July 27, 2017
This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
In the summer of 1920, the “era of prohibition” was changing the routine of court life from convictions for drunkenness to insanity hearings. “Lemon extract was the explanation offered by the police officers for the recent arrests related to alleged intoxication. A number of hearings were heard concerning arrests made by those who had been drinking lemon extract, which caused the user to appear crazed in the mind. In 1920 the accused were referred to being insane not only here, but in courts throughout the United States.”
According to the “Junction City Union” newspaper of August 4, 1920, “within the past two weeks in probate court in Salina, two cases of insanity had been brought before the judge, which were distinctly traceable to the effects of lemon extract. And…. just the day before, officers were questioning a Junction City man and he, at first, said he had given some money to a stranger, who bought lemon extract for him. However, he later changed his story and stated he had purchased 17 bottles of the extract at a dozen different stores.” The alcohol content in lemon extract is about 84%. “It was predicted the insanity would overtake that man soon.”
That’s today’s story. Thanks for reading “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.