Sam Wheelock ~ From 1920 -1938 Sam Wheelock made and bootlegged White Likker from mountains of East Tennessee to Cincinnati, Ohio. Wheelocks likker could be tasted in several adjoining states, as it was going in and out of Johnson City, Tennessee via the railroad. Sam was busted many times from 1924 to 1930 for violating the prohibition act, selling and bootlegging illegal likker out of several storefront/speakeasy’s owned and operated by his wife Carrie Wheelock.
Court transcripts revealed that Sam was a rep for the Cincinnati based Queen City Distributing, one of many companies controlled by lawyer gone Gangster George Remus. Remus found loopholes in the Volstead Act. For one, he found that alcohol was still legal for medicinal purposes. So, by still having his pharmaceutical license, he bought large sums of alcohol, supposedly to sell to drug companies legally through distributors.
March 1st 1930, Sam Wheelock was arrested in Johnson City, TN where 3,672 bottles of Jamaican Ginger arriving at the Train Depot out of Cincinnati. This bust was part of a large sting organized by Elliot Ness, trying to crack down on George Remus and Al Capone’s bootlegging empire. The newspaper states that it is the largest bust of its kind in Johnson city history. Sam received a sentence to the Atlanta Federal Penitentiary along with Remus and 72 other individuals including Queen City officials. Al Capone was busted on a different charge but they all ended up in Atlanta Prison at the same time.
Sam’s Sour Apple
Just like grabbing a sour apple from a tree in Eastern Tennessee during the summer. The first bite with that sweet sour taste is just right.