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Jim Kershner’s this day in history

From our archives, 100 years ago

City Court Justice Fred H. Witt declared he was “no Solomon,” but he showed uncommon wisdom in refusing to rule on a case in which two neighbor women got in a hair-pulling, nail-scratching fight over chickens.

Mrs. Walker was tired of dealing with Mrs. Arniwich’s chickens, so she was nailing a board over a hole in the fence. Mrs. Arniwich angrily confronted her and a “furious fight” ensued. Hair was pulled, necks were scratched and gowns were ripped.

The judge was clearly perplexed.

“I have decided all kinds of cases, some of which involved dead chickens, live chickens, trees, line fences and everything else,” Witt said. “But this is the first time I ever knew women to get in a fight and tear clothes over a hole in the fence. I am not a Solomon and cannot read minds, so I cannot say who is to blame. I am inclined to believe that both are to blame to some extent. This case convinces me that we are only grown-up children after all. It does not look so bad for children, as it does for grown-up people to fight, however.”

His conclusion?

“I will not decide this case; I will just send you women home and tell your attorneys you are to fight no more.”

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1924: J. Edgar Hoover was named acting director of the Bureau of Investigation (later the FBI).

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