Old Missoula

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A Horsewhipping Sensation in Sleepy Old Missoula - 1900

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She Swung a Horsewhip

Mrs. Thibedeau Created a Sensation in Old Missoula

Mrs. Thibedeau, a woman who is said to have been living in Spokane for some weeks past, created a sensation in the sleepy old town of Missoula last Friday.

The Democrat-Messenger says:

The truthfulness of the old saying, “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned,” was demonstrated this morning in a very forcible manner to Al Frank of the reportorial staff of the Anaconda Standard, when he was attacked with a rawhide and given one of those old time threshings like our mothers used to keep in stock and use occasionally.

The threshing was administered by Mrs. Thibedeau, a lady who has on several occasions brought herself before the public through the columns of the local press. It will be remembered that several months ago Mrs. Thibedeau was found by her husband in the apartments of a young man of this city, and which caused the separation of the husband and wife. Shortly after this Mrs. Thibedeau disappeared, going, it is supposed, to Spokane, Wash., the mother also taking her young child with her.

About three weeks ago she and the child returned to Missoula and were soon followed by the young man. Thibedeau, who was very much attached to his offspring, determined to secure possession of the little one himself, and watching his opportunity, which came several nights ago, he kidnapped the child and disappeared. These circumstances were casually mentioned at the time by the press of the city, but in the Standard they were given such prominence that the woman took exception to them and demanded a retraction. This, it seems, was promised by Mr. Frank, but after carefully investigating the matter for a second time he sent word to Mrs. Thibedeau that under the circumstances he could not retract.

Angered at this she sallied forth this morning with blood in her eye and a rawhide whip in her hand. Finding Mr. Frank at his desk in his office, she began laying on the whip in the most approved fashion. After receiving several stinging lashes on the face and neck Mr. Frank sprang to his feet and grasping the lady’s fair white throat in his brawny “mitt” he jammed her against the wall of the room, took the whip away and tried to pacify her. She would not be pacified, however, and after losing the whip resorted to woman’s ancient weapons, the slipper and finger nails, but the slipper was on the foot and not in the hand. Finally realizing that the woman was bent on his complete and utter annihilation he threw her bodily out of the room.

This is the story as gleaned by reporters of this paper. The one following is from a friend of Mrs. William Thibedeau and gives the tale from their point of view:

The Other Side

Three days ago an item headed “Kidnapped His Child” appeared in the Anaconda Standard, in which scandalous reflections were made against Mrs. Willie Thibedeau’s character, whose husband had left the country with his little daughter. Mrs. Thibedeau, who is very indignant at such false statements, through an intermediate, sought to have A. Frank, the victim reporter, to retract his statement, which was refused by the gentleman.

This morning, between 10 and 11 o’clock, Mrs. Thibedeau called at the Standard office, and upon demand and refusal by Mr. Frank to retract the article he published in his paper concerning her, she drew a riding whip from under the cloak and gave him a good threshing over the head.

The sympathies are with the little lady in her defenseless condition. No arrest has been made.

A Friend.

The above article is taken from The Spokane Daily Chronicle – Dec. 17, 1900


Last Updated on Tuesday, 30 August 2016 17:16