Archive for March, 2009

‘The Archer Gang’ and the Archer-Stanfield Feud

March 23, 2009

Martin County Courthouse in Shoals, Indiana

Martin County Courthouse in Shoals, Indiana

Some background on the Archer Gang, posted by Jan Taylor, on

Much has been written about the Archer Gang. This was one of the reckless gangs who brought fear and terror to the hearts of many. Today they have all faded into history and only their stories remain to be told and retold, stories which always seem to hold great interest and sometimes an air of romance about them. How the outlaws lived and died and about the crimes, they committed in Orange, Dubois and Martin counties in Southern Indiana. The Archer Gang made their headquarters in what is now known as Lost River Township in Martin County, next to the county line. This gang was made up of family members being Thomas Sr., Sam, John, Martin and young Martin Jr. The remaining family members were Sam Marley, first cousin; Kinder Smith,nephew; and John Lynch, related by marriage.

You can read the rest at the link above.


A Sheriff Defeated.

VINCENNES, Ind., Dec. 29. — Sheriff John A. Padgett arrived here from Martin county, Ind., seeking John B. Archer, who is wanted for the murder of John Bunch, a farmer of that county, who disappeared four years ago. The crime was fastened upon Archer by the recent confession of his deserted wife, who said that Archer murdered Bunch for his money, boiled the flesh of the body in a boiler and buried the bones. Padgett found Archer on a farm five miles south of here. Archer and two companions barricaded themselves in a house and threatened to shoot the officer. Padgett thereupon returned here for re-enforcements and has got a posse of fifteen men to go out with him and capture Archer dead or alive.

The Olean Democrat (Olean, New York) Dec 31, 1885


An Alleged Murderer Caught near Vincennes, Indiana.

By Telegraph to the GAZETTE.
SHOALS, Ind., December 30. — John B. Archer, who is charged with the murder of John B.*[Samuel A.] Bunch, four years ago, was captured at the farm of Leroy Boyd, five miles south of Vincennes, and brought to the Martin county jail, Tuesday, by sheriff Podgett**. David Crane, another of the gang, was also arrested here and lodged in jail. Both state that Bunch was killed by the Archer gang in July, 1882, because he had aided a farm hand of his named Morley***, in escaping from the country. It seems that Morley had killed one of the Archers.

Daily Gazette, The (Fort Wayne, Indiana) Dec 31, 1885

*There appears to be a mix-up/typo regarding the victim’s name in the article above. Based on the “History of Orange County Indiana, Bunch’s name was Samuel, not John. **Podgett is probably Padgett as well. ***Morley is actually Marley.


A Murderer Caught.

Tom Archer, charged with the murder of Jno. B.* Bunch, near Shoals, Martin Co., Indiana, in 1881, was arrested in this city late Thursday night by City Marshall Miles. Archer had just arrived and getting considerably under the influence of liquor, divulged his name to the Marshall. In 1881 John B. Bunch was murdered near Shoals and his body sunk in the river and afterwards is supposed to have been taken up by the perpetrators of the crime and burned. Tom Archer, this same Archer, and a man named Lynch are charged with committing the deed. All have been arrested.

Reno Evening Gazette (Reno, Nevada) Jan 2, 1886




A Father, Brother, and Son’s Murderous Career.

Three leaders of a gang of desperadoes in Martin county, Ind., have just received summary punishment at the hands of a midnight band of lynchers. Details of the affair are as follows:

Precisely at 11:30 o’clock a vigilance committee of about 100, composed of men from Martin and Orange counties surrounded the jail at Shoals. The lynchers were very quiet and orderly, and the sheriff was first aroused by the barking of his dog, followed by a knock on the door. He asked who was there, and the answer was a crashing in of the front door, followed by heavy blows which completely demolished it. The mob then went to the jail door and knocked off the lock and were dismayed to find another which would not yield to blows. After about twenty minutes a man in the crowd was found who understood opening the cell door. It yielded to his efforts and the lynchers rushed in and grabbed all three of the intended victims, Thomas, Martin, and John Archer, the latter the son of Thomas, the ringleaders of what is known as the Archer gang. The mob was provided with the necessary tools both to get in and to capture them if they made any resistance. Several of them had long iron hooks with which to grab the prisoners around the neck if they resisted without endangering their own lives.

When the Archer gang saw the lynchers they offered no resistance, and when asked if they had anything to say they refused to speak. Their hands were tied behind their backs, and they were taken over to the court house yard. They were again asked if they had any confession to make, and, still no reply being given by any of them they were unceremoniously strung up to young maple trees. Tom Archer, the oldest one of the gang, about sixty years of age, was hanged first. Martin Archer, brother to Tom, aged about forty-five years, was suspended next. John Archer, son of Tom Archer, who was about thirty years old, was hung to a tree with his hands tied behind him, about thirty feet from his father.

The crimes for which the three men were hanged comprise almost everything in the criminal calendar from murder to petty thieving. For twenty-five years they had been a reigning terror, both in Martin and Orange counties, and had terrorized the community in which they lived until the people did not know when they went to bed at night whether they would be murdered before morning or their houses burned down. They never failed to visit vengeance for a fancied slight, and many a farmer in Orange and Martin counties had lost considerable sums of money by daring robbery, the theft of cattle, or the burning down of barns and houses. Martin Archer had a family living in Southwest Township, Orange county, who are well thought of. Two of his children are young ladies teaching school in that section of the country. Old Tom Archer, as he was called, lived in Martin county, Columbia township, and had a large family, every one of whom are under indictments for larceny, arson and murder, an bear a bad name generally. John Archer, formerly lived in Columbia township, and in the past year had been living seven miles east of Vincennes, where he was captured two months ago and brought to Shoals by Sheriff Padgett. The chief cause for their being hanged was the confession of John Lynch, anther member of the gang, who is in the Washington Daviess county jail. He made a confession and told where the bones of a man named Bunch, one of the victims, were. They were found in two different graves, the body having been cut lengthwise, and each piece being buried separate. It seems that unknown parties followed the officials when they went to the place where Bunch was buried and saw them exhume the remains. Word was immediately spread over the county, and the vigilants prepared themselves accordingly.

The Delta Herald (Delta, Pennsylvania) Mar 19, 1886


In a trial on Thursday of a brother for shooting at the man who had assaulted his sister, while on trial for the crime in the Criminal Court, Judge Clark gave the jury this charge:

“The current history of crime in this country is that, with rare exceptions, juries will not convict a man of murder for killing another man who has in any of the forms of licentiousness violated the virtue and chastity of a female who stands in the near relation of wife, daughter, or sister to the slayer. This results from a higher degree of civilization and a more elevated plane of common sense that recognizes the truth that nothing so justly exasperates and more heats the blood than such an offense against a near female relative, and that therefore if hot blood should in any case extenuate homicide much more should it in such cases.”

The man was acquitted, of course, but the charge of the judge has attracted no little attention and comment among lawyers and others.

Judge D.O? Heffner and Sheriff J.A. Padgett, of Martin County, have sent a request to the Governor for troops to assist in preserving the peace at the preliminary examinations of Sam Archer and Lynch, to be held at Shoals Wednesday next. The Governor has instructed the Attorney-General to have a company of militia ready.

The New York Times (New York, New York) Mar 21, 1886



INDIANAPOLIS, Ind., March 27. — A special dispatch from Shoals, Ind., gives the conclusion of the trial of Sam Archer, the last of the gang three of whom were recently lynched in the Court House yard. The trial has been proceeding since Wednesday, the prisoner being under the guard of a company of State militia from this city. After the Judge had charged the jury they retired, but were not out more than an hour when they agreed upon the verdict, as follows:

“We, the jury, find the defendant, Samuel Archer, not guilty as charged in the second count of the indictment, and we do find the defendant, Samuel Archer, guilty of murder in the first degree as charged in the first count of the indictment, and assess his punishment at death.”

The prisoner, who sat facing the jury, moved not a muscle, but sat motionless as he had during the whole of his trial, yet his face showed that he was in deep thought. The attorneys asked for a new trial, which the Judge overruled. Another motion was made asking an arrest of judgement, which was also overruled, and then the Judge addressed the prisoner as follows:

“It has been proved beyond a reasonable doubt that you willfully and maliciously took the life of Samuel A. Bunch, making you guilty of the charge proffered against you of murder in the first degree, for which crime you shall suffer death. You shall hang by your neck in the jail yard in West Shoals until you are dead on the 9th day of July, 1886.”

Had the Judge fixed the date three days later it would have been the fourth anniversary of the murder for which Archer forfeits his life. In the meantime the Judge ordered that the prisoner be kept in close confinement in the Martin County Jail or such other place of safety as the court may from time to time direct. The prisoner was then removed to his cell. He was gazed at by hundreds as he passed through the long lines of people on either side of the walk through which he was required to pass.

The court room was then cleared of part of the spectators, and John D. Lynch, the last of the notorious gang, and through whom the principal evidence was obtained which fixed the guilt of his comrade, was called to answer the charge of perjury. He pleaded guilty, and was immediately sentenced to three years at hard labor in the State prison. He was removed to jail to remain until afternoon, when he was taken to the station under the escort of Sheriff Padgett and the militia, and arrived at the Jeffersonville.

Prison this evening.

Since the conviction and sentence of Sam Archer it is currently and authentically reported that he has exposed the entire gang, and that some startling revelations will be the result. It is thought the Archer gang is not the proper appellation, and that the organization extends over some half dozen counties at least, and that Mart Archer, the acknowledged leader in this locality, ranks no higher than second lieutenant as compared with some of the other leaders.

The New York Times (New York, New York) Mar 28, 1886



VINCENNES, Ind., April 2. Samuel Archer, sentenced to be hanged July 9 for his many crimes, confessed in jail yesterday that the testimony of John Lynch against him was correct from beginning to end, and attributes the misfortunes and criminal actions of the Archer family to his uncle, Martin Archer who, Sam said, seemed to enjoy killing people.

The New York Times (New York, New York) Apr 3, 1886



INDIANAPOLIS, Ind., March 16. — A Shoals (Martin County) special to the Journal says: Much violence seems to have spread to adjoining counties. A report was current here today for the first time that a bold attempt at lynching was made on Friday night last near French Lick, Orange County. This was not generally known until to-day. The victim was Kinder Smith, a nephew of the late Thomas and Mart Archer, who expiated their crimes more fully. Smith was a desperate character, and was supposed to be implicated in the horrible crimes perpetuated by the family in this county. The mob captured their victim at the house of Bennett Grigsbey. The lynchers, about 35 in number, surrounded the house and demanded the surrender of Smith, who was soon in their possession. They then marched him in  their midst to a dark woods near by, where a rope was in readiness. A noose was hastily made and placed over his neck. The spokesman then ordered the lynchers to make ready. He placed one end of the rope over a limb of a tree and the mob pulled up Smith’s body, leaving him dangling in the air for a few moments, when, fearing death would free their victim, he was lowered to the ground. After recovering consciousness he was again swung in midair until he began to turn black, when he was again lowered and asked to tell what he knew of the Archer gang and their crimes. He said he knew nothing. He was then raised by the rope and lowered again. This time he was almost past saving, but after a short time revived sufficiently to speak, when he was again asked what he knew of the Archer gang, and if he was a member, and, receiving no answer, they decided to try, the whipping post. A large bunch of hickory switches were obtained and he was given 40 lashes. When he was again asked for the desired information he said he was innocent, and begged for mercy, when they agreed to free him on condition that he would leave that section of the State and never again return. He accepted the proposition, and they told him that if he were seen here again a like punishment would be inflicted. The people in that section of the country are determined to protect themselves and property at all hazards, and mob law is the last resort, and they claim it is justifiable in this case, believing that there are some persons yet at large who are as deeply implicated as those already dealt with.

The New York Times (New York, New York) Mar 17, 1886



The Governor of Indiana positively declines to interfere with the sentence of death pronounced against Sam Archer, at Shoals.

The Daily Review (Decatur, Illinois) May 7, 1886



Samuel Archer, Member of a Noted Gang of Desperadoes, Hanged at Shoals, Ind.

A Brief History of the Bloody Crimes for Which He and His Brothers Suffered Death.


SHOALS, Ind., July 10. — Sam Archer, one of the members of the famous Archer gang of desperadoes, received the reward of his many crimes yesterday from the hands of the sheriff, being hanged for the brutal murder of Samuel A. Burch on the 11th of July, 1882. The story of the murder, as condensed from the confession of Lynch, one of the gang, is as follows: On the 3d of July, 1882, Sam Marley and Matt Archer got into a difficulty, resulting in the fatal shooting of Archer and Marley. This enraged the older Archers, as they were called, very much, and they determined to punish Marley at the first opportunity, and to accomplish this end they organized themselves into a gang of six members, viz Tom, Mart, John and Sam Archer, John D. Lynch and David Crane. Mart was chosen captain and adviser. The work of ferreting out the hiding place of Marley began. Bunch’s house was guarded constantly, as suspicion rested on him as the one who was aiding Marley to escape. This espionage did not reveal the desired information and the Archers resolved to kill Bunch if he refused to reveal Marley’s hiding-place. They seized him, took him to a cave and murdered him. Nothing was learned of Bunch’s fate until last winter, when the deserted wife of John Archer, who had taken refuge in the Martin County Poor Asylum, gave evidence that caused the arrest of the Archers. On March 9, 1886, a mob attacked the jail at Shoals, battered down the doors, and, seizing Mart, Thomas and John Archer, father, son and brother, lynched them. A week later Sam Archer was arrested in Fountain County and brought here, and was tried and convicted as above stated. Sam Archer leaves a mother, two sisters and two brothers. His oldest brother is serving a term in the penitentiary for grand larceny, while the youngest is serving time in the reform school at Plainfield. The fate of the Archer family is a hard one. Four of them have been victims of the gallows and two others are in prison.

The Daily Review (Decatur, Illinois) Jul 11, 1886



The Coroner Acquits Archer of Her Murder and Renders a Verdict That She Suicided.

VINCENNES, Ind., Dec 22. The coroner rendered a verdict in the case of the tragic death of Miss Stanfield in Martin County, to the effect that she committed suicide by shooting. The preliminary trial of Charles Archer, charged with her death, was held, and yesterday he was liberated. He testified that he was with her the night before her death and that she took his revolver and hid it. He asked her why she did so and she said she was going to commit suicide. The next morning (Saturday) he saw her walking along the road toward a church. He hastened toward her. She turned on him and pulled out the revolver and told him if he came any further she would shoot herself. He had ruined her and would not marry her and she was going to die. She placed the revolver to her breast and fired, the ball entering her heart. Archer then gave the alarm. The testimony of the physicians who held the postmortem; was that she could not have inflicted the wound on herself; that she must have been sitting down when shot. General dissatisfaction was felt at the coroner’s verdict, and another warrant was issued for Archer’s arrest, but it is rumored that he has fled the country.

The Dunkirk Observer Journal (Dunkirk, New York) Dec 22, 1887


John Lynch, who several years ago belonged to the Archer gang of desperadoes, who terrorized southern Indiana, is dead. He was the last of the crowd to pass away.

Fort Wayne News (Fort Wayne, Indiana) Dec 19, 1894

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Old Hatreds Cause Many Deaths in Indiana Feud: Date Back to Year 1882 Shoals, Ind.

Oct. 4 — Another life has been forfeited and the sixth member of the Archer family of Southern Martin County, has “died with his boots on” as a result of a family feud that has raged there for several years, it was revealed here, following the fatal shooting from ambush of Clyde Archer nineteen recently.

For years Hoosiers have been wont to look with pity, if not disdain, on the family feuds which members of warring families of the Bluegrass State. But apparently in Indiana’s backyard a family feud has been raging for years between the Archers and Stanfield families which has resulted in several deaths.

Clyde Archer met his death Tuesday, August 15. About a year previous young Archer had killed his man at French Lick, Ind., when he stabbed Roy Stanfield, a neighbor, who accused Archer of stealing some money. He was acquitted in court on a plea of self-defense.

Row is of Old Standing.

The two families had harbored ill feelings against each other for many years following the killing of Annabel Stanfield by Charles Archer, an uncle of Clyde. The older Archer was acquitted of this crime, and a few years later a brother of Clyde was freed of a murder charge.

Back in 1882 Martin Archer was killed by a man named Morley, who was afraid Archer might tell of a larceny job in which the murderer, his victim and John B. Bunch were implicated. This killing aroused the ire of the Archer family, the member of which swore vengeance.

The Archers, accompanied by John Lynch, went in search of Marley and, being unable to find him, discovered Bunch. When Bunch declined to reveal the hiding place of Marley the Archers bound him took him to Saltpeter Cave in Orange County, Ind. a lonely spot near the home of Tom Archer.

Here they again demanded of Bunch that he tell where Marley was hiding. As Bunch repeated his statement that he did not know the whereabouts of Marley the Archers shot him to death and left his body in the cave several days.

Later they removed the corpse, placed it upon a pile of brush that had been saturated with coal oil, and burned it. Then a tree was felled and placed over the ashes to prevent discovery of the crime.

Confesses to Crime.

Fours years later, Lynch, conscience-stricken, confessed to the crime. Following the confession Thomas Archer, sixty-five, and Martin Archer, fifty, brothers, were arrested. Then John Archer, thirty, was taken into custody in connection with the grewsome murder.

All three were placed in jail at Shoals, Sam Archer, father of John, and another member of the murder band, was still at large.

At midnight, March 9, 1886, a band of armed, masked men visited the Shoals jail, removed the three Archers and hanged them to trees in the courthouse yard. Their bodies were permitted to hang there until 11 o’clock the next morning.

A short time later Sam Archer was apprehended, tried, convicted and sentenced to be hanged. The execution took place July 9, 1886 in the presence of what was termed a “circus day” crowd assembled about the scaffold.

All that saved Lynch from being a victim of the executions of the mob that hanged the three Archers was the fact that he was confined in the Daviess County Jail.

Since that time the hatred between the two families has grown apace, and, members of each family are on guard always for an outbreak of the feud.

Olean Evening Times (Olean, New York) Oct 6, 1922

More newspaper transcriptions (New York Times articles) can be found at this link.

The Poetic Printers

March 21, 2009


Elegant Extract!

Sir John Suckling used to say, “I pity the poet who has to write for his bread — I pity the man who has fallen into the hands of a pettifogging attorney — I pity the man who is married to a scold, unless he is deaf — I pity the woman who is married to a rakish spouse, unless she is blind — I pity the man who is in debt and would pay if he could — I pity the man who can only boast of a long pedigree.” Sir John says no further. But were I to add a pity to the list, it would be this: I pity the Printer, who, after he has earned his scanty stipend, stands but one chance in three of getting it the first time he calls.

Republican Compiler (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania) Feb 14, 1821



Says Thomas, our neighbors have wrote to the Printer,
To stop sending newspapers during the winter;
For living is hard, and provisions are dear,
And there’s seldom much news at this time of the year.
But in summer the papers more news will contain,
And then, or in spring we may take them again.

Says John, neighbor Thomas, your scheme makes me smile;
But how is the Printer to live the mean while?
If times are so hard as you do not deny,
The Printer, unless he’s supported, must die;
The summer or spring he can never survive,
Unless thro’ the winter you keep him alive,
And if once you him starve, it will be in vain,
To expect that he ever will serve you again.

Says Thomas, indeed we did not one of us think,
That Printers could feel, or could want meat or drink,
Or like other people, would clothing require,
Or wood for warming themselves with a fire;
And if none of these wants any trouble could cause,
They might live as bears do, by sucking their paws!

Republican Compiler (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania) Jan 5, 1825


Oh! If there were no Printers, what would the People do?
AIR: “Fine Old English Gentleman.”

The Printers! Ho! I sing to them! I dedicate this day
To those who ply the noble Art, which, like the sun’s bright ray,
Gives light and happiness to all, and shines the wide world through;
Oh! if there were no Printers, what would the People do?

The Politician, then, indeed, would be a sorry thing,
For there would be no daily sheet election news to bring;
And he would have to wait for it, perhaps a month or two;
Oh! if there were no Printers, what would the People do?

The Senator and Member, too, might bid farewell to fame,
Were not one found to print their thoughts — their mighty deeds proclaim —
Their speeches made for “Buncombe” they’d find to be “no go!”
Oh! if there were no Printers, what would our wise men do?

The Poet and the Novelist might lay aside their quill —
Give up their toil and study, and bid their brains be still;
For who would read their manuscripts, or even look them through?
Oh! if there were no Printers, what would our authors do?

The Merchant, every day, might get new styles and fresh supplies;
But were no papers to be found wherein to advertise,
He’d find his stock grow very large — his dollars very few;
Oh! if there were no Printers, what would the tradesmen do?

The Ladies, too — God shield them well, and bless each gentle heart! —
How they would grieve, if to the world was lost the Printer’s art;
For there would come no magazines each month with FASHIONS new;
Oh! if there were no Printers, what would the dear ones do?

Then, honor to the Printer! — to whom I give this lay! —
To those who ply the noble Art, which, like the sun’s bright ray,
Gives light and happiness to all, and shines the wide world through;
For, if there were no Printers, WHAT would the People do?

Republican Compiler (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania) Feb 15, 1847


“No man out of the craft, who has not ‘seen the elephant,’ knows the ‘first thing’ of the harassed and toilsome life of a printer who can just make a ‘rub and go’ of it. Unless he has a constitution like an alligator, and perseverance like a toad under a harrow, ten to one he breaks down, and finds himself in the world with a shattered constitution, ill-health, empty pockets, and a dozen sweet cherubs crying for — not ‘more copy!’ — but ‘a little more bread and butter!'”

Republican Compiler (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania) Jan 31, 1848

Jacob Fournais “Old Pinau” Dies at 134 Years-Old

March 20, 2009


Death of a Man 134 Years Old.

(From the Kansas City, (Mo.) Journal.)

On Saturday evening last the oldest man in the State, if not the oldest man anywhere, died in Kansas City.

His name was Jacob Fournais, but know to everybody who knew him at all, as “Old Peno,” (or Pinau). — Nobody knew his exact age, not even himself, but he was known as an old man when men now four-score were children.

He was a Canadian Frenchman by birth, but for more than half a century was a hunter and trapper in the employ of the Fur Company, one of the French voyageurs, as they were called — most of that time with Major Andrew Dripps, the father of Mr. Charles A. Dripps, and father-in-law of Mr. William Mulkey, at whose house he died, and where he has been kindly and affectionately treated for the last thirty years.

He was never sick and only a few minutes before he died was walking about the room. He said to the family in the morning, that he would “never see the sun go down again,” and just before sunset, the machine stopped — the old man was dead.

He said he was working in the woods on a piece of land he had bought for himself, near Quebec, when Wolfe was killed on the heights of Abraham. This was September 13, 1759, and from what he told of his life previous th that he must have been over 21 years of age.

Thinking he might have confounded Wolfe with Montgomery — 1775 — we questioned him very fully, but his recollection of names and incidents were too distinct to leave any doubt, and the same account had been given to others before we saw him.

Another event which he remembered well, and which he seemed to always look upon as a good joke, was that, during the occupation of New Orleans by General Jackson — 1814-15 — he had been refused enlistment, “because he was too old.” The old man often told this with great glee. He must then have been about 80 years old.

Thus, taking everything into consideration, and we have been careful ever since we knew him to get all the facts about him we could find — from Major Dripps, the Chouteau family, Jim Bridger, Tim Goodale, Bent, Jim Beckwith and other old mountaineers — we put his age at 134 years.

He went from Canada to where Pittsburgh now is, thence down the Ohio in keel-boats, and was in New Orleans, it seems, in 1814.

Before this, however, he accompanied the expedition of Lewis and Clark, in their explorations of the Missouri and the discovery of the Columbia river in 1804-7. His experience during that trip, making him a valuable man to the Fur Company, he was afterward employed as we have stated, until thirty years ago; being then worn out and too old for active service, he came here to spend the evening of his life with the family of the man he had so faithfully served for so many years.

The last thirty years of his life were passed in quiet and comfort. — He preferred living by himself, and always had his own house, where he kept his pipe and tobacco pouch and such things as were articles of comfort to him, mostly such as he had from his residence with the Indians, not forgetting his rosary and a few religious pictures which hung above his bed. He was very neat in his person, clothes, and housekeeping, and up to the day of his death attended in summer to his tobacco plants and his cabbages. One of his great desires was to see a railroad, and when the first locomotive came screaming into the bottom which was in full view of his home, he was nervous as a child until he visited it. —

The wife of Mr. Mulkey, who has been his constant attendant from her childhood, took him down one day to the depot, where he had an opportunity to examine it, and saw it move away with a heavy train attached. — He expressed himself as satisfied, said he “could tell God he had seen a railroad,” and has never since expressed any curiosity on the subject.

Kokomo Tribune (Kokomo, Indiana) Aug 1, 1871

More on Fur Traders and Trappers HERE.

In the book, Forty Years a Fur Trader, Andrew Dripps is mentioned on pages 416-417, in the chapter, “Sketches of Indian Agents.” The book can be found on Google Books, or click the link above.

St. Patrick’s Day

March 17, 2009


The Shamrock of Ireland. — One day, St. Patrick was preaching at Tara. He was anxious to explain the doctrine of the Holy Trinity. The people failed to under stand and refused to believe that there could be three persons and yet but one God. The holy man paused a moment absorbed in thought, and seeing a shamrock peeping from the green turf exclaimed, ‘Do you not see in this simple little wild flower how three leaves are united into one stalk?’ His audience understood without difficulty this simple, yet striking illustration, to the inexpresable delight of St. Patrick. From that day the shamrock became the national emblem of Ireland.

Mountain Democrat, The (Placerville, California) Jun 5, 1869



Shamrock Mistaken for Watercress and Devoured by a Beer Drinker.

According to a story that is going the rounds a laughable and yet very annoying mistake was made in one of the saloons of this city on St. Patrick’s day. It is said that the proprietor had received from Ireland some shamrock which he placed on the bar so that any patron desiring to could have a sprig for his lapel. The courtesy was greatly appreciated by those who understood it, but unfortunately, according to the story, one man stepped in for some beer and, mistaking the shamrock for watercresses, cleaned the dish before his error was discovered. It was an expensive free lunch, but the mistake was one which could not be remedied and there was nothing to do but to grin and bear it. It is probably, however, that the man who made it will never again commit so grevious a blunder.

North Adams Transcript (North Adams, Massachusetts) Mar 19, 1897


THE editors of the Benton, Cal, Messenger and the Bodie, Cal., Standard have signed articles to fight a duel under the following rules and conditions: Time, St. Patrick’s Day; weapons, pitchforks; distance, 200 yards; stakes, six bit a side; gate money to go toward defraying the funeral expenses of the loser.

Nevada State Journal (Reno, Nevada) Mar 15, 1879

Irish on Irish Violence in the Seventeenth Ward

March 16, 2009


A Bloody Affair in the Seventeenth Ward.

Two Men Stabbed — St. Patrick’s Day Begun.

A bloody and fatal affray occurred yesterday morning at an early hour, in the porter-house of MICHAEL BYRNE. No. 109 First-avenue. It seems there are two opposing Irish factions in the Seventeenth Ward — the Sons of ’98, and the Emerald Guards, military companies — which in this case were represented by JOSEPH KELLY, JOHN MURPHY, PATRICK LALOR and others, who were gathered at the above place, and were indulging in drink in view of the near approach St. Patrick’s day, the arrangements for celebrating which, among other things, formed the topic of discussion. From words the parties came to blows, and a general fight commenced. In the midst of the [melee] PATRICK LALOR drew out his pocket knife and struck MURPHY and KELLY, both of whom were badly cut. MURPHY received stabs in the head, face and side, and KELLY’S bowels were literally ripped open by one terrible lunge of LALOR’s knife, so that the intestines protruded, and the blood ran in streams from the wound. Having accomplished his murderous work, LALOR ran off, but was pursued down Eighth-avenue and arrested by the Police. The wounded men were soon conveyed to the Seventeenth Ward Station-house, and a physician sent for. Dr. FENKE’s residence being near by, the friends of the injured men went thither, and forcing their way into his house, demanded his immediate attendance; but report has it, his wife fearing personal violence to her husband from the contending factions, refused to call the Doctor, and those who had come for him went after Dr. Morr. The latter obeyed the summons, and reached the Seventeenth Ward Station-house about 2 1/2 o’clock A.M., when the wounded men were attended to. Meantime, the friends of MURPHY and KELLY became incensed at the failure of Dr. FENKE to attend upon the wounded men, and several of them proceeded to his Drug Store, No. 153 First avenue, and began to demolish his windows. The clerk, who sleeps in the store, being awakened by the noise, ran out and put up the shutters, and the crowd committed no further violence.

MURPHY, when last heard from, was considered in a critical state. An [ante-mortem] examination in the case of KELLY will be held this morning by Coroner HILLS. The following persons were committed as witnesses: LAWRENCE BYRNE, JOHN KILLACKEY and DANIEL O’CONNER. PATRICK LALOR, the accused, was also committed.

An excited crowd was gathered about the scene of the affray late last night.

The New York Times (New York, New York) Mar 17, 1858


The Stabbing Case in the Seventeenth Ward — Ante-Mortem Examination.

JOHN MURPHY and JOSEPH KELLY, the two men who were stabbed on Monday night in a porter-house affray corner of First-avenue and Eleventh-street, were alive last evening, but their recovery is still regarded very doubtful. Coroner CONNERY yesterday too their ante-mortem depositions.
Joseph Kelly sworn — I was in Mr. Bryne’s store, No. 169 First-avenue, on Tuesday morning about 1 o’clock, when Lalor, O’Connell and two others came in. They had a drink and Lalor offered his hand to me, when I said I don’t like to shake hands with a man who has a dislike to me; I also said I had heard that he said the first time he would see me he would like me, and I said “you are not able to lick me;” he then said I won’t gostering* at ull about it; I then said, “stand out if you are a man,” and struck him with my left hand; the two men, Connell and another then stood between us; at this time Lalor drew a knife, I think, from his pants, and stabbed me in the abdomen; I then fell near the barrel, and kept kicking with my feet, to keep him off, when he again stabbed me several times; I shouted for a policeman, and they ran away; I saw Murphy lying on the floor after being stabbed also; then the two men who stood between up moved to the side of us; they said, “Go in, Lalor;” the unkind feeling between Lalor and myself arose from my being beaten some months before by several men, and Lalor passing by at the time, said, “Go in, boys;” I thought the action was unmanly.

The deposition of MURPHY is nearly the same as the above. At the conclusion of the examination the Jury rendered a verdict against LALOR, who still remains locked up to await the result of the injuries inflicted upon KELLY and MURPHY. Several persons were yesterday committed by Justice STYERS as witnesses in the case.

The New York Times (New York, New York) Mar 18, 1858


From the Anthology of Legends:

“Gostering,” which occurs in the text, may be explained as boasting talk. The reader is referred to the edition published by Galignani (Paris, 1819), of Mr. Moore’s Works, for an illustration, vol. iv. p.270.

“Pob, Dermot! go along with your goster,
You might as well pray at a jig,
Or teach an old cow pater noster,
Or whistle Moll Row to a pig !”

If you are interested in what it was like for immigrants back then:


On The Hunt for a Horse Thief

March 12, 2009




SPOKANE FALLS, Washington, May 17. — A body of Indians belonging to the almost-extinct Lower Sanpuell tribe are scouring the Palouse country now, the best agricultural region of Washington, in search of Paul Harri, a former member of that band, but now ostracized on account of worthlessness. Harry murdered Mrs. Peavy in Coeur d’ Alene country two years ago, and since that time has applied his energies to horse stealing.

The farmers of the Palouse, as well as those of Colville and Big Bend Counties, have suffered great losses on account of his marauding proclivities, but they preferred not to deal harshly with him on account of the assurance received that the Indians themselves would check his career of crime. Recently he stole a cayuse from his own brother, who caught him in the act and shot him through the foot, but he escaped.

The Indian agents are powerless in their efforts to control them and the chiefs have taken the case in hand. Several chiefs have given pledges that Harri will be brought to justice. The party of Indians now searching for him in the Palouse country have privately asserted that if they catch him they will amputate both of his arms close to the shoulders. Then if he still persists in stealing horses they will cut off his legs. Even Chief "Sko Las Kin," the Prophet, who for a long time resented the encroachments of civilization, has sent out a squad of his young men to look for the notorious Harri.

The New York Times (New York, New York) May 18,  1890

What Became of Charles L. Broy

March 11, 2009
Eureka, Nevada (image from

Eureka, Nevada (image from

In my previous post about the 1874 Eureka, Nevada flood, the article mentioned the death of Mrs. Charles L. Broy. I did a little searching to see what became of Charles, and this is what I found:

This first news clip was actually before the flood.

The Carson Register fears that the dreaded epizootic horse disease has arrived and is attacking the horses in that vicinity. It says: “Chas. Broy lost one of his dray horses Thursday night, and a day or two since one died in Douglas county, and another in the same locality was not expected to recover.

Nevada State Journal (Reno, Nevada) Nov 30,  1872


C.L. Broy, a well-known citizen and teamster of Eureka, fell from his quartz wagon Wednesday and the wheels passed over his legs. It is feared both legs will have to be amputated.

Reno Evening Gazette (Reno, Nevada) Jun 25, 1887


C.L. Broy of Eureka, Nevada, came up from San Francisco this morning on his way home, and stopped over in Reno to-day to take a look at our progressive town. Charlie is in love with our climate and thinks Reno has the most promising future of any Nevada town.

Reno Evening Gazette (Reno, Nevada) Jul 27, 1888


The Eureka Sentinel says. Last Monday afternoon Billy Powell’s team of 16 horses and 5 wagons, engineered by Orr Moore, passed through Main street with 81,480 pounds of ore from the Dunderberg mine. A little later Charley Broy’s team passed through with 14 animals and 3 wagons, loaded with some 60,000 pounds of ore from the Diamond mine. The load hauled by Billy Powell’s team was the largest amount of ore ever hauled by one team through Eureka.

Reno Evening Gazette (Reno, Nevada) Nov 23, 1891


In From the Base Range.

C.L. Broy, postmaster of Eureka, came in from the Base Range a few days ago and went to San Francisco from which place he returned last evening. He reports Eureka as holding its own. The people are by no means discouraged over the outlook of the camp.

Reno Evening Gazette (Reno, Nevada) Aug 30, 1903


(Excerpt from)

How Demand of All the World for Precious Metal Is Calling Ghost Towns of West Back to Real Life

Another mine that is pursuing development work and preparing to reopen on a large scale is the Windfall on the Hamburg ledge. His was a bonanza mine. Its discoverer, C.L. Broy, did not find the “pay streak,” but lessees representing San Francisco interests took out over $3,000,000. The big flood of 1910 cause this mine to close down and it has not reopened, but under the coming system of miilling at Eureka it will produce large quantities of milling ore.

Oakland Tribune (Oakland, California) Sep 28, 1919


Charles Broy, Politician and Postmaster at Eureka, Has Disappeared

SAN FRANCISCO, April 18. After a three days’ search for Charles L. Broy, a well known Nevada politician, for 16 years postmaster of Eureka, Nev., who disappeared from his son’s home here Monday, the police are without a clue as to his whereabouts.

Mr. Broy is a member of the grand army. He came to San Francisco several months ago for an operation on his throat and has been under treatment.

Mr. Broy is well known in this city. He is an old timer in the state and was known to all the “base rangers.”

Although he now is not possessed of sufficient money to tempt any attack upon him for the purposes of loot, at one time he was heavily interested in mines and could have cleaned up a fortune.

Recently he was reappointed as postmaster. He had no worries that would have caused him to take his life, and his health was restored after the recent operation. He had no bad habits, such as over-indulgence in drink.

Mr. Broy has a wife and son, the latter being R.A. Broy, a very successful young man.

It is understood that his Reno and Eureka friends will put forth efforts to supplement those of the San Francisco police force to discover his whereabouts.

Reno Evening Gazette (Reno, Nevada) Apr 18, 1912


By Associated Press to the Journal

SAN JOSE, Cal., April 19. Chas. L. Broy, the retired postmaster of Eureka, Nev., who disappeared Monday from the home of his son in San Francisco, was discovered here yesterday wandering in the streets suffering from loss of memory. Broy is 70 years old and formerly was prominent in Nevada politics.

Nevada State Journal (Reno, Nevada) Apr 20, 1912



Was Prominent During Nearly Half a Century’s Residence In Famous Old Camp; Served As Postmaster for Seventeen Years; Civil War Veteran

One of the pioneers of the famous old town of Eureka died in Reno this morning when C.L. Broy passed away, following an illness of several weeks from heart trouble. During the boom days of Eureka and during the period of decline of the old camp, Mr. Broy was one of its most prominent citizens and hundreds of former Eureka residents residing in Reno enjoyed discussing old times of the camp with Mr. Broy since he arrived in Reno about three years ago with the intention of making this city his home.

Mr. Broy was born in West Virginia and was seventy-six years old. He resided in West Virginia during his early youth and joined Company X, Second Regiment of the West Virginia Volunteers on July 1, 1861 and served in the army for nearly five years, taking part in the battle of Cheat Mountain and other engagements. At the close of the Civil War his regiment was sent to fight Indians and when Mr. Broy left the service following his second enlistment he was presented with a medal by the state of West Virginia for meritorious service.

In 1866 he decided to come West and removed to Montana where he was engaged in mining and the hotel business. He erected the Tremont hotel in Radersburg, Mont., which he conducted for two years, selling out to go to Salt Lake City to engage in the restaurant business.

About this time White Pine and Eureka district was attracting considerable attention and in 1869 Mr. Broy reached Eureka, after spending a few months in White Pine, and opened the New York chop house, one of the first restaurants in the camp which at that time consisted of a few tents and a stockade.

In those days the man who owned a twenty horse team and two or three ore wagons was on the direct road to wealth and Mr. Broy soon sold out his restaurant to go into teaming and he was owner and manager of one of the largest teaming enterprises in the district for several years. He also engaged in mining with some success and took a very prominent part in the development of properties in and around Eureka.

At the time of his death he owned considerable mining property in the district and only a few months ago made preparations to incorporate a company to work some of his holdings. He had an interest at one time, during the best days of Eureka, in the Oriental and Belmont mines and in several properties on Ruby Hill.

He always took an active part in public affairs and in 1892 was elected county commissioner of the county on the Republican ticket. He served as commissioner for eight years resigning the position to accept the position of postmaster of Eureka, having received from President McKinley. He served in this capacity for seventeen years probably establishing a record in Nevada for continuous service in one postoffice.

Mr. Broy was married in the spring of 1874 to Miss Anna E. Owens of Eureka. On July 24 of the same year Eureka was swept by a great cloudburst that destroyed the greater part of the town and caused the death of sixteen people, among them being Mrs. Broy. Mr. and Mrs. Broy were in their home when the deluge came and a large building swept by the flood, crashed into their house and they were carried on the flood for half a mile. Mrs. Broy failed to survive the ordeal but her husband luckily escaped with his life. Later he was married to Miss Sarah Mathews, who survives him. He also leaves four children, all natives of Eureka. They are Mrs. Edna Gorman of Elko; R.A. and D.M. Broy of San Francisco and G.L. Broy of Fort Worth, Tex. All the children except G.L. Broy are in Reno, having been called by Mr. Broy’s illness.

Mr. Broy was very prominent in fraternal circles being a member of Eureka Lodge No. 22, I.O.O.F. Eureka Lodge No. 16., F. & A.M.; Peapific Lodge No. 7, K. of P. of Eureka and was at one time commander of Upton Post, No. 29, G.A.R., of Eureka.

With the death of Mr. Broy, Upton Post, G.A.R., of Eureka ceased to exist in its entirety as he was the last surviving member at the time of his death. When he was commander of the post back in the day when Eureka’s fame was nation wide the post had a large membership and was one of the prominent organizations of the state.

Funeral services for Mr. Broy will probably be held Sunday afternoon under the auspices of the I.O.O.F. lodge but no definite arrangements have been made.

Reno Evening Gazette (Reno, Nevada) Jan 30, 1920

A Common Substantive, of the Masculine Gender

March 11, 2009


A SCHOOLMASTER, after having given one of his scholars a sound drubbing for speaking bad grammar, sent him to the other end of the room to inform another boy that he wished to speak to him, at the same time promising to repeat the dose if he spoke to him ungrammatically.

The youngster, quite satisfied with what he had received, determined to be exact, and thus addressed his fellow pupil:

“There is a common substantive, of the masculine gender, singular number, nominative case, and in an angry mood, that sits perched upon the eminence at the other side of the room, wishing to articulate a few sentences to you in the present tense.”

Nevada State Journal (Reno, Nevada) Oct 24, 1877

Eureka, Nevada: A Tragic Flood

March 10, 2009
Eureka, Nevada in the 1800's (image from

Eureka, Nevada in the 1800's (image from


The Scene One of Desolation and Despair,

Many Lives Lost!

Full Particulars of the Terrible Disaster.
Special to the Journal by the Western Union Telegraph Line.

EUREKA, July 24.
One of the most dire calamities by flood which have visited Nevada since its settlement by the whites, took place this afternoon at 3 o’clock. It has been raining with uninterrupted violence since early morning, and about midday a cloud burst upon the lofty range of mountains which borders the cañon, in which this town is situated, to the east, and the water came through in large streams. None but a trifling damage was done, however, and soon the excitement ceased, but scarcely had the people returned to their homes and the scenes of their business, when a deluge of rain set in, such as had seldom been seen in any country.

Each street and gulleyway was, within ten minutes from the beginning, converted into a miniature river, and the eastern portion of the town, which is much lower than any other, and through which is the natural channel for a good sized creek of water, was immediately flooded. The fall for the water being considerable, it tore through with fearful rapidity, but still the inhabitants thought they were safe in their houses and presumed at each successive stage that the flood had reached its highest, and that a subsidence would follow. They reckoned amiss; also with mournful fatality; for suddenly there came thundering down the cañons, from two directions, a perfect ocean, which carried everything floatable before it. So great was its speed and volume that it fairly tore up the dry ______ and mingled the dust of earth with the spray of ______ waters.

Those who had remained in their premises were now hemmed in beyond the possibility of escape, and the scene was one of the most heartrending character. Those living, or who chanced to be on the more raised portions of the town, came heroically forward en masse and rendered all the assistance that human aid could render. Every moment houses were moved from their foundations and carried down the torrent. To quit those which yet remained, for the purpose of hazarding one’s escape, was to commit one’s self to the foaming stream and be carried down among fragments of houses, utensils, timbers, and in fact everything that came in the way of the flood and which went tumbling forward to destruction.

Ropes were procured, and in the hands of brave men, who ventured forth as far as possible, each depending on the other, as they formed in line, extending into the flood, good work was done. Many were rescued by this means, but before the men had time to procure such means, or even to think of it, many were carried down and lost. As the debris floated by, now and then could be seen a human form mixed with the mass. Some were still alive and struggling for assistance, but they were beyond the power of those who looked pityingly on to save. The women and children, thank heaven, were with few exceptions all saved. It was in the act of saving them that men in many cases lost their lives.

Two women are reported drowned. The body of one of them, Mrs. Broy, has just been brought to the Court-house. She recently came from the East, and married Mr. Broy but a few weeks since. They wee both swept away with their house, and were seen to float by, clasped to each other and battling the fearful torrent with the despair of drowning persons. They were separated and he escaped, and is now reported quite out of his mind at the loss of his wife. Another very sad case was that of Roger Robinett, a brilliant young man, a reporter for the Cupel, who was carried down with the printing office and drowned. His people reside in San Francisco. It is difficult to learn the names of the others whose bodies are being brought in every few moments to the Court-house. Among them are the bodies of three Chinamen.

It is also difficult to ascertain the extent of the loss of property. At least thirty houses have been swept away, demolished or otherwise totally destroyed. All that portion of the town devoted to dance houses and other places of public entertainment is gone. The office of the Cupel was, with all its contents, swept away. The flood lasted but half and hour, but did its work well in that time. It has at this hour totally subsided. Had it occurred in the night, instead of at the time it did, the dead must have been numbered by the hundreds. The scene is now one of desolation, despair and bitter mourning. Many person have lost their whole property.

Among the buildings destroyed is the Eureka Hall, one of the largest theater halls in the State. The weather is still threatening, but a careful watch will be kept through the night, least the occurrence be repeated.


EUREKA, July 25 — 10 P.M.
The following are the persons known to be drowned: Mrs. Chas. L. Broy, A.C. Latsom, John Turner, Roger Robinette, Jas. Galvin, J.W. Talbot, Jean Dorney, John Ranfts, W.J. McGeary, Wm. Smith and five Chinamen. The loss of property as far as ascertained foots up over one hundred thousand dollars: Eureka Hall, total wreck $8,000; Eureka Consolidated furnace, damaged $8,000; A.E. Davis, stable and wagons, damaged $7,000; are the heaviest losses.

Nevada State Journal (Reno, Nevada) Jul 26, 1874



In the long account of the Eureka disaster published in the Sentinel of Saturday morning we find the following mentioned among the incidents of the flood:

At one place a cask of liquor was found and broken open by a party of men. They soon became boisterous and when Sheriff Sullivan and Constable Bell appeared and attempted to preserve order, they were set upon by the crowd and badly beaten with stones and pistols. The Sheriff it is thought had one shoulder dislocated in the row. The offenders, however, were arrested and lodged in jail. During the evening several other belligerents, as well as a batch of pilferers, numbering all about fifteen or twenty, were arrested and placed in jail.

We are reliably informed that there was much petty stealing all the way down the cañon. Trunks were bursted open and rifled and other valuables were carried off. It seems strange that any man could be found so mean as to attempt to profit by the terrible misfortunes of the sufferers of so dire a calamity as was that of yesterday. A large number of special officers were promptly detailed, and after this force got on duty a better state of affairs was speedily inaugurated. Officers were kept on duty all night.

Such conduct was very bad, and the participants ought to have been severely punished. Confinement in jail was too much of a luxury for them.

Nevada State Journal (Reno, Nevada) Jul 29, 1874


Eureka Horror — Additional Particulars — Funerals of the Dead — Etc.

EUREKA, July 28.
Sunday was indeed a sorrowful day; one that will not soon be effaced from the memory of those who witnessed the closing scenes of Friday’s awful tragedy. From above, the bright orb of day shone resplended, and seemed to mock the sadness it looked upon. It still seems almost impossible to fully realize the sad results of the terrible catastrophe. The mournful appearance that pervades the place, the long line of ruined and wrecked houses, that mark the part of the destroyer, the sorrowful faces one meets on every side speak in silent voice the tale of desolation.

The funeral obsequies of Roger Robinette, A.C. Latson, Mrs. Chas. Broy, John Ranfts, Jean Dorney, and Jas. Galvin added to the solemnity of the scene. The remains of Roger Robinette were shipped to San Francisco where his bereaved mother resides. To-day Mr. Broy is journeying to Clarksburg, West Virginia, bearing with him all that remains of his darling wife. Little did he imagine that when but six weeks before he led her to the altar that to-day “her bridal dress would be her burial shrowd.”

On Sunday one more body was discovered; that of Henry Heine being found near the residence of Samuel Lewis, on Buel street. The body was found wedged in a mass of debris and was extracted with much difficulty. The body of Wm. McGeary the carpenter who was at work on Colonel O’Reilly’s building, on Buel street, is still missing; searching parties are still endeavoring to find it but have thus far been unsuccessful.

The citizens Committee yesterday made a general canvass of the town for the purpose of receiving contributions in aid of the sufferers of the disaster. Their efforts were attended with good results, about $2,000 being collected, which, with that previously on hand, will amount to over $5,000. A number of others have signified their intention of contributing as soon as they could communicate with their principals in San Francisco and other places. 375 dollars were received by the Eureka relief Committee from Hamilton.

To-morrow evening a number of ladies and gentlemen, embracing the best  musical talent in the place, will give a grand concert at the court house in aid of the sufferers, the full proceeds to be devoted to the alleviation of the distressed.

Nevada State Journal (Reno, Nevada) Jul 29,  1874


More about the Flood.

EUREKA, July 30.
The body of W.J. McGeary one of the victims of the late disaster, was recovered yesterday. It was discovered three miles from town at the mouth of the cañon lying under a door and was in a very decomposed state, having lain there nearly five days. It is believed all those who lost their lives have been recovered, none are known to be missing, but searching parties are still examining every place whee a body could possibly have lodged.

The court house was crowded last night by an audience composed largely of ladies to listen to a lecture from Hon. C.E. DeLong, on Japan, delivered in behalf of the sufferers of the recent flood.

Nevada State Journal (Reno, Nevada) Jul 31, 1874

Saturday Night: One Sober, One Drunk

March 10, 2009


SATURDAY night! How much it is fraught
With bright recollections of what it has brought;
How the children go skipping, with smiles on each face,
To welcome their father who cometh space;
Joyously roam
The dear little children, for “Papa’s come home!”

Home from the labors of office or store,
Happy is he when he reaches the door;
Home from the workshop or other employ,
Filled with the purest and manliest joy!

Fondest of fathers! Blithe, active and strong,
Happy and good as the blest day is long;
Smiles for his family, in pleasure and pain,
Calm and contented in sunshine or rain’
Bringing to them
Some little gift that to each seems a gem.

Deep in the depths of his pockets are laid
Queerest of playthings, most cunningly made;
And wise little heads have discovered the bliss
Of searching his pockets for that thing or this.

Bills has he none — and his conscience is free,
Free as the birds, or the waves of the sea,
True to his manhood, he wins in a fight,
Honest and sober, and seeking the right;
Working his way,
Wearing the crown of contentment alway

Well may his wife wear a bright, sunny face;
Well may his little ones scamper and race!
Theirs is a father deserving the name,
Bringing no trouble, nor sorrow, nor shame.
*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *
Saturday night! How the winds whistle shrill,
While a poor, wretched mother, with two children ill,
Sits in her hovel, half dreading to think
Of the days ere her husband had taken to drink;
Troop into view
The old recollections when he was so true!

But now, ah, how changed! Not a morsel to eat,
Scarce a garment to warm her, no shoes on her feet;
And the children, oh, God! must these little ones be
In sickness, unclothed and unfed? “Must they die?”

Hark! ’tis the wind; he’s coming at last,
And she listens, and listens — the footsteps go past,
But another step now — ’tis unsteady and slow,
His is coming — that step she has learned to her woe;
Totteringly come
The steps, once a man’s but now guided by rum.

What a wreck! With a hand like an old palsied man
Who his glorious days of allotment bad ran;
With a step like an infant just learning to walk,
And his words like an infant just learning to talk.

And this was a man, and for this men will drink?
Poor imbeciles, surely, who never will think;
For, how could a thinking man blot out his life?
Forgetting his God, and his children and wife
Digging his grave
By the power of drink — but no power to save.

With a terrible curse while he’s just on the brink —
For the men who enticed him and sold him his drink,
He dies, and oblivion covers his shame,
While mortified friends blush to mention his name.

The Portsmouth Times (Portsmouth, Ohio) Nov 16, 1872