Abbie B. Hillerman

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Abbie B. Hillerman

Abbie B. Hillerman

“I worked 84 consecutive days in an attempt to have the state ‘bone dry.’ But it was worth every bit of it the day the prohibition amendment was passed.”
Abbie Hillerman


Known as the “grand old lady of prohibition,” Abbie B. Hillerman was born of Quaker parents in Indiana and graduated from Kansas University. She was a teacher and temperance worker in Kansas and became county president of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) before coming to Oklahoma in 1890. In 1900, she became the state secretary for the WCTU and was elected its president in 1903. She was sent to Panama by the national WCTU as representative to the Canal Zone and returned to Oklahoma and served as the group’s state president until 1920. During the Constitutional Convention in Oklahoma, she was largely credited for the incorporation of the prohibition clause in the constitution, appearing before every general committee, delivering 100 speeches, and circulating thousands of signature petitions. She was the organizer of the state’s first WCTU unit at Stillwater and later presented Oklahoma at world conventions in Glasgow, Scotland, and London, England.

Fun fact

Abbie Hillerman was a tireless prohibitionist and sent hundreds of petition forms for signatures in support of prohibition. When more than 5,000 signed forms were returned to her, she carried them each and every morning to the constitutional convention and laid them on the desk of every delegate before the day’s session began.

Oklahoma connections

Hillerman came with her husband to Chandler, Oklahoma, in 1890.









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