No. 550
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
December 7, 2021

A Jealous Husband’s Mistake.

How a Reading, PA., merchant, broke open his wife’s charmer and discovered a supposed lover to be a
February 19, 2018
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In 1870, Peter Kenney and Richard O’Keefe opened a liquor store and barroom on the corner of B and 4th Streets in South Boston. Kenney was married to O’Keefe’s sister who owned the building. The Kenney’s lived on the second floor and in 1872, O’Keefe boarded with them.The business was doing well, and the two men got along until O’Keefe moved in. That winter they frequently argued over the way
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A Jealous Husband’s Mistake.

Jealous Husbands Mistake

How a Reading, PA., merchant, broke open his wife’s chamber and discovered a supposed lover to be a harmless female cousin. [more]

Mr. Jacob Snyder, a prosperous merchant of Reading, Pa., lately made a fool of himself. He has a young and pretty wife, of whom he is extremely jealous. He was about to depart for Philadelphia on a business trip, when eh accidently fond in his wife’s writing desk a note signed “Will,” which read as follows:

“Dear Kate – I have just received your not. I will come up and spend a couple of days with you and try to make you forget the absence of your hubby.”

“Trifles light as air, are to the jealous confirmation strong as proof of holy writ,” and this brief note was sufficient to set the suspicious man all aglow. He resolved to dissemble, and instead of leaving town laid low until evening. After he had watched the shadows of tow figures upon the blinds of his wife’s bedroom, he quietly entered the house , and stealing up stairs was prepared to burst in upon the gulty pair. He demanded admittance the the champer. There was a shriek. His persistent demands met with a vigorous protest form his wife. This incensed him still more, and seemed to confirm his suspicions. At last the wife unbolted the door to make an explanation. The infuriated man would to listen to nothing, but pushing his wife aside rushed into the room. Instead of the trembling lover he expected to find, a blushing female, in very scant clothing, was hiding behind the door, who his wife introduced as “my cousin, Miss Wilhelmina Wilson.” You bet that husband will have to buy a new fall bonnet.


Reprinted from National Police Gazette, November 17, 1883.