Bits of the Odd, "Corny," Unusual, Funny,  or Tall Tales

Pieter's Picnic

Submitted by Wilma J. Vande Berg of the Greater Sioux County Genealogical Society


Here is item from the Alton Democrat Newspaper in September 1886. Name has been changed to protect the perpetrator's innocent descendants. 

Pieter's Picnic (anonymous name)

Deke Pieters is the name of a devil-may-care sort of young fellow that has been working for various farmers in the vicinity of Orange City and Hospers. Dirk is counted a pretty good worker as long as he shuns the flowing bowl, but he will presist in occasionally absorbing Republican Pharmacy whiskey and get howling drunk. Hospers does not boast of a municipal government and a marshall and Pieters being aware of that fact, always goes to that town, when on a spree, and paints the town dizzy red without fear of molestation.
   Last Sunday morning Pieters made his appearance in that quiet, little town, and from his actions one would not long remain in doubt that he had swallowed enough red-eye to float a ship. He amused himself for a time by driving his horse up and down the streets, at breakneck speed, at the same time yelling like a Comanche Indian. The peaceful inhabitants of Hospers were dazed for a while and wondering if Angel Gabrial had not blown his horn and bidden the corpses in the gravyard to arise and shake off the drowsiness of death. Gradually, however, they realized that it was only Pieters on one of his high lonesomes. For three mortal hours they listened to a torrent of inelegant language and profusion of howls from the intoxicated young tough and then forbearance ceased to be a virtue. Half a dozen men went out, caught the horse, and yanked Pieters from the vehicle in a jiffy. Then they tied the horse to a fence and requested him to go away and sleep off the effects of the poisonous whiskey he had swallowed. This he refused to do, and attempted to untie the horse. While scuffling at this, somebody unsnapped the halter-strap, unhitched the horse and put it in a stable, and Pieters was still struggling for posession of the strap. When he secured it, he was amazed to find that the horse had disappeared as completely as if it had taken wings and flown away. This dazed the young tough for an instant, but he soon recovered and the volley of profanity was shocking that he uttered against the town and its inhabitants. Finding that he was a nuisance and not to be abated without using heroic measures, a dozen citizens took him by main force to the depot and dispite his struggles and curses, they thrust him into an empty freight car and fastened the door upon him. After he had sobered off, he was released and emphatically informed that the next time he came to Hospers, got drunk and tried to run the town that they would assist him form the town with a bonbardment of ancient eggs. The grand Jury will probably wind up Mr. Pieters little ball of yarn if he remains in the county until the courts sets.