An anti-suffrage advertisement for the 1912 referendum. Courtesy of the Wisconsin Historical Society. 

After the growth of the Wisconsin Suffrage Movement, liquor interests throughout the state began their own campaign opposing the movement. In 1911, representatives of the Wisconsin State Retail Liquor Dealers Protective Association, along with numerous local breweries in Wisconsin, traveled around the state to condemn the rising Suffrage movement. 

While traveling throughout the state, representatives of the association attempted to gain partnerships with local breweries in their fight against Women's Suffrage. The main reason for their opposition campaign was their fear that if women got the vote, it would lead to disastrous results for the liquor industry. They automatically assumed that one of the main goals of the Women's Suffrage Movement would be to prohibit liquor within the state of Wisconsin. They argued that businesses would suffer and eventually collapse if women gained the power to vote. 

The campaign was organized and rallied throughout 1911 and 1912 to prevent the referendum of  1912 from passing. Following passage of the prohibition amendment in early 1919, liquor interests opposition to Suffrage waned.

Violet Leigh: Anti-Suffrage Poetess

The 1912 referendum met with defeat in Eau Claire with divisions among ethnic groups obvious. While Yankees favored suffrage, those of German ethnicity strongly opposed suffrage. These employees of Walter Brewing Company, many likely of German ancestry, feared that suffrage would lead to prohibition.  Image Courtesy Chippewa Valley Museum.