1888 Ann Arbor Argus: GRAVEL FIGHT!

1888 Ann Arbor Argus: GRAVEL FIGHT!

My husband got his jury duty summons in the mail a few weeks ago. I’ve always wanted to be on a jury, but being a former lawyer pretty much guarantees that I will never be picked.

Imagine, however, my delight to see that the Argus printed the names of its jurors for December! They included Chas. Braun and Adam Frey from Ann Arbor, Thomas Dolan of Dexter, Charles Morgan of Saline, Dallas Pierce from Ypsilanti Town and Benjamin Dimmick from Ypsilanti City.

Two points, one–they differentiated between Ypsilanti City and Town, but I don’t know what the difference was…township, maybe? Two, and more important, NO WOMEN! It’s like the he man woman’s hater club up in there! Oh yeah, I realize that we couldn’t vote back then, but I guess I never thought about us not being allowed on juries. Well, a big ol’ 21st century HARUMPH!

It appears, however, that my fellow vagina owning citizens could file lawsuits, so at least we had that going for us. Specifically, Mrs. A. Terry was suing Thomas F. Hill for “trespass understood to be assault”. The Argus reported that Mrs. Terry was having trouble with her neighbors, and where exactly her lot line was. Mrs. Terry was for some time “endeavoring by various acts to show ownership in land owned by Mrs. Hill”. Plucky Mrs. Terry drove stakes into the land, and even built a small embankment made of gravel. Meantime, Mr. Hill saw the gravel, grabbed himself a shovel, and removed it.

Here is where the story gets dark…Mrs. Terry told Mr. Hill to stop removing the gravel and attempted to throw the gravel that was in the shovel pan into his face. Mr. Hill warded off the blow, but Mrs. Terry didn’t let go quite soon enough and almost fell down. Undaunted, she went and got her own shovel and for a minute, she was shoveling gravel onto his property while he shoved the same gravel back onto her property. (Sorry, but I have to say that I wish Smart Phones had been around because this would have been EPIC and instantly went viral). The mound of gravel built up, and Mrs. Terry filed suit.

The Argus said that when the case comes up for trial, “there will be fun in the court”.

Indeed, Argus, indeed!


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