COWARDLY ASSAULT BY SALOON KEEPER, G. R. NEIGHBORS OF ELIZABETHTOWN, KY.—APATHY OF OFFICERS, BUT PEOPLE MUCH MOVED BY OUTRAGE, LECTURED AFTERWARDS, THO’ VERY FAINT AND WEAK FROM LOSS OF BLOOD.— CIGARETTE SMOKING IN HIGH PLACES DISCUSSED WITH MISS GASTON, PRESIDENT NATIONAL ANTI-CIGARETTE LEAGUE.
A saloon keeper, G. R. Neighbors, of Elizabethtown, Ky., struck me over the head with a chair, July 23, 1904. In going up to the hall to fill an engagement. I passed this man and walking into his saloon, said, why are you in this business, drugging and robbing the people? “Hush! You get out.” I replied, “Yes you want a respectable woman to get out, but you will make any woman’s boy a disgrace, you ought to be ashamed.” I then passed out going to the hall. After the lecture I passed by his place again. He was sitting in a chair in front of the saloon, and I said, “Are you the man that runs this business?” and in a moment with an oath he picked up the chair and with all his strength, sent it down with a crash on my head. I came near falling, caught myself, and he lifted the chair the second time, striking me over the back, the blood began to cover my face, and run down from a cut on my forehead. I cried out, “He has killed me,” An officer caught the chair to prevent a third blow.
There were two officers in the crowd. I cried out, “Is there no one to arrest this man?” No one appeared to do it. He went back in his saloon. I to the hotel. Some one sent for a doctor who came and dressed the wound on my forehead, my left arm was badly bruised, also my back. Had it not been for my bonnet, I should have suffered more. This outragous act roused the people. The women and men came to see me indignant, saying this outrage would not be tolerated. The Methodist minister especially was deeply moved. There were two officers who saw this outrage, but there was no arrest.
Next morning, Mrs. Bettie James, came in two miles from the country, and had a warrant sworn out against Neighbors, but the case was laid over to await the action of the “Grand jury,” in November, saloon keepers going on his bond.
I intended to go to Mammoth Cave but remained over on account of trial, and spoke again that night. Elizabethtown is one of those bad rum-towns in Kentucky, but there is a fine prohibition sentiment, and great indignation was felt and expressed that a saloon-keeper even so low and cowardly as to strike a woman, should be tolerated. I was in bed most of the day and nearly fainted during the lecture, but I thanked God that I was counted worthy to suffer, that others might not. I felt some mother might receive fewer blows—that while my head was bruised and bleeding to prevent hearts from being crushed and broken, souls were going to drunkards graves, and drunkards Hells, and this outrage would reveal the enormous brutality of this curse, bringing a speedy remedy.