December 24, 1861: Christmas Eve Peace for Area Pastor Disturbed by Thieves


By Margaret Leidy Harner from her book One Day at a Time: A Social History of Boyertown, PA.

December 24, 1861: Sacrilegious Christmas Eve thieves have broken into the residence of Rev. Augustin J. Bally, pastor of the Catholic Church at Goshenhoppen, Washington Township (now Most Blessed Sacrament Church) early this morning.

The burglars, searching through the house, awakened Rev. Bally with their noise. He attempted to fire at one of them with a loaded gun, but the caps snapped.

Other men who were also sleeping in the house were aroused, at which time the “rascals” decamped with their only booty, a silk handkerchief.

Rev. Bally has offered a reward “for the detection of the thieves,” probably more for their intent than their loot.

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