic
Aug. 09, 1935 pg. 8
16. Custodian of Car in Death Case is Held
Feb. 08, 1936 Front Page
17. He's a One Man Police Department
June 14, 1936 pg 18 ( this one is about Melvin Tyler)
18. Big Loss Feared as Broken Safe is Found in Mustang
Aug. 29, 1936 pg. 5 ( Melvin and Claude work together )
19. Infamous Gangs Add Spice to History
Feb. 27, 2000 pg 4 (I hope the page Number is correct, this article was sent to my email from a friend and was the first information I recieved
when starting my research. I don't have an account at the archives at this time .)
20. Grandpa Claude was involved in the murder investigation of Eudora Cunningham who disappeard March 06, 1939. On March 24, 1939 Roger Cunningham , her husband, wrote a note revealing he had Strangled Eudora and buried her in a partially filled sewer ditch.
Witnesses to this note were Lewis R. Morris county attorney
George Goff and Claude Tyler.
This story and others were featured in The Startling Detective Magizine of true crime stories. These stories are about the Work Grandpa Cl aude did to solve these cases.
One issue was in 1941 the other in 1951, I don't remember the months, but I am getting another copy sent to me .. Foolishly when I sent out my first book to my ex husband I forgot to make copies.
I believe Grandpa Claude may have been featured in one other publicaion in connection with the Cunningham case. Actual Detective Magizine.. It's just a cover sheet. Find it in the Oklahoman May14, 1939.. pg. 25.
Again,Thank You for every thing . Please let us,on the forum,know when your book will be out and where we can buy it. Deanna Griswold
Mr Cordry I just ordered my copy of Alive if Possible Dead if Neccesary. I can't wait to read it. I have always been a fan of Western and early day fiction novels, but I have developed a thrist (if you will) for the non fiction history I have been finding in my geneology research.
I don't have my files with me at home and won't be back at work until Tuesday. You might read the story of Oklahoma County Deputy Sheriff Homer Adrean, who was killed with Federal Prohibition Agent Stanton Weiss on Aug 28, 1920, on the Oklahoma Law enforcement Memorial web site at www.oklemem.com
Claude Tyler was shot in that shootout. I know The Daily Oklahoman had several articles on the shooting.
I have been searching for information about that Raid but haven't found anything. I will keep trying. I renewed my account with Oklahoman Archives and have been searching Luther Bishop. I am getting more excited about geneology as I do this research. What an interesting life you must have had. How I wish I could have met Grandpa sadly I did not marry into the family until '58. I have found some mention of grandpa in the articles I have found about Luther Bishop and I am only in the 1911 to 1920 era. This is wonderful, you have been so much help. Thanks again and have a nice weekend.
I've spent a lot of time in the archives and have found many more articles, The story about Homer Adrean is quiet long and the quality is poor in spots but it is what I have been searching for. the info I had was the wrong year. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction.
Choctawmaid, I am very interested in the Tylers both Claude and Melvin for their contribution to the shooting world with the invention of the Tyler "T" grip which is still very popular with revolver shooters nation wide. Do you have any stories or articles on the "T" grip? Keep up the great research(you need to write a book about them) and thanks for sharing with us. Tony
"I wasn't but 145 pounds but I had a good pistol" T.W."Buckshot" Lane, Sheriff Warton County Texas
I wish I knew more about both Grandpa Claude and Uncle Melvin Tyler. Most of what I know I found out from my ex Husband, the Oklahoman and thanks to Oklahombres I have learned a little more. I am simply putting together a family history of sorts for my daughter and her father. I'm still waiting on information and pictures from some of the relatives. When my daughters grandma passed away pictures and information disappeared, according to my ex husband. He doesn't know what happened to his mother's things. .
As for writing a book, I am not a writer, I do well just to read. I do know that the Tyler T Grip is still being made today, by the new owner of Uncle Melvin's Gun Shop in OK City. I recently saw one of the old T Grips sold on ebay. And I found a story, while searching Google, about the Tyler T Grip. I believe it was in Guns Magizine. Both Grandpa Claude and Uncle Melvin were remarkable men. I wish I could have known them. I would love to have been able to talk with them. Unfortunately I never met Grandpa and I only met uncle Melvin one or two times. At least one of Grandpa's brothers, Joseph Tyler, was also a Law Enforcement Officer in Oklahoma City, starting with the Oklahoma County Highway Patrol and at one time he was Chief of Police in The Village, I believe.
Each day I become more and more fond of the history of the Oklahoma Lawmen and respectful of the work they did then and today. As I read all the references to Grandpa and see the number of his Fellow Officers who were killed, I realize just how dangerous police work is. I think how remarkable the wives and husbands of the officers must be. .I imagine they all breath a sigh of relief at the end of the work day when their loved ones return home safely. And say a prayer for them, knowing they will have to face the same dangers day after day.
I ordered Dee Cordry's new book "Alive if Possible, Dead if Necessary" I can't wait to get and read more about one of Grandpa's friends and fellow officers, Luther Bishop. According to the articles I have found Grandpa had been with him the day he was murdered.
Thank you, lawandorder, for your reply to my posts. ChoctawMaid
New at this. Hopefully this will work. On item #20 - my grandfather was George Goff. I have some newspaper articles about the Cunningham murder.
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