Big Dan on the War Path

While researching the Chickies Rolling mill, I came across this article in the August 8, 1881 edition of the Intelligencer Journal. The story isn’t specifically about the mill but is about one of the employees of the mill. The man was employed as a “puddler”. A puddler was a man who converted pig iron into wrought iron in a furnace. Also, it may be helpful to know that Bungletown was a section of Marietta founded by Jacob Grosh in 1815. Grosh called it “Moravian Town” but the locals named it Bungletown for reasons that are lost to history. Apparently, Marietta was a wild and wooly place back in the 19th century. Here is the article:

“Big Dan”, as he is familiarly known, a puddler in the Chickies rolling mill, is one of the most powerful men in this part of the country. He is about six feet and six inches high, weighs 240, about thirty years of age. On Saturday morning while walking up Front Street, about ten Bungletown roughs attacked him with blackjacks, stones, and razors. He defended himself until he reached Constable Ruby’s door, when he demanded protection at the hands of that officer. Ruby said to him that the crowd was large, yet he would do all in his power to save him. A son of the officer handed the old man a revolver. This had the effect of keeping the cowards at bay. Dan was badly cut on the head and bled profusely. Ruby took the wounded man up to the office of Jacob Windolph. Dr. Reach and Mr. Windolph dressed his wounds. After he was fixed up, he started off toward home. Just as he walked across the street at Central Hall he met “Catty” Eater, the leader of the gang, who had assaulted him. Eater is a powerful man, weighs about 200 pounds, and is about 25 years old. Eater saw him coming but did not attempt to get away. Dan struck him a sledge-hammer blow over the eye hard enough to kill an ox. Eater fell on the pavement like a bundle of rags and cried most piteously for mercy. Friends of Dan interfered and took him away. This pair of giants have had a grudge against each other for a long time.