A Bare-Knuckle Fight at Colonel Monstery’s

Out of This Century

In February of 1888, the following headline appeared in several newspapers throughout the Great Lakes region of America:

REPORTERS IN THE RING

Two Chicago Police Hustlers Settle Their Differences According to London Prize Rules.

The articles reported that two journalists, Louis M. Houseman of the Daily Inter Ocean, and Charles Alberts of the Chicago Times, had settled their dispute according to the “London Prize Ring” rules, with bare-knuckles, in a formal, secret boxing match at the school of the noted fencing master, duelist, and pugilist Col. Thomas H. Monstery.

The dispute, it was reported, had begun “over a game of sevenup in the Central station.”

Although the initial flurry of articles were sparse in their detail, seventeen years later, more intimate details of the story were related by Frederic Adams, a professor of aerostatics who had served as a second for Alberts in the fight, and…

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