Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Home for Drunkards' Wives Is Closed

Kansas, 1910

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — The home founded by Carrie Nation, the Kansas "joint smasher," in this city as a refuge for drunkards' wives, will probably be closed and the property returned to Mrs. Nation. The reason is, there are not enough wives of drunkards in the largest city of Kansas to warrant the continued operation of a refuge for them. Mrs. Nation has requested of the Associated Charities, the organization which is managing the home, that the property be deeded back to her.

The home has accommodations for 40 women but there are no drunkards' wives in it now. The Associated Charities is using it as a home for unfortunate and homeless women. About fifteen women now occupy the home.

Peter W. Goebel, president of the board of directors of the Associated Charities, admits that the home is a failure as far as being a place for the housing of drunkards' wives.

"That is the 'distressing' condition that exists," Mr. Goebel said. "There is no use in denying it. We cannot find drunkards' wives to live there.

"Mrs. Nation has asked that we return the home to her. The members of the board of directors differ as to whether or not this should be done. She has agreed to pay us for what repairs and improvements have been made at the home and at present the association needs the money that would be thus received for other branches of work. At our next meeting we will finally determine what stand to take concerning holding or releasing the property."

Mrs. Nation wishes the home returned to her so that it may be sold and the proceeds of its sale used in the construction of a home for boys which she is building in Oklahoma.

In 1902 she bought the property, which was the homestead of C. N. Simpson, one of the pioneers of Kansas.

Mrs. Nation secured most of the $4,000, which she originally paid for the property, from the sale of the small souvenir "Carrie A. Nation hatchets" which she and her friends sold for 25 cents.

After Mrs. Nation had given the home, all the churches of the city and many fraternal orders subscribed money to pay for its furnishing. The grounds about the home, an acre in extent, are well shaded and the building itself is a spacious structure of brick.

—Oelwein Daily Register, Oelwein, Iowa, Sept. 27, 1910, p. 2.

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