|Arkansas Echo ad for a Little Rock Saloon|
This restriction of the sale of alcoholic drinks did not affect Loetscher until the first part of the 1890s when Hendrix College moved from Altus to Conway. Apparently, Loetscher's farm was less than three miles from the new college and it became illegal for him to sell his wine. As a result, he had a hard time making a living.
|Arkansas Echo ad for Fallstaff Beer 1894|
On Saturday, May 26, 1894, two men living in the small town near Conway, drunk, decided to go to Loetscher's farm to get wine from him. He was not there when they arrived, but one of them, Joe Luke, ended up beating his wife with a hoe and then severely injuring him with the same hoe when he came a few minutes later. After that, Luke and his partner went to the local sheriff to tell him that Loetscher had sold him wine. The sheriff wanted to drag the severely injured man in immediately for a trial, but because of his severe injuries he could not go. The trial was postponed the trail until the following Tuesday. Loetscher, suffering from life-threatening injuries was brought to court and convicted of illegally selling an alcoholic drink. He was fined $200 and court costs. His assailants were not charged with any crime.
Loetscher died from his injuries less than a week after the trial.
Here is the translated story:
As reported in last week’s issue, Joe Luke assaulted P.P. Loetcher last Saturday a week. Loetcher took to his bed shortly afterward, and died early Monday morning. Coroner Phillips assisted by assistant Prosecuting Attorney Geo. Shaw held an inquest Monday and the Jury returned a sealed verdict the effect of which can only be guessed at as the officers and jury would not say what it is.
A post mortem examination was held and the autopsy made by Drs. Brannon and Voris showed that Loetcher’s skull had been severely fractured on the left side, there was also a severe bruise on the right side of the spine just over the kidney and the small bone of the left arm was broken. The testimony showed that the wounds were inflicted with an old hoe in hands of Luke.
Loetcher was a native of Switzerland and he had lived here for over twenty years being one of the oldest citizens here. His remains were buried in Oak Grove Cemetery.
Luke is a young man who lived at Mayflower. He has not been apprehended although the presumption is that the coroner’s Jury by its verdict found him guilty of the murder.”