Category: Biography

James W. Wadsworth, Jr.: Major Politician and Repeal Leader

James W. Wadsworth, Jr.

James W. Wadsworth, Jr. (1877-1952) was a leader in the Association Against the Prohibition Amendment. New York voters elected him to the State Assembly in 1904 . He became Speaker of the Assembly in 1905, serving until 1910. Wadsworth briefly managing his family’s ranch in Texas. Then he headed the New York state delegation to …

Read more

Richmond Pearson Hobson (Congressional Prohibitionist)

alcohol from 1913 to

Richmond Pearson Hobson was the most highly paid of the over 2,000 public speakers for the Anti-Saloon League. His gift of oratory was highly valued by the League and his membership in Congress gave him political clout. Father of American Prohibition Hobson introduced proposed constitutional amendments to establish national prohibition over 20 times. Understandably, some …

Read more

Edward Donegan Bootlegger (Both Smart & Clever)

edward donegan

Edward Donegan was an odd-job laborer in 1919. But in 1920, he became a millionaire within about four months through his bootlegging scheme. During National Prohibition (1920-1933), beverage alcohol was outlawed. But alcohol for medical and industrial purposes was legal. Wholesale alcohol dealers were legally permitted to obtain alcohol from distilleries and bonded warehouses with …

Read more

 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 …

Read more

Daisy Douglas Barr (WCTU and KKK Temperance Leader)

Daisy Douglas Barr

Daisy Douglas Barr was the fiery 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 people consider …

Read more

Cora F. Stoddard (Head, Scientific Temperance Federation).

Cora F. Stoddard was a leading proponent of temperance and National Prohibition of alcohol. She served for 30 years as the head of the Scientific Temperance Federation. Ms. Stoddard was the personal secretary of Mary Hunt. Hunt was founding head of the Department of Scientific Temperance Instruction in Schools and Colleges. That was an important …

Read more

D. Leigh Colvin (David Leigh Colvin) Prohibition Candidate

D. Leigh Colvin

David Leigh Colvin, usually known as D. Leigh Colvin, was born in Ohio in 1880. He was the son of David Taylor Colvin and Maria Larkin Colvin. In 1906 he married Mamie White, who became politically active in the temperance movement. She was Prohibition Party candidate for Lieutenant Governor of New York in 1918. The …

Read more

Dr. Thomas Sewall (Temperance Activist & Grave Robber)

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 …

Read more

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 …

Read more

Ernest Cherrington: Major Temperance Leader

Anti-Saloon League

Ernest Cherrington was a leader in the Anti-Saloon League (ASL) and temperance movement. He was also an important temperance writer and journalist. Cherrington was born in 1877 in Hamden, Ohio.  After attending Ohio Wesleyan he taught school. But he became increasingly concerned over the drinking. He believed it reflected a moral decline in the country. For …

Read more