Burying The Hatchet

Thursday, October 21, 2010 - 9:22am

Famed prohibitionist Carry Nation's hometown may loosen liquor laws.

Carry Nation claimed God told her to crusade against the evils of Kansas after moving into a home in Medicine Lodge.

She made headlines around the nation in the early 1900s after smashing bar after bar across Kansas with her hatchet.

Now her hometown is considering going from dry to loosening up its regulations on alcohol.

Dorothy Reed is president of a board in Medicine Lodge that keeps up the old Carry Nation house.

While she knows Nation would want everyone to rally against loosening up the liquor laws, Reed is undecided on the issue herself.

"A lot of people are on the fence," she said. "We'd like to have taxes come to our areas. We need them. But we also like to see our people living in a correct manor that they can be proud of for their children and grandchildren."

"It doesn't make any sense at all," said Mike Lynch.

Lynch is one of four club owners in Barber County and is a main proponent of moving from dry to liquor-by-the-drink.

You can serve liquor only to club members.

Memberships cost $12 and there's a 10-day waiting list.

He says it's costing both small business owners and the county money.

"They've got to go to Pratt or Kingman or a surrounding county that isn't dry," he said. "So, now they're starting to stay in those counties, which has lost tax revenue for me for the county."

Lynch says he's pretty confident liquor-by-the-drink will pass, hoping the county that gave the world Carry Nation will put down the memory of her and her hatched when they pull the level at the polls.

Barber County is among five counties in south-central Kansas voting on moving from "dry" to liquor-by-the-drink.

Voters in Comanche, Hamilton, Kiowa and Scott counties also have the question on their ballots.

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