Feuding Neighbors in York County’s Conewago Township
In the latter part of the 19th century the country heard of the violent feuds of the Hatfield and McCoy clans on the West Virginia border. Though their story might be mostly forgotten, we still refer to feuding families or neighbors as getting along like the Hatfields and McCoys.
Not too much later then the heyday of the Hatfield-McCoy quarrel, about thirty years, some York County people made the papers with their own feuding. The February 12, 1908 York Gazette reports:
“HONEYMOON HAS A SAD TERMINATION
IT IS ASSERTED RICHCREEK FORSOOK HIS BRIDE AND RETURNED HOMEMAN CHARGED WITH DESERTION
The honeymoon of William Richcreek and his bride, Maria Brannon Richcreek of Conewago township, was brought to a sad finish by William returning to the roof of his father, Henry Richcreek, it is said, and another stir has been caused in the Conewago township district where the Brannons, the Richcreeks, the Hoffmans and others dwell in neighborly discord.
Maria is a sister of the Brannon boy who was shot and killed sometime ago, it will be remembered. She is about sixteen years old. On December 16 last she married William Richcreek, a young neighbor, and they dwelt with Papa and Mamma Brannon. A few weeks ago, it is asserted by Maria, William forsook her and hied himself to the paternal home, there to abide and do his tall father’s bidding, so he says.
It is claimed that the sorrowing wife, accompanied by her two brothers, repaired to the Richcreek dwelling to do what they could to induce the erring William to return to the embrace of the Brannons. But it is said that the tall Henry Richcreek met them and forbade them to come further, declaring that he had use for William at home. in fact, it is said they did not get to see William.
But it does not take much to start a lawsuit in Conewago township, sometimes, and on this occasion, despite the assertion that they saw neither hide nor hair of William, he brought suit for surety of the peace against the Brannon boys. This case was sent to court and was postponed a few days ago. Then the youthful Maria brought suit against her spouse, charging him with desertion and non-maintenance. He was arrested yesterday by Constable Kuhl and gave bail before Alderman Aughenbaugh for his appearance at June court.”
Ah, young love and lawsuits. Who shot her brother? How tall was Henry Richcreek? Who were the Hoffmans and other disorderly neighbors? How did the court cases come out? Sounds like a soap opera, York County style.
Click the links below for more local marital discord:
Revolutionary soldier deserts wife.
Wife should have hit husband harder, says Mayor in police court.