Haddock Died Here disk.

Death Spot of Booze-Hating Churchman (Moved)

Field review by the editors.

Sioux City, Iowa

In 1886 Sioux City was teetering between frontier and civilization. Iowa had been a "dry" state for nearly five years, but Sioux City still had lots of saloons and breweries, and the local authorities allowed them to stay open as long as they paid a monthly fee to the city.

Enter George C. Haddock. He was a Methodist Minister who hated liquor, and he wanted to throw a monkey wrench into the Sioux City arrangement. Haddock had preached prohibition across the Midwest for over a decade. He was built like a fireplug, and he wasn't afraid of a fight. But those attributes weren't much help to him on the night of August 3, when he was shot dead in the street by a brewery foreman named John Arensdorf. Arensdorf was tried twice, acquitted, and afterward he and the jury went out drinking to celebrate.

The memorial disk in the street.

Haddock did get some measure of posthumous justice. The forces of civilization in Sioux City recognized that the minister's murder was a PR disaster, and agreed to ban alcohol. The pundits and the prohibitionists cheered.

Then, five years later, after everyone had forgotten the story, Sioux City made liquor legal again.

In 1936, in the aftermath of another -- this time national -- failed attempt at prohibition, Sioux City memorialized the Rev. Haddock. A small metal disk was embedded into the street on the exact spot where he died. It's still here after 75 years, but it's nowhere near as visible as the neon beer signs in the window of the bar across the street.

Update: The marker was sawed out of the pavement on July 10, 2013, to make way for the construction of a new Hard Rock Casino. There was talk at the time of embedding the disk in the outside wall of the casino, but it didn't happen. In 2014 Rev. Haddock's death spot disk was moved a couple of blocks to the Sioux City Public Museum, where it was placed, indoors and upright, on permanent display.

Death Spot of Booze-Hating Churchman (Moved)

Sioux City Public Museum

Address:
607 4th St., Sioux City, IA
Directions:
Sioux City Public Museum. Downtown. Museum entrance is on the east side of Nebraska St. just north of 4th St.
Hours:
T-Sa 10-5, Su 1-5 (Call to verify)
Phone:
712-279-6174
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

Flight 232 MemorialFlight 232 Memorial, Sioux City, IA - < 1 mi.
Tire ManTire Man, Sioux City, IA - 1 mi.
Tire ManTire Man, Sioux City, IA - 1 mi.
In the region:
National Music Museum - Human Leg Bone Trumpets, Vermillion, SD - 33 mi.

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