Whiskey Mayhem

Nine women from the Village of Marion (now DeWitt), joined by women from Springfield, plotted against the village saloon frequented by their menfolk.  The ladies banned together and crusaded against the "Demon Whiskey."  They stormed George Tanner's saloon, filled the whiskey barrels into the street, destroyed the kegs, and poured the vile liquid onto the ground.  In May 1854, the ladies found themselves in the DeWitt County Courthouse for "riotously, unlawfully and with force turning out, wasting and destroying ten gallons of whiskey, of the value of five dollars." They had not hired a defense attorney, but it just so happened Abraham Lincoln and John T. Stewart were present in the courtroom and offered their services...  

Lincoln grew to manhood on a frontier where whiskey was a staple and a liquid form of currency.  During his brief time operating a tavern in New Salem, Lincoln sold whiskey, among other things.  In later years, the temperance movement became a volatile political issue.  While he didn't not condemn those who drank in moderation, Lincoln himself was a teetotaler...

Looking for Lincoln wayside exhibits tell the stories of Lincoln’s life and times in Illinois.  Each wayside exhibit tells a unique Lincoln story and a local story.  Many of the waysides share little known stories about Lincoln and the individuals he interacted with.  There are over 260 Looking for Lincoln waysides in the Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area.    

Visitor Information

Address: 120 Springfield Street De Witt, Illinois 61735

Website: https://lincolnheritage.wixsite.com/dewittcounty

Phone Number: 217-935-3364