More Lake Breeze Notes; 1886

Knife Fight in Brunson Leaves Three Cut!


Joe Ganger


From a copy of the third edition of the local newspaper named at that time, “Colon Lake Breeze.” The date is December 24, 1886 (subscription was $1 a year). It contains an insight into the editorial liberties of the time. Other publications were freely quoted. “Today H. L. Bryant ships a carload of hogs to Boston.”

“John Leidey, proprietor of the St. Jo House, has recently added to the attractiveness of his bar room a peculiar species of the hawk tribe. It is mounted on a limb with one foot resting on a small fish, as if it had just returned from a successful foraging expedition.” The St. Jo House was a hotel located where Hemel Chevrolet is now located.

“Mail arrives from East at 11:35 a. m., from west at 1:00 p. M., mail going East at 7:00 o’clock a. m. Stage from Leonidas arrives at 11 o’clock a. m. and departs at 2 p. m.”

“My wife having left my bed and board without just cause or provocation, I hereby notify all persons not to harbor or treat her on my account, as I shall pay no debts contracted by her from this date. Leonard Williams, Leonidas” “The quietude of our village was disturbed by reports of a stabbing affray near the depot early Saturday evening and officers Binkley and Post started out to investigate the matter. The found that the parties involved in the fracas were Warren and Fred Dunkle brothers, and their father-in-law, Joseph Drake, who it seems, had been together during the afternoon and had drank more or less. They got into a dispute in front of Isaac Drake’s house near the depot about six o’clock, and in a scuffle that ensued Warren Drake, a man about twenty-three years old with a bad record, drew a knife and struck his brother Fred across the right breast, cutting through to his shirt but doing no harm. The next pass he inflicted a bad flesh wound in Fred’s hip. Joseph Drake then interfered to part the brothers and in doing so he was cut badly across the muscle of his right arm. Drake then seized a club and knocked Dunkle down several times before he could be quieted. Dunkle’s hand was hit while raised to strike Drake which caused him to cut himself quite badly in the neck. Warren Dunkle was promptly arrested and locked up and Fred Dunkle, Joseph Drake, and John Lane, another party who saw the fracas, were held as witnesses. The examination took place before Justice Monroe Monday, and Warren Dunkle was bound over for trial in the circuit court. In the meantime he will board up at the county jail. It is thought his trial will come up this term, and he will probably go to Jackson for a term of years. Warren has been living in Matteson and Fred Matteson and Fred Dunkle and Joseph Drake live between Burr Oak and Sturgis.”