Monday, May 7, 2012

Who Beat Up the Intruder?

Speaking of Father Galtier--this is definitely on the lighter side.  Small-town newspapers of the 19th Century tended to print some items in a rather quaint fashion.  The Prairie du Chien Patriot was no exception.  It put out an issue on Thursday, July 30, 1857 containing a tongue-in-cheek report that went like this:

"A chap who looked as if  he had been on a swell and had the blues to pay for it was up before justice Wright on Saturday last charged with attempting to break into the dwelling house of the Rev. Mr. Galtier.  He didn't get into the house  but got an awful pummelling.  The poor fellow was too drunk to distinguish a dwelling house from a brick yard.--He was discharged."

This brief article could have been worded a bit better, as it lends the distinct impression that the drunk got beat up by a priest!  Well, perhaps he did.  However, from what I know about Father Lucien Galtier, I doubt he  did the "pummelling".  One can't envision him applying a beating to an intoxicated man--except possibly in self-defense.   One can't know exactly what happened in the circumstances, but the would-be intruder ran afoul of someone, apparently.  Was it Fr. Galtier or an outraged neighbor or passer-by?  I suppose anything is possible in a frontier town, where even the local druggist sold "guns and pistols".

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