The Fort Dodge Messenger: Feb. 22, 1906
Peter Madison Used Whip on Professor
School Teacher Grimes Attacked for Chastising 12 Year Old Boy.
Parent Was Peter Madison
He Decided to Take His Son’s Part Against Professor Grimes – Southwest Part of County Excited by Irate Parent’s Acts.
Callender, Feb. 22 (Special to the Messenger) – Down in Roland Township School District No. 3, five miles west of the hustling little town of Callender occurred last Tuesday a scene that the participants and spectators will not soon forget. The school in question was in charge of Professor Grimes, lately of Farnhamville.
While performing his professional duties last Tuesday he had occasion to chastise the 12 year old son of Peter Madison.
The fractious boy was turned across the schoolmaster’s knee and an old-fashioned spanking was administered. When he got released from the toils of authority he made a bee line for the paternal roof and in less time than it takes to tell it interested his sire in his behalf.
A Horse Whipping.
The two returned to the school building accompanied by a friend of Madison’s who chanced to be visiting with him at the time. The three unceremoniously entered the schoolhouse and while the professor’s back was turned the parent began at once to show his ire and indignation by using a horse whip on Professor Grimes. Grimes decided not to take the attack with Christian meekness but proceeded at once to land a left hander on the linguistic organs of his antagonist, which sent him sprawling to the floor. One application of this kind was sufficient. Madison was later forced from the room and out of doors while protesting frantically with vile language and threats of great bodily injury. In the meantime the pupils of the school became so affrighted that they made hasty and spectacular escapes through windows and doors. School was dismissed for the time being and both parties to the combat went post-haste to seek legal revenge. Professor Grimes going to Fort Dodge to hold a consultation with county Superintendent Brown and Madison laying his side of the case before Justice Rasmussen.
To Be Settled in Courts.
The matter will undoubtedly be tried in the courts. County Superintendent Brown getting first chance at it.
In Callender, and especially in the vicinity of Justice Rasmussen’s office, it is the excitement of the hour. Eager throngs from surrounding neighborhoods, and particularly from school district Number 3, Roland township are present and are on tip toe of excitement, watching every whisper pertaining to Madison and his wary antagonist.
Gray headed men are likewise on the scene, exchanging and relating stories referring to the customs of school teachers when they were boys – when the old saying “spare the rod and spoil the child” was the idea of almost every parent and teacher alike.
A Messenger representative interviewed Professor Grimes and was informed that the law would be allowed to take its course and he would be satisfied to abide by the consequences.
(Editor’s note: This article is obviously biased in favor of the teacher. No mention was made of the boy’s alleged offense or of how hard he was spanked. The article is written to make the teacher the victor of the fight; whether or not that was true is difficult to say. It’s hard to say whether the spanking was set off by a real offense, how hard the parent attacked the teacher and how hard the teacher really fought back. It is interesting to note, however, that people in 1906 were saying that “spare the rod and spoil the child” was taken seriously when they were kids, when in 2012 we think the same thing of 1906.)