From Allegany County Democrat Newspaper; August 6, 1884. Researched & Submitted by Mary Rhodes.
LIVELY ROW AT ALLENTOWN
WILLIAM REEVES' SALOON THE SCENE OF THE CONFLICT.
WILLIAM GALLAGHER KNOCKED ON THE HEAD WITH A BEER SPIGOT, AND HIS BROTHER KNOCKED DOWN.
WILLIAM REEVES RUSHES AT FRANK FOX WITH A CARVING KNIFE.
A Very Hot Time in a Very Hot Village
Allentown has again sprung into notice and unenviable notoriety by a disgraceful row and free fight which occurred at Wm. Reeves' saloon at that place, on Saturday morning at about two o'clock. The gentle spirit of peace was somewhat disturbed the day previous, by a fight between parties from Pikeville, in which a number received hard blows, and one is now nearing deaths dark dominion. This had a tendency to stir up the "war fever" among the Allentown Patriots.
On Friday evening, at about midnight, a fire broke out in Sheffeld's hardware store and destroyed that building and two others adjoining. After the fire, liquor flowed quite freely, and some of the crowd got extremely hilarious. The saloons, with the exception of the one kept by Wm. Reeves, refused to sell intoxicants, and at this place, of course, gathered those whose throats were parched and burning.
Between two and three o'clock, William Gallagher, with a party of friends, entered Reeves' saloon, and marching up to the bar, ordering up the drinks for the crowd. He was somewhat talkative and noisy and Mr. Reeves insisted that he should keep still or he would put him out doors. At this, Gallagher refused to do any drinking, words followed between them, until finally Thos. McKeon, known as "Black Tom" the terror of the lower and the upper oil regions, grabbed Mr. Gallagher, while William Reeves, rushed at him with a large beer spigot and hit him a terrible blow over the head and right eye. Charles Reeves took a hand in the fray biting Gallagher's ears with his teeth. Black Tom, the terror of the region was evidently in his glory, as when Wm. Reeves hit Gallagher, over the head he cried out at the top of his voice, "Kill him, G-d d--n him." During the fracus Frank Fox came into the saloon and called on Black Tom to help him stop the row. Black Tom replied by hitting Fox a side-winder with his fists upon Fox's head, while Wm. Reeves rushed at Fox with a carving knife. Fox, the white robed messenger of peace, not fancying the appearance of the knife fled from the house. Soon after Harvey Gallagher, a brother of Wm., entered the saloon and seeing his own kin on the floor and being pounded by Chas. Reeves, endeavored to separate the combatants. The warrior "Black Tom" went for Harvey and he scooted out of the door as fast as his legs would take him, but did not escape a parting blow, as a reminder that gentle peace had flown out the window. Blaspheming, whisky, black eyes and sore heads mingled together in becoming accord, and when every body was completely exhausted or licked the roar of battle ceased and the innocent babes of Allentown sank to repose. The wounded are Wm. Reeves, slight cuts on the right cheek; Wm. Gallagher, black eye, gashes on head, and bruises on the body; Harvey Gallagher sore spot on top of head; the rest of the infantry escaping with a few slight scratches.
Warrants were issued for the arrest of "Black Tom," Wm. Reeves, Charles Reeves and Henry Kelly on Monday. The Reeves were found, but the others had fled to the lower oil country. An examination of the Reeves is now being held before Justice Nichols.