Man With Pistol Arrested

by Laurel | March 4th, 2014

04 March 1905

Went to See Wife With a Gun at Holyoke
and is Driven Away By Mother-In-Law With a Club

Arthur Champagne who lives on Shinbone Alley in South Hadley Falls was arrested by Officer F. H. Shine of the Holyoke Police Force about 11 last evening on the double charge of drunkenness and carrying a dangerous weapon, both of these charges is the story of another possible LaBelle shooting case, which a plucky South Holyoke woman without a doubt averted last night. Champagne and his wife separated some time ago, his wife going to live with her mother Mrs. Esther Miner of 620 Main Street, Holyoke. From time to time Champagne has written threatening letters, saying that he would kill his wife if she persisted in not living with him.

Last night about 10 Champagne after taking a few drinks to increase his courage, went to the Miner tenement which is located in the Holyoke Paper Mill and effected entrance by a cellar window. He had with him a revolver, and it is not unlikely that had he found his way there might have been a murder. Unfortunately for Chanpagne he landed in a room with his wife’s mother. The woman had been fearing a visit from him for some time, and Mrs. Miner had provided herself with a stout cudgel, which she applied with good effect as soon as Champagne appeared. Champagne ran out of the house. Meanwhile his wife learned of his presence and added hilarity to the occasion by screaming “Murder!” at the top of her lungs. This aroused the neighboring tenants and a report was sent to the police station of the trouble. Officer Shine went down to the block, and after making some inquiries followed the man up and located him in the house of a friend on Sargeant Street. When the officer arrived he found the man in a closet trying to conceal the pistol. It is probably that Champagne will be put under bonds to keep the peace.

Adapted from The Springfield Republican.

[Note: what intrigues me most about this short article is that Arthur Champagne is described as living in Shinbone Alley, South Hadley Falls. Shinbone Alley is a musical co-written by Mel Brooks et al. that had a brief tenure on Broadway in the late 1950’s. Later, in 1971,  it became an animated film. In New York city there is indeed an alley in Noho that seems to have informally been called Shinbone Alley. But if you search deeper, there are references to “Shinbone Alley” in old sea shanties, and even Edgar Allen Poe used the phrase (and Poe died in 1849).  This article was written in 1905. So while I have nothing to support this, I can only guess that the phrase references, in general,  a down-and-out environment.  Still, what a great business name. Anyone ever hear of a place in South Hadley called Shinbone Alley?]

2 Responses to “Man With Pistol Arrested”

  1. I am knowledgable of S. Hadley history and I have never heard of a “Shinbone Alley” there. However, I will ask someone who knows more about S. Hadley history.

  2. Robert, it is possible the reporter was being sarcastic — but it would be interesting to know if there was an area in South Hadley with this slang reference.

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