Dec 24, 1888 Chicago Dogfighters Lose Fingers and Nose in Fight With Each Other


There was no dog fight Saturday night back of Billy Gaines' saloon on the Jefferson tollroad, but the genial sportsmen who were invited to attend one there were somewhat compensated for their disappointment by being permitted to watch three men chew one another in the saloon at the corner of Meridian and Des Plaines streets yesterday afternoon.

The Jefferson police learned that the dogfight was to take place, and were at Gaines' place before the Farmer brothers arrived with their bulldog.  Johnnie "Slophouse" was on hand with his dog, but went back to the city with it when so advised by the officers.

Joseph and William Farmer own the saloon at No. 180 West Lake street and also a pretty good dog.  The dog gets into a great many fights, and so do its masters.  The last time Joseph Farmer was arrested, he was held to the Criminal Court for shooting Patrick Conroy, the bartender in Charles McCarle's saloon, at the corner of Waldo place and South Halsted street.

When the Farmer boys drove over the Jefferson road to Billy Gaines', they were accompanied by perhaps a score of constituents from Meridian and Halsted streets.  Upon finding the officers at the saloon they all turned and came back to the city resolved to make a night of it.  They made the round of a number of saloons and finally drew up at noon at the saloon where the fight occurred.

An hour later, "Jimmy" O'Leary came in and, speaking of dog fights, declared it was a lucky thing for Farmer's dog that the police interfered.  Joseph Farmer took this as an insult and hit O'Leary in the face.  O'Leary returned the blow and was attacked by both the Farmers.  The three were soon sprawling on the saloon floor, scratching and biting each other.

Before the police arrived to put a stop to the fight, Joseph Farmer got two of O'Leary's fingers in his mouth and mangled them to such a degree that both will have to be amputated; and O'Leary in return with his teeth took off the end of Joseph Farmer's nose.

The three fighters were locked in the Desplaines Street Station.  William Farmer is charged with disorderly conduct; Joseph Farmer, with disorderly conduct and mayhem, and James O'Leary with the same two offenses.

Daily Inter Ocan, Chicago, IL, December 24, 1888, vol: xvii, issue: 274, p. 8