Prohibition Club – W.C.T.U. Temperance

      Comments Off on Prohibition Club – W.C.T.U. Temperance

Sussex Prohibition Club
W. C. T. U.

Transcribed by Michael R. Reilly
Updated 05/01/2014

Two months before David Bonham’s ad appears for his “public house. or house of entertainment”, the people in Milwaukee form a Temperance Society:
“At a meeting of the friends of the Temperance Reform Reform, held of the court-house, in Milwaukee, on Monday evening, January 9, 1837, agreeably to previous appointment,
Mr. Robert Love was called to the chair and Doct W. P. Proudfit, appointed secretary.
On motion of Samuel Hinman Esq, Resolved, That we proceed to form a Temperance Society. After free and manly discussion of some of the articles, in which the gentlemen present exhibited
a laudable zeal, and much good feeling, the following constitution was happily adopted.
ARTICLE I. The name of this society shall be the Milwaukee Temperance Society
; embracing the following pledge ; we, whose, etc., …”
source: Milwaukee Advertiser February 11, 1837, page 2 of 4

Note: The term “Milwaukee” here encompasses the “county of Milwaukee” of which, the town of Lisbon is a part of. It’s ironic that David Bonham, the builder of the first public house or tavern in the town of Lisbon was saved from hanging by a temperance petition’s signatures.

ALL persons who have applied to the Board of County Commissioners for licenses are hereby notified that on payments of the amount assessed in each case, to the Treasurer of the County, and the presentation of his receipt therefore at the office of the Clerk of said board, and duly executed License can be obtained. And all persons who are liable by law to pay assessment to the County for vending or selling any goods, wares, or merchandise, keeping a Tavern, hawking, vending, or selling wooden or brass Clocks, or retailing spirituous Liquors, Beer, Ale, or Cider, and who have not paid for and taken their licenses, are also notified that presentations will be instituted for any violations for the license law now in force.
County Treasurer
Milwaukee, June 8, 1838
source: Milwaukee Sentinel June 12, 1838, page 3 of 4

AN ACT for assessing and collecting county revenue:
Section 1. Be it enacted by the Council and House of Representatives of the Territory of Wisconsin, That for the purpose of raising a revenue for county purposes, the board of each county commissioners shall levy a tax on all lands,…; on each tavern license a sum not less than five dollars nor more than fifty dollars, to be discretionary with the board of commissioners; on each license for retailing spirituous liquors and foreign and domestic groceries, beer , ale, and cider, by a less quantity than one gallon, to be drunk in or about the house where such liquors are retailed, not less than one hundred dollars per annum, on each license to vend merchandise not less than ten dollars, nor more than fifty dollars per annum, …
source: Milwaukee Sentinel June 12, 1838, page 1 of 4


The Milwaukee Temperance Society met, … November 19th, 1838. On motion of the Rev. Mr. Crawford, Resolved, That a committee of seventeen be appointed; to be selected in the several counties in this territory for the purpose of adopting measures for the formation of a Territorial Temperance Society.
source: Milwaukee Sentinel November 27, 1838, page 2 of 4
To the friends of Temperance throughout the Territory of Wisconsin
We whose names are hereunto annexed, having been appointed a committee by the Milwaukee County Temperance Society, to adopt measures for the formation of a Territorial Temperance Society,, so hereby give notice to the friends of Temperance generally, that a convention of delegates from the Temperance Societies existing in the different counties and settlements of the Territory, will be held at Milwaukee on the 21st day of February next, for the purpose of adopting a constitution and organizing said Society.
source: an excerpt from Milwaukee Sentinel January 1, 1839, page 3 of 4.

A Young Men’s Temperance Society [auxiliary to the Wisconsin Temperance Society] has been formed at Prairie Village [Waukesha]. Success attend it.
source: Milwaukee Sentinel April 10, 1839, page 2 of 3

First appearance of the “Wisconsin Temperance Journal Vol. 1., No. 1., April 1, 1840”, 8 pages in length, but only 3 columns in width.

The annual meeting of the Wisconsin Territorial Temperance Society was held in Prairie Village, Jan. 20, 1841,; 21 Delegates were present from all the principal settlements in the Territory, and a good spirit pervaded the meeting. 17 societies were reported, with 1422 members; 869 being added this year.

Territory of Wisconsin
Distilleries 3 producing 8.300 gallons
Breweries 3 producing 14,200 gallons, or about 460 barrels.
Showing the number of gallons of Distilled Spirits, of Wines and of Beer, Ale and Porter imported, and re-exported, during the year ending September 30,1840, and the quantity—being the difference between the importations and exportations—consumed in the United States.
source: Bioletti Pamphlet Collection on Temperance, Volume 2, 1841

The Waukesha County quarterly Convention of Good Templars met at Sussex, in the town of Lisbon, in the hall of “No Surrender Lodge,” No. 12S, on the 5th and 6th inst., and the following is an
epitome of the work accomplished : Report of Lodges show the number of each in good standing.
Sussex—Bro. Tempest reported present number in. “No Surrender,” 4S.
…Bro, Hosking of Meno falls gave lecture “Temperance men and their duties.”
A Good Templars Fourth of July celebration at Brookfield Junction – one committee member was Bro. Jos. Wildish and Sister E. Leadly, of “No Surrender” in Sussex.
source: Waukesha Plaindealer June 11, 1872, page 2 of 4.


Waukesha Freeman June 17, 1886

A temperance lecture will be given at the Town Hall, Sussex, on Wednesday evening, Feb. 15th, under the direction of the W. C. T. U. Waukesha Freeman, Thursday, February 9, 1888 [Note: The Woman’s Christian Temperance Union (W. C. T. U.) was organized in 1874 by women who were concerned about the problems alcohol was causing their families and society. The members chose total abstinence from all alcohol as their life style and protection of the home as their watchword.]

Rev. J. H. Bowker lectures on Prohibition at North Lisbon, on the evening of the 27th, and at Sussex on the 28th. Waukesha Freeman, Thursday, March 22, 1888
Temperance – Mrs. Eva C. Brown, of Whitewater, will be with the W. C. T. U., of Lisbon, on Tuesday, May 8th. She will give a chalk-talk to the children at 4 o’clock P.M., and a Gospel Temperance Lecture at 7 P.M. Be sure and let the children come and don’t forget to come yourself. Lisbon W. C. T. U. Waukesha Freeman, Thursday, April 26, 1888
Prohibition County Convention – There will be a Prohibition Party Convention for Waukesha county held at the Court House, in the village of Waukesha, on Friday, the 18th of May, 1888, at two o’clock P.M., for the purpose of electing nineteen delegates to attend the State Convention, which meets at Madison, May 23rd. Each town, village, and city will be entitled to five delegates to said Convention for each representative in the County Board. Dated April 19th, 1888; William Bone, Chairman of County Committee. Waukesha Freeman, Thursday, April 26, 1888

The Prohibition Club will discuss the Woman’s Suffrage question at their next meeting, Monday evening, May 14th, and will have a full literary programme, in which ladies are to take a prominent part. Waukesha Freeman, Thursday, May 10, 1888.

The I. O. G. T. and W. C. T. U. have decided to build a temperance hall 24×46 and will commence its erection at once.  [Note – International Organization of Good Templars is an organization of men and women of all ages who promote the ideals of temperance, peace and brotherhood.] The officers of the Prohibition Club are as follows: G. McKerrow, President; A. Ridley, Vice-President; T. E. Turner, Secretary and Chas. Will, Treasurer. Chas. Wills is to represent the club at the state convention at Madison. Waukesha Freeman, Thursday, May 17, 1888.

The debate at the Town Hall on the question, “Resolved that Woman Suffrage should be made a plank in the party platforms,” was decided in favor of the negative. Waukesha Freeman, Thursday, May 24, 1888.

Temperance But Not Prohibition The Debate at Sussex is Won by the Moderate Men The long anticipated debate at Sussex, as to whether prohibition is the most effective means of furthering temperance, took place last night at the Hall, and attracted a very large audience – many more than could be accommodated. Four long hours did the battle rage – Geo. McKerrow leading the affirmative and supported by Chas. Will and the Rev. Turner, and Frank W. Harland serving as captain to the negative, with Sam Breese and James A. McKenzie as lieutenants. Messrs. Welch, McGill and Rodgers, all of Sussex, acted as judges, and their decision stood two to one in favor of the non-prohibitionists. The losers however magnanimously gave a vote of thanks to the visiting gentleman who carried off the honors.
Lisbon – The debate at the Town Hall on the 19th did not turn out to be prohibition against anti-prohibition, but simply a comparing of prohibition and moral suasion. The moral suasion debaters received two votes of the committee and the prohibitionists one vote, and that vote of a Republication.
W. H. Edwards has a patent clothes broom which contains a bottle. Will is prepared for a prohibition law. Waukesha Freeman, Thursday, July 26, 1888.

Waukesha Freeman March 15, 1888

Waukesha Freeman July 26, 1888
The W. C. T. U. has decided to hold the medal contest on Friday evening, May 9, at the Town Hall instead of at the Good Templars’ Hall, which will give more room to entertain the crowd that are expected to be present. Prof. W. H. Edwards of Sussex, R. Ainsworth, and Belle Marshall of Merton, will act as judges.
source: Waukesha Freeman May 8, 1890, page 5 of 8

The I.O.G.T. have a lawn party on the 25th of June at the home of Isaac Edwards.
A Silver Medal contest will take place at the I.O.G.T. Hall June 27th. contestants represent Sussex and Pewaukee Temples. Exercises begin at 8 o’clock p.m.
The reception given the Sussex Juvenile Templars and their guest, June 18th, was an occasion of great interest.
source: Waukesha Daily Freeman And Republican June 21, 1890, page 4 of 4

Waukesha Daily Freeman And Republican July 1, 1890

Our congratulations are extended to Miss Lottie Fish of Menomonee Falls, who won the medal at the [Sussex] I. O. G. T. contest. Her recitation was thoroughly prepared and well delivered.
Mrs. Amy Morse of the W. C. T. U. , will lecture at the [Lisbon] U. P. Church on the 19th inst.
source: Waukesha Freeman March 13, 1890, page 5 of 8


James T. Weaver, Lisbon, running for Waukesha County Treasurer, on the Prohibition Party ticket. Waukesha Freeman, October 11, 1890.

Charles H. Will, Sussex running for county Treasurer on Prohibition ticket. Waukesha Freeman, September 22, 1892.

C. G. Daniels will open an ice cream parlor in the building known as the old Boots’ saloon. Waukesha Freeman, May 31, 1906

1908 – Menomonee Falls saloons, taverns and bars that sold spirits had to shut down on Sundays.

March 31, 1910
The “Anti-Saloon League” is organizing in Waukesha County.

Oct. 13, 1910
The latest rage is “Lemon Soda.”
The Women’s Christian Temperance Union is a local organization trying to outlaw alcoholic drinks. Every community has an active chapter.

History Timeline of American Temperance/Prohibition Movement
1826 American Society for the Promotion of Temperance formed in Boston (also known as the American Temperance Society).
1829 American Temperance Society has 100,000 members.

1833 Membership in the country’s five thousand temperance societies exceeds one and one quarter million.
1836 United States Temperance Union meets in Saratoga, New York and changes name to American Temperance Union. Principle of total abstinence or “Teetotalism” is introduced.
1846 Maine passes prohibition law.
1850 431 breweries in the country produce 750,000 barrels of beer (31 gallons per barrel). The population is 23 million.
1852 San Francisco has 350 bar rooms to serve the hard-drinking population of 36,000. Prohibition comes to Vermont. Prohibition adopted in Massachusetts (repealed in 1868). Rhode Island enacts prohibition (repealed in 1863). Territory of Minnesota enacts a short-lived prohibition.
1853 Prohibition voted in for Michigan.
1854 Prohibition begins in Connecticut.
1855 Prohibition adopted in New York, New Hampshire, Delaware, Indiana, Iowa, and the Nebraska Territory.
1860 1269 breweries produce over one million barrels of beer for a population of 31 million. New York and Pennsylvania account for 85% of the production.
1861 Internal Revenue System introduced.
1862 Internal Revenue Act taxes beer at the rate of one dollar per barrel to help finance the government during the Civil War.

1865 National Temperance Society and Publication House formed in Saratoga, New York.
1866 Internal Revenue issues stamp regulations requiring application of tax stamps to barrels of beer leaving the brewery..
1867 Prohibition efforts in Iowa and New York fail. 3700 breweries in operation in America producing 6 million barrels of beer.
1869 Prohibition Party organized in Chicago. Another prohibition law enacted in Massachusetts (repealed 1875).

1872 Prohibitionist presidential candidate James Black draws 5608 votes.
1873 4131 breweries (record number) produce 9 million barrels of beer.

1874 Woman’s Christian Temperance Union formed.
1880 Frederick Salem authors “Beer, Its History and Its Economic Value as a National Beverage.” The book is his argument for beer as a temperance measure. It offers the motto “Beer against Whisky.” Internal Revenue Department records indicate 2830 ale and lager breweries in operation.

1880-1910 Number of breweries declines. Improved methods of production and distribution mean fewer breweries can manufacture more beer. By 1910 number of breweries drops to around 1500.
1885 An injunction closes the John Walruff Brewery in Lawrence, Kansas which had flaunted prohibition laws for five years. He appeals on the basis that prohibition laws constitute illegal confiscation of property.
1886 John Walruff wins appeal in lower courts. Case taken to Supreme Court.

1887 United States Supreme Court rules in John Walruff case that Kansas was not depriving Walruff of his property, but merely abating a nuisance and prohibiting the injurious use of that property.

1893 Anti-Saloon League founded by Rev. Howard Hyde Russell with the goal of suppressing the saloon.
1898 Beer barrel tax raised to $2.00 during Spanish American War. Beer sales decline.

1900 Woman’s Christian Temperance Union member Carrie Nation does a hatchet job on the Carey Hotel in Wichita, Kansas.
1901 Barrel tax on beer reduced to $1.60.
1902 Barrel tax on beer reduced to $1.00.
1909 United States Brewers Association yearbook discusses the problems of poor conditions in saloons and the need for a cleanup.
1912 Nine states vote dry.
1913 Webb-Kenyon bill passed prohibiting the interstate shipment of alcoholic beverages to dry states.
1914 Resolution to prohibit liquor through a constitutional amendment loses in the House due to lack of required two-thirds majority vote (197 for, 190 against). Fourteen states dry. Secretary of Navy Josephus Daniels orders prohibition of alcohol on Naval ships and Naval installations.
1916 Twenty-three states dry.

1917 District of Columbia passes a prohibition law. Distilleries closed by Food Control Law.
1919 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution ratified on January 16 calling for national prohibition to take effect one year from the date of ratification. House of Representatives Bill No. 6810 presented in May by Rep. Volstead establishing the apparatus for the enforcement of prohibition. The bill was passed October 10, vetoed by President Wilson on October 27. The veto was subsequently overridden by Congressional vote.
1920s Near beers brewed during prohibition: Pablo by Pabst, Famo by Schlitz, Vivo by Miller, Lux-O by Stroh and Bevo by Anheuser.-Busch.
1920 Association Against the Prohibition Amendment organized by William H. Stayton.
1921 300 million gallons of “near beer” produced.
1922 Prohibitionist Volstead defeated in Minnesota elections.

1923 The Moderation League is formed.
1926 Montana votes to repeal the state prohibition enforcement law. Other states follow suit.
1929 The Women’s Organization for National Prohibition Reform started.
1930 The Crusaders formed protesting the lawlessness, crime, and corruption brought on by Prohibition.

1931 American Legion votes for a referendum of national prohibition.
1932 86 million gallons of near beer produced.
1933 The Cullen Bill is passed in March allowing states which did not have state prohibition laws to sell 3.2% beer. It also instituted a $5.00 per barrel tax on beer. On April 7, 1933 the legalization of beer takes effect via the 21st Amendment repealing the 18th. 31 brewers back in operation by June.
1934 756 brewers back in operation.