Old Minute Book Found by Con VanNatta Furnishes
Most Complete Directory of Early Residents

From the Enterprise-Chronicle issue dated August 20, 1931.

Topeka W.C.T.U. last week celebrated fifty years of prohibition in Kansas. Con VanNatta was at the speakers' table and gave data from a book in his possession, containing the "minutes" of the Youths' Temperance Alliance, Burlingame, Kansas, from its organization, Sunday, June 24, 1877, to Sept. 28, 1879. Believing what he said will be of interest to our readers, the Enterprise-Chronicle prints his talk in full. The names herewith appended as signers of the Pledge will be recognized by many old timers, and is probably the most complete list extant of residents of that period in and around Burlingame. The speaker said:

My mother was a charter member of the Burlingame, Kansas, W.C.T.U. They still honor her memory down there. Records show I signed the pledge June 24, 1877 -- fifty-four years ago.

There are three things I like to talk about: Kansas history, Arthur Capper and crippled children. Notes on these subjects are scattered about. When I wanted some historical data recently, rummaging through a trunk in the attic where I keep old things, I found a book. In it is set down a diary of two or three years of my early life. The book was not bought originally for this purpose. It came into my possession at the demise of an organization, and when its use for record of proceedings or minutes was no longer needed by my sister who was then its secretary. Thinking it might hold something of interest at such a meeting as this I shall quote from the "Minutes of the Youths' Temperance Alliance" of Burlingame, Kansas, for the years 1877, '78 and '79. The first president was Mrs. O.D. Lee: Mrs. V.M. King, vice-president; with Geo. Drew, secretary-treasurer. The first entry was dated Sunday, June 24, 1877 and was as here set down: "A mass Temperance Meeting met at the Methodist Episcopal Church in Burlingame, Osage County, Kansas, called by Dr. King, State Temperance Lecturer, at which time a Society was organized to be known as the Youths' Temperance Alliance of Burlingame, Kansas. The following Constitution was adopted:

"Art. 1. This organization shall be known as the Youths' Temperance Alliance of Burlingame, Kansas.
"Art. 2. The officers of this Alliance shall be a President, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer, to be chosen quarterly.
"Art. 3. The Alliance shall choose an Executive Committee of three each month whose duty shall be to provide work, instruction and entertainment for the Alliance.
"Art. 4. The Alliance shall meet once a week at such time and place as the Executive Committee may determine.
"Art. 5. Any person may become a member of this Alliance by signing the following."

PLEDGE: "I hereby solemnly promise that I will never use intoxicating drinks and that I will do all in my power to prevent their use by others."

The first song mentioned in the minutes was "How Goes the Battle?" but "Hold the Fort" soon took precedence. "Yield Not to Temptation" as another favorite.

At the twelfth regular meeting, Sept. 9 of the same year, 1877, R.F. Playford made a motion "Resolved that we incorporate in the pledge and go on record against the use of tobacco." After spirited debate it was moved to lay such motion on the table, which on being put, was by the one-sided vote of 76 to 10, so ordered.

At the next meeting a committee was apponted to get in touch with Milt Reynolds and, if possible, have him address the Alliance. Old timers will remember Reynolds. He lived down in Chautauqua county at Sedan in the '70's. Rather peculiar in looks and action but a good talker, and writer under the pen name "Kicking Bird." At this meeting the Burlingame Chronicle was designated the official paper of the W.C.T.U. and a Temperance column requested.

At the meeting of Oct. 21, Playford gave notice that he would again take up the Tobacco Resolution. At the next meetng "Murphy" temperance cards were distributed. Motion to adopt the Murphy Pledge was laid on the table. The Tobacco Resolution was discussed and again lost. Evidently the old timers stuck to their "chewing" as close as the present generation does to its "smokes". A vote now would probably again lay such a motion on the table.

At the Sunday, March 24, '78 meeting, a committee was appointed to invite Gov. Geo. T. Anthony to, at some future date, address the Alliance, J.V. Admire, editor of the Osage City Free Press, addressed the meeting of April 7.

Dr. Still, the founder of the science of osteopathy, made a speech at the April 21 meeting. At this meeting Philetus Beverly made a motion to appoint a committee to visit and talk with liquor sellers and dealers, which was lost. An extra session of the Alliance was held at 8 o'clock on this date. Hon. O.H. Sheldon was elected chairman and introduced Gov. Anthony who made the speech of the evening. A rising vote of thanks was accorded the Governor.

At the meeting of April 28, Rev. Holmes of Topeka was the speaker. Rev. Holmes pleased his audience so well he was held over and the next evening delivered his lecture "Sowing Wild Oats". Mrs. Hodgkinson, Matron of Kansas State Orphans Home, was to be the speaker at the next meeting. This date seems not to have been filled.

A Temperance Camp Meeting was held in Lawrence in Sept. '78 and was attended by Mrs. H.W. Filley, Mrs. Adams and Messrs. Billings, Drew, Wright and Rambo of the Burlingame Youths' Alliance.

At the Sept. 30, 1878, meeting the lecture committee reported a communication from Luther Benson, a "reformed drunkard", who offered to speak in Burlingame. The minutes do not show that he ever filled the engagement, but along about that time everybody in town had a copy of his "Fifteen Years in Hell." That book and "Ten Nights in a Bar Room" certainly scared and made a prohibitionist of me. Then it was, as it is now, a matter of education more than it is laws and officials for successful enforcement. The minutes speak of the purchase of books entitled "The Alcoholic Catechism."

Jan. 9, 1879, the Burlingame Alliance received a letter which stated that the people of Scranton were having difficulty in suppressing the sale of intoxicating drinks in our neighbor town. A motion was made and passed, and a committee of 8 appointed with power to represent the people of Burlingame, in extending any necessary aid to Scranton. The committee was J.E. Rastall, A.O. Morgan, H.A. Billings, Mrs. Thos. Fenlon, Mrs. Ed. Fish, Mrs. L. Blanden, Mrs. H. Wilbur and S.D. Wright. Any subsequent report does not appear in the minutes.

At the meeting of the Alliance in the Presbyterian Church, Jan. 26, 1879, a motion was made by Mr. Ferguson and carried, that committee be appointed to confer with the Committee of the House on the question of temperance legislation. This committee consisted of Mrs. V.M. King, Geo. Drew, H.A. Billings, and Mrs. McCaslin. This committee reported at the Meeting of Feb. 9 and was discharged. The minutes do not say what was done.

There is more in these minutes than I have given you, and more doubtless followed, as is indicated by the fact that at the meeting of the Burlingame Youths' Temperance Alliance, held in the Presbyterian Church, Sept. 21, 1879, is noted "Will meet again Sept. 28, 1879." At the last meeting of which I have record, Vice-President H.A. Billings was in the chair. There was reading by Mrs. Billings, prayer by Geo. Drew, short speech by Philetus Beverly and reading by Mrs. E. Mercer. The secretary was Miss Lillian S. VanNatta.

The signers of the pledge were: Mrs. B.F. Empie, J.M. Chambers, S.D. Wright, Wm. Y. Drew, Mrs. E.P. Drew, Mrs. L.A. Drew, Mrs. C.A. Sheldon, Codrus Kirby, Henry Griswold, A. Adams, Alfred Hederstrom, D.R. Morgan, C.E. Kirby.

H.H. Warner, D.C. Beverly, Leet Beverly, E.S. Niles, John Clements, F.M. Nelson, Jessie King, Eunice Filley, Josie Niles, Gertie Niles, Ellen Jarbo, Cora Copper, Florence Bothel, Minnie L. Tabor, Eva E. Sheldon, Stella Schaffer, Tracy Miller, Zella Guizlo, Geo. Mercer, Charles Larson, Connie VanNatta, Rev. V.M. King, J.D. Bratton, Mrs. Belle Bratton, H.C. Sheldon, Mrs. Forsyth, Mrs. N.L. Reeder, F.A. Piper, A.L. Gowdy, Mrs. Reiser, Mrs. W.H. Ellis, Lottie J. Chambers, Clinton S. Scott, Rev. John Cook, R.F. Playford, Mrs. Siples, E. Mercer, C. Herbert Reeder, Mary Haller, O.D. Lee, Mrs. Lucy A. Playford.

C.V. King, Mrs. E.J. Wright, Mrs. Mary Adams, Freddie Adams, Eddie Adams, Ida Lee, John Schaal, Mary Griswold, Sophia Schaal, Lint Chapman, Milton Morrison, L.M. Cline, Jim Chalfant, E.A. Jarbo, Mrs. Filley, Villa Foster, Bessie Playford, Lottie Telford, Jennie Haller, Carrie Hederstrom, Alice Adams, Mattie Adams, Alvah Adams, Elmer Adams, F.M. Adams, Alice McCullough, Annie Griswold, O.L. Walter, Nora Sheldon, Della Kiser, Chauncey Rulison, Will Wood, Mrs. E.M. Jennings, Harry Copper, Virgie Sheldon, Katie Smith, Allie Fenlon, Amelia Pope, Mrs. L.A. Martin.

Minnie Dutton, Alice Dutton, Mary Gowdy, Minnie Schafer, Nellie Bush, Carrie Wood, Ada Nelson, David Burke, Clarence Hoover, John Jarbo, Celbe C. Cline, Geo. E. Penfield, Mrs. Vic Penfield, Jennie Siples, Mary Stimpson, Bertha Drew, Lizzie Morrison, Jennie Tabor, Ada Morrison, Arthur Arnold, Levi Gowdy, Frank Gowdy, H.A. McCaslin, Mrs. A. Fenlon, Mrs. P. Beverly, Mrs. C.C. Crumb, Mrs. L. Hart, Edith Hederstrom, Miss Laura Crumb, Cora Kirby, Stella Kirby, Lydia S. Jennings, Miss M.P. Marple, Cora Hover, Annie Smith, Gilbert Drew, Albert P. Drew, Ellen Ford, H.M. Billings, Mrs. E.M. Deming, Rev. P. Beverly.

M. Rambo, John Drew, Elisha Wood, Mrs. E. Wood, Mrs. Caruthers, J.B. Williams, Mrs. L.R. Williams, Mary K. Williams, Eddie Williams, Emma Rulison, Ellen Reagle, Eva Mings, Alice McDougall, Ida Mings, Mrs. L. Newton, Mrs. A. King, Gustie Lawson, Mrs. Lottie Reeder, Mrs. E. VanNatta, Sarah Jane Guise, Mrs. Murilla Bush, Mrs. E.D. McCaslin, E.M. McCaslin, Geo. Empie, Nellie F. Drew, Charles F. Drew, Mrs. Mary Pratt, Emma Leonard, H.B. Pratt, Laura B. Cline, Jennie Smith, Geo. J. Drew, O.H. Sheldon, R.L. Black, I.S. Playford, Cassie Daniels, C.D. Spangler, Bertie Searing, Derwert Huff, Edith Freeman, Mary Guizlo, Mary V. Erwin.

Lizzie Hills, Eva McDougall, Mary E. Stephenson, Mrs. Anna B. Lord, Lillie S. VanNatta, James Bothel, A.E. Wilson, Miss O.E. Smith, Miss S.E. Wilcox, Mrs. P.H. Richards, Ada May Richards, Freddie Richards, Mrs. M. A. Coon, Miss Ella Kiser, Jackson Wood, Mrs. Alice M. Nelson, W.H. Morgan, J.A. Morgan, Harry Baird, L.J. Ferguson, Frank Beeler, Emma Foster, Edith Ferguson, Mrs. Nettie Rambo, Mrs. Bella E. Mercer, Mrs. C.E. Bratton, Sarah Arnold, Clara Arnold, Mrs. M.E. Newman, Rebecca Pyle, Hattie Forsyth, Robt. J. Glass, John P. Hoover, Samuel Evans, Mrs. S.C. Evans, Miss Florence Ross, Mrs. Susan Dutton, Ezra Russel, Henry C. Scott, James Daniels, Samuel Hoover.

Cora Dodge, Miss A.A. Hoover, Mrs. Lydia Playford, Mrs. R.H. Baird, Miss Sabina M.Stowe, Leslie Wood, S.K. Freeman, Mrs. E.A. Friend, Carrie Dunmire, Rev. Wm. Friend, Mrs. O.H. Nelson, Mrs. Martha Morgan, Charles Horsfield, B.F. Hardenbrook, B.D. Kellogg, Mrs. L.H. Freeman, Laura Freeman, F.P. Gould, R.H. Ross, D.L. Lord, Mrs. Alice Heister, Harvey H. George, H.W. Filley, Mrs. Ella M. Playford, Mrs. A.E. Waldo, Mrs. Susan George, John Ferguson, Anna Chalfant (Challant?), Miss Geraldine Baird, Rose Ralph, Carlton Friend, Erie Siples, Wm. H. Todd, Sue Stuline, Ida Mercer, A.O. Morgan, Thomas Heath, C.E. Stimpson, Miss Addie E. Wood, Mrs. Etta Rulison, Mrs. Sarah E. Billings, Mary Gildey.

Mrs. Hannah Rambo, George Rambo, Ada Amalong, Mrs. M.E. Chalfant, Julie Adams, Laura Childs, Rev. H.C. Scotford, Mrs. B.O. Scotford, Merrit Wilcox, Jennie Erwin, Miss Etsie Stimpson, Alex Bailey, Mrs. L.R. Bailey, Mrs. Elizabeth Sheldon, R.Tabor, Mrs. M.E. Wood, Mabel Wood, Betta Gole (Cole?), Mary Evans, Miss S.H. Ball, Grace Chalfant, Mrs. M.S. Loucks, Mrs. H.A. Smith, Mrs. M. Julie Finch, Mrs. Ella C. Doty, Will F. Chalfant, Mrs. B.M. Shepard, Mrs. S.M. Lockhart, Maggie McCormick, Mrs. Sarah S. Jennings, Leola Hoover, Jennie B. VanNatta, Jennie A. Taylor, Mrs. Emma Niles, Miss Franc Stimpson, N.E. Danforth, Lew Jarbo, Harley Wood, Clayton G. Wood, Charles Kneeland, Mrs. Belle Finch, Rev. Geo. Bratton.

Katie Wilcox, Mrs. K.N.S. Newton, Mrs. D. Shepard, Mary Wilcox, Carrie Foster, Wm. P. Deming, Willie E. Bush, Robert Horsfield, E.H. VanNatta, Lizzie Miller, E.J. Porter, T.W. Mings, Ada Westerfield, Charlie Bush, Catharine Hoover, Harrison Dubois, Rev. R.W. Horsfield, Thomas Horsfield, Geo. H. Horsfield, D.G. Griswold.

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