Leland Hotel Bar in Edwardsville, decorated for Christmas circa 1914. Bartenders Martin Mockler (left) and William Smolek are in their mid-50s and mid-20s, respectively, in this photograph. The men worked together at the Leland Hotel Bar for several years in the 1910s.
Martin Mockler, the mustachioed man behind the bar in the above photograph, was born in Ireland. He immigrated to the United States as a teenager. He had his own saloon on East Vandalia Street in Edwardsville for several years before giving it up and tending bar for Gottlied Holzweg at the Leland in 1911. Martin was in his sixties when Prohibition eliminated his profession. He worked as a janitor at Edwardsville Public Library for the remainder of his life.
A year after emigrating from Bohemia, 21-year-old William Smolek (the other bartender in the photograph) was tending bar in Edwardsville. He worked at the Leland Hotel Bar until Prohibition shut it down in 1920. William had a wife and two children to support, and he got a job in a coal mine. But by 1925 he was back in the hospitality industry, as the proprietor of a “retail soft drink establishment.” William and his wife Emma divorced in 1930.