Thursday, September 7, 2017

On This Date in Minnesota History: September

September 7, 1913 – Under a pile of brush where she had subsisted for four days and nights by eating grass and dirt, little Beulah Ganthorn, aged two and a half years, the daughter of William Ganthorn, was found this afternoon. Searchers were led to her by bloodhounds from the St. Cloud, Minn., reformatory, which faithfully tracked the child along the path she took last Wednesday when she disappeared from the Ganthorn home, eight miles west of Erskine.


Still conscious, despite the four day’s hardship, the little child’s appeal to searchers who found her was for her mother.

“I want to go to mama,” cried the child, piteously, her face and clothing covered with dirt, and lying almost helpless on the ground blackened by her own efforts to keep alive by eating grass. A space of several feet square had been blackened in this manner.

Her face and arms were scratched and sore and her whole body bore evidence of the frightful experience through which she had passed.

The baby’s escape from death during the exposure is declared by physicians to be one of the most remarkable on record. To reach the place where she was found, she traveled at least a mile through the thickest kind of underbrush.

Twice the dogs covered the route taken by the girl. Saturday afternoon they led the searchers to a hay stack but there they lost the scent. The searchers spent some time there and this morning sent the dogs out again from the residence where the baby started on her adventure.

Once again they led to the same hay stack and over two hundred men this afternoon took up a search covering every foot of ground in the immediate neighborhood of the place where the dogs stopped. Less than six rods from the hay was a pile of underbrush, placed there in clearing land. Into this two of the searchers plunged and there they found the child, entirely concealed from view. Many of the searchers had passed within a few feet of her before but the child had been too weak to attract attention.

Last Wednesday afternoon around 4:30, Mrs. Ganthorn first noticed that her daughter had disappeared. She immediately began a search and informed the neighbors within an hour.

By 6 p.m., many had joined the search and during the entire night over a hundred men were engaged in the hunt. Thursday, Friday and Saturday nearly two hundred men were in the fields and underbrush searching for the child and many of them underwent fearful hardship during the terrific heat.

Stores were abandoned by merchants and clerks, fields were abandoned by farmers and their men and all joined in the search for the baby girl.

The fact that a panther or leopard had recently escaped from a circus at Crookston and is supposed to be at large in the timber in this district led to the belief that the child had fallen prey to an animal, but that fear was dispelled when the first day’s search failed to reveal anything of her.


The Minneapolis Morning Tribune
; “Child, Missing 4 Days, Found by Bloodhounds. Erskine, Minn., Tot, 2-1/2 Years Old, Starving and Conscious in Brush. Dogs Twice lead Searchers to the Vicinity of Her Hiding Place. Baby Girl Had Subsisted on Grass and Dirt—Cries for Mother.”; Sept. 8, 1913; p. 1.



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