History repeating itself again


In connection with recent reports on city safety circulating in all forms of media, a look back to Minot events in 1895 might give some food for thought.

In May 1895, the editor of the combined Ward County Reporter – Minot Journal wrote in the issue for Friday, May 31, 1895, on page 4:

“Is it not about time that the city authorities were doing something toward putting a stop to the promiscuous discharge of fire arms within the city limits?”

Adding, “Last Sunday evening [May 26], some rowdy was enjoying himself by firing bullets across the foot bridge [the Anne Street bridge] while people were on their way to church [probably, First Lutheran Church].”

In August, 1895, a transient had tried to rob some one by brute force, leading him to go about armed. Later that same month, another transient tried to rob someone at knife point. And in September 1895, four such men had to be run out of town at gunpoint.

Given this atmosphere, filled with random gunshots, predatory transients, as well as the presence of a red-light area adjacent to Main Street, it is no wonder that several women who lived in town then were fearful of leaving home alone.

When I first read their testimony several years ago, I wondered whether or not they were exaggerating the dangers. But, I’ve changed my mind.