Gentlemen Bootleggers: The True Story of Templeton Rye, Prohibition, and a Small Town in Cahoots


During Prohibition, whereas Al Capone used to be emerging to world wide prominence as Public Enemy #1, the townspeople of rural Templeton, Iowa—population simply 428—were busy with a bootlegging empire in their personal. Led via Joe Irlbeck, the whip-smart and gregarious son of a Bavarian immigrant, the outfit of farmers, small retailers, or even the church monsignor labored jointly to create a whiskey so first-class it used to be ordered by means of identify: "Templeton rye."

Just as Al Capone had Eliot Ness, Templeton’s bootleggers had as their very own enemy a revered Prohibition agent from the adjoining county named Benjamin Franklin Wilson. Wilson used to be ardent in his struggle opposed to alcohol, and he chased Irlbeck for over a decade. yet Irlbeck was once now not Capone, and Templeton wouldn't be governed through violence like Chicago.

Gentlemen Bootleggers tells a never-before-told story of ingenuity, bootstrapping, and perseverance in a single small city, showcasing a bunch of immigrants and first-generation americans who embraced the beliefs of self-reliance, dynamism, and democratic justice. It is determined by formerly categorised Prohibition Bureau research documents, federal court docket case records, vast newspaper archive examine, and a lately disclosed interview with kingpin Joe Irlbeck. not like different Prohibition-era stories of big-city gangsters, it presents an enormous reminder that bootlegging wasn’t in simple terms approximately glory and riches, yet can be within the carrier of a better target: generating the best whiskey money could buy.

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