The following excerpt was extracted from the Leadville Daily Democrat, February 15, 1881.
On Sunday, February 15, 1881, there occurred an event that appears to have impacted Carl Pflugradt and his family for years to come. That morning, Carl’s employee, Hart Reeves, came to the laundry to collect his $7 weekly wage. Carl explained to Reeves that he was short of cash that day, paid him what he had on hand [$4.00], and asked Reeves to return on Monday for the remaining $3. Reeves, described in the Leadville Democrat as “…being of bad character and bearing the reputation of once having killed a man in one of the southern states (Texas)- an imputation he does not deny, but takes great pride in repeating.”. Hart became agitated, drew a revolver and shot Carl twice, one ball entering the arm, and the second, in his back narrowly missing his spinal-cord. Almost immediately a crowd rushed in and disarmed Reeves, who still managed to escape but was later apprehended by Leadville’s finest and jailed on the charge of attempted murder, where he remained for some time, unable to raise his $1200 bail. The physician who attended Carl’s wounds was uncertain if he would ever recover the use of his arm and, at minimum, Carl had a lengthy recovery. The family moved back to the 1818 Harrison Avenue address shortly thereafter and Carl ceded operations of the laundry to Louis Butler for a brief period until the laundry ceased to operate altogether in 1885.