Parker County Today July 2017 - Page 68

our history: WETS and DRIES Imbibers, Bibles and the Battle of the Booze BY MEL W RHODES Liquor helped put the ‘wild’ in the ‘Wild West’ … even in Weatherford I 66 t’s curious how we tend to think of bygone times as simpler times, purer than our own, not so much rampant sin going on, that sort of thing. But while gents may have tipped their hats to ladies whose dress- es dragged the ground, and churches were all-in battling iniquity in its various forms, they didn’t call it the Wild West for nothing. Texas, fiercely committed to freedom and individual rights — wheth- er as a Mexican state, a republic in its own right, or part of the United States — had always been a far-flung country where you could find “the good, the bad, and the ugly.” To be sure, there were your fundamen- talist Bible thumpers, but so were there drunks, murderers, prostitutes, gamblers, and every other type of ne’er-do-well and vice common to near lawless places. “Even after Texas was admitted to the Union in the mid-19th centu- ry, it remained in various ways a frontier territory throughout the 19th century. Though population centers became established early, they were small. There was a steady stream of newcomers into the state with men generally outnumbering women, thus creating a demand for prostitutes. ֖w&G2FFR7FFRvW&R7&֖2BFW'2fVVrFRpg&FW"'G2bFRR2F2v266f7BFB琦6VFW2Bv266FW&VBƗFRF6FFWF2b^( 07BFR7FFRVBf7BFFVbg&VVFv67&VFVB6ƖFPf"FRFWfVVBbf6R( b( ( BF&bFW2ƖPFRF&6&W'G2FB( ĂV6V6VBFRV'0&WGvVVFRW&6&WfWFBFR6fv"FR( vF2vPbW&6G&涖r( BFW2V&FVBFRg&FW"W6W76W2bFPvR( ФgFW"FR6fv"VFVBcRB&V67G'V7F&Vv62Bv&ƖrW6W2&V6R262'6RfƖW2WfVgFW"FRFV6RVFVBsBvFFR7BFGF6&W"6VGvVFW&f&BƖRFW"FW2Fv2&VVB֗V@&rBW&2B6&B&W"2vR֖vBƖRFFFRvVFW&f&BbsFW&RvW&RffR6W&6W2BfW"662'WBR( ƗV"62( R( vW6RƗV"6( Gv( &Ɩ&G06>( BR( &VW"v&FV( Ю( FW26Rb&BG&涖rv66W7F'2FWf6VBƖfRb'W&&G6FVFVBFWBbVG2&W6W'fVB'Vg6FrFW6&VƖWfVBFRVF6&W'FW2b6Ц&VfW"VRvW&RgFV6WF6&WBG&涖rvFW"f"6FW2BFv2FRvFW"v2gFVWFVB6VV7FfR&VFW'0bFR67&GW&W2FFV"&&R7G&vBW7V6ǒvW&RB6CvfP7G&rG&VFFB2&VGFW&6BvRVFF6RF@&RbVgV'G2( ( &b3b( BF&bFW2ƖR`6W'6RF2ƖRbFVvB6FVW2FF2FFR&VF&VBbf6Rs2'FFW2WBF"6&70F'&B6VGf'Bv'F( 2&VBƖv@F7G&7Bv2( ĆV( 2b7&R( Bv0&W7B7Ff"66&W2b&Vv'&W2G'&&VBB7F'fVBf"6R6'Bb&VV6PgFW"r6VV֖vǒVFW72F2@vG2G&Ɩr6GFR&WGvVVFW2@62( ėBV6ǒ&V6RVFVBvF62'&FV2BFW"f6RFV2ffW"Цrv&ƖrƗV"B&7FGWFW2FP7&R6&V6Rvf"G2fV6PBvW76W72Bv26WFW0&VfW'&VBF2FRFv( 2( &GF&@v&B( B&V6RFRWBf"FWfW0BfVB7&֖27V626&72F2VBF7&6Fv2'rVf&6RЦVBFVvFW&&VǒFW&fW&VBvFFRv&ƖrBFW"f6RW&F0FR&VFR6W&6ǒ7V66W76gV&Vw&Wr&V6rG2VvBFRFPF6VGW'vVB6fW&VB"R7&W