Sponge Squad on 2 big raids
— Sequoyah County Democrat, Dec. 14, 1923
From the files of Your Sequoyah County Times
25 Years Ago
(From the Dec. 13, 1998, issue of the Sequoyah County Times) —The Sequoyah County 911 Trust is gearing up and moving towards getting the county’s 911 system on-line by the first of the year, Albert Marquez, chairman, said at the annual meeting of the Sequoyah County 911 Trust Thursday.
About 80 to 85 percent of the system’s database is complete, revealed a report presented at the meeting.
—Sallisaw residents are benefiting from a gas-price war in the city which as dropped regular, unleaded gas prices to just below 70 cents while unleaded premium gas prices range from 96 cents to $1.
Several convenience store owners, who provide self-service gas, said the price war began when one local store first dropped their price to 69.9 cents per gallon about two weeks ago. The manager of that store did not wish to be identified.
Adding to the lowered gas prices are lower wholesale prices, a wholesale supplier said.
50 Years Ago
(From the Dec. 13, 1973, issue of the Sequoyah County Times) —The once vacant and quiet American Hoist building located in Sallisaw’s Industrial Park is buzzing with activity as workmen and technicians for Holley Carburetor continue their giant renovation and installation program.
A group of Sallisaw business and professional men, who were instrumental in helping Holley locate here, got a firsthand look at what’s going on there Tuesday afternoon as Holley conducted an “update tour” of the gigantic structure.
From the outside of the building, one passing by would get the impression that the Holley people haven’t done much at the “grey ghost.”
Once inside, it’s evident that that statement is not true.
75 Years Ago
(From the Dec. 17, 1948, issue of the Sequoyah County Times) —Apparently from the statistics the old adage, “Two Can Live Cheaper Than One,” doesn’t hold good in Sequoyah County. As of Wednesday Governor Taylor, Court Clerk, said for the year 1948 there had been 57 marriage licenses issued and 133 divorces granted District Judge O.H.P. Brewer granted two divorces this week according to the court docket.
—Announcement was made Monday by Mr. and Mrs. Winfred Martindale that they had purchased the City Grocery and Market from Messers Carl Borin and Floyd Standridge.
Both Mr. and Mrs. Martindale are well known in the Sallisaw trade area as they have been connected with the retail business in this section for several years. In speaking of their plans for the future they stated that the firm would continue to operate under the same name and in the same locations as in the past. The stock and fixtures are being completely rearranged by the Martindales.
100 years ago
(From the Dec. 14, 1923, issue of the Sequoyah County Democrat) —Nine men were arrested, two stills captured and more than 400 gallons of mash and several gallons of “completed” Whiskey confiscated as a result of two raids by the “Sponge Squad” during the past two weeks.
In a raid on the farm operated by Austin Rider, son of former county commissioner Jack Rider, three hundred gallons of whiskey mash and several gallons of moonshine was captured. The still was one of the largest to be captured during the recent months and one can judge the size “outfit” by the fact it took seven men to operate it successfully. Those arrested at this still were Austin Rider, Otto Harrison, John McKinney, Earl Perry, John Timmerman and Walter Bruton.
The members of the Sponge Squad to haul down this outlaw moonshining outfit were Bert Cotton, Perry Chuculate, Roy Cheek and Johnny Stewart. All of the men were bound over following their preliminary hearing before U.S. Commissioner Breedlove and were released under a $500.00 bond each.
The second raid was on the farm of B. Copeland, eight miles south of Sallisaw, resulted in the arrest of Copeland, John Laster and Bill Lowe.
The two stills captured were copper stills, the local authorities predict a shortage of moonshine in this county for the holidays, as the result of the raids. When the raiding officers approached the stills the alleged moonshiners did not resist arrest.