July 26, 1920 – Prohibition Officers Raid Follansbee

Reports were received in Wheeling that “Follansbee was becoming a mecca for good beer, wine, and everything.”   A raiding party led by the Deputy State Prohibition Commissioner Philips came into town about 10 p.m. Saturday.   They slipped up to the home of Vess Mihi, a Romanian. Through the screen door they saw Mihi and a boarder lifting a can of mash on the fire. The two men were apprehended while attempting to escape through a rear window.

In the meantime, the streets became filled with foreigners, aroused by the Queen of Follansbee, a female gypsy who made a speech which excited the foreign element.  However, the raid was not delayed.  The next scene was at the residence of Gene Gremenna, 945 Main Street. Alerted by the Queen’s strident voice, Gremenna made his get away while the going was good. The Deputies found 134 bottles of raisin wine. The bottles were all smashed in the yard.

The last raid occurred at No. 10 Mill Alley about midnight on the ground floor in the rooms of a Romanian with an unpronounceable name. About 100 gallons of grape mash was found and destroyed.

  • Steubenville Herald Star, (Follansbee Section), July 26, 1920, p. 2.