Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Texas Moonshine

Thomas Jefferson Longacre was the brother of my wife's great grandfather. I've written about him a couple times because of the interesting story that he ran away from home for about 20 years in the early 1900s. He supposedly left his Texas family behind to travel the railroad in western states, had another wife and son there, who he abandoned and then came back home to Texas. He died in Dallas Texas in 1948 after working for many years for the San Angelo Police Department.

In one of those posts I shared a newspaper article about the time he tried to shoot his boss, the Police Chief of San Angelo, Texas in 1937.

It turns out that wasn't the only time he was in the news for trying to shoot the law, although folks back then may not have considered Revenuers or those who helped them being the same as a local Police Chief. These two articles came from the Dallas Morning News. The first one tells of Thomas Longacre being arrested for running a Moonshine Still. 

Dallas Morning News Jan 30, 1987

A week after his arrest Longacre was set free and shot Ed Davidson three times in the chest. I couldn't find any explanation on why he shot Davidson other than it was connected to the arrest for running the still.

Dallas Morning News Feb 7, 1897

There are a couple other articles that indicate he was convicted of Assault to Murder so I guess the victim survived. 

Justice was swift back then. His appeal was heard and the conviction upheld by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals in June 1897, five months after the shooting. He didn't serve much time in jail though as he was out by the time the 1900 census was done. Running a moonshine still and shooting a revenuer must not have been considered too serious back then since they didn't keep him from working for the police department.  

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