Sadly, domestic violence hasn't changed much in the past 130 years. This alcohol-fueled nightmare was reported in the Minneapolis Tribune.
A FAMILY QUARREL.
ANOKA, Oct. 4. – Last Monday night, Joseph Matzek and wife, Bohemians, living on a farm in the town of Blaine, owned by Dr. Bowers of Minneapolis, went home from Anoka, taking with them a bottle of liquor. Soon after getting home they quarreled, scaring the children, who ran to the nearest neighbors, Gilmore, one and a half miles distant, and said their father was killing their mother.
Two men went back and listened outside and heard him demolishing the furniture, stove, sewing machine, etc., with an axe, and threatening to kill his wife and then himself. The men demanded admittance. Matzek came to the door and warned them away, firing a shot at them. Later they whistled outside and Mrs. Matzek, who was in bed, put a quilt about her and went out, thinking that the children were there and afraid to come in.
The men took her over to Gilmore’s where they stopped all night, sending for the constable, a Mr. Lyons, for fear that Matzek would come and make trouble. Yesterday morning the constable and four men went over to the house. Matzek was out in the yard and ordered them off the premises. The officer then went toward him to arrest him when Matzek drew a revolver. The constable then took a shot gun from one of the other men and Matzek started for a hay stack near by. Not obeying the constable’s demand to halt the officer fired, the whole charge of duck shot taking effect in the left side of his face. Matzek sunk onto his knees and took out a knife and revolver but could not use them. He was taken over to Gilmore’s and the party sent to Anoka for the sheriff.
Deputy Sheriff Pride went over and arrested Matzek yesterday afternoon and brought him here last night. His wife did not want him arrested and tried to resist when they were taking him from bed, but she finally came with them and is now nursing him.
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This Minneapolis Tribune story is a mess. But the headline is sublime.
"We're more popular than Jesus now," John Lennon told an British journalist in 1966. A year later, the Monkees' Mike Nesmith, in the Twin Cities for a show at the St. Paul Auditorium, humbly explained his band's place in the cosmic pecking order.
Read it in the voice of Garrison Keillor for the full effect.
A musically inclined vagrant known as Banjo Ben walked the streets of Minneapolis in the city's early days. His weakness for alcohol and penchant for strong language landed him in court with some frequency. In February 1876, for example, he was sentenced to 20 days in jail for spewing obscenities at the St. Paul and Pacific depot. Later that year, he walked into the Tribune newsroom and issued an invitation to witness a spectacular feat at the new suspension bridge under construction nearby.
Mabel Herbert Urner's serialized accounts of a fictional New York couple began appearing in the Minneapolis Tribune in July 1910.
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