From the Saturday, June 23, 1881 edition of The Princeton Clarion:


Tuesday afternoon of last week, some thieves paid a visit to the residence of Jeruald French, near Patoka, while the family was absent, and got away with a lot of clothing, a shotgun and some jewelry. The matter was reported to Sheriff Chambers, who at once set about capturing the thieves. He obtained a clue which indicated the guilty parties had gone in the direction of Vincennes and followed them to that city Wednesday evening.

On Thursday, he with the assistance of the city marshal of Vincennes spotted a party of four tramps, who were suspected of the robbery. They laid their plans to gobble them up, but before the plans could be fully carried out the gang got wind of the affair and prepared to emigrate across the river to Illinois.

The officers came down upon then in time to save one of the gang, but the other three made good their escape and were lost in the Illinois swamps.

Sheriff Chambers identified several articles of the stolen property in the possession of the captured tramp, and held him a prisoner. He returned with him Friday morning and put him in the cage. The prisoner gave his name as Albert Ford, and admits having made his escape from the Reform School of Ohio, a short time ago. He is a diminutive specimen of humanity, and has all the surface indications of a hard bat.


Yesterday was the longest day.

Teacher’s examinations at the school building next Saturday.

The Gibson County medical society meets at Dr. Blair’s office in this place tomorrow.

The Sunday school class of Mrs. Andrew Pfohl enjoyed a picnic in the woods yesterday.

Mrs. Nancy Donald is having a concrete walk put down the entire length of her hotel property.

Superintendent Yeager informs us that he will hold the annual teacher’s institute this year at Patoka. The date will be sometime in July.

A triple wedding party came up from Owensville Saturday, and assumed the matrimonial harness. They returned home as happy as three kittens.

The Clarion is requested to announce that the Hazleton people will celebrate the Fourth with a grand picnic and band contest. Further particulars in due time.

There will be a picnic at the fairgrounds or in the adjoining woods on the 4th of July. The Princeton Silver Band have offered their services. Free for everyone.

The Princeton Silver Band was out on the streets last Thursday afternoon and treated the citizens to some new music. The addition of a clarionet to the band makes a great improvement, and Frank Blair handles the keys like one of the old masters.

Dick Tingle’s delivery horse got frightened of the band last Thursday afternoon and made a dash around the east and north side of the square. Little damage was done the wagon, but a couple of street persons came very near being run over.

A flagstone pavement is to replace that ragged rocky crossing between Strain’s and Hall’s corner. A wonderful amount of profanity has been instigated by that fearfully and wonderfully made contraption, which the last street contractor put down for the suffering public to cross upon.


Dr. Stott is repainting his storeroom on the northwest corner of the square, lately operated by the goosery.

Prof. W.T. Stilwell was in town Saturday and turned over the books and appurtenances of his offices to his successor.

Henry Weber, the expert miller at Kings Station, visited the Clarion office Friday long enough to renew his subscription.

Z.T. Emmerson, who has been assisting in the Oakland normal school, was in town Tuesday on his way to Owensville.


One side of W.D. Downey’s Grocery Room falls in, burying four Persons under the Ruins.

On last Friday evening at about half-past eight o’clock, persons living in the vicinity of the square were startled by a terrible crash as of some large building falling in.

On investigation, it proved to be the cornice, shelving and groceries on one side of Downey’s grocery room, which becoming detached from the wall, fell over in the center of the floor with a terrific crash, and horrible results.

In a few minutes several hundred people were on the scene with beating hearts and anxious faces, fearing that those who were in the building had met a sad fate. The dense, heavy clouds of dust, the accumulations of many years, obscured everything from view, rolling out of the doors and windows in great volumes. In a few minutes search was commenced for the dead and wounded, who were buried under the ruins, it was at first thought all were killed outright as not a sound was heard from any of the victims.

Finally a moaning cry, as of someone in great agony, was heard in the rear of the room, directed to the spot by the voice we discovered Mr. Chas. Fields, who after great difficulty was extracted from his perilous position. He was tightly wedged in between a piece of breakfast bacon and an empty bucket. He was wounded quite severely about the head, but by prompt medical skill and careful nursing he was soon considered out of danger and at this time is able to sit up.

The next victim found was Ed Lockhart, who narrowly escaped a horrible death from being crushed to death under a large washtub; when taken out he was still breathing and on administering the proper restoratives he was soon brought to consciousness and is now in a fair way to recover...Geo. Awenius escaped being crushed to death by jumping in a large ice chest in the room and locking the door after him; when he was found he was suffering from a severe nervous shock, occasioned by extreme fright. He was conveyed to his home and his attending physicians say by keeping him confined in a dark room with quiet and attentive nurses he may yet recover.

Mr. Alex Downey’s escape was miraculous. On noticing the timbers beginning to give away, he attempted to imitate the flying trapeze performers by jumping from the middle of the room into the street, but was caught “on the fly” by a suspended wire and slid down in a further corner where he was found almost dead (scared to death), but with proper attention, he may recover.

The fifth and last victim was Mr. E. Enbody, who was in the room at the time; noticing the sudden descent of the cornice by an almost superhuman effort cleared the room at one grand leap with the loss of only two buttons from his coat. Some fear that he received fatal internal injuries as he has not been heard from since, but a late dispatch from Hazleton says, a man answering his description passed through there in a fast trot headed for Indianapolis.

The boys in the dry goods room escaped with slight injuries. Mr. Downey, the proprietor, who was out riding with his family, strange to say, escaped without scratch physically, but he was injured financially about $75. The ruins have been cleared, the damages repaired, order restored and you can now find in both Grocery and Dry Goods rooms the best, choicest and cheapest goods the market affords.

— Email Andrea Howe at

— Email Andrea Howe at

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