Sunday, March 29, 2009

Beer, Base Ball, And A Bullet

A party of young men and boys residing in South St. Louis went across the river yesterday afternoon to play a game of base ball.  They took with them a keg of beer to drink while the game was in progress.  After the beer had been disposed of it was determined to buy another keg, and a collection was started, George Lauman, a youth of twenty-one, passing around the hat.  William Brennan, one of the crowd, refused to contribute anything, and Lauman became angry.  A quarrel ensued, and both boys engaged in it.  Lauman drew a small pistol to shoot brennan, but in the scuffle the muzzle was turned towards him, and the load went off, lodging in his abdomen.  He was taken to his home, 1713 Columbus street, by several of his companions.  

Drs. Hartman and Garcia were called in and dressed the boy's wound.  The ball was not extracted, and the doctors pronounced Lauman's condition dangerous.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, April 19, 1880

I'm fascinated by this article and its portrait of life in St. Louis in 1880.  A quick trip across the river for a Sunday afternoon game of baseball combined with some drinking and gunplay-what a great story.  

1 comment:

David Ball said...

Browsing around in full-text databases of old newspapers, I've been surprised by how often early references to baseball occur in articles about people being hit over the head with baseball bats during the course of arguments.