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The distillery became famous as a target of the Whiskey Trust, which it eventually joined in 1892. Shulfeldt & Co., the distillery's owners, had initially refused to sign up with the Trust, even in the face of knowledge that the organization routinely used violence and sabotage as a way of quashing their opponents. In April of 1888, the company discovered a spy in their midst who reportedly gave them a confession. In September, a valve on a vat was found to have been tampered with such that it would have caused an explosion. In December of the same year, two dynamite bombs were tossed onto the roof of the distillery. One exploded and created a large hole in the roof, but the other failed to detonate and was recovered inside the vat room by investigators.
The Trust denied any involvement in these events, but in February 1891, George J Gibson was arrested and indicted by Federal authorities for attempting to sabotage the Shufeldt plant. Gibson was secretary of the trust. According to reports, Gibson had tried to bribe a gauger (a government official responsible for determining the alcohol content of whiskey and other liquors) with the promise of up to $25,000 of he would plant a bomb under a vat of alcohol. Reports of the time referred to the bomb as "an infernal machine", specially designed to shoot a projectile into the vat and ignite a fire. The gauger was told the fuse on it was set for 3 to 4 hours but an expert testified that it would have exploded in 3 seconds, thereby removing any risk of the Trust being named being involved. Unfortunately, the gauger reported the attempted bribery to his superiors and Gibson was arrested. Ultimately, all charges against Gibson were mysteriously quashed by a judge in Chicago, but he resigned his position at the Trust.
The Chicago distillery was closed and re-established in Peoria in 1904.
Review bonded warehouse transactions for this distillery
Internal Revenue recorded warehouse transactions for The Shufeldt Distillery as follows:
( explain: origin of these records, letter codes )
- 1898: John McNulta, receiver, as H H Shufeldt & Co. -- T, W
- 1898: Peter J Hennessey as H H Shufeldt & Co. -- T, W
- 1898: American Spirits Manufacturing Co. -- T, S, W
- 1901: Peter J Hennessey as H H Shufeldt & Co. -- T
- 1901: American Spirits Manufacturing Co. -- T, S, W
- 1903: American Spirits Manufacturing Co. -- T, W
- 1904: American Spirits Manufacturing Co. -- T, W
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