December 6, 1920: Raid on Lakeside home turns up large still and lots of moonshine

On this day in Duluth in 1920, police discovered “the largest still and greatest quantities of moonshine ever confiscated in a raid” in the Zenith City since Prohibition became law earlier that year. The still was found at 4331 Lombard Street, the “imposing residence” of Mr. and Mrs. Harry and Ann Papove, along with 300 gallons of corn mash and 27 gallons of moonshine ready for distribution. Newly appointed Chief Warren Pugh, who formerly worked as a federal agent, joined in the raid. The Papoves were arrested and held without bail. They had purchased their home four months earlier for $15,000, but swore they were not selling the ’shine to finance their grand purchase; the booze was for their own consumption, they said. The Duluth city directory shows that while Ann worked as a stenographer for an insurance company, Harry—listed as “Henry” in the directory—did not have an occupation. According to the Duluth News Tribune, “Weeks of unusual activity in the Papove home attracted the attention of police.” In February 1921, a motion was made to throw out the case because of problems with the warrant. Not only were neither Papoves named specifically on the search warrant, it had the wrong date, the wrong address, and the items confiscated from the house were not listed as what the police intended to search for. The newspaper offered no further coverage of the case, so we don’t know if the case was thrown out or if they were tried, and whether they were convicted. City directories show no one by the name of Papove living in Duluth during the years leading up to or following the arrests, and neither Henry nor Ann are listed in the 1920 census as citizens of the Zenith City.

 

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