Saturday, November 4, 2017

On This Date in Minnesota History: November 4

November 4, 1913 – Paul Medderleigh, custodian of the Thief River Falls jail, became a captive in his own jail this evening while his prisoner escaped.

Three prisoners were in jail at the time, one of whom was C. O. Hanson, who claimed to be from Minneapolis, and who was serving a 10-day sentence for jumping a lodging bill.

Medderleigh had just entered the cell block with the prisoner’s dinner. After unlocking the main door he placed the key back on the wall in the corridor. While his back was turned, Hanson tiptoed past him and slammed the heavy steel door to the cage shut, at the same time springing the lock on the massive padlock. Medderleigh rushed frantically to the door, but arrived too late. The outer door to the building was also unlocked and Hanson easily made his escape.

The escape was made during the supper hour and at a time when only a few people pass the jail. Nearly 15 minutes elapsed before cries of the imprisoned official were heard and he was released. O trace of Hanson has been found.

The Minneapolis Morning Tribune; “Jailed Becomes Jailer. Thief River Falls Prisoner Locks Custodian in Cell—Makes Good His Escape.” November 5, 1913; p. 2.


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