A Few More Moonshiners and Bootleggers

The above story of Hugh Bandy and his alleged “carrying on the occupation of distiller without a license” is just one of several accounts of Bandys making moonshine and selling bootleg liquor.

In this writer's 1995 visit to Bandy, Virginia, Marvin Bandy said, "Most folks here made their living by mining coal, cutting timber, and moonshining, but not as much anymore." This friendly group says they are all related in more than one way, and confess to having made a little moonshine.

O.E. Bandy (possibly Otis Earle Bandy (2627, 21-1548) (October 13, 1905 - October 1963)), but the date of birth and date of the crime seem inconsistent) was convicted of carrying intoxicating liquor into the state of Oklahoma from Texas. His conviction was upheld in 1917. He transported liquor from Denison, Texas to Madill, Oklahoma.[i]

In 1930, George Bandy (2452, 20-1138) (1879 - December 6, 1946) of Wilbur, Washington was arrested for selling moonshine whiskey from a backroom in his drugstore. His supposedly 18 year old daughter, Elizabeth (3380, 21-1253) (July 16, 1910 - January 12, 1969) was working at a roll top desk by the soda fountain in the drugstore. When she saw men restraining her father, she picked up a revolver that was lying in one of the drawers of the desk, and hastily went to his aid. An arresting officer later testified that she said, “If you arrest my daddy, I’ll kill you.” Another witness, however, stated that she said, “Don’t you touch my daddy.” She was convicted of knowingly resisting an officer in the performance of his duty. The conviction was appealed. The Supreme Court of Washington overturned the conviction for knowingly interfering with officers performing their duties as the evidence did not clearly show she was aware that they were federal officers.[ii]

In 1935, Jasper Bandy (1820, 20-2304) (March 13, 1898 - December 1982) was convicted of having an unregistered still and failing to pay the tax on distilled spirits in the Middle District of Tennessee. He unsuccessfully appealed the conviction the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.[iii]

In 1947, T. R. Bandy, a practicing attorney in Kingsport, Tennessee, and a county judge in Sullivan County, Tennessee appealed to the Virginia Supreme Court to recovery a five-passenger coupe Buick that had been seized on July 31, 1945 while being driven by Burton B. Laughters through Botetourt County, Virginia with seventeen cases of bottled whisky that had been purchased in Washington, D.C. T. R. claimed to have a valid lien against the automobile. The court related a conservation in which T.R. said, “He [Laughters] will have to go over some of them [Virginia roads]; that is his living, he has to make it, he can’t stop like that; he will have to dodge Botetourt County.” Concluding that T.R. knew how the automobile was used, the court refused to recognize his lien against the automobile.[iv]

Allen Bandy’s story of Bandy, North Carolina notes that Bandys made corn whiskey legally for the government. The taxes, however, were higher than the price of moonshine whiskey. The tax was over a dollar a gallon, while “blockade’ whiskey sold for less than a dollar per gallon. So, no doubt from time to time, some whiskey was sold while the revenuer’s back was turned.


[i]Bandy v. United States, 245 F. 98, 1917 U. S. App. LEXIS 1467 (CA-8, 1917).

[ii]The State of Washington v. Elizabeth Bandy, 2 P. 2d 748, 1931 Wash. LEXIS 1110, 164 Wash. 216 (Sup Ct. Wash.. 1931).

[iii]Bandy v. Zerbst, Warden, 99 F 2d. 583, 1938 U.S. App. LEXIS 2930.

[iv]T. R. Bandy v. Commonwealth of Virginia, 185 Va. 1044, 1947 Va. LEXIS 241, 41 SE2d 71 (Supreme Court of Virginia, 1947).