written by Joe Ganger, 20 Nov 2000
Was that a whisky and water or a coffee and water?
Dr. Hanchett, who was located at Coldwater, but practiced somewhat in St. Joseph County, getting out of medicine, went to Detroit, one hundred and ten miles, on horseback, to get a new supply … having but ten dollars in his purse, four dollars of which he used up for his expenses. He went to old Dr. Chapin's drug store and stated his needs and was urged to take all he wanted, but declined to take more than his cash … six dollars … would buy, which was put up, and it is fair to presume there was a very small margin of profit charged in the bill for the same. Dr. Chapin said to Dr. Hanchett as he tied the little packet up, "When this is gone send for more, money or no money."
When William H. Cross built the Leonidas dam across the St. Joseph, he announced that he should furnish no whisky, and in consequence thereof, it was confidently predicted and asserted by the men themselves that there would be a "strike" before forty-eight hours after the timbers were ready to put into the water. But, contrary to the prediction and expectation, the work was accomplished after many vexatious and expensive obstacles, delays were overcome and passed, and not a penny had been spent by the proprietor for whisky. After the hard work was done, Mr. Cross asked one of the most talkative men of crowd, who had said the most against the course adopted, how it was he had not kept his word and refused to work in the water without liquor. The man replied, "Well, I did not mean to do so, because I supposed you would stand on the bank in dry of all, and stay there till all the rest were out, I was ashamed, and said I would not be beat by a little fellow like you, and now I don't care for whisky. Besides, you gave us good coffee five times a day, and treated us like gentlemen."
Special 'thanks' to Joe Ganger who generously submitted this historical review for inclusion on the St Joseph Co., MI USGenWeb website