Feb. 8, 1898: Buggy rage flares on Portland Avenue
February 9, 2011 — 5:43pm
Four men – first one pair, then another – stepped out of their carriages one Sunday morning and, without a word, began whipping each other on Portland Avenue near 15th Street. The Minneapolis Tribune gave readers a blow-by-blow account of what might be the first reported incident of road rage in Minnesota.
WAS FULL OF MYSTERY
Men and Dogs Fall Out and Chide and Fight, Creating a Diversion and Disturbing the Peace of the Sabbath on Portland Avenue.
The peace and quiet of Portland avenue was ruthlessly disturbed Sunday morning. Two whip fights and a dog fight occurred on that ordinarily well behaved thoroughfare. It all happened so suddenly that the residents did not have time to find out the cause of the principals, and they have nothing but the recollection of the affair. It will, however, serve as a topic for neighborly gossip, and much speculation will be indulged in.
Just about the time the churches were letting out, two men in carriages approached one another from opposite directions. They met near Fifteenth street. Without a word they stopped their swiftly speeding horses, jumped out, grabbed their buggy whips and fought a furious round for about two minutes. Blows fell with lightning rapidity. Not a word was spoken, but standing about six feet apart they roundly slashed and struck at one another.
The old saying “like master, like man” was never more true than in this case. Each of the men was accompanied by a dog. One was a small bull-terrier. The other was a large dark brown St. Bernard. When they saw their masters having it out, they took a turn at fighting and chewed and bit each other until the big fellow obtained a good grip on the terrier’s throat. Then it tried to sweep the streets with its adversary.
In the meantime the owner of the big dog had had his whip torn from his hand, and to save himself went into the fight at close quarters. He grabbed the other man by the shoulders, pushed him into the snow, and was showering bitter blows on the under man when bystanders took a hand.
As the fight was at its height, two more men drove up and went through the same operation. They took out their buggy whips and slashed each other across the face. However, their fight was tame compared to the first one.
Although the affair only lasted about two minutes, it gave a few bystanders a chance to congregate. When the four men had been separated, it was found that the dogs were still at it, and it required several good hard kicks to subdue the animals. Then without a word of explanation the men got into their buggies and drove away. What the cause of the feud was, or who the men were, is still a mystery to the few who witnessed it. The men had stylish turnouts and were well dressed and good looking.
Here's what a horse and carriage looked like in 1898. According to the Minnesota Historical Society's caption, this "stylish turnout" was parked at George Daggett's magnificent Eldor Court, 40 Groveland Terrace, Minneapolis. The horse barn and servants' quarters, perhaps? (Photo courtesy mnhs.org)
Sample Minnesota newspaper articles, photos and ads dating back more than 140 years. Fresh items are posted weekly. Go here for tips on how to track down old newspaper articles on your own. Follow the blog on Twitter. Or check out "Minnesota Mysteries," a new book based on the blog.
Email your questions or suggestions to Ben Welter.
Through protests and shareholder engagement, the Honeywell Project (1968-1990) sought to persuade Honeywell Inc. to start beating cluster bombs into plowshares. Molly Ivins, then a reporter for the Minneapolis Tribune, was on the scene when Jerry Rubin, one of the Chicago Seven, joined peace activist Marv Davidov and poet Robert Bly to lead the charge in Minnesota in April 1970.
Michael Welters, an old and highly respected resident of Chanhassen, was struck and instantly killed by a work train on the C M & St. P. road, west of the village of Chanhassen, about five o'clock Saturday afternoon, November 2, 1912. The old gentleman was on his way home from the village, and was walking along the tracks, and as he has been partly deaf for some time, it is supposed he did not hear the oncoming train in time to escape being hit.
In a convoy of six jeeps accompanied by a police escort, RCA Victor's Television Caravan rolled into Minneapolis in October 1947. Several hundred spectators packed the Donaldson's department store on Nicollet Avenue to see demonstrations of the new technology. The next year, KSTP became the first TV station in Minnesota to broadcast regularly, beaming 12 to 14 hours of programming a week to about 2,500 television sets in the metro area.
The syndicated Mary Haworth advice column added color and spark to the dull society pages of the Minneapolis Morning Tribune during the war years. Haworth (pronounced hay-worth) was the "slender, well-tailored, attractive" Elizabeth Young of the Washington Post. Hundreds of letters a week poured into her burlap-screened nook in the Post newsroom.
The Minnesota Kicks destroyed the defending champion Cosmos 9-2 Monday night at Metropolitan Stadium, riding the five-goal gunnery of Alan Willey to triumph in the first of a two-game NASL play-off series.