Sunday, February 9, 2020

Evil Spirits: Valparaiso and the Temperance Crusade of 1874

"Em, stay at home and mind your own affairs."

Such was the scrawled note written by Valparaiso man to his wife who was actively participating in the temperance crusade taking place in their community during the first few months of 1874. The note's recipient would tearfully assert to her fellow Crusaders that "My husband never used such language to me before."

The remarkable nationwide temperance movement of 1874 is believed to have been precipitated by the financial panic during the fall of 1873. The panic substantially raised the level of public anxiety. Assisted by ministers of various religious denominations bellowing the embers of discontent, women across the United States began to rapidly organize and focus their criticism on elements of society that they believed were corroding both economic stability and moral virtues. Crusaders, including those in Valparaiso, placed political corruption and an expanding liquor trade within their cross hairs.

Alcohol, however, did not suddenly appear in Porter County in the 1870s. As Indiana historian Jacob Piatt Dunn has written, "Our forefathers had no prejudice against drink or drinking. The [whiskey] still usually appeared in the frontier settlements before the meeting-house, or even the school-house."

The industrial revolution had been taking place for decades by the mid-nineteenth century; industrialization and mechanization was greatly reducing domestic household workload. This opened up time in which women could pursue other interests and connect with one another to seek common goals. In addition, the post Civil War period gave women, especially older women, a new sense of identity and empowerment that resulted in a wave of political and social activism along several fronts.

Valparaiso's temperance Crusaders outside saloons of Tom Ward (left)
and Conrad Braun (right), March 1874. Photograph taken looking southeast
from present day Lincolnway one block west of the court house square.
Cabinet card photograph by John Wesley McLellan, Valparaiso photographer.
Source: Collection of Steven R. Shook.
Engraving of Crusaders at Tom Ward's and Conrad Braun's Saloons.
Source: A. G. Hardesty, 1876.

Concurrently, ministers were uniting Protestant women across various religious denominations, encouraging and emboldening them to aggressively confront "an evil they saw as a personal threat to themselves and their families."

Many Indiana pioneers had witnessed the negative impact that "fire water" had on Native Americans. They believed that spirits paralyzed the Indians' "sense of honor, decency, fidelity, and virtue." It destroyed "conjugal, parental, and filial affection." Furthermore, the imbibing of alcohol degraded society by leading to "ignorance, superstition, indolence and crime." The Native Americans were viewed as no different than themselves when it came to the effects of alcohol on the individual and society.

In Porter County, the first group known to formally organize against the sale and use of alcohol located in Valparaiso in 1846 and was referred to as the Temperance League; four or five branches of this organization were soon situated throughout the county. In June of 1847, the Indiana State Legislature established a "local option" whereby townships rather than the counties were granted authority to decide whether to issue licenses for "spirituous liquors." This led to a few townships in Porter County becoming "dry." For instance, Portage Township had two saloons during the late 1830s and early 1840s, but would go dry for more than forty years when granted authority to regulate alcohol in 1847.

Example of license to operate a tavern issued to Willis P. Ward
on March 12, 1839, by the Porter County Circuit Court.
Source: Porter County Recorder's Office, Miscellaneous Records, Taverns.

Numerous temperance groups would form and evolve over time in Porter County, such as the Woman's Christian Temperance Union (W.C.T.U.) and Sons of Temperance, both in Valparaiso, and the Flint Lake Temperance Society. Many of these groups would remain active throughout the second half of the 1800s and into the early twentieth century.

Advertisement for James M. Buel's Indiana Hotel in
Valparaiso "conducted on strictly temperance principles."
Source: Practical Observer, March 27, 1855.

The temperance movement in Indiana and elsewhere became a powder keg by January 1874; the efforts of Hoosier women and their associated Protestant churches to permanently eradicate saloons and other sellers of the "devil's drink" within their communities was being covered by newspapers nationwide. The temperance women, referred to as Crusaders, were causes of community chaos and concern in Anderson, Cambridge City, Columbus, Jeffersonville, LaPorte, Lebanon, Noblesville, Princeton, Terre Haute, Union City, and Valparaiso.

The press closely followed the temperance movement. Newspaper editors devoted considerable column inches, and sometimes entire pages, to temperance crusades largely because they provided for good copy. For instance, it was widely reported that William Selkmyer, an Indianapolis saloon keeper, allowed eighteen female temperance Crusaders to enter his saloon, which was brimming with men, in order to pray and sing at 3:00 pm on February 23, 1874. When the praying commenced, a musical machine called on orchestrion was loudly played with the purpose of annoying the women to the point they would be purged from the saloon. "The barkeeper, finding the orchestrion ineffectual in putting a stop to the praying, let loose two harmless young bears. As soon as the ladies saw these, they broke for the door pell-mell, vacating the premises immediately." 

Certainly, these sorts of newspaper stories were far more interesting and entertaining to read than local real estate transactions, public notices, hog prices, and obituaries. They also provided men fodder to demean and reprimand females, telling them to "mind your own affairs;" namely, women should manage the domestic affairs of the household and nothing else.

Perhaps some men were using Biblical verse to counter against the perceived threat of female empowerment - Woman, Know Thy Place!
Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a women to speak in the church.
1 Corinthians 14:34-35
The few temperance-oriented newspapers, however, took the issue of alcohol seriously and often published the editor's own opinionated remarks about the wickedness of alcohol consumption. Frequently, subscribers would write a mocking letter to the newspaper's editor, which merely caused the editor to make the case more strongly for temperance.

The rapid increase in societal polarization as it concerned alcohol consumption resulted in pulling in government officials to find solutions to appease both sides. Valparaiso was in the thick of it when it came to the Crusaders' attempt to rid their community of saloons and liquor, and the events that took place there made news from coast to coast.

By Wednesday, March 4, 1874, Valparaiso women had concluded a two week prayer and protest movement focused on:
... banishing all the saloon-keepers, giving the gambling fraternity an opportunity to pass into adjoining counties, getting large numbers to sign [temperance] pledges, closing five out of the eight saloons, and reducing the sale of beer from one hundred and ten kegs a week to ten.
The three saloons remaining in operation were reported to be doing a "nominal business, scarcely making expenses." Crusaders also met with success outside of Valparaiso; for instance, the only remaining saloon at Kouts Station had been closed due to their efforts.

In rural Porter County, the Crusaders were assisted in their efforts by sympathetic members of the The National Grange of the Order of Patrons of Husbandry, more commonly referred to as The Grange. This national organization was founded at the conclusion of the Civil War in 1867 and served as an advocacy group to promote the community, economic, and political interests of farmers. Given the time period, the group was considered liberal and included female membership and leadership; the organization grew rapidly in size and fully embraced women's suffrage and temperance.

Womans Holy War. Grand Charge on the Enemy's Work.
Source: Currier & Ives, 1874.

By 1874, sixteen Granges had spread across Porter County. These Granges included (Master of Grange included in parentheses): Boone Grove (Andrew Barrett Price), Center (Anderson Poor), Clear Lake (A. Williams), Flint Lake (B. S. Wise), Furnessville (Edwin Leigh Furness), Hebron (John Wesley Paramore), Jackson (Aratus Lansing), Liberty (James S. Bradley), Morgan (Merritt Cornell), Pleasant (John Teeters Brumbaugh), Portage (Peter Ritter), Porter Cross Roads (Jeremiah D. Tucker), Salt Creek (Abraham Staffer), South Liberty (Aaron B. Crook), Washington (Aaron Stanton), and Westchester (Abram Fuller). When the temperance movement was in full swing at Valparaiso, the Grangers across the county adopted resolutions "indorsing [sic] the course pursued by the ladies of Valparaiso, in endeavoring to suppress the sale of intoxicating drinks."

Using numerous newspaper accounts, a timeline of temperance-related events taking place at Valparaiso in early 1874 can be pieced together. Collectively, these events clearly reveal why Valparaiso was making the national news at the time.

On Friday, February 20th, nearly 100 women operating in shifts assembled at Conrad Braun's Billiard Hall (Braun appears as Brown in some records). Braun's establishment was located where today's Central Park Plaza fronts along Lincolnway. Shifts were arranged by religious denomination. For instance, women of the Methodist Church would gather in prayer and protest to be followed by members of the Baptist, Christian, or Presbyterian churches; note that the community's Roman Catholics played no part in Valparaiso's temperance movement. Braun was a Roman Catholic.

The goal of the assembly was to "worry" Braun out of the liquor business. The women evidently met with some success since their effort that day resulted in a physician being called to treat Braun and "quiet his shattered nerves."

Many women had entered Braun's business and began to sing and pray. One newspaper, The Inter Ocean from Chicago, at the time being edited by former Tassinong and Valparaiso resident Gilbert Ashville Pierce, detailed the day's efforts in their February 21, 1874, issue as follows:
While the ladies remain in the saloon, which is most of the time, he [Braun] paces frantically up and down exclaiming, "Oh God! vat will I do? Dear ladies, up stairs I have five as nice little childrens as never vas; how you think I quit this business?" This question, which to the masculine gender would have been a stunner, was readily responded to by the women who had a half dozen kinds of honorable employment for the gentleman as soon as he would abandon the traffic in ardent spirits. Conrad could see no money in the business they proposed, and shook his head, saying: "Nix, nix;" and would not be comforted. Forty or fifty ladies, with an escort of gentlemen, are sitting up to-night with the afflicted saloonist. His barkeeper says: If der laties don't behaves like h--l, I puts them out; dat's all."
One Valparaiso businessman, traveling to his residence upon his return from Chicago on February 20th, was attracted to:
... the immense crowd  in front of Ward's saloon, on Main Street [Lincolnway]. Elbowing his way through the throng that occupied the sidewalk, he at last gained the entrance, where almost the first persons that met his gaze were his wife and two daughters busily engaged, with about seventy other ladies, in devotional exercises. The gentleman, who had before opposed such proceedings, was so impressed with the sight that he commended instead of censuring them. 'Women who court notoriety may engage in such a crusade," said a prominent citizen, Friday night, "but you won't catch my wife among them." Hardly had the words escaped his lips when his attention was directed to a band of ladies on the other side of the street marching to relieve others who had been on duty in Brown's [Braun's] saloon. "It's her, by jingo!" exclaimed the astonished man, as his eyes rested on his wife, who had been drawn into the cyclone that appears to be sweeping town.
It is unclear if Braun discontinued his business of selling spirits to patrons of his billiard hall as a result of the protests. What is known with certainty is that Thomas "Tom" Ward's Saloon, located immediately east of Braun's business along present day Lincolnway, was to experience the temperance soldiers' protests the following two days. Ward and his wife, Mary Ellen "Nellie" (Stokes) Ward, would not tolerate temperance efforts taking place at their business establishment and fought back. Like Braun, the Wards were Roman Catholic.

View of Klein's Confectionery and Toy Store (a saloon) with
Mrs. Klein confronting praying women protesting the sale of
liquor in Xenia, Greene County, Ohio. An identical scene
occurred in Valparaiso with Nellie Ward confronting protesters.
Source: Harper's Weekly, March 14, 1874.

A number of women assembled to pray and protest both inside and outside of Tom Ward's business on February 21st and 22nd. To some extent, the women were successful as Ward was indicted by a grand jury on Monday, February 23rd on five counts of selling alcohol to minors and two counts of keeping a gambling house. On February 24th, Ward was arrested and fined $5 for vulgar and obscene language in public.

Ward's indictments for "selling intoxicating liquors to a minor" led to two appeals to the Supreme Court of Indiana - one in 1874 and the other in 1877. In the 1874 case, Tom Ward had sold intoxicating liquor to a minor with the surname of Mink; the minor was either Frank D. Mink or his brother Fred S. Mink. Ward's attorneys Thomas J. Merrifield (Valparaiso's first mayor), William Johnston, and Henry Binnamon, argued on a technicality; namely, that Ward's indictment was made by a grand jury that was selected to serve the September term of 1873 in the Porter Circuit Court and that a new grand jury was not seated for the February term of 1874 of this court when the indictment of Ward took place. Ward was motioning the Supreme Court for a new trial.

In this particular case, Ward entered a plea of not guilty and waived his trial by jury at the Porter Circuit Court. The court found Ward guilty and levied a fine of ten dollars. The Supreme Court of Indiana overruled Ward's motion for a new trial and Ward was required to pay the fine.

In the second case of 1877 before the Indiana Supreme Court, Ward was charged with the following indictment:
The grand jurors of the county of Porter, and State of Indiana, upon their oaths, present, that Thomas Ward, on or about the first day of January, A. D. 1874, at and in the county of Porter, and State aforesaid, did then and there unlawfully allow, suffer and permit one Harry Pagan, a person under the age of twenty-one years [Harry Pagin was 17 years old], and other persons under the age of twenty-one years, to play at a certain game on a billiard table, called billiards, then and there in his saloon in the city of Valparaiso, in said county, of which he was then and there the owner; contrary," etc.
Ward entered a motion to the Porter Circuit Court to quash this indictment, which it did, on the basis that indictment did not specify that Ward was the owner of the billiard table as required by state law -- despite the fact that it was clear that Ward was owner of the saloon that housed the billiard table. The State of Indiana appealed to the Supreme Court to have the indictment enforced. Ward won this case, the indictment remained quashed, and he was awarded court costs.

Tom Ward's arrest on February 24th is believed to have resulted in an act that was reported in newspapers nationwide. While numerous temperance women were kneeling in prayer at the entrance of Tom Ward's Saloon, Mrs. Ward emptied a bucket of dirty water on them from the second story balcony "Completely ruining the dress of one lady, and thoroughly sprinkling the rest. The ladies bore the insult meekly, and with forbearance which excited for them universal sympathy."

One has to wonder what was going through the mind of Valparaiso's mayor, John N. Skinner, whose wife, Joanna Elizabeth (Marshall) Skinner, had an active role in the Valparaiso temperance movement. In an effort to quell civil unrest and riots in the community, Skinner issued the following proclamation on February 23rd:
WHEREAS, For several says past, large numbers of persons have been engaged in assembling on or about the premises of citizens pursuing a lawful business and remaining on said premises against the will of the owners thereof, and for the avowed purposes of interfering with their business; and

WHEREAS, Many of such persons declare their intention of persisting in such conduct. Now, therefore, all such persons so assembling and remaining are hereby notified that such conduct. Now, therefore, all such persons so assembling are hereby notified that such conduct is unlawful and against the ordinances of the City of Valparaiso, and they are admonished as good citizens to desist from the same, and that it is the duty of the authorities of said city, and of all law-abiding citizens in the interest of public peace and order, to enforce the said ordinances and disperse such assemblages.
Mayor of Valparaiso.
The mayor's proclamation had the effect of drop-kicking a hornets' nest. The following day, February 24th, the leaders of Valparaiso's temperance movement issued the following counter proclamation:
"Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together against the Lord, and against His annointed [sic] saying, 'Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.' He that siteth in the heavens shall laugh; the Lord shall have them in derision." -- Psalm 2; 1, 4.

"And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all, nor teach in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered and said unto them, 'Whatever it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye.'" -- Acts 4; 18, 19.

In the temperance movement we have undertaken, we have had no purpose to violate the laws of the State of interfere with the rights of any citizen. We have malice in our heart toward none, but charity toward all. We believe we have the right to persuade men to cease from strong drink, and to plead with the liquor seller to cease from his traffic. Believing, too, that God has called us to the high duty of saving our fellow men, we will not cease to pray and labor to this end. It is our solemn purpose, with love in our hearts to God and man, to go right forward in the work we have undertaken, and if the hand of violence be laid upon us, we make our humble and confident appeal to the God whom we serve, and to the laws of the State, whose faithful citizens we are.
Mrs. A. V. Bartholomew,
Mrs. L. C. Buckles,
Mrs. E. Skinner,
Mrs. A. Gurney,
Mrs. E. Ball,
Executive Committee.

In behalf of the ladies engaged in the temperance movement.
True to their word, the women continued on with their temperance assemblages of protests and prayers. While the first week of March brought some relative quiet to the streets of Valparaiso, the temperance Crusaders were back in large number at Tom Ward's Saloon on Saturday, March 7th, and Tom Ward was sitting in the county jail locked up for being "drunk and abusive."

Fourteen women who were members of the Crusade had gained entrance into Ward's business establishment. A large number of women remained outside the entrance of the saloon in prayer. Likely emboldened by Mayor Skinner's proclamation and infuriated with her husband's incarceration, Nellie Ward ordered all the women out of the saloon, but they refused to go and an altercation ensued involving Abigail Jane (Hull) Kellogg [Mrs. J. W. Kellogg], "an old and very estimable lady."

Engraving from History of Valparaiso published in 1876.
Source: Hubert M. Skinner, 1876.

[Note that Hubert's father was Valparaiso Mayor John N. Skinner.]

Kellogg was standing nearest to Nellie when Nellie requested all the temperance women to immediately leave the saloon. When members of the group refused to depart, Nellie grabbed Kellogg to force her to go. One newspaper reported that Nellie knocked Kellogg to the ground and then "beat her head against a billiard table. She was taken home insensible, where she has had several spasms." 

Other newspapers reported that Mrs. Kellogg was knocked down and that Nellie tore off Kellogg's hat and grabbed one end of a scarf wrapped around Kellogg's neck. Concurrently, a member of the Crusaders had hold of the other end of Kellogg's scarf and was tugging at it. Kellogg, being strangled, fainted as the scarf was pulled tightly around her neck.

Valparaiso women praying outside of Tom Ward's Saloon,
building of left, and Conrad Braun's Billiard Hall, building on right.
Photograph likely taken by John Wesley McLellan.
Source: Neeley, 1989.

Regardless of which description of the incident is correct, Nellie was immediately arrested and charged with assault and battery and the crowd was dispersed. Nellie would post $500 bail that same day and was scheduled to have her case heard four days later.

Abigail Kellogg's sons, Silas W. and Fortunatus G., were incensed by the treatment of their mother. With a number of friends, they were "determined to clean out the saloon." The temperance Crusaders also returned later that day outside Ward's saloon, likely to stir up more sympathy and support for their cause. Several citizens, however, talked sense to the crowd and they departed around 9:00 pm.

Mayor Skinner, likely at wits' end, needed to put a stop to the temperance activity in Valparaiso. The situation had deteriorated to the point that there was active talk in the community of lynching Nellie Ward, which does not appear very Christian-like given the Crusader's motivations and rationale for their prayers and protests.

Very soon after Abigail Kellogg's assault, Mayor Skinner immediately doubled the size of the Valparaiso police force and temporarily closed Ward's saloon. Armed men of Irish descent took up in front of Ward's saloon, while another group of armed men of German descent guarded Braun's establishment. The following day, Sunday, March 8th, Skinner directed law enforcement to keep all sidewalks in the community clear and to block all women from entering the community's saloons.

The saloon owners filed lawsuits against members of the Crusade and their husbands. On Tuesday, March 10th, these cases began to be heard by the court. Husbands were included in the lawsuits since they were financially responsible for their wives' behavior and trespass. The South-Bend Daily Tribune of March 9th succinctly summed up the activities in Valparaiso:
The situation here [Valparaiso] is much to be deplored.
Newspapers and histories of Porter County provide little detail as to what happened in Valparaiso after March 11th. It is known that at about $10,000 in claims were levied against Tom Ward in court, as well as some criminal charges concerning the sale of alcohol to minors. Ward would post bond in the amount of $1,500, but later forfeit the bail rather than to have to answer the indictments against him. His saloon in Valparaiso would continue to operate and the Crusade movement seems to have ended with a whimper.

Other sellers of alcohol in Valparaiso in 1873 and 1874 included a gentleman named Bryar (Beyer?) and Eason Wilcox. Wilcox was also a local druggist who would later open a saloon at Hebron.

A question remains as to whether the temperance movement in Valparaiso was anti-Roman Catholic given than Braun and Ward were of that faith. Examining the history of the movement in the United States, one may come to the conclusion that the answer is "no" since the Roman Catholic church in the country was promoting abstinence or limited consumption of alcohol as early as the 1830s. However, during the temperance movement in the 1870s, newspaper accounts reveal that there was a focus concerning the behavior of Roman Catholics, particularly those of German and Irish descent, for their alleged preference for alcohol.

The Porter County Commissioners would greatly impact both Braun and Ward during their meeting on Friday, June 16, 1875. It was the county commissioners' task to grant licenses throughout the county to sell alcohol. At this meeting, Ward and Brown were refused licenses, as well as Eason Wilcox at Hebron and P. A. Johnson at Chesterton. Though it cannot be teased out from newspaper coverage of the meeting, one is left wondering if the refusal to grant licenses to Braun and Ward was in retribution for the events that transpired in 1874?

Thomas Ward and Conrad Brown [Braun] are denied
licenses to sell alcohol at the June 16, 1875,
meeting of the Porter County Commissioners.
Source: Porter County Vidette, June 24, 1875.

In 1875, the year following the temperance events at Valparaiso, Reverend James B. Shaw, a Methodist, published a comprehensive History of the Great Temperance Reforms of the Nineteenth Century. Included in his book are those reforms that took place at Valparaiso; Shaw states (pp. 285-286):
There seems to be a well-nigh universal uprising among the ladies [in Valparaiso]. Those least expected to engage in the movement have suddenly been found in the ranks. A business man of Chicago, whose family reside here, came home, and on his way to his residence was attracted by the immense crowd in front of Ward's saloon, on Main street. Elbowing his way through the throng that occupied the sidewalk, he at last gained the entrance, where almost the first persons that met his gaze were his wife and two daughters busily engaged, with about seventy other ladies, in devotional exercises. The gentleman, who had before opposed such proceedings, was so impressed with the sight that he commended instead of censuring them.

"Women who court notoriety may engage in such a crusade," said a prominent citizen, Friday night, "but you wont catch my wife among them." Hardly had the words escaped his lips when his attention was directed to a band of ladies on the other side of the street, marching down to relieve others who had been on duty in Brown's [Conrad Braun] saloon. "It's her!" exclaimed the astonished man, as his eyes rested on his wife, who had been drawn into the cyclone that appears to be sweeping the town. A travelling salesman from a large wholesale grocery house in Chicago reached his home here on Saturday night, and not finding his wife in, inquired as to her whereabouts. "Up to Tom Ward's saloon," was the reply, much to the gentleman's dismay and chagrin, for he does not approve of the crusade by any means. And so it goes.

Under date of June 30 [1874], The Era says of Valparaiso:

"There has been a great conflict here, but victory has come, and all the saloons are closed as nuisances by order of the Circuit Court. This judgment includes all of Porter County, and there is in its limits no legal saloon. Any who sell now will be tried for contempt of Court, and from such conviction there is no appeal.

"The temperance question was the main issue in the elections, at Indianapolis and other Indiana towns, on the 5th; the Reformers being victorious in Jeffersonville, Peru, Muncie, Waterloo, Anderson, Wabash, New Albany, Franklin, Angola, Madison, and Crawfordsville."
It is speculated that one motivation for the seemingly persistent involvement of women in the temperance movement in Valparaiso was due to violence that was taking place at local saloons. In at least once case, this violence allegedly led to the death of a local resident. Hardesty's 1876 history of Porter County very briefly relates the story of the murder Henry Andrews:
In the month of January, 1869, Henry Andrews, a tailor of Valparaiso, while in Tom Ward's saloon, got into an altercation with Phillip Schaffer, a journeyman tailor, then in his employ. Schaffer drew a knife and stabbed Andrews in the abdomen, from which wound he died four days afterward. Schaffer had his trial at Valparaiso, and received a sentence of two years imprisonment at Michigan City.
Interestingly, I have been unable to find any contemporary newspaper accounts or records concerning Andrews' murder or Schaffer's trial and imprisonment.

Leadership of the Valparaiso Crusaders can be pieced together through several contemporary newspaper articles. The leadership of the organization included:
  • Janette (Bailey) Gurney, wife of Aaron Gurney, President
  • Miss Lissa Sayles, Secretary
  • Emma (Benny) Bartholomew, wife of Artillus Valerius Bartholomew, Chairman of the Executive Committee (Presbyterian)
  • Anna J. (Phelps) Buckles, wife of Reverend Leander C. Buckles,Executive Committee Member
  • Mrs. Grover, Executive Committee Member
  • Emily Ward (Reid) Skinner, wife of John Richard Skinner, Executive Committee Member

The following women have been identified as members of the Valparaiso Crusaders:

Who, exactly, were Tom Ward and Conrad Braun? Thomas Ward was born in June 1837 at Reading, County Berkshire, England, a son of William Ward and Elizabeth (Shapman) Ward. In 1870, Ward married Mary Ellen "Nellie" Stokes. Tom died at Valparaiso on April 4, 1911, and was interred in St. Paul's Catholic Cemetery in Valparaiso.

During the Civil War, Ward served with the 89th Illinois Infantry where he lost an arm at Atlanta, Georgia. He would later serve as a corporal in the 3rd Company of the Veteran Reserve Corps, more commonly known as the Invalid Corps. Soldiers in the Veteran Reserve Corps typically performed light duty tasks due to disability or persistent infirmity such as a disease.

Tom Ward was one of thirty-three charter members of the local Grand Army of the Republic fraternal order of veterans of the Civil War, which was created on December 13, 1866. The local order, known as Post No. 1, District of Porter, Department of Indiana, disbanded around 1870. In October of 1882, Chaplain Brown Post, No. 106, was established, essentially replacing the defunct post.

Conrad Braun was born on August 26, 1835, in Bavaria, Germany, the son of Jacob Brown and Mary A. (Glaab) Brown. He married a woman named Ida Ruder, a union which is believed to have resulted in at least five children. Two of their children died from croup in 1887.

Conrad exited the billiard hall business; the 1880 Federal Census records reveal that the Braun's were residing in Valparaiso and Conrad's occupation is listed as "Laborer."

Conrad was horrifically killed just before 8:00 am on April 20, 1889, after being struck by a Grand Trunk Western Railroad switch engine in Valparaiso. Like Ward, Braun and his family members were buried in St. Paul's Catholic Cemetery in Valparaiso.

The Tribune in Chesterton published this account of Conrad's death on April 25, 1889, which it had taken from the Valparaiso Star:
Conrad Brown beheaded by a Grand Trunk Switch Engine.

One of those horrible and heart sickening casualties occurred on the Grand Trunk road in this city this (Saturday) morning a few minutes before 8 o'clock.

Conrad Brown, aged about 55 years, an old resident here, a brother of Geo. Brown, the miller [at Liberty Mills], and father of Mrs. Frank LePell [Anna C. (Brown) LePell], was the unfortunate person. He has been employed by the Grand Trunk road for a number of years past. In fact, he had grown old in the company's service, and lately roadmaster William Segerdahl gave him employment at a lighter class of work. At the time of his death he was acting in the capacity of helper in the blacksmith shop. That morning he and two others were removing switch rods from the old shop on the north side of the tracks to the new shop on the south side, just east of the freight house. They were crossing the track with some rods when Brown was run down and killed by a switch engine, manned by John Erchman, engineer, and Edward Long, fireman.

The engine was going from the west to the east end of the yards and was running at quite a lively speed, using one of the side tracks. The fireman saw the men walking toward the track and rang the bell to warn them, to which they did not pay any attention of even look around. He requested the engineer to whistle, which he did, and this signal they seemingly did not appear to notice. When the engineer sounded the whistle he supposed he was doing so to warn two students who were standing upon the tracks further on, and did not see or know that Brown or his companions were near the track until he saw a hat and the switch rods flying in front of the engine. Brown was caught upon the center of the track, knocked down, his head falling across the south rail and was completely severed from the body. The body was horribly mangled, an arm and leg being nearly cut off and rolled and dragged beneath the engine about sixty feet before the locomotive could be stopped. The head and body were carried into the freight house where Undertaker [Edwin V.] Arnold took charge of them, and Coroner [Hayes Clark] Coates held an inquest.

Joseph Truedell, one of the workmen, was struck by the engine but not hurt. One more step and he would have suffered the fate of Brown or been seriously injured. About three months ago Brown was induced to take out an accident and life policy in the company's association for $1,000 in favor of his wife, permitting the company to retain from his earnings each month $2.50 until the policy was paid up, and as he stepped from the pay car he seemed to think that his money had been squandered, and declared that it would be the last cent expended in that manner.
-- Valparaiso Star.
This blog post concludes with an account of Porter County temperance activities in 1874 taken from Annie Wittenmyer's History of the Temperance Crusade, published in 1878. Wittenmyer served as the first president of the Women's Christian Temperance Union (W.C.T.U.). This first hand account is the only known written record of the 1874 temperance movement in Porter County written from the perspective of a female participant.
CHESTERTOWN, INDIANA. [should be Chesterton]

I am indebted to Mrs. C. S. Jones for the following facts:
About the first week in March, 1874, we organized our first Crusade band. We met at the M. E. Church several days, before we ventured out on the street. We were few in number; only twenty-two at first, but our number increased. There was a mighty work before us, for our town was of whiskey-birth; as the first erection was a whiskey-barrel, then a house, then a saloon.

When we organized, there were five places where intoxicating drinks could be had in our village, and three up the railroad at the next station [Porter]. Some said, "You will never see the day when there will not be a saloon in Chestertown," but we all did. In connection with the band, we held two meetings a week, in which we obtained signers to the [temperance] pledge.

We conducted our meetings in the way that the M. E. Church does its love-feasts. We did not send off for help, but went at it ourselves, and by the aid of the great Helper we succeeded in closing six saloons, two drug stores, and once place where they sold in connection with their groceries. This was completed in six weeks. So Chestertown led the van [vanguard] in Porter county.

There were some amusing circumstances connected with our work, which, perhaps, will be interesting to some of our readers. When we first met, some said, we had better wait until they get through at Valparaiso, and get them to come and help us; but the Spirit said work, and we could not wait, not knowing how long we should have to wait. And as they appointed me as their leader, I thought, perhaps, it would be best to visit Valparaiso, and learn their method of work. So I started, and leaving the depot, walked up-town, and there were the faithful Christian temperance women at the door of a saloon, praying and singing, with hearts full of love for their fellow-creatures. A hearty welcome was given, and for two days we worked together.

Returning home with still stronger convictions, we went to work in earnest, but some said, "Remember, I have no faith," and others, "I will join if you will not go out on the street;" consequently, we had to move slowly at first, until their courage arose. As I told them we were not going in the street until we got ready, we did not, but after meeting a few times, they were all ready, and we started, and, as in other cases, the very dogs were ready to help, for as one of the number owned a nice, white dog, it took the lead, and we walked the street, it advanced of its own accord, and cleared the way. It was amusing to see it, and as we desired solemnity, it required no little effort to suppress laughter. Thus we passed down Main street [today's Broadway Avenue], and back to the church
everybody running to see us [Thomas Public Library now sits upon the Methodist Episcopal Church church site].

Every day we met, we tried to take the saloonists by surprise, and often did. We had articles of agreement drawn for the different dealers in the traffic, and finally presented them, and they were duly signed, although it took much persuading to get it done. In one instance, the owner of the property that was rented for a saloon, threatened to take hold of the keeper for the rent, but the Lord softened his heart, and he relented; he said he would put his beer in the cellar, and drink it himself, and when that was gone he would get more; if he could not get it in America, he would send across the ocean.

But this man's family were all, except one, stricken down by disease, and lay near death, himself dying, so he did not live to drink the beer. I hope the Lord had mercy on his soul, for his wife told me (As I visited her in their affliction), that he thought he should not live, and that he read his Bible constantly, as long as he could, he requested Mr. Jones to visit him, which he did, reading the consoling promises to him, and conversing with him; he stated that his trust was in Jesus.

After we had closed all the saloons, some proposed to have this poison delivered at their cellars by means of a beer-wagon driven by one of the distillers of Valparaiso. This way of evading the law they thought would match us. Luckily, we espied the first arrival. We were at the church. Those who had made their previous purchase were not at home, and as their wives belonged to the temperance band, they were forbidden to leave it, and they were defeated. At other places they left the beer if they were enough in advance of the band.

However, we did not get discouraged. We resolved that the first one that saw the beer-wagon was to ring the church-bell, and no matter what we were doing, or at what hour, we were to run to the rescue. One morning ring, ring, ring; louder and louder pealed forth the call from the old bell. True to our resolution, we all ran. The old, gray-haired grandmother, the maid, the children (for we were drilling our daughters). We met and followed the beer wagon, now up one street, then down an alley; lifting up our banner in the name of the Lord, and He helped us to triumph.

The driver had started very early, even before breakfast, and we gave him no peace; he had to retreat, and go back to Valparaiso. A gentleman coming from Valparaiso said that he saw him, and tried to get him to come back, and take a load of carpenters with him: his reply was, "I would not go back to Chestertown for a thousand dollars."

This is what became of the travelling saloon, but the driver fell into the hands of the Lord; for death followed close at his heels.

A German kept liquor in the house where he kept the post-office [this would have been Chesterton postmaster Jasper B. Bostwick], and he said that he never would give up to these "vimmens." But we found the quickest way to get a German to yield was to get at his money. He had violated the law, the officials arrested him, and they told him if he would sign the women's paper, and not sell any more, and give them his license, they would pardon him; so rather than lose his money, he said: "Send dem vimmens, and I will sign der bapers." They brought him to my house, and he was glad to sign our papers, and give us his liquor license, which we keep as a proof of the work we had done.

It was common for saloon-keepers to make threats, but we often found they were the greatest cowards, and they were the most easily overcome when approached in the right way. One at Porter said that he would shoot us, and his wife said she would scald us, but two of us went to the saloon, and he gave us his license and signed our papers without any trouble. Thus we closed our work at home and vicinity. Then the Macedonian cry came from Lake [now Lake Station], Miller, Hobert [Sic], and other stations, "Come over and help us." As we felt it to be our duty, we said we would come. As Lake was first in order, we sent them an appointment, a band-meeting in the day, and mass-meeting at night. The day arrived; four of us went in the morning, organized the band the best we could. In the evening there were about twenty members of our society left the train, and were met by the best of the citizens, and escorted to tea, after which we repaired to the school-house for mass-meeting. We opened our meeting, as usual, with reading of the Scripture and devotions, and singing by our temperance glee club. During the speaking the opposite party made quite a noise, and finally it was almost a mob. Some became frightened, but we kept them quiet as possible. We offered them a chance to defend their cause, but they did not seem to be disposed to do so.

When they found that they could not break up our meeting, some left the house and joined the rabble out-doors, firing guns, and groaning to make us think some one was hurt, and this cause us to leave. But we had met to hold a temperance meeting, and we did. When we were ready we circulated the pledge, and obtained about thirty names, several of whom were drunkards. Several signed because they saw the effects of liquor, and were ashamed of their party, and I am happy to say, that in returning to the cars none were hurt, although the roughs escorted them to the trains with tin cans, -- anything that would make a noise. But one of their own company met them at the depot, drew his coat, and ordered them to let the temperance folks alone, throw down their clubs, and behave themselves as they ought to. This ended our first day and night's work at Lake Station. However, our Crusade band did not all go; several stayed until the next day, to assist in getting into working order the newly organized band.

According to appointment we met [apparently at Miller], and started out to visit the drinking saloons. First, we obtained the signature of the keeper of the hotel. While our committee were in, the rest stood on the sidewalk singing; a train arrived, and the train hands seeing them there, left the train, secured clubs, and marched toward the band, swinging and flourishing them, but, as the women sang on and stood firm, they slackened their pace, dropped their clubs, and returned to the railroad again. One more victory achieved, with renewed strength we proceeded to the next place, it being a saloon. The wife met us at the door. We told her we wished to see her husband. She said he was sick. We mistrusted what ailed him, and said we would come in. She opened the door, and we went in. He seemed frightened; he finally said he would re-ship his liquor and quit.

He always got sick when the Crusade came around. As this station had so hard a name, the temperance people had sent for an officer from Crown Point to guard us; and he, having arrived, went with us to the next saloon. It being the hardest place in town, some advised us not to go, as they considered it not safe, but we went, our guard at our side. The saloon-keeper was not at home; his wife was up-stairs, and talked to us out of the window. In the adjoining lot there was an old house filled with men, but no harm was done us. We did not succeed at this place in closing all the saloons, as we could not stay, and the band at this town met with things that they thought they could not overcome; yet there was a good work done, and many saved. We held other mass-meetings at this place, but were not disturbed.

Our next point was Hobart. We organized a band in the Methodist Episcopal Church, held a mass-meeting at night, had an interesting meeting, and obtained about thirty more names to the pledge, and left the work for them. There is one thing that should not be overlooked, and that is: the first year not one of our company died, but five of our opposers were suddenly stricken down. Different ones sent me word, on their dying beds, that they were wrong, and the temperance folks were right. I felt to say, "The Lord called, but ye would not hearken." There were about five hundred signed our temperance pledge.
Considerable research carried out to identify Mrs. C. S. Jones has not been fruitful.

Source Material

Ball, Timothy H. 1900. Northwestern Indiana from 1800 to 1900 or A View of Our Region Through the Nineteenth Century. Chicago, Illinois: Donohue & Henneberry. 570 p. [see pp. 142-147, 426-429]

Bohlmann, Rachel Elizabeth. 2001. Drunken Husbands, Drunken State: The Woman's Christian Temperance Union's Challenge to American Families and Public Communities in Chicago, 1874-1920. Ph.D. dissertation. Iowa City, Iowa: The University of Iowa. 394 p.

Dunn, Jacob Piatt. 1919. Indiana and Indianans: A History of Aboriginal and Territorial Indiana and the Century of Statehood. Volume II. Chicago, Illinois: The American Historical Society. 644 p. [see pp. 1,027-1,070]

Goodspeed, Weston A., and Charles Blanchard. 1882. Counties of Lake and Porter, Indiana: Historical and Biographical. Chicago, Illinois: F. A. Battey & Company. 771 p. [see pp. 23, 122, 129-130, 364-365]

Hardesty, A. G. 1876. Illustrated Historical Atlas of Porter County, Indiana. Valparaiso, Indiana: A. G. Hardesty. 90 p. [see pp. 26, 90]

Hume, Ivor Noël. 2009. All the Best Rubbish: The Classic Ode to Collecting. New York, New York: HarperCollins Publishers. 323 p. [see pp. 158-159, 200-201]

The Lewis Publishing Company. 1912. History of Porter County, Indiana: A Narrative Account of its Historical Progress, its People and its Principal Interests. Volume I. Chicago, Illinois: The Lewis Publishing Company 357 p. [see pp. 204-206, 225-227, 282]

Mullins, Lanette. 2002. Valparaiso: Looking Back, Moving Forward. Chicago, Illinois: Arcadia Publishing. 127 p. [see p. 11]

Neeley, George E. 1989. Valparaiso: A Pictorial History. St. Louis, Missouri: G. Bradley Publishing, Inc. 200 p. [see pp. 49, 69]

Shaw, James. 1875. History of the Great Temperance Reforms of the Nineteenth Century. Cincinnati, Ohio: Walden & Stowe. 527 p. [see pp. 285-286]

Silverman, Joan L. 1979. "I'll Never Touch Another Drop:" Images of Alcoholism and Temperance in American Popular Culture, 1874-1919. Ph.D. dissertation. New York, New York: New York University. 363 p.

Skinner, Hubert M. (as "A Citizen"). 1876. History of Valparaiso from the Earliest Times to the Present. Valparaiso, Indiana: Normal Publishing House. 23 p. [see pp. 18, 21]

Snodgrass, Mary Ellen. 2011. The Civil War Era and Reconstruction: An Encyclopedia of Social, Political, Cultural, and Economic History. London, England: Routledge. 832 p. [see p. 130]

Wittenmyer, Annie. 1878. History of the Woman's Temperance Crusade: A Complete Official History of the Wonderful Uprising of the Christian Women of the United States Against the Liquor Traffic, Which Culminated in the Gospel Temperance Movement. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Office of the Christian Woman. 781 p. [see pp. 356-363]

Wuthnow, Robert. 2011. Red State Religion: Faith and Politics in America's Heartland. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press. 504 p.

Periodicals and Court Cases
Anonymous. 1874. Woman's Crusade Against Whiskey. Harper's Weekly 18:236-238.

Supreme Court of Indiana. 1874. Ward v. State, 48 Ind. 289 (1874 Ind. LEXIS 362).

Supreme Court of Indiana. 1877. State v. Ward, 57 Ind. 537 (1877 Ind. LEXIS 619).

Newspapers (listed by date of publication)
Practical Observer, Valparaiso, Porter County, Indiana; October 6, 1853; Volume 1, Number 4, Page 2, Column 2. Column titled "Resolutions of Condolence."

Practical Observer, Valparaiso, Porter County, Indiana; March 27, 1855; Volume 3, Number 13, Page 4, Column 1. Column titled "Indiana Hotel."

The Inter Ocean, Chicago, Cook County, Illinois; February 21, 1874; Volume 2, Number 286, Page 1, Column 2. Column titled "Driving the Demon from the Door. Progress of the Temperance Crusade -- A Saloonist at Valparaiso Almost Crazy -- Movement in the East."

The Chicago Daily Tribune, Chicago, Cook County, Illinois; February 24, 1874; Volume 27, Number 185, Page 1, Columns 3-5. Column titled "Anti-Rum.

The Indiana State Sentinel, Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana; February 24, 1874; Volume 33, Number 31, Page 2, Column 1. Column titled "The Whiskey War."

The Inter Ocean, Chicago, Cook County, Illinois; February 24, 1874; Volume 2, Number 289, Page 5, Column 3. Column titled "Dashing the Bowl. The Latest Advices Concerning the Grade Crusade on the Liquor Traffic. Exciting Contest at Valparaiso, Ind. -- The Movement in Illinois, at Pittsburg, in New York City, Washington, Etc."

The Chicago Daily Tribune, Chicago, Cook County, Illinois; February 25, 1874; Volume 27, Number 186, Page 5, Column 4-6. Column titled "The Anti-Rum Crusade."

The Inter Ocean, Chicago, Cook County, Illinois; February 25, 1874; Volume 2, Number 290, Page 1, Columns 4-5. Column titled "The Cry is War."

The Chicago Daily Tribune, Chicago, Cook County, Illinois; February 27, 1874; Volume 27, Number 188, Page 1, Column 7 and Page 8, Columns 4-6. Column titled "The Temperance Campaign."

The Chicago Daily Tribune, Chicago, Cook County, Illinois; February 28, 1874; Volume 27, Number 189, Page 8, Columns 1-2. Column titled "The Anti-Rum Crusade."

The Indiana State Sentinel, Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana; March 3, 1874; Volume 23, Number 32, Page 7, Column 6. Column titled "Battle of the Dames. Puffs of Battle Smoke."

South-Bend Daily Tribune, South Bend, St. Joseph County, Indiana; March 5, 1874; Volume 2, Number 238, Page 1, Columns 1-2. Column titled "Latest News."

The Boston Daily Globe, Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts; March 9, 1874; Volume 5, Number 58, Page 5, Column 1. Column titled "At Valparaiso -- A Small Riot."

Davenport Daily Democrat, Davenport, Scott County, Iowa; March 9, 1874; Volume 19, Page 4, Column 4. Column titled "A Lady Crusader Assaulted."

South-Bend Daily Tribune, South Bend, St. Joseph County, Indiana; March 9, 1874; Volume 2, Number 241, Page 1, Column 1. Column titled "Latest News. Mrs. Ward Defends Little Brown Jug."

The Daily Milwaukee News, Milwaukee, Milwaukee County, Wisconsin; March 10, 1874; Volume 27, Number 57, Page 2, Column 3. Column titled "The Temperance Cause. Danger of a Riot at Valparaiso."

The Paxton Weekly Record, Paxton, Ford County, Illinois; March 12, 1874; Volume 9, Number 52, Page 1, Columns 3-4. Column titled "The Prayer Movement."

Fox Lake Representative, Fox Lake, Dodge County, Wisconsin; March 13, 1874; Volume 8, Number 23, Page 2, Columns 2-3. Column titled "West and South."

"The Muscatine Weekly Journal, Muscatine, Muscatine County, Iowa; March 13, 1874; Volume 34, Page 1, Column 6. Column titled "The Praying Crusaders."

The Perrysburg Journal, Perrysburg, Wood County, Ohio; March 13, 1874; Volume 21, Number 47, Page 1, Column 3. Column titled "The Prayer Movement."

The Waterloo Courier, Waterloo, Black Hawk County, Iowa; March 19, 1874; Volume 15, Number 40, Page 2, Column 2.

Wood County Reporter, Grand Rapids, Wood County, Wisconsin; March 19, 1874; Volume 17, Number 12, Page 1, Column 1. Column titled "Domestic."

The Cambridge City Tribune, Cambridge City, Wayne County, Indiana; March 26, 1874; volume 9, Number 47, Page 2, Column 3. Column titled "State Items."

Porter County Vidette, Valparaiso, Porter County, Indiana; July 9, 1874; Volume 18, Number 28, Page 3, Column 1. Column titled "Grange Directory."

Porter County Vidette, Valparaiso, Porter County, Indiana; June 24, 1875; Volume 19, Number 25, Page 3, Column 4. Column titled "Commissioners' Court."

Porter County Vidette, Valparaiso, Porter County, Indiana; January 28, 1877; Volume 19, Number 4, Page 2, Column 1.
Porter County Vidette, Valparaiso, Porter County, Indiana; March 8, 1877; Volume 21, Number 10, Page 3, Column 7. Column titled "Valparaiso Business."

Porter County Vidette, Valparaiso, Porter County, Indiana; July 31, 1879; Volume 23, Number 31, Page 3, Column 8. Column titled "Obituary."

The Vidette-Messenger, Valparaiso, Porter County, Indiana; August 18, 1936; Volume 10, Section 1, Pages 5-7. Column titled "The Founding of Porter County -- A Story of the Daring and Fortitude of Pioneers Who Came From South and East to Bring Civilization to Indiana."

The Vidette-Messenger, Valparaiso, Porter County, Indiana; August 18, 1936; Volume 10, Section 4, Page 18. Column titled "Porter County W. C. T. U. Has Seen Sixty Years of Striving For Its Ideals."

The Vidette-Messenger, Valparaiso, Porter County, Indiana; January 18, 1938; Volume 11, Page 1, Columns 4-5 and Page 2, Column 3. Column titled "Local Women Prayed At Doors of Saloons In The 70's; City Was In Furore," by Mabel Benney.

Chesterton Tribune, Chesterton, Porter County, Indiana; April 4, 2014; Column titled "Porter County Museum Exhibit Story of Ladies Who Made History," by Jeff Schultz.

© 2020 Steven R. Shook. All Rights Reserved.


  1. I really enjoyed reading this. Thank you!

  2. I have a collection of over 1,000 glass plate negatives and prints taken by Wilfred G. Marshall many are from the Valpo area.

  3. If you could highlight one location in each of the 12 Porter County Townships, what would they be?

    I am planning on doing a one mile walk once an hour for 12 hours and rather than simply walk a mile near my Jackson Twnshp home I thought it would be interesting to walk a mile in each township. Now I'm trying to figure out where in each township to walk and it's difficult!

    I would like to sort of do an overview of the county and at the same time point out some history. The lakeshore in Pine township, agriculture in Washington, Baum's Bridge in Pleasant, Indian mounds (maybe?) some place, steel industry in Portage Twnshp. etc etc.

    I really enjoy reading your articles about Porter County history so I'm hoping you can give me a couple of suggestions.

    I hope you and yours are well during this strange time.

    Thanks in advance.

    Tom Schnabel