Sunday, September 22, 2013

"realizing that about two-thirds of the mob were armed, no attempt being made to conceal guns...."

Fire Department Called Out to Help
Police Fight Mob of 2,000--May
Arreet 200 As Result of
the Fracas.
   South Bend, Ind., Feb. 17--Indications today are that from 200 to 250 persons will be arrested and charged with contempt of court as a result of the rioting near St. Casimir's church ' Sunday when Sheriff Edward Swanson attempted to install Rev. Stanislaus Gruza as pastor.
   That further trouble is anticipated is shown by the threats emanating from the west side to the effect that attempts will be made on the lives of police in the squad around the church Sunday. That many persons were not killed yesterday was due to the fact that the police were diplomatic enough to withhold a display of firearms, realizing that two-thirds of the mob were armed, no attempt being made to conceal guns.
   Bishop H.J. Aldering of Fort Wayne is expected here today.
   Several persons were probably dangerously injured and nearly 100 others hurt here in a riot that resulted when 25 policemen attempted to aid Edward Swanson, the sheriff, in carrying out the order of Judge W.A. Funk of the circuit court that the Rev. Stanislaus Gruza be placed in charge of St. Casimir's Polish Roman Catholic church.
   The mob was composed of about two thousand men and women and, after fighting two hours, they succeeded in blocking the efforts of Father Gruza to take possession of the church.
   Father Gruza was transferred to the parish a year ago, but the parishioners refused to accept him. The members of the 600 families in the parish took charge of the church, barred the doors and windows and petitioned the bishop for the district to assign them another priest. This was refused and the matter taken into the circuit court, where Judge Funk ordered the sheriff to place Father Gruza in charge of the church.
   Early Sunday, the sheriff, a deputy and the priest drove to the church, but were immediately su[rr]ounded and the police were called upon for aid. Twenty-five officers were sent to the church and the doors broken open. The angry parishioners then charged the officers and they fought in the street.
   The fire department was called to aid the police, but was unable to help, as the members of the mob surrounded the wagons and threatened to cut the hose. Father Gruza watched the fight f[r]om a house two blocks away.
[The Kenna Record, Kenna, Chaves County, New Mexico, Friday, February 20, 1914. Vol. 8. No. 1. Pg. 3]

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