Saturday, August 19, 2017

On This Date in Minnesota History: August 19

August 19, 1903 – Murder, supposed for the purpose of robbery, was committed across the river from Winona, a short distance from the end of the high wagon bridge, at an early hour this morning. The victim was a working man about 28 years of age, whose name, according to papers found on his person, was Newton Hellyer, and who up to two days ago had been employed in the government quarry at Lamollie, before that working as a carpenter and brakeman for the Milwaukee & St. Paul road.

Winona High Wagon Bridge1

A coroner’s inquest was held over the body by Justice Ulrich of Fountain City and a verdict returned that Hellyer came to his death by violent means at the hands of unknown persons.

Hellyer had first been struck on the back of the head by a blunt instrument and then his head had been partially severed from his body with a pocketknife, cutting from behind.

The body was first seen in the road about 4 this morning and the authorities were notified. District Attorney Feegina of Buffalo County was at the inquest and is working up the case. Hellyer was seen in several Winona saloons yesterday.

At the inquest Hammerich testified he saw Hellyer at the “Mint” at 8 last night in the company of Henry Keen. Three men, one of them Hellyer, are said to have gone over the high wagon bridge at 3 this morning.

Another clue is that two men tried to board an east-bound freight train at Marsh, soon after the murder is supposed to have occurred, and, failing, started to walk down the track.

The Minneapolis Journal; “Head Almost Cut From Body. Mangled Corpse of Newton Hellyer, Who Had Been Murdered, Found Near Winona. Neck Had Been Cut With a Pocket Knife—Robbery the Motive Probably.”; August 19, 1903; p. 1.



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