Minutes of Ladies Temperance Committee
Feb 26, 1874
According to appointment Mrs. Stewart of Springfield, O. came on Thursday evening Feb. 26th and delivered a lecture in the church to a large and interested audience on the subject of Temperance. After which she proceeded to organize a band of Ladies for the purpose of visiting the three Houses in Westville where intoxicating drinks are sold to induce them to discontinue and sign a pledge to that effect. She requested Rev. Kalbfus to appoint a committee of three for the purpose of selecting the officers to consist of a chairman, secretary and treasurer and a committee of five to deliberate on the best means of procedure. The Officers and committee selected, and by unanimous vote elected were, Mrs. Wm. Harbour Chairman, Mrs. H.W. Mcgrew Secretary, Miss Lena Harr Treasurer and Mrs. D. Petticrew, Mrs. D. Taylor, Mrs. F. Brant, Miss Mattie Osborn and Miss Jane Steinbarger committee. The meeting then adjourned until Friday morning half-past 9 O'c (O'clock).
Band of about 30 ladies met at the church at the hour set and started out on our mission led by Mrs. Stewart. We first visited the Swatz House where we were kindly received by the proprietor. After having prayers and singing and on invitation to come again we proceeded to McCormick's but found the door locked, so we had prayer and singing outside. From there we went to King's, followed by a crowd of men anxious to witness the proceedings. We were kindly treated and invited to call again. We then marched to the church and adjourned until 2 O'c. Mrs. Stewart returned to Springfield. Met again this afternoon and went the same rounds, closing with a temperance song by Sisters Harr, Mcgrew and Harbour. All went to the church again, but shortly after dispersed until tomorrow morning 9 O'c.
Met again this morning and after quite lengthy discussion N.H. Harr pledged him-self to sell no more crab or other cider as a beverage to any person whatever, unless by prescription of a sober Physician. We then went the same rounds as yesterday, finding McCormick's doors still closed against us. This evening the Business Men held a meeting and subscribed 1,000 ($?) to be used by the ladies of this movement if needed. Prayer meeting tomorrow half past l0 O'c.
Sunday, March 1st, 1874
Prayer meeting in the church at half-past 10 O'c. After which two hundred dollars more were subscribed to the Ladies Relief fund. Then had prayer and singing at the doors of the three dram shops and adjourned until 9 O'c tomorrow morning.
Assembled again at 9 O'c and marched first to the Swatz House where we were met with a handshake. Sister Hoak exhorted and Mr. Alfred Steinbarger and Sister Ludlow prayed for the man that sells distraction there, which seemed to displease him greatly. Both McCormick and King's doors were closed against us. We do not feel discouraged but intend to persevere and still hope that our efforts will be crowned by success. Will meet again tomorrow afternoon at 3 O'c. Wednesday we concluded to change the programme somewhat and have watch meetings added. An appointed committee of men waited on the liquor sellers and read a petition to them with over a hundred names attached. McCormick promised to give them an answer on Sat.
Saturday, March 7, 1874
Committee waited on McCormick this morning and he promises to sell no more whiskey but would like to sell cider and beer. But no. We want an end to all. He has agreed to give a final answer next Tuesday. Band are watching still.
Prayer meeting this afternoon at 3 O'c.
King was arrested this morning for selling whiskey and taken before Eezr Rhoades, who asked bonds of one hundred and fifty dollars each for the indictments of which there were four. He was anxious to compromise so our committee agreed to pay the costs of prosecution if he would allow them the privilege of taking the remainder of his whiskey and beer and let it flow in the street which was agreed to. And this afternoon it was carried into effect - witnessed by a large number of persons. Were watching Swatz all day. Business is not very likely at his establishment
Still watching Swatz. This afternoon Benton Miller was arrested for getting drunk in Westville last Saturday and taken before Esq. Ward who fined him five dollars and costs.
McCormick made a complete surrender yesterday evening and this morning his beer was spilled in the street, so now Swatz alone is left to battle with and we hope to make short work of him. Watching on Friday also Sat, and in the afternoon prayed and sung in front of Swatz's. Sunday afternoon had prayer meeting at the church and then marched to Swatz's and prayed and sung.
(All minutes by) Mrs. H.F. Mcgrew, Sec.
Source: Champaign County Genealogical Society Newsletter
Jul/Aug/Sept 1997, Volume 13 No. 3
Transcribed for Genealogy Trails by Alice Halderman
Proofed by Jan Stypula