Category: Biography

Lillian Sedwick (WCTU & KKK Leader) Discover Why!

Prohibition and Repeal Experiences

Lillian Sedwick was state head of the Indiana Woman’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU). She was also state leader of the Indiana Women of the Ku Klux Klan (WKKK). Sedwick became state head of the Indiana WKKK when she replaced Daisy Douglass Barr. Reverend Barr was another WKKK and WCTU leader As a KKK-supported candidate, Ms. Sedwick …

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Joseph H. Choate, Jr. (Leading Lawyer and Repeal Leader)

Voluntary Committee of Lawyers

Joseph H. Choate, Jr. chaired the Voluntary Committee of Lawyers (VCL), a group of highly influential attorneys established in 1927 that promoted the repeal of National Prohibition (1920-1933). With its urging, the American Bar Association called for Repeal in 1928. Choate and the VCL worked closely with other repeal organizations such as the Women’s Organization …

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 Dr. Dio Lewis (Diocletian Lewis) Major Temperance Leader

Dr. Dio Lewis

Dr. Dio Lewis, officially Diocletian Lewis (1823-1886), was a temperance leader. However, he was also a preacher, feminist, social reformer, and food/health faddist. And many considered Lewis to be an eccentric. Background His father had been a “notorious drunkard.” Perhaps that led to his strong belief that alcohol was a great evil. Lewis illegally used …

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Daisy Douglas Barr (WCTU and KKK Temperance Leader)

Daisy Douglas Barr

Daisy Douglas Barr was the fiery Imperial Empress (leader) of the Women’s Ku Klux Klan (WKKK) in Indiana and seven other states. Thus, she led about 250,000 WKKK members. That was in the early 1920s. Barr worked closely with the Indiana KKK‘s “Grand Wizard,” D.C. Stevenson. Together, they worked hard on the governor’s race. Many …

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Dr. Thomas Sewall (Temperance Activist & Grave Robber)

Dr. Thomas Sewall

Dr. Thomas Sewall was no ordinary doctor.  And he was no ordinary temperance activist either. Sewall was born on April 16, 1786 in Hallowell, Maine. He graduated from Harvard Medical School in 1812. His major contribution to the temperance movement was his highly popular eight graphic drawings. He said they showed “alcohol diseased stomachs.”  Sewall …

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Harold D. Wilson: Harold “Three Gun” Wilson, Prohibition Agent 

Harold D. Wilson

The federal Prohibition Bureau appointed Harold D. Wilson Director of its Massachusetts office in June of 1921. However, the office was reorganized six weeks later and he became Deputy Director. Nevertheless, he remained a highly motivated Prohibition agent. Indeed, a newspaper described Wilson as a “hard-boiled, hard-hitting, Bible-quoting, relentless, dedicated prohibition agent.”1 A minister explained …

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