We came across this interesting letter published in The Adair County News on 13 Dec 1916. It was written by Robert L. Campbell of Adair County who was staying in a hotel at Chapeze KY at the time. We have transcribed it below just as it was printed.
Chapeze, Dec. 9, 1916
Editor News: -
On December 1st, I was transferred from Nelson to Bullitt County. I am now boarding with Mr. Charles Stephens, who used to reside on Campbellsville pike near Green River bridge. He now runs a hotel here at Chapeze and is having a nice patronage.
From what I have seen of Bullitt County I think it far behind Nelson. Their roads are like the roads down home, one mudhole after another. But there is one thing I have noticed since I have been in this section that has been very much of a surprise, that is, there is practically no drinking here, although there is a distillery every few hundred yards. All the way down from the Springfield branch of the L. & N. I have now been along this road for nearly two months and so far I have not seen or heard of a single drunk man.
I used to think that our old friend, G. W. Stotts, was the champion hunter of the world, but I have met with a man up here who has Mr. Stotts beaten by a mile. His name is Hooter Moore. He works here at Chapeze and after putting in his days work he takes his gun and goes hunting and in the short time he has he will kill more birds, squirrels and rabbits in a day than the average hunter will get in a week. This afternoon he got twelve rabbits and two birds. His largest day was about two weeks ago when he got thirty-four rabbits, fourteen squirrels and twelve birds. He is boarding here at the hotel now and I do not think he has missed a day since I have been here that he has not bagged as many as ten head of game, usually squirrels and rabbits. He sells his game at ten cents per head.
Corn is selling high in this county. Some has reached as high $1.00 per bushel. Everything is high. Eggs are now selling at 40 cents per dozen. Hogs are selling at around $10 per cwt and cattle is very high. The Distilleries down this branch of the R. R. will start running next week and several carloads of cattle have been shipped in to be fed on the slop. And much of the corn that is used is coming from Illinois and other big corn states.
Will write again from my next station.
R. L. Campbell
Robert L. Campbell married May Epperson in Adair County in 1907. He was a lawyer in Adair County in 1910. By 1920 he was living in Louisville and was listed as a storekeeper for the U.S. government. In 1930, during prohibition, he was back in Adair County working a farm. By 1934, when he died, he was living back in Louisville and had some kind of government job.
It is likely that when he wrote this letter, he was working for the government as a storekeeper at a distillery. As a storekeeper he was responsible for seeing to the security of the distillery's operation, and actually carried the keys to open doors to its vital operations. A distillery could not produce product without the storekeeper present.
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