If there’s anything that can be said for Stanley Smith, it’s that he didn’t do anything by halves. The first time he was sent to prison in 1929, he had been arrested three times in the course of a couple of weeks.
A Slippery Situation
Stanley’s first arrest was for the theft of butter from the Findlay Dairy Company.
The Findlay Dairy, founded in 1900 by Daniel E. Child, had a very interesting, open relationship with the community. At its large plant at 219 North Main Street, the usual operations went on with production of butter, cottage cheese, and other dairy products and large blocks of ice for use in customers’ iceboxes.
Rather than waiting for the iceman to deliver, people could pull their cars into the south driveway of the Findlay Dairy plant and purchase ice at a discounted rate of 40 cents per hundredweight.
Local farmers could sell their cream directly to the company by heading over to the Findlay Dairy Cash Cream station on Broadway. Interestingly, in 1927, this station was run by an Arras:
Besides selling their products in local groceries, the Findlay Dairy Company operated its own shop outside the plant at North Main.
It is no great surprise that butter was the commodity Stanley chose to pilfer for a profit. Based on local advertisements from the time, butter cost over twice as much per pound as sirloin steak. Additionally, it would not likely have spoiled before he could sell it on.
Whether the heist was planned or if Stanley just happened to walk past an unattended delivery truck remains a mystery. Once the butter was acquired, Stanley approached local grocers, attempting to pass on his stolen goods. Presumably, it was one or more of these more upright gentlemen who reported his ploy to the police.
Stanley was arrested, but the Findlay Dairy Company did not press charges after the butter was returned.
Next Time: Like a Bad Penny