November 11, 1888: Musicians Roughed Up after Bechtelsville Parade, But Fight Back


November 11, 1888: The Salt River Parade in Bechtelsville, an annual event sponsored by local Democrats “to send the Republicans up the Walt River,” ended tonight in a “grievous manner,” probably incited by too much rum and beer.

The Boyertown Drum Corps was attacked at the end of the parade route by a gang of “roughs,” but the musicians defended themselves with their fifes and drumsticks, and several horsemen in the parade came to their assistance.

The musicians suffered no more than a few black eyes and slight scratches, but several of the ruffians slunk away with bad bruises and “the good old Democratic jollification was assured.” The gang leader, Abraham Dotterer, is expected to be arrested for his part in the “disgraceful affair.”

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