July 26, 1920: Lawrence Law, et al, run afoul of the law via alcohol

On this day in Duluth in 1920, nearly seven months after Prohibition became law, the Duluth News Tribune featured three stories about individuals running afoul with the law due to their interactions with alcohol. In Duluth, the ironically named Lawrence Law faced the option of a $100 fine or sixty days in the workhouse for “driving an auto in an intoxicated condition.” Six other citizens of the Zenith City faced drunkenness charges. Four men were fined $22, another $21.12, and a woman was sentenced to three months in the “industrial home.” Not to be outdone, Earl Ekhardt, chauffeur of police chief John Murphy, was charged with conspiracy to smuggle alcohol along with ten others—including Murphy himself and former deputy United States Marshall Frank. L. Bradley. (Read more about the troubles with Chief Murphy here.) Meanwhile, on the Iron Range, prohibition agents raided what the newspaper called “a settlement of Amazon moonshiners.” In reality, two women physically attacked agents—one using an axe—while protecting their homes, which happened to contain stills and 200 gallons of mash and moonshine. A third offered agents a $200 bribe.

Political cartoon from the 1920s. (Image: Public Domain)