When Carry started swinging her hatchet across Kansas, the anti-saloon movement was a mere weakling. She transformed it into a militant giant that eventually put the 18th Amendment into the Constitution.
Born in Kentucky in November 1846, Carry and her family moved to a farm east of Peculiar, Missouri in 1855. The family moved to Texas during the Civil War. On their way back after the war, they crossed the Pea Ridge battlefield in Arkansas shortly after that battle. All the bedding and pillows they could spare were given to the wounded.
In 1867, Carry married Dr. Charles Gloyd, who became an incurable drunkard and died within a couple of years. She married David Nation in 1877. He was a lawyer, editor, and self-styled minister of the Christian church. That marriage ended in divorce in 1901.
The "cyclone in petticoats" launched her campaign against tobacco and liquor from Medicine Lodge, Kansas. Kansas voters in 1880 outlawed saloons. Since they were illegal, Carry thought she could destroy the property and not be sued for damages. Her 10-year crusade was filled with fury and personal sacrifice. She was jailed at least 33 times, egged, stoned, beaten, and, on at least one occasion, hit over the head with a chair.
Carry Nation died on June 9, 1911, in Leavenworth, Kansas. She was brought to Belton for burial in the family plot next to her parents. In 1991, the Belton Historical Society
purchased an antique hearse reported to be the one that brought Carry to Belton. It is on display in a carriage house located next to Old City Hall:
512 Main St.
Belton, MO 64012
For More Information
For more information on Belton history, please contact the Belton Museum
at (816) 332-3977.