Thursday, October 26, 2017

On This Date in Minnesota History: October 26

October 26, 1921 – Charles Long, 20, is lying in St. Anthony’s Hospital fighting for his life, while the body of his father is lying in the Beltrami County morgue. The father shot himself about 6:30 this evening as a result of a quarrel that father and son engaged in about 1 p.m. over pay for some road work in which both Long and his son were engaged.

James Long, the father, a farmer living about a mile and a half from Puposky, had taken a road contract about two miles south of his farm and his son was working with him.

Puposky is north of Bemidji1

A heated quarrel took place about 1 p.m. over the pay for the work, which resulted in the father striking his son over the head with a double-bitted axe, hitting him with the flat side of the axe on the back of the head.

The son was taken to the home and medical attention summoned. Later the son was brought to St. Anthony’s Hospital in Bemidji in serious condition.
A warrant was put in the hands of the sheriff for the arrest of the father, James Long, about 5 p.m., immediately following which Deputy Sheriffs Cahill and Shea started for the Long home.

Upon reaching it, Deputy Sheriff Cahill informed Long of the warrant, to which Long replied, “all right, Jim, but I would like to do some chores in the barn and feed some stock before I go, as the children are all small at the home.” Deputies Cahill and She accompanied Long to the barn and stayed with him while he did the work.

After doing the other work, Long started to feed the horses and with a lantern in one hand and a pail in the other, went to the granary, which was a short distance from the barn. The officers watched him enter the granary and immediately heard a shot and a cry. Rushing to the spot they found Long had shot himself through the heart with a .38 caliber Iver Johnson revolver and died almost instantly.

Coroner H. N. McKee was immediately summoned and took charge of the body, bringing it to Bemidji.

A man by the name of Whiting, who was working with Long and his son, was the only known eye-witness to the altercations.

The deceased man leaves besides his wife and seriously injured son, two smaller sons, John, 10, and Walter, 8, and three daughters, Jessamine, 16, Myrtle and Muriel, 6, the latter being twins.

Charles Long did recover after spending several weeks in the hospital.

The Bemidji Daily Pioneer; “Farmer Shoots Self to Death After Quarrel. Charles Long, near Death in Hospital as Result of Blow With Axe. Quarrels with Father Over Payment for Work. James Long, Puposky Farmer, Kills Self as Sheriffs Wait to Arrest.”; Oct. 27, 1921; p. 1.

The Bemidji Daily Pioneer; “Boy, Hit On Head With Axe, Recovering Nicely”; Nov. 2, 1921; p. 6.



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