Truett’s Livery Stables (Baskin-Robbins)
John Truett operated a livery stable in the early 20th century at this location. He first stabled horses here, then cars. In 1919 with the advent of Prohibition, Truett sensed a business opportunity. In short order, he became the bootlegging kingpin of Williamson County, controlling 10 stills in the county, including one in a shed behind the Courthouse. In 1925, a local constable named Sam Locke led federal marshals on a raid of Truett’s stable where liquor was found. The next day, Locke was found in his car, dead of two gunshot wounds. Truett was arrested and charged with murder-for-hire, as was Jim Kelton, who claimed that Truett off ered him $500 to shoot Locke. Because there were racial issues—Locke was white and Kelton black—the Ku Klux Klan marched into town, and the case was called Franklin’s “trial of the century.” In the end, Kelton was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison. He avoided the electric chair because the jury found mitigating circumstances. Truett was acquitted. Most people agreed he’d gotten away with murder. Later he was convicted of violating the Volstead Act and paid fines of $2,500.