Wayne Bidwell Wheeler c. 1920

Wayne Wheeler was a lawyer and staunch prohibitionist. He served as attorney and general counsel for the National Anti-Saloon League. The Anti-Saloon League was the most influential and powerful organization lobbying for Prohibition in the United States in the early 20th century. Darrow wrote in his autobiography:
"Like many other evils, prohibition was adopted under the cloak of the great World War. It was brought about under the guise of a bill for the conservation of food. The men who were responsible for it were much more anxious to prohibit the use of liquor than they were to win the war. The story has been told in a very naive way by Doctor Irving Fisher in his book entitled 'Prohibition at Its Worst.' The committee that had charge of food conservation in the conduct of the war was deliberately packed by Wayne Wheeler, Doctor Irving Fisher, and others, so that the food bill should forbid the use of any intoxicating liquor during the war. It was intended that no one opposed to the plot should have any notice of what was going on. Unfortunately, one man out of several hundreds who were trusted with the secret revealed it just in time to prevent the bill passing as the conspirators had designed. Doctor Fisher, for his services in the matter, earned the enduring fame of receiving from Wayne Wheeler the compliment that he had done more for prohibition than any man in America wearing shoe leather. Wayne Wheeler and the rest of the fanatical drys did their best to tie up the whole bill for food conservation unless President Woodrow Wilson would consent to the prohibition clause. As between their fanaticism for making the country dry or winning the war, there was no question as to the stand maintained by Mr. Wheeler and his supporters." Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, LC-USZ62-72978.