Pigs in Plattsmouth

The Nebraska Watchman (Plattsmouth) of February 27, 1873, complained of an animal control problem in town: “It seems, the citizens of Plattsmouth have no rights, the hogs, pigs and runts are bound to respect. They seem to be every where like misfortune. For the size of them, the hogs of Plattsmouth are the most muscular we have yet become acquainted with.

“There is no keeping them out of yards or houses. The quintessence of all the patent fences in creation cannot prevent their incursive raids. If they find the doors of a house, . . . barred, one of them clambers up the side of the house, raises the window with his snoot, goes in, unbars the door and admits his fellows. Holes in a fence that defy the inroads of the rats fattened at Conrad Heisel’s mill, are penetrated by the runts. The pigs squeeze themselves between the bars or pickets with a persistence worthy a nobler cause. Full grown hogs seem to think nothing of vaulting over a five-bar fence. We have exhausted three and a half cords of chopped wood, and patience enough to load the trains of the B. & M. R. R., the C. B. & Q. and the A. & N. R. R. for six months, and all to little or no purpose. We can’t keep them out of the yard; and only out of house by barring up the shed door; nailing down and caulking the windows; and tacking strips over the keyholes.

“It is wonderful how fleetly they do run. The hogs of Nebraska beat Bonner’s ‘Dexter’ by ten seconds to the mile. We have profaned at them. They think no more of it than if we sat down and whistled jigs to a milestone. If there be a herd law or a hog law in Plattsmouth, we wish Mayor White would read it for the benefit of the porcine race. It might influence them some to stay at home. . . . If all else fail, we wish the peace-loving citizens would build a pound for the hogs, furnish it with corn (only 15 cents a bushel) and a few coal stoves to keep’em warm, till summer is fairly in. It is no uncommon thing for women when they go to hang out their clothes on the line, to come back and find three or four hogs seated on their haunches around the stove, warming their snoots and croobeens, or clawing the keys of the piano. . . . We can’t stand it much longer. Our large fund of patience is played out. Give us a hog law in force in Plattsmouth; or give us a Lunatic Asylum.”

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