Published in the Interest of the Staunton Community for Over 143 Years

Legend Of Al Capone In Benld, Though Debated, Still Lingers

By Tom Emery

In a town the size of Benld (pop. 1,600), the phrase “urban legend” may be a misnomer. But rumors of gangster Al Capone in the town persist, nine decades later.

Though unproven, many residents of this southern Macoupin County village believe that Capone conducted all sorts of illegal business in Benld, including the manufacture of bootleg liquor.

A mining town established in 1904 with a high immigrant population, Benld (pronounced “beh-NELD”), 50 miles northeast of St. Louis, boasted 3,300 residents with at least 32 saloons around the start of Prohibition. It has since been descri...

 

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