Monday, July 7, 2014

A Brewer’s Romantic Experience

Here’s a fun one from 1878. This involves our old friend August Horn, who was then the president of Horn & Schwalm’s Brooklyn Brewery in Oshkosh. This appeared in the Oshkosh Daily Northwestern on the Monday evening of June 3, 1878 under the headline "A Romantic Experience." The Northwestern’s odd-job grammar adds to the charm...
Mr. Horn, the brewer, had a very romantic experience one night last week which might have had been a serious termination. Having occasion to go for a doctor in the middle of the night he hastened to what he supposed was the residence of Dr. F. H. Linde, on Washington street. Dr. Linde, however, had moved, and another family was occupying the house. Mr. Horn unceremoniously rattled away at the door and awoke the household. He was asked what he wanted, but being hard of hearing he did not hear the voice of the head of the house inside and continued to rattle away. He was ordered away from the house but not hearing, he made a louder racket than ever. Believing that the intruder was a burglar the man of the house opened the door and blazed away at Mr. Horn with a revolver. Mr. Horn beat precipitous retreat, and subsequently discovering his mistake the whole matter was satisfactorily explained.
Poor August Horn. Feeling ill, he leaves his home above the brewery at 16th and Doty streets. He travels all the way to the corner of Linde and Washington streets, across from where the wastewater treatment plant now stands. That’s about a two mile hike. Then instead of getting help, he gets shot at.

I like the cavalier attitude of the piece. These days you’d never see such jokey drivel written about a little gunplay in the night. And the shooter? Nothing more was made of his behavior. Everyone had a good laugh and went on their way. You can’t help but admire such sturdy people.

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