Prohibition Raid

Date in History: 9/26/1924

In 1921 a young Bavarian immigrant named Carl Ebner purchased the Spaeth brewery on South Water Street in Fort Atkinson. Since prohibition was then in force, Ebner changed the name to the Fort Atkinson Beverage Company and bided his time making carbonated drinks. But, apparently that’s not all they were making.

On September 26, 1924 ten Federal agents, armed with sawed-off shotguns, descended on Fort Atkinson, making a midnight raid on the brewery. They arrested 19 men and seized two trucks loaded with 870 gallons of beer, all of which were later dumped into the sewer near the courthouse in Madison. Further examination of the brewery itself revealed another 900 gallons of beer that were promptly dumped into the Rock River.

This historic document aired on the radio as an Historic Minute on 7/12/2004.

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