Where the Whiskey Runs

Interested in learning more about the Whiskeydaddlers? Here you can find chapters from the book “Where the Whiskey Runs – A Whiskeydaddler’s Tale” by K. Balint Hancz.

The book was discovered recently in the library at the Pettengill-Morron home in Peoria, IL. It is a fictional story about the Whiskeydaddlers of Peoria in 1896.

Apr 01
Where the Whiskey Runs

Chapter 1

“…90, 91, 92, 93…” Dan stops counting and looks out at a sea of whiskey barrels before him. He has an easier time counting them if he climbs up to the top. “…94, 95, 96, 97…” As the Head Whiskeydaddler it’s his job to make sure his team has hit... read more →
Apr 08
Great Western Distillery

Chapter 2

The whiskeydaddlers quarters are quiet now. Dan sits at the big table where they eat their meals together. Across the room are the bunk beds they built for the long days (and longer nights), and the ice chest Mr. Greenhut was nice enough to give them to keep their beer... read more →
Apr 15
Post Office 1872 - Daisy

Chapter 3

While Dan’s day is ending, everyone else’s day is just starting. Take Daisy for instance. As Dan was watching the sunrise down on Peoria’s riverfront, she was watching it as she began her bike ride into town from her family’s farm on the outskirts of the city. Like Dan, Daisy... read more →
Apr 22
Union Station

Chapter 4

Just as Dan and Daisy are well into their early morning endeavors, the city of Peoria and the surrounding environs are as well. In fact, Peoria is a city that never sleeps. There’s always activity on the riverfront docks and the neverending chains of trains that come through at all... read more →
Apr 29
South Adams Street

Chapter 5

Early morning at the Post Office is the busiest time of the day, although there never really is an un-busy time, especially if you’re Postmaster Morgan. There are lots of logistics to stay on top of: what mail trains are coming in and when they are leaving, is there any... read more →
May 06
Main Street

Chapter 6

After eating only one breakfast, Dan heads out of Union Station into the busy Peoria morning. The streets are packed with wagons and horses and bicycles and people on this crisp autumn day. The scents of coal fire, corn mash, manure and humanity greet him as he begins the trudge... read more →
May 13
Main Street looking West from Adams

Chapter 7

After a hectic (but exhilarating) morning working the counter at the Post Office, Daisy was ready for lunch and a few moments of relaxation. She grabbed a book that she kept in a small cubby she was given in a common lounge the female workers shared and made her way... read more →
May 20
Wooden Barrels Distillery

Chapter 8

While Dan spends the day in a deep, enviable sleep, work at the Great Western Distillery goes on at a breakneck pace. That’s because among the 11 distilleries on “Distillery Row” the Great Western is the biggest in both employees and amount of whiskey produced. Collectively, the businesses churned out... read more →
May 27
Robert Green Ingersoll

Chapter 9

As always was the case after a tough night’s work and several breakfasts, Dan was in the great depths of sleep which for him was filled not so much with dreams, but vivid flashbacks to moments in his life. Today’s sleep was no exception as October became July and his... read more →
Jun 03
Organ Steam Whistle

Chapter 10

At the Great Western Distillery, much like the other distilleries, a typical day for a Whiskeydaddler was a sort of varied monotony. It was monotonous because you were there to do one thing and one thing only: move whiskey barrels as quickly as possible. But it also was varied because... read more →
Jun 10
Daddle Fest

Chapter 11

The annual Whiskeydaddle Festival of 1896 was a particularly memorable one for Dan and the winning team from the Great Western. As captain of the team, Dan made sure he included daddlers from every shift at the distillery. He didn’t do this to be judicious or to avoid hurting any... read more →
Jun 17
Pettengill-Morron House

Chapter 12

Daisy could care less about the Whiskeydaddle Festival, although the rest of her family was certainly interested. While they watched the Whiskeydaddle events unfold that 4th of July afternoon, she spent her time at the steamboat landing watching all the beautiful boats pass by. She was a bit disappointed though.... read more →
Jun 24
Barrel Burn

Chapter 13

It was a short distance from the steamboat landing at the bottom of Main Street (where Daisy was watching the boat race that turned out to not be a boat race) to the Whiskeydaddle Festival which was up on Water Street. Daisy took her time as she picked her way... read more →
Jul 01
Whiskey Capital of the World

Chapter 14

While across the Midwest the final months of any given year are usually accompanied by cold winds and lowering temperatures that announce the oncoming onslaught of winter, in Peoria the final season of 1896 brought with it unusually temperate conditions. This made life easier for everyone. On Daisy’s family farm,... read more →
Jul 08
train station

Chapter 15

The warm winter weather meant Daisy could still spend her lunch break exploring the city. She enjoyed watching all the interesting (she assumed) people pass by the Courthouse during the noon hour, but she found herself more and more drawn to the riverfront and attracted particularly to the train station.... read more →
Jul 15

Chapter 16

Daisy was surprised to find the second floor almost equally as crowded as the train station below, albeit much more orderly and polite. After making her delivery to a rather aloof secretary at the lawyer’s office, she decided to make her way down to the restaurant despite the fact she... read more →
Jul 22
home decor

Chapter 17

Christmas in Peoria was a green one that year and no one missed the cold weather one bit. Lowering temperatures and snowfall only meant difficulties. It was not something to be nostalgic about. For Daisy and her family, the Christmas season meant spending time at her aunt and uncle’s home... read more →
Jul 29
peoria piano

Chapter 18

When Daisy arrived at her aunt and uncle’s home it was nearly 6 p.m. and it was already quite dark. All the windows of the home were lit up brightly and the house itself seemed to be alive. As Daisy rode her bike up the boardwalk she stopped for a... read more →
Aug 05
Cellar Cookies Whiskeydaddle

Chapter 19

By the time the city hall clock officially pronounced that it was 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve, downtown Peoria was starting to quiet down. Most businesses had long-since closed and many were making their way to family homesteads outside the city – except for Dan and a handful of whiskeydaddlers... read more →
Aug 12
kitchen table

Chapter 20

The men stood together on the porch of the Langton home in silence, with Mr. Langton looking up at the night sky while Dan, Julius, Christopher and Maurice looked expressionlessly at each other. “Gary! What are you doing out there?” yelled Jean from inside the living room. “Bring the boys... read more →
Aug 19
Christmas board games

Chapter 21

Out on the farm, Christmas morning started very early for Daisy’s family, while she enjoyed the comfort of her aunt and uncle’s home on Peoria’s West Bluff. As her family gathered together and loaded up their wagons to make the short predawn trip into town, Daisy was up as well... read more →
Aug 26
gary jean langton

Chapter 22

Mr. Langton was one of those people who was obsessed with the morning. He would get up early just to watch the sunrise, while his wife preferred the evening and sipping cocktails in the blue, red and gray of the sunset. And New Year’s Eve morning was no exception as... read more →
Sep 02

Chapter 23

Across the hall from where Mr. Langton sat with his newspapers, coffee and early morning sun, Daisy was lying in bed drifting in and out of sleep. Because of her job at the post office (and having to ride in from the family farm) she was used to being up... read more →
Sep 09

Chapter 24

The distinct aroma of breakfast made its way upstairs to Daisy well before she made it downstairs to the kitchen – and it’s an aroma that’s timeless and familiar, something supremely American – freshly roasted coffee comingling with the salty scent of bacon and eggs and the sweet smell of... read more →
Sep 16

Chapter 25

That night Daisy was going to meet her friend, Julia, and some others downtown at the Peoria Women’s Club for a New Year’s Eve Dance. There were several musical acts scheduled for the night, but the only one she knew (and everyone else, for that matter) was the Peoria Municipal... read more →
Sep 23
Peoria Women's Club

Chapter 26

The New Year’s Eve dance was being held at the Peoria Women’s Club on the corner Madison and Fayette in downtown Peoria. Along with the headlining Peoria Municipal Band, several other bands were performing as well: the Bronson Family Singers, the Husk Shuckers Blue Grass Band and the Whiskey River... read more →
Sep 30
Dressing Table

Chapter 27

The night of New Year’s Eve, 1896, was warmer than typical, as had been the entire winter season. There was no snow and the air was crisp and dry as Daisy got ready to ride her bicycle downtown to meet up with Julia. She planned on staying the night at... read more →
Oct 07
music hall

Chapter 28

It’s a good thing Julia and Daisy cordoned off a table for themselves early because as soon as the first note was struck, the music hall began filling with people. By the time the first band was in full swing so were a lot of dancer, while even more people... read more →
Oct 14
Whiskeydaddle Dan

Chapter 29

Dan stood stolidly outside the Women’s Club as the clock sounded 11 p.m. He was feeling more comfortable (and cool) standing on the sidewalk by himself watching people go by. He always felt the most relaxed when he was by himself, or with a couple of close friends. Larger groups... read more →
Oct 21

Chapter 30

As Daisy looked out from her second-floor perch and saw the people moving by below, one person – one very large person – stood out as somehow being familiar. She squinted a little. Julia noticed. “What do you see, my pet?” Julia enquired. “I see a nice man,” Daisy said,... read more →
Oct 28

Chapter 31

Dan had by now recognized one of the women in the window, and had even had heard her voice. It was Daisy. Or was it? Daisy looked at Julia, whose closed eyes were not opening, then back down at Dan. He took a chance, and raised an arm up in... read more →
Nov 04
Bronson Family Singers

Chapter 32

Daisy bounded from the frame without a word and began making her way through the crowds to the back stairwell. She pushed and winded her way back behind the stage and was getting ready to exit down the stairs when the first few opening notes of a song caught her... read more →
Nov 11
Think of me

Chapter 33

Daisy was standing next to Dan as the song continued on. He still hadn’t noticed her. The song just struck him as being something lovelier than anything he’d heard before. “I wish you would have asked me to dance to that,” she said looking up at the second-floor windows. Dan... read more →
Nov 18
Nov 25
first chime

Chapter 35

Dan looked up after a few moments. It was almost midnight. Daisy, her cheek pressed up against Dan’s chest, looked up as well. “Should we go inside to celebrate?” said Dan. “Do you want to?” asked Daisy a bit warily. “No,” said Dan softly. “Want to go for a walk?”... read more →
Dec 02
fried clams

Chapter 36

Union Station was mostly empty at the midnight hour, something that was sure to change soon when the downtown parties and celebrations would start winding down. “Let’s get something to go and sit by the river and enjoy this beautiful night,” said Daisy. “That sounds great,” said Dan. He was... read more →
Dec 09
Dan noticed Daisy

Chapter 37

The two exited Union Station with two paper bags overflowing with fried clams (Tom had been generous; he sensed something) and a carton container of apple cider, casually munching as they walked across the train tracks down to a quiet place on the riverfront. Dan took off his large jacket... read more →