Carry A. Nation
To two of my good friends – artists Louis and Elsie Freund,
who couldn’t bear to see an "old landmark” in shambles – so bought it at auction– restored it – and it is now an outstanding museum — and art Studio
Carry A. Nation
Her Last Home
In Eureka Springs, Arkansas Hatchet Hall
Bonnie Lela Crump
"THE KEEPER OF THE KEYS"
By Bonnie Lela Crump
Eureka Springs, Ark.
First Edition - 1950; Second Edition - 1953; Third Edition - 1955; Fourth Edition - 1959; Fifth Edition - 1966; Sixth Edition - 1968; Seventh Edition - 1970
Printed by Echo Press, Eureka Springs, Arkansas
Her Last Home
7 HATCHET HALL — STEEL STREET, EUREKA SPRINGS, ARKANSAS - 1908-1911
Carry's dream for many years, was to spend her last days in the Ozarks. When she found a quiet, peaceful little country home in Alpena , Arkansas, she thought her dream had come true. But fragrant, colorful flowers, enchanting hills, ducks and chickens, did not satisfy her. She was not ready to sit in the chimney corner and knit. She was not ready to "give up the fight."
She made a journey over to Eureka Springs, just to "look around" and her eyes were so filled with beauty, she exclaimed, "This Is It." She paid a beautiful tribute to Eureka when she stated with wonder and awe in her words, "I never saw such beautiful scenery; I never drank such clear,– pure, sparkling water: and I never saw so many old people looking so young."
She liked the new neighborhood around old East Mountain. She bought a large fourteen room house which she made into a boarding house and named it "Hatchet Hall."
(The old home bears this name today.) Records show that she paid $1,800.00 for it. She not only had a boarding house but later a day school and a Sunday School– yet had plenty of time to lecture : mash some ... knock out some cigars and cigarettes and be a good neighbor. She had a very successful boarding house, famous for coffee, fluffy creamed potatoes,. chicken pie and apple dumplings. In her boarding school, Cora Pinkley Call, one of Eureka Spring's authors, was a pupil. She took a special course in cooking, and is now author of a cook book. — Zoe Harp, owner of a very unique gift and doll shop in Eureka on Old South Main, remembers Carry as a good Sunday School teacher.
Her Sister, Edna Bergdorf; a talented lady and philanthropist, also remembers Carry well and praises her highly.
Mrs Pike, mother of Zoe and Edna, tells interesting stories of the debates and parties. about the young people of the town she loved so dearly. All three of the Pike family, Edna, Zoe and Mrs Pike, say that Carry taught the Golden Rule - "that she-wasn’tcranky” but gave of her, time and her heart to the people to make them better citizens." Edna says, "She demanded respect, and got it even if she had to use the hatchet." Mr Sam Leath, a leading citizen in Eureka Springs proudly tells of the friendship that existed between – his mother and Carry A. Nation, and smilingly: states:– "Carry knocked many cigars out of my mouth.”
The school-girls tell how they used to carry water or the boarding house buckets, and laugh over their "bucket brigade. Later Carry had a vision, used dynamite and lo! a spring came gushing, and sparkling – just for Carry's use and needs. Besides the spring, Carry had a cold cave, a real refrigerator, below the spring, which she called her "community cave." So she found two things: A spring high up with gravity such that water would not have to be pumped to her "Hatchet Hall," and a cold, cold place for vegetables. fruit, milk, butter, and other good things to be kept.
God had been good, indeed!
Thousands of people visit this community cave each year – and they say – only two tomatoes and a little milk have ever been ·missing.
As soon as Carry's "water-works" was installed, she put out an attractive sign which is in the Hatchet Hall museum today:
ROOMS FOR RENT IN CARRY A. NATION HOME
HOT AND COLD WATER BATHS.
On the opposite side these words are painted:
NO HITCHING TO THE POST
Many stories are told of Carry's last days in Eureka Springs. Some say that she was very poor, that many of her trophies and much of her furniture had to be sold at auction right at her front door. She gave most of her money away to the drunkards' wives and children and to charities of all kinds. Some say that Carry had a stroke while lecturing against whiskey in town at the Basin Circle; others say that she was ill and just went away to Kansas – but records show that she died at Evergreen Hospital, Leavenworth, Kansas, June 2nd, 1911. Her last resting place is at Belton, Missouri, in the family cemetery.
For she had an unmarked grave, but later a lovely stone was placed there, by the W.C.T.U. members. (A kind and interested tourist gave a picture of the stone to Hatchet Hall.)
In her only book, "The Use and Need of the Life of Carry A Nation" in which she herself, our loving Home Defender, Carry writes: "I can see where I have made mistakes – many of them – but they were mistakes of the head and not the heart. "I HAVE DONE THE BEST I COULD" These words were engraved upon her stone.
Carry left "foot-prints" all over the world. These footprints can never be erased.
"As Keeper of the Keys" and believer in all that is good – I find that some people come to scorn – some from curiosity – some to worship and adore – but most tourists have an admiration for her "fighting spirit".
Whether we still have the same views at Carry A. Nation, or not, fact remains that she was one of the great characters of American History – and stood up to the courage of her convictions.
Shall Carry’s Home be made into a curio shoppe ... or a Shrine
We wonder – as Time Sneaks On.
* * *
Sensational Headlines About Carry A. Nation
Kansas City Times, Monday, March 29, 1948.
"Carry A. Nation Recalled As a Crusader Who Could Laugh at Own Discomfiture"
by E. A. Braniff.
Quote – "Intrepid woman, often put in jail for attacks on saloons at turn of century, had 'lively sense of humor' friendly talks with her are recalled by former reporter who makes belated confession of having later denied acquaintanceship.
"Every now and then when I see the name of Carry A. Nation mentioned in some connection or other, I have a sense of shame for something which happened to me long ago.
"The jeers and mockery which followed her during her public career are not heard any more. She is mentioned now with considerable respect. The surprising thing is, you continue to hear her name, after all these years. When she died peacefully in a Leavenworth hospital in 1911, of an illness brought on by emotional exhaustion, she left nothing behind but a little land in Oklahoma and Arkansas, and about enough cash to bury her. She had made a good deal of money for a few years, lecturing and selling miniature hatchets at ten cents apiece (or whatever you could pay) but she gave everything away, or spent the money backing fake temperance zealots, who swindled her outrageously. This, however, left her unperturbed, for she never cared for money. She thought of herself as a "bull-dog" running at the feet of Jesus and barking at what he did not like. I thought of her at the time as a "pest." Nevertheless. we got to be good friends. I don't remember how it came about, but in a little while I was championing the old lady's personal merits ... if not "Her Cause!"
"Mrs. Nation, when she arrived in Topeka, Kansas, sent word to me that she intended to raid the "Senate Saloon"