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Intoxicating Liquors

The following is a chapter from "The History of Jefferson County, Iowa", Pages 317-318, published by the Western Historical Company of Chicago in 1879.



No intoxicating liquors (alcohol, spirituous and vinous liquors), except wine manufactured from grapes, currants or other fruit grown in the State, shall be manufactured or sold, except for mechanical, medicinal, culinary or sacramental purposes; and even such sale is limited as follows:

Any citizen of the State, except hotel keepers, keepers of saloons, eating houses, grocery keepers and confectioners, is permitted to buy and sell, within the county of his residence, such liquors for such mechanical, etc., purposes only, provided he shall obtain the consent of the Board of Supervisors. In order to get that consent, he must get a certificate from a majority of the electors of the town or township or ward in which he desires to sell, that he is of good moral character, and a proper person to sell such liquors.

If the Board of Supervisors grant him permission to sell such liquors, he must give bonds, and shall not sell such liquors at a greater profit than thirty-three per cent. on the cost of the same. Any person having a permit to sell, shall make, on the last Saturday of every month, a return in writing to the Auditor of the county, showing the kind and quantity of the liquors purchased by him since the date of his last report, the price paid, and the amount of freights paid on the same; also the kind and quantity of liquors sold by him since the date of his last report; to whom sold; for what purpose and at what price; also the kind and quantity of liquors on hand; which report shall be sworn to by the person having the permit, and shall be kept by the Auditor, subject at all times to the inspection of the public.

No person shall sell or give away any intoxicating liquors, including wine or beer, to any minor, for any purpose whatever, except upon written order of parent, guardian or family physician; or sell the same to an intoxicated person or a person in the habit of becoming intoxicated.

Any person who shall mix any intoxicating liquor with any beer, wine or cider, by him sold, and shall sell or keep for sale, as a beverage, such mixture, shall be punished as for sale of intoxicating liquor.

But nothing in the chapter containing the laws governing the sale or prohibiting the sale of intoxicating liquors, shall be construed to forbid the sale by the importer thereof of foreign intoxicating liquor, imported under the authority of the laws of the United States, regarding the imporation of such liquors, and in accordance with such laws; provided that such liquor, at the time of the sale by the importer, remains in the original casks or packages in which it was by him imported, and in quantities not less than the quantities in which the laws of the United States require such liquors to be imported, and is sold by him in such original casks or packages, and in said quantities only.

All payment or compensation for intoxicating liquor sold in violation of the laws of this State, whether such payments or compensation be in money, goods, lands, labor, or anything else whatsoever, shall be held to have been received in violation of law and equity and good conscience, and to have been received upon a valid promise and agreement of the receiver, in consideration of the receipt thereof, to pay on demand, to the person furnishing such consideration, the amount of the money on the just value of the goods or other things.

All sales, transfers, conveyances, mortages, liens, attachments, pledges and securities of every kind, which, either in whole or in part, shall have been made on account of intoxicating liquors sold contrary to law, shall be utterly null and void.

Negotiable paper in the hands of holders thereof, in good faith, for valuable consideration, without notice of any illegality in its inception or transfer, however, shall not be affected by the above provisions. Neither shall the holder of land or other property who may have taken the same in good faith, without notice of any defect in the title of the person from whom the same was taken, growing out of a violation of the liquor law, be affected by the above provision.

Every wife, child, parent, guardian, employer, or other person, who shall be injured in person or property or means of support, by an intoxicated person, or in consequence of the intoxication, has a right of action against any person who shall, by selling intoxicating liquors, cause the intoxication of such person, for all damages actually sustained as well as exemplary damages.

For any damages recovered, the personal and real property (except homestead, as now provided) of the person against whom the damages are recovered, as well as the premises or property, personal or real, occupied and used by him, with consent and knowledge of owner, either for manufacturing or selling intoxicating liquors contrary to law, shall be liable.

The only other exemption, besides the homestead, from this sweeping liability, is that the defendant may have enough for the support of his family for six months, to be determined by the Township Trustee.

No ale, wine, beer or other malt or vinous liquors shall be sold within two miles of the corporate limits of any municipal corportion, except at wholesale, for the purpose of shipment to places outside of such corporation and such two-mile limits. The power of the corporation to prohibit or license sale of liquors not prohibited by law is extended over the two miles.

No ale, wine, beer or other malt or vinous liquors shall be sold on the day on which any election is held under the laws of this State, within two miles of the place where said election is held; except only that any person holding a permit may sell upon the prescription of a practicing physician.

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