Friday, November 12, 1999

Little Chicago: An early chronology

        Hamilton — and Butler County — became known as Little Chicago because of lawlessness during the 1920s and 30s and its attraction to gangsters, including John Dillinger. Some events that colored Hamilton's reputation:

        • May 27, 1919: Prohibition effective.

        • Sept. 29, 1922: Andrew Schaub, 30, fatally shot during raid on Morgan Township still.

        • Dec. 22, 1922: Prohibition enforcer Morris “Squire” Shuler dumps 1,900 gallons of confiscated whiskey (worth $28,000) into the streets of Seven Mile.

        • March 23, 1923: 22 Hamilton cafe owners arrested on liquor charges.

        • May 14, 1924: Dynamite ex plodes at home of Mr. Shuler, then mayor of Seven Mile, but he was not hurt.

        • June 20, 1925: Prohibition officer Wilbur Jacobs killed during raid at a home in Coke Otto (New Miami).

        • Nov. 21, 1925: Robert Gray, Seven Mile prohibition officer, killed during raid on a Hamilton “soft drink parlor.”

        • April 30, 1925: Cafe owner Eddie Schief, 30, killed in The Jungles, a Hamilton neighborhood of speak-easies and brothels.

        • Late 1933: Bank robber John Dillinger and gang regroup in Hamilton after the gang broke him out of prison in Lima, Ohio.

        Source: Jim Blount, Little Chicago: The Early Years, 1997.


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