The members of the Hamilton Corps, in the1880s, were loud and outrageous in their behavior as they paraded along Hamilton’s downtown streets, with the brass band, colorful uniforms and non-stop exhortations. However, mostly, the services held indoors were more sedate.
Such was not the case on Sunday, March 23, 1884:
“Yesterday afternoon, the usually quiet and orderly services of the Salvation Army at the Grand Opera House were somewhat rudely disturbed by the antics of a man, who, truthfully or otherwise, claimed to be a journalist.
“During a lull in the entertainment, he suddenly sprang up in his seat and gave out the startling information that he was the servant of the enemy of mankind. Shaking a handful of paper in his hand, he said that he had been writing a wicked report of the proceedings of a meeting for the devil’s paper.
“There is nothing Capt. Happy Bill likes better than candor and upon hearing this self-confessed statement of the depths of depravity in which this unfortunate was living, he at once opened the whole force of salvation upon the devil which lodged in this man’s soul.
“He was brought down to the penitent bench and the whole broadsides of hot shot fired into him. His career as a journalist, no doubt, had caused his heart to become too case-hardened for the fiery shower to have any effect, and he passed away into the quiet unknown, or wherever he came from, with the remark that he was lost.
“Whether his curious actions were the result of the captain’s eloquent words or from frequent libations of the ardent, it does not appear.”1
1“A Victim of the ‘Power’ or the’ Snakes’ Creates a Sensation at the Opera House”
Hamilton Spectator. March 24, 1884.