The Temperance Movement In Indiana

Charles E. Canup


Indiana Magazine of History, Volume 16, Issue 2, pp 112-151

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The Temperance Movement In Indiana

By CHARLES E. CANUP, De Pauw University. (Continued)


After 1875 most of the important work of reconstruction had been accomplished, so conditions became much more satisfactory. Not only this; a steady growth of all institutions has been noted; the educational system had developed; transportation facilities were increasing; and the churches were becoming more efficient. In fact, conditions might be said to have been fairly prosperous, in spite of some severe jolts that came in the form of panics and depressions. In population the state increased from 1,668,000 in 1870 to 1,978,301 in 1880;1 it had grown enormously in wealth, political prestige and social welfare and in the position it occupied with regard to other states. In the meantime the Methodist church, still one of the foremost temperance forces, had decreased from 113,800 in 1870 to a membership of 106,735 in 1880;2 yet, better and more able men were at the head of the institution, and it had become a fairly wealthy organization with property valued at more than three million dollars. Moreover the temperance societies mentioned in previous chapters began to work in earnest, and new ones made their appearance. The influence of these various organizations began to create a public sentiment in favor of temperance. Extracts from the reports of a few of the conventions of these societies will suffice to show what was being done by them at that time.

Sometime during the year of 1870 the Indiana Temperance Alliance met with all of the districts of the state represented but two. In the evening a mass meeting was held at which addresses were made by the Rev. J. H. Clippenger, Methodist

  • 1Census Report for 1880.
  • 2 This does not include probationers and local preachers; these numbered about 7,500.
minister; later Col. Ray was elected president for the coming year and the following resolutions were adopted:
  1. Resolved: That we have renewed faith in the principles proclaimed in our last annual meeting, that the experience of the last year has tended more and more to confirm us in the belief that there is no human agency short of total abstinence which can save our country from becoming a nation of drunkards; that it is the first duty of the temperance men to discourage by precept and example the use of all kinds of fermented as well as distilled liquors; that the young should be carefully educated to abhor and wholly abstain from its use; and that our efforts should never cease for the reformation of the drunkard.
  2. Resolved: That believing the time-honored maxim 'that prevention is better than cure' applies with peculiar force to the cause of temperance, we recommend as one of the most effectual means for spreading our principles; that there be a more general and more thorough advocacy of them in the Sabbath and common schools and the establishment of juvenile temperance organizations.
  3. Resolved: That in order to facilitate the above teaching there is a demand for a primary text book on physiology which shall present more fully than any primary work extant the nature of alcohol and its evil effects on the human system.
  4. Resolved: That R. T. Brown, who suggested such a book be requested to complete it at the earliest practicable period.
  5. Resolved: That the success which has attended the efforts ofour general agent during the past year confirm us in the conviction that if we expect our cause to succeed we must maintain a continual agitation on the subject by an increase of traveling agents and a more thorough distribution of temperance literature. We also recommend that space be obtained in some respectable newspaper in each county throughout the state for the purpose of advocating our cause and disseminating our principles.
  6. Resolved: That as woman has ever been the faithful supporter of every movement for the elevation and advancement of mankind and believing that our efforts cannot be successful without her influence we earnestly ask her co-operation in this great work, especially among the young and the rising generation.
  7. Resolved: That while we have the highest respect for the ability and character of the medical profession we cannot close our eyes to the sad fact that a large amount of intemperance is generated by the indiscriminate prescription of alcoholic liquors as medicine and believing that the advanced state of medical and chemical science has recently demonstrated that many cases of disease for which alcohol had been administered can more easily be cured without its use, and respectfully ask that honored profession to give this important matter their earnest and conscientious consideration.
  8. Resolved: That while we favor and will earnestly work for a law prohibiting the traffic in intoxicating liquors we do hereby agree to use the utmost endeavors to prevent the obtaining of license under and bringing to punishment offenders of the existing law.
  9. Resolved: That we believe the principle of licensing the traffic in intoxicating liquors is the principle of legalizing a wrong, is opposed to the enlightened moral and religious ideal of the people of the country and should be scouted by all lovers of temperance.
  10. Resolved: That Col. J. W. Ray, Sylvester Johnson, and D. R. Pershing be appointed a committee to represent the alliance before the next legislature and use their effort to secure the enactment of a prohibitory law.
  11. Resolved: That the Western Independence is the only temperance paper in the state and we believe it our duty to encourage its circulation throughout the state.
  12. Resolved: That we recommend the temperance people throughout the state to hold meetings as suggested by the Congressional Temperance Society of Washington during last February.3

In addition to these resolutions there were hundreds of others offered up by the same and other organizations in the interest of better temperance education. Every year brought forth something new in the line of temperance arguments.

Early in the spring of 1874 another movement began at Chatauqua, Ohio, that was destined to have far-reaching results. It sprang from the Woman's Crusade of 1873. This small group of women finally met in Cleveland late in the fall of the above year and the Woman's Christian Temperance Union took form; it is sometimes known as the white ribbon movement. Its object was to unite the efforts of Christian women for the extinction of intemperance. In their own words their purpose was set forth as follows:

Resolved: That whereas the object of just government is to conserve the best interests of the governed; and, whereas the liquor traffic is not only a crime against God, but subversive of every interest of society; therefore, in behalf of humanity, we call for such legislation as shall secure this end; and while we will continue to employ all moral agencies as indispensable, we hold prohibition to be essential to the full triumph of this reform.4

  • 3Western Christian Advocate, 1870, 41.
  • 4Origin of Woman's Temperance Crusade. Pamphlet of four pages. Cyclopedia of Temperance and Prohibition, 651. The celebration of the second anniversary of the W. C. T. U. resulting from the crusade movement was held at Philip's Hall, Richmond, Indiana, February 23. Western Christian Advocate, 1876, 69.

Sometime later at one of their conventions held in Chicago during the year 1877 a pledge was adopted. It was as follows:

I hereby solemnly promise, God helping me, to abstain from all distilled, fermented and malt liquors, including wine, beer, and cider, and to employ all proper means to discourage the use of the traffic in the same.5

In addition to this each member was supposed to wear a white ribbon as a badge and have for their motto "For God and Home and Native Land".6 Their numbers increased rapidly and soon Indiana was pretty well organized. Practically all of the earnest members of the various churches soon became affiliated with the movement. Particularly has this been true of the Methodist church, because of their well known temperance principles.

As a result of the W. C. T. U. work in other fields a great many of their local societies sprang almost spontaneously into existence. In northern Indiana a Ladies Temperance convention composed of over two hundred and fifty delegates from twenty-two counties met at Fort Wayne during May of 1874, and passed the following resolutions:

Resolved: That while we depend on religion and moral sentiment making our appeal to God and humanity, as the grand elements of power in advancing the cause of temperance, we claim the protection of the law against pauperism and crime which results from drunkenness and the help of the law in restraining and repressing the liquor traffic which is the prolific cause of intemperance.

Resolved: That the 'Baxter Law' (passed in 1873) shall be maintained subject only to such modifications as experience may suggest to render it more efficient.

Resolved: That while we disclaim any purpose of entering the field of party politics to help or hinder any party in its especial ends we shall demand of all parties the election of sober men to office; and we declare our purpose to use all our influence, religious, social, and political, in support of these men who are in favor of personal sobriety and effective temperance legislation.7

Two years later the third annual mass State Temperance convention was held at the Baptist church in Indianapolis. All temperance men and women of the state were invited to attend; all churches, sabbath schools, Woman's Christian Temperance Unions, and all other temperance organizations, juvenile

  • 5Cyclopedia of Temperance and Prohibition, 651. Also Report of W. C. T. U. of Indiana containing Constitution any year.
  • 6Cyclopedia of Temperance and Prohibition, 651.
  • 7Western Christian Advocate, 1874, 173.
and young folks' Temperance Unions, and all Young Men's Christian Associations. Reduced railway fare might be had from any part of the state. Some of the prominent speakers were Frances E. Willard and William Baxter.8 The following year a similar meeting was held.9 Much sentiment was aroused. Prominent among the effective agencies in the good work in our state was the W. C. T. U.10

As a result of the sentiment aroused among the women, some exciting things took place throughout the state. At Greencastle the ladies had been picketing the saloons for five weeks. They had to sit out of doors most of the time. In the end, however, many indictments were found against the liquor dealers; and some of them actually had to close up.11 Of the dozen saloons in Crawfordsville, one surrendered during April, 1874 and the women were greatly encouraged. At Bloomington the ladies stood guard from six o'clock in the morning until nine o'clock at night. This was to enforce the Baxter law. At Elletsville, they so enforced the law that no one in town used whiskey or other intoxicants.12

At Shelbyville the movement was spontaneous. A few women in the Methodist church appointed a mother's prayer meeting where they met and prayed over the situation. Then they resolved to visit the tippling houses, which they did. They were so much horrified at what they saw that they began to sing and pray. It had quite a noticeable effect. The outgrowth of this was the formation of a County Temperance Alliance, destined to continue for twenty years. Articles of association were drawn up, a committee appointed to solicit stock, and a mass meeting appointed to be held at the Methodist church. After that the women met daily at the Methodist church to pray against the traffic.13 At Mt. Vernon, the saloons were soon reduced from twenty-two to nine, and later from that to five, and these were in a dying condition as a result of the efforts of the church women of the place. The

  • 8Western Christian Advocate, 1876, 124.
  • 9Western Christian Advocate, 1877, 405.
  • 10Western Christian Advocate, 1882, 177.
  • 11Western Christian Advocate, 1874, 157.
  • 12Western Christian Advocate, 1874, 109.
  • 13Western Christian Advocate, 1874, 61.
same was true at New Harmony, Poseyville, Princeton, Evansville, etc.14

Still another movement, known as the red ribbon movement, also spread rapidly over the United States at about the same time. Doctor Henry A. Reynolds of Bangor, Maine, adopted in 1874 the red ribbon as the badge of the reform club of that place. The club, which for the most part consisted of reformed drinking men, had been organized but a short time before this. It was probably the first club of its kind ever formed. In addition to the red ribbon they also made use of the white ribbon to be worn by the women members and the boys under eighteen years of age. The movement became popular and spread rapidly to other states, so that before long it was mentioned as having organizations in Indiana.15

By June of 1877 the movement had struck the Quaker town of North Manchester and ninety-six signed the pledge on the first evening. It was so successful that a second meeting was announced.16 At LaGrange the movement was inaugurated by Cassiday and Hollenbeck. It was very successful and by July 6 something over seven hundred had signed the pledge. At Evansville the movement struck with equal force. Drinkers donned the red ribbon and became active temperance workers.17 The IndianapolisJournal speaks of the movement having reached them; over eight hundred had signed the pledge by the middle of July. However, there were still eleven saloons left there who complained of hard times. Public sentiment was improving; drunkards diminishing. In Madison county success accompanied the movement; Union county reported twenty-five hundred signers; Fayette, four thousand and Franklin two thousand. At Connersville a temperance picnic was held which was attended by a crowd of about eight thousand.18 In New Albany the red ribbon movement had become permanent by the end of the year; by 1878

  • 14Western Christian Advocate, 1874, 133. (This paper seems to be more authoritative and comprehensive than any other paper consequently it is oftenest cited as a reference.
  • 15Cyclopedia of Temperance and Reform, 57.
  • 16Western Christian Advocate, 1877, 189.
  • 17Western Christian Advocate, 1877, 221.
  • 18Western Christian Advocate, 1877, 253.
Evansville boasted of ten thousand signers of the pledge; here a Mrs. Saleta Evans presented the Red Ribbon Club with a lot valued at $10,000 for the erection of a public hall.19 With the movement extending in this manner throughout the state, aided by the church men, particularly the Methodists, their influence was considerably felt in the way of a creation of public sentiment in favor of temperance everywhere.

Next in these ribbon crusades came the blue ribbon movement, sometimes known as the Murphy movement. Perhaps, the blue ribbon has been associated with temperance reform more than any other badge. It was adopted by Francis Murphy and has since been donned by thousands in this country who have been induced to sign the pledge. The idea seems to have been borrowed from England where their organization had started in 1873. In a short time more than a million pledge cards had been issued in addition to the cards given out by the independent individual workers. After a time there was a change in the name from the Blue-Ribbon army to the Blue-Ribbon Gospel temperance movement. Since then several branch organizations have been organized within the society; such as, the Help-Myself Society among the men and the Help-One-Another Society, among the women.20

The movement had hardly started before it began to spread throughout the United States. It was introduced at Madison during the first part of June, 1877. A meeting was held at the court house there and twenty-two signed the pledge.21 The MadisonIndependent Courier says that the Murphy movement was introduced at Vevay about the same time under the leadership of the Reverend W. W. Synder; forty-eight persons signed the pledge. A dispatch to the CincinnatiCommercial dated Cambridge City, June 10, says: "The Murphy struck Cambridge City today. About five hundred have signed the pledge amid enthusiams." At Aurora one thousand signatures

  • 19Western Christian Advocate, 1878, 69.
  • 20Cyclopedia of Temperance and Reform, 57.
  • 21MadisonCourier, June 6, 1877. At the meeting of the North Madison Temperance organization Tuesday evening, twenty-four new names were added to the pledge. A red ribbon for the gentleman and a blue one for the ladies were adopted as badges of the organization. A petition bearing one hundred and fifty names was placed in the hands of a committee to be presented to the county commissioners asking them not to grant Mr. Henderson a license to sell liquor in North Madison. MadisonCourier, June 8, 1877.
to the Murphy pledge were obtained. Patriot was perfectly revolutionized by the movement. Here it was led by Reverend D. A. Robertson, of Patriot circuit, assisted by workers from Rising Sun; in Jonesboro nine hundred and ten signed the pledge in one week; this comprised about nine-tenths of the drinking people, many of whom had been hard drinkers. The saloon keepers began to feel quite blue. At Rising Sun the movement was inaugurated in the Methodist church by T. H. Bnham of Elizabethtown, assisted by other pastors; two hundred and three persons signed the pledge. In Richmond the Methodist pastors, Reverend A. Marine and R. H. Sparks as well as others were conspicuously active in this movement. Meeting were held in the Lyceum hall, the largest room in the city. It was crowded every night. For three weeks this continued. At the end of that time about five thousand had signed the pledge.22

At Princeton the movement struck with wonderful success, over sixteen hundred signing the pledge; at Portland drunkards reformed by the hundreds; at Covington the same thing was true;23 at Potaka the Methodists inaugurated the movement, seventy-five being enrolled upon the temperance banner.24Marion signed six hundred in two nights, ninety percent of which remained true to their pledge; at Greenfield the pastor of the Methodist church threw himself body and soul into the work; the same is true of the pastor of Dillsboro.25 Blue ribbons became quite numerous in Greencastle, led on by Doctor Conway, a reformed drunkard physician.26

All during 1877 the movement continued over the state and in the following year. Randolph county was thoroughly aroused. The Methodist pastor of Edinburg reports from forty to seventy-five names weekly as pledges.27 At Washington over fifteen hundred had taken the Murphy pledge;28 over eighteen hundred had signed in Bluffton and over four

  • 22Western Christian Advocate, 1877, 205.
  • 23Western Christian Advocate, 1877, p. 213.
  • 24Western Christian Advocate, 1877, 221.
  • 25Western Christian Advocate, 1877, 237.
  • 26Western Christian Advocate, 1877, 253.
  • 27Western Christian Advocate, 1877, 77.
  • 28Western Christian Advocate, 1878, 85.
thousand in Wells county at the end of the first three weeks;29Shelby county under the leadership of the Blue Ribbon organization, had a grand temperance revival, five thousand persons in the county signing. Great improvement in the crowds that assembled in Shelbyville on Saturday and Sunday was noticed.30 And so the thing grew until near the end of 1879 it was reported that there were eighty-five local unions in the state in good working order.31

It has undoubtedly been one of the big temperance forces in the state and there is no question but that the major portion of the members were also members of some church.

Besides these mentioned there was the Union Temperance organization of Indiana. This met and organized in Indianapolis on May 24, 1878. The Indiana State Christian Temperance Union organized about the same time, and the Grand Council of Temperance. The latter came into existence on November 19, 1879. The object of the organization was to unite the different temperance organizations of the state for the purpose of concerted action. In their constitution provision was made for all temperance societies of the state to form the Union, without, however, each losing its distinctive feature. The Constitution, which was subsequently adopted was as follows:

In order to form an alliance, insure harmony, secure concert of action, and promote the causes of temperance, we the representatives of the different temperance organizations in the state of Indiana, grateful for the helping hand of Almighty God, do ordain and establish this Constitution.

Article I. All powers herein granted shall be vested in a council to be known as the Grand Temperance Council of the State of Indiana.

Section 2. The Grand Council shall be composed of delegates to be chosen every year by the several organizations in the state, each to be entitled to such representation as may from time to time be fixed by the council.

Article II. At each annual meeting of the council there shall be appointed an executive committee of five. Such a committee shall have general superintendence over the work throughout the state, shall decide upon the statistics to be reported to the Grand Council, make all necessary

  • 29Western Christian Advocate, 1878, 93. Mention is made in the GreencastleBanner,MadisonCourier and others in a more general way than here. The Western Christian Advocate seems to be a good summary of the movement.
  • 30Western Christian Advocate, 1878, 77.
  • 31Western Christian Advocate, 1879, 373.
arrangements in reference to the annual holdings of the meeting of the council. They shall fill all vacancies in office occurring during the year and all money shall be paid out under the direction of such committee.

Section 3. The corresponding secretary shall devote all the time necessary to the discharge of the duties of the office, and shall receive such salary as the council shall from time to time fix and determine.

Section 4. The president and other officers shall perform the duties that usually pertain to such offices.

Section 5. At every meeting of the council there shall be appointed a committee of five in each congressional district in the state, who shall assist the executive committee in organizing and prosecuting the work; and shall appoint such sub-committees of three in each county in their respective districts. Through such district committees the county committees shall report the condition of the work in their respective counties, quarterly to the executive committee.

Article III. All the various organizations shall remain intact, retaining their distinctive features, and the council shall in no way interfere with nor change the manner of prosecuting their work.

Article. IV. The Grand Council shall from time to time adopt such by-laws as may be deemed proper, the same not to be inconsistent with this constitution.

Article V. The Grand Council, whenever two-thirds of the members present shall deem it necessary, may make amendments to this constitution which shall be valid and to all intent and purposes become a part of the same.32

As the Grand Council grew in organization more work was done; a state central temperance literature bureau was formed with Miss Auretta Hoyt as secretary; days of prayer were inaugurated; christian and temperance people all over the state were urged to attend the session of the legislature in 1881; a prohibitory amendment to the constitution was asked for and men and women were urged to write to their representatives. In their own words:

The Grand Temperance Council has come to stay. It is permanently established, and we shall keep it until we win, no matter how long it takes. In addition we count on the whole moral and religious force of the state to help us.33

First, gospel temperance meetings are to be held as often as practicable in all the churches.

  • 32Western Christian Advocate, 1879, 382. Also Constitution in Minutes and the Proceedings of the Grand Council.
  • 33Western Christian Advocate, 1881, 20.

Besides this an earnest appeal was made to the clergy and churches of the state. It was as follows:

Second, that there be co-operation with county councils wherever they exist, in securing addresses and sermons and gospel temperance meetings for all possible points of the country; and we also ask that you use your personal efforts in securing an organization of the temperance forces of your county into a county temperance council.

Third, that we ask a pledge from the members of our respective churches to support prohibition.34

By 1881, their work had become so great that the CincinnatiEnquirer said of them:

The temperance people of Indiana have hit upon a new method of organization, which is not only unique, but promises to be very effective in giving strength for the prohibitionists from all political parties. The Grand Temperance council is making up a state central committee of one man from each political party in every county. Their object is not to organize independent political action but to keep the prohibition movement outside of parties and unite the full temperance strength of each party in the interest of candidates pledged to refer the prohibitory constitutional amendment to the people.

In addition to this the Methodists of the state proposed to hold an Indiana Methodist Episcopal conference for temperance. This was to prepare the public mind for the issue in the fall of 1881.35

At about the same time that the ribbon movements were under way, the lodges began to work along the same lines. As early as 1874 the grand lodge of the Odd Fellows of Indiana took action on the subject of temperance. The grand master, Richard Owen of the State University, made a report against it; and on the same day the grand lodge issued the following resolution against it by a vote of four hundred and fifty to one.

Inasmuch as our order is placed, in many locations, in a false position on the question of temperance, and erroneous views are entertained by parties outside of our order on our postion as Odd Fellows; therefore,

Resolved: That our grand representative to the grand lodge of the United States be instructed to urge upon that body the passage of the law prohibiting lodges from receiving into their membership any person engaged in the manufacture or sale of spirituous or malt liquors and that they be requested to use their best endeavors to induce those who are engaged to relinquish the traffic in these articles. The influence of

  • 34Western Christian Advocate, 1881, 245. Report of the Minutes and Proceedings of the Grand Council.
  • 35Western Christian Advocate, 1881, 133.
this action will be felt in every portion of Indiana where 24,778 members of the fraternity are now found.36

The Odd Fellows were followed shortly by the Masons and various other lodges all of which lent their quota of influence to the movement. Add to all of these movements the Children's temperance movement begun at New Albany in 1879;37 temperance camp meetings held in various parts of the state such as Vincennes, Lafayette, Columbus, Muncie and Ligonier;38 and the thousands of petitions beginning to pour into the legislative halls and an idea may be gathered concerning the growing temperance sentiment throughout the state.39 The time seemed ripe for more legislation.

As a result of the beginning of these various agitations, an act was passed on February 27, 1873, which made it unlawful to sell, or give away for the purpose of gain any intoxicating liquors to be drunk about the premises without first obtaining a permit from the county commissioners. The applicant for such a license had to file with the auditor, not less than twenty days before the meeting of the board, a petition in writing giving the exact location, also certifying that the said applicant was a voter in the county, and that he was a proper person to have such a permit. This application had to be signed by a majority of the legal voters resident in the ward, town or township. If the petition was according to law and in regular form then the applicant had to pay the expense of filing such petition and give a bond of three thousand dollars with freehold security to insure payment of all fines and costs and all damages which might result from the selling of liquors by him. These licenses were all for one year; and the man was required to keep a certificate in a conspicuous place showing when his permit expired. If this permit was violated

  • 36Western Christian Advocate, 1874, 182.
  • 37Western Christian Advocate, 1879, 139.
  • 38Western Christian Advocate, 1882, 5.
  • 39 The GreencastleBanner says 40,000 petitions. Petitions 1883 to submit amendments. Signatures aggregated 24,755 from 85 counties. Petitions placed in Senate, 9,957. To Republican senators, 4,282; Democratic senators, 5,674. Petitions placed in House, 14,798. To Republican representatives, 7,521; Democratic, 7,277. Total petitions to Republican members, 11,804; Democratic, 13,951. Thousands more were to follow. The clerk was going to have a barrel ready to hold the vast pile of manuscripts which were coming in asking to have either the temperance or suffrage amendments submitted. MadisonWeekly Courier, Jan. 24, 1883.
in any manner the holder must forfeit it and no new license might be granted him for a period of five years. In addition to this he was not allowed to sell liquors to minors or intoxicated persons, or persons in the habit of becoming intoxicated. Moreover, no liquors might be sold on Christmas, Thanksgiving Day or any public holiday between the hours of nine p. m. and six a. m. Other minor provisions were made as well as provisions for adequate penalties for the violation of any or all parts of the act.40 This act is sometimes known as the "Baxter Law". A local act was also passed authorizing the city of Huntington to charge a license fee of not less than twenty-five nor more than five hundred dollars.41

In the meantime, as noted above, the agitation became greater and greater. As a direct outgrowth of this two more laws were passed in 1875. The first of these provided that any person holding office under the constitution or laws of this state who shall voluntarily become intoxicated within the business hours of his office, or shall be in the habit of becoming intoxicated, shall forfeit his office, and be removed therefrom upon complaint and conviction filed by any citizen of the state.42

In the second place another act was passed which provided that no person should sell any spirituous, vinous, or malt liquors in less quantities than one quart without a license, nor shall any persons without a license sell any intoxicating liquors to be drank about his premises. To obtain such a license the applicant had to give twenty days' notice in some newspaper, or three most prominent places in case there be no newspaper, before the meeting of the board, describing the precise location where he intended to keep shop. Any voter, then, of the township might remonstrate in writing on account of the immorality or other unfitness of the applicant. The license for such sale of liquor was to cost one hundred dollars in addition to which the man was required to give bond in the sum of two thousand dollars conditioned to keep an orderly and peaceable

  • 40 Laws of Indiana, 1873, 151-8.
  • 41Laws of Indiana, 1873, 149.
  • 42Laws of Indiana, 1875, 91.
house and to pay all fines. Such licenses were good for one year.43

Some of the provisions of the law were that no licensed person was to sell on Sunday or any legal holiday, or on election day, or between eleven p. m. and five a. m. under penalty of not less than ten dollars or more than fifty for the first conviction; for the second he had to forfeit his license. Neither was he permitted to sell to persons in the habit of becoming drunk; nor to any person after notice had been given to him by the wife, child, parent, brother, or sister, or township trustee under penalty of from ten to fifty dollars. Other minor provisions were included such as penalties for getting drunk, for adulterating liquors, and for keeping disorderly places. All former laws for regulating the sale of liquors and all parts of laws conflicting with these are repealed and an emergency declared.44

But legislation did not follow closely upon the heels of the various movements in the state for only minor provisions in 1877 were passed. They made it unlawful to sell on Sunday, Fourth of July, New Years day, Christmas, Thanksgiving or any election days under penalty of not less than ten nor more than fifty dollars, to which might be added imprisonment not to exceed sixty days. Moreover, no druggist or druggist's clerk should sell on those days, except on a written prescription of some regular practicing physician under penalty of not less than five nor more than one hundred dollars to which might also be added imprisonment not to exceed sixty days.45

During the same year another act was passed which authorized any incorporated towns to license the sale of spirituous, vinous, malt and other intoxicating liquors at a sum not exceeding the price charged by the state. The wording of this law was slightly changed in 1879 but the context remained the same.46

The agitation by this time had become quite intense; thousands of memorials and resolutions were being offered yearly to the legislature; and petitions were introduced into the

  • 43 Cities and incorporated towns might charge one hundred dollars in addition to these provisions. Vinous and malt liquor licenses cost only fifty dollars.
  • 44Laws of Indiana. Special Session 1875, 55-59.
  • 45Laws of Indiana, 1877, 92-3.
  • 46Laws of Indiana, 1879, 144-5.
Senate, January 18, 1881, through the members of the counties sending them. They aggregated 12,336 signatures, all legal voters duly attested and representing fifty-nine counties.47 It created a greater sensation than any ordinary routine business since the beginning of the session. The petitions were signed by all classes. Accordingly the members of the legislature of 1881 deemed it wise to take a greater step than they had since the days of 1855. A few minor acts were passed at the same time that the more important legislation was going on. One of these provided that whoever holding an office under the constitution or laws of the state became intoxicated during the business hours of his office should be fined from ten to one hundred dollars, to which might be added imprisonment in the county jail not to exceed ten days, and for the second offense he might be deprived of his office by judgment of the proper court.48

Another of these acts passed the same year provided penalties for drunkenness, selling to a man who was drunk, or who was known habitually to get drunk, selling to a minor, furnishing intoxicants to a prisoner, selling on Sunday or legal holidays, or between the hours of eleven p. m. at night and five a. m. in the morning, selling liquor within one mile of religious or agricultural meetings except at the regular places of business. Druggists were also prohibited from selling in any quantities on Sunday, July Fourth, New Years day, Christmas, Thanksgiving or other legal holiday and on any election day. The penalties ranged from ten to one hundred dollars fine and imprisonment not to exceed sixty days.49

The same legislature under stress of petitions sent them by teachers, professors, attorneys, physicians, and college presidents proposed to submit the following amendment to the people of the state after it should have again been passed by the legislature of 1883.50 It was a joint resolution originating in the House and read as follows:

Section 1. The manufacture, sale, or keeping for sale in said state, spirituous, vinous, malt or any other intoxicating liquors except for

  • 47Western Christian Advocate, 1881, 29.
  • 48Acts of Regular and Special Sessions, 1881, 204.
  • 49Acts of Regular and Special Sessions, 1881, 214-16.
  • 50Western Christian Advocate, 1881, 29.
medical, scientific, mechanical and wines for sacramental purposes shall be and is hereby forever prohibited in the State of Indiana.

Section 2. The General Assembly of the State of Indiana shall provide by law in what manner, by whom, and at what places such liquors shall be manufactured or sold for medical, scientific, mechanical and sacramental purposes.51

The agitation during the next two years was perhaps the greatest in the history of the state. Led by the four conferences of Methodism in the state the forces of temperance put up a gallant fight. The temperance report of the church in 1881 was as follows:

Whereas the legislature of the state of Indiana at its last session took the initial steps looking to the submission of an amendment to the constitution of the state prohibiting the manufacturing or sale of liquors to be used as a beverage; and, whereas the next legislature will have to pass upon the subject before it can be submitted to a vote of the people; therefore

Resolved: That we pledge ourselves with the temperance people of the state to use our influence and votes to defeat any candidate for the legislature of the state who will not pledge himself and his vote in favor of submitting this question to a vote of the people.52

This was followed by a much stronger one in 1882. It read:

Resolved: That a refusal on the part of the legislature to submit this question to a vote of the people would be subversive of their rights as guaranteed by our constitution and by the genius of our government.

Resolved: That we claim and demand the right to pass upon this amendment at a special election, when the question can be separated from all political and personal complications.

Resolved: That we will support no man, or any political party, for the legislature, who will not in advance pledge himself to vote for this amendment and for its submission to the people.

Resolved: That we will banish all fermented wines from our sacramental tables.

Resolved: That we will heartily co-operate with all legitimate political or temperance organizations that are seeking to establish constitutional prohibition.53

In spite of these resolutions and pledges of the Methodists, the forty thousand petitions of the people to the legislature asking for the amendment,54 and the ardent work of all the

  • 51Acts of Regular and Special Sessions, 1881, 720-21.
  • 52Northwest Indiana Conference Minutes, 1881, 52.
  • 53Northwest Indiana Conference Minutes, 1882, 52-3.
  • 54Western Christian Advocate, 1883, 37.
temperance societies, the amendment failed to come up before the people and the forces of right were again defeated. The story of how they were defeated is told in another chapter on temperance agitation and constitutional growth.

Again the forces of intemperance had won. Summarizing the outstanding features of the work during the period we find, in the first place, a period of depression following their defeat in 1855; next the period of great laxity due to the demoralization of the temperance forces, the slavery agitation, the Civil war, and then the reconstruction period. These years are characterized by the lack of temperance societies, lack of interest on the part of the churches and almost utter disregard of the problem by the legislature. After this came the growing sentiment as shown by the great number of societies, church work, and an increased agitation in the legislative halls. Of the many temperance workers of the time perhaps Thomas A. Goodwin and Colonel Ray deserve especial mention.


Just as a period of depression followed the defeat of the temperance forces in 1855 so a similar period followed their defeat in 1883. However, in the latter there was no Civil war or other great national crisis to accentuate this depression. Consequently it did not become nearly so great as during the earlier period.

In the meantime the country continued in its prosperity. The population in Indiana increased from 1,978,301 in 1880 to 2,192,404 in 1890; from that to 2,516,462 in 1900; and to 2,700,876 in 1910;1 and, doubtless at the time of complete victory, had reached the three million mark. Means of communication multiplied. The old postal system and isolated telephone were supplemented by multiplied telegraph lines and rural mail delivery; a rejuvenated civil service with express and parcels post came into existence; ways of transportation increased from the few trains, buggies and wagons to countless railroad and interurban lines, and thousands of automobiles; from the little country school house we progressed to consolidation and centralization, to a systematized high school

  • 1Statistics for Indiana, Bureau of Census, 568.
and numerous universities-all devoted to the education of the young; industry likewise grew by leaps and bounds. With the development of all of these phases of life has come a slow and steady development of the machinery of government as well as other institutions, such as the churches. The latter have hardly kept pace with the others, but nevertheless they have made their presence felt.

The churches continued to be among the most potent temperance forces in the state. Because of their traditions they were impelled to even greater efforts than any time in their previous history. And because of the great increase in their membership and wealth they were better qualified to do more. From a church of 106,735 members in 1880, the Methodists as representative of the general church movement, grew until they reached the mark of 141,693 in 1890-a percentage of six and nine-tenths of the entire population; from that to 178,676 in 1900, a percentage of seven and six-tenths of the whole and from that to 208,655 in 1910, a percentage of eight and two-tenths; and, by 1915 just two years before the ultimate victory they numbered 240,084, about one-third the entire church membership in the state. Add to this the growth of public moral sentiment due to their efforts and the expansion of the church temporal welfare and a fair conception of their importance can be gained. In 1880 the Methodists had property valued at about only $3,000,000; in 1890 that had multiplied to $3,760,950 while their parsonages had grown in value to $454,405, making a total of $4,214,355; by 1900 it had further increased to about $4,902,415 for the churches and for the parsonages about $700,000, making in all about $5,600,000; and, by 1910 the value of the churches was placed at $7,811,960and the parsonages $1,172,565 totaling about $9,000,000. By the year 1917 they were both valued at more than $12,000,000.2

The other churches increased in like manner. By 1906 the Baptists in the state numbered, 92,705; the Christian church, 118,447; the Lutherans, 55,768; the Presbyterians, 58,633; Roman Catholics, 174,347; United Brethren, 52,700; the German Evangelical Synod, 21,624; Episcopalian, 7,653 and all

  • 2 These statistics were taken from the various reports of the Indiana Conferences. A few are missing so an estimate had to be made.
other denominations 102,249.3 Besides this their wealth had increased until the total for all the churches was $31,081,500. With still other institutions like these fighting all of the various liquor organizations need it be necessary to say that much work was done during this period for the betterment of the people of the state?

Along with the growth of the churches came the development of the various other temperance organizations, largely a result of the influence emanating from the former. The various organizations beginning previous to the eighties continued their work, many of them increased greatly for a time and a few new ones began operations, while some died out entirely.

To aid further temperance work the Methodist church organized within itself a temperance society. This did not take place until 1908 and consequently its influence has been exerted only in comparatively recent years. The purpose of the society was to spread the doctrine of temperance throughout the church, promote voluntary abstinence from intoxicating liquors among the people connected with the church, and raise money for the assistance of the temperance cause. Money did not begin to make its apperance, however, until 1912. Following is a table showing the entire amount contributed by the church for that cause.

Year. N.W. Ind. Conf. N. Ind. Conf. Ind. Conf. Total.
1912 $153 $- $- $153
1913 222 200 340 762
1914 339 533 480 1,325
1915 375 732 556 1,663
1916 441 748 643 1,832
1917 661 885 1,071 2,617
1918 833 - - 833
Total $3,024 $3,098 $3,090 $9,212.4

Seemingly not a very flattering report when one considers that the total wealth of the church was about $12,000,000 in

  • 3Special Report of the Bureau of Census, 1906. Part I, 46.
  • 4 Statistics taken from the reports of the three Indiana conferences for the years beginning 1912 and through 1918. In 1918 the North Indiana conference and the Indiana conference and discontinued that form of benevolence.
1917. This means that about one dollar for every $1,400 worth of wealth was expended toward the extinction of the greatest enemy of the church; the one about which they prayed the most, preached the loudest, and offered the greatest number of resolutions. It must be borne in mind, however, that the church has been a large contributor to the Anti-Saloon league.

These new organizations added new zest to the temperance agitation and things began again to move. In 1886 a few of the more ardent members of the Republican party who were enthusiastic temperance workers met on October 20 and held a convention in the interest of that cause. It came to be known as the Republican Local Option league. E. B. Reynolds called the meeting to order and officers were elected. After this, resolutions were offered which declared that since the Democratic party was under the complete control of the liquor forces it was the first duty of the temperance men in the state to combine and defeat them at the next election. There may have been a grain of partisan tactics in the movement. Moreover, they favored local option as the most safe and democratic principle upon which to found the league. Before the close of the meeting delegates to the National Republican Anti-Saloon conference were appointed.5 Just what influence this organization had cannot be determined.

Another movement, one that gave considerable momentum to the temperance fight, began a great deal earlier than this period but only gained prominence in the state about this time. It was the Prohibition Party. Organized in 1869 at Oswego, New York, it took for its fundamental principle direct opposition to the manufacture, sale, and use of all intoxicating drinks, except for scientific purposes. Gradually it spread until it reached Inidana sometime during the early eighties. Certainly it is not mentioned much before this time, and no votes were cast for their presidential candidate until 1884 when John P. St. John was the presidential nominee.

In spite of the heroic measures adopted it never gained any very great prominence as a party. Like all third parties it had varied and uncertain history, but unlike them it lasted much longer than any other. The following table will afford

  • 5Western Christian Advocate, 1886, 476.
an opportunity for an estimation of their political value in the state.

Year. Candidate. Prohibition Vote. Total Vote Possible.
1884 St. John 3,028 494,793
1888 Fiske 9,881 536,949
1892 Bidwell 13,050 553,613
1896 Levering 5,3236 637,124
1900 Wooley 13,718 663,840
1904 Swallow 23,496 681,934
1908 Chafin 18,045 721,126
1912 Chafin 19,249 654,474
1916 Hanley 16,368 717,189.7

Although the prohibition party has never elected a presidential candidate and will probably cease to exist in view of the present conditions, it has, however, had a great influence. Many times they have held the balance of power between the two major parties.

By 1880 the Woman's Christian Temperance union had been thoroughly organized and adopted a formal constitution and by-laws. Article two of their constitution says that

The object of the organization is to enlist and unite the women of the entire state in temperance work, and devise and execute measures, which, with the blessing of God, will result in the suppression of intemperance, and secure as soon as possible the entire prohibition of the importation, manufacture and sale of intoxicating drinks.8

Provision was made for state organization, the formation of district unions, county unions and local unions. All of these divisions had constitutions that were quite similar, except of course that each of the lower organizations were directly responsible to the one higher up in all matters relating to policy and administration. Departments of work were also maintained. These ranged in number from fifteen to thirtyfive. Among the most important were the following:

  1. Homes for orphan and pauper children.
  2. Young women's and youth's work.
  3. Kindergarten work.

    • 6 There was a split in the party at this time over the Silver question.
    • 7Cyclopedia of American Government, III, 33-46. World's Almanac, 1919,150.
    • 8 Constitution and By-Laws of W. C. T. U. in Indiana.
  4. Juvenile and Sunday School Department.
  5. Department of Scientific Instruction.
  6. Department of Heredity and Hygiene.
  7. Evangelistic Department.
  8. Department for Suppression of Impure Literature.
  9. Work for colored people.
  10. Work for the Germans.
  11. State and County Fair work.
  12. Department for Soldiers and Sailors.
  13. Department for the overthrow of the opium habit.
  14. Franchise Department.
  15. Department for Promotion of Social Purity co-operating with the White Cross League, etc.9

In this manner the work in the state was thoroughly systematized, and the movement grew greatly in strength and influence. The following table will give some idea of the growth of the society in the state up to, and including the year 1893. After that time it grew until its membership was 12,700 in 1918 and the income something like eight thousand dollars, double that of 1904.

Year Counties organized Local Unions Membership Juvenile Societies Money Received
1880 - 31 616 - $-
1881 - 78 823 - -
1882 - 80 1,532 - -
1883 - 72 1,856 46 761.29
1884 - 101 2,565 57 2,229.39
1885 - 91 2,101 70 1,229.30
1886 - 110 2,082 37 1,112.58
1887 36 125 2,517 41 1,477.85
1888 30 180 3,727 46 1,819.79
1889 33 180 3,550 65 1,715.87
1890 47 234 5,079 104 3,639.37
1891 65 276 4,864 125 3,675.76
1892 76 327 5,535 168 4,510.31
1893 75 327 5,106 144 5,190.25.10

Along with this material growth came a great increase in the influence wielded by them throughout the state. As stated in one of their reports, "By what system of mathematics shall

  • 9 Reports of W. C. T. U. of Indiana. Any one after 1885.
  • 10 Report of W. C. T. U. 1893, 75.
we compute the spiritual and intellectual development of the women engaged in our work?" Nor was it confined to the women. By their petitions and prayers and organization many institutions were affected, particularly the legislative assembly as well as local governing bodies. At Osgood they quietly nominated a town ticket and had it printed. On the day of the election the tickets were distributed without any one knowing the origin. Voters were so well pleased with it that they elected the entire group.11 Previous to this they had prepared a bill to the General Assembly to place Scientific Instruction in the schools of the state. It passed the House by a vote of fifty-four to thirty-nine and was defeated in the Senate by a vote of twenty-two to twenty. Petitions for its passage had been presented from sixty-five counties. The signatures aggregated 16,004 to which might be added a great many individual letters.12

The proper local authorities shall on and after September 1, 1885 require all pupils in all schools supported by public money, or under state control, to study as a regular branch, physiology and hygiene which shall in each division of the subject so pursued give special reference to the effects of alcoholic drinks, stimulants and narcotics upon the human system.

No person shall teach in the public schools, or in any school under state control in the state of Indiana, after the first day of January. 1886. who has not passed a satisfactory examination in physiology and hygiene with special reference to alcoholic drinks, stimulants, and narcotics upon the human system.

No certficate of fitness to teach, issued by any authority previous to the passage of the act shall exempt the holder thereof from the examination required by this statute.

The salaries or payment for the services as teachers, school examiners, or school officers of any grade, shall be made void by the failure of such teachers, school examiners, or school officials to comply with the provisions of this statute. Report of Indiana W. C. T. U. 1885, 50.

Temperance meetings, rallies and medal contests were held all over the state. Thousands of pages of literature were distributed annually, poems were written, temperance songs were sung, house to house canvasses were made, all in the interest of absolute prohibition. In fact the work increased in such proportions that they were one of the three most important factors in the recent "dry" campaign.13

  • 11Western Christian Advocate. 1888, 833.
  • 12 Following is the bill which the W. C. T. U. kept before the legislature from 1885 until its passage in 1895:
  • 13 The following song, written by Kate Lunden, a native Scandinavias, was used a great deal in the work and meetings of the W. C. T. U.

Working with the W. C. T. U. as sub-organizations were the Young Woman's Christian Temperance union and the Loyal Temperance legion, to which must be given considerable credit. The Y. W. C. T. U. was organized November 10, 1879, by some thirty young ladies who had assembled in the study of the Second Presbyterian church in Indianapolis. The object of the society as defined in their constitution was to "plan and carry forward the measures which with the blessings of


Fling out to the breeze; let it tell to the world
That the faith which has raised it will never surrender,
Let it tell that the love which our banner unfurled,
Is the guard of the home and the nation's defender.
Let it gleam as a star, for the ship-wrecked afar,
Like a beacon that warns of the treacherous bar;
Let that banner of freedom and purity wave
As a signal of hope 'midst the perils of the brave.

Hold that banner aloft; let our colors be seen
From Siberian snowfields to African valleys;
Lift it up for the truth; let the rays of its sheen
Drive the shadows of night from the by-ways and alleys.
Let it tell to the lost that we count not the cost;
That our bridges are burned and our Rubicon crossed;
That the banner of mother-love ever shall wave,
Till the paths are made straight for the sin-burdened slave.

Let it fly at the front; it is washed in our tears
And the smoke of the battle enhances its whiteness,
Though our hearts may be pierced by the enemy's spears,
Yet the flow from our wounds shall but add to its brightness,
And this ensign of right, it shall float o'er the fight,
Till our wrongs are avenged by the triumph of Right;
And in radiant victory at last it shall wave,
O'er the ramparts we've stormed, o'er King Alcohol's grave.

Swing it out from the staff; let it shadow the ground
Where the fathers of liberty sleep 'neath the mosses;
Run it up o'er the homes where the mothers are found
Who through the watches of anguish are counting their losses,
In the tear-moistened sod, which our martyrs have trod,
We are planting it deep for our land and our God;
And the banner of the world-circling lover o'er shall wave
In the name of our Christ, who is mighty to save.

  • Report of Indiana W. C. T. U. 1898, p. 63.
God, shall result in total abstinence". The meetings were largely social, literary and special work, but the idea that they were a temperance society was kept prominently in mind.14

The Loyal Temperance legion, organized some time later, desired to gather all of the members of the various juvenile societies under the auspices of the W. C. T. U. so that they could be one central state organization. Their secondary object was to form companies of Loyal legions in every town and city in the state and to maintain a high standard among those already formed. They had a rapid growth and considerable influence.15 Other sub-organizations such as the Bands of Hope grew up also but since they were quite similar to the others they will not be given consideration.

The official organ of the W. C. T. U. and these sub-organizations was the Organizer, a twelve page weekly published by the Organizer Publishing Company of Lafayette. Besides this publication the same company put out several other papers, chief of which were, The Eastern Star (a sixteen page monthly), the Convention Reporter (a sixteen page quarterly), The Institute Items (an eight page quarterly), The Glad Tidings (one issue of sixteen pages). Other papers affiliated with the temperance work and the various W. C. T. U. movements were the Union Signal, The Message, and the Young Crusader.16

Besides these two and the W. C. T. U. there were many minor societies having as their aim the prohibition of the liquor traffic. One of these which later did some very creditable work was the Lincoln legion, a temperance organization standing for Gospel Temperance and pledge signing. It was organized at Oberlin, Ohio in 1903, under the auspices of the Anti-Saloon league. The name was taken from a pledge which Lincoln signed in his early days. It read:

Whereas, the use of alcoholic liquors as a beverage is productive of pauperism, degradation and crime; and believing it our duty to discourage

  • 14 Minutes of the Ninth Annual Meeting of the W. C. T. U. 1882, 27.
  • 15 The rallying cry of the Loyal legion was as follows:

    Rah! Rah! Rah!
    We clover blossoms are a-field,
    Why? Saloons must die.
    Hear their knell.
    Indiana L. T. L.

  • 16 Various Reports of the W. C. T. U. The Organizer had a good circulation.
that which produces more evil than good, we therefore pledge ourselves to abstain from the use of intoxicating liquors as a beverage.

This pledge was adopted by the legion. Both state and county organizations were provided for by the laws of the society. It was not long until several hundred thousand persons had been organized so near us it was only a short time until it hit Indiana with considerable force and for quite a while had its share of influence.17

Still other societies made their appearance; the Youth's Temperance Alliance of America, organized in 1907; the National Temperance Society, which organized the former. Besides these there were many others which, perhaps, did not have a very widespread influence. Some of them were as follows: The International Order of Good Templars, The International Reform Bureau, The Catholic Total Abstinence Union, The Templars of Honor and Temperance, The Order of The Sons of Temperance, The Royal Templars of Temperance, but these seemed to work through the medium of the two or three main and central temperance bodies rather than for themselves as a local order.

Without doubt one of the most potent factors in the recent victory of the temperance forces was the Indiana Anti-Saloon league. It had its beginning as a national movement in 1893, but did not reach Indiana until 1898 when it was organized here under the direction of Howard H. Russell. In reality it was the church in action against the liquor traffic. Such a movement had never been inaugurated before, yet with its installation came more efficient methods of combat. The religious bodies of the state, who, during the latter part of the movement, numbered well over six hundred thousand members, elected the trustees that governed the league and were, therefore, responsible for the policy of the organization. The purpose of the league, like the Temperance Alliance of former days, was to federate upon all temperance questions, upon all religious, and upon all moral issues in the state. It was nonsectarian, but christian; non-partisan, but patriotic; and, the whole movement was directed exclusively against the beverage liquor traffic. The league did its work under five different departments each of which was presided over by an executive

  • 17Encyclopedia of Social Reform, 715.
head known as the state superintendent. These departments were as follows: (1) the organization department, (2) the platform department, (3) the legal department, (4) the publicity department, (5) the finance department.

With such an organization they have been able to accomplish wonders. Slightly before their organization only a very small part of the state was dry, but so thorough and so earnest has been their work that in less than two decades the state declared against the traffic forever. Their program for 1916 had been to elect a state legislature and a congressional delegation favorable to state and national prohibition, also a governor and other administrative officers to approve of and enforce the same. How successful they were will be seen when we come to study the liquor legislation during the session that followed.18 Their official organ besides their various pamphlets, papers, reports, books, etc., was the Indiana Issue, a monthly paper, begun in 1906 and lasting only a short time.

The latest temperance organization in the state as well as the most powerful and centralized, was the Indiana Dry Federation. A delegation of temperance people met at the Claypool Hotel on December 6, 1916, and began plans for the work. As outlined by them its purpose was as follows:

It is the sense of the Indiana Dry Federation that while its work is largely advisory, whenever possible it shall also voice to the state and to the legislature its wishes, as the united thought of all the participating bodies, thus presenting a united front at the time when it will count the most.19

The organizations which were represented and which affiliated themselves actively with the new association were: The Catholic Total Abstinence union, The Christian Women's Board of Missions, The Intercollegiate Prohibition Association, Presbyterian Temperance Board, The National Christian Board of Temperance, The Indiana State Horticultural Association, the W. C. T. U., the Indiana State Civic Union, The Dry Democratic, Organization, The Flying Squadron, The Prohibition, and it was also announced that the Legislative Council of Indiana Women would co-operate with the Federation. The Anti-Saloon League refused to join.20

  • 18 Pamphlet issued by Anti-Saloon League, 1-3.
  • 19 The IndianapolisStar, Dec. 7, 1916. p. 11, col. 2.
  • 20 The IndianapolisNews, Dec. 13, 1916. p. 13, col. 2.

Money for the necessary expenses of the federation was raised by asking for contributions at prohibition mass meetings. Of such money collected twenty-five per cent of it was to be retained in the county where the meeting was held while the other seventy-five per cent was to be used for the expenses of the central organization.21

After the fall of the temperance forces in 1883 eight years elapsed before any more liquor legislation took place. Finally, however, in 1889 a law was passed which made it possible for an aggrieved applicant or for a remonstrant against the granting of a license to appeal from the decision of the board of county commissioners to the circuit court of the county. This might be done any time within ten days after the decision of the board. However, such undertaking must first be approved by the county auditor. If the appeal had not been filed within the allotted time it could not be granted. Besides this sufficient surety to pay all costs, which might be adjudged by the final decision, had to be guaranteed.22

Another act the same year revised the statutes of 1881. Such revision read as follows:

No city or incorporated town shall charge any person who may obtain a license under the provisions of this act more than the following sums for a license to sell within their corporate limits; cities may charge two hundred fifty dollars and incorporated towns one hundred and fifty in addition to the sum which had to be paid into the county treasury.23

Nothing more happened until 1893. Then the municipal governments of the cities were empowered to license, tax and regulate the selling or giving away of any spirituous, vinous, or malt liquors and to tax and regulate their places of business whether manufacture or store. Such jurisdiction extended four miles from the corporate limits of the city or town and did not invalidate any of the state laws in regard to the license, tax or regulation.24 It is to be noted here that instead of the great number of societies which characterized the earlier movements, the tendency was toward centralization and more

  • 21 Ibid. W. E. Carpenter of Brazil was chosen president of the Federation and Mrs. Culla J. Vayhinger president of the W. C. T. U. was chosen for their secretary
  • 22Laws of Indiana, 1889, 288.
  • 23Laws of Indiana, 1889, 395.
  • 24Laws of Indiana, 1893, 213.
complete organization. It is not surprising, therefore, to note that the chief societies for the furtherance of the temperance idea may be grouped under three different heads: The Anti-Saloon league, The Women's Christian Temperance union and the Indiana Dry Federation. During the latter part of 1916 all temperance organizations except the Anti-Saloon league subordinated themselves to the Indiana Dry Federation.

In addition to these there have been from time to time reform meetings, temperance rallies and conventions everywhere. Many examples of these are in evidence, but only one or two will be cited. At Brown's grove, two and one-half miles south of Liberty a rally was held on August 8, 1885. Noted preachers were present and spoke on the right of the people to control the liquor traffic by constitutional amendment.25 Besides this many revivals were conducted throughout the state in the interest of the temperance forces. At Muncie, Thomas E. Murphy held a very successful meeting;26 at Aurora, W. J. Murphy, son of Francis Murphy, held one of the greatest temperance revivals ever witnessed in that section of the country. The house was crowded to overflowing every night.27 The same thing has been true every year since. Many papers, too, advocated total prohibition as a beverage. Of these the IndianapolisJournal, the Phalanx and many Republican papers were active along this line.28

In 1895 a law was passed known as the Nicholson law. It provided that all persons applying for a license had to specifically describe the room in which he, she or they desired to sell liquors along with the exact location of the same. Such applicant must be of good moral character, over twenty-one years of age and be the proprietor in person of the said place of business. Additional provisions prevented the placing of screens or blinds in such a position as to hide the interior of the room from the street. Minors were prohibited from going into the room for any purpose whatever. In addition a remonstranceclause made it possible for a majority of the voters of any township or ward to prevent any saloon or other liquor

  • 25Western Christian Advocate, 1885, 229.
  • 26Western Christian Advocate, 1889, 76.
  • 27Western Christian Advocate, 1889, 92.
  • 28Western Christian Advocate, 1886, 301, 461, etc.
shop being set up in that district. In order to do this a remonstrance had to be signed by the majority of the voters of the said unit and filed with the county auditor three days before the regular session of the board of commissioners. If this were properly done it was unlawful to issue a license in that township or ward for a period of two years from the date of the filing of such remonstrance. However, should any license be granted under those conditions it was null and void and the holder was liable under the laws of the state just the same as if he had never had a license. The number which constituted the majority of voters referred to above was determined by the aggregate vote cast in the unit district for the candidate running for the highest office at the last election preceding the filing of the remonstrance. Drug stores were not permitted to sell in less quantities than a quart and then only upon a written prescription from a practicing physician. Adequate penalties for the non-observance of all of these clauses were provided; they ranged from a fine of ten dollars to two hundred and imprisonment not to exceed six months.29

In regard to the municipal government the cities were also authorized to license, regulate and restrain all places where intoxicating liquors were kept for sale. They were given power to designate the room, or building; might direct the arrangement of the doors and windows; and, might also direct the location of the bar and other interior furnishings. They were also given jurisdiction over the kinds of games that were to be allowed in the establishment.30

At the earnest request of the W. C. T. U. and other organizations the General Assembly passed, during this same year, an act requiring that a study of the nature of alcoholic drinks and narcotics and their effects on the human system be placed in the common school curriculum in connection with physiology and hygiene. All educational institutions supported wholly or in part by the state had also to include them. These were to be regularly taught. Boards of education were instructed to provide the machinery for such a movement. In places where it was impossible to get a text book oral teaching could fill the requirements. Teachers from that date were expected

  • 29Laws of Indiana, 1895, 248-52.
  • 30Laws of Indiana, 1895, 182.
to pass an examination in the subject before being allowed to teach. Dismissal from employment was the penalty attached for anyone who neglected or refused to teach the subject.31 The importance of this move cannot be estimated too highly, and the temperance forces, particularly the W. C. T. U., cannot be commended too greatly for their perseverance in this direction. It is a significant face that twenty-two years after the children of the state had begun to be taught the significance of the evil, they insisted that the General Assembly protect their homes from its influence.

At the next session two acts were passed. One of these empowered the trustees of incorporated towns to license, regulate or restrain the sale of spirituous, vinous, malt and other intoxicating liquors within the corporation.32 This was much the same law as the one that had been passed in 1893. Besides this a revision of the old existing law of 1881 was attempted.

This law read that any one who desired to sell liquor in less quantities than a quart must first obtain a license; obviously then it had been possible for anyone to evade the law by selling in greater quantities than a quart. This new law included the sale of all liquors in quantities up to five gallons. The license fee at this time was changed to one hundred dollars for spirituous, vinous, or malt liquors. No distinction was made between them as had been done formerly. Other slight changes were made but not enough to be of any material consequence.33

The agitation had not reached great heights yet since the last defeat, so not a great deal of pressure had been brought to bear on the legislators. On the other hand there was still enough sentiment to keep the issue before the people. This led to a readjustment of the laws from time to time. Consequently again in 1901 another act was passed which made it unlawful for the prosecuting attorney or his deputy to act directly or indirectly as an agent or council to assist an applicant in obtaining a license to retail intoxicating liquors under the laws of the state. A fine of not less than one hundred nor more than one thousand dollars was the penalty to which might

  • 31Laws of Indiana, 1895, 375.
  • 32Laws of Indiana, 1897, 176.
  • 33Laws of Indiana, 1897, 253-4.
be added imprisonment in the county jail not to exceed six months.34

The next year brought forth still another law relating to regulation. This law prevented anyone or any company from keeping a saloon or other place where intoxicating liquors might be sold within one mile of any national or state military home or army post. The penalty for not observing this law was a fine ranging from one hundred dollars to one thousand and imprisonment in the county jail for not less than ten nor more than thirty days.35

In 1905 the whole liquor situation was revolutionized by the passage of the Moore liquor law. It embodied mainly a revision of the Nicholson law of 1895. It provided that after proper application had been made for a license should a remonstrance signed by a majority of the legal voters of any township or ward in a city situated in the said county be filed with the county auditor three days before the regular meeting of the board of county commissioners, it was unlawful for the commissioners to grant the applicant a license during the period of two years from the date of the filing of the remonstrance. The big change took place in the following. If such a remonstrance were made against all applicants then it was unlawful for the commissioners to grant a license to any applicant during the two years after that date. The form of a remonstrance against a particular person was as follows:

State of Indiana, county of Kosciusko, as: To the honorable board of commissioners of the said county:

We, the undersigned, legal voters in the township of Harrison (or third ward in the city of Warsaw), in said county and state, hereby respectfully represent that we are opposed to the granting of a license to John A. Brown who has given notice of his intention to apply therefore, for the sale of intoxicating liquors in said township or ward.

The form which was to be used for any and all applicants was as follows:

State of Indiana, county of Grant, ss: To the honorable board of commissioners of said county:

We, the undersigned, legal voters in the township of Harrison (or third ward in the City of Marion), in the county and state aforesaid do hereby respectfully represent that we are opposed to the traffic in intoxicating

  • 34Laws of Indiana, 1901, 305.
  • 35Laws of Indiana, 1903, 383.
liquors and we hereby object to the granting of a license to any person for the sale of intoxicating liquors in the said township (or ward).36

In addition to this other minor acts appeared during the session. Anyone who adulterated liquors in any manner was liable to a fine of ten to one hundred dollars.37 Another section of the same act provided that anyone convicted of using any poison in the manufacture of liquor should be fined not to exceed five hundred dollars and imprisoned in the state prison for not less than one nor more than seven years.38 Still another section provided that anyone found in a state of intoxication should be fined not to exceed five dollars for the first offense, not to exceed twenty-five dollars for the second offense, and not more than one hundred dollars for the third offense. To the last might be added five to thirty days imprisonment, disfranchisement, and incapability to hold office.39 The next section provides a fine of not less than ten nor more than one hundred dollars and imprisonment of not less than thirty days nor more than a year for persons convicted of selling, giving or bartering any intoxicating liquors to any person at that time in a state of intoxication. In addition to this, disfranchisement and being rendered incapable of holding office might be added.40 Selling to an habitual drunkard was an equal offense except that the minimum fine was fifty dollars instead of ten.41 When anyone sold liquors to any person under the age of twenty-one they might be fined not less than twenty nor more than one hundred dollars.42 Besides these provisions there were a few others; misrepresenting the age to obtain liquor, furnishing liquor to a prisoner, keeping a disorderly shop, selling on Sunday and legal holidays, druggists selling on Sunday and legal holidays, selling or trading near a camp meeting, or having a saloon within one mile of a soldiers' home. All of these were made crimes punishable by fines ranging from ten to one hundred dollars, to which could be

  • 36Laws of Indiana, 1905, 7, 8.
  • 37Laws of Indiana, 1905, 714.
  • 38Laws of Indiana, 1905, 715.
  • 39Laws of Indiana, 1905, 720.
  • 40Laws of Indiana, 1905, 720.
  • 41Laws of Indiana, 1905, 721.
  • 42Laws of Indiana, 1905, 721.
added imprisonment in the county jail of ten to sixty days.43

But this did not suffice and the question came up again in 1907. This time it was a revision of the old Baxter law of 1873. The major part of these changes read:

Any person not being licensed under the laws of the state of Indiana who shall sell or barter, directly or indirectly, any spirituous, vinous or malt liquors in less quantities than five gallons at a time, or who shall sell or barter, directly or indirectly, any spirituous, vinous or malt liquors to be drunk, or suffered to be drunk in his house, outhouse, garden, or appurtenances thereto belonging, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction thereof shall be fined in any sum not less than fifty nor more than one hundred dollars for the first offense.

and not less than one hundred nor more than five hundred dollars, to which might be added imprisonment from thirty days to six months, for the second and subsequent offenses. In addition to this were many minor clauses especially designed to aid the enforcement of the above.44 All railroad companies which permitted liquors to be sold on any of their cars had to pay annually to the state one thousand dollars to obtain a license to sell. In case they failed to pay the said sum the auditor of the state assessed against them the above amount plus fifty percent as a penalty and then in case of non-payment action might be brought against the railroad by the attorney for the state.45 Another act similar to this revision of the Baxter law was passed during the year. It was practically the same with the exception that it did not mention any specified amount that might be sold and applied only to persons attempting to carry on a liquor trade without a license.46 Still another act provided that druggists might sell in quantities of not less than one quart on a prescription by a reputable active physician. Another act the same year made all names attached to a remonstrance legal without further proof. The mere fact that they were attached was prima facie evidence

  • 43Laws of Indiana, 1905, 583. In case of establishing a saloon within one mile of a Soldiers' Home the fine ranged from one hundred to one thousand dollars to which was added from ten to thirty days in the county jail.
  • 44Laws of Indiana, 1907, 27-33.
  • 45Laws of Indiana, 1907, 658-9.
  • 46Laws of Indiana, 1907, 698-90.
that they were bona fide legal voters of the township or ward as provided by the law.47

The agitation had become quite strong by this time. Meetings were held all over the state; petitions were sent to the General Assembly as often as they met; and public sentiment had again reached the pinnacle. Because of these movements one of the most significant acts of the whole struggle-the County Local Option law as brought forth by the legislature during their special session of 1908-took place. Called together by Governor Hanley for the express purpose of passing this bill the legislature, after considerable debate, and delay, did make it a law. It provided that whenever a petition had been signed by not less than twenty per cent of the aggregate vote of the said county, and then filed with the auditor of the county, the board of commissioners at their next regular session should order a special election to be held in not less than twenty nor more than thirty days. These elections were to be held at the regular places for voting after ten days' notice had been given. The form of the above petition was as follows:


To the Board of Commissioners of the County of—

We, the undersigned, legal voters of—county, state of Indiana, would respectfully petition that an election be held to determine whether the sale of intoxicating liquors as a beverage shall be prohibited in said county.48


When the time for the election came the ballots were to be furnished to the voters in the following form:




  • 47 Acts of 1907, 281.
  • 48Laws of Indiana, Special Session, 1908, 4-5. No voter could sign his name after the petition had been filed, neither could he withdraw his name after the petition had been filed. The aggregate vote was determined by the number of votes cast in the county for the secretary of state at the last election preceding the local option election.

All votes marked with a cross in the square containing the word "yes" were to be counted in favor of prohibiting the sale of intoxicating liquors, and likewise all those marked in the square containing the word "no" were to be counted in favor of no prohibition.49 Other provisions for the election machinery were made but they were much the same as those of the general elections and need not be given.

This law seemed to work admirably in spite of the fact that there was considerable criticism. County after county went dry until only the strongholds of intemperance remained. But with the change of legislature in 1911 came a revision of the work. After some slight amendments in the wording and phrasing of the county local option law the General Assembly of this year repealed the entire act. This was replaced by a law similar in every respect to the 1908 law except that the township and ward was made the unit instead of the county. So near were they alike that a re-statement of the 1911 law is not necessary.50

But the public was not satisfied with the new act. After having experienced something better they were not willing to return to a law that seemed to them less efficient and less

  • 49 After an election had been held no subsequent election could be held in that county for at least a period of two years from the date of the last preceding election. When a majority were in favor of prohibition then the county was to go dry at the end of ninety days from the date of the election. This act did not repeal any part of the act of 1895 or the act of 1905.

    The bill was introduced by Senator Cox. Those who voted in favor of it in the Senate were as follows: Beardsley, Bland, Bowser, Ganiard, Goodwine, Hanna, Hawkins, Kimbrough, Kirkman, Kittinger, Kling, Lane, McCallum, Mattingly, Mock, Moore of Fayette, Moore of Putnam, Orndorf, Parks of Marshal, Pearson, Pilser, Roemler, Springer, Stephenson, Strange, Wickwire, Wood of Tippecanoe. Total, 32.

    Those who voted against it were as follows: Benz, Bingham, Durre, Gonnerman, Hugg, Kistler, Law, McDowell, Moss, Parks of Clark, Paterson, Ranks Shafer, Slack, Stotsenburg, Tyndall and Wood of Jackson. Total, 17. Senate Journal, 1908, pp. 66-7. Senate Journal also reported it as passing the House, 108.

  • 50Laws of Indiana, 1911, 363-70. This bill was introduced by Senator Proctor. Those voting in favor of the township unit were as follows: Akin, Beal, Carelton, Clark, Curtis, Durre, Farlow, Hauck, Jackson, Kistler, LaMont, Long, Farrell, Fleming, Gers, Grube, Greenwell, Harian, Netterville, Parks, Powers, Proctor, Royse, Shively, Stotsenburg, Sullivan, Trautman, Traylor. Total 28.

    Those opposed to it was as follows: Brady, Crumpacker, Gavit, Halleck, Hanna, Hibberd, Hunt, Kane, Kimmel, Lambert, Moore, McCarty, Patts, Sexson, Strange, White, Wood. Total, 17. Senate-Journal 1911, 1984.

    It passed the House by a vote of fifty-eight to thirty-three. House Journal all, 1703.

democratic than the one of 1908. Consequently more agitation and more legislation took place. In 1913 some slight changes took place, but these were not far-reaching in consequence, so only their general nature will be given. One act was passed prohibiting the drinking of intoxicating liquors or allowing them to be drunk upon any railroad locomotive, passenger coach, interurban car, street car, or vehicle commonly used for the transportation of passengers, or upon any common carrier, or in or about any railroad depot, station, ticket office, waiting room or platform. Penalties for the violation of this act were provided.51

Another act amending the one of 1911 was passed. It declared that no license or any renewal thereof should be granted or issued for a greater or less period than one year Some minor provisions were also incorporated in this act, but they were inconsequential.52

Still another act provided for the license fee to be refunded should the supreme court decide that through no fault of the licensee the money had been paid and the license illegally granted. This usually applied where the board of commissioners had no right to issue a license.53 Two other minor provisions concerning the application by a receiver for a saloon to transfer a license, and preventing the prosecuting attorney or his deputy from representing an applicant for a license, were passed during the year.54

In 1915 the act for refunding the license fee was slightly amended. The sense of the law was not changed, but some few revisions in the wording took place.55

And yet the century-old problem had not been solved. It had only been juggled around from one year to the next, from one party to the other much the same as a juggler plays with his implements of amusement. Something must be done. Public opinion seemed ripe for the passage of a prohibitory law, but so had it been on other occasions. Before the beginning of the legislative assembly of 1917, however, a great

  • 51Laws of Indiana, 1913, 29. This did not apply to any train that carried with it a licensed buffet or dining car.
  • 52Laws of Indiana, 1913, 322.
  • 53Laws of Indiana, 1913, 410.
  • 54Laws of Indiana, 1913, 627, 738.
  • 55Laws of Indiana, 1915, 20.
agitation began to be manifest throughout the state. The Anti-Saloon league had been active here since 1898, the W. C. T. U. had a firmer hold on the convictions of people than ever before, and the Indiana Dry Federation came into existence late in 1916. The fever of enthusiasm ran high. Demonstrations of all kinds were held, and with these outward manifestations went earnest and serious work beneath the surface. Both the anti-liquor and the liquor forces realized that this was to be a desperate struggle and both made preparation accordingly.

Because of the centralization of their forces the temperance people were, for the first time in the history of the whole struggle, placed on equal footing with the saloon element. With the state awaiting in breathless expectation, the 1917 session of the legislature opened. Before the end of the first month a bill intended to prohibit forever the use of intoxicating liquors as a beverage was introduced and the fight was on.

Because of its importance the substance of the bill as it was finally passed will be given here:

After the second day of April, 1918, it shall be unlawful for any person to manufacture, sell, barter, exchange, give away, furnish or otherwise dispose of any liquors except as in this act provided.56

Some of the exceptions are those that allowed men already in possession of properly bonded liquor to ship the remainder to other states allowing the sale; another action allowed the manufacture for domestic use of wine, cider, vinegar or other non-intoxicating drinks for private use; the manufacture of pure grain alcohol for medicinal, scientific, or mechanical purposes is also allowed, wine for sacramental purposes is provided for; wholesale druggists are allowed to sell in quantities of not less than one gallon pure grain alcohol for hospital or other medical purposes; a man in his own home may give guests intoxicating drinks providing his home is not used as a public resort of any kind; and a druggist may sell intoxicating liquors on a prescription by a reputable physician. Other minor provisions dealing with definitions, proper application for sales, unlawful distribution by club house members and prohibiting the advertisement of intoxicating liquors are included.

  • 56Laws of Indiana, 1917, 15-34.
All of these clauses have provisions for penalties in case of violation.

Persons who violate this law or any part of it are subject to a fine of one hundred to five hundred dollars, to which is added a jail sentence of thirty days to six months. For the second offense the fine ranges from two hundred to five hundred with a jail sentence of sixty days to six months. For all subsequent offenses they are liable to the latter penalty. The penalties for the different clauses have been mentioned above.57

While this bill was under discussion the dry forces of the entire state were especially active. The MadisonCourier on January 23 stated that over four hundred thousand persons by petition asked the House to pass the prohibition law. Of these two hundred fifty thousand were voters, the remainder women. The Indiana Dry Federation presented three hundred thousand of them while the Anti-Saloon league presented the remaining hundred thousand. Besides these petitions W. J. Bryan spoke in Tomlinson Hall to one of the largest and most enthusiastic audiences that ever greeted him in Indianapolis, "dry" demonstrations took place daily, almost hourly, in the state house, on the streets and in the homes; pictures and cartoons appeared in all of the newspapers of the state while the battle was in progress; and "dry" propaganda was spread about everywhere. As a result of all of these demonstrations the bill passed the House by a vote of seventy to twenty-eight, and the Senate by a vote of thirty-eight to eleven.58 Later it was

  • 57Laws of Indiana, 1917, 15-34.
  • 58 The prohibitory bill was introduced by F. E. Wright of Randolph County. It passed the House on January 25, 1917. Those voting in favor of it in the House were as follows: Adams, Alldredge, Anderson, Baker, Behmer, Blackmore, Bonham, Buller, Burtt, Clapp, Coggins, Cook, Cooper, Curry, Davis of Jay, Dilworth, Douglas, Duffey, Durham, Dynes, Eikenberry, Gentry, Green, Crube, Harker, Harmon, Henke, Hessong, Hoffman, Hougham, Houghton, Jacoby, Jameson, Jinnett, Johnson of Grant, Johnson of Pulaski and White, Kessler, Krieg, Kuhiman, Lafuze, McClaskey, McGonagle, McNagy, Mason, Mendenhall, Miles, Miller of Tippecanoe and Warren, Miller of Howard, Miltenberger, Montgomery, Moore, Mosier, Myers, Read, Robertson, Ryan, Scott, Sipe, Woods, Wood, Wright of Clay, Wright of Randolph, Yoder and Mr. Speaker. Total, 70.

    Those opposing the measure were as follows: Bartel, Bayer, Cravens. Cronin, Davis of Lake, Downey, Eisterhold, Geddes, Gorski, Griffin. Habermel, Harris, Haslanger, Hepler, Hyland, Kimmel, Mushett, O'Leary, Osborn, Overmeyer, Sambor, Southard, Tinker, Turner, Waltz, Westfall, Westrick. Total, 28. House Journal, 1917, 157-8.

    In the Senate the following named men voted for the bill: Armstrong,

signed by the governor and became a law, which took effect April 2, 1918. Up to the present time it has worked admirably; it will probably continue to do so.

  • Beardsley, Bracken, Chambers, Culbertson, Dobyns, Dorrell, Elsner, English, Fleming, Gemmill, Grant, Hagerty, Hemphill, Hudgins, Humphreys, Jackson, James, Laney, Lanz, McConaha, McCray, McKinley, Maston, Mercer, Metzger, Negley, Norman, Porter, Reidelbach, Retherford, Robinson, Signs, Simmons, Smith, Spaan, Summers and White. Total, 38.

    Those who were opposed to the bill were as follows: Bird, Erskine, Hazen, Hirsch, Kinder, Kolsem, Nejdl, Reser, Thornton, Van Auken, Wolfson. Total, 11. Senate Journal, 1917, 450-1.

    Another act the same year provided that no license or extension of license to sell intoxicating liquor, retail or wholesale, in the state of Indiana prior to April 2, 1918 should be granted to any person except such person be a present holder of such a license or should become the holder of such a license by a lawful transfer or by order of the court.

    Another section of the same law pro-rated the license fee for the time from January first to April second, 1918. It was made effective at once.

Published by the Indiana University Department of History.