Sheriff Issac Newton
Both my grandfather's
Lafayette G. Payne and Joseph C. Phillips were good friends of Newt Mink.
Issac Newton Mink served as Deputy Sheriff during the years my grandfather
Payne was Sheriff 1912-1918 and when my grandfather Payne was elected as
County Judge in 1918, a post he held until his death in 1924 he worked closely
with Newt Mink to help rid the county of badmen. My grandfather Joe
Phillips often talked to meetings he had with Sheriff Mink during his time
as U.S. Marshal and Prohibition Agent stationed in Lexington, Kentucky. One
story he told and I am not at all sure it is completely true was driving
a car that had been captured from one Alphonso Capone through Tazewell on
it's way from Louisville, after capture, to Memphis. He stopped in
front of the courthouse and sounded the sirens that Capone had installed
on the car in efforts to fool law enforcement. He said that Newt came
running from the courthouse with his gun drawn, my grandfather had to plead
with him "Not to Shoot", it was only Joe and wanted to show the car off to
his friend back in Tazewell. Now, there couldn't have been much to this story
as Capone's car was not taken until 1931 when he was convicted of Tax Evasion. I
am sure that they had many conversations during those years though. Other
stories such as Devil's jumping on the
back of horses, chains dragging up and down stairways and BIG HARRY TOES
being found under cabbage leaves were just stories told me by my mother.
I.N. Mink was the son of Amos Wesley Mink who was a soldier in
Union Company E 2nd Tennessee Infantry. He was a POW at both
Richmond and Andersonville . He married Emily
The Middlesboro Daily News
Middlesboro, KY Friday Jan. 21, 1921
Officers Engage in Gun Battle with Draft Evaders in Claiborne County
In a battle between federal prohibition agents, a deputy U. S. Marshal
and Claiborne county officer on one side, and a gang of alleged selective
draft evaders and moonshiners on the opposite side, more that 100 shots
were fired yesterday morning, when the officer and gang met in a rugged and
isolated section, 17 or 18 miles Tazewell. The men sought eventually escaped,
but another effort will be made to apprehend them.
None of the officers were wounded but a rifle bullet passed through
the sleeve of H. M. COX'S coat and one of the bullets fired by the
draft evaders passed through a small tree and struck one of Sheriff MINK'S
deputies in the breast. However, the force of the bullet was spent when it
struck the officer and he was not hurt.
The raid was led by W. B. COBB and R. M. COX. Deputy federal prohibition
agents, with headquarters in Knoxville; Sterling L.W. LEWIS, Deputy U.S.
Marshal, and Sheriff I. N. MINK and eight of his deputies.
It started that the officers entered the remote district, which leads
to the foothills of the Cumberland mountain ranges, about eight o'clock Thursday
morning. When the officers posse stopped in a woodland tract and began hitching
their horses, three men were seen to be hiking through a cleared field.
The officers began a survey of the surrounding area to plan the capture
of the men, but before they had time to rush the men, a volley of shots began
and bullets struck the timber in the area where the officers had hitched
Realizing that a battle was in prospect, the officers began getting
in shape for action. Shotguns loaded with buckshot, also 45-calibre pistols
carried by the officers, were turned in the direction of the men sought and
for an hour deputies fired at a man who was bracing himself against a tree
and raising a shotgun. Officer stated last night that one or more of the
mountaineers may have been wounded. Cries of the men were heard after the
artillery action eased.
Officers said that a still was captured. It was being carried through
a field when they arrived, but being unable to escape with the outfit, officers
say the man dropped it and fled to a place where they could engage in battle.
Members of the gang are reported by federal officers to evaded the government
since the selective draft law was being enforced to get men for the world
war. It is stated that a member of the gang sent word to officers that they
would never surrender.
In the event that the men are eventually captured, it is stated that
the additional charge of distilling may be lodged against them.
The section where the light was stated is a short distance from Powell
river and in a remote section. The mountaineers are reported to have
used high-power rifles of 45-calibre and the bullets struck in the timer
near the officers.
Owing to the members of the alleged gang being familiar with the surroundings
it was difficult for the officers to surround them and force their surrender.
When the force of officers started to the district, it is stated they
held warrants for the arrest of two men on charges growing out of alleged
violation of the selective draft laws.
The federal prohibition agents and the county officers were assisting
the federal officer in an attempt to capture two men, who, it is charged
have evaded the laws and lived in seclusion for a long period.
It is now the belief of many officers that the same men are engaged
in operating the still. Conditions were favorable for the alleged outlaws
to escape. The clear crisp weather made it possible for the men to observe
the approach of the officers. Men walking and on horseback would be seen
for a great distance along the narrow roads that penetrated the foothill
passes of the rugged section.
The officer have not announced what steps will be taken next to apprehend
the evaders. However, it is probable that the force will be enlarged and
that a determined raid will be made to capture the men.
The Middlesboro Daily Newspaper
Middlesboro, KY Monday March 7, 1921
Tennesseans Make Booze Underground; No Arrests In Raid.
A still house was discovered Saturday underground in Claiborne county three
miles north of Tazewell, where within a radius of two miles two other stills
were found and with them 1200 gallons of beer and a few gallons of moonshine.
One of the stills was underneath a house where it was said to have been
two years or more in active operation. The third still discovered was in
a smokehouse and of its presence thee the closest neighbors were
unaware. Parts had been hurriedly removed from on of the stills.
Officers in the raid were Deputy Federal Prohibition Agents, W. B. COBB,
J. B. COLEMAN and H. M. COX, Sheriff I. N. MINKS, of Claiborne county and
Deputies Herbert BALL and J. A. THOMSPON of Middlesboro.
The Middlesboro Daily News
Middlesboro, KY March 19, 1921
Moonshine Still Found on Powell's Mountain
A fifty-five gallon moonshine still was discovered and destroyed on
Powell, mountain, Claiborne county Thursday afternoon by United States Marshal
LEWIS. Prohibition Agent FERRELL of Knoxville, Sheriff MINK and deputies
of Claiborne, and officers J. A. THOMPSON and Herbert BALL of Middlesboro.
No arrests followed.
The raid continued over night, and a number of places were found where
moonshine stills had recently operated.
The Middlesboro Daily News
Middlesboro, KY April 14, 1921
Alleged Draft Evaders and Shiners Jailed
Bill SHOOP, 70 Years Old, One of Prisoners---Two his Sons Among Number in
Revenue men of Knoxville, assisted by Sheriff MINK and deputies of Claiborne
county and J.A. THOMPSON of Middlesboro, raided on Powell river last night
near Co__lis, Tennessee, and took captive a number of alleged violators of
federal statues. Bill SHOOP, 70 years old, his sons, Marion and Hiram SHOOP,
and three RUSSELL brothers, Francis, Wes and Winfield, were arrested, and
Lee SIMMONS was also taken into custody.
The two young SHOOPS were arrested on charges of draft evasion.
The others are charged with sale and transportation of whiskey. They were
all taken to Knoxville early today for preliminary hearing.
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