1900 Ad for Holton’s Pharmacy, corner of Washington and Market Streets

About 10 minutes past 10 o’clock last Wednesday morning the door of Holton’s pharmacy was locked, and Mr. Holton had just emerged therefrom, wearing a business air and a light Spring overcoat. He pleasantly greeted a friend and made the customary remark about the weather. Mr. Harry Holton, his brother, seated in a Democrat wagon and just driving away from the store, had a look of greater anxiety and did not seem so cheerful. A smoker out of matches tried the door of the drugstore and found it locked. Then he turned and soon saw what others were looking at. Adolphus Holton took possession of his four-year-old son, Henry Adolphus, and this was how it happened:

Mrs. Adolphus Holton (Ed: Annie D. Holton), with her arms filled with bundles, was coming along with her little boy. She had been visiting the butcher and the baker on Market Street. Almost, one might judge, before she knew it, Mr. Holton was by her side talking to the child. A moment later he had lifted the boy in his arms. Harry Holton now drove up with the democrat and the boy was lifted into it. Mrs. Holton had found her tongue and had rallied from the shock of the unexpected. “My boy! My boy!” she screamed. ‘‘Give me back my boy.”

But it was too late. The boy was in the wagon and the father had the child, possession being nine points of the law, and in some cases ten. Then a struggle began which a number of people saw, but which no one thought fît to interfere with. Mrs. Holton seized the front wheel of the wagon, but her husband pulled her away and seizing both her hands tried to hold her back. She wrenched herself from his grasp and again seized hold of one of the wheels. Again she was forced back. She was now free from the wagon, and Harry, obeying his brother’s directions, turned around and drove off. The whole event happened in the most central part of the town, nearly opposite Demuth’s barber shop. All the buttons were torn off Mr. Holton’s coat in the struggle.

Harry Holton drove rapidly to a point nearly opposite Hastings’ grocery, where his brother overtook him and jumped into the vehicle. Then they drove off towards Dedham. The democrat wagon, by the way, belonged to Mr. Fred L. Fisher, a stalwart member of the town’s board of selectmen.

Mr. Holton, according to his brother Harry’s statement, had seemed in a business-like humor that morning and Harry asked him it he did not intend going to the city. Adolphus replied, “No. I think I will stay at home and get my boy.” The plan of using a horse and carriage in the transaction was then suggested. It was then proposed to hire a rig at one of the stables. At about the moment of the discussion Mr. Fisher drove up and Mr. Holton asked if he might use his rig. Mr. Fisher, who had no idea to what use the carriage was to be put, replied “Yes.” He further said that he was going to Dedham and might be gone the rest of the forenoon. Mr. Holton, it would seem, had had legal advice as to the wisdom of getting possession of his child.

The early events of the morning were somewhat lively. The really sensational ones, however, were to follow. The distracted mother returned home and aroused her family to a sense of the great grief and outrage she had suffered. Accompanied by her father. E. Monroe Boyden, she came back downtown. Their first visit was to the Holton branch pharmacy, nearly opposite the Advertiser office. Mr. Boyden asked the manager, Mr. Wellington, if “Dolph’ Holton was in. Mr, Wellington replied in the negative. The question was repeated and again received a negative answer. Mr. Boyden had a fat little revolver of the bulldog variety in his hand when he came in. All danger of shooting had departed when he put his last question. His rage had weakened him and the hand with the revolver in it lay cold and limp on the marble slab in front of the soda fountain.

It would appear that Mrs. Holton and her father then visited the Holton residence on Cottage Street looking for the boy. Mrs. Holton, mother of Adolphus and Harry Holton, was lying ill on a lounge. She had no knowledge whatever of the child’s whereabouts. She had no other companion in the house than her washerwoman, a French woman, who was terribly frightened at the angry man and his revolver.

Mr. Boyden is said to have used most hard and abusive language to the elder Mrs. Holton. Subsequently, he and his daughter went downtown, where Mr. Boyden’s revolver was confiscated by Officer Rhoads who advised him to go home and behave himself. The revolver was loaded. Mrs. Holton, Jr., and her father went to Boston on the noon train, presumably to consult with lawyers and detectives.

Harry Holton returned to Norwood, and one of the latest developments of the case is his summons to Dedham to answer to the charge of assault in the abduction case.

Mr. Holton’s friends seem overjoyed by the whole occurrence and say they only blame him for not doing what he did before.

As to the general merits of the case public opinion is divided. The breaking up of the Holton household occurred last summer. A suit for a separate maintenance, carrying with it the usual charges of non-support, and brought by Mrs. Holton, is now pending.

Mrs. Holton was about town Thursday morning walking with a cane and limping a good deal. She alleges that her lameness results from her struggle with her husband.

The case of Harry Holton, accused of assault,has been continued until the return of his brother Adolphus, who will probably be made a co-defendant in the case.

(All articles were originally published in the Norwood Messenger unless otherwise noted)

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