On November 10, 1921 my Great Grandfather Anthony Zesut, eldest son of Kasper and Anna, was arrested for selling alcohol which was illegal in the United States from 1920-1933.
Following is an article that appeared in the November 21, 1921 edition of The Hartford Courant. Anthony’s last name is misspelled Zesuit throughout.
Constable Eugene W. House arrested Anthony Zesuit on Saturday evening for selling liquor to Martin Millick. For the past three or four months, the Polish people have been purchasing liquor in the section around Grove street, and the officers have been trying to get proof of sales. Mrs. Millick complained to the Grand Juror that her husband purchased at two different times and paid him for it in her presence. Zesuit was charged with a reputation and also a sale. He was found guilty on each count, and was fined $50 on each count and also had to pay the costs of the court. James B. Henry was attorney for Zesuit. He appealed from the judgment and secured a bond of $200 for his appearance at the next term of the superior court.
Peter Spark was arraigned before Justice W.E. Gates Saturday evening on a charge of distilling liquor. Mr. Spark is stepfather of Anthony Zesuit who was found guilty of selling liquor. A search warrant was given to Constable House to search Spark’s premises from information given by a neighbor that liquor was being distilled in his house. The officers found about one quart of liquor. They found a coil of pipe such as is used in a still. The evidence was not sufficient to convict and the case was nulled.
Peter Spark, Anthony’s step-father is also implicated but was not found guilty in the manufacture of the alcohol. An interesting spin on this is the story I heard from Frank Zesut’s (Anthony’s younger brother) daughter Irene. Irene said that after Kasper died Anna made booze in her bathtub and sold it to the locals. The constable turned a blind eye to these activities as he felt sorry for her for being widowed with so many kids. This article paints a different picture as it pins the selling on Anthony and the distilling on Peter. Irene also said that the Mr. & Mrs. Millick ended up becoming friends with her parents several years later!
My Aunt Toni told me that my grandmother Wanda used to say her father Anthony was a “rascal”. Sure sounds like it!
I’m trying to find out if the Hartford Superior Court has a record of this case as it could contain an interview with Anthony which would be a fantastic find.
Here’s a scan of the actual article from The Courant.
For information regarding the Prohibition of Liquor in the United States you can read the Wikipedia article on it here.