A Murderous Assault In South Brooklyn 1876



A quarrel which led to a desperate and bloody assault, occurred yesterday afternoon between Anthony Gallagher and Edward Rowan, at the liquor store of the former, corner of Bond and Baltic streets. Rowan was badly beaten about the head and body with a club used by Gallagher, and it is thought that the injuries inflicted may have a fatal result. The difference between the members has been of long standing, and the many schemes which have been resorted to by both to become revenged have served to fan the flames of their mutual hatred, and the provocation which Rowan gave for the assault, though slight seemed to have justified Gallagher in his own mind in having given his enemy wounds from the effects of which it is likely he will never recover. The facts of the case are as follows:

Rowan, who lives at 493 Baltic street, a few doors below Gallagher's store, is an elderly man, having a wife and several grown up children. One morning, about three months ago, he sent his wife to Gallagher's store for some bear for his breakfast. She remained longer than he thought necessary, and having hoard rumors for some time previous concerning his wife and Gallagher which were not at all pleasant to his ears, he left the house, and on reaching the store, went through a side door, and on coming cautiously into the barroom, saw HIS WIFE BEHIND THE COUNTER, with Gallagher, under circumstances which frenzied him with feelings of jealousy and revenge. He left, and procuring a pitchfork, rushed back into the saloon, and made a violent assault upon Gallagher, wounding him in the leg, and belaboring him thoroughly over the head, while his wife went screaming for the police. Gallagher managed to escape with his life, and went to the Third Precinct Station House, where he made a charge of felonious assault against Rowan, who was arrested and locked up. The following morning Rowan was taken to Court and held for examination on the charge of Gallagher. The trial of the case was adjourned from time to time to the great disgust of Rowan, who demanded an examination. He charged that Gallagher was having him held in custody to gratify his spite; and so it would appear, for the charge was afterward withdrawn, and hostilities for the time being suspended.

Rowan, smarting under the thought that Gallagher had got the best of him in the fight, was DETERMINED UPON REVENGE, and two weeks ago came into Gallagher's liquor store and abused him in round terms, and upon Gallagher ordering him out he threw several stones at his store and broke a number of panes of glass. Gallagher did not attempt to retaliate at the time, but instead went to Justice Delmar's Court and swore out a warrant for Rowan's arrest on a charge of malicious mischief and having made threats to take his life. It was given to one of the court officers who arrested Rowan, and not being able to procure bail he was sent to jail. The case was tried and he was sentenced to ten days imprisonment, which he served, the time expiring yesterday. This served to put another thorn in his flesh and he swore that as soon as he was liberated he would be revenged upon the man who was the cause of all his troubles. With this purpose in view be started for Gallagher's store yesterday afternoon. On entering he found his enemy behind the bar mixing drinks for some customers. He waited until they had been served and then commenced to abuse him for the cowardly manner in which he had taken revenge upon him. Gallagher ordered him to leave, but that only served to exasperate Rowan the more, and he continued in a more abusive manner than before, threatening to get square with Gallagher before nightfall. This Gallagher seemed to consider was all that was necessary to justify his subsequent acts, as he took a heavy club which was hanging on a nail and coming from behind the bar made A FURIOUS ASSAULT upon Rowan. He dealt him half a dozen powerful blows on the head, which laid the scalp bare to the bone and felled him to the ground. The blows had the effect of making the blood run from Rowan's nose and ears, while his face and clothing became covered with blood from the wounds on his head.

As soon as Gallagher saw that his victim was unconscious, and injured beyond the possibility of retaliating, he ran out of the saloon and hurried to the Third Precinct Station. Sergeant Cadden was in charge, and Gallagher asked him to have Rowan arrested.

"What has he done to you?" asked Sergeant Cadden.

Gallagher replied that he had come into his saloon and made threats to take his life, but he did not say a word as to what he had done in return, and Sergeant Cadden, being in ignorance of THE TRUE FACTS OF THE CASE sent him to Justice Delmar's Court, where he swore out another warrant for Rowan's arrest. The warrant was given to Court Officer Connors for execution, and on arriving at the place where he had been told Rowan could be found, he found him lying on the sidewalk in a pool of blood surrounded by a large crowd of men, women and children. When he learned who had committed the assault upon Rowan he ran back to the station and communicated to Sergeant Cadden, who telegraphed for the ambulance, which arrived in a few minutes and took Rowan to the Long island College Hospital. Officer Connors was ordered by Sergeant Cadden to search for Gallagher and to endeavor to secure his arrest. Captain Patrick H. Leavey arriving a few minutes later, ordered a force of men out to scout the precinct with the object in view of arresting the man. Officer Connors, however, was the successful man, for as he was walking along Smith street he saw Gallagher walking hurriedly in the direction of Fulton street, and he took him into custody and brought him to the station. On being questioned by Captain Leavey abnd Sergeant Cadden, Gallagher admitted that he had a scuffle with Rowan, during which he fell and struck his head against a barrel, but he did not know that he had hurt himself. He denied most positively that he had used any weapon or club upon Rowan, and that WHATEVER INJURIES HE HAD RECEIVED must have been sustained by his falling. He was locked up and this morning was brought before Justice Delmar. Through his counsel, James J. Grey, he plead not guilty to a charge of felonious assault, and was admitted to $1,000 bail to appear for examination on next Saturday morning.

When Rowan was removed to the hospital his wounds were examined, and the physicians in attendance concluded, after a careful examination, that his skull had been fractured. He passed a restless night and was delirious this morning. His condition is precarious, and few hopes are entertained for his recovery.

Website: The History Box.com
Article Name: A Murderous Assault In South Brooklyn 1876
Researcher/Transcriber Miriam Medina


The Brooklyn Daily Eagle October 31, 1876
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