Warren County Records Center & Archives

Progressive Prohibition

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Warren County went through many phases when it came to the prohibition of alcohol. In today’s exhibit preview we highlight the progressive view that Warren County had on outlawing alcohol. During the election season of 1908, the “Drys” launched a fierce campaign against the “Wets” of numerous Ohio counties. Headlines such as “Warren County Must Go Dry,” adorned the local newspapers and claims “To campaign against Warren County Saloons is glorious”. 
In looking at the article that was published shortly after the victory of 1908, against the “Wets” the Western Star tallied the votes for and against Prohibition within the county by Township. It appears even though the language used to describe the outcome of the election, the results were very close with the “Drys” winning by only 130 votes out of a total of 6,386 cast.
One of the most interesting items included in this portion of the exhibit is a very early court case, The State of Ohio vs. Ben Wallace. Mr. Wallace was “Indicted For Drinking Whiskey on a Car Propelled by Electricity” on April 7, 1913. If you look closely it claims that he was drinking said whiskey in a car that was not in a dining, cafe, or other car with buffet or cafe attachment. In our next installment of Prohibition: Gambling, Bootlegging, and Propaganda in Warren County, we will find that the victory of the “Drys” vs. “Wets” was short lived.

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