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Joseph P Neugent: 1880-1934

Posted January 12, 2021

A fine hello and I hope you are all doing well.   My name is Joseph P. Neugent, and I would like to tell you the story of my rise to the top and the sudden fall that destroyed my family. As a young man, I was always very good with numbers. So, at the age of 19, I started working for the Rahr Brewing Company as a bookkeeper. I held that position until something better came along, and I left the company to build my own successful life.    When prohibition was passed in 1919, I was up in Peshtigo managing a papermill that was not doing so well. I gather my funds and decided to start my own company in Green Bay called Neugent Garment Company in 1922. I lease the Rahr Brewery and established an outer wear factory inside the wagon barn.  My company produced a line of woolen coats for men and boys. I enlarged the company and started to offering soda, near-beer, candy, and cigars. The beverage products did not do was well as planned and soon that part of the business was in the red. I transferred funds from the clothing line to the beverage line to help stabilized the business.  Besides the producing soda and near-bear in the brewery, I had a still set up in the basement to produce something harder. Well, that decision along with the transfer of money was my fall from the top. It was in 1930 that the Feds raided the brewery and found the still, and as they were going through my books noticed the large sum of money, I transferred to the beverage business, which I did not report to the IRS.  I did months in prison for tax evasion but was never charged with violation of the Volstead act. I died on November 12, 1934 after suffering a massive stroke and was buried at Allouez Catholic Cemetery.