Sunday, May 17, 2015

52 Ancestors #20: The Moonshiner

Ancestor Name: Lacy F. HATHCOCK (1910-1995)

Distilling whiskey is intimately tied to the history of the United States. As a way to pay down the debt of the newly independent country, Alexander Hamilton, the first Secretary of the Treasury, pushed through legislation which taxed domestically produced distilled spirits. He believed it was a "luxury" tax and would not cause much consternation. It became the first federal tax imposed on domestic produce.

Instead, farmers in western Pennsylvania, long accustomed to distilling their excess grain, revolted. President Washington called out the militia and 13,000 troops from several states began marching to Pennsylvania with Washington leading them. The rebels went home before the Army arrived. The incident indicated the federal government had the will to enforce its laws. However, illegal distilling, called moonshining when taxes are not paid, continues to this day.

Moonshiners; photograph courtesy of the Efficient Drinker

Even after Prohibition ended in 1933.

Lacy F. Hathcock, my fifth cousin once removed, was a married 26-year-old man when he was arrested in Franklin County, Alabama, for distilling. He was sentenced to one year and a day to 18 months and day and began serving his time on 13 November 1936. He was paroled on 9 November 1937 and from all accounts went on to lead a productive life.

Lacy Hathcock's Alabama Convict Record; courtesy of

Name: Lacy F. Hathcock
County: Franklin
Distilling Fee Paid: 12/9/36
Received: 11/20/36
Serial No: 36206
Race: White
Sex: Male
Age: 26
Court No: 8073
Tr. Book: 107, page 226
Crime: Distilling
Sentence Began: Nov. 13, 1936
Term: 1 yr. 1 day to 18 months 1 day
Max. Time: May 14, 1938
Min. Time: Nov. 14, 1937
Max. Time: Oct. 29, 1938
Min. Time: Apr. 29, 1938 [illegible] out
Date of Death:
Cause and Place:
Discharged: Paroled 11/9/37 [illegible]
Temporary Paroles: 45 days on 3/30/37 Ext. to 9/1/37 on 5/22/37 Ext. to 9/15/37 [illegible] 9/1/37 or 9/9/37

Lacy was born on 12 December 1910 and was the oldest child of Bennett Moland and Sarah Caroline "Callie" (Barrett) Hathcock. By 1930 he had married Mamie Bolton and lived with her parents on their farm in Prentiss County, Mississippi. He worked there as a farm hand. He and Mamie had two children.

In 1945 he was drafted into the U.S. Army and entered military service at Fort McClellan, near Anniston, Alabama. His wife died in 1989 and Lacy died in 1995. They were interred at Pleasant Hill Cemetery in Belmont, Mississippi.

This is my entry for Amy Johnson Crow's 52 ancestors in 52 weeks challenge optional theme Black Sheep.

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