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Friday, July 14, 2017

Charlie Birger modern day Robin Hood

Charlie Birger was his name and some considered him a hero and others an outlaw. It seems to depend on what side of line you were on. Birger served as a soldier, cowboy and even a bronc buster.
Chicago had Al Capone and Kentucky had the McCoys and Hatfields it was in southern Illinois where Charlie Birger was famous.

It was Prohibition that brought Birger to "Little Egypt" as it was known and coal fields that seemed to be every where in the 1920s. Birger would supply the men and area with whisky and beer. He did not do this alone as he had his gang known as the Sheltons and his home place known as Shady Rest.

Birger was known as the "protector" in Harrisburg Illinois. The kids loved him as he would make sure all Saline County families had coal and food and toss coins to kids on the streets. In Williamson County he would bootleg liquir, gambling and hide rum runners. He was a mobster but it seemed a good kind hearted one. In 1923 Birger would be hanged for his wrong doings but the good he did still lives in the stories of many here in Southern Illinois.

shared at
talk of the town

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