Another look at the Catrow conspiracy

Another look at the Catrow conspiracy

It has been some years since I originally reported on this blog that my grandfather Walter Ruby may have been involved in an illegal liquor conspiracy during the early years of Prohibition. He was one of six individuals indicted in April 1922 in what came to be known as the Catrow conspiracy. The criminal case was later dismissed. You can see our previous coverage here, here and here.

Now that I have been recently focused on my grandfather's life in the years just prior to the dates in the indictment, I wanted to go back and see how his involvement in this matter aligns with our other known facts in his personal life and professional resume. 

Unraveling all of that will require several posts. For starters, let's see if we can find a plausible connection between our Walter Ruby and any of the other named individuals and entities in the indictment. This morning I made a quick scan for historical information about the five individuals and two business named in the indictment.

I'll come back to follow up on some of these leads. For now, here in a brief recap:

Herbert G. Catrow - Prominent businessman who as assistant Prohibition director in New York authorized liquor withdrawals.

Hill & Hill Distilling Co. - Kentucky distillery owned by bootlegger George Remus from whose New York City warehouses the withdrawals were made. 

Samuel P. Steckler - New York Jewish druggist who distributed medicinal alchohol 

Progressive Drug Co. - Steckler's wholesale pharmacy

David F. McGowan - Ad agency owner with ties to the New York police commissioner

Frank Fallon - Described as prominent in fraternal order circles

Benjamin Silver - No known trace of him or Benjamin Gluckow also mentioned in the article