Saturday, November 17, 2012

On This Date in Minnesota History: November 17

November 17, 1966 – Kathleen Marie Bodie, 14, was murdered in the Cloquet High School band room. She had been dropped off at school early, around 7:05 a.m., by her father so she could practice her flute. At approximately 7:30 a.m., her nude body was found lying face down in a pool of blood by another student in the band room. Bodie had been stabbed more than 20 times in the chest and throat.
Duluth News Tribune; “Teenager Sought In Slaying of Girl”; November 18, 1966, p.1.

Suspect arrested; see Nov. 23, 2012 blog

Complaint issued; see Feb. 20, 2013 blog

Indictment; see March 7, 2013 blog

Savage pleads guilty; see March 14, 2013 blog

Death of James M. Savage; see July 10, 2013 blog

Friday, November 16, 2012

On This Date in Minnesota History: November 16

November 16, 1923 – Beltrami County Deputy Sheriff James Art “Wilson was shot and killed while attempting to arrest a man who had murdered three other people over a property ownership dispute. As Deputy Wilson approached the scene along a roadway the suspect shot him with a rifle. The man was eventually apprehended by a posse and sentenced to life in prison for Deputy Wilson's murder. Deputy Wilson was survived by his wife and son.”

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Cemeteries and Their Place in Family History Research

Cemeteries are filled with valuable information, if you only pay attention.

The obituary and/or death certificate of an ancestor will usually mention where he or she is buried. Half of my family members in Wisconsin are buried in small plots that basically require a GPS to find amid corn fields and dairy cows.

The other half are buried in larger cemeteries with real live people who can help you locate your ancestors’ graves and give you background information from the paperwork on the plots. As I mentioned in my October 31, 2012, blog, that’s how I found out my g-g-grandmother had remarried and her death certificate was listed under her second husband’s surname.

Often, family groups are buried next to each other: the family matriarch and patriarch, their son and his wife, a son or daughter who never married, etc. You may find relatives you never knew existed, such as children who were born and died between the censuses, or your g-grandmother’s maiden name because according to the cemetery paperwork, her parents’ plot happens to be the next one over.

Charles Gordon
Died: June 28, 1866
Aged 1 yr and 8 mos.

Charles is my second great grand uncle. He was born and died between the 1860 and 1870 Censuses. His sister Elizabeth was my g-g-grandmother.

A client’s g-grandmother’s name was spelled differently in every census. It wasn't until I found her headstone that I discovered what her first name really was. In fact, because it was an unusual first name, I was able to track her all the way back to Norway. The years of her birth and death on her headstone also made it easier to locate her death certificate.

We all know about the 1917-1918 Spanish flu pandemic. An older cemetery is bound to include many flu victims, whose death dates are very close together. What if you notice that a large number of people died close together in a different year, including your family members? Was it another epidemic? A fire?

It may have happened so long ago that there are no official death certificates. If you can, check with the cemetery’s managers; they may be able to tell you what happened. If it’s one of those small, forgotten cemeteries, call the county historical society; they should have the answer.

But let me warn you, once you get curious about something, you become curious about everything.

LLet me help you find out what parts of history your family had a role in.

For more information on my Family History Research services, visit and click on Family History Research in the left-hand column.

Discover your roots and watch the branches of your family tree begin to grow.

On This Date in Minnesota History: November 15

November 15, 2006 – To celebrate the company’s 60th Anniversary in business, Nordic Ware and Gov. Tim Pawlenty designated this date the first ever National Bundt Day.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

On This Date in Minnesota History: November 14

November 14, 1908 - The village of Cuyuna on the Iron Range in St. Louis County, Minn. was officially platted on this date.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

On This Date in Minnesota History: November 13

November 13, 1982 - The Vietnam Veterans Memorial was dedicated in Washington, D.C., “after a march to its site by thousands of Vietnam War veterans. As a National Memorial it was administratively listed on the National Register of Historic Places the same day.”1 
There are1,072 Minnesotans listed on the Vietnam Memorial Wall.2

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial

Photo taken by Pamela J. Erickson. Released into the public domain November 13, 2012, as long as acknowledgement included.  

Monday, November 12, 2012

On This Date in Minnesota History: November 12

November 12, 1892 – “Virginia, Minn., was incorporated as a village with 65 ballots cast. Eight months later, 5,000 [people] lived in Virginia.”

Photo taken by Pamela J. Erickson. Released into the public domain November 12, 2012, as long as acknowledgement included.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

On This Date in Minnesota History: November 11

November 11, 1913 – “With two wives living a few blocks from each other [in Minneapolis], neither one knowing that they are living with the same husband, Arthur D. Carter, aged 39 years, today confessed to Chief Martinson, it is said, that he is guilty of bigamy. Carter is a son-in-law of Hon. F. M. Nye, former congressman from Minnesota.”
Red Wing Daily Republican; “Nye’s Son-in-Law Alleged Bigamist, Arthur D. Carter Confesses to Police That He Has Two Wives”; November 11, 1913;
p. 1.