Whiskey poured out as Sunday School class watches

Published 3:08 pm Thursday, August 26, 2021

By ROZELLA HARDIN
Editorial Director
rozella.hardin@elizabethton.com
A page from a Jan. 12, 1932, issue of the Elizabethton STAR shared some interesting information about an unusual Sunday School event for the Men’s Class at First Christian Church, Elizabethton.
The class met each Sunday morning at City Hall — years later it met at the Bonnie Kate Theater. The class in 1932 was taught by Minister J.J. Musick.
According to the newspaper account, a car containing 22 gallons of whiskey was chased from Broad Street to Johnson City before being captured.
The driver of the car was arrested after his companion escaped on the streets of Johnson City by Officers C.E. Collins and J.C. Nidiffer. The car and the driver were taken to the Johnson City Police Station where the car was turned over to prohibition agent John Parrott. The driver and 16-1/2 gallons of whiskey were brought back to Elizabethton that night.
Officers Collins and Nidiffer said around 10 o’clock that night they noticed a suspicious dirty-looking car on Broad Street. When they pursued the car it sped away. The officers gave chase, but were unable to stop the “liquor car” until it reached Johnson City. According to the news article Officers Collins and Nidiffer drove their car in front of the “liquor car,” resulting in a bent fender. The driver, who denied ever hauling liquor in this county, was placed under arrest, but his accomplice got away.
Hamp Hyder, desk sergeant, said the liquor was placed in a locker, but come Sunday morning it was given to Minister Musick to pour out as his Sunday School class of men looked on.
Quite a different Sunday School class than we are used to today.