During Prohibition, whereas Al Capone was once emerging to world wide prominence as Public Enemy number 1, the townspeople of rural Templeton, Iowa—population simply 428—were busy with a bootlegging empire in their personal. Led by way of 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 very good it was once ordered through 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 no longer 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 gaggle of immigrants and first-generation americans who embraced the beliefs of self-reliance, dynamism, and democratic justice. It depends on formerly labeled Prohibition Bureau research documents, federal courtroom case documents, large newspaper archive study, and a lately disclosed interview with kingpin Joe Irlbeck. not like different Prohibition-era stories of big-city gangsters, it offers a huge reminder that bootlegging wasn’t in basic terms approximately glory and riches, yet can be within the provider of a better objective: generating the best whiskey money could buy.