Universal York

Part of the USA Today Network

York County Horse Thief Detecting Society

Western movies show us that horse thieves were taken seriously in the old West. Well, they were a pretty big deal in the old East too. Steal a person’s horse and you take away their means of transportation, as well as their ability to till their fields and transport their goods.
The item below, from the May 11, 1858 York Gazette outlines the duties of the local horse thief detecting society:

York County Horse Thief Detecting Society

The annual meeting of the York County Horse Thief Detecting Society will be held on Monday, the 14th day of May, 1858 at 1 o’clock P.M., at the public house of Israel Reinhard, (“Tremont House,” formerly “White Hall,”) in the Borough of York.
All whose names are contained in the following list are at present members of the society, and it will be seen by the by-laws that all the members are required to be present at the annual meetings. The by-laws require the list of members to be published, to remind them who are members and managers, and that the rules require every member when called on by a manager, when a horse is stolen, to ride immediately in pursuit one day, so that every road and by-road be supplied with a rider and the thief must be caught.

Click here for a list ot the YCHTDS members.