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The American issue. [volume] (Westerville, Ohio) 1912-19??, March 15, 1912, Image 3

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn2008060406/1912-03-15/ed-1/seq-3/

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MARCH 15, 1912
Jacksonville-No Saloons, Gains Nearly Million in
Deposits in Four "Dry” Years
Jacksonville, Morgan county, Illinois, saw the
last of her saloons in the fall of 1907, and the men that
control the real prosperity of the city, the merchants
and bankers in the city itself and the farmers in the
county without, say that they will never again return.
The saloons are no longer even an issue in this beauti
ful and prosperous town. They have been beaten
three times and, they will be beaten the fourth and
the fifth and every time that they come up for vote,
say the merchants, so certain are they that they do not
want them again. One man said to me:
“We are just as good runners as the saloon crowd
and if they think that they can tire us out, let them
go ahead. We are getting stronger all the time and
they are getting weaker. If they can’t beat us now
what chance do you think they will have in another
two years?”
This statement sums up the sentiment of the
merchants that have been in the fight from the start
and it is coming to be the sentiment of many that
were once on the fence. They have seen that the loss
of saloons has not been a detriment to their business,
even if they are not willing to admit that it has been
a help. But the man you talk to for more than a min
ute at a time is pretty sure to let drop some remark
that will tell the real state of his feelings even if he is
too politic (?) to commit himself out of hand.
Bank Deposits Grow.
It is a pretty well established fact that no town
that is not prospering will make much of a showing
in the matter of bank deposits and savings. But when
the reader hears that since the loss of saloons four
years ago last fall that the seven banks of Jackson
ville have gained in deposits $942,000. he will wonder
just what kind of argument the saloon crowd can offer
to combat this showing. And when he further hears
that the bank clearings of the Decatur banks showed
one week last October that they were only 14 per cent
bigger than the bank clearings of the Jacksonville
financial institutions, and with the former city 100
per cent larger and with much better transportation
facilities, he will have an additional item to ponder
And this statement of the prosperity of the banks
is but a reflection of the prosperity of the merchants.
They are almost a unit in saying that the presence of
saloons is a detriment to their city. And from the
moral consideration they are unanimous. One man
on the square who is doing a finer business than ever
“It is a good thing that you people do not call
on us very often or we would have no time to wait
on trade. I tell you when I get started on this “wet”
and “dry” talk I never know when to quit.”
Improvements On Every Hand.
And as I walked out of his store and looked across
the business square and saw all the new things that
the city has gained since the saloons closed, I could not
help joining in his enthusiasm. For instance there is
the New Ayers National Bank building that is under
way. It will cost close to $250,000.00 and is far and
away the finest structure the city will possess. The
vice-president of the bank, Mr. Robert M. Hockenhull,
said enthusiastically, that it is going to have the finest
vaults and general bank system of any bank outside of
Chicago. The two banks whose merger is responsible
for this fine new structure gained between them $390,
000.00 of the above mentioned ,$942,000.00. Then there
are three new churches erected since the saloons went
out of business. These—the Christian, Grace M. E.
and the Northminster Presbyterian cost $200,000.00.
Besides these evidences of prosperity there are
many other smaller buildings, residences, etc., which
have gone up since the loss of saloons, or are now go
ing up. Another matter was brought to my atten
tion is vital proof of the immediate effect of the no
license policy. Almost the same day that the saloons
closed several merchants began to put in new fronts
or to build additions to their stores. One man said
that when he got up from a sick bed he hardly knew
the square and he had lived in the city for twenty
years. Do all of these things then show that Jackson
ville is wrorse off without its thirty-twTo saloons and
their license money of $800.00 each?
Volume of Crime Decreases.
The decrease in crime is also notable since the
no-license policy was introduced. The report of the

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