February 27, 1904: Women's Christian Temperance Union Successful Against Renewal of Liquor License


By Margaret Leidy Harner from her book One Day at a Time: A Social History of Boyertown, PA.

February 27, 1904: The Boyertown branch of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) has been very actively fighting against the application by Charles N. Kolb to renew his liquor license for the Central House on East Philadelphia Avenue. There was even a picture in the Philadelphia Inquirer of Parson Joseph E. Freeman from Good Shepherd Reformed Church flanked by a group of “Carrie Nationites” from Boyertown who were armed with hatchets on one side of the page opposite “four stout barkeepers” on the other side.

A number of witnesses testified in court for and against the renewal. Those testifying for the renewal included Burgess John G Schealer, who pleaded that Boyertown needed another hostelry to accommodate the large number of salesmen and other transients who visit the borough. He reported that a great majority of the townspeople favor it.

However, the renewal was again rejected, and Kolb, saying that he could not afford to conduct a temperance hotel, announced his intention to retire.

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