Friday, May 22, 2015

On This Date in Minnesota History: May 22

May 22, 1904 - Peter O. Elliott, the Minneapolis lunatic, who, armed with a revolver, attempted to force his way into the White House to see President Theodore Roosevelt last October, committed suicide on this date.  His lifeless body was found dangling from a short rope from the Short Line Bridge by a fisherman. Deputy Coroner W. B. Murphy cut the body down and brought it to the county morgue. 


Short Line Railroad Bridge1

Elliott, who had been a fugitive from the state insane hospital in St. Peter for the last six months, returned to Minneapolis on Thursday evening, May 19, and was immediately picked up by the police. Investigation showed that he had been formally discharged from the asylum after he had been gone six months, and he was released.

  Peter O. Elliott2

That Elliott had deliberately planned self-destruction is shown by the elaborate preparations he had made. His pockets bulged with letters and newspaper clippings in which he tried to explain the motive of his course in life as well as those prompting him to kill himself.

The Minneapolis Journal; “Elliott’s Body Found Hanging. Fanatic Who Gained National Notoriety Commits Suicide. Papers on His Person Indicate that He Was the Victim of an Insane Self-appreciation—His Rebuff at the White House Had Preyed Upon His Mind.”; May 23, 1904; p. 7.

1Photo taken by Pamela J. Erickson. Released into the public domain May 22, 2015, as long as acknowledgement included.
2Minneapolis Journal; Oct. 6, 1903; p. 1.

Minnesotan tries to force his way into White House to see Roosevelt; see Oct. 5, 2014, blog

Elliott declared insane; see Oct. 6, 2014 blog

Elliott escapes St. Peter asylum; see Nov. 24, 2014 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:
census records,  birth records,  death certificates, obits, grave site photos, ship passenger lists, marriage records and declarations of intent/naturalization records.  I will visit locations to research local history and county records, as well as take photos. Quick turnaround on MHS records.  Both short searches and family history reports.

Website: ®  click on Family History

Contact me at:  

No comments:

Post a Comment