Rowdyism on Trolley Cars

by Laurel | May 27th, 2010

May 27, 1901

A Springfield passenger on one of the trolley cars from Northampton to Holyoke, last evening, reports that for the whole distance a gang of Holyoke boys, from 15 to 18 years old, conducted themselves in a boisterous and vulgar fashion, very offensive to every decent person on the car. There were about a dozen in the group and half of these led the disturbance, yelling back and forth to each other; singing coarse songs quite unbefitting the day, or any day; treating the girls whom they apparently knew to much jocular rudeness; jostling the quiet passengers, and so misbehaving themselves that our informer, had he seen a policeman on the arrival in Holyoke, would certainly have called upon him to take the ringleaders in custody. The conductors — there were two in the course of the journey — did nothing to check their riotous behavior, and indeed one of them seemed to find the matter very amusing. It happens also that a passenger on the line from Mountain park, earlier in the afternoon, was made indignant by profane and obscene talk on the back seat of the car, in which he heard the conductor himself participate, the talk could be heard from at least two seats in the read, and when the car paused, even further. The passenger requested the conductor, “Please stop that swearing,” and it ceased; but a conductor who needs such a reminder is certainly not under proper discipline. The conductor who chooses to do his duty can make even rowdies behave, and to do justice there is very seldom one who fails. But the railway company should look to it that their conductors are all of the right sort.

From The Springfield Republican.

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