1855 - The hearses riot

800px Corbillard hippomobileThe hearses riot, in 1855, proved fatal for Mayor Chappuis. Up till then, the good people of Colmar had gone to their final resting place, the Rappendantz (literally "the place where the ravens dance") with the help of local carpenters, locksmiths, sculptors and porters, who would join forces to make the final journey as fine and comfortable as possible and bring in a little extra income at the same time.

The "funeral band" as they were known, did not at all appreciate the city´s initiative in handing over responsibility for burials to the newly-founded undertakers´ association. They had no difficulty in bringing the locals over to their side, making out the city wanted to stop them burying their own dead. Burials conducted by the professional undertakers were attacked and had to have a police escort. The prefect did not like the look of any of this and ended up sacking poor old Mayor Chappuis. It was an excellent excuse for getting rid of a mayor who, as everyone remembered, had unconvincingly switched from being a republican in 1848 to a Napoleonite under Napoleon III. His long period in office finally came to an end as his popularity had run out.

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