A DAY AND PART OF A NIGHT AT ROCK BRIDGE ONE COURT WEEK
By S. C. Turnbo
Rock Bridge Ozark County, Mo. was a lively place in the antebelem days. The following was furnished me by Mort Herrean. "One day during court week at Rock Bridge", said Mr. Herrean, "while a big crowd of settlers were present Cage Hogan and others got to drinking and began to quarrel. Hogan snapped his pistol three times at a man who was sitting down against a house. This man never moved white Hogan was trying to shoot him and neither one of them said anything while Hogan was snapping the pistol at him. Hogan was drunk and cared little for what he was doing. Crayton Hogan a son of Cages was off a short distance sitting on his horse and noticing his father attempting to shoot the man he urged his horse forward and galloped up to him and leaping from his horse and caught his father by the arm and took the pistol away from him and lead him away. In a short time after this Cage Hogan started down the street alone and Quince Bennette and Josiah Haskins both of whom had an ill feeling against him saw him. going along ran and overhauled him. They were both weakly men but they hit Hogan time about and walked along with him for twenty steps or more and continued to spat him but the strokes they dealt him were so light that Hogan pretended not to notice them. An hour or more after Haskins and Bennette had left him Hogan remarked to some of his friends that there were two fleas at Rock Bridge for he saw them on the street and he had come in contact with them and they felt to him like two fleas does when they got on him. The most of the crowd remained at town during part of that night. The weather was cloudy and misting rain with full moon. A goodly number of the men were drinking and very soon after night Cage Hogan and Isaac Davis got into a quarrel and while they were making a loud noise, Pleas McCullough says men why dont you fight you seem to want to bad enough. And Davis says "I had as soon fight as not" and struck Hogan with his clenched hand and knocked him down. and Hogan says "men I have a cripple arm and I cant fight", and the bystanders told Davis not to touch him any more. But in a little while the two men renewed the quarrel and Davis struck Cage again but did not knock him down but he ran and Davis pursued him. They reminded me of two roosters fighting and one whipping the other and the defeated one running and his enemy following hi" As Hogan was leading the way he come to a ditch or gully and leaped over it, Davis attempted to jump over it but fell into it and lay sprawling at the bottom. At this Hogan stopped and turned around and went back to the gully where Davis was and looked down at him and turned around again and trotted away a few yard and changing his mind he stopped and went back to the ditch again and looking down at Davis once more as he still lay on his back at the bottom of the gully and jumped down into it where Davis was and began fighting at him. It seemed that this act of Hogans infuriated Davis and he clawed at Hogan with his hands until he tore his shirt all off of him except the wrist bands and neck collar and threw it out of the ditch and one of the men picked it up and hung it on the horse rack. As soon Davis pulled Hogans shirt off he began thumping Cage on his naked back and ribs which sounded like hitting a gum. Cage was sitting on Davis but the latter was pelting him so rough and raid that he was getting more than he thought he could bare, both men were drunk and not able to hurt each other bad, but Hogan thinking he had enough of it says, "Boys, take Davis off of me", and one of the men says "Uncle Cage we will have to take you off of Davis first before we can get to him". This created a merry laugh among the bystanders and the quarrelling and fighting ended for the time.
Springfield-Greene County Library