West Virgina

West Virginia voted to repeal Prohibition on June 27, 1933, by a margin of just over 60%. That vote was ratified almost a month later on July 25th. With its mountainous terrain, West Virginia was a haven for moonshiners, making Prohibition era West Virginia a dangerous place.

  • In 1927, a group of three campers in the mountains were killed by a group of moonshiners who suspected them of being spies for the government.

  • Also in 1927, two men were sent to jail for life. Their crime was shooting a Prohibition officer in the Wyoming County mountains.

  • In 1921, a magistrate was killed in a “moonshine battle” to which there was only one witness—an elderly man. Not longer after a group of masked men killed the witness and burned his home to the ground.


COUSINS CONVICTED AS "DRY'S" SLAYERS , The Washington Post (1877-1954); Sep 9, 1927; ProQuest Historical Newspapers The Washington Post (1877 – 1991) , pg. 1

Dry Officer, Son and Friend Slain in Ambush While Camped in West Virginia Mountains, New York Times (1857-Current file); Aug 17, 1927; ProQuest Historical Newspapers The New York Times (1851 - 2005), pg. 1

MASKED MEN KILL MURDER WITNESS , Special to The Washington Post. The Washington Post 1877; May 3, 1921; ProQuest Historical Newspapers The Washington Post (1877 – 1991) , pg. 3