Friday, July 26, 2013

Adios For the Present

The Detroit Free Press, August 29, 1910
The back story to this article is pretty interesting but the original article dealing with the telegraph office shooting by Peter Delaney is so poorly reproduced that it's pointless to post as 50% is illegible.

What I've ascertained from the readable parts is that Delaney had an alcohol-induced paranoia concerning Masons and Orangemen and a plot to assassinate him. Delaney believed that they were following him because he was Catholic and as a precaution he tried to secure a permit to carry a revolver. The police were unconvinced by his lack of proof and rationale and denied the request.

Needless to say, he was packing heat when he quarreled with a fellow operator named Harry L. Schwartz, who had apparently cracked a joke at Delaney's expense. Delaney drew the revolver and shot at his nemesis several times, grazing him under the left ear, before fleeing. Schwartz followed behind with a chair in hand when they crossed paths with Arthur McArdle, assistant night chief operator, who was just reporting to work when the shooting began.

Oddly enough, while the group of workers that McArdle had been walking with scrambled for safety when the shots rang out, McArdle himself stopped to drink from a water faucet. That put him in the direct path of the two combatants. When he tried to step in between them he was accidentally shot by his friend Delaney in the back. The wound was serious but obviously McArdle survived.

Being that they were lifelong friends and that McArdle wasn't the object of his fury, the wounded man declined to press charges against the man he secured employment for a mere month beforehand. His only stipulation for employment for the longtime telegraph worker was that he quit drinking. Apparently, Delaney had relapsed, possibly due to the death of his father earlier that summer.

I can find no information concerning a trial and since nobody died as a result of the shootings it's likely that Eloise was his punishment.

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