Sunday, May 17, 2015

On This Date in Minnesota History: May 17

May 17, 1917 – Outrage over the murder of Alice McQuillan Dunn is believed to have been responsible for a suspected arson attempt on Frank Dunn’s house at 202 Smith Ave. This is the house where Dunn resided after the separation from his wife in 1915.

House at left is 202 N. Smith Ave., where men brought from Montana say they watched Mrs. Alice Dunn in murder preparations. House at right is 210 N. Smith Ave., where Mrs. Dunn lived alone after her separation from her husband. Figure 1 shows bay windows in dining room of rooming house where alleged blackmailers say they watched Mrs. Dunn's movements across the way. No. 2 , bathroom window, where observations are also alleged to have been made. No. 3, Dunn’s room, occupied after he and his wife separated. No. 4, bay windows in living room where Mrs. Dunn sat and sewed. No. 5, Mrs. Dunn's bedroom. No. 6, barn, used by Dunn in his teaming business. X, porch where Mrs. Dunn reclined in hammock when alleged blackmailers say Dunn pointed his wife out to them, saying, "There she is. Take a good look at her."1

It is also the house where he is alleged to have taken S. C. Ferdig and Al Brown, Mont., so they could watch his wife who lived next door at 210 Smith Ave. and get to know what she looked like. They have admitted to an agreement with Dunn in 1915 to murder Mrs. Dunn, repudiating the agreement and collecting $6,000 blackmail from Dunn.

The fire was discovered around 9 p.m. in an area at the rear of the house where straw was found burning, and the framework of the windows had caught fire.

The fire department was called to extinguish the blaze, putting it out before much damage had been done. Inspection of the premises caused fire department officials to suspect the fire may have been of incendiary origin.

The house at 202 Smith Ave. is in the same grounds as the office and barns for the transfer business conducted by Dunn. Had the flames not been discovered when they were, the house and the transfer barns could easily have caught fire.

St. Paul Daily News
; “Suspect Effort to Burn Dunn House. Fire Breaks Out in Straw Pile at Residence Figuring in Murder. Fire Department is Called. Redenbaugh and Wife Due in St. Paul Next Tuesday.”; May 18, 1917; pp. 1 and 21.

1St. Paul Daily News; May 2, 1917; p. 1.

Disappearance of Minneapolis Patrolman George Connery; see April 24, 2015 blog

Car Connery disappeared in found in St. Paul; see April 25, 2015 blog

Murder of Alice McQuillan Dunn; see April 26, 2015 blog

More than 1,000 volunteers join Minneapolis police in the search for missing patrolman; see April 28, 2015 blog

Connery and Dunn murders linked; see May 4, 2015, blog

Anonymous caller tells police where body of Connery is located; see May 5, 2015 blog

Second man in “death car” arrested in Omaha; see May 7, 2015 blog

Patrolman George Connery laid to rest; see May 8, 2015 blog

Frank McCool attacks a jailer when caught trying to escape Omaha jail; see May 10,2015 blog

Eddie Hamilton (aka Joe Redenbaugh) arrested in San Francisco; see May 11, 2015 blog

Eddie Hamilton admits to being Joe Redenbaugh; see May 12, 2015 blog

Joe Redenbaugh confesses to murdering Alice McQuillan Dunn and Minneapolis Patrolman George Connery, and implicates Frank McCool in both crimes; see May15, 2015 blog


If you are interested in finding out more about your family history in Minnesota, I specialize in researching  genealogical and historical records in Minn. and western Wis., including:
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