December 13th in history:
In 1294, Saint Celestine V resigned the papacy after only five months to return to his previous life as an ascetic hermit.
In 1577, Sir Francis Drake set sail from Plymouth, England, on a round-the-world voyage.
In 1636, the Massachusetts Bay Colony organized three militia regiments to defend the colony against the Pequot Indians. This organization is recognized today as the founding of the National Guard of the United States.
In 1862, during the American Civil War, at the Battle of Fredericksburg, Confederate General Robert E. Lee defeated Union Major General Ambrose Burnside of Brookville Indiana. Burnside, a Whitewater Valley native, had at the age of 16 worked in as an assistant in a tailor shop in Centerville.
In 1962, NASA launched Relay 1, the first active repeater communications satellite in orbit.
In 2003, during the Iraq War, in Operation Red Dawn, former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein was captured after hiding in a pipe.
Richmond local news the week of Dec. 9, 1880:
• William A. Sloan was married to a woman in Ohio some time ago and afterwards they removed themselves to Iowa, and while there, William left her and sought to obtain a divorce through a Chicago lawyer. Soon after he married another woman from Iowa and after they moved to Illinois, the courts of the state of Iowa declared the divorce proceedings illegal and the second marriage adulterous. On the 21st of November a superior court of Chicago upheld the divorce and second marriage as valid according to the laws of Illinois. Thence it came to be William A. Sloan could legally live with his Ohio wife in Iowa, and his other Iowa wife in Illinois, and should he become tired of either wife he could summarily divorce himself from either without the expense and annoyance of a suit by simply returning to any "state" of confusion he wants.
More Out of Our Past: Centerville man displayed strength to fulfill a friend's final request
• We observe by way of city council proceedings that Professor Wayne of Cincinnati charged $50 for analyzing several samples of Richmond's drinking water. Inasmuch as he did not discover anything hurtful in the fluid, it seems the sampling of fermented fluids as alternative remedials by Richmond men have cost aforesaid men much more than that sum. Their suspicion of the impurity of Richmond water necessitated their rapid consumption of intoxicating substitutes. But now that the city has gone to the trouble and expense of removing the grounds for the suspicion of our drinking water, these gentlemen who have been running the risk of getting snakes in their boots to escape getting worms in their stomachs as an excuse to imbibe alcoholic stimulants will no doubt relinquish Raw Dog Whiskies and Gnaw Dog Ales pursuant to their return to the purity of our untainted waters. - The Eds.
• Colonel Robert Goodwin was convicted at Brookville last week for the murder of his brother, Dr. Arnold Goodwin, and sentenced to the penitentiary for life. A plea of insanity was strongly pressed in his behalf, but the thoughtful jury thought a sentence of life in prison would be nicer for him than spending his days in just any old nut-hatch.
• Alfred Corcoran had his face discomforted while coasting down Methodist Hill Thursday evening. He tumbled off his sled and before he could rise up, another one struck him face-on with considerable force. Al's nose got bungled; his eyes swelled to purple slits; his lips bloated thick and his cheeks got gnarly as his language. He lives and will heal and boasts some young gal may yet find him "delectable."
• Al Justice got drunk last Saturday and demonstrated he was sailing under false colors, that there was no 'justice' in his composition save in name, that the world had wronged him and that God kicked him in the teeth and knocked him in the dirt for fun. But angry Mr. Justice got "justice" in time when he vowed to "maketh all things even" by beating someone innocent up. Having failed to slither up a hill with a tummy full of rotgut, he picked on Jim Ladd - a one-eyed half-witted wee chap - and spent his whiskey-inflamed wrath on poor old Jimbo. Officer Betzoid very commendably yanked Al from Jim's hide, and when he got demonstrative with pugilistic fists, Betzoid served up his persuasive police club to humble Al to a heap. Monday morning the Mayor gave Al a "good dose" for the cowardly attack on poor innocent Jim, and taxed him a whopping $5.65. As Al was 'out of soap' (money), he went to do stone pile work at the county geological academy (jail) for which the mayor avowed, "Your sweat will not come cheap!"
Al smart-talked, "I do not sweat, I perspire!" The mayor said fine, and fined him some more, which shut him up.
• A week ago yesterday, one Mr. Baker threw a stone at some hogs he was driving to market at Hagerstown, and missing the hogs the stone glanced off hard icy ground and struck George Newcomb in the temple. George was instantly knocked down and his noggin dented, which he didn't like. He gathered up what little wits he had, staggering upright deranged and unsteady, and raised his fists, "Why did you do that?"
"I wanted to hit a hog," Baker called.
The remark didn't help.
"I'll knock your ears down so far as they'll do for wings" - and George did that by laying Baker out colder than a meat hook could.
• Dr. Weist started for a drive last Thursday in a sleigh, accompanied by a driver, but on reaching the tollhouse east of the city he parted company with the rig, driver and all. Cause why, the horse took fright and the doctor got unceremoniously dumped into a snow bank. With this luck he watched the horse bolt on, throttling his hooves on the landscape. Sadly the equine did not stop in his mad career until he had also emptied out the rest of the sleigh's contents, including the driver, and the conveyance was drug by the reins and pretty thoroughly meshed up till it dint much look like a sleigh but more like fire kindling. The horse was out of breath for some time. As for the good doctor he unequivocally barked philosophical, gurgling from his snifter, snatched from inside his warm coat, "It's all tentative. It's all tentative," and unsteadily wended home intent for another Toddy (medicinal alcoholic drink).
Contact columnist Steve Martin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article originally appeared on Richmond Palladium-Item: Richmond history: Drunks, drinking water, divorce in 1880 local news