Sunday, March 26, 2017

On This Date in Minnesota History: March 26

March 26, 1923 – Mrs. Francis Stephan died on this date of injuries she sustained when her kitchen stove exploded in her farm home near Graceton, Minn., about 14 west of Spooner.


Map of Graceton1

Her husband, who was seated in the kitchen when the explosion occurred, was slightly injured by flying fragments from the stove.  The blast occurred just after she had added wood to the fire, and was of such a force that the stove was shattered to bits and great holes blown in the roof and floor; all of the windows in the house were broken.

The Stephans’ neighbor, Frank Nahadil, was arrested the same day and held without charge pending an investigation.

According to the Lake of the Woods County Sheriff, an examination of the wrecked kitchen revealed a stick of green spruce, which he believes contained an explosive and an empty 45-70 rifle cartridge.

Mrs. Stephan was blown into the cellar by the force of the explosion and died while being taken to the hospital.
_________________________________

On March 30, 1923, Frank Nahadil, held in the Baudette jailed, charged by a coroners’ jury with the responsibility for the death of Mrs. Francis Stephan, committed suicide by hanging himself with a handkerchief.


Red Lake Falls Gazette; “Woman Is Killed By Stove Explosion. Spooner Jury Says Explosive Placed Maliciously; Suspect is Bound Over.”; March 29, 1923; p. 5.

Red Lake Falls Gazette; “Accused Man Hangs Self”; April 5, 1923; p.1.

1http://townmapsusa.com/images/maps/map_of_graceton_mn.jpg
               __________________________________________________________

If you are interested in finding out more about your family history in Minnesota, I specialize in researching  genealogical and historical records in Minn. and western Wis., including:
census records,  birth records,  death certificates, obits, grave site photos, ship passenger lists, marriage records and declarations of intent/naturalization records.  I will visit locations to research local history and county records, as well as take photos. Quick turnaround on MNHS records. Both short searches and family history reports available.

                                                      



Discover your roots, and watch the branches of your family tree begin to grow.


Website:  TheMemoryQuilt.com > click on Family History

Contact me at:
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Saturday, March 25, 2017

On This Date in Minnesota History: March 25

March 25, 1951 – Minneapolis Patrolman Donald T. McHale was killed after being pushed through a window, which caused deep cuts on his legs. Patrolman McHale and a friend had just left a club when two men approached them and attempted to rob them. Patrolman McHale identified himself as an officer and chased one of the men. During the ensuing struggle Patrolman McHale was pushed through a glass window of a department store at Lake Street and 17th Avenue South. The suspects were apprehended but were not prosecuted for lack of evidence.

Patrolman McHale had been with the agency for three years and was survived by his wife and five children. He was also survived by a brother who was a detective with the agency.


Patrolman Donald T. McHale

http://www.odmp.org/officer/9012-patrolman-donald-t-mchale

               __________________________________________________________

If you are interested in finding out more about your family history in Minnesota, I specialize in researching  genealogical and historical records in Minn. and western Wis., including:
census records,  birth records,  death certificates, obits, grave site photos, ship passenger lists, marriage records and declarations of intent/naturalization records.  I will visit locations to research local history and county records, as well as take photos. Quick turnaround on MNHS records. Both short searches and family history reports available.

                                                        


Discover your roots, and watch the branches of your family tree begin to grow.


Website:  TheMemoryQuilt.com > click on Family History

Contact me at:
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Friday, March 24, 2017

On This Date in Minnesota History: March 24

March 24, 1917 – William Kleeman, a well-known young farmer living near Clements, Redwood County, killed his wife Maud and four little children—Rosadell, Gordon, Lois and Gladys—with an ax, and then hanged himself.


Redwood County1


Discovery of the gruesome tragedy was made Sunday evening, March 25, by Miss Ruth Snyder, a young school mistress, a border at the Kleeman home, upon her return from a weekend visiting her parents in Mankato. Local authorities were notified early Monday morning, March 26.

Both Kleeman and his wife were under 30 years of age, and the children ranged in age from four weeks to six years. The couple had been married about eight years, and both were the children of prominent and wealthy residents of the vicinity.

Neighbors of the Kleeman’s later reported that the family had been heavily in debt. This was believed to have caused Kleeman to brood and finally to have deranged his mind.

Dr. A. Brey of Wabasso, coroner, left for the scene on Monday morning. Virtually impassable, muddy roads made it difficult to reach the Kleeman’s home, which was about 12 miles southeast of Redwood Falls. Miss Snyder had departed for her parents’ home in Mankato Friday night. She returned on Sunday by rail to Morgan, and started for the Kleeman home by team.

When within a mile of the Kleeman home, the roads became impassable for the team, and the young woman proceeded on foot, making slow progress.

It was after 5 p.m. when she reached the house. She was struck by the silence of the place, and as she entered the kitchen in the gathering darkness, she stopped short as a body confronted her, hanging from a rope attached to a hook in the ceiling. All alone in the death house, the girl said she did not even think of flight. From the table she seized a knife, mounted a chair, and cut the rope—stumbling to the floor as the body pulled her down.

For some time she worked over the body, vainly trying to revive the man. It was almost dark when she ceased her efforts.

Then she wondered at the absence of the other family members and entered the next room. The door to the bedroom adjoining was open and in the faint light she saw an ax on the floor.

In two beds she found the victims—the mother with her 4-weeks-old baby and another child in one, and the two older children in the other, all apparently slain as they slept.

Possibly to assuage his guilt, or maybe because he was insane, Kleeman left a not at the scene.

According to the New Ulm Review, the note said “Dear Folks, when I woke this morning someone in the house said, ‘Money or life.’ It is it dresses. Happy. I hang myself. Good-by, bye. With love, W. E. Kleeman. On the other side of the note was written as a sort of afterthought: ‘He killed them.’”

Owatonna’s Daily People’s Press quoted a similar, but differently worded message: “’Someone came into my home and killed my wife and children; I cannot live without them,’ was penciled on one side of the paper. On the other side in capital letters were the words ‘He killed them.’ It was signed by Kleeman.”

It was believed to have been a case of murder/suicide, and there was no search done for another suspect.

Marty Seifert, a former state legislator who grew up down the road from the Kleeman farmstead, has recently written a historical fiction book about the murder called Sundown at Sunrise (the woman boarding with the Kleemans taught at the Sunrise schoolhouse across the road). It is available online and in stores.





Sundown at Sunrise by Marty Seifert2



The Minneapolis Morning Tribune; “Farmer Kills Wife and Four Children, Then Hangs Himself. Five Redwood County Victims Apparently Slain With an Ax as They Slept. Slayer Believed to Have Been Deranged. School Teacher Discovers Tragedy on Her Return After a Visit.”; March 27, 1917; p. 5.

New Ulm Review; New Ulm, Brown County, Minn.; March 28, 1917; p. 2.


Daily People’s Press; Owatonna, Minn.; March 28, 1917; p. 1.

http://www.gomn.com/news/an-ax-murdered-family-that-was-nearly-forgotten-is-revived-in-a-new-book/

1https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/63/Map_of_Redwood_County_Minnesota_With_Municipal_and_Township_Labels.PNG/300px-Map_of_Redwood_County_Minnesota_With_Municipal_and_Township_Labels.PNG

2http://www.redwoodfallsgazette.com/storyimage/MN/20161212/NEWS/161219990/AR/0/AR-161219990.jpg

               __________________________________________________________

If you are interested in finding out more about your family history in Minnesota, I specialize in researching  genealogical and historical records in Minn. and western Wis., including:
census records,  birth records,  death certificates, obits, grave site photos, ship passenger lists, marriage records and declarations of intent/naturalization records.  I will visit locations to research local history and county records, as well as take photos. Quick turnaround on MNHS records. Both short searches and family history reports available.

                                                         



Discover your roots, and watch the branches of your family tree begin to grow.


Website:  TheMemoryQuilt.com > click on Family History

Contact me at:
pjefamilyresearch@gmail.com


Thursday, March 23, 2017

On This Date in Minnesota History: March 23

March 23, 1910 – Seven persons were injured, several of them seriously, when the westbound Northwestern train, No. 23, ran into an open switch in the Kasota yards and collided with a string of loaded freight cars.

The accident occurred at 12:29 today. The absence of fatalities is attributed to the fact that the train was a light one consisting of only two coaches.

Entering the Kasota yards, the passenger was running about 30 miles an hour and a cloud of dust carried along by the high wind partially obscured the track, concealing the open switch.


Kasota Depot1 


Engineer John Moore of the passenger train did not see the danger until he was a train-length away and it was too late to prevent the collision. He remained at his post and escaped with a slight injury to one of his feet.

The “skidoo” number* figured conspicuously in the accident. It was the number of the train. The collision occurred on March 23, and there were 23 people on the train.

The Minneapolis Morning Tribune; “7 Injured as Passenger Hits Freight in Kasota. Engineer Sees Open Switch When Too Late to Prevent Collision in Yards. Train 23. With 23 Persons on Board, in Accident on 23rd of Month.”; March 24, 1910; p. 2.

1http://www.whobuiltourcapitol.org/sites/whobuiltourcapitol.org/files/styles/square_thumbnail/public/Babcok_Wilcox_scan0029.jpg?itok=1hnAMGm4
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*"23 skidoo," first attested in 1906, combines two earlier expressions, "twenty-three" (1899) and "skidoo" (1901), both of which, independently and separately, referred to leaving, being kicked out, or the end of something. "23 skidoo" quickly became a popular catch-phrase after its first appearance in early 1906

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/23_skidoo_(phrase)

               __________________________________________________________

If you are interested in finding out more about your family history in Minnesota, I specialize in researching  genealogical and historical records in Minn. and western Wis., including:
census records,  birth records,  death certificates, obits, grave site photos, ship passenger lists, marriage records and declarations of intent/naturalization records.  I will visit locations to research local history and county records, as well as take photos. Quick turnaround on MNHS records. Both short searches and family history reports available.

                                                       




Discover your roots, and watch the branches of your family tree begin to grow.



Website:  TheMemoryQuilt.com > click on Family History

Contact me at:
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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

On This Date in Minnesota History: March 22

March 22, 1908 – Maurice H. Stans, former U. S. Secretary of Commerce and Finance Chairman for President Nixon’s re-election during the Watergate Scandal, was born on this date in Shakopee, Minn.

http://scottcountyhistory.org/museum-exhibits/maurice-stans-exhibit/maurice-stans-biography/




Maurice Stans

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/2/27/MauriceHubertStansAirplane.jpg/170px-MauriceHubertStansAirplane.jpg

               __________________________________________________________

If you are interested in finding out more about your family history in Minnesota, I specialize in researching  genealogical and historical records in Minn. and western Wis., including:
census records,  birth records,  death certificates, obits, grave site photos, ship passenger lists, marriage records and declarations of intent/naturalization records.  I will visit locations to research local history and county records, as well as take photos. Quick turnaround on MNHS records. Both short searches and family history reports available.
                                                         



Discover your roots, and watch the branches of your family tree begin to grow.


Website:  TheMemoryQuilt.com > click on Family History

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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

On This Date in Minnesota History: March 21

March 21, 1881 - Warren became the county seat of Marshall County on this date. The town was “named in honor of Charles H. Warren, general passenger agent of the St. Paul, Minneapolis and Manitoba railway company,”1 which was renamed the Great Northern company in 1890.
http://www.warrenminnesota.com/index.asp?SEC=0460851E-007E-40EA-B360-6B32DC21BB70&Type=B_BASIC

1Upham, Warren; Minnesota Geographic Names, Their Origin and Historic Significance; Minnesota Historical Society (St. Paul, Minn., 1969); p. 331.




http://www.forksplusrealty.com/warren-mn-info/

               __________________________________________________________

If you are interested in finding out more about your family history in Minnesota, I specialize in researching  genealogical and historical records in Minn. and western Wis., including:
census records,  birth records,  death certificates, obits, grave site photos, ship passenger lists, marriage records and declarations of intent/naturalization records.  I will visit locations to research local history and county records, as well as take photos. Quick turnaround on MNHS records. Both short searches and family history reports available.

                                                         


Discover your roots, and watch the branches of your family tree begin to grow.


Website:  TheMemoryQuilt.com > click on Family History

Contact me at:
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Monday, March 20, 2017

On This Date in Minnesota History: March 20

March 20, 1910 - Engineer Michael H. Connolly of St. Paul was killed and seven others were injured this evening when the Winnipeg Limited of the Great Northern Railroad left the tracks 23 miles west of Minneapolis and went into the ditch, dragging four rail cars with it.



Winnipeg Limited of the Great Northern Railroad1

Fire that started in the overturned mail car threatened to spread, and but for the heroic action of passengers who formed themselves into a bucket brigade, the whole train would have been consumed.

Traveling at the rate of 30 miles an hour, the train, which left Minneapolis on time at 5:50 p.m., leaped the rails at 6:30, one mile beyond the little station of Rogers, Minn., and about 15 miles east of Monticello, where less than two months ago a similar wreck occurred on the same spot.





Rogers
2

A defective rail, or an unexpected lurch of the engine are put down as the only possible cause for the wreck that endangered the lives of 200 passengers, bound for Winnipeg.

Engine, tender and mail coach landed at the bottom of a 15-foot embankment, the mail coach catching fire and being entirely consumed.

The baggage car, smoker and day coach directly behind the mail car left the tracks but remained on top of the embankment and were saved only by the work of the passengers.

Two Pullman cars that brought up the rear of the train were pushed out of range of the burning cars by the willing hands of the passengers, including many women.

The small loss of life is attributed directly to the bravery of the engineer Michael H. Connolly who heroically stuck to his post and applied the air to the breaks, thereby holding the rest of the train to the tracks.

He went over with the engine and his body was buried between the boiler and the cab side, two feet in the mud at the bottom of embankment.

Joseph J. Ortman, the fireman, was on the upper side of the cab and was thrown clear of the locomotive. He was rendered unconscious, but when picked up was found to be otherwise uninjured, except for a slight back sprain.

Engineer Connolly was to have been married in one month. Ortman says that Connolly didn’t say a word as the locomotive slowly started to topple. He stuck to his seat grimly with his hands on the lever operating the air and when the engine fell sideways to the bottom of the ditch, he was crushed.

The overturned tender emptied the contents of the coal bunker and the water tank into a pool beside the embankment and from this supply of liquid the passengers carried water in buckets full to save the train from destruction by the fire.

Flames that started from the overturned stove in the mail coach spread immediately to the entire length of that car, surrounding it with smoke.

A relief train sent from Minneapolis at 8:30 p.m., brought the passengers and crew back to the Twin Cities.

The Minneapolis Morning Tribune; “Engineer Loses Life in Wreck of Flyer. Winnipeg Train Is Ditched When 23 Miles Out From Minneapolis. Michael H. Conley, St. Paul, Dead, After Heroically Saving Charge. Seven Others Are Injured—Fire Follows, but Is Checked.”; March 21, 1910; p. 1.
1
http://streamlinermemories.info/GN/GNWinnipegLtdblotter.jpg

2http://pics4.city-data.com/cpicc/cfiles67099.jpg

               __________________________________________________________

If you are interested in finding out more about your family history in Minnesota, I specialize in researching  genealogical and historical records in Minn. and western Wis., including:
census records,  birth records,  death certificates, obits, grave site photos, ship passenger lists, marriage records and declarations of intent/naturalization records.  I will visit locations to research local history and county records, as well as take photos. Quick turnaround on MNHS records. Both short searches and family history reports available.
                                                       


Discover your roots, and watch the branches of your family tree begin to grow.


Website:  TheMemoryQuilt.com > click on Family History

Contact me at:
pjefamilyresearch@gmail.com