The Fort Dodge Messenger: Dec. 2, 1903
Wants Dealers to Pay $9,000
Mrs. S.E. Smith Files Suits Against Three Firms Selling Intoxicants
Alleges Sold Husband Drink
Report That Defendants are Only Men Who Wouldn’t Make Settlement
Suits for damages aggregating $9,000 (about $221.796 today) have been brought by Mrs. S.E. Smith against three Fort Dodge dealers in intoxicating liquors on the grounds that they sold intoxicating liquors to her husband, S.E. Smith, and thereby lost to her the support which she would have received from him had he not been furnished with opportunity to become intoxicated. The defendants int he suits are Jacob Schmoll, Kiley & McCaffrey and C.S. Corey. Of each individual dealer plaintiff asks $1,500 ($36,966) actual and $1,500 exemplary damages, or a total of $3,000 ($73,932). Petitions for plaintiff have been filed by W.T. Chantland in the office of the county clerk.
The wording of each petition is similar. It is alleged that the defendants for the past year have been selling intoxicating liquors to S.E. Smith, plaintiff’s husband, who is addicted to drink. It is claimed that Smith is a stone mason and when able to work makes from $2.50 to $4.50 ($62 to $111) per day, which however, he does not earn when under the influence of liquor.
It is hinted that the trial of the suits on file will prove unusually interesting. Smith, it is claimed, did not confine his liquor purchases to any particular dispensers of intoxicants and other liquor dealers may be implicated. There is a further report that defendants in the three suits on file are the only persons who refused to make a “settlement” with plaintiff and that others were accused of selling Smith liquor, but that they made a settlement and no action was taken against them.