A blog which supplements my two books, Menasha, and Neenah and Menasha: Twin Cities of the Fox Valley
Friday, June 23, 2017
Temperance Pledge- 1861
I found the certificate above in a digital archive for the Newberry Library in Chicago. Signed in 1861 by 7 year old Ella Bosworth, it is significant for its value in understanding the temperance movement of the era. But notice who signed this pledge certificate. Elisha D. Smith, founder of the Menasha Wooden Ware, Menasha benefactor, and teetotaler. As we've written here before about his donation of Smith Park to the city, he stipulated that there be a
strict ban on "alcohol, circuses, gambling, sports, and dangerous machinery" at
the park. What became of little Ella remains a mystery to me for now; I wonder if she fulfilled the Band of Hope Pledge for the remainder of her days, abstaining from intoxicating liquor, the use of tobacco, and all profanity.