Crime and Bootlegging

Moorhead Historic Preservation Walking Tour

Crime and Bootlegging

Moorhead, Minnesota 56560, United States

Created By: North Dakota State University

Point of Interest Details

Discovery of a whiskey ring in Minnesota with bootleggers, moonshiners and organized crime. Bootleggers were people who sold alcohol in small amounts, either in small bottles in the pockets of their jackets, or maybe in their boots like the name suggests. Moonshiners made illegal hard liquor, which was very dangerous and illegal, as it is today. Clay County was not exempt from the market of Canadian and moonshine whiskey. The arrest of Charley Shumacher in Moorhead for having 500 quarts of Canadian and American whiskey in his possession was dismissed from his charge. He told a juror that whiskey runners came to him and he traded a brand new automobile for 500 quarts of liquor. As they went away with the car, he later got arrested as officers took possession of the liquor.[1] Charley Shumacher got into trouble a year earlier as well when agents did a search of his resident and found a 290 quart of bottles of Canadian whiskey concealed under his bedroom floor that was valued then at $4.35. Shumacher was arrested and taken in before a United States commissioner at Fergus Falls and his case would come up for trial at the term of the U.S. circuit court in the fall of 1921. Mr. Darbey and his agents raided another place, a popular hotel and three quarts of booze was found and the man was arrested. Mr. Haugen of the European hotel in Moorhead and Mr. Magnuson the owner of the Rex was also arrested. [2]

For more information on crimes in Moorhead, visit site two and ten.


  1. "The Country Press," The Country Press (Moorhead), August Friday, 1922, 11.
  2. "Arrested for Bootlegging?," The Country Press (Moorhead), August Friday, 13.
  3. Photo from the Moorhead Police Records, 1921, Historical and Cultural Society, Moorhead, Minnesota.

This point of interest is part of the tour: Moorhead Historic Preservation Walking Tour


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