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Tuesday, September 17, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Spokane

100 years ago in Spokane: Man praised, jailed for his homemade whiskey

A man was sentenced to 60 days in jail for bootlegging after a trail that included praise for his drink, The Spokesman-Review reported on April 5, 1916. (The Spokesman-Review)
A man was sentenced to 60 days in jail for bootlegging after a trail that included praise for his drink, The Spokesman-Review reported on April 5, 1916. (The Spokesman-Review)

From our archives,

100 years ago

A court hearing on a bootlegging charge turned into a whisky-tasting session.

Fred Dignman was arrested for manufacturing and selling his own uniquely flavored “whisky.” A detective told the judge how Dignman did it.

“Using boiled Copenhagen snuff, a few drops to a pint of grain alcohol, a pint of warm water and a pinch of cayenne pepper, he soon had a quart of ‘bootlegger’s delight.’ ”

Persons who were allowed to taste the concoction “declared that they had purchased lots worse whisky over Spokane bars” previous to prohibition.

The quality, however, did not help Dignman’s cause. He was convicted and sentenced to 60 days in jail.

From the baby beat: It was “Better Baby Week” in Spokane, and Dr. P.D. McCornack had plenty of strongly expressed, if dubious, opinions on how to raise them.

The doctor said the following to an audience of women:

  • Allowing babies to suck their thumbs causes “the formation of adenoids, long jaw, raised jaw and distorted lips.”
  • “75 percent of the patients I see are sick because they were spoiled babies and victims of bad habits.”
  • “The baby should have a bath every day from the day he is born until he is 80 years old.”
  • “Physical injuries, imbecilities and other ailments are, in many cases, due to their mother’s ignorance.”

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