Shooting Affray in Sibley, Iowa

Sibley Gazette - July 10, 1873

On Friday of last week our usually quiet town was the scene of a quarrel, and shooting affray, the circumstances of which, as near as we can learn are about as follows: 

An old German living some miles west of Sibley, had come to town for lumber, and after loading, he concluded to wait till the cool of the evening before starting home; and in the meantime indulged in a "social game" with several others, among them one Stage, a homesteader living near this place.  After they had separated, Stage discovered that his watch, (a valuable one) was missing, and suspected the aforesaid German of having taken it.  He found the old man asleep on a pile of lumber, and firing a revolver close to his ear to wake him, ordered him to hand over the watch.  The old man declared, no doubt truly, that he had not seen the watch, and knew nothing of it, whereupon Stage fired another shot but without doing any damage.  He was taken in charge by Deputy Sheriff Bailey; brought before Justice Turner and fined $10 and costs, on a charge of "assault."  Stage is spoken of as a peaceable, well disposed young man.  Then how shall we account for his conduct in this affair?  Both parties were considerably under the influence of liquor.  This explains it all, as it has thousands of similar cases before.  That Stage has borne a good reputation, makes the occurrence all the more to be regretted, but intoxication cannot, or should not be urged in excuse of lawful acts. 

Query:  How is it that so many people become intoxicated in a temperance town where no license is granted for the sale of liquor?





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