Haddock Died Here disk.

Death Spot of Booze-Hating Churchman (Gone)

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.

Death Spot of Booze-Hating Churchman (Gone)

Directions:
In the east side of Water St., near the curb, just south of 4th St. I-29 exit 147B. Cross US Hwy 20 Business and drive north, into town, on Nebraska St. Take the second left onto 4th St., then drive four blocks to Water St.
Hours:
July 2013: Reported gone.

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