Leaders of the Anti-Saloon League

The Anti-Saloon League leaders used oratory, campaigning, lobbying, and the printed word to reach their goal of a saloonless society. From the formation of the Ohio League in 1893, this dedicated group of men wielded increasing political power until the culmination of their efforts resulted in the 18th amendment to the constitution becoming law in January 1920.


Pictured from left to right: Wayne Wheeler, Purley Baker, Howard Hyde Russell

Through the 1920s, their fortunes changed as the liquor forces organized to fight back, and they debated about where their efforts should be concentrated - on education or law enforcement. With the repeal of prohibition they saw their dreams of an alcohol free society vanquished.

Purley Baker

A Methodist minister, Baker served as state superintendent of the Ohio Anti-Saloon League, and subsequently as superintendent of the national organization. Read more.

Ernest Cherrington

An editor and manager of numerous temperance publications, Cherrington also helped found the World League Against Alcoholism. Read more.

William "Pussyfoot" Johnson

Appointed Chief Special Officer by Teddy Roosevelt, Johnson was known as a strict enforcer of prohibition law. Read more.

Francis Scott McBride

After many years as a leader in the Illinois Anti-Saloon League, McBride became the national superintendent in 1924. Read more.

Howard Hyde Russell

The founder of the Anti-Saloon League, Russell built the Ohio League from the remnants of previous temperance movements and later became the national league's first superintendent. Read more.

Wayne Wheeler

As a lawyer, Wheeler prosecuted over 2,000 dry law cases for the League before becoming legislative superintendent. He is also largely responsible for helping to draft the 18th amendment and the Volstead Act. Read more.

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