Verde Heritage 1918: JEROME; Thriving New Industry is Ruined

Because the factory, said to be owned by a Russian, is out of business, parties who owe various sums of money for goods purchased will attempt to evade payment of their debts.

"A manufacturing enterprise which has been extremely profitable since its establishment in Jerome several months ago, in spite of the fact that it has received little or no general publicity, was rudely broken up last evening when 2 busybodies named Fred Hawkins and Charley Smith invaded the plant and carried away the machinery, with all the firm's records, a quantity of the finished product and some other material not yet in marketable condition. They also kidnapped the factory sales agent."

"The confiscated machinery was a small but complete still and the property referred to was grape brandy. Alex Folena is the name of the sales agent. It is supposed that Folena was also connected with the mechanical end of the business but this he vigorously denies."

"Hawkins and Smith took advantage of their positions as city peace officers to interfere with legitimate industry. They have been accused frequently of standing in with the mining companies and their high-handed action of last night certainly indicates that they have a desire to restrict Jerome's output to copper."

"The factory was located in a building back of the Pratt second hand shop. When Hawkins and Smith broke in they found Folena in the main part of the plant. The plant consisted of 2 vessels, one standing on a wood stove and the other on a gasoline stove, with a coil of lead pipe between. It was the work of only a few minutes for the vandals to wreck the place completely. They unscrewed the pipe and carried the plant away to the City Hall in sections. Likewise they carried away 16 pints, a 5-gallon keg and a 1-gallon demijohn of brandy. There were 3 big barrels filled with brandy in process of curing. Hawkins and Smith, with the destructive genius they must have learned from the Huns, opened the bungs and let the precious liquid gurgle away."

"Folena admitted that he had been retailing the product of the factory for $3 a pint. A number of record sheets showed that several parties in Jerome owe the firm various sums for goods purchased at that rate. It is now feared that since the factory is out of business, they will attempt to evade payment of their just and honest debts."

"The sales manager could not give the name of the owner of the factory but said he thought it was a Russian. He himself had been compelled because of illness to relinquish his job at the United Verde Extension and the supposed Russian kindly gave him an opportunity to earn an honest living at easier work."

"This morning Folena was taken before Justice Frank Smith, who seems to have the same prejudice as Hawkins and Charley Smith against infant industries trying to get a foothold in Jerome. Folena waived examination and was held in the sum of $500 to answer to a technical charge of selling liquor. He was taken to Prescott by Hawkins today."

(Verde Copper News; Jerome; Thursday, June 13, 1918; page 1.)

"BRANDY MAKER PLEADS GUILTY: Alex Folena, the Verde resident who was arrested some time ago on a charge of manufacturing brandy in his home, was arraigned before Judge Sweeney yesterday morning and entered a plea of guilty. The court announced that the prisoner would receive his sentence at 10 o'clock on Friday morning." (Weekly Journal-Miner; Prescott; June 26, 1918; page 5.)

Alex Folena "entered a plea of guilty to a charge of brewing intoxicants in his home at Jerome." He will be sentenced with others at 10 o'clock next Friday. (Weekly Journal-Miner; Prescott; July 3, 1918; page 3.) The sentence he received is not currently known, and was evidently not newsworthy.

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