Look Back: Fussing, fighting in town

Tramps in town

A delegation of five tramps arrived in the city last night and went directly to police headquarters, knowing full well that they would be entertained all night while in the city. They demanded a night’s lodging and as nothing else could be done with them, they were marched off to the calaboose where they reveled in warmth all night and took a hot breakfast at the City’s expense.

The Parkersburg Sentinel

Feb. 12, 1892


Family Fight

A neighborhood fight was settled at police court this morning. Harry Dotson, who lives in the East End got at loggerheads with some of his neighbors last night and got out in his yard and told them about it in a most emphatic way. He told Judge Hogan about it this morning and it cost him $5 and costs.

Dell Gray was fined $5 and costs for being drunk and disorderly. He went into Jeff Cross’ house yesterday and took possession, running all the occupants of the house out into the street.

Jack Mills, who was sentenced to the lock-up yesterday morning in default of the payment of $10 and costs for drunkenness got out last night, a friend coming to his rescue.


Husband and wife tell their troubles to the policemen and reporters

George Richards, a painter, and his wife blew into police headquarters at noon to-day while in the midst of a most terrific war of words. Richards claimed that his wife bothered him while at his work and appealed to the police to keep her away from him. Mrs. Richards, in return, said she was simply trying to get some money from him to purchase something to eat. She claimed that she kept him all last winter by taking in washing but now that he had money and work he was trying to give her the “throw down.” While Mrs. Richards was telling her tale of woe the alleged erring husband slipped out of the building and got away from her.

The Parkersburg Daily State Journal

May 18, 1898


Were disorderly on the street

About one o’clock Sunday morning several of the police officers on their beat in the lower end of town were attracted by the loud talk of a couple, who proved to be Hotsie Collins and Nellie Brown. Collins was upbraiding her because she was receiving attentions from another man. She told Collins to “go chase himself,” and he retorted. Then they used language that was shocking. Both were placed under arrest and both protested about going to the lockup, the woman declaring that she had heart disease and excitement was liable to prove fatal. They were both landed in the lockup, but as the woman was being taken down she gave the patrolman a smack on the face.

The Parkersburg Sentinel

May 15, 1905


He has promised to be very good

Clarence Wolfe, whose sixteen-year-old wife had him arrested recently on a failure to support charge, is again a free man and has promised to be good.

The day before his arrest it was alleged that Clarence lugged home two quart bottles of liquor and a big jag, but failed to bring any groceries or provisions. Furthermore, he announced that he didn’t have to work, as work was distasteful to him. But ten days in jail with the temperature sizzling hot has had its effect. Clarence got word to his wife that he would be good, very good. Then she got busy and this morning she secured his release. As soon as he got out, he took a pledge before Squire Rathbone not to touch, taste, handle or look at the demon rum for a period of twelve months.

Note: At that time the Parkersburg city “lock-up” was in the below-street-level of the city building at Fifth and Market streets.

The Parkersburg Sentinel

June 29, 1909


Bob Enoch is president of the Wood County Historical and Preservation Society. If you have comments or questions about Look Back items, please contact him at: roberteenoch@gmail.com, or by mail at WCHPS, PO Box 565, Parkersburg, WV 26102.


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