Sunday, October 1, 2017

On This Date in Minnesota History: October 1

October 1, 1901 – A most deplorable case was taken up in district court in Duluth this morning, and it developed a shocking state of things in a household two miles from Burnett, in Industrial Township, St. Louis County. John Fried, a man about 45 years of age or more, was on trial charge with having had carnal knowledge of Ellen Person, a girl who will not be 13 years of age until Dec.

The evidence showed that Fried was working with the girl’s father on the farm, and that he was boarding there. They had a family of five and only two sleeping rooms. They were crowded down stairs, and one of the children, a girl of 10 years, suggested that one of the girls occupy the attic with him. He consented, and they took turns about it. The alleged offense was committed under these conditions. The parents permitted the condition to exist, and seemed to think nothing evil would come of it. It went on for some time, according to the evidence, in fact, during all of Fried’s stay.

The jury in the case found Fried guilty. The punishment was not less than seven years and not more than 30 years.

In the 1920 Census, 31-year-old Ellen is still single and living with her parents. I cannot find her after that, and wonder if she ever overcame her childhood trauma.

Duluth Evening Herald; “Shocking. Terrible Depravity In a Burnett Home Is Exposed.”; Oct. 1, 1901; p. 2.

Duluth Evening Herald; “A long Term in Prison Awaits John Fried.”; Oct. 2, 1901; p. 3.

St. Louis County Courthouse


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