Publication: The Muncie Daily Herald
Muncie, IN, United States
Made at the Mass Temperance Meetings Last Night.
Messrs. F. C. Ball, O. B. Bannister, Captain Hilligoss, C. M.Kimbrough, George M. Bard and Others Addressed the Meeting First Public Report of the Committee of 100.
The mass temperance meetings held last night in the Methodist and First Christian churches for the purpose of getting more persons interested in the work of the Committee of One Hundred, which has and is yet waging a bitter war against saloons in suburban portions of the city were not as largely attended as was expected. The Methodist was fairly well filled but less than two hundred people braved the rain and attended the meeting at the Christian church.
FIRST PUBLIC REPORT.
At the Methodist Attorney E. E. Botkin who is the secretary of the committee read its first public report and Attorney Wagner performed the same duty at the Chrstian church. A copy of the report follows:
The purpose of this meeting being stated, this privilege was sought by the “Committee of 100” to further the interests of good government in our greater respect for wholesome laws, we beg leave to submit for your careful and candid consideration a brief statement 1st, of what our purpose has been and is, 2nd the difficulties we have met and with which we are contending and 3rd, what we have done.
The preamble and resolutions of the organization best sets forth the purpose of this committee and reads as follows:
“WHEREAS, This State saw fit to enact and place on our statute books, an act commonly called the Moore law, whereby it is made possible to better enforce and control laws concerning the liquor traffic, and
WHEREAS, The common council of
Get the proper information for the indictments and with all the prepared, it required often a week to get service and longer time to get trial. Certainly there were excuses for these delays, simply excuses, that was all. We have tried these cases in a court by his own conduct self admitedly [sic] admittedly prejudiced and in the presence of a sneering crowd of enthusiast saloon products, however, little heeding their jeers and other intended indignities.
We were assisted by a police force, with perhaps one or two exceptions, who showed as much interest and enthusiasm, as a just cause could command of the unsympathetic. True, where there are so many cases including particulars gathered by different ones, mistakes will happen, but with men who business it is, and who act with written instructions, they ought to be few.
The cases sustained, were so openly a violation, that man of them admitted their guilt, while the others were so declared by the court. There are indeed incongruities in the finding of the court, which goes to show the facts established by the evidence, could not possibly be a true representation of the real existing conditions, or the finding of the court was grossly in error for in the neighborhood of Industry, near Balls, Hemingrays and Overs factories, one saloon was found doing business in the residence portion while four others on the same street near by were in the business portion, and one saloon near the cemetery on Kilgore avenue, in the residence and another not a square away in the business portion. The court in presiding at the last meeting of the council, explained these apparent inconsistencies by saying the two cases of guilt rested with the court on affidavits, while in the others evidence as to business was given. Take for granted that, that is true and this committee for that reason alone, thinks the circuit court a court of higher jurisdiction, and in many cases final, should pass on these cases and as was necessary, the common council of our city was asked to so instruct the city attorney. This committee pleaded with this same council to permit it to bear all costs and liabilities, and asked to be permitted to advance money for security against loss, but here again obstructions, delays and hinderances were met on every hand; yet by force of unyielding determination, our representatives in the body, waged a fight worthy the cause, the details of which this committee wishes here to thank the city papers, for so fully reporting. And after a course of charges and counter charges, where all the trickery of parliamentary law and personal privileges, held full sway and consumed valuable time, when tie votes were as common as ballots, leaving our decision with our mayor who knew the evidence in the cases was not fully presented and full well too that they had not been carefully adjudicated and yet with joyful alacrity he barred the way to a higher court, till finally, on last Monday night, one case out of the nine, as is well know yet stands appealed.
As a further evidence of the great odds with which this committee has had to contend, instead of the self-admitted violators of law, when so found guilty, ceasing and yielding as any but avowed criminals would do, they paid their fines and continued uninterrupted in their business.
As proof of the kind of men we deal with, in the very place, where, not many months before, a human life was surreptitiously snapped out. And now, “as murder will out,” today there is a man in a felons cell, serving practically a life sentence while in the
near a large factory. Then he spoke of the officers in the following words: “It is an easy matter to find fault with the offiers [sic] officers but you must understand that it is hard for an officer to do his duty unless public sentiment is with him.” Mr. Bard roasted the council in a manner that caused a quiet laugh. “I was always under the impression that the councilmen were our fathers, as it were and the mayor our grandfather, who looked after all our needs. When I attended a meeting the idea was rudely dispelled, as I did not find the proper spirit displayed, especially when the curfew law was brought up. It was like shaking a red flag at a bull.”
Mrs. E. S. L. Potter sang a beautiful solo and then Mr. Stevens, the superintendent of the Midland Steel works, was introduced. Among other things he said he was bitterly opposed to saloons and would never go inside one of them. “Near the factory,” he said, “is a saloon which I watched for several hours one Sunday recently and noticed thirty or forty men go inside and come out drunk. There is an officer in the church tonight who lives near the saloon.”
Chas. M. Kimbrough of the Indiana Bridge company made the best and most logical speech of the evening: “I don’t like the whiskey business but I have known saloonists who were smart enough to be great generals. I owe some of my success in life to saloon keepers and their help. They are educated to the business and do not think it is wrong, as we do. I do not believe in so much talk. We must act, not by force but by persuasion. You can not force a man. Go to the saloonist, urge him to quit business, raise a fund and return to him the money he has paid out for a license and then he will quit. Also go after the law makers. They have made it legal for a man to secure a license to sell liquor.”
The last speaker was Thos. L. Zook father of the Committee of One Hundred, and his address was brief and did not “roast” anyone very hard.
|Researcher:||Roger Lucas / Bob Stahr|
|Date completed:||October 22, 2011 by: Deb Reed Fowler;|