With the passage of the 18th Amendment in 1919, disaster struck many businesses in Columbus. Many saloon, restaurant, and tavern keepers, and the entire brewing industry of the German Village shut down. Thousands on the South side were employed in the making of beer—stable hands, barrel makers, distributors, salesmen, laborers, drivers, and the beer makers. Breweries supported Columbus’s charities, recreation for children, funded the first zoo, kept railroads, construction, and other industries humming.
Front Street was home to the Schlee Brewery and the family home (Germania). Other Breweries included: Franklin Brewery, City Brewery, Gambrinus Brewery, Washington Brewery, and Born Brewery. In addition, partnerships among the brewers also created Born and Schlee, Bavarian Brewery, Schlegel and Blenker Bavarian Brewery, City Park Brewery, and the Born, Schlee, and Hoster Brewery.
Alcohol fueled Columbus’s economy and was part of the cultural and social life of the city. Excessive drinking was clearly a problem in America and in Columbus vice and prostitution were linked with alcohol consumption. Rev. Washington Gladden of First Congregational Church and leader of the Social Gospel Movement, enlisted hundreds of children to form a crusade downtown to stop the Sunday sales of liquor. However, the solution to the issues was destined for a national forum.
There was some anti-German sentiment in Columbus during World War I. Schiller Park was renamed Washington Park; Schiller Street was renamed Whittier. Some street names were reestablished after World War I. The German school books were burned and German language classes stopped, but these were many activities that Germans (especially third and fourth generation German Americans) participated in. Except for personal grudges or political quarreling among associates, there was no directed violence at individuals during World War I in German Village.