Carry A. Nation  

Historical marker in Kiowa,
Barber   county

       Carry A. Nation, the militant crusader against illegal saloons, launched her career of saloon-smashing in Kiowa. She and her followers in Medicine Lodge, her home town, had closed the local saloons by holding prayer meetings on their premises and displays of force. However, as the Women's Christian Temperance Unions jail evangelist, she found as many drunks as ever in the county jail. These men named Kiowa as their source of supply. A voice spoke to Carry, telling her to go to Kiowa and smash the saloons. On June 1, 1900, she attacked three "joints" in Kiowa, using stones, brickbats, full malt bottles, and one billiard ball as ammunition. Carry's attack surprised local officials, but because of the fact that the operation of such "joints" was illegal she was not jailed as she would be later in other communities. She did not adopt the use of her now famous hatchet until her visit to Wichita some six months later.

       The Kiowa attack quickly received national attention and instigated great debate even among the temperance organizations. Carry Nation spent the remainder of her life in the crusade against the liquor interests and lecturing on prohibition. She died June 9, 1911.

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June 2, 1997 / Bob Walter / Wichita, Kansas /

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