Mayhem in 1890 Newport
A few days ago, the Covington, Ky., Commonwealth published an account - and as such things go in the daily papers, a very decently expressed account of the tribulations that were attending to the building of a schoolhouse at Newport, Ky. According to the Commonwealth, it appeared that after the architect, who does not seem to have had the superintendence of the work, had prepared the drawings, the City Engineer was called in to set out the building and fix the grade levels. This was done, and the work proceeded until the mason found that he had laid all the foundation required by his contract under the specification and yet the walls did not show above the ground. Of course, this had to be cured, and implied an “extra.” The next difficulty was encountered when, following the drawings, the mason found that the hammered-stone water-table showed only at the back of the building. He took the responsibility of changing it to the front, and called attention to the matter when the authorities next visited the building. This led to an examination, and now that all the interior foundations, including those for the large tower, were laid, the authorities and workmen mustered intelligence enough to make out that the City Engineer had set out the building “hind-side foremost.” Assuming that this tale was not a malicious fabrication, the Commonwealth was justified in publishing the statement, and in doing so did not use any extravagant invective. The City Engineer, feeling aggrieved, discovered what reporter had written the “attack,” and, meeting him in the court-house, struck him with a heavy cane, cutting his head open, and then ran. As soon as the assaulted man could wipe the blood out of his eyes, he followed with a drawn revolver, overtook the escaping engineer, clinched with him, and in the short struggle that followed fired two shots. The result of what on the face of things appears to be a proper criticism of a building blunder, is a dead City Engineer and a reporter imprisoned for murder.