The Twelve Days of Guy Town Christmas, Day Two

December 14, 2016 § Leave a comment

On the second day of Christmas (1878): “two fighting drunks … and a pungent suit hanging from the police station clothes tree.”

A stranger severely stabbed a Swede named C. Johnson in the face in the “Two Brothers” saloon of Calvin and Napoleon Metz (Live Oak between Guadalupe and Lavaca). The party who did the stabbing was about 18 years old, and was said to have arrived on the cars (the train) in the morning. He and the Swede, both under the influence of liquor, were sitting by the stove quarrelling and finally arose and clinched, when the stranger stabbed Johnson with his pocket knife.

The blade entered the face just below one eye and stuck fast, and it was with some effort that a party present drew it out. A police whistle was then blown and Marshal Ed Creary was on the spot in a minute, and, with the assistance of two or three others, arrested the party and marched him off to the lockup. He resisted with all his might and in the struggle kicked one man clear out in the mud on his back. The Swede lived about four miles from town and had come in with a load of hay. The party arrested refused to give his name or tell where he came from. He was very violent and said, among other things, that there was a $500 reward offered for his arrest. He had a very youthful appearance, was about five feet six inches high and perhaps weighed 135 pounds.

The police arrested three men that day as vagrants. They and the man who stabbed the Swede were said to have come from St. Louis together, and the police spotted them when they got off the cars. All four of these men had knives alike, large buckhorn handles with blades over three inches in length. Nine knives were taken from the four men. Then as now, the whole city and countryside were overrun with tramps, loafers and deadbeats seeming warmer winter climes, and the Daily Statesman declared that it was high time there should be a first-class thinning out of all questionable characters.

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