Cedar County, Iowa
Community News

West Branch Times, West Branch, Iowa, Thursday, September 28, 1922
Transcribed by Sharon Elijah, July 9, 2018


     A distillery in full operation was captured last week within two miles of Tipton at the rendering plant operated by H. L. Rockwell. Rockwell came here last summer from Marengo, Iowa, to take charge of the plant northeast of town which had been installed by the Randa Bros. No suspicion had attached to the operation of the plant until last week, when an information was filed with the sheriff by Joe Randa, who in company with Deputy Hawkins and Constable Morehead went out armed with a search warrant. Rockwell was in town, but a search of the house in which the family was living quickly disclosed a still, steamed up and in full operation on the second floor. The outfit was one of the most complete of its kind found hereabouts.

     The mash used was of corn and rye and it was turning out whiskey. An instrument for testing the alcoholic content of the product was a part of the equipment. About 16 gallons of finished stuff was seized along with the still.

     Mrs. Rockwell was home at the time of the raid and gave the officers the fullest information regarding the affair. She said that her husband had been hired by two Iowa City men, Oscar Hostetter and John Sentman, to make the contraband, and they would come at regular intervals and get it and dispose of it. Sheriff Barclay went after the Iowa City men Sunday morning and effected their arrest. A search at the Hostetler home resulted in finding 250 gallons of wine and several bottles of whiskey. Both were brought to Tipton and lodged in jail along with Rockwell, who had also been arrested. The men were taken before Justice Horn Monday and gave bonds for their appearance at a preliminary examination to be held later. Hostetler and Sentman were released on bonds of $1000 each, and Rockwell on a bond of $200. Tipton Advertiser

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