FOWL PLAY -   We used to hang horse thieves and cattle rustlers.  But the question remains, what do you do with a chicken stealer.  Times were getting tough after World War I.  Actually, times were tough before and after the "War to End All Wars."  And quite frankly, they still are.  A rash of thefts of chickens began to plague the city of Dublin.  The chicken kleptomania reached a pinnacle in the weeks before Christmas in 1920, sending chicken and even turkey owners into a panic.  There were many a Dubliner who fancied themselves as breeders of fine chickens.  These were the folks who were especially worried about the snatching of a prize rooster or hen.  It appeared to police that a gang of chicken coppers conducted planned and systematic raids in all the chicken houses and turkey coops, one section of the city at a time, and with great success.  Police were at loss to catch the poultry pluckers  as they helped themselves to fine chickens and fat turkeys just in time for Christmas.

One chicken thief went after the best chickens he could steal.  Everyone knew that  N.G. Bartlett, Secretary of the Dublin Chamber of Commerce, had some of the finest Rhode Island Reds anywhere in town.  Arthur Davis knew it.  And, he was bound and determined to get his hands on the fine fowl, hoping to sell them for a substantial profit.

Davis sold a couple of fine hens to a restaurant keeper at a cheap price.  Several days later, Davis reappeared and sold the man some more at a bargain.  The restauranteur became suspicious and reported the incident to the police.  Baffled as what to do with the hens, the officers decided for their own safety, to put the birds in a jail cell in the woman's section of the city barracks, that is until the identity of their true owner could be determined.

When Bartlett heard that there was a pair of laying hens locked up in the jail, he immediately went to investigate the suspect for himself.  After being hit three times in two weeks, Bartlett discovered that Davis' shoe was approximately the same size as the footprints left outside of his coop.  The police verified Bartlett's finding and quickly set out to the restaurant before any more stolen chickens were fried, filleted or boiled.  At the eating establishment they found Bartlett's pet chicken along with several other of Bartlett's prize poultry who were about to be put on the menu.  Macon Telegraph, March 26, 1919, March 20, 1920, Dec. 12, 1920.