J. Frank Hanly, former Indiana governor and strong prohibition supporter, organized and published the Enquirer beginning in 1915. The weekly publication, using the motto “Truth without Fear,” focused primarily on prohibition but also included articles relating to women’s suffrage and family and religious news (see Temperance and Prohibition). By 1916, the paper claimed at least one subscriber in every state as well as the territory of Alaska. Over the years, it maintained a limited national circulation.

Oliver W. Stewart, associate editor, became editor in 1920 after Hanly’s death. That year, the format changed from 8 to 16 pages and, by the mid-1920s, reported a circulation of 4,000 readers. Both Stewart, a former member of the Illinois House of Representatives, and Hanly were officers in the Flying Squadron Foundation, an organization devoted to the promotion of prohibition. Later editions of the paper were published by the foundation.

By 1927, the paper had experienced financial difficulties and editions shrank to four pages. Around 1928, the paper became a monthly, and publication soon lapsed. Stewart renewed publication from 1932 to 1933 to support efforts of a national campaign organizing local prohibition societies but ended when the Eighteenth Amendment was repealed in December 1933.

Revised March 2021

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