Story Scrap Challenge
Credits: ALL DD
Flower and frame from Story Scrapbook Challenge
A Bit Dirty Paper Pack No. 01
Edge Overlays No. 03
Star Spangled Mini Kit
Roughed Up Shabby Photo Mats
Watery Photo Masks No. 03
Bead Scatterings No. 01
Bead Scatterings No. 02
Red, Black and Creme Kit
The Rest of the Story:
For many years Milton was lost. Oh, we knew that he was my grandmother’s brother. We knew he was born in Austin, TX, 24 Jan 1896 (although at least one record has it 24 Jun 1896). My mother and uncle remember him coming to visit them shortly after the end of WWII, driving what they both describe as a “Paddy Wagon.” They thought he had been in the Navy and they recalled his wife’s name as Mabel, although the official family genealogy had it recorded as Helen. But we did not know where he lived, when he died or whether he had children. And Milton hid himself deep within available historic documents and was nowhere to be found.
Then, at a family reunion, I had a chance encounter with a cousin I had never met. I happened to mention that I was dead-ended in my search for Milton. My cousin exclaimed (as if this should be common knowledge to all of us of common blood), “Oh, he died in a raid on a still. In Tennessee. He was a revenuer.” Game On!
With that starting place, Milton suddenly began to show himself everywhere. From an application for a military serviceman headstone we learned that he had enlisted in the navy for the first time 30 Aug 1915 at the age of 19 years and was discharged from service 29 Aug 1919. He was teaching at the Great Lakes Naval Training Station in 1920, and by 1930, had married his first wife Helen. Sometime between 1935 and 1940, he and Helen divorced and he married Mabel. And it turned out that Milton did die in a raid on a still in the hot summer of 1948. He was not killed by a bootlegger. Instead, he dropped in his tracks from a heart attack and was dead before he hit the ground. But in the process of digging out this information, another fascinating fact about Milton came to life. In 1946, he had been charged with murder.
In the early morning of 11 April, 1946, the ATF officers converged on a bootlegger operation. At the same time, the local sheriff and his deputies approached the same still from a different direction. According to the sheriff, it was bright, clear day. According to Milton and his men, it was foggy and overcast with extremely poor visibility. The sheriff claimed he was unarmed and called out to the federal agents identifying himself. Unprovoked, they opened fire. Milton and the other federal agents stated shadowy figures emerged from the fog and opened fire on them, even though they identified themselves as ATF agents. Milton and the sheriff struggled and the sheriff was wounded when Milton attempted to disarm him. During the exchange, one of the sheriff’s deputies was killed by gunfire.
Milton was charged with murder and felonious assault. There was speculation that the sheriff had actually been on his way to warn the bootleggers of the planned ATF raid. (One does wonder why law enforcement officers on their way to intercept bootleggers would not be armed.) The first trial resulted in a hung jury. At the second trial, held in a different venue than the county where the sheriff had been elected, the charge was reduced to misdemeanor battery and Milton was ordered to pay a $50.00 fine.
Milton continued with the Alcohol Tax Unit of the IRS until his death two years later in the line of duty. He is listed on the Officer Down Memorial Page, commemorating law enforcement officials who die in the line of duty.
| Date: Fri June 7, 2013
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Registered: December 2008
Location: Conway, AR