W W Sharpless was arrested on September 20, 1915 at the Interurban Depot. It was alleged that he was drunk and disorderly and when the police came to arrest him, Sharpless removed his coat and engaged in fisticuffs with the police. The reporter thought he was amusing when he said Mr. Sharpless received a clout in the jaw for his troubles.
Mr. Sharpless took offence and wrote a lengthy letter to the editor, expressing his regret that he was indeed acquainted with Johnny Barleycorn, but that he had only been slightly intoxicated on the date in question and had not been disorderly. He also denied that he had received a clout on the jaw at the depot (apparently he felt his honor was besmirched by this allegation against his pugilistic accomplishments.)
As I have been given a prominent place at the head of the police notes in the Pantagraph column, I would like to say a few words, which I hope you will grant me. I will not deny being slightly intoxicated on the occasion mentioned, but I will say that I did not receive fair treatment after being arrested. I did not receive a "clout in the jaw" as reported, but after I was arrested and on the way to the station I did receive a lick in the side, without any cause or authority for it, and that is what lead to the trouble at the station.
. . .
I am sorry to say that I am acquainted with Johnny Barleycorn. I know him personally. I have been at his home. I have ridden on his train. However, I was never a regular passenger on his train, but just an occasional tourist, and I want to say right here that I am thoroly disgusted with John and all his ways, and hereafter when I tour it will be on Adam's Ale Limited or on the Water Express.
His three paragraph letter went on to state, in admirable English and vocabulary his doubts about the disposal of seized alcohol. If only the criminal element (and the non-criminal element) of 2015 had such a command of the written language, perhaps the online Pantagraph comments section would have a higher tone and greater entertainment value.