Sons of Temperance
One of the early temperance organizations was the Sons of Temperance, which was organized in New York in 1842. It not only promoted abstinence and lobbied for prohibition but also served as a fraternal organization for its members. For instance, members (called brothers) were expected to visit any fellow member who became sick. The group even acted as an insurance company of sorts, since the bylaws of the organization also required it to pay $30 to cover the burial costs of any brother who died. The group was selective in admitting members, and the brothers practiced secret rituals and had secret signs, passwords, hand grips, and regalia.
A chapter of the Sons of Temperance was organized in Springfield in 1849. By 1851, the Sons of Temperance and other prohibitionists succeeded in getting an ordinance passed outlawing dramshops (i.e. saloons) in Springfield. The law lasted only a few months, but the question of prohibition remained a contentious issue in Springfield and elsewhere for many years, culminating, of course, in passage of the Volstead Act that ushered in prohibition nationwide.