1909: ‘Pit’ Bulldog Muzzle Ordinance, Hopkinsville, KY

Many New Ordinances
April 6, 1909
Hopkinsville, Kentucky
Hopkinsville Kentuckian
Library of Congress

Many New Ordinances – Most of them Ordering Concrete Pavements Laid on Various Streets – COUNCIL’S MEETING

The City Council held a busy session Friday night will all of the members present … An ordinance was passed requiring bulldogs on the streets to be muzzled at all times, and another requiring distributors of patent medicine samples to place them in the hands of adults only. – Hopsville Kentuckian

early breed-specific ordinance

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1909: ‘Pit’ Bulldog Muzzle Ordinance, Walkerville, MT

January 5, 1909
Walkerville, Montana
Anaconda Standard – Page 7

Walkerville Town Has New Dog Law
Additional Duties Are Given to the Town Marshal
… Among other things it requires a license of $2 annually for every dog in the town. If a bulldog is allowed to go unmuzzled, his owner can be fined not less than $10. – Anaconda Standard

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1908: Henry Turpin, Assisted Suicide by Pit Bull

Vicious Bulldog Helps Master to Drown Himself
May 1, 1908
Albuquerque Citizen
Library of Congress

Vicious Bulldog Helps Master to Drown Himself
Canine Bit Would Be Rescuers When They Attempted to Save Man from Watery Grave

His Third Attempt Was Successful
Henry TurpinHarrisburg. May 1. — After two attempts early today to commit suicide, Henry P. Turpin., aged 32, succeeded in drowning himself in the old Pennsylvania canal at Steelton near here. He spent the night in drinking. Early this morning, accompanied by a vicious bull terrier, he went to the canal and plunged in. Two men saw him and made an attempt at rescue, but the dog sprang at them, biting one man on the wrist. The dog was thrown aside and held by another man who appeared while the other two swam to Turpin and dragged him out.
Later he returned to the canal and again jumped in. Another attempt was made by the two men to reach him but the dog attacked them and bit each severely. Once more Turpin was rescued and the men telephoned for the police.

Before one arrived Turpin, with the assistance of his faithful dog, got away from his rescuers and made the third and successful attempt to end his life.

Once more ‘the men attempted to follow him into the water but the dog chased them from the edge of the water. One succeeded in jumping into the stream but the dog followed and attacked him the water.

Finally, an officer arrived and scared off the dog by shooting, but in the meantime Turpin had drowned. His father committed suicide ten years ago. –Albuquerque Citizen

Bull Dog Helps Master to Drown
May 7, 1908
The Clarksburg Telegram
Library of Congress

Bull Dog Helps Master to Drown – Drives Off Three Times Two Men Who Try to Save Life of the Man.

HARRISBURG, Pa., May 1 — After making two attempts to commit suicide although a vicious bulldog owned by the would-be suicide used its best endeavors to prevent two rescuers from pulling its master from the water, Henry P. Turpin, aged 32 years, committed suicide by drowning himself in the old Pennsylvania canal at Steelton, near here today. The two men twice pulled Turpin from the water, but the third time the dog was more vicious than ever and kept the men from the edge of the water. –The Clarksburg Telegram

Was Determined to Die
May 07, 1908
The Spanish Fork press
Library of Congress

Was Determined to Die

Harrisburg — After making two attempts to commit suicide although a vicious bulldog used its best endeavors to prevent the rescuers from pulling the would-be suicide from the water, Henry P Turpin, aged 32 years, succeeded in drowning himself in the old Pennsylvania canal. He had been drinking heavily and was seen by two men to jump In the canal. Twice they rescued the man in spite of the attacks of his bulldog, but the third time he broke away from them, plunged into the canal and was drowned. – The Spanish Fork press

Now that is what can rightly be called a “purposeful act.”
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1892 Breed-Specific Pit Bulldog Ordinance – Asheville, NC

With the Alerman
Asheville Daily Citizen
November 12, 1892
Library of Congress

With the Alderman
Mr. Starnes promised to have an ordinance prepared by the next meeting, declaring bulldogs a nuisance and condemning them all to instant death, or something as bad. – Asheville Daily Citizen

The Lawyers In It
Asheville Daily Citizen
April 12, 1893
Library of Congress

The Lawyers In It.
It developed, at the December 22nd meeting, that $1,500 had been paid to the lawyers services in the street railway fight. At the same meeting Alderman Starnes’ bulldog ordinance requiring all bulldogs to be muzzled, was adopted. – Asheville Daily Citizen

The bulldog of the late 1800s and early 1900s is the same dog as today’s pit bull terrier. The only thing that has changed about this dog breed in the last century are the different names it goes by: bulldog, pit dog, bull pit, bull terrier — pit bull terrier. Modern dogfighters still call their fighting pit bulls “100% bulldog.” (See: Disguise breed name)
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1850 Fatal Pit Bull Attack: Baby Schenck

October 1850, Montgomery County, OH
Baby Schenck, child
Fatal bulldog (pit bull-type) attack
Lewisburg Chronicle
Library of Congress
November 6, 1850

Awful Death of a Child
Mrs. Schenck a widow, living some five miles beyond Montgomery, in this county, had her child, a little girl just able to walk, attacked by a big bull dog. The dog seized the child by the throat, and the more he was pounded to make him let go, the harder he held on. The people broke the dog’s back, and after inserting a lever into his mouth, pried his jaws open and released the sufferer, but not until her throat was mangled so that many pieve hung loose. No hopes of the child’s recovery were entertained at last accounts; the physicians declared it past help–it is dead–here this. – Cincinnati Commercial

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1891 Fatal Pit Bull Attack: Mary Glendenning

October 1891, Warren County, IN
Mary Glendenning, 35
Fatal bulldog (pit bull-type) attack
The Sun (Indiana)
October 2, 1891

Killed by a Bull-Dog
One Woman Horribly Lacerated and Another Injured
A Vicious Baltimore Brute Attacks His Mistress–A Neighbor Attempts a Rescue and is Badly Bitten–Saved by a Passing Stranger
Baltimore, Oct 2 — A most distressing affair occurred here Friday. Mrs. Mary Glendenning, aged 35, was attacked by a bull-dog at her house. The enraged brute sprang at her, fixed his teeth in her body and lacerated the flesh in the frightful manner. The frightened and frantic woman fought desperately for her life, screaming loudly for help the while. She was unable to beat off the vicious brute. The latter, after biting her severely three times, bore her to the ground and fixed his teeth in her side. Being almost unconscious, she was unable to further defend herself, and the animal dragged her some distance. Mrs. Hess, a neighbor, had heard the unfortunate woman’s screams and hurried to her aid. She attempted to to drive the dog away, but the latter left the prostrate form of his first victim and turned upon Mrs. Hess, biting her severely in the leg and arm. At that moment a man passing the house, discovered the endangered women and at once rushed to their rescue. After a considerable struggle he succeeded in beating off the dog. An examination developed that Mrs. Glendenning has been fatally wounded. Mrs. Hess may recover. – The Sun

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1928 Pit Bull Fatality: Emily Kienle

February 1928, El Paso County, TX
Emily Kienle, 4
Fatal bulldog (pit bull-type) attack
Roswell Daily Record
February 11, 1928
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Pet Bull Dog Kills Child at El Paso
El Paso, Texas, Feb 11 –(AP)– Turning on his little mistress when she attempted to take a bone from him late Friday “Booster” pet bull dog inflicted injuries which caused death of Emily Kiene, 4, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Walter F. Kienle.
“My baby and the dog were best friends” said the father. “We have had him since he was six months old. As I figure it, Emily crawled into his kennel yesterday and picked up his bone and he attacked her. When he bit her he tasted blood. The dog clamped its jaws on the child’s throat and was dragging the child about the yard when discovered. The child was rushed to a local hospital but died during the night. Death was pronounced due to a fracture of the skull and loss of blood. – Roswell Daily Record

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1924 Fatal Pit Bull Attack: Letha Sanders

February 1924, Jewell County, KS
Letha Sanders, Child
Fatal bulldog (pit bull-type) attack
The Belleville Tellescope
February 21, 1924

Girl is killed by bull dog
Mankato, Kansas, February 9 – Miss Letha Sanders, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Albert Sanders of Esbon, Kansas, was killed by a bull dog in her home this morning. The dog badly mutilated her face and tor the flesh from one arm, severing an artery. – The Belleville Tellescope

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