By Jack Gurner
The upcoming special election on Dec. 11 is only the second time in history a vote on beer has raised its foamy head in Yalobusha County.
In 1937, a vote for prohibition made the possession, sale and transportation of beer illegal in the county.
After the vote, the August 24 edition of the Herald reported that 712 dry votes were cast as opposed to 417 votes to remain wet.
The beer dealers of the Second District of Yalobusha County appealed to the Circuit Court, according to the Sept. 19 Herald.
Attorney Cilman Woods of Water Valley, representing the dealers, objected to the form of the ballot.
Woods maintained the ballot was confusing in that it called for one to vote against beer by voting for the proposition and to vote for beer by voting against the proposition. Circuit Court Judge J. M. Kuykendall dismissed the appeal.
More than a dozen years passed before the beer issue resurfaced. In July of 1950, a city-only election sent Water Valley residents to the polls where they voted down a proposition that would have made beer legal within the city limits.
In the weeks before the 1937 county-wide vote, no advertisements, stories or letters to the editor appeared in the newspaper. In fact, only a small article in the August 19 Herald mentioned that there was to even be an election the following Tuesday.
However, prior to the 1950 city vote, citizens for and against beer placed ads, letters and even a cartoon in the Herald. One pro beer ad listed about 90 prominent residents of the area.
Prior to the 1950 vote, citizens for and against the issue placed ads in the North Mississippi Herald. For a look at what local folks had to say, click here for an ad against beer and click here for a pro-beer ad.