DATE OF EVENT: April 15, 1901
DATE PUBLISHED: April 15, 1901, in The Kansas City Star
Editor’s note: Carry Nation, the temperance activist who smashed saloons to help kill Demon Rum, came to Kansas City in 1901. During her brief stay, she was charged with blocking a street while she gave a sermon, was arrested for refusing to leave, posted $6 bail, appeared in court and was fined $500 and ordered out of town.
This article spells her name as “Carrie.” Both spellings are correct; “Carry” was written in her family Bible and on her tombstone, but she used “Carrie” most of her life. She returned to “Carry” for the slogan value of “Carry A. Nation,” even registering the phrase as a trademark in Kansas.
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Mrs. Carrie Nation is an outcast from Kansas City. She was fined $500 in police court this morning on a charge of obstructing the sidewalk and given a stay of execution — that is, the sentence will not be enforced if she remains away from Kansas City. Judge McAuley gave her until 6 o’clock this evening to get out of town.
“Missouri is a not a good place for short-haired women, long haired men and whistling girls,” said Judge McAuley, in imposing the fine. “You may smash saloons in Kansas and raise all kinds of trouble there, but you must observe the law here. Kansas City is a law-abiding city.”
“Yes,” retorted Mrs. Nation, “Kansas City ships all this hell-broth into Kansas.”
In a few hours after she left the police court, Mrs. Nation went into a saloon on Walnut street and talked to the people in it. Later she went to the prosecuting attorney’s office and asked for a warrant for the arrest, for violating the Sunday law, of M. Flynn, a saloon keeper on East Twelfth street, whose place she visited Sunday afternoon.
Mrs. Nation was arrested on East Twelfth street yesterday afternoon, where a crowd of 1,500 gathered while she visited the open saloons there. She was released on bail and trial set for this morning. Long before 8 o’clock the police court room was crowded. Mrs. Nation came in a few minutes after the opening of the court. She appropriated a seat alongside Judge McAuley, and arranged to have her case heard after the rest of the docket had been called. She commented on the various cases called and twice she shed tears when hardened women of the slums were arraigned on charges of drunkenness.
“Tell the truth,” was an injunction she often used when some man was trying to explain away the charge preferred against him.
“Mrs. Nation!” called Frank Gordon, city attorney…
“The evidence seems to be conclusive that you blocked and obstructed the street,” said Judge McAuley. “We are not in sympathy with your methods over here. … You had better go back to Kansas.”
“That’s where I am going,” said Mrs. Nation.
“You will go back to Kansas only with my permission,” retorted Judge McAuley. “You may have to go to jail yet.”
“All right judge,” said Mrs. Nation meekly. … ” “I’ll fine you $500,” said Judge McAuley, “and will give you until 6 o’clock this evening to get out of town. And I warn you that you had better stay out. This fine hangs over your head. Should you return to Kansas City we could send you the workhouse for a year without the formality of another trial.” …
Mrs. Nation appeared to be by no means discouraged by the orders to leave town. After returning from the stock yards, where she made a speech, she ate luncheon in a restaurant at 716 Walnut street. When she had finished she entered Morris & Deer’s saloon, next door. … A man shouted at her:
“What right have you to smash other people’s property?”
Turning on him like a flash she said:
“What right have you to smash other people’s souls?”…