Saturday, February 10, 2018

On This Date in Minnesota History: February 10

February 10, 1911 – Charles Stolberg, for 12 years register of deeds of Carlton County, shot and killed himself this evening about half a mile from Carlton, presumably while suffering from the effects of a severe attack of grip*. So far as known his office and family affairs furnish no cause for the act. He left this afternoon for a walk to Scanlon, he said, intending to return later on the train. His failure to return resulted in a searching party tracking him about half a mile north of town, where he was found lying dead in the snow with a bullet hole in his head. A new revolver near the body indicated the manner of death. The body was taken to Cloquet, where Coroner Nydquist will conduct an inquest.

It was about 4 this afternoon when Stolberg left the courthouse after remarking to a friend that he believed he would walk to Scanlon, a distance of about three miles, and return on the evening train in the hope the walk in the fresh air would prove beneficial for a severe attack of the grip*, with which he had been wrestling a good part of the winter. Nothing was thought of his action, as he appeared to be in a rational mood, until about 10 p.m., when Mrs. Stolberg became alarmed at his failure to return and notified friends of the family.


James B. Gillespie and John B. Thompson, who had been requested by Mrs. Stolberg to search for her husband, learned from Scanlon that he had not boarded the train there nor been seen in that vicinity and they started on foot for Scanlon in about the direction he would take.

About half a mile north of Carlton they followed very fresh tracks in the snow, then came across some blood and finally the body, indicating Stolberg had walked a few feet after firing the bullet into his head. A small piece of rope or string hanging to a tree and marks in the snow indicated Stolberg had first tried to hang himself, but the rope was too small and he then used the pistol. He had been dead some time when the body was found. The pistol used was new and he evidently bought it for the purpose.

The news of the tragic fate of Mr. Stolberg created a sensation and came as a great shock to the community, as he was very popular, having been elected register of deeds several successive times without little or no opposition. He was a native of Hester, Sweden, aged 46, and had lived in this country many years. He is survived by his widow and one daughter, age 12.

The Duluth Herald; Register of Deeds of Carlton County Ends His Life By Shooting. Charles Stolberg Commits Suicide While Walking to Scanlon. Indications Show He First Attempted to Hang Himself. Deceased a Well-Known and Popular Resident of Carlton.”; Feb. 11, 1911; pp. 1 & 3.

*Definition of grip:


Photo taken by Pamela J. Erickson. Released into the public domain Aug. 24, 2013,
as long as acknowledgement included.


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