Circumstances of Death
Prohibition Agents Vaughn Eccles Grant and Will Owens were conducting road patrols near Hendersonville, NC. Their mission was to stop and arrest gang members that had been hauling illicit whiskey during the prior two years. The agents observed a suspicious vehicle and gave chase for six miles. Gunshots were exchanged between the two vehicles. As the Government vehicle came along side the suspect vehicle, bootlegger W. D. Bennison fired, and seriously wounded Agent Grant. He died later that same day. W. D. Bennison had been previously arrested and convicted on three separate occasions by Agents Grant and Owens on Federal liquor violations. Bennison's previous associate in the illicit whiskey running business, Adam Ballinger, had been killed a year earlier during a shootout with Agent Grant. A large posse of over 100 heavily armed men led by Prohibition Agent Owens, later captured suspects Bennison and Wilton Lackaby, who was identified as the driver. Two other suspects were also arrested.
Agent Grant was the son of former Congressman John Gaston Grant (1858-1923), 10th Congressional District of North Carolina.
Agent Grant was born in Henderson City, NC. He was survived by his wife, Blanche.