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Latah County Oral History Collection

Remembering Latah County and Idaho Life at the turn of the 20th century

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Date: July 09, 1974 Interviewer: Rob Moore

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0:00 - Moonshiners in Spokane Mr. East and Ulysses Showalter; tested moonshine and ran a tavern

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Segment Synopsis: He moved his still around many different places. Law enforcement was crooked; comparison with drugs today. Ulysses Showalter was a small operator, and Mr. East wasn't big. The big operators in Spokane made it so cheap that other moonshiners weren't interested. He tasted moonshine with a teaspoon; he didn't drink when he ran a Viola tavern, and got disgusted. He mistakenly thought there was money in moonshining. Moonshine was $10 a gallon. Many moonshiners were good drinking men.

16:00 - Dislike for Federal man Bob West, who became Republican when he moved to Moscow; Moonshining still popular

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Segment Synopsis: Dislike of Federal man Bob West - he openly kept whiskey in his front yard. West became a Republican when he came to Moscow from Kentucky. Moonshining was "the poorest business" he was in. Using molasses vs. cane sugar. Moonshiners knew very little. Prohibition was the church people's biggest mistake. Effects of prohibition can't be judged, by him or the preacher. Vice is worse now than a century ago. Men handled themselves pretty well. Moral decline of university students.

30:00 - Wagon train to Oregon in 1833 experiences with Indians

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Segment Synopsis: Wagon train to Oregon in 1833 - experiences with Indians Indians praised a white woman for fending off an Indian robber; revenge for killing an Indian woman.

36:00 - Some thought ancestors were better class and youth were punks

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Segment Synopsis: Our ancestors were a better class of people. Mother thought some young people were punks. Families piled into a wagon for Sunday dinner at the neighbor's.

40:00 - Treacherous law, moonshiners protested against the law, no financial success from it

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Segment Synopsis: Moonshiners protested each other against the law. The law was like "a biting dog" - treacherous. Stool pigeons were a problem - there were a lot of people you wouldn't sell to. No financial successes from moonshining. Moonshiners were just as good as churchmen.


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