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Prohibition Officer Gustavus James Simmons | West Virginia Department of Prohibition, West Virginia West Virginia Department of Prohibition, West Virginia

Prohibition Officer

Gustavus James Simmons

West Virginia Department of Prohibition, West Virginia

End of Watch: Monday, July 11, 1927

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 41

Tour: 7 years

Badge # Not available

Cause: Gunfire

Weapon: Rifle

Offender: Sentenced to life

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Prohibition Officer Gus Simmons was shot and killed from ambush as he and three other state prohibition officers searched for a still in along the Jenny Branch of the Little White Oak Creek in Wyoming County.

As the raiding party made its way toward the still Officer Simmons was shot in the back from ambush. The shooters were able to flee the scene as the other officers sought cover and retreated to call for assistance.

Several members of one family were arrested and charged with his murder. Two were convicted and sentenced to life, while three others were acquitted.

Officer Simmons had given up a life of farming to become a prohibition officer after his son was given illegal liquor by moonshiners.

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Great Grandfather, R.I.P. not a day went by that your children did not miss you. As my Grandmother, one of your daughters, told me so. May you all R.I.P. Thank you for your service to the state of West Virginia.

Laura F. Roberts-Trent, Great Grandchild
Laura F. Roberts-Trent
September 1, 2015

 

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