Todd Johnson
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Physical Address:
Heritage Center
241 E. Market Street
Smithfield, NC 27577
Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 2709
Smithfield, NC 27577
Phone: 919-934-2836
Historical Image and Manuscript Archives


Smithfield Dispensary Bottles

Collection Date(s):   1899  to 1902

Call Number(s):  2000.008; 2000.009

Physical Description:  Two items

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Biographical Sketch:  The Smithfield Dispensary opened July 1, 1899, in a corner store in the Fuller building at the corner of Market and Third streets (site of the present Johnston County Heritage Center) in Smithfield, NC, following state enabling legislation that allowed the town to control liquor traffic. The Smithfield Herald of July 7, 1899, noted that "it has already shown its effects towards preserving better order on the streets at night."

J. E. Dickens was the first manager, followed by former county poorhouse keeper George S. Wilson in 1901. Kenly, Selma, Clayton, and Pine Level also opened dispensaries during this time. It is thought that the Smithfield Dispensary closed by 1902 as prohibition forces gained further strength. Notwithstanding, when prohibition won approval in a statewide referendum in 1908, Johnston led all other counties in opposing the new law, gaining the distinction of "Banner Whiskey County."

Collection Description:  The bottles are full pint and half-pint. According to rules established for the dispensary, half-pint was the smallest amount which could be sold.

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