One day we talked about Pud Slatzer. I believe he was the son of James Slatzer. We all knew the man nickname Pud, but none of us knew who he really was.
I sat down with the Straitsville arrest records from 1870 to 1925. The third time I found an arrest record for Pearl Slatzer, I ask, "Who was she?"
Pearl was a man, in those days Pearl was a man's name. Now, if I were a boy whose mother named me Pearl, I would definitely find a nickname as soon as I was old enough to know my name was Pearl.
One of the ladies believed Pearl was in fact Pud. It made sense. In my research anyone named Pearl, I would have assumed was female.
We had a different version of one story. We knew Pud was a moonshiner. He also everybody, along with all of their secrets. Get someone drunk, and they will tell you everything.
Pud and another man were in the bar. There was a gambling machine of some kind. Pud said he was going to take it. The man owned the machine and told Pud he wasn't authorized to have it.
They argued until the machine owner said he was going to take the machine home, so Pud couldn't take it. Pud told the man if he picked up the machine he would shoot him.
The fool picked up the machine and Pud shot him. The sheriff took Pud to jail, because even in Straitsville, murder kind of a serious matter.
In my version of the story Pud's father, uncles, brothers, etc., took their guns and went to the jail, where they demanded the sheriff turn him loose.
Whatever the truth, Pud never spent a night in jail. Later he was later found innocent of the murder. I guess the man just got in the way when Pud's gun was going off.