During the Civil War, deputy provost marshals were charged with seeing that all of those who should go off to war did so.
A special deputation from a military unit stationed at Brookville arrived at daybreak one Sunday morning at the Clearfield County home of a Joseph Lansberry (Lounsberry) to arrest him for having failed to report for the draft.
In the early morning darkness, the men – four of them – forced their way into the home and in an exchange of gunfire one of the arresting officers, Sgt. Cyrus Butler, was killed. Lansberry was wounded in the arm. The affair rocked Clearfield.
Lansberry, who was known as an outspoken objector to the war, was placed in the county jail but as had happened before in similar although not quite as serious circumstances, the door was not locked too securely and he didn’t stay there long.
The next day, two of the arresting party had an encounter with a friend and two relatives of the accused man and shot it out in the middle of Clearfield Town, one of them using the barroom of the Mansion Hotel for a fort.
“Our community is quite unused to such scenes,” reported The Clearfield Republican.
This is a photo of the Mansion Hotel (now the location of the Dimeling Hotel) after the flood in June of 1889.