Twisted Tale of a Rubber Check from 1931

Transcribed by Norma Knotts Shaffer/Glenville Democrat

Never Use Checks

The suit to recover $35.00 on a check that was returned by the bank marked "No Funds" was dismissed by Worthy Davis, local justice of the peace, last Friday morning.

The trial resulted in startling disclosures. The check in question was given on January 21 to a fellow by the name of McCoy by Gilbert Furr, owner of the Lone Star roadhouse at the top of the Cain hill, five miles southwest of Glenville on the Spencer road.

It was brought out at the trial that the check was given in payment for five gallons of moonshine and when the purchaser went to the cache to get the firewater, it was bare as Mother Hubbard's cupboard.

Thinking that he had been hijacked of his liquor he decided to let the check go unpaid.

McCoy gave the check to a neighbor who in turn endorsed it over to his brother-in-law, Alvin Gainer, of Elizabeth. Gainer gave the check to Sears & Roebuck at Parkersburg in payment for a tire and tube.

The tire and tube he purchased were made of good rubber, and also was the check, he turned over to them, for it came bounding back at them and they collected off of Gainer when it was returned.

The man Gainer came to Glenville Saturday a week ago and swore out a warrant for Furr's arrest under the West Virginia bad check law.

On Monday of last week Gainer brought suit to recover the $35.00.

It was this case that was tried in the justice's court Thursday afternoon. The plaintiff attempted to show in court that he was an innocent party and under the code of West Virginia not subject to a loss from a gaming or any other debt contracted in a illegal transaction.

Counsel for the defendant had three witnesses on the stand during the day who testified that they had seen the plaintiff in the Glenville vicinity in a car in front of the Lone Star on the date of the illegal transaction.

The plaintiff, Gainer, claimed that he was serving on a federal petit jury in Parkersburg on that date. Upon calling the clerk of the Parkersburg federal court, it was learned that Gainer had served on the 15 and 16 of January instead of the 21.

The court held that Gainer was an accessory to the forbidden deal involving the transfer and disappearance of 5 gallons of the "Noble Experiment."