Monday, August 13, 2007

August 13 Sunrise and Moonshine

Thief River Falls already had seven saloons, the one shown was active in 1895. Look at the spittoons! Must have chewed a lot of tobacco, too! The saloons were not supposed to be open on Sunday. The religious leaders of the community did not want any entertainment establishments open on the Sabbath that even included ice skating!

Sheriff Krata stated, "If any saloon is open next Sunday, there will be an arrest made the next day". All of the saloons will be closed up tight on Sundays hereafter and any violation of the law will not be allowed.

If the new law limiting one saloon for every 500 people goes into effect, it will hit Ogema hard. The village has six saloons and 47 people.

Government will close up saloons in the White Earth Indian Reservation. Mahnomen, Callaway, Ogema, Waubun, and Bijou counties are affected.

They must be closed within 30 days. The recent murder at Ogema between two drunken Indians is given as one of the reasons for the actions.

All saloons in Becker and Hubbard counties ordered to quit business. Earlier Cass and Mahnomen were closed. When they close a county, the Indians just go to another county. It is feared that the Indians will come to TRF to secure liquor and if they do and the saloons here sell to them the same order will be issued.

Liquor found in slot machines under wood piles, in teapots, water kettles, flour barrels, and stove pipes during raids

New order is given. Secretary Ballinger reverses policy and suspends all former orders. Saloons can be run in all towns in northern Minnesota now.

Saloons close

War orders rescinded; saloons to open in Red Lake Falls.
Plummer Saloons to open

ADVERTISEMENT Hills Double Chloride of Gold Tablets for curing the tobacco, drunkenness, or morphine habit. At your drugstore for $1.00 a package

According to the Marshall County Banner, the way to get a person over drunkenness is to lock him in a shed and set the shed on fire!
Although Grandpa Benhard was never set on fire for drinking, he did tell me that he was told he was going to die with scarlet fever. He locked himself in a hotel room and stayed drunk for several days. He got well and never drank in access after. On a hot day in the summer, my grandparents would share a beer and they made chokecherry wine to be used as a toast at Christmas.
As we all know, morphine and alcohol were available over the counter at drugstores for a variety of illnesses. Although it may have promoted addiction, for the most part it was just for one's affliction.
Alcohol consumption ran rapid in the Opseth and Ranum family. Perhaps you don't see it as a disease, like cancer or TB but for me, it is an illness. I don't know how far back the family was afflicted, I do know that Gust, the brilliant go getter who built houses, schools, and barns died in a hospital where he was placed because of his illness. His brother, Olaf, the reader and quiet one, also has alcohol listed as a secondary cause of death. Stanley didn't drink until his mid thirties and was in recovery for the last twelve years of his life. And then, there is my brother and two first cousins.
I had a friend in junior high who's grandparents lived in a remote area near Bemidji, Minnesota. They did not have running water but they did have lights, strung from place to place with single light bulbs. In the stream behind their house, home made brew cooled. It was BAD TASTING.
As I said, my grandparents made chokecherry wine for Christmas. One year my brother switched the 'strong wine' for the adults with the 'weak wine' for the kids. I actually did not know what the buzz was until Mother shook me and said, "YOU'RE DRUNK"!
As high school students, it was the thing to do. Get a six pack of Country Club, find a country road and get buzzed and pee on the snow on the road. OR go to a party in the country and since the sheriff sat on the road waiting for all the under age kids to leave, stay until the sheriff left. After high school, it didn't have the fun. I can count on one hand how many times I have been inebriated since. Do I have an alcoholic personality? I don't know, I watched too many others suffer with it and decided it was not the life long struggle I wanted.
This post is not intended to make judgement calls; it is simply a way of sharing that liquor has been around for a long time and some of the folks are going to be affected by it. It is also important to realize that even when Thief River Falls and Prohibition shut down the saloons, someone was making moonshine and selling it for a great profit. A couple of high school students went to school drunk; some farmer, they said, had given them home brew.

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