Monday, August 29, 2011

1881 Disgraceful Doings

The title of this post is the same as what G.L. Adams put for this article published in The Fowlerville Review:

On Thursday evening of last week, several of "the boys," composed of S.S. Westcott, F.H. Starkey, R. Curtis, T. Shields, Dan. Fisher, and A.C. Jefferson, of this place, and one Hugh Elliott, of Brighton, started in for a "good time" and if the thing had been confined to themselves, it would have passed along with but a passing condemnation from the better-minded citizens; but as is usual in such cases, the thing did not end until an inoffensive innocent citizen had been maltreated and made to suffer from their pranks which not only disgraced themselves but the fair name of our village, doing a deed which aroused the indignation of every fair-minded person, not only in the village but in its immediate vicinity. At about ten o'clock, Mr. J.L. Newkirk, foreman of this office -- an estimable young man who bears the very best reputation, who always minds his own business and was never known to have any trouble of any kind before -- accompanied by Mr. B.L. Walker, also an employee of this office and of the same stamp of character, finished their work at the office -- being a little late in working off the Review last week -- and went down to the meat market of Pulver & Flanders, where some of the boys were to meet to talk over a drama they were intending to put upon the boards, and hearing some loud noise at the Spencer House, about ten rods from the market, they, accompanied by Ed. Flanders, started and walked down there and stood upon the steps talk with Miss Emma Spencer when S.S. Westcott came out and grabbed hold of Mr. Newkirk, saying, "come in here you s-- of a b----." Newkirk told him to let go of him for he was not going in there. Westcott still insisted and tried to take him into the house when they began to tussle and both went down in the mud, Newkirk striking on top. He then broke away from Westcott and started and ran across the street, the rest of the party coming out of the hotel and gave chase. Upon reaching the opposite side of the street, he halted and Fisher, Jefferson and others came up to him, Ed. Flanders taking hold of Fisher and telling him to stop. Newkirk was going to explain to him what the trouble was when Fisher struck him in the face, knocking him insensible, and to all appearances dead, in which condition he remained for some time. Flanders told Fisher he had killed him and he exclaimed, "let the s-- of a b---- die." He was taken to the hotel and Dr. Mead summoned, who succeeded in restoring consciousness. Fisher was arrested upon complaint of Ed. Flanders and his trial is set down for Thursday. It is expected others will be arraigned as soon as his case is disposed of. We have given this article considerable space because the facts could not be given in a shorter space. The above are the facts in the case as it is given to us by several of the eye witnesses. It is but justice to Mr. Spencer to add that the brawl did not happen at his hotel, as he does not keep liquors of any kind.

A week later:

It is but justice to all parties concerned in the disturbance of two weeks ago to state that the injury to Mr. Newkirk was entirely healed, that none but the best of feelings extended between all parties and that it is deeply regretted by those participating. It was an unfortunate happenstance unsought and unlooked for, lease of all by the parties concerned.

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