Prohibition Enforcement Agent Wilbur F. Jacobs| Seven Mile Village

Jacobs PAGEAge: 43

 

Ohio prohibition began in May 1919. Federal war-time prohibition — a temporary measure — started in July 1919. Permanent federal prohibition that became effective in January 1920.

By 1922, Morris Y. Shuler was appointed Justice of the Peace for Wayne Township, Butler County, and later elected to Mayor of the Village of Seven Mile. Before 1927, when it was declared unconstitutional, Ohio Law allowed justices of the peace and mayors of mayor’s court to enforce the law within their jurisdictions. Mayor Shuler hired six agents who were the scourge of bootleggers, rum runners, and “soft drink parlor” operators in all of Butler County, making more than 400 or 500 arrests each year with an 82% conviction rate.

During these few years, several of his agents had close calls with the violent prohibition offenders, including Mayor Shuler himself who had a stick of dynamite explode in his car. Two of his agents were killed.

The first of which was Agent Jacobs. On June 20, 1925, Agent Jacobs and others conducted a raid in Coke Otto (now known as New Miami). Milton Henson fired at the agents. One bullet struck Agent Jacobs in the head and went through his brain, apparently dying almost instantly at 10:40 p.m.

Jacobs left a wife and two children. He was buried in Miltonville Cemetery.

Henson was convicted in the murder and sentenced to life in prison.

If you have information, artifacts, archives, or images regarding this officer or incident, please contact the Greater Cincinnati Police Museum at Director@police-museum.org.

 

This narrative was revised June 27, 2011 by Cincinnati Police Lieutenant Stephen R. Kramer (Retired). All rights are reserved to him and the Greater Cincinnati Police Historical Society.