Thursday, April 27, 2017

On This Date in Minnesota History: April 27

April 27, 1913 – The partially exposed bones of gigantic size, discovered on the farm of George Budde, near Kellogg, comprise part of the skeleton of a mammoth prehistoric elephant that lived in the area probably from 10,000 to 30,000 years ago. J. M. Holzinger, member of the faculty of the Winona normal school, so declared this evening after personally investigating the find.

Budde, who is a farmer, made the discovery a week ago. The bones protrude from the side of a newly made cut caused by the recent high water. A portion of one of the tusks and bones of great size were sent to Frederic W. Sardeson, of the University of Minnesota. The latter, according to press reports, declared they were the bones of an Asiatic African elephant probably buried by a traveling circus in recent years. The Winona man takes issue with this finding.

Holzinger bases his opinion on the fact that the location where the find was made, was in an inaccessible place precluding the circus burial theory. Although, he says ivory will hold intact for 5,000 years, the ivory tusks from this skeleton are brittle. Layers of earth indicating many years formation are visible over the exposed bones. Because of the fact that the bones are brittle, it may be impossible to save the skeleton, although an effort will be made to excavate it.

The Minneapolis Morning Tribune; “Finding Elephant’s Bones Gives Rise to Controversy. Winona Normal Man Declares Skeleton Is of Prehistoric Origin. University Professor Says Relics Are Those of Circus Animal.”; April 28, 1913; p. 2.


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