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Police Chief with Moonshine, Guns, and Chevy after a Bust

H.S. “Dick” Hickman, Chief of Police in Colorado City, Texas, poses at City Hall in the 1930s with moonshine, guns, and a Chevrolet coupe after an arrest.

For effect, the moonshine is displayed in its canning jars on and around the car, and the ground along with two pistols seized during the bust on the running board. The “Mason Jar” boxes it is moved in to keep the glass canning jars from clinking together are stacked behind the vehicle. Distilled moonshine in the southeast is colorless although this Texas hooch is dark in color.

The mud splattered two-tone Chevrolet three-window standard coupe was manufactured at some point between 1929 to ’31. The City Hall building in the background has survived and is now the Municipal Court House.

Share with us what you find of interest in this photograph with information from contributor Benjamin Ames.




18 responses to “Police Chief with Moonshine, Guns, and Chevy after a Bust

  1. Taken late in Prohibition in a city of 4,600, this was big news. The guns are a Colt single action army and a Colt model 1903.

  2. It could be “charter moonshine,” which was aged for a few days in charred barrels. That was considered the “high end” bootleg liquor in Texas during Prohibition.

  3. My first car was a 1931 Chevrolet five window coupe that had seen far better days by 1949, but to a 15 year old boy it was special. In those years GM built wood frames encased in metal for their car bodies but by then Ford was all steel framed. My car must have spent a life time in the rain for the door frames had rotted and the doors wouldn’t stay closed. Neither would the mechanical foot brakes hold, and I resorted to stopping with the hand brake. I could have used a jar of Moonshine driving that car.

  4. Face it, this guy is running for re-election. An occasional bust is good publicity and the whiskey goes to influential supporters. Of course a few jars goes home with the chief. He just doesn’t look like a tea total type

    • And he was re-elected. Hiram Seaborn Hickman’s ticket book from 1943 is on display at the Annex of the Heart of West Texas Museum. He was the first police chief; his father Tom had been City Marshal up to 1923 (Dick became Deputy Marshal at 16), and he took over after that.

  5. At 8 lbs per gallon, times the 55 jugs I counted in the picture would equal around 450 pounds .
    That ship would have been sailing pretty low in the water, methinks. Easy to spot by the law.

  6. Last year my brother met Junior Johnson and Junior related similar stories to my brother……but from the other side of the fence…LoL,….Steve C

  7. I have a 22 REO, T6 sedan, I’ve owned since 1980… the story that came with it, is, it was confiscated by Feds @ Canadian border, and spent the next forty plus yrs in govt wear house until public auction…

  8. Those are 2 quarts Mason jars. The shine is dark from sitting in charred barrels. Inside of barrels would be burnt, helps the shine be more mellow. Cost more too because maker has to wait few months to age. Clear shine could be sold the same day it was made.

    • Yeah Charles, Junior said the first few qt’s (clear) off the top would send people round the bend….no wonder the fed’s were after him + his gang,….Steve C.

  9. About 1990 I examined for possible purchase a circa 1930 Pierce-Arrow that had two “gas” tanks. One was for the real stuff and the other was for bulk transport of booze across the Canadian border into northern NY state. I didn’t “bite” – the car was in bad shape – but I am sure it still exists.

  10. This reminds me of an old family story. Seems my G’Pa along with my G’Ma invested the family savings in moonshine made in Missouri with the plan to haul it back to Kansas and double their money. About 2/3rds of the way home, a County Sheriff started following them. When G’pa realized he was about to be busted he yelled at G’ma to break the jugs. She in turn yelled at him to speed up. This kept up for several minutes until it was finally too late. G’pa got 90 days hard labor while G’ma was convicted as well but was allowed to go home to take care of their two children.

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