by Mary E. Corcoran
3 July 2017

The Napkin Incident was at The Merchant’s Hotel, Winona, Dakota Territory.
Darwin Reed Streeter was the Editor and Publisher of the Emmons County Record, published in Williamsport, North Dakota.
In July, 1887, Streeter came to Winona for the Fourth of July Celebration and stayed at The Merchant‘s Hotel, operated by John (Jack) Waldron and wife Rose. He stayed for dinner, and then returned to Williamsport. He drew out his handkerchief from his hip pocket, and discovered it was, instead, a napkin from the hotel. He wrote in The Emmons County Record: “We arise in deep humiliation and shame,” He admitted that he had “inadvertently” taken it. “Say nothing, Jack; it will be returned.”
E. B. Frost, and Cassius A. Hickle, Editors and Publishers of The Winona Times, wrote that Jack Waldron was “seen meandering straightaway” over to The Winona Bank to hire a compartment from Edwin Westcott’s new safe, as a receptacle for his silver spoons. He obviously feared that the “kleptomania” of the Williamsport journalist would “inadvertently” occur on his next visit to the Merchant’s Hotel.
Of course, Jack Waldron was joking. The Bank of Winona was actually a saloon, not a bank. Edwin B. Westcott offered cigars, and samples of wine, and liquor tastings.

Winona History