! ! A People's History of Alcohol Prohibition in Colorado: Labor, Clas s, Gender, and Moral Reform 1916 1933 by Saya Ã”Ted' Richthofen An undergraduate thesis submitted in partial completion of the Metropolitan State University of Denver Honors Program May 2019 Dr. Meg Frisbee Dr. R. Todd Laugen Dr. Megan Hughes Zarzo Primary Advisor Second Reader Honors Program Director
! ! Richthofen, 1 On Sunday, August 31, 1924 at 6:30 am in the Rocky Mountain coal mining town of Victor , state prohibition enforcement officer James Melrose quietly spied on a small home as its lights flicked on for the morning . As the chimney started to smoke away, officer Melrose cautiously approached the front door. The home belonged to Mary Akin, and wa s located on South Second street . Melrose was acting on a reliable tip that, despite being a woman, Mary was in fact a well known bootlegger in the mining town. When Melrose tried the handle of her front door , he found it unlocked, and entered the home. He announced the purpose of his visit and dashed around a corner to find Mary cooking eggs on her stove. Mary, surprised by this early morning intruder, screamed, and threw her sizzling breakfast at the officer's face. However, this assault was not enough to allow her to escape, as Melrose grabbed her and placed her under arrest. Found on the stove next to her spoiled egg breakfast was a whiskey still, bubbling merrily away. Melrose had no warrant, and no sort of due process es of law were present in his actio ns . Instead, his authority came from his employment under the chief state prohibition officer , John R. Smith, who conducted massive raids, mostly on mining towns, going m ainly off "tips". On this occasion, Smith and his extra legal deputies planned and executed a large raid on the infamous mining towns of Cripple Creek and Victor, arrested sixteen violators of the statewide dry law, confiscated four stills, and seized 150 gallons o f moonshine. Most of the residents arrested in this town were caught either eating breakfast, or the dry raiders had broke n into their homes and roused them from their sleep. 1 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!! ! " ! Cripple Creek Times , September 22, 1925, Melrose Scrapbook, Western History Collection, Denver Public Library.
! ! Richthofen, 2 Melrose led the Victor raiding party and brought Mary up to the Teller county j ail w here she and the other local liquor violators would wait until their trial . 2 According to local newspapers, it was the biggest series of liquor raids ever conducted in Teller county at the time. The moonshining activities and subsequent arrest of Mary Akin is not a unique story. Through the prohibition of alcohol, Colorado saw the evolution of increasing economic rights for marginalized groups , specifically women , because women were most able to take advantage o f the obscure status of alcohol and turn a profit from it . Socially, d uring the Roaring 20s, Colorado citizens witnessed the ironic shift from Victorian ideals of strictly gendered spheres , seeking an orderly and lawful society, into a seemingly lawless ti me where classes mixed, gender norms were radically challenged, law enforcement was brutal and corrupt, and the culture around drinking alcohol was forever changed. Colorado Victorianism of the 19 th century took an unexpected turn in the early 20 th after the passing of alcohol prohibition, as the main groups such laws were targeted against benefitted from the social nuances of alcohol's illegality. From its roots in Colorado as a strictly gendered and class based cultural staple, alcohol saw an intense social rearranging during the years of prohibition, and many groups targeted by anti alcohol reforms flourished in the reshaping of social rights around alcohol and public space throughout the state. Women specifically entered the public sphere in Colorado at unp recedented rates because of alcohol prohibition, and inherently altered the way women interacted with public leisure space s. Because the law making alcohol illegal made it illegal for everyone , it leveled the playing field and allowed for women to participate in a cultural staple that was previously withheld from them , and by doing so removed the taboo around women drinking and interacting in social spaces . Additionally, the illegality of alcohol made it possible for Denver to hire its very !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!! ! # ! The Denver News , August 31, 1924, Melrose Scrapbook.
! ! Richthofen, 3 first female police officer , Edith Barker, who was hired specifically to bring female bootleggers to justice . P rohibition opened remarkable new avenues of life for women not only in a social sense, but also in a professional one. The illegality of alc ohol changed the way that women interacted with many spheres of life , and the varying ways in which women responded to prohibition vitally shaped the public role of women for decades to come. Anti Immigrant Sentiments for Statewide Prohibition Prior to the 1920s, Colorado was most notable as an extractive industry state. Much of the economic power and labor force centered around mining operations, steel mills, lumber, ranching, farming, and other masculine labor endeavors. A key facet of these l aborer communities was their leisure cultures, which focused mainly around saloons and the consumption of alcohol. When prospectors first found gold in Cherry Creek in 1859, within a week a haphazard saloon was built. It took another two years before a chu rch or a school was built, but at that point over 35 saloons functioned in the mining camp. 3 These watering holes organized life in Colorado. In fact, most towns in Colorado would not have survived their first few years at all if it were not for saloons a cting as proxy buildings for government, supplie r s, grocers, and all sorts of other town functions in the early years of the territory's and later state's history. Economic as well as political power could be gained from owning a multifunctional saloon. Th e city of Denver alone had over 700 saloons operating at once between the years of 1858 and 1890. 4 By 1914, Denver had 467 licensed saloons, as well as 555 illicit grog shops. 5 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!! ! $ ! Thomas Noel, The City and the Saloon: Denver 1858 1916, 2nd ed. (Boulder: University Press of Colorado, 1996), 116. % Noel, The City and the Saloon , 42. & Phil Goodstein, Robert Speer's Denver 1904 1920 (Denver: New Social Publications, 2004), 335 .
! ! Richthofen, 4 The first municipal constitution in 1860 was drafted within the walls of the Ap ollo Hall, a notorious Denver saloon and billiards hall. 6 Not only did the saloon supply the traditional multi functional space in western mining and frontier towns, it also served as the main space for leisure and socializing. For Coloradans, the saloon w as primarily a place of male socialization and relaxation. Following hours and hours of hot, exhaustive work in the mines, saloons provided a place for laboring men to unwind, use intoxicating chemicals to reduce the stress from their hard work, and provid e an outlet for masculine endeavors outside of the home. Saloons often housed various pastimes such as boxing matches, gambling, fraternal organization meetings, and prostitution. 7 Earlier studies into this same topic agree with this sentiment regarding ma ny communities in Colorado. Historian Elliot West, in his study of the importance of saloons and their culture on the Rocky Mountain mining frontier, explains the groups of saloon patrons as "gatherings of competitive, extremely mobile individuals are by t heir nature highly unstable, and in them group drinking can provide a feeling of association and sense of belonging"; all the while alleviating the stresses and worries of such a hard work/life balance in the west . 8 The concept of moral control in regards to liquor existed as early as the first camps appeared in the mid 1860s, but statewide control of liquor did not gain traction until the early 1900s. Before this time, strict liquor license laws and steep fees made it harder and harder for legal alcohol p roprietors to sell their fare. An early liquor law passed in Colorado by 1889 prohibited the sale of or delivery of alcohol to Native Americans, and sellers would receive a !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!! ! ' ! Noel, The City and the Saloon , 13. ! ( Elliot West, The Saloon on the Rocky Mountain Mining Frontier, (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1979), 4. ) Ibid.
! ! Richthofen, 5 penalty of a $50 fine or 6 months in jail if caught doing so. 9 This law officially banned the entering of saloons of certain people on the basis of race and culture. Societal and religious reformers of the day were particularly critical of the immigrant saloon, as they were refuges for prostitutes to flourish. Women, often immigrants th emselves, widowed and left penniless by mining accidents, transient women seeking self actualization and freedom, and any sort of individual in between profited from sex work within the walls of saloons in Colorado. 10 Victorian propriety at the time struggl ed with the image of independent women in saloons, and therefore it became a stereotype that only women who sold themselves entered into establishments that sold alcohol. In this way, saloons fulfilled many of the hyper masculine endeavors of working class, western laborers; they were a sort of one stop shop between the exhaustive work and minimal sleep that came with being a laborer. So important were the saloons to miners that Jesse Welborn, the president of CF&I, testified that managers in c ompany mining towns "found that it is almost impossible to keep a force of men at the mines, unless they have that privilege". 11 Middle class white supremacy, often centered around Protestant religious principles, increasingly viewed these working class co mmunities, wrought with poverty, disease, and vice, as failings of the personal moral responsibilities, rather than a problem with the failing system these immigrants and laborers were forced to exist in, and the gendered social mores of Victorianism they perpetuated. Often anti saloon and anti alcohol reformers were anti immigrant, and subscribed to social Darwinist ideas about racial purity and upliftment. Because !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!! ! * Ernest Hurst Cherrington, Standard Encyclopedia of the Alcohol Problem , (Westerville: American Issue Publishing Company, 1925), 2: 656. "+ Phil Goodstein, The Seamy Side of Denver (Denver: New Social Publications, 1993). Also discussed in Noel's The City and the Saloon . "" Rick Clyne, Coal People: Life in Southern Colorado's Company Towns, 1890 1930 (Denver: Colorado Historical Society, 1999), 69.
! ! Richthofen, 6 most men who culturally and socially depended on saloons were working class, Catholic, and/o r immigrants, alcohol became an easy target for anti immigrant and anti labor sentiments. Saloons and drinking parlors seemed alien and unknown to rural whites, and they used their anti alcohol stance to combat the growing dominance of expanding urban, mul ticultural cities. 12 In addition to attracting laborers for work in the coal mines, Colorado was a frontier state that boasted a successful ranching and farming industry. Those who settled the state and owned property became increasingly concerned in the la te 1800s as Denver began to transition from a frontier town to a major city. These white Protestant families, accustomed to quiet lives as "pioneers", were perturbed by the different languages, the different clothing, and different drinking cultures brough t by immigrants; they were also concerned with the increase in crime that followed urban expansion in an increase in class distinction. By 1890, in just a decade, the population of the capital tripled from 35,000 in 1880 to over 106,000 in 1890 . 13 This was in part due to the increase in industrial processing needs, such as the smelting town of Globeville. Most migrants came from the midwestern United States. Many were also new immigrants from southern and eastern Europe, particularl y from Italy, Russia, Pola nd, as well as from Ireland. 14 When it came to immigrant saloons and taverns, they often supported the perpetuation of immigrants' culture, as well as serving as headquarters for various cultural functions, such as dancing, lectures, political rallies, an d funerals. It was through these saloons and taverns that various cultures were able to keep their languages and traditions alive in the diverse state. Immigrants could converse in their native tongues or read in their native language. In response to !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!! ! "# John Whiteclay Chambers II, The Tyranny of Change: America in the Progressive era, 1890 1920 (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2000), 163. "$ "Denver, Colorado Population ". World Population Review. Last modified May 11, 2019. Accessed may 12, 2019. http://worldpopulationre view.com/us cities/denver population/ . "% Elliot West, "Cleansing the Queen City: Prohibition and Urban Reform in Denver", Journal of the Southwest, Vol. 14, No. 4 (Winter, 1972), 332.
! ! Richthofen, 7 the g rowing number of immigrant saloons serving cultural needs, prohibitionists stoked nativist and xenophobic fuel for outlawing alcohol sales in the state. Additionally, poor working conditions in the labor industry drove Colorado to be one of the most conten tious labor war states, often involving workers who were also patrons of saloons. By the end of April 1914, temperance supporters sensed a new energy for prohibition emerging as a result of the labor war at Ludlow. Striking CF&I miners, mostly from immigr ant families, were attacked by the National Guard, killing over 15 people. At an Anti Saloon League rally with 500 Denver supporters in the summer of 1914, the founder of the league claimed that booze "brought about a condition of unrest and dissatisfactio n which resulted in the anarchistic situation in the strike zone". 15 Red fever and fear of socialism was beginning to build up in labor states like Colorado, and reformers used it as another excuse to demonize saloons and alcohol consumption, especially in the context of the "others": immigrants and unskilled workers. During the Great War, beginning in 1914, rationing food supplies became another swaying factor in the crusade for temperance. Various temperance groups throughout the state took out advertise ment space in newspapers, printing blaring headlines like "TREASON!", calling liquor manufacturers Benedict Arnold's and Judas Iscariot's for producing intoxi cating drinks dur ing a wartime food shortage. "A round one hundred million bushels of grain yearly" were not in the stomachs of hungry women and children (and soldiers) due to alcohol production. These ads beckoned people to question their support for alcohol, hearkening "Patriots! Can you THINK?" 16 Letters were written to U.S senator John Franklin Shaf roth explaining that no patriotic American could consume alcohol when the wheat or corn used to make such a drink !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!! ! "& Rocky Mountain New s, August 26, 1914. "' Newspaper clipping from Shaf ro th Family Papers, FF23 Western History Collection, Denver Public Library.
! ! Richthofen, 8 could feed an American doughboy in France or Belgium. 17 Shafroth, who was the former governor of Colorado , was in office as senator during the entirety of the war, and oversaw the passing of statewide prohibition. He collected various notes about how much money the economy could save in agriculture if efforts to make alcohol were funneled into feeding the homefront and soldiers. One corresponden ce sent to the senator, stuck into a personal padfolio available in the Denver Public Library, reads "if we expect the soldiers to die for us we ought to be w illing to go Ã”dry' for them " . It continues to defend prohibition in regards to labor by stating that it will "protect the efficiency of industrial workers since it is not the Army and Navy, but the whole nation, that must win the war". It further posits that being dry was patriotic, c laiming that a push for federal prohibition would "emancipate American politics from the attempted domination of the brewers, whose right arm, the German American Alliance, has been cut off, suggesting that the head "higher up", that guided this traitorous arm should share the same fate for high treason, even if conservation of manhood and ot her resources were not involved " . Then, in all capital letters, This surely is a primary reason for closing the saloons, most of them owned by brewers, that the heari ngs in congress on the German American Alliance have shown the brewers are the Kaiser's friends, serving his cause by opposing our entrance into the war, as well as by weakening our industrial ranks and to some extent our soldiers in spite of the law b y the sale of booze. The revelation of these facts has made war prohibition less difficult. For all intelligent patriots are coming to see that the saloon influence has been rankly pro German. The brewers !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!! ! "( Newspaper clipping from Shafroth Family Papers, FF23 Western History Collection, Denver Public Library.
! ! Richthofen, 9 once ruled in many political circles by their frien d and by the fear they aroused. Now few even fear them, and their friends are fewer yet. 18 The literature was important enough for senator Shafroth to keep copies of in his notebook, with many similar pamphlets covered in equations for how much the state m ight save if agriculture was turned away from producing alcohol. Pro Temperance advocates used the war as a perfect front to paint prohibition as a patriotic wartime necessity, especially in combating foreign enemies on American soil. Germans were Denver' s largest foreign born immigrant group in the 19th century. 19 German immigrants and their families were also the leading founders of various alcohol related businesses in the state, from breweries and saloons to wheat and hop farmers. During the war, anti G erman sentiment began to surround traditional German fares, such as beer and brewing. "Increasing numbers of large corporations joined the many Protestant churches that had long supported the Anti Saloon League. Then, during the patriotic fervor of World W ar I, prohibitionists mobilized the final support for a constitutional amendment " . 20 Hand typed letters sent to senator Shafroth during the Great War urged him to consider who the German brewers and beer drinkers of the state were loyal to. In this way, tem perance fervor also gained a nationalistic and patriotic sentiment that emboldened crusaders in their mission to "Americanize" or neutralize foreign threats. Certain groups, such as Germans, Italians, and Irish in Colorado became easy targets for anti Amer ican fears, and sparked increased marriages between temperance and exclusionary nationalism in the anti alcohol philosophy. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!! ! ") "Up to the minute Bulletin of the International Reform Bureau", July 9, 19 18. Shafroth Family Papers, Western History Collection, Denver Public Library. "* Thomas J. Noel, Denver Landmarks & Historic Districts: A Pictorial Guide , (Denver: University Press of Colorado, 1996). ! #+ Harry G. Levine and Craig Reinarman, "From Prohibiti on to Regulation: Lessons from Alcohol Policy for Drug Policy", The Milbank Quarterly , Vol. 69, No. 3, Confronting Drug Policy: Part 1 (1991), 463.
! ! Richthofen, 10 As the tides of time in Colorado shifted towards industry, capital, and homefront for the war, some "original" frontier state immig rants of Colorado, white Anglo Saxon Protestants, became increasingly agitated that immigrants from different belief systems, language systems, and drinking cultures than their own came too. It was very easy to generalize the type of person that frequented saloons, and such anti immigration sentiment led to compoundi ng cultural and classist beliefs about alcohol as a substance and the role it played in the lives of Americans. Gendered Aspects of Alcohol in Colorado Pre Prohibition One of the most strictly gendered activities in the Western United States in the decades prior to prohibition was the consumption of alcohol. Colorado women, who were newly invigorated voters, believed that saloons enticed disenfranchised women into lives of poverty and abuse. Th ey also saw alcohol as the source for violence, crime, and vice in many impoverished communities throughout Colorado. Male voters at the time also agreed that drinking should strictly be a male only activity. These two cultural objections to the mixing of women and alcohol led to a law that passed in 1901 prohibiting women from entering saloons. Sections 745 and 746 of a rticle 15 of the ordinance of Denver, were as follows: 'Sec. 745. Each and every liquor saloon, dram shop, or tippling house keeper, . . . who shall have or keep, in connection with or as part of such liquor saloon, dram shop, or tippling house, any wine room or other place, either with or without door or door s, curtain or curtains, or screen of any kind, into which any female person shall be permitted to enter from the
! ! Richthofen, 11 outside, or from such liquor saloon, dram shop, or tippling house, and there be supplied with any kind of liquor whatsoever, shall, upon convic tion, be fined as hereinafter provided. 'Sec. 746. No person . . . having charge or control of any liquor saloon or place where intoxicating or malt liquors are sold or given away, or any place adjacent thereto, or connected therewith in any manner whatso ever, either by doors or otherwise, shall suffer or permit any female person to be or remain in such liquor saloon, dram shop, tippling house, or other place where intoxicating or malt liquors are sold or given away, for the purpose of there being supplied with any kind of liquor whatsoever. No person owning or having charge or control of any liquor saloon, dram shop, or tippling house shall employ or procure, or cause to be employed or procured, any female person to wait or in any manner attend on any pers on in any dram shop, tippling house, or liquor saloon, or in any place adjacent thereto or connected therewith where intoxicating or malt liquors are sold or given away, nor shall any female person be or remain in any dram shop, tippling house, liquor salo on, or place adjacent thereto or connected therewith, and wait or attend on any person, or solicit drinks in any such place". 21 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!! ! #" D aniel Cronin , v. F rank Adams , Cornell University Law Library, accessed 02 March 2019. https://www.law.cornell.edu/supremecourt/text/192/108 .
! ! Richthofen, 12 Denver saloon owner Daniel Cronin tried to sue the Colorado Supreme Court over this new law in 1902 in order to allow women to p atronize his business. This was in response to being arrested for allowing a woman to enter his "notorious" saloon. He was met with strong opposition in the court. According to the Herald Democrat , "The Cronin suit is an old one in Denver...He was arrested for violation of the city ordinance prohibiting women from drinking in a public place " . He is quoted as claiming this law was "unconstitutional because it discriminates against women, and also because it deprives him of property without due process of law . He contended that he had as much right to sell liquor to women as to men and that they have as much right to drink as men. He also referred to the circumstances that equal suffrage prevails in Colorado and argued that since women had been given right of suffrage they stand on the same footing in all respects with men and hence Ã”are entitled to the pursuit of happiness and the same ratio nal enjoyment as their brothers " . 22 Cronin's case clearly illustrates the growing rift between 20th century modernism and 19th century reform minded Victorianism. The apparent hypocrisy between allowing women to vote yet not allowing them to drink can be understood here as a Victoria n fixation on the moral elevation and purity of women, who were fit to participate in democrat ic processes, yet unfit to partake of a vices, such as alcohol. Cronin, as a male proprietor of a traditionally male fare, is progressive in his language about women, when many suffragists in the state were also strongly pro temperance and anti saloon. The state supreme court ruled against Cronin's suit, and it was even further upheld at the federal level in the United States Supreme Court case Cronin v. Adams. The Supreme Court asserted state's rights by claiming the Colorado ordinance prohibiting women fr om entering saloons and/or purchasing alcohol was within the state's constitutional rights, and "restrictions !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!! ! ## The Herald Democrat , July 31, 1902.
! ! Richthofen, 13 may be imposed as to the class of persons to whom they may be sold", including race and gender. The Supreme Court state that state liquor laws are "...a question of public expediency and public morality, and not of Federal law. The police power of the state is fully competent to regulate the business, Ã‘ to mitigate its evils or to suppress it entirely. There is no inherent right in a citizen to thus s ell intoxicating liquors". 23 This ruling set the precedent for state led prohibition, and the idea that the legal system in the United States functioned as a moral compass to enforce a specific, religious basis for morality of its people. Beyond this law, women were socially not allowed to consume alcohol in public settings, and partook in drinking only within the confines of their own social spheres of other women (usually in their own homes). The only women who entered saloons were entertainers and prost itutes, and the social understanding of women and saloons came to meet that idea. Men in Denver relied on this universal assumption to call female reformers "whores" when they entered into saloons to record the conditions of drinkers. 24 Places where men con sumed alcohol were often rough and tumble hotspots packed with billiards, cards, and brawls. Alcohol in Colorado was a man's fare, and it was for men alone to publicly consume. Progressivism and Moral Reform: Anti Saloon League and the WCTU The Anti Saloon League and the Women's Christian Temperance Union were separate movements that stressed the evils of liquor in the United States. It was their belief that an all out attack on places of alcohol consumption (saloons) would purge the United S tates of many of its social ills and evils, and wanted to intermarry politics with a pious, religious spirit. They believed that puritanism went hand in hand with prosperity in the growing population of the !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!! ! #$ D aniel Cronin , v. F rank Adams . #% Noel, The City and the Saloon, 112.
! ! Richthofen, 14 state. 25 The Women's Christian Temperance Union (W CTU) had active chapters in Colorado, and relied on Christian ideals about how to control society and the "menace" that was alcohol. Many of the prominent leaders of the WCTU were also high ranking members of the women's branch of the Ku Klux Klan. 26 The te mperance movement in the western United States was a veritable revival of Puritanism; "an attempt by white Anglo Saxon Protestants to impose their morality on an increasingly urban and immigrant nation in order to restore their lost prestige and power". 27 M any women in the state, who were highly educated and politically active, feared that an uneducated and "unwashed" crowd of unskilled laborers, loafers, and drunkards were flooding the state. Many of their social reform policies centered around this fear of losing their political and social control of their Colorado communities. Evangelical reformers published and distributed pamphlets far and wide across the United States warning about the "demon drink " . Temperance groups, such as chapters of the WCTU and t he Anti Saloon League, formed in the late 1800s to combat the evils that alcohol was bringing upon the nation and the good state of Colorado. A pamphlet spread around the western United States read "Who can measure the misery, the tears, the groans, the bl asted hopes, the ruined homes and lives, the fearful ravages of the liquor habit and the liquor traffic. May we not ardently hope that this curse be lifted from our country, just as the curse of slavery was taken away. But the victory can be achieved only after a conflict of life and d eath in the arena of human life " . 28 This temperance manual by Frederick Nordquist also claims that temperance would help defend innocent women from the evils of drunkenness, and keep children !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!! ! #& Goodstein, Robert Speer's Denver, 127. #' Thomas R. Pegram, "Hoodwinked: The Anti Saloon League and the Ku Klux Klan in 1920s Prohibition Enforcement", The Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, Volume 7, Issue 1 (January 2008). #( Alan P. Grimes, The Puritan Ethic and Woman Suffrage (New York: Oxford University Press 1967). #) Frederick Nordquist, Is Prohibition Justifiable? (Rock Island: Augustana Book Concern, 1917), 3.
! ! Richthofen, 15 outside the walls of saloons and aw ay from temptation. This pamphlet is a fine example of the ways in which reformers used a pathos based, Ã”think of the children' argument to demonize alcohol, even going so far as to compare it to slavery. Pro temperance fighters therefore attempted to use an appeal to both logic (as with the wartime propaganda) and emotion to blanket their religiously based reasoning that condemned alcohol as the root cause of innumerable social ills. Judge Benjamin Lindsey, a notable Denver Progressive reformer for human rights, and defender of juvenile rights, was the first judge in the United States to propose that children and adolescents under the age of 18 should be tried separately from adults. He was effectively the first judge to create a juvenile court system in the United States. Due to lax child labor laws, kids around Colorado were often seen employed by various alcohol related industries. Because of ambiguity around child labor laws and the legality of alcohol, Judge Lindsey often faced delinquent cases that d ealt at least in part with alcohol. He was very anti saloon due to alcohol's presence in the lives of children particularly. Child labor was an accepted and perpetuated practice in Colorado in the 19 th century and into the 20 th . Aside from dangerous steel mill work, and newsboys peddling newspapers on street corners, young boys could make easy money by selling beer bottles to folks on the street, allowing them free access to consume alcohol and normalize it in their lives. A pho to from Pueblo in the early 1900s shows a group of young boys sittin g around crates of beer bottles; the number of employees and bottles shows a level of sophistication behind the use of child labor and al cohol. Judge Lindsey 's anti alcohol sentiments led him to believe that criminal children themselves were not at fault, but rather, the system that exploited their labor and exposed them to alcohol , which inevitably led to a life of crime, was at fault . Lindsey believed that crime was forced on poor childre n, especially when police did not
! ! Richthofen, 16 regulate saloons. In his own words, Lindsey felt that "if the surroundings of children are tainted with the foul and pestilential vapors of the evils," then his court of law could not be expected to raise them above their circumstances. As his role as juvenile court judge, Lindsey insisted that police "make Ã”war upon these places' and break the spell that the Ã”devil's agents' had over them". 29 Well argued sentiments such as Judge Linsey's child welfare and anti child labor s tances helped persuade concerned Colorado citizens against alcohol use in public. Historians have consistently agreed upon this source for temperance fervor in the West. Colorado historian James Hansen argues that "prohibition was essentially a rural phen omenon, designed to simplify and purify the complexities and evils associated with city life. Big business, heretical science, machine politics, and non Protestant immigration seemed to be diminishing the influence of rural America " . 30 In this sense, the sentiments of Prohibitionists were equally anti immigrant as they were anti eastern U.S urbanism. Keeping the West rural, void of eastern urban squalor, was high on their list of priorities, and to them, banning all alcohol outright was an easy fix to that problem. The anti alcohol campaign took great strides to convince everyday Americans that alcohol consumption was a slippery slope; the crusaders declared that even light to moderate drinking inevitably lead to an overwhelming, crippli ng addiction. The temperance movement also conflated any alcohol use whatsoever with an unclean, un Christian lifestyle. Temperance was a paternalistic belief that pure individuals with full control of their faculties should pass laws to help the downtrodd en immigrants wrought with poor circumstances due to alcohol use. Their ideology suggested a powerful fantasy. They identified alcohol as one of the major causes of almost all social ills, including but not limited to: insanity, slums, poverty, !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!! ! #* R. Todd Laugen, The Gospel of Progressivism: Moral reform and Labor War in Colorado, 1900 1930 , (Boulder: University Press of Colorado, 2010), 24. $+ James Hansen, "Moonshine and Murder", Colorado Magazine (Winter 1973), 5.
! ! Richthofen, 17 unemploymen t, and violence against women and children. By doing so, they implied that prohibition was a silver bullet solution these issues. While these were very real problems that plagued industrializing America, putting the sole blame on alcohol usage (which, agai n, often had a socio cultural connection) simplified a complex social rearranging of American culture in the West. 31 Labor Unrest and Anti Saloon Sentiment To many folks in Colorado concerned about labor unrest during this time, the saloon seemed to be t he clear root of the problem. Towards the end of the 19 th century and into the 20 th century, Colorado was making national (and sometimes international) headlines for its labor wars. Western American mine and smelter owners like the Rockefellers paid little regard to the health and safety of laborers, and in turn, unions began forming across the country in order for workers to protect themselves. Historian Elliott West has argued that the violence in the coalfields and subsequent investigations "furnished we ll publicized examples of many of the dangers drys had tried for years to associate with the liquor trade". 32 Coal owners were among the first who tried to place blame for unrest on independent saloon owners who allegedly incited their foreign born patrons to violence. Building unrest in Europe also frightened industry owners about socialism, creating an early Red Scare in Colorado. This growing fear from mine owners and operators can be exemplified in the correspondences of Colorado National Guardsman W. T . Davis. He charged that coal mine owners allowed for an "atmosphere of decided lawlessness" to prosper amongst workers. "Every !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!! ! $" Levine and Reinarman, " Prohibition to Regulation: Lessons from Alcohol Policy for Drug Policy ", 462. $# Elliot W. West, "Dry Crusade: The Prohibition Movement in Colorado, 1858 Ã 1933" (Ph.D. diss., University of Colorado, Boulder, 1971), 293, 294. !
! ! Richthofen, 18 village the company owns has at least one building which is used as a saloon. The saloons are farmed out to men who prove in mos t instances to be the very worst of characters". 33 The saloon owners "pander to passion, and vice exists literally in swarms " . Subsequently, Davis said, "drink befuddled and maddened by want, these men became perfect firebrands, assigning all their woes to the comp anies and to society in general " . The miners were "essentially as good as the average man, but that they are being debauched and degraded by conditions over which they have no contro l seems to be only too apparent " . 34 It seemed like hard working me n with good ambition and intentions came West to make a living for themselves, but were inexplicably caught up in the temptations of the barroom. The opinions of National Guardsman Davis echo the sentiments of Progressives; the belief that people were inno cent and led to evil by their circumstances. It was up to the good, strong willed abstainers of the world to help the weaker minded get control of their lives by generously passing prohibition regulations. The thought was that, through a sense of paternal/ maternalism, those in the lower strata of American class structure could be better shepherded into clean, Christian American life. John D. Rockefeller Jr., notorious mogul and strikebreaker, was also the owner of the Colorado Fuel and Iron company (CF&I), which was based in southern Colorado. The CF&I's main steel mill was outside Pueblo. It employed hundreds of thousands in the state before the 1920s , a large portion of whom were immigrants from eastern and southern Europe. Rockefeller funneled thousands of dollars in private donations to anti alcohol interests specifically due to CF&I's steelworkers and miners in Colorado. He believed that saloons were largely responsible for disruptions and labor wars, and hoped to stamp out alcohol from the state in or der to have !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!! ! $$ W. T. Davis, Outlook , (May 9, 1914), 107. $% W. T. Davis, "The Strike War in Colorado," Outlook 107 (May 9, 1914), 70 73, quoted in Todd R. Laugen, The Gospel of Progressivism : Moral Reform and Labor War in Colorado, 1900 1930 , University Press of Colorado, 2010.
! ! Richthofen, 19 better control over his laborers. Rockefeller adopted many of the philosophies from the Anti Saloon League, and studied WCTU strategies in order to apply them to his mines in Colorado. He believed that establishments that catered to the "baser instincts" of men were a threat to the stability of his mines. 35 Seemingly a lifelong crusader for temperance, Junior, as he was known, believed that restricting or outright banning alcohol would create circumstances that led lower class individuals to exhi bit more middle class behavior, therefore improving society overall. He believed that through an evolution in social order, unrest would also diminish radically in his mines. Within the scope of removing vice from his company towns, Junior also hoped to co ntrol other aspects of miners' behavior. He wrote back and forth to CF&I's manager in Denver, Jesse Welborn, about the "true nature and natural in clinations of the foreign miner " . Within these letters, Junior expresses concern about miners' "improper socialization" from saloon culture. He was afraid that the miners were not open to receiving the Rockefeller message, and in its place were practicing a version of American Western cul ture that "prized gambling, carousing, fisticuffs, and visiting dens of immoral sexual behavior". 36 It was also deeply in the fears of mine and steelworks operators that liquor made the miners mentally weak and more susceptible to the "appeals of union orga nizers and helped provoke strikes", which millionaires such as Rockefeller saw as an inherent conflict. 37 The most infamous event during the contentious labor war years in Colorado happened in April 1914 in Ludlow, Colorado. It became known as the Colorado Coalfield War or the Ludlow Massacre. Over one thousand miners and their families were striking against CF&I's poor !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!! ! $& Robin Henry, "In Our Image, According to Our Likeness: John D. Rockefeller, Jr. and Reconstructing Manhood in Post Ludlow Colorad o", The Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, 16 (2017), 35 . $' Ibid., 3. $( Clyne, Coal People, 69.
! ! Richthofen, 20 working conditions; they built a temporary tent colony outside the mine to sustain the strike. At the pleading of the Rockefellers, Preside nt Woodrow Wilson sent men from the National Guard to the scene to assist the strike breakers (who were private militia members hired by the Rockefellers). The conflict escalated when these armed groups fired machine guns into the strikers, and set fire to the tent colony, killing 15 women and children in total. Burdened by poverty and insurmountably dangerous jobs, the coalfield strikers protests were met with a response of bullets and fire. During the Ludlow strike, Colorado governor Elias Ammons created an order that ended the sale of all intoxicants within the strike zone. The fear that alcohol aided in the tempers and anarchistic behavior of strikers was so real that its legality was conditional to treatment of laborers and their reactions to that trea tment. 38 Rather than considering reforming conditions and labor laws, reformers of the day and private interest millionaires sought to remove a solitary vice as the sole creator of unrest in industrial society. Rockefeller's considerable monetary donations to causes such as the WCTU and the Anti Saloon League during the 1914 election helped further fuel anti labor and anti immigrant reasoning behind alcohol prohibition, and it gained considerable momentum ideologically as well as financially. The previously mentioned Denver CF&I Denver manager Jesse Welborn, who was earlier a bit sentimental towards miners and saloons, took a prohibitionist stance publicly after the Ludlow Massacre, claiming that while saloons were closed during the strike, productivity went up, and therefore money earned for the Rockefellers went up. 39 In 1915, in response to the Ludlow Massacre, and the fear that they were losing control of their western workers, the Rockefellers banned saloons from their company !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!! ! $) The Colorado National Guard, The Military Occupation of the Coal Strike Zone of Colorado , 1913 1914 (Denver: The Smith Brooks Printing Company, 1914), 69 Ã 70. $* United Labor Bulletin, October 10, 1914, CSFL Collection, Colorado Historical Society, Denver.
! ! Richthofen, 21 towns in Colorado. Promising instead to replace the saloons with Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) activity halls, the Industrial Bulletin , the company newsletter, assured miners employed through CF&I that former saloon drinkers would not need to seek out illicit dives if they just had some fun at the company provided sports halls. 40 The KKK in Colorado and Their Involvement in Prohibition Some groups of protestant Coloradans were so perturbed by these labor wars that they began to join reactionary groups in fearful response , as the link between alcohol consumption and immigration was clear to them . The increase in an urban, working class, and immigrant population led many of the "original" Anglo Saxon Coloradans to join the Klu Klux Klan, as it was both anti immigration and pro temperance. Fear of non assimilation, the number of immigrants, labor unrest, and non protestant religions fueled the ideologies behind Colorado's large Klan presence. The mayor of Denver during Prohibition, Benjamin F. Stapleton, was also an active member of the Klan. Prominent socialites in the city became top leaders in the Denver Klan, extending their control into the WCTU. A Denverite named Laurena Senter became imperia l commander of Denver Klan No. 1, while she was also involved with the WCTU, and a D r. Minnie C.T. Love was called "excellent commander". Dr. Love was also a prominent member of the WCTU. 41 Additionally, protestant churches in Colorado often advocated for Klan sentiments, and overwhelming ly supported temperance reform. Over 70 percent of D enver's Disciples of Christ churches, 33 percent of its Methodist churches, and 25 percent of its Baptist churc hes actively !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!! ! %+ "The End of the Saloon at CF&I Properties," Industrial Bulletin , vol. 1, no. 2 (December 22, 1915), 9. %" Gail Beaton, Colorado Women: A History, (Boulder: University Press of Colorado, 2012), 184.
! ! Richthofen, 22 supported the Klan " . 42 These same Denver churches also overwhelmingly supported prohibition. I n Colorado, "K lansmen were concentrated in middle white collar positions and among small businessmen...A much higher percentage of Colorado's Klansmen worked in both high and middle white collar occupations than did members of the male population as a whol e " . 43 They truly feared that a wave of i mmigrants were coming to adulterate their pure, white society that conquered the West, and that political action was to be taken to combat the moral failings of these new cultures. The Ku Klux Klan promised it would uphold the moral integrity of the United States, and use brutal force if needed. The group's historic use of force gave the threat teeth. The KKK had a particular stronghold in Colorado during the pro temperance and Prohibition years in Colorado. While not every prohibitionist was a member of th e KKK, every member of the KKK strongly avowed the stance of proh ibition . In the Klan's public defense of temperance, they were apt to use crude ethnic and anti Catholic slurs to slander "wets " . "People used to say that the saloon was a recruiting agency f or crime...but, as we look over the long list of crimes committed by the Pats and Mickeys, we are inclined to think that some religions are recruiting agencies for crime, too". 44 The Klan functioned in conjunction with the Anti Saloon L eague, and supported men of certain types and beliefs for public office. When the Anti Saloon League lost popularity and coherence after the passage of federal prohibition, the KKK sought to replace them as the "militant arm of Protestant prohibitionism". 45 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!! ! %# Stanley Coben, Rebellion Against Victorianism: The Impetus for Cultural Change in 1920s America (New York: Oxford University Press, 1991), 145. %$ Ibid., 144 . %% "Sparks from the Fiery Cross," Fiery Cross (June 20, 1924), 4. %& Charles C. Alexander, The Ku Klux Klan in the Southwest (Lexington: Oklahoma Paperbacks, 1965), 91.
! ! Richthofen, 23 The ideologies and urgings of the KKK were a strong force behind temperance and anti alcohol sentiment in Colorado, and the Klan played a direct role in enforcing it once it passes in the state . Additionally, many prominent members of Colorado society who were responsible fo r pushing statewide prohibition soon also became esteemed members of the Klan. The two ideologies in this part of Colorado history cannot be separated. Paving the Way to Statewide Prohibition The cultural battle between Ã”wets' and Ã”drys' was talked about for decades in newspapers. Wets, or those who were against prohibition, usually came from more urban places like Denver, and small, culturally diverse mining communities. Drys lived up to their name, and aimed to see the state go dry of any and all alcohol . There was a bitter battle between rural towns and urban or labor industry dwellings over alcohol. Besides Denver, the strongest dry resistance counties were Teller, with Cripple Creek and Victor as the main towns; Mineral County, La Plata County (with Du rango as the county seat), Ouray County, Chaffee County (with two major saloon towns, Buena Vista and Salida), Alamosa County, and Garfield County. 46 Between the early years of the 1900s, all the way until full federal prohibition took effect, the topic o f temperance was almost a daily topic for newspaper columnists to discuss. Personal opinions were not often barred from these columns, and even owners of the newspapers took sides. William Byers, Colorado booster and owner founder/owner of the Rocky Mounta in News , was staunchly pro temperance, and reflected these sentiments in his daily and weekly publications. Ad space was liberally given to the WCTU and the Anti Saloon League throughout !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!! ! %' Cherrington, The Standard Encyclopedia of the Alcohol Problem , 659.
! ! Richthofen, 24 the paper during these contentious years, beckoning readers to choose families of Colorado over the "big money interests" of brewers. The Denver Post , additionally, never shied away from taking a blatant anti alcohol stance. In various issues, the Post published opinionated articles from evangelical ministers, spouting sent iments such as "the devil has no greater power on earth than the saloon", and pro alcohol and saloon folks were accused of being "anarchists," "bomb throwers," and "God forsaken, low down, beetle brow ed gang of cutthroats " . 47 There was a bitter battle betwe en rural towns and urban or labor industry dwellings over alcohol. In 1907, the campaigns of the WCTU and the Anti Saloon league led to a local option bill for prohibition, which meant that city councils and town board of trustees could vote on whether or not to go dry, regardless of prior state law and arrangements. 48 This gave small municipalities the power to issue or revoke liquor licenses, and many rural towns took advantage of this new law to quickly make their municipalities totally dry. The towns Col orado Springs and Greeley readily utilized this law to totally prohibit alcohol within a mile of their borders. By 1909, several towns independently chose to go dry, including Aurora and Fort Collins. Traditional mining towns, by this time, were still cli nging to their cultures of saloons and drinking, much to the judgement of the newspapers: "That Colorado Springs went dry is one of our greatest sources of joy. That puts out of business sixteen drug stores that were practically saloons, as they were payin g $1,000 a year liquor licenses " . 49 It is also worth noting that m any small towns throughout Colorado did not get electricity until well into the 1930s ; f or this reason, the saloon continued to h o ld a multifunctional space in the se communit ies into the early 1900's . !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!! ! %( The Denver Post , October 11, 1914, 11. %) Cherington, The Standard Encyclopedia of the Alcohol Problem , 657. %* The Denver Post , April 7 1909, 5.
! ! Richthofen, 25 Considering the statewide fervor to pass prohibition, wet towns must have known prohibition would inherently mean that they would be cut off from one of their main intersecting points of culture, leisure, and connections to the outside world. This fervor extended into p arades and passionate protests that were occasionally staged in front of the State Capitol, demanding that lawmakers allow the vote for a dry state. At one point, a protest march in Denver, led by Christian revivalist "Gipsy S mith," grew to a crowd of 13,000 demanding the state go dry. 50 Children's organizations, such as the Campfire Girls, waved banners on street corners urging citizens to "go dry for us" and to "save the boys" (see Appendix, Figs. 10 13). The efforts of these various groups, compounded upon growing nationalistic and anti immigrant sentiments, enabled the WCTU to gather enough signatures to require a prohibition referendum on the upcoming election. 51 While urban and industrial epicenters strongly opposed such an attack on their ways of life, the gathered force of a more rural, strongly unified , and anxious populace seemed to be ideologically winning out. The possibility of Colorado go ing completely dry, statewide, seemed to become more and more of a reality. Anti alcohol reformers continued to organize and agitate lawmakers, whereas pro alcohol interests remained scattered and disorganized. While the demand for alcohol remained ever present, the efforts of an organized crusader group were more effective against the opinions of individual and more politically passive alcohol drinkers through the state. Statewide Prohibition and its Immediate Effects There was heavy demand for alcohol in Colorado leading up to Prohibition. It was in part due to this demand that reformers felt even more cause to pass a prohibitive law. They were !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!! ! &+ The Denver Republican, March 15 1909. &" Hansen , "Moonshine and Murder", Colorado Magazine , 2.
! ! Richthofen, 26 eventually successful, and in 1916, statewide prohibition of alcohol was pa ssed in Colorado and the state went dry, four years before federal prohibition. The Volstead Act, eventually passed on 16 January 1920, defined "intoxicating liquor" as any beverage containing more than 0.5 percent alcohol. This decree included any and all alcohol, even alcohol for religious or medicinal purposes. The Speaker of the House for Colorado, Philip B. Stewart, said "By honorable lobbying, the WCTU placed the Prohibition enforcement law on the statute books " . 52 Thousands of breweries and saloons we nt out of business in Colorado, and many scrambled to convert to other forms of economic production, such as soft drink parlors. By 1917, Prohibition had closed 1,615 saloons and 17 breweries in the Denver metro area alone. 53 Saloons that were converted int o soft drink parlors often still served alcohol, and it is impossible to know how many speakeasies were in operation, but the evidence suggests a multitude. Newspapers in Colorado during Prohibition reported police raiding booze parties at least once a wee k. During Prohibition, beer was still legally being sold throughout the United States, although at decreased rates. It was illegal to include the word "beer" in advertising or labeling, and it had to be sold at less than ! of 1% alcohol content. Some brew eries converted their labels to reflect beer as a "cereal beverage" or "liquid bread"; it was often portrayed as a health drink, good for both mother and baby. 54 Breweries in Colorado, such as the Coors Brewing Company, hastily converted to producing porcel ain products, malted milk, and a liquid bread near beer brew called Manna. However, this was hardly a substitute for the demand of actual alcohol, so most breweries in Colorado went out of business entirely. 55 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!! ! Cherington, The Standard Encyclopedia of the Alcohol Problem, 658 . &$ The Denver News , 1917 , Melrose Scrapbook. &% Daniel Okrent, Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition ( New York: Scribner Publishing, 2010 ) , 213. && Noel, The City and the Saloon , 116.
! ! Richthofen, 27 This continued demand for alcohol was also immediately apparent. Within the first ten months of Prohibition, the Morgan County Republican reported that "over 17,077 gallons of liquor have been consumed in Pueblo county...according to figures compiled in th e county clerk's office. At least, that was the amount of liquor shipments, and it is estimated that shipmen ts averaged at least one gallon " . 56 Pueblo was not the only place. All across Colorado, a simple law seemed unable to curb a well established cultura l staple like alcohol from the lives of its citizens. This tension set up over a decade of contentions between law enforcement and minority cultures in Colorado. It was also immediately evident that corruption would be a main factor in the enforcement of prohibition in the state. The most famous speakeasy in Denver, operated in the basement of Gahan's Soft Drink Parlor (which was a popular sal o on prior to Prohibition) , never had to worry about getting raided by local law enforcement: they served them free of charge. "Prohibition during 1920 appears to have been increasingly ignored, with 655 liquor arrests that year". 57 Although liquor seemed to flow freely all across the state, the crusade for dryness amped up its fervor: this time, it had the state and fed eral law enforcement behind it. In the personal journal of Denverite journalist Thomas Hornsby Ferril, he describes how easy it was to slip into a speakeasy during prohibition and buy a drink. After a busy and frustrating day of handling announcements for a reorganization program at work, Ferril joined work colleagues Mr. Barrow and Frank MacKean (and two more companions), at a speakeasy in the C.A. Johnson Building on 17th between Welton and Glenarm. It was called the D&M Novelty Company, as was painted o n the door, and was room 201 directly facing the elevator. As !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!! ! &' Morgan County Republican , Vol. 16, No. 47 (November 24, 1916). &( Clark Secrest, Hell's Belles : Prostitution, Vice, and Crime in Early Denver: With a Biography of Sam Howe, Frontier Lawman , Vol. Rev. ed (Denver: University Press of Colorado, 2001), 320.
! ! Richthofen, 28 you went in the door, there was a nice bar "w ith a big bowl of Tom and Jerry " . Whiskey cost 25 cents for two drinks, which, according to Ferril, was decent grade Colorado moonshine. Then it was 25 cents apiece for Manhattan cocktails which were "palatable". Moonshine in bulk cost $6 a gallon. Ferril described the speakeasy as pleasant, with a few adjoining rooms with tables, and chrysanthemums in vases. The walls were decorated with crude paintings from the "Bu ckeye School". 58 Personal journals like this allow for historians to get a glimpse into the ease with which average Coloradans could find an illegal drink if they wanted to, and point at the casual nature many Coloradans viewed this new federal law. Govern or appointed "masher" busting cops, which were called Purity Squads in various newspapers, upheld the moral and social expectations set by reform influenced lawmakers. In a show of good citizenship, newspapers published a story of how the state prohibitio n enforcement officers were joining forces with the well known, historic temperance groups (WCTU and the Anti Saloon League) to help destroy found caches of bootleg. It was reported that the publicity stunt was pulled off outside the offices of the prohibi tion officers near the state capitol. More than one hundred gallons of liquor was hacked by hatchet wielding representatives of the Women's Christian Temperance Union and the Anti Saloon League, alongside state prohibition officers. Apparently, a crowd for med, and Chief State Prohibition Officer John Smith had to refuse offers to help in destroying the liquor. 59 Crimes related to alcohol ramped up significantly. Newspapers went wild with tales of bootleg raids all over the state , calling liquor makers who c ontinued to brew their fares "mashers", and their potent brews "white mule". First time violators of the total dry law usually !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!! ! &) Journal of Thom as Hornsby Ferril (Wednesday, November 15, 1933), FF12, Western History Collection, Denver Public Library. &* Newspaper Clipping Mar 19, 192 4 , Melrose Scrapbook .
! ! Richthofen, 29 got a fine, ranging from $35 Ã‘ $100 depending on the severity of the violation (such as how much was being produced, sold ). Dry law makers in the state additionally passed a law that brought a prison term from 1 20 years if a masher had two liquor law violations to their name. 60 Reform minded lawmakers probably thought it was a clever plan to dissuade bootleggers from going at it again, but Coloradans seemed to have an insatiable demand for booze, and somebody had to fill that demand. Throughout the entirety of Prohibition in Colorado, police were hardly bored or lacking for tasks, especially when given absolute power to keep the state m oral and sober. From the Scrapbook of James W. Melrose, prohibition deputy under John. R. Smith , Chief S tate P rohibition O fficer Over the early course of P rohibition it became increasingly clear that there was no precedence in the way to go about enforcing such a sweeping law on a populous so culturally resistant to it. Especially in former frontier states like Colorado, enforcing a federal law on a state le vel was something local law enforcement was not used to navigating. In a sense, the crusade against alcohol in Colorado was one of the last fights between the cultural wildness of the West and the paternalism of eastern federal power, despite Colorado havi ng passed prohibition two years before the federal government did. A large factor in the clashes between Coloradans and dry law enforcers was the lack of professionalism in law enforcement. Outside of militia like enforcement by KKK members, governor appo inted "dry agents" routinely broke civil liberty laws in order to dole out their own !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!! ! '+ ! The Denver Post , February 26, 1923, Melrose Scrapbook (as well as multiple unknown newspaper scraps within the scrapbook). !
! ! Richthofen, 30 version of justice. Because of prohibition, Colorado became home to many shady policing practices, wh ere the law enforcement scene was buzzing with handouts, favors, and c orruption. John R. Smith was head of the state prohibition department during the term of Governor W.E. Sweet, from Jan 10, 1923 until Jan 15 1925. James Melrose was a hand selected deputy to John R. Smith during this time; Melrose's wife, Allene, kept a s crapbook of their activities from 1922 to 1924. 61 Between the years of 1923 and 1925, John R. Smith was technically employed under the Civil S ervice C ommission, although the C ommission never granted Smith power; that came directly from Governor Sweet. Apparently, Smith was a personal friend of Sweet, and was hand appointed for this position without the oversight or approval from other entities. He gained a quick reputation, alr eady having a brick from a Denver Times political cartoon named after him, smashing a bootlegger in the head. 62 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!! ! '" ! Melrose Scrapbook, Newspaper Clipping. '# ! The Denver Times , Friday, January 23, 1923, Melrose Scrapbook. !
! ! Richthofen, 31 Eventually, William Byron, James Melrose, and W.L. Reece were all given provisional civil service ratings as Smith's deputies. Smith also brought his own son, Jack, to come along and help with raids. Melrose occasionally brought his son as well, and the gang formed a semi legal vigilante group of law enforcers, eventually calling themselves the Melrose Smith Detective Agency. Newspapers also referred to them as a Colorado "purity squad". They were given state enforcement powers, which were often at odds with federal prohibition enforcement, specifically against federal prohibition director John F. Vivian. 63 Although Smith and Vivian held almos t equal titles, they were given authority by very different entities, and their loyalties were quite divergent. Chief state prohibition officer John R. Smith was quite the Colorado character. He would sometimes, with apparent ease and without legal means (such as warrants), bust into farms, and arrest anyone around any sort of alcohol making/bottling paraphernalia. Newspapers often alluded to how Officer Smith acted as a sort of vigilante, breaking down doors and busting bad guys, with any means necessary (legal or otherwise). In one instance, John Smith and his deputy James Melrose happened upon a veritable "moonshine factory " , the "largest ever visited by state prohibition officers" on a ranch near what is in the 21st century part of the Highlands Ranch/L ittleton area. They called Colorado Governor Sweet to come visit and see what these superheroes of temperance had accomplished. Moonshining, and busting moonshiners, became a sort of sport like activity. The governor earnestly and publicly congratulated th e men for their hard work, essentially giving credibility to their Ã”western justice' activities. 64 Chief Smith and five other prohibition agents swooped down on Oak Creek mining town in the last week of June 1923, where The Steamboat Pilot of Routt County described that an !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!! ! '$ Fort Collins Courie r , July 6, 1923. '% The Denver Post , May 12, 1923.
! ! Richthofen, 32 operative rushed to each pool hall in town and all occupants were kept there until they could be examined. Officer Smith was a man given unscrupulous power that seemed to be above the law. Given the unrestricted title of Chief of State P r ohibition E nforcement by Governor Sweet, Smith made it a habit to ride into towns all across Colorado with a posse of up to thirty offices , and without warning , raid every building in the town that could possibly store liquor. Popular targets included danc e halls, soft drink parlors, warehouses, barns and other buildings with a reputation to sell or make booze. It seemed as if Colorado was becoming mob ruled; but in this instance , the mob was a well paid director of enforcement, given unchecked authority by the state government. Not only was the KKK keen to brutally enforce prohibition at every turn, so too did this sort of mob rule develop within the law enforcement of the state. It seemed that the mood of the state was one of constant surveillance and fear . Whether you actually broke the prohibition law or not, you could easily fall victim of rumors, and officers might visit your home unannounced and enter with no provocation. Big name newspapers around the state seemed to take the opposite view, and saw J ohn R. Smith and his deputies as super heroes keeping law and order in the state. In late May 1923, The Denver Post , and other local newspapers, bragged about officers Smith and Melrose, along with Smith's son Jack, and William Byron riding into the town o f Aguilar like old west lawmen bringing down the swift hammer of justice. In Aguilar, over twelve people were swiftly rounded up and arrested. This began the two year whirlwind career of Smith that would consist of these types of raids on almost every town throughout Colorado. Article after article, with headlines such as "largest still ever in Colorado history seized" came day after day, as if the more these prohibition "enforcers" enforced, the more quantity of illegal booze there was to enforce
! ! Richthofen, 33 appeared. 65 By July of 1923, John R. Smith was especially proud of himself as newspapers declared that due to his efforts, and the efforts of his fellow state dry aides, Denver's liquor supply was depleting at a rate of 20,000 gallons per month. 66 Officer Smith seemed unstoppable, and his reign over Colorado's moral fiber was stronger than ever. Articles talked about how Officers Smith and Melrose captured two rum runners with $25, 000 worth of liquor helped to heal the "strained relations between US and State dry agents " . Not everyone bought it, as t he Pueblo Star Journal sarcastically called out Smith's position with the headline "They all love publicity; even the state dry law director will st age a raid for the movies". It continues to lay out th e general distrust the locals had for these somewhat unofficial thugs of the law. "Somewhere in Colorado is a whiskey still which will gain nationwide notoriety when state prohibition officers seize it in a raid. Apparently, photojournalists wished to shoo t some film of John R. Smith actually raiding a speakeasy or bootleg operation. Mr. Smith said he had a "location in mind" and that they would "pick a sunshiny day for the job". 67 While many entities throughout the state were growing wary of Officer Smith's legitimacy and honesty in his raids, he seemed to exist in a world above the law. Locals were under no allusions that he was already abusing his power, and that these claims were often either fabricated or grossly over exaggerated . Other journalists were skeptical of Smith's seemingly unending victory streak, and wrote sarcastic quips such as "When prohibition enforcement officials list their captures for annual reports, they certainly are liberal in appraisements . For instance, John R. Smith says he captu red three thousand gallons of moonshine, which he values at fourteen dollars a gallon. John should !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!! ! '& ! Newspaper scrap from The Denver Post , (unknown date). Melrose Scrapbook. ! '' ! The Denver Post , July 10, 1923, Melrose Scrapbook. ! '( Pueblo Star Journal , July 25, 1923 , Melrose Scrapbook.
! ! Richthofen, 34 get an experienced bootlegger to place a valuation on such things". 68 It seemed that Smith and his gangs had a particular fondness of mountain towns, and spen t time and emphasis raiding these smaller towns. The exaggeration of liquor quantities showed that Smith and his men were trying to pit these small towns and their cultures against law enforcement. Smith's own summaries of the raids help point towards his particular bias against mountain towns, or his belief that he could, at any given moment, swoop down into a small mountain town and find hundreds of gallons of moonshine with hardly any effort. While small towns housed many sorts of illegal alcohol stills, so too did more urban or metropoli tan locales. Smith seemed adama nt to uphold the stereotype that folks from mining towns or small mountain towns were the main reason prohibition as needed in the first place. However, Officer Smith kept himself busy . He set his sights not only on mountain communities, but also on routing out the more obscure liquor trade within usually innocent social communities. Four persons employed at Fitzsimons Hospital in Aurora were arrested for violating the prohibition law. Chief Smith and his crew discovered a "pre Volstead saloon", which resembled an old time saloon and gambling joint of the wild west. The officers alleged that the four employees were yielding over 45 gallons of moonshine for patients of Fitzsimons general hospi tal. In pursuit to arrest the employees, two patients were arrested for purchasing the moonshine: an elderly patient, and a young woman. 69 There was intense tension between the state law enforcement officers (regular police officers) and Mr. John Smith and James Melrose. The Express continued the drama by adding "a statement by Rice W. Means, manager of safety and excises , denying the charge of police protection, was criticized today by Smith. Ã”Col. Means evidently has already made up his mind !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!! ! ') Craig Empire , No. 46, December 10, 1924 . '* N ewspaper clipping, Melrose Scrapbook.
! ! Richthofen, 35 the police dep artment doesn't need an investigation [for corruption]', said Smith. Ã”In that case I can see no reason why the state prohibition department should give him any evidence in our possession. It is my intention to treat the matter stand as it is. We will make no further raids in Denver. If Means wants any further evidence, he will have to come after it. I am confident the negligence -criminal negligence -of the police in law enforcement will all come out in the wash'". 70 In separate reports from the Post , Smith spoke ill of Means, and called his words "hot air", and that he lacked the moral courage, ability and force of character to get on the job and put his shoulder to the wheel and push. 71 During the liquor law violation trial of kitchen distiller Pauline Vince nzi in September 1923, she countersued the state by charging Mr. Smith with verbally threatening her, displaying his firearm, and attempted assault and disturbance by way of intimidation. The charges were filed against John R. Smith, his son Jack, J. W. Me lrose, and W. Byron. The attorneys spoke to reporters that they aimed to file these charges in protection of lawyers of this community who are engaged in looking after t he legitimate rights of clients " . According to the attorneys, Smith and his thugs displ ayed their guns and threatened to beat up the accused Vincenzi and her business partners. During the court proceedings, Jack allegedly made incoherent utterances in court directed at the attorneys. Mrs. Vincenzi's attorneys described Mr. Smith as a "spotte r" and paid his respects to the kind of business both father and son were engaged in. They accused Byron of shady practices due to how he produced evidence from Mrs. Vincenzi, alluding to the mob like activity around Smith's regime like enforcement of dry laws. When the court was adjourned, The Trinidad Chronicle reported that Smith and his son made a "profane attack" upon the attorneys, !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!! ! (+ Fort Collins Express, August 7, 1923. (" The Denver Post August 12, 1923.
! ! Richthofen, 36 threatening them with vio lence, and brandishing their pistols. This attack was witnessed by the local police officers. 72 In November of that same year, Officer Smith's personal provisional appointed deputies, his son Jack and neighbor Henry Robart, were under legal scrutiny followi ng a lawsuit against their use of force on the public. Officer Smith had been using his own son and neighbor, who he appointed himself, to tag along with him on dry raids, and were responsible for hacking down doors, and tearing up backyards looking for bu ried booze. In essence, they were just Smith's gang members rather than legitimate law enforcement officers. The attorney general's office informed Mr. Smith that his two "provisional appointees" would not be able to collect their salaries for the month of October, nor were they eligible to occupy their present positions. Needless to say, Officer Smith was less than pleased. 73 The timeline of Officer Smith's reign over Colorado began to wane from this moment on. Federal officers were finally catching up to t he crude tactics Smith and his men were employing to get bootleggers to confess. Smith's destruction of private property, physical intimidation, and intimidation with weapons was not an elegant example of keeping the peace. On December 10th ( w ithout pay, but still under the kingpin like command of officer James Smith), Smith, Jack Jr., Byron, and Melrose entered the home of Charlie Thomas, and somehow managed to intimidate the residents enough to search their house for liquor. Smith discovered a very dilut ed bucket of whiskey, and some copper tubing from the second story to the basement. This was enough evidence, he claimed, to arrest all three residents on site. He also tried to arrest some guests that were present, but there was not sufficient evidence ag ainst them. It is not known whether the three arrested were charged formally or not. This simple instance !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!! ! (# The Trinidad Chronicle Sept 10, 1923 . ($ The Denver News , November 1923.
! ! Richthofen, 37 shows how overzealous Smith was with his use of law enforcement. Very little evidence was needed (or known) by the agents, and yet extreme measures we re taken against various establishments and citizens around Colorado, with or without warrant. 74 Because suspending their pay was not enough to deter Smith's thugs, more local complaints came flooding in to various newspapers and governmental offices abou t the bootleg busting trio. The validity of the group's vigilante justice came into focus at the trial of John Wood, who faced a possession charge in late December of 1923. The court specifically asked the question of whether Jack R. Smith, appointed by hi s father James Smith, was a state prohibition officer with proper authority to search for liquor. Smith claimed that Jack was appointed by Governor Sweet himself, and had not been paid since October simply because "the state C ivil S ervice C ommis sion failed to certify his name " . Wood's attorney, B. B. Laska, contended that Smith was not an authorized officer. 75 People of Colorado were starting to catch onto the abuses Smith and his men were deal ing out to average citizens. Wh ile it seemed for a time this vigilante style of justice would go unchecked and approved by the powers of the Governor, accosted citizens were not going to let such extra legal strongholds take hold within their state. More and more cases and complaints started rolling into the justice departmen t, po lice force, and Civil Service Commission, claiming that Smith and his men were not following basic tenets of a democratic judiciary process. Rather, they had taken it upon themselves to reinvent themselves as Colorado's vigilante squad, read y to sniff out crime in its tracks. As if to show his worth, and further inflate his ego, newspapers in the area again began to publish stories about Smith and his gang busting down barn doors of even bigger distilleries. One article from December 27th d escribed how much money federal prohibition enforcement had !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!! ! (% The Denver News , December 10, 1923, Melrose Scrapbook. (& The Denver Express December 27, 1923 , Melrose Scrapbook.
! ! Richthofen, 38 made the state, claiming that "this record shows the rigidity with which the law has been enforced in the state " . The number included 379 people arrested, and over $35,000 made in fines. 76 This was not enough evidence to sway the opinions of federal forces, who were continually at odds with Smith and his cowboy vigilante tactics. On January 5th, Officer Smith refused to join a conference of prohibition enforcement officials because John F. Vivian an d Robert A. Kohloss, federal directors, were present. Smith claimed that the state officers under him, and himself, would not join the federal force in any campaign until the latter "clean house and get on the job " . 77 Just a few days later, in the new year 1925, Chief Smith's right hand man, J.W. Melrose, was called before a Boulder County Judge for conducting an alleged raid without a warrant. The judge urged the county attorney to bring action against Melrose. This was in reference to Melrose entering the home of Fred Bessol in Greeley, with extreme force and without identifying himself as an officer, as well as not having a warrant. Evidence brought against Bessol before a grand jury, furnished mostly by Melrose, was dismissed by the district attorney. Th e judge, angry that his time had been wasted, addressed Melrose, and stated "a man has some rights in this countryÃ‰ This court is going to put a stop to this practice". 78 When questioned what right Melrose had to conduct such nonchalant searches of people's homes, he claimed that he had been special appointed by Governor Sweet a year prior. He claimed that it was legitimate that all members of the raiding party were from the Melrose Smith Detective Agency, which included himself, Chief Smith, his son Jack, W alter Byron, W. L. Reece, and occasionally Melrose's own son Buryon. He admitted to the court, after cross examination, that he forced Bessol to sit in a !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!! ! (' Ibid. (( The Denver Ex press , January 5, 1924, Melrose Scrapbook. () The Denver News , January 9, 1924, Melrose Scrapbook.
! ! Richthofen, 39 chair during the raid, but he denied that he called Bessol a "foul name" in the presence of his wife a nd two children. Bessol was a coal miner, and he and his family were immigrants to Colorado. The lawsuit that Bessol finally made against Melrose grew to include all members of the specially governor appointed members of the Melrose Smith Detective Agency, and damages were set at $8,000. However, the charges against Byron were allegedly dropped after he made an apology in court. Although the members of the detective agency evaded constitutional violation trouble once again, the public trust in them had all but disappeared. Trust in law enforcement, and the law around prohibition in general, started losing legitimacy, and the state seemed to start wondering if such a prohibitive law was a good choice after all. This somehow still did not stop Officer Smith f rom running around the state, parading around like he was in an old west melodrama of good versus evil. Well into April and March of 1924, reports of Smith and his detective agency pals swooping into Pueblo and raiding several roadhouses resulted in the ar rests of over 40 persons, half of them women. 79 By May, the newspapers were still making claims of even greater quantities of booze found by dry sleuths, claiming the raids were the largest in the state's dry history. This included sweepings of Douglas Coun ty, Fremont County, as well as San Juan County, in places like Silverton and Ouray. In those two towns, 46 arrests were made in two days alone. Officer Smith claimed that after his raid, Silverton was dry for the first time since prohibition came. He said he didn't believe "there was a city in the state where the prohibition laws were more openly and widely disregarded. No one had any trouble in purchasi ng liquor openly across the bar " . 80 Citizens of Silverton were indignant about Smith's actions, claiming he ordered them off the streets, and threatened a reporter from The Silverton Standard with arrest unless he made !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!! ! (* The Denver Times , April 13, 1924, Melrose Scrapbook. )+ The Denver Post , J uly 24, 1924, Melrose Scrapbook.
! ! Richthofen, 40 himself scarce. 81 More citizens complained that "no more hard boiled and insulting group of of ficers ever visited a community " . Allegedly, Smit h and his associates made a wholesale raid in the city and showered their wrath upon the prisoners, whom they "huddled together in the jail far too small to accommodate them," and that citizens were ordered about as if they were cattle. At least one attorn ey was met with a "stinging rebuke" when he tried to intercede. One newspaper, speaking on behalf of the concerned Silverton citizens, states "The question of law enforcement does not enter into this question of righteous indignation, but rather the method s employed by these state prohibition officers in bringing about the enforcementÃ‰ the methods employed in carrying out [this] enforcement [must be] subject to severe criticism " . 82 In June, the governor appointed detective agency arrested several dozen more offenders in Costilla and Alamosa Counties (mostly filled with mining and smelting towns), Smith again claiming that one of the raids was one of the largest still seizures in Colorado history. 83 It seemed that every month of 1924 brought Officer Smith glory, with July bringing headlines claiming he found, again, "what is supposed to be one of the biggest liquor seizures in the state" in Denver. 84 In September of the same year, when the reign of O fficer Smith seemed to be at its most glorious, he was charged and brought to court by his former agent, Robert A. Grund. He alleged that Smith repeatedly humiliated him and swore at him, which grew out of a fist fight between the two in the chief's office at the statehouse. According to Smith, Grund swiped a revolver during a raid, and refused to cough it up to Smith afterwards. Smith suspended the deputy for ten days. When Grund came back, Smith refused to acknowledge him and assign him to duty. Eventuall y, Grund claimed, Smith and his other officers cornered Grund in their office, and !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!! ! )" Durango Herald , July 22, 1924. Melrose Scrapbook. )# Durango Herald , July 22, 1924. Melrose Scrapbook. )$ The Denver Times , June 25, 1924. )% Denver Express , July 2, 1924, Melrose Scrapbook.
! ! Richthofen, 41 mocked him severely. The "vile and profane epithets" spoken by Smith were hurled at Grund as Smith chased him around the office, striking him, and were followed by Smith sei zing him, tearing off his coat, where he proceeded to "beat, strike, maim and wound" the deputy. 85 Because of this incident, Grund resigned, and charged that Smith was "inefficient and incapable of directing" the actions and conduct of his officers, and wis hed to see him suspended from Governor Sweet's employment by filing formal charges. The whole fiasco with Smith and Grund was widely published in papers throughout Colorado. Already disgruntled by the extra legal practices of Smith and his gang, this unpro fessional behavior by Smith to another officer of the law seemed to be the tipping point in what Smith could get away with. Although various offences had been lodged against John R. Smith and his ragtag group of dry enforcers for some time, it took the tri al of Smith versus his former deputy Grund for the group to face any consequences. Despite the very illegal raids and violations of civil liberties amongst countless Colorado communities, the time the court sought to take administrative action against Smit h came only after another member of the civil service commission was caught in the crossfire of his callous personality. At the trial in December of 1924, the jury and civil service board found him guilty of charges of "incompetency and unbecoming conduct" . 86 He was removed from office immediately after the verdict. Upon learning of Smith's ousting, the governor called Smith into his office and told him to pay absolutely no attention to the order of the commission and to continue to occupy his position as de partmental head for the state prohibition enforcement office. Now there was a direct point of conflict in power relations around alcohol prohibition in Colorado. Sweet then ordered the National Guard to forcibly eject William V. Roberts, chairman of the st ate civil service commission, from office, rather than !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!! ! )& The Denver Post , October 23, 1924, Melrose Scrapbook. )' The Denver Post , December 31, 1924.
! ! Richthofen, 42 allowing for Smith's removal. Smith continued to occupy his position, and the commission reminded the governor that the attempted forced dismissal of Roberts by the governor was illegal, and that he wo uld remain a member of the commission. 87 By the change of administration on January 13, Sweet was voted out of office. Smith and his detective agency's vigilante justice reign over the state was coming to an end. When Governor Sweet was elected out of offic e and replaced by Clarence J . Morley, the new governor immediately sought to abolish the whole state prohibition enforcement bureau, along with Sweet's unpaid special agents. He said it would instead push the responsibility of dry enforcement onto district attorneys, sheriffs, and municipal police. A representative of the governor said that "there is not, never has been, and never will be any occasion to appoint a body of secret spies", and condemned Governor Sweet for creating such a militia. By 1927, John Smith had passed away. The newspapers claimed it was from a "nervous attack", but any further details were obscure and withheld. 88 This study of John R. Smith and prohibition enforcement in the state points towards a particular incoordination between the various legal forces throughout the state. The continued raids Smith performed on small mountain and mining towns showed his particu lar biases against these communities. Smith's behavior also prompted a particular dissatisfaction the everyday Coloradan had for prohibition enforcement tactics, and led many to question the effectiveness of dry laws. Due to the corruption, violence, and g ang like activity of Smith and his detective agency, prohibition seemed to prove that such a law was creating more lawlessness and corruption than ever before. The average Coloradan could see Prohibition as chaos inducing: it did almost nothing to stop the demand for alcohol, and also created a more brutal and unchecked !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!! ! )( The Denver Post , January 1, 1925, 27. )) Daily Times Longmont , Vol. XXXIII, No. 42, Feb 1, 1927.
! ! Richthofen, 43 police force. Smith's special appointment by the governor also points to the personal issue view of prohibition, and lends itself to the argument that prohibition was a law that only target ed marginalized groups. While Smith broke many laws sometimes on a daily basis, it was the unsuspecting, immoral drinkers of alcohol that he busted that were deserving of punishment. Class, Immigration, and Prohibition In November 1924, a religious discri mination case was heard in Baltimore, Maryland. The judge ruled that the bootleg offender was allowed to make his own sacramental wine (for religious use), up to 11% alcohol. At the time, the Federal level was nothing above ! of 1%. Officer Smith at the ti me declared that he disagreed with the jury in Baltimore, and that it did not constitute a precedent for Colorado, and would have no effect on how his department would enforce prohibition violations (religiously motivated or otherwise). He said he would st ill gladly arrest anyone who brewed wine or cider over the allotted federal amount. 89 The rich and law enforcement did not follow the law, and did so with certain knowledge that they w ould be immune from repercussions . Newspapers gawked at "Wild Parties of Police with Women and Liquor," pointing to various instances where police were clearly partying alongside rich socialites, oftentimes with liquor seized in liquor busts. 90 Such instances continually proved that women, too, were just as likely as men to take advantage of the nuanced illegal status of alcohol. Judge Lindsey was known during prohibition to bash elite people for disregarding the law, when poor Coloradans were faced with steep federal offences for the same crime. Newspapers gladly published his opinions: "It would be unjust to punish a lesser offender against !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!! ! )* Newspaper clipping, Melrose Scrapbook. *+ The Denver Post , April 21, 1925, 10 .
! ! Richthofen, 44 the bootleg laws while wealthy social leaders of Capitol Hill are allowed to have wine cellars without fear of molestation," he disappointedly stated after Chester Lasater and Clete Hinton w ere freed in 1921. Lasater and Hinton were prominent, wealthy men who were accused of giving young girls liquor to drink. They were hardly given a slap on the wrist , pointing to a certain ge ndered bias behind who is capable/responsible for committing crime s . The girls who were given liquor were returned to their families, without charges, pointing to gendered ideas about alcohol at the time still skewing towards it being a male dominated activity, or one that corrupted young women. In a written signed state ment read to an open court, Lindsey charged that "a conspiracy exists among the rich to have the laws enforced only against the poor...If we are to have jail sentences, I would recommend that the prominent men involved in the delivery of thousands of doll ars' worth of first class booze Ã‘ free of the poisons that in the booze of the poor are punishment enough Ã‘ be followed, prosecuted and sent to jail. I would recommend that the society leaders and women of prominence who are interested in getting these laws enforced sen t their investigators into the homes of the rich with search warrants to inspect their cellars and then have the courage to go after them. I would recommend that they call one of our leading business men and socialites before their boards and committees an d if possible, make him tell what he had to do with thousands of dollars' worth of first class booze found in his garage this week". 91 Reformers were waking up to the fact that their ideals behind reform as an uplifter of the disenfranchised was merely a u topian dream. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!! ! *" Fort Collins Courier , October 8, 1921 .
! ! Richthofen, 45 Colorado, like many states during prohibition, housed the growth of organized crime families. Big name gangsters appeared all around Colorado, like Joe Berry, Joe Roma, and Pete Carlino, who all made notorious names for themselves in part thr ough the bootleg liquor trade. The casual use of kitchen stills to gangster led violence in Colorado shows the considerable demand for alcohol despite the state wide and federal dry laws. Prohibition laws did not decrease the demand for alcohol, and as a r esult, the market for illegal alcohol skyrocketed. Illegal operations, whether big or small, flourished because of this fact. In a four month period, famous Pueblo bootlegger Pete Carlino, suffered the kidnapping of a henchman, the bombing of his Denver ho me, and the murder of his brother. Because there was so much violence surrounding him, legal pressure was introduced to remove Carlino's dangerous presence. His legal status was questioned, and police had hopes of sending him back to Italy. He was charged with arson, with authorities claiming he had burned his own house down to collect the insurance money. Before any legal action could be taken, however, Carlino was found murdered in a ditch off a lightly trafficked highway near Pueblo. 92 As time marched on through the 1920s, it seemed more and more that prohibition was creating more avenues for law breaking than before, and fostered the growth of new black markets where there was previously no such demand for them. Figures within minority cultures, where the re was a stronger cultural demand for alcohol, filled the demand eagerly. According to state prohibition enforcement officer John R. Smith, the working class Italian community of Globeville in Northern Denver was home to so much illicit booze that it was sold freely on every street corner. During a sweep of the town in 1924, in one week, at least 18 bootleggers were arrested there, more than half of them women. 93 Newspapers went wild after !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!! ! *# The Denver Post , Dec 28 1932, Feb. 19, 1933. *$ Newspaper clipping, March 1924, Melrose Scrapbook .
! ! Richthofen, 46 this weeklong purge of the neighborhood, claiming that long dead rat s and mice were found in quantities of wine destroyed by prohibition officers. The headlines were followed by "The taste for this popular beverage among Denv er citizens is expected to wane " . 94 It is uncertain whether dead animals were actually found in the illegal alcohol, or if it was another newspaper stint by John R. Smith to dissuade citizens from partaking of illicit alcohol. Joe Varra was arrested and stood trial as the alleged king of Boulder county moonshiners. Varra, who was an Italian immigrant, op erated the still with a few other men out of a cave near the Monarch Coal mine in Louisville. The newspaper describes Varra's accent, and phonetically spells out how he mispronounces things. It also brings into question his naturalization in Colorado Sprin gs in 1900. In subsequent articles about Varra, Joe is referred to the "Louisville Italian Bootlegger". 95 Cases like this popping up throughout the state excited and enraged members of the KKK, and prohibition enforcement throughout the state started to tak e on an increased anti Catholic and anti immigrant sentiment, especially since various elected officials in the state at the time were also members of the Klan. At a raid in the coal mining town of Aguilar, Officer Smith and his deputies Byron and Melrose boasted a "spectacular raid" , leading to the arrests of 6 residents in soft drink parlors and pool rooms . A newspaper described the town as "one of the principal camps in the southern coalfield" and with a "largely foreign born population" . 96 The sheriff of the area apparently had been secretly gathering evidence for some time against the miners, and tipped Smith off about a great night to slip in. Throughout Officer Smith's dry reign of Colorado, most of his tips came !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!! ! *% The Denver Post , April 4, 1924. *& The Boulder Camera , April 31, 1923. *' ! Newspaper clipping, May 28, 1923, Melrose Scrapbook.
! ! Richthofen, 47 from dubious sources, or perhaps a certain prejudice against what sort of town/person would violate these laws. Rabbi Israel Goodstein of the Ohab Zadek synagogue and his father Morris made the newspapers several times, as they were caught up in a stirring case of religious freed om versus vigilante agents like John R. Smith. Goodstein and his father were held in the Denver jail for five months while courts deliberated about the legality of their possession of sacramental wine for religious use (it was produced prior to prohibition ). Goodstein held an alleged state permit for liquor. State prohibition officers raided Goodstein's home and temple, and seized eight hundred gallons of wine. By April, the duo was freed, and the wine returned to them. District attorney Van Cise, incensed that there was no repercussions for possession of alcohol, promised he would test the ruling in the state supreme court. 97 However, when brought to the supreme court, Secretary of State Car S. Milliken announced that the Rabbi's state liquor permit (pertain ing to alcohol for religious use) would not be revoked. This case further points to the strong tensions between enforcing such a law on a diverse population, and the tensions between legally imposed Protestant belief systems coming into conflict with other religious and cultural practices throughout the state. It seemed like every sort of person from every walk of life was drinking and smuggling alcohol. While continued efforts were made by those in power to hunt down, in their view, stereotypical drinkers of alcohol, the abuse of the prohibition law was so extreme throughout the state that one sort of demographic could hardly be blamed as the problem anymore. During prohibition, Colorado politicians sought to create a habitual crime act that would put peopl e away with multiple drinking offenses behind bars . C learly crime was their habit , and !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!! ! *( Newspaper clipping, Melrose Scrapbook .
! ! Richthofen, 48 the violation fines weren't stopping them . Judge Ben Lindsey opposed this supposition, stating "from my long experience in the juvenile court, an experience that included numberless hearings of liquor law violations by ignorant mothers, I realize what injustices may spring from this law. A definite educational program should be put into operation to convince hundreds of men and women that making their own liquor st rikes as definitely at the foundations of our government as if they went out a nd committed murder or banditry " . 98 It seemed that many lawmakers were eager to get the types of people who consumed alcohol off the streets once and for all, but luckily socially conscious judges such as Lindsey helped such intense measures from taking hold. Because officers and newspapers were subsequently accused of deliberately persecuting certain groups, or treating people without dignity, newspapers published editorial column s in order to refute these claims. Although the officers indeed were acting without regard to constitutional rights, they did in fact, in their mob rule like view of justice, procure several thousand gallons of illegal alcohol in the state. One such exampl e of their views was published in October 1923, right after Officer Smith and the rest of his team began to run into some lawsuit troubles. This edition of Independent stated that "It is high time that those who claim America as their home realize that the other two parties, the People and the Officers of the Law, are of greate r importance than the Violators " . This directly attacks the supposed foreign born origins of many of Smith's victims, and places himself and police's lives and citizenship rights as h igher than theirs. In short, when it came down to it, who were the good citizens of Colorado going to believe? The angered manifesto continues, "The laws of our country and our state are enacted to be enforced. All people in America and Colorado, who wish to be classed as good citizens, MUST OBEY THESE LAWS. These raids and prosecutions are not enacted because anyone !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!! ! *) The Denver Post , February 8, 1929, 8.
! ! Richthofen, 49 wishe s to persecute anyone else " . It further states that previous wild west lawlessness in Colorado permitted a "certain class" to think they had a "perfect right to sell booze and gamble whenever and as much as they like, and to interfere with them is to tramp le upon their rights " . The editorial continues, building to a climax in all capital letters. A "certain class" and "those who were foreig n born" should be good citizens. "Why should a certain class be permitted to do as they please to the detriment of every other class? OBEY THE LAW, WORK FOR A LIVING, BE HONEST, AND THERE WILL BE NO OCCA SION FOR ARREST AND PROSECUTION " . 99 The origins of alc ohol prohibition in Colorado had its ideological origins in racial, religious, and cultural based discriminations and fears. When a path based in exclusion has been historically paved, it is difficult to separate the morally gray area between cultural prac tices and powerful governmental regulation. While the sentiment behind the argument made above can be understood, it is important to note that this logic has its roots in discrimination. This article shows a reactionary, temperance based view of certain gr oups of bootleggers in Colorado that lawyered up, or against certain ethnic groups. Rather than questioning if prohibition was being enforced in a proper and fair manner, the author instead assumes a broad fairness in policing, and therefore comes to the s entiment that people would not get arrested if they did not do anything illegal. It can be clearly ascertained, and it has been thoroughly argued, that the origins of alcohol prohibition in Colorado had its ideological origins in racial, religious, and cul tural based discriminations and fears. It is no question that the accused bootleggers were profiting from their endeavors, and doing so with full knowledge of its federal illegality. However, the groups often most affected by large police raids and mass ar rests (and actual prosecution) were groups thought !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!! ! ** The Independent , October 12, 1923, Melrose Scrapbook.
! ! Richthofen, 50 to be more traditionally inclined to use alcohol; whether that was for religious reasons (Catholic and Jewish sacramental wine), funerals, weddings, holiday gatherings, or for traditional recreational use. In essence, the prohibition law in Colorado, and more specifically the enforcement of the law, was an endeavor to control an increasing minority class of individuals that fell outside of the umbrella of Anglo Saxon Protestant: a group of Americans that se emed to forget that they too were from families of immigrants and refugees that colonized the land of the United States. However, they became increasingly incensed that their power waned as more immigrants came to fulfill many of the integral infrastructur e and industry needs of the new demanding consumer economy. Prohibition and its Effects on Gender and Space In the cool evening of March 14, 1918, Sophia Videl and a Ms. Behrman rolled into Colorado in their automobile through the New Mexico border, on their way to Creede. The dusty roads were lonely, and the pair assumed their late night cruise wouldn't rouse s uspicion. However, the solitary car piqued the interest of Deputy Sheriff Vic Stephenson, who rushed after them to pull them over. When he leaned down to ask for identification, he was met with two women dressed in men's suits, clearly nervous and hiding s omething. Upon further inspection of the vehicle, Sheriff Stephenson found five gallons, one quart, and one pint of bootleg whiskey. Just two years prior, Colorado passed a statewide prohibition on alcohol, and by January 1920, the entire country was dry u nder the Volstead Act. Both women were convicted, given a $100 fine, and sentenced to 60 days in jail. Neither gave names connected to the illegal hooch in their car, and suspicion fell onto them alone for its existence. After their arrest, reports from ar ound Creede led the judge to suspect that the pair had been solely operating their own business for
! ! Richthofen, 51 some time. The pair apparently frequently wore suits, lived together, and operated the production, movement, and sale of their white mule moonshine in the d usty southwestern towns of Colorado. Such behavior seemed unprecedented to this small community, and the editor of the Del Norte newspaper, The San Juan Prospector, published that he was asked not to write about the fact that these criminals were women. Ho wever, he responded that the truth of their crimes proved their guilt regardless of ideals around femininity: "Sex should make little difference, in fact, women who stoop to disgrace their sex by peddling whiskey are deserving of no sympathy". 100 Such an eve nt shocked the local community, and the story made the news in various newspapers around the state. This story of two cross dressing women making and smuggling booze across state lines would set the pace for a decade of an unprecedented shift in social rel ations in Colorado. Women participated both socially and economically in the creation and consumption of alcohol at unprecedented rates during prohibition in Colorado. Disregard of the law created new social spaces for drinking and propelled the public soc ial mixing of genders, thus increasing the social rights of women. Prior to the 1920s, police officers in the state dealt with crime amongst women mostly pertaining to prostitution. In Victorian America, women had a strict, defined role in society. Bolster ed by rising evangelical and progressive beliefs, women also were increasingly seen as or believed to be the purifiers of society; if America was going to get rid of all the squalor, vice, and crime, the women had to educate about it . Victorianism held tha t the private sphere was the woman's domain: it was up to educated, empowered women (with the right to vote), to uplift, educate, and demand for better social conditions from the inside out . In essence, it was up to women to advocate for and protect the mo ral fiber of America. The Women's !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!! ! "++ San Juan Prospector , March 15 1918.
! ! Richthofen, 52 Christian Temperance Movement was run by politically active and educated women. 101 These women exercised their newly afforded voting rights in 1893 to pass their most fiercely defended concern, showing both the power of a mo re legally liberated group, but also as the main recipients of alcohol induced violence or poverty. They hoped to protect women and child ren from the vices and violence of men by outlawing what they saw as the main birthplaces of these vices, the saloons and breweries. The inherent irony within prohibition in Colorado is that, in essence, the prohibition movement was started by and legally passed by the concentrated efforts of a newly invigorated voting pop ulation, yet it was their own mothers and daughters who ignored it. After the passage of prohibition, young mothers, daughters, and socialites stood before puzzled judges to defend themselves against bootlegging charges. From the midst of a strictly gender segregated culture, women in Colorado took full advantage of the economic and social nuances that came with the illegality of alcohol. Women also enjoyed a level of legal anonymity in the economic and social aspects of alcohol, as the prior decade's ideol ogies around social purity and femininity clouded the realization that women were capable of such things. In addition to this, the strong cultures around alcohol persisted through prohibition, creating a beehive of illegal activity in nearly every city aro und the state. Women eagerly partook in new economic ventures in bootlegging. In the 1920s, women held every sort of illegal job pertaining to booze, from running the kitchen stills, to peddling the booze, to tallying sales records, to smuggling it, to d riving it across borders. More often than not, when police were tipped off to moonshine stills, the main labor behind these operations were !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!! ! "+" Katherine Harris, "Feminism and Temperance Reform in the Boulder WCTU", Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies , Vol. 4, No. 2 (Summer, 1979) , 20 . !
! ! Richthofen, 53 women. With kitchen stills, women were able to gain significant economic freedom in Colorado during prohibition, as these stills could be run out of the privacy of their own kitchens realms still deemed for women only in this time period. Contrary to the intent of reformers, prohibition actually created opportunities for people who had never been involved in the liquor trade. The new generation of women, rather than conforming to progressive's moralistic views of a clean and pure society, took advantage of the obscure cultural status around alcohol and of their easy access to economic participation. Women who participat ed in the production of illegal alcohol took their economic futures into their own hands, and expressed a side effect of feminism and empowerment previously unseen in Colorado. Similar studies have been done with this same conclusion in both Michael Lerner 's Dry Manhattan about New York City and Mary Murphy's Bootlegging Mothers and Drinking Daughters about gender and prohibition in Butte, Montana. Their conclusions about the ways in which women were economically empowered through illegal alcohol apply equa lly well in Colorado, and show that the ways prohibition attempted to create dramatic societal change actually resulted in changes very different than intended. When discussing societal changes around the time of Prohibition, changes in technology were als o an important factor in the way people interacted with alcohol. Technology in the 1920s boosted the access women had to new economic and social opportunities, including alcohol. The automobile most notably redefined the rituals of dating and courting, all owing many young and/or rural people to freely move about without the careful eye of chauffeurs or parents. Youngsters with freshly bobbed haircuts in places like Denver, Greeley, Boulder, and Colorado Springs spent evenings frequenting dance halls, slippi ng in flasks of liquor on garter belts and drunkenly dancing the night away. Under this unprecedented guise of illegality, Coloradans experienced the first heterosocial mixing of genders in spaces involving alcohol. A realm that
! ! Richthofen, 54 was previously strictly def ined for males only was now enjoyed thoroughly by men and women of all ages, and provided anonymous spaces for more variant gender expressions. Because the people choosing to participate in the illegal consumption of alcohol were diverse, folks from strict or unapproving households could find comfort in an external space to relax and let loose. The fact that speakeasies, for example, were illegal meant that social mores around gender and racial segregation/exclusion did not exist. Because of prohibition, wo men could for the first time in American history walk into a space mixed with various ages, genders, and cultures of people, and order a drink. The Denver Post described this "New Woman" flooding the state, often portraying her as a cigarette smoking, gin drinking, college educated woman interested in local politics. Women had equal suffrage, the new consumer economy was booming, and the moonshine seemed to flood the streets; no longer was the Wild West a man's only world. Colorado women redefined their soc ial place in the world through their participation in illegal alcohol consumption in the 1920s, and removed the taboo that only women of bad reputations consumed strong drinks and danced with boys. While mothers had been busy trying to protect their youth by organizing to pass statewide prohibition, their own daughters were the ones rejecting this law in sweeping amounts, contributing to a level of female led crime that had never been seen before in Colorado. New films and mass media promoted the desire for increased participation in social freedoms amongst youths. Not only did drinking alcohol portray a new attitude towards the law, but also a challenging of traditional female roles around socializing and publ ic spaces. As is apt to happen to almost every new generation, newspapers were incredibly critical in this dramatic shift from their parents' and grandparents' ideals about society. The Daily Times from Longmont warned that surveys of Coloradans in 1926 sh owed that they believe "the old home system of
! ! Richthofen, 55 Western civilization has completely broken down; that parents do not understand real Ã”home making' as they did formerly, and that the children of the present are not inclined to submit to authority unless they can be shown good cause " . Reporters claimed, in a sort of nostalgic tone, that great changes were happening all around since the war, including: "revision of sex standards; modern craze for sports and dancing; modern passion for freedom at all cost; excep tional surplus of women since the war weakened parental control; influence of bad fil ms and literature and sex drama " . 102 Fears about this shift in culture ran at particularly high levels about youth and alcohol, and were characteristic in thousands of portr ayals of popular culture, from high school yearbook cartoons to full fledged films lauding youthful freedom and flask sipping. 103 Young working women, empowered both by the new ability to vote, and by personal financial freedom, modeled themselves after gla morous, successful movie stars. Both men and women attended movie houses in Colorado, although the number of tickets sold to women far outsold men. Denver had more than forty five movie houses, decorated with glittering marquee lights up and down Sixteenth , Curtis, and Eighteenth Avenue. 104 Sultry pre code silver screen stars drank liberally, smoked like chimneys, and showed their legs. Smoking for women became a fashionable and popular pastime. 105 Youth culture was heavily influenced by the nuanced taboo statu s of alcohol in their lives. Newspapers published articles of people fighting back and forth about the wicked nature of college campuses. Moral reformers, still empowered by their political !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!! ! "+# Daily Times (Longmont) , Volume XXXIII, Number 1, December 13, 1926. "+$ ! The Spotlight , East High School Newspaper, Vol. II, No. 1 (April 15, 1925), 1. "+% Beaton, Colorado Women: A History, 187. "+& Paula S. Fass, The Damned and the Beautiful: American Youth in the 19 20s ( New York: Oxford University Press, 1977 ), 22.
! ! Richthofen, 56 and social reform successes, continued to blame emerging rebelliou s youth cultures on the demon drink. University boosters aimed to soften the extremes the moralistic generation held against the youth of the day. CU Boulder published a statement in the Creede Candle in response to allegations that the university was a h ub for drinking and partying. "In a body of a thousand or more students, ministers of the gospel, or newspaper men, there are a few reckless and daring spirits, who at times oversteps the bounds of propriety, and bring disgrace on themselves and sometimes others. It would be a foolish system that would condemn a thousand good honest people for the mistake, even though criminal, of one. If one or two of the male students got a bottle of booze, and few of the co ed's got out and enjoyed a little nocturnal fes tivity, it does not follow that the university is morally bankrupt. These things have happened ever since the world began, and will keep on happening. You can't expect youth to look at life through a pair of blue glasses at all times. The moral standing of the 2 , ~ 300 student of the University of Colorado is equal to that of any other institute in the world, and the mistakes of one or two should not be used to condemn over two thousand innocent people". 106 To the dismay of University life public relations, not long after these charges were made, a young female Boulder student was caught in the same hotel room as her University professor, Dr. Charles McCann, with two near empty pint bottles of liquor. Both the student, who gave her name as "Miss Pecks", and t he University of Colorado faculty member were arrested, as well as the proprietor, Maggie Burns, and multiple other guests in the hotel who had purchased alcohol there (apparently many of them students). 107 This would clearly have upset reformers, pointing t owards their belief that alcohol was no good, !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!! ! "+' Creede Candle , January 28, 1922. "+( Boulder Colorado Herald , January 30, 1924 , Melrose Scrapbook.
! ! Richthofen, 57 and a boon to modern youth. However, instances like this prove that more than ever were people from all sorts of groups across Colorado ignoring such a law in sweeping amounts. However, the social mixing of gen ders was characteristic amongst all Colorado universities in the 1920s. Such illegal activity amongst university students pointed towards the class blending of illegal activity in Colorado. Not only were poor, marginalized women playing roles in the produc tion and distribution of alcohol, but wealthy and educated women were also just as likely to partake in il legal activity around alcohol. Officer John R. Smith had a hand in gathering up ninety nine young people involved in a large scale party at an Italian run "bootleg Resort" near Globeville : Creede Candle Newspaper Clipping: BOOZE RAID DISTURBS REVEL OF 200 YOUTHS AND GIRLS Denver Society Buds Face Call to Testify Against Thirty Nine Who Were Arrested Director Hints at Police Prote ction. Consternation reigns Monday among scores of Denver society youths and girls as a result of the midnight raid of state prohibition officers on an alleged bootleg resort at 1749 West Thirty Ninth avenue Saturday. The police station was swamped during the early hours of Sunday morning by fond but indignant parents seeking to procure the release of the thirty eight youths, who, with one 20 year old girl, were arrested in the raid. Approximately 150 other youths and girls, most of them from prominent and wealthy Denver families, are shaking in their sandals and tennis shoes, Monday, as the result of the announcements by State Prohibition Officer John R. Smith that scores of
! ! Richthofen, 58 others are known to the officers and may be called as witnesses. Thirty six of thos e youths held in the city jail after the raid were released Sunday, after they had made affidavits concerning the purchase of liquor in the resort, state prohibition officers say. Most of them will be called as witnesses against the three that are being he ld pending that filing of charges of violating the prohibition law. These three are Esther Anderson, twenty years old, said to be the wife of the proprietor of the resort, who has not been arrested as yet; Sam Forgina, twenty years old, 4205 Pecoe street, and Joseph Parisi, twenty four, of 1749 West Forty ninth avenue, said to be bartenders in the alleged resort. PROTECTION REPORT TO BRING PROBE. A probe of the alleged police protection of the resort will be launched immediately, as the result of statements made to the raiding officers by those said to be operating the place according to Prohibition Director Smith. Ã‰. Scores of girls and their companions in automobiles outside the resort were not molested (by officers). Numerous expensively gowned girls, vir tually all of them high school age, drove to the police station after their companions had been arrested. For more than two hours, the girls milled about the station, telephoning in behalf of their imprisoned companions, seeking to procure bond for them, a nd in various other ways endeavoring to aid those in the cells within. On the orders of the state prohibition officers bond was denied all prisoners until the arresting officers had questioned them. Thus it was that none was released until late Sunday, whe n all were turned loose after they had sworn to affidavits
! ! Richthofen, 59 concerning purchases made in the resort. State prohibition officers Smith, James Melrose, and Walter Byron, who conducted the raid, confiscated 323 gallons of wine, three dozen quarts of beer, a nu mber of bottles of liquor on ice, and twelve gross of empty bottles were destroyed after the raid. "We had received complaints about this place ever since the day of the municipal election" said Prohibition Director Smith. "We raided it that time but found nothing except a few bottles of liquor on theÃ‰ information has come to us that this place has been running wide open ever since ". Immediately after this raid, officers ran across the alley at 1768 West Fortieth Avenue. They arrested John Guido and Fred Co rbetta. 108 A newspaper clipping from The New York Times in 1924 found in a Colorado Springs scrapbook reads: "To look at some of the modern girls on the campus today with their short skirts, often showing bare knees: with their bobbed hair certainly violat ing God's greatest gift to woman, and all their vanity and frivolity, man thinks a second time as to whether that type of woman would make him a helpful mate through life " . Notice how a woman's entire worth is tied to her marriage worthiness (and her "help fulness", which implies her willingness to perform domestic, household labor). 109 Despite how people complained and demanded a return to "propriety", youth (and girls more than ever), did not listen. The freedom of the automobile, the allure of the dance hal l, and the cleverly disguised flasks sewn into various pieces of clothing meant the world was theirs. Women and men from different social classes in Colorado gladly participated in various forms of prohibition violation, often mixed together in a pastime t hat was !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!! ! "+) The Denver Post , August 6, 1923. "+* The New York Times , 16 Mar 1922, 16.
! ! Richthofen, 60 previously heavily segregated. This change created a conundrum for a legal system that was predicated on traditional views of men and women. Law enforcement individuals were confused by the growing body of female criminals surrounding alcohol. Ofte n times, especially in the early years of prohibition, women with illegal alcohol charges were let go with minimal punishment because they were deemed unable to have committed such crimes. Ms. Catherine Mucks was caught at a dance with a flask full of whis key in Moffat county. At her court appearance, she was let go by the judge because her flask of hooch had a cockroach in it (which, one can assume she plopped in once she knew she was busted). The judge said that such a drink was not fit for human consumption, and was therefore not for illegal recreational purposes. 110 Women also benefited from this sexist assumption to remain more anonymous than their male bootlegging counterparts. In 1921, a Grand Junction woman, only known as "PeeWee," eluded Colorado law enforcement, as well as federal enforcement, for charges of bribery and peddling booze within a large alcohol ring. The bootleg ring and stills, located in Palisade, Colorado, were raided and shut down by Sheriff Frank N. DuCray and other officials. All other male members of the illegal operation were arrested, but PeeWee was never identified. 111 Back in D enver, dry sleuths descended on a late night party filled with drinking East High students, which unraveled an entire supply chain to students. The raid came after weeks of sleuthing by Chief James R. Smith and his detective agency thugs. They had received word that whisky drinking was a common practice on the East High campus, and they trailed some of the students around town. Apparently, a man named J. B. McKenna often hosted parties for East High students, and sold them flasks of white mule. They could e asily hide these flasks in their !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!! ! ""+ Moffat County Bell , Vol. 6, No. 31, November 4, 1921. """ Montrose Daily Press , Volume XII, Number 206, March 4, 1921.
! ! Richthofen, 61 clothes, and sneak up to Sherman street, which was known as a "filling station". 112 This sort of setup seemed to be at every turn around the annals of Colorado, busts happening on an almost daily basis. On the other side of p rohibition, women also benefited from new employment opportunities around the enforcement of the dry law. Four women in Denver were appointed as deputy sheriffs specifically to lend valuable service for the crack down on the alcohol trade. 113 The idea was th at the female police officers could aid in rooting out the elusive feminine side of the bootlegging trade. Edith Barker was Denver's first and only fully accredited woman police officer; according to the June 10, 1928 edition of the Denver Post , "officers never made a raid without taking Mrs. Barker along to deal with the wome n, she was fearless in the work " . 114 She was given formal revolver training, and quickly became one of the best shots in the squad, as well as receiving Jiu J itsu training. 115 In numerous reports from across the state, she was best known for seducing men she suspected of being bootleggers or "mashers," and was often successful in these endeavors. The appointment of Barker as the first female police officer in Denver came through promotion b y the WCTU, which secured her salary for the first two years of her service to the city. 116 Because the state withheld payment to Barker for those first two years due to her being a woman, the fundraising power of the fearless WCTU women allowed for her to m ake history, and pave the way for other women to serve in policing roles throughout the states thereafter. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!! ! ""# The Denver Express April 4, 1924, Melrose Scrapbook. ""$ Brush Tribune , Vol. 27, No. 49, June 8, 1923. ""% The Denver Post 10 June, 1928, 13. ""& The Denver Post March 6 1 921, 43. ""' Cherrington, Standard Encyclopedia of the Alcohol Problem , 667.
! ! Richthofen, 62 A famous and stirring case in Denver came about on October 25, 1928 when married Le Roy Hafen, head of the State Historical society, non consensuall y groped Officer Barker at the Isis Theatre. She was apparently pursuing him on suspicion of him buying alcohol. Although there was no evidence he was involved in bootlegging or prohibition violation, the formal charge against him by Ms. Barker was that o f "masher," a charge his attorney promised to fight to the bitter end. 117 This case lent itself to the continual tensions between law enforcement and women's roles in the public sphere. Barker walked a thin line, and faced the word of a powerful and wealthy Colorado socialite against her role as enforcer of the dry law , especially in the precarious position of first female officer . In 1926, one of these pioneering women officers arrested a woman acting peculiarly on street corners. Law enforcement had been b affled by a certain group of Denver based bootleggers for six months. The woman arrested solved the riddle. She had been spotted around the city multiple times, always carrying her baby. When the officer approached the woman, the blanket on the baby slippe d, revealing it to be a gallon of whiskey she was bringing to a buyer. She was arrested and charged. 118 Clearly the image of a woman carrying a child around would be the furthest thing from a lawbreaker. Up to that point in Colorado history, the public view of women was that they were motherly and docile, so such a disguise would pander to the limited view people had of women. Law enforcement was trying to catch up with the unique ways in which women navigated their unique and misunderstood abilities around p erforming illegal actions in public. Lucy Dentoni and her actual small baby were taken to the matron's quarters of the city jail in April of 1924 in Denver, where she awaited charges of violation of prohibition laws. State !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!! ! ""( The Denver Post October 25 1928 , 39. "") Aspen Daily Times, January 6, 1926.
! ! Richthofen, 63 agents raided her home after Den toni sold one of them a bit of wine the night before, and in her home, several gallons were confiscated. 119 Nobody else was ever arrested for the gallons confiscated, pointing to possibility that Ms. Dentoni was a single mother who sought financial security in the demand for wine within her community. Newspapers across Colorado took every advantage they could to publish about this new feminine side to the illegality of alcohol. Such was the nuance of women's participation in public during Prohibition that the gender of offenders was clearly marked in all occasions. Beyond the anonymity women often had as distil lers in their own kitchens, so too did women in Colorado take up illegal economic ventures in smuggling alcohol. A 1927 case involving a woman named Mabel Meeker made the news several days in a row for its oddity. Police found 10 pints of illegal alcohol in her hotel room upon inspection, but she fought in court that the booze was given to her by a local sheriff in order to lure buyers to be arrested. She and her lawyer battled the court for weeks, and finally she was let off with minimal charges. She was quickly on her way elsewhere. Locals spotted her and a handsome young man escaping with a car full of many very full suitcases just days later. 120 Two women from West Virginia were arrested in Leadville after an officer saw them stepping off a train looking suspiciously bulky under their fur coats. When they were searched, the officers discovered the pair carrying multiple pints of alcohol in their "life belts". They were charged before the Grand Jury. 121 New fashions in the 1920s lent themselves to clever ways to smuggle alcohol. Ladies meeting up for a night dancing the Charleston with neighborhood boys would oftentimes smuggle large flasks in oversized fur coats and avant garde styles of skirts and !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!! ! ""* Newspaper clipping, April 1924, Melrose Scrapbook . "#+ Daily Times (Longmont) , Vo l. XXXIII, No. 217, August 26, 1927. "#" Herald Democrat , August 1, 1919.
! ! Richthofen, 64 blouses. Women from both rich and poor families were caught a t dances handing out flasks to dancers, illustrating that women eagerly participated in new illegal culture of alcohol consumption. Like the pair of suit wearing women from Creede, many women in Colorado gained new money making opportunities through movin g alcohol around the state, whether that was alone, with other women, or with their husbands. Bada Olson was arrested in Colorado Springs, along with her husband, for smuggling thousands of dollar's worth of old, pre prohibition packaged whiskeys and spiri ts in their truck (hidden beneath stacks of furniture). It was about 340 quarts of liquor and thirty gallons of assorted alcohol. They were poorer farmers in the area that figured they could make a few extra bucks driving some cargo around the state. They claimed they never drank it, and didn't realize it was illegal, since it was from a pre prohibition stash. According to Officer John Smith, they were actually connected with an international whisky running gang operating between the Mexican border and Colo rado Springs. They were given federal charges and both sentenced to serve prison time for their crime. Bada was given a significantly shorter prison sentence than her husband. Meanwhile, police bragged that they had placed the various bottles of Bacardi, P earson's Gin, Lawson's Old Scotch, barreled whiskey, and other "long forgotten brands" behind a locked jail cell. Bada and her husband claimed that they had no idea they were carrying booze, but that the crates were loaded on, and they were paid for simply moving furniture. 122 While Bada and her husband Charles were being held in a Denver jail before their trial newspapers flittered with the interesting news that all the confiscated liquor had managed to disappear from behind the jail cell where it was locked away. When questioned, Officer Smith claimed that "mysterious, sinister influences" were behind the controversy. This !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!! ! "## Colorado Springs Gazette , October 13, 1924.
! ! Richthofen, 65 came about when the case was being juggled between state and federal officers, and somehow the liquor, as evidence, was lost in the shuff le. The newspapers reported how Officer John R. Smith was trying to have Robert A. Kohloss, federal prohibition agent, cited for contempt of court for refusing to comply with a court order to supply the confiscated Olson booze. 123 Although the physical liquo r was never produced for the trial, Bada's husband was sentenced to three years in jail for transporting liquor, but Bada was released without charges. 124 While at this point, it was clear that women were just as capable as men to concoct illegal schemes sur rounding alcohol, they were still served much milder sentences. Such a fact points to the continual c ultural perception of women in C olorado through the 1920s as unable to be capable of evil in public, or unable to make public decisions for themselves. Rat her, sentences given out to women who broke the prohibition law hearkened to the idea that they were merely victims of their circumstances, rather than active and knowledgeable participants in the illegal market of alcohol like men. This biased oversight i nherently allowed for women to be more successful in their endeavors, as suspicion and prosecution were minimally targeted against them. Many female property owners in Colorado took advantage of their assumed anonymity to run speakeasies out of their buil dings. Gina Hamrick, the owner and proprietor of the Luxor Hotel on Eighteenth and Champa, was arrested following an alleged wild party that was allowed to happen on her property, which led to the arrest of ten people, and the confiscation of several pints of whiskey. Hamrick ran the bootleg business through her hotel, allowing her patrons to rent rooms and buy liquor from the bellboy. 125 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!! ! "#$ Colorado Springs Telegraph , November 4 and 6, 1923, Melrose Scrapbook . "#% Newspaper clipping , Melrose Scrapbook . "#& The Denver News , January 10, 1924, Melrose Scrapbook.
! ! Richthofen, 66 Alma Dittman, 50 years old, was arrested following the investigation of prohibition violation for bootlegging and murder. Apparently, Mrs. Dittman of 2501 South Clarkson street, ran a bootleg operation, and another girl who was involved became a casualty in order to keep the business running. She was charged in the west side court for murder and was also given a federal proh ibition violation charge. 126 More and more, to the consternation of prohibitionist reformers, women were proving to Colorado that they were just as capable as men to commit crime, and participate in the vices of both the public and private sphere s . Even women who only had a studio apartment to their name partook in making booze. On July 10, 1924, a young woman called F. Stone was arrested for operating a "pocket still" out of her small apartment at 4008 Tejon Street; it produced at a pint an hour. 127 Offic ers entered homes most often times without a warrant, showing that women made alcohol during all hours of the day, and mixed within their own personal schedules. When prohibition enforcement officer James Melrose entered the residence of Mary Akin in Cripp le Creek, on a tip that she was making mash in her kitchen, she was cooking breakfast. When Melrose announced the purpose of his visit, Mary threw both of the eggs at Melrose's face. The officer was still able to capture her, and found a stovetop distiller y system set up next to where she was cooking eggs, placing her under arrest. 128 Despite the prejudiced leanings of law enforcement, not all participants in the alcohol trade were of working class status. A Denver society woman fled town when a warrant went out for her arrest for peddling whiskey and dope in Pueblo. Her name was Katherine O'Connor, and she was the daughter of J.K. Mullen, millionaire Denver miller. She eventually came back to !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!! ! "#' The Denver Post , January 22, 1923, 4. "#( The Denver Post , July 10, 1924, Melrose Scrapbook . "#) Cripple Creek , S eptember 22, 1924, Melrose Scrapbook .
! ! Richthofen, 67 Denver, surrendered for arrest, and was charged alongside Father Wa lter A. Grace; "one of the most promin ent Catholic clergy in Colorado " . Apparently, the two Denverites decided to become business partners, knowing full well the demand for their illicit wares in the Pueblo area. 129 This sort of discovery probably only stren gthened th e prejudices of Prohibitionists. To track down the source of much of the local bootleg, officers would often wait all day outside of various boarding houses or hotels around Colorado, hoping to pinpoint a suspicious demographic entering and exiti ng with frequency. Large numbers of people seen entering and leaving at all hours usually piqued their interest. One time during the 1920s in Denver, several officers surrounded a suspicious boarding house building, one of them climbing the stairway to the second floor. At the top of the stairs he found four doors, and pushed a button for a bell. After spying a pair of eyes looking through a peephole, the officer sent for his companions, and they forced one of the doors open and entered. Anna Butler, propri etor of the stay and drink board ing house and speakeasy was arrested for hiding an elaborate still in her apartments. The tubing for the cleverly hidden still had to be ripped out through the drywall by officers. When they found Anna's record book, it showe d that for the past few weeks, her salary had averaged $150 per day. 130 In 1924, the average ( Caucasian male) yearly income in the USA was around $1,300, so a woman making $150 through illegal alcohol production points to a heavily demanded black market econ omy, and women were very able and eager to fill that demand. 131 Police officers in 1926 from Longmont were searching for a runaway girl when they mistakenly came upon a migrant worker's encampment near a sugar beet field. Even though they knew they were in t he wrong place, they still entertained the notion of rooting out crime in the !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!! ! "#* Newspaper clipping , Melrose Scrapbook . "$+ Newspaper clipping, Melrose Scrapbook . "$" Ste ven Mintz, "Statistics: The American Economy during the 1920s", The Gilder Lehrman Institute of History, accesse d 05 May 2019. https://www.gilderlehrman.org/content/statistics american economy during 1920s . !
! ! Richthofen, 68 migrant neighborhood. They approached a mother and her children in front of a lone house, and noticed she was "acting queerly". The officers asked to go into her house, but she d id not speak English and acted terrified. Upon entering her home (without a search warrant or any legal means), they found a pristine 5 gallon still and some high quality bootleg liquor. She was charged and sentenced for her crimes, although the officers found her still by complete mistake. 132 Cases like this against women of ethnic or cultural minority status happened quite a bit during Prohibition. While some state prohibition officers were eventually charged for constitutional violations, like John R. Smi th, they were known for randomly happening upon kitchen stills in places like the beetfield colonies where Mexican Americans worked, Five Points neighborhood in Denver (an African American neighborhood), or Little Italy by the Northern coalfields. Marie Be lla, 32 years old, was arrested and charged with illegal manufacture and possession of liquor after prohibition officers were snooping around the neig hborhood off of a "reliable tip " . Marie's father in law ran away from police when he saw them walking towa rds him in front of his house, and, according to the officers, "was obviously hiding something " . The officers demanded why the father in law fled, but he refused to answer. This gave them enough cause to raid Marie's home, where he had fled to, and they discovered three fifty gallon stills running out of her kitchen. Five gallons of whisky were found hidden in the goat shed of the yard. Just a few days after her arrest, a 14 year old boy was hospitalized after purchasing and drinking the Bella whiskey. He claimed he purchased it at the drugstore on Larimer street, which officers discovered was being s upplied from Bella's kitchen. Both Marie and her father in law were arrested and given federal charges. 133 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!! ! "$# Daily Journal (Telluride) , June 30, 1923. "$$ The Denver Post , March 2, 1924, Melrose Scrapbook .
! ! Richthofen, 69 An African American couple that lived at 2261 Curtis Street were repeatedly raided by dry officers; during one raid, the pair claimed their house had b een sacked just that night before, and multiple times that same week. It didn't stop officers from repeatedly entering their home, whether they found alcohol or not. It was unclear what sort of tip the officers had that prompted them to harass the two so m uch. Eventually, a gunny sack was found containing two bottles of whiskey. The couple was sentenced to serve jail time and pay a $150 fine, although the standard possession fine for white violators was $35. 134 In many ways, the entire process of Prohibition in Colorado, from campaigning, to passing the law, bootlegging, drinking, smuggling, and even efforts to repeal Prohibition was participated in actively by Colorado women, shifting the strict gender segregated social spaces of the state into places of inc reased equality for heterosocial leisure. Not only did Prohibition not work, it instead helped to completely transform the women of Colorado into more independent and publicly acceptable figure, enabling women to gain greater social freedoms. What was most ironic about Prohibition was the way in which educated and empowered women sought to purify and Americanize Colorado by upholding Victorian ideals of gendered spaces, but then their own daughters and granddaughters completely disregarded such ideals. Such a monumental shift in ideology, and public participation of women during Prohibition, Colorado fundamentally began the cultural statewide shift from religious based purification of spaces and behavior to a more socially equitable, modern state !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!! ! "$% The Denver Times , Mar ch 2, 1924 .
! ! Richthofen, 70 Sentiments to Repeal Prohibition The inherent irony of the moralistic prohibition movement perpetuated in Colorado by progressive reformers is that it fell onto deaf ears. The Protestant, middle class Progressivism of the temperance movement became irrele vant with the booming economies of the 1920s. In the interwar years, a philosophical reasoning about the world shifted: the newer generation, ravaged both by the Great War and the Influenza epidemic of 1918, no longer held the world and humans as rational. Instead, the literature and attitude of the youth shifted into one of irrationality, and the concept that humans are not innately moral or logical in their behavior. What became a veritable crusade for Victorian middle class reformers often motivated by a nti immigrant sentiments failed to resonate with a generation resistant to moral orthodoxy. In his thorough analysis of changing social culture in the 1920s, historian Stanley Coben concludes that "by the late 1920s, the conceptual framework which suppor ted Victorianism had been impaired, largely because of concerted attacks on it by intellectuals. They aimed their assault mostly at points where the culture contained serious contradictions or failed to provide much satisfaction for many Americans". 135 Alcoh ol prohibition proved to be one of these "serious contradictions" to the satisfaction of Americans, especially those Americans that fell outside the boundaries of the typical control forces of high and middle class Anglo Saxon Protestantism. In its place, women partook in new, heterosocial realms and chose to participate in new economies surrounding alcohol. The previous generation was met with a completely new world of social nuances that challenged their concepts of social perfection and order. Colorado women in the 1920s took their futures into their own hands, and redefined the spheres women were !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!! ! "$& Coben, Rebellion Against Victorianism , 35 .
! ! Richthofen, 71 allowed to participate in. Due to their equal participation in the widespread world of alcohol production, distribution, and consumption, Colorado women also h ad an important hand in repealing prohibition in 1933. As eager as it seemed Colorado was to pass prohibition, so too was it just as eagerly fought to be repealed. In 1926, Colorado became the first state in the United States to have a referendum calling f or the repeal of the 18th Amendment. 136 The Denver Post hosted its own "Rocky Mountain Referendum on Prohibition," where they encouraged voters to send in ballots printed in the paper whether they were for continuing the prohibition of alcohol, or whether they wanted it changed. 110,000 ballots were sent in, a nd Wet was the consensus. 137 Voting support to repeal Prohibition in Colorado was 67.84 percent. 138 Colorado was not alone in these sentiments. The enforcement of prohibition laws was largely failing across the U.S, and presidential powers began to question prohibition's effectiveness. For two years, president Herbert Hoover appointed a special team called the Wickersham Commission to investigate the prohibition law and its enforcement techniques across the USA. By January 1931, the commission submitted their findings to the president. While the commission did not give a direct opinion or recommendation about the law, it did include findings that this reform minded effort was not living up to its idealistic expectations. 139 Congress then held a session called th e Congressional Hearing on the Repeal of Prohibition Amendment, where polls and data collected by the Wickersham commission showed overwhelming evidence that Americans were still drinking. The highest proportion of drinkers was amongst students "on or off college campuses [who] drank in proportion to close to two !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!! ! "$' Goodstein, Robert Speer's Denver , 340. "$( The Denver Post , February 23, 1926, 6. "$) John Dinan Wake and Jac C. Heckelman, "Support for Repealing Prohibition: An Analysis of Statewide Referenda on Ratifying the 21st Amendment", Social Science Quarterly. Vol. 95, No. 3 ( September 2014 ) . "$* Hansen, " Moonshine and Murder" , 23.
! ! Richthofen, 72 drinkers for every non drinkerÃ‰ Of the total number of ballots cast in the nationwide congressional poll, 29,794 in all, only 34% of the students claimed not to be drinkers. By 1930, drinking was v ery common among the majority of college age youth". 140 In its reports to Congress, the Commission expressly pointed out the class resentment and lawlessness within the scope of prohibition: "Naturally...laboring men resent the insistence of employers who dr ink that their employees be kept from temptation. Thus the law may be made to appear aimed at and enforced against the insignificant while the wealthy enjoy immunity. This feeling is reinforced when it is seen that the wealthy are generally able to procure pure liquors, while those with less means may run the risk of poisoning. Moreover, searches of homes... have necessarily seemed to bear more upon people of moderate means than upon those of wealth or influence". 141 In the January 18, 1931 edition of the De nver Post , the Colorado Medical Society strongly endorsed a change in the state prohibition law, giving two main reasons. One would allow hospitals to import tax free alcohol into the state for medicinal and scientific purposes. The other would permit phys icians to write prescriptions for a pint of whisky at one time. Even the leading state medical authorities believed a full state wide dry law was irrational. 142 In the opinion of Raymond Humphreys, who was the chief investigator for the state district attorn ey's office during the 1920s, agreed that "prohibition spawned corruption in law enforcement that undermined public confidence in the law as a whole". 143 By 1928, over 12,000 liquor violation cases were filed in the courts in Denver, but only half of them ha d been !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!! ! "%+ Paula s. Fass , The Damned and the Beautiful: American Youth in the 1920s ( New York: Oxford University Press, 1977 ), 311, as well as U.S. Congress, House Committee on the Judiciary, "Heari ngs on the Prohibition Amendment ," 71st Congress, 2nd Session, Part 3 ( 1930 ), 1456. "%" Levine and Reinarman, From Prohibition to Regulation , 466. "%# The Denver Post , 18 January 1931, 5. "%$ Hansen, "Moonshine and Murder ", 18.
! ! Richthofen, 73 heard/followed up with. 144 Clearly, the widespread disregard for the law was a burden on the judicial system of the state. Important socialites, who were well educated and redefined the idea of what sort of woman drank alcohol, helped persuade lawmake rs both locally and in Washington D.C. to reconsider the moral laws forced upon disillusioned public. By eagerly participating in the economic nuances of illegal alcohol, as well as completely shifting the taboo around women publicly consuming alcohol, al cohol prohibition in Colorado empowered women, and ushered in a new era of feminism and opportunity. The flagrant disregard of the law proved to a sexist, masculine state that women were just as capable of men to participate in these traditional spheres, a nd oftentimes were more successful in their endeavors. Prohibition also changed the face of women's clubs and charitable organization causes. The Women's Organization for National Prohibition Reform (WONPR), led by Pauline Sabin, came to dwarf the WCTU in membership numbers by the end of the 1920s. As it was from the beginning, alcohol continued to entertain the consciousness of empowered female American voters. 145 Alcohol prohibition in Colorado, and in the rest of the United States, was a massively classist and anti labor movement perpetuated by white middle class protestant reformers. On a national level, prohibition had been countlessly found to be incredibly ineffective, and often reflecting the classist or religious ideals of its most ardent supp orters. Temperance was a movement was characterized by a rural middle class "search for respectability in the face of urban immigration". 146 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!! ! "%% Robert Annand, "A Study of the P rohibition Situation in Denver" (MA Thesis, University of Denver, 1932), 7. "%& Beaton, Colorado Women: A History . "%' John Frendreis and Raymond Tatalovich, "A Hundred Miles of Dry: Religion and the Persistence of Prohibition in the U.S. States", State Politics & Policy Quarterly , Vol. 10, No. 3 (F all, 2010), 306.
! ! Richthofen, 74 Colorado was the first state to attempt a repeal of state prohibition in November 1926 Beer up to 3.2 Percent Alcoh ol Legalized in Colorado April 7, 1933 "Denver Beer drinkers go on 3.2 Spree as saloon comes back" Statewide Prohibition repealed beginning of July 1933 Federal Prohibition Repealed September 26, 1933 According to the Rocky Mountain News , on the very first day of the repeal of prohibition, beer alone had made the state over $200,000, already boosting industries such as equipment manufacturers, laborers, and railroads. They anticipated that in Denver alone, over 1,000 retailers had been issued liquor li censes during that short time as well. 147 The News further reported that by October of that same year $823,182 had been collected in alcohol related industry. 148 Alcohol was readily adopted back into the everyday lives of Coloradans. Staple Colorado breweries returned full force in their beer production, such as the Tivoli Brewing Company in Denver, and Coors in Golden. Mobsters and mafias profiting from the black market status of alcohol had the rug ripped out from under them, as they were flushed out by legal and regulated competition. There was no longer the law prohibiting women from entering places that sold alcohol, and as the years of prohibition showed, they eagerly took upon the legal production, distribution, and consumption ventures of alcohol through out the course of American history to today. In the 21st century, alcohol has reclaimed its place as a cultural marker of Colorado. As a state, Colorado is proud to be host to thousands of microbreweries, famous national brands such as Coors, Fat Tire, Br eckenridge Brewing, and hundreds more. According to the official website for Colorado, beer is the official drink of the state, and it is the top state in the US for !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!! ! "%( Rocky Mountain News , April 7, 1933, 1. "%) Rocky Mountain News , October 4 1934.
! ! Richthofen, 75 microbreweries per capita. Additionally, the state hosts the American Brew Fest, the large st beer and brewery festival in the United States. 149 The warm western slope of the state has enabled vineyards to establish a hearty source of wine making in the area. Hard liquors have found a home in Colorado too, including over 50 craft distilleries. Whi le prohibition took a brief and fervent hold on the state between the years of 1917 Ã 1933, Colorado has thoroughly reclaimed its saloon roots through the tradition of crafting and imbibing in alcoholic beverages. Summary and Modern Connotations Alcohol pr ohibition in the United States was not successful. The literature and evidence is resoundingly in agreement. While the consumption of beer and wine decreased per capita between the years of 1917 1933, the rise of drinkers of whisky and hard liquors increas ed by over 10 percent. The instances of alcohol death and poisoning from tainted alcohol also increased. Alcohol consumption under an illegal context was influenced by the requirements of illicit production. "It was much more profitable and cost effective to make and distribute distilled spirits (gin, vodka, whiskey, or rum) than beer". This was also shown through the amount of hard liquor and moonshine stills raided by Colorado officers, laboratory reporting bootleg alcohol in the State at an average of 50 % alcohol content, 100 proof. Wine was more o f an exception from this trend. B ecause it was used more for religious purposes , its intoxicating effects were not as highly valued . Those seeking to continue their pre prohibition businesses, or people seeking to earn extra money, would often make their intoxicating spirits of a higher alcohol content to fill the demand blocked off by federal law. Since drinking was both illegal and !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!! ! "%* "Battle for Colorado's Officia l Drink: Beer, Wine & Spirits ". Come to Life Colorado. Last modified May 2, 2019. Accessed May 3, 2019. https://www.colorado.com/articles/battle colorados official drink beer wine spirits.
! ! Richthofen, 7 6 taboo, imbibers often sought to get as intoxicated as possible from as little ph ysical liquid. This same trend of concentration of substance is also congruent with current trends in federal U.S. opiate prohibitions, and the increased appearance of hyper concentrated substances such as fentanyl. According to a study that compared alcoh ol prohibition to narcotic prohibition asserts "it has frequently been observed that drug prohibition tends to drive out weaker and milder forms of drugs, and to increase the availability and use of stronger and more dangerous drugs". 150 Colorado also has an interesting social context behind its legal marijuana status. From the outset, marijuana cultivation and use was outlawed in Colorado due to racism against Mexican migrant workers. In the years 1915 Ã 1920, Colorado saw the largest boom in the migration of hundreds of thousands of beet field laborers from Mexico to Northern Colorado. The sugar industry was booming, and the demand for cheap field labor also rose. Marijuana was more easily and readily grown by the laborers in Mexico, and seemed to be part of their culture. Prior to this time, it wasn't significant enough of a "nuisance" or "danger" in Colorado to bring talk of temperance. It was not until a significant working force introduced larger quantities into the state for their personal use did it beco me an issue. 151 The Rocky Mountain News warned that marijuana was "used almost exclusively...by Mexican population employed in the beet fields". 152 Once they moved to Colorado, it was discovered that beet field laborers were smoking marijuana before and after their sometimes 14 hour days in the fields. However, it was shortly within the same time that migrant workers brought their labor and marijuana to the state that reformers brought a swift the bill to legislature that prohibited cultivation and possession by 1927. There was no public vote, no publishing against its use; it was simply brought high up to the state by !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!! ! "&+ Levine and Reinarman, From Prohibition to Regulation , 466. "&" Richard J. Bonnie and Charles H. Whitebread II, The Marij uana Conviction: A History of Marijuana Prohibition in the United States ( New York: The Lindesmith Center, 1999 ), 39. " Rocky Mountain News , 27 September 1931.
! ! Richthofen, 77 "concerned citizens", and made a bsolutely illegal in all circumstances. The federal government would outlaw marijuana a decade later under Franklin D. Roosevelt. In contrast to its rough legal beginnings, marijuana has found its home in Colorado, as it was the first state to legalize its recreational use in 2012, adding to its nuanced medicinal legality. As was characteristic to alcohol prohibition, Amendment 64 was largely fought against in rural, conservative parts of Colorado. Overwhelmingly urban, educated, and industry based localiti es voted yes, allowing for history to be made. However, this law that allows for more personal civil liberties is now at odds with an increased crack down of federal marijuana prohibition, something also a subject of conflict in alcohol prohibition times. Historically, the concept of social control, and controlling the autonomy of citizens to consume what they please, has a religious or white supremacy connotation. I aim to help Americans become critical of laws passed with intent to reduce the innate "fai lings of our moral selves" and then punish us based on such assumptions. Rather, I hope to, by learning from our own problematic history around prohibition, propose legal pathways to legalization and regulation of personal choices, such as the federal lega lization of marijuana (or, as is the case with Portugal, to total legalization of any and all drugs, based in skyrocketing HIV/AIDs concerns). 153 Mexico's president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador announced a countrywide plan to decriminalize all drugs, and hope s that the U.S. will cooperate with similar actions. Based in historically minded practices, and facing increased cartel led violence, the country seeks to send enforcement funding directly into treatment programs. 154 Several other countries around the !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!! ! "&$ Tony O'Neil, "Ten Years Ago Portugal Decriminalized All Drugs. What Happened Next?" The Fix. July 13, 2011. https://www.thefix.com/content/decrim nation portugal ten years later . "&% ! David Reid, " All illegal drugs in Mexico could be decriminali zed in radical government plan ". CNBC. Last modified May 10, 2019. Accessed May 12, 2019. https://www.cnbc. com/2019/05/10/illegal drugs in mexico could be decriminalized in government plan.html. !
! ! Richthofen, 78 world are begi nning to take this historically minded take on drug abuse prevention, by understanding this pattern of corruption, discrimination, and death rates increasing due to prohibition. By decriminalizing substances where there is a high demand but also h igh fatalities/crime due to its illegal status, countries like the Netherlands, Uruguay, Portugal, and a handful of others have shifted the issues of drug and alcohol abuse from one of a criminal concern to one of public health. Recent studies, outside of the study of history, are pointing towards rehabilitation and mental health programs as a way to reduce harmful substance abuse and criminality, rather than increased funding towards federal policing. Further evidence is masterfully reviewed in the groundb reaking book The New Jim Crow , which describes the overwhelming evidence showing disproportionate way in which African Americans are incarcerated for sentences surrounding federal drug/intoxicant prohibitions. It echoes a similar tone to 1920s alcohol proh ibition, where all persons from all walks of life were apt to make mind altering substance choices, but peoples of certain ethnic or class groups were apt to take the brunt of disproportionate legal punishment. As is shown through my own small study on mer ely the statewide effects of alcohol prohibition in Colorado, one must inherently question the reasonings or effectiveness of prohibitive measures against substances in general. Alcohol prohibition in Colorado shifted the ways in which Coloradans sociall y partook in the consumption of alcohol. From sexist, anti labor, and anti immigration origins, the illegal status of alcohol ironically created a more socially integrated black market economy that allowed for people of all races, classes, and genders to p artake the nuances that came with it. By outlawing alcohol, archaic ideologies that set up a gendered or class based basis for leisure and indulgence were destroyed through the ready participation diverse Coloradans sought in the production, distribution, and consumption of alcohol. Although the intent of the law was clearly
! ! Richthofen, 79 a lash against minority groups, these same minority groups took full advantage of their precarious positions in a state that still heavily demanded alcohol. Author's note: I am please d to also announce that Colorado has made decriminalization history once again by passing Ordinance 301 in Denver , decriminalizing psychedelic mushrooms on May 7 th , 2019 .
! ! Richthofen, 80 Fig. 1 Interior of the Toll Gate Saloon, Black Hawk, Colorado 1897 (Western History Collection, Denver Public Library) Fig. 2 Leadville Saloon, 1880 1910 (Western History Collection)
! ! Richthofen, 81 Fig. 3 White House Saloon Cripple Creek, Colorado (Western History Collection) Fig. 4 Male patrons gather round the bar inside a saloon in the mining town of Turret in Chaffee County, Colorado (Western History Collection)
! ! Richthofen, 82 Fig. 5 Female members of the Denver chapter of the KKK, 1920s (The Denver Post) Fig. 6 Dr. Minnie Love (The Denver Post)
! ! Richthofen, 83 Fig. 7 Female Denver Klan members (the Denver Post) Fig. 8 Young boys selling beer in Pueblo, Colorado (1900s)
! ! Richthofen, 84 Fig. 9 WCTU members with the Great Petition for Prohibition, 1914 (Western Collection, University of Colorado Libraries) Fig. 10 Election Day 1915 Campfire Girls gather in Denver to support prohibition. Banners read "Please vote dry for us" and "save the boys". Election Day 1915 Cassidy and Ina Sizer, and WH1966 Photo Box 1, Western His tory Collection, Denver Public Library
! ! Richthofen, 85 Fig. 11 From the same Campfire Girls collection, Election Day 1915
! ! Richthofen, 86 Fig. 12 From the same Campfire Girls ollection, Election Day 1915 Fig. 13 From the same Campfire Girls Collection, Election Day 1915
! ! Richthofen, 87 Fig. 14 Coors during prohibition The Oklahoma City times. (Oklahoma City, Okla.), 22 April 1918. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
! ! Richthofen, 88 Fig. 15 Edith Barker as a highly trained police woman. The Denver Post, 1922 1929
! ! Richthofen, 89 Fig. 16 Chief State Prohibition Officer John R. Smith (the Denver Post, December 31, 1924)
! ! Richthofen, 90 Fig. 17 Various local Headlines Fig. 18 Middle age woman mugshot in Denver, 1920s. (Western History Collection)
! ! Richthofen, 91 Figs. 1 9 & 20 Prohibition agents busting bootleg shipments and busting a distillery, 1920s Colorado (Western History Collection)
! ! Richthofen, 92 Fig 21 Various repeal headlines from around the state , 1933