Saturday, October 21, 2017

On This Date in Minnesota History: October 21

October 21, 1904 – A crazy man sitting on the railroad tracks, minus his clothes, was witnessed by the crew of a rapidly approaching passenger train of the Milwaukee, near Pipestone this afternoon.

The engineer tooted his whistle and rang the bell of the locomotive, but the man did not move, and it was only by applying the full force of the air brakes that the train was stopped before it reached the apparently oblivious man.

Several of the crew jumped to the ground and rushed up to the man, but he arose to his feet and put up one of the liveliest fights seen along the line for years. He put the engineer down for the count with a left hook to the wind and hung the La Blanche whirl on the jaw of an aggressive brakeman and finished by getting to the conductor with a straight right punch on the nose.

After finally being restrained, he was then clothed, put in the baggage car and taken to Pipestone, where he gave his name as John Randolph of Virginia. He said that he was a telegraph operator and could send messages to anyone without wires or machinery of any kind.

Judge Ring examined the man and committed him to the state asylum.

The Saint Paul Globe; “Crazy Man Blocks A Railroad Train. Destitute of Clothing He Sits on Track and Fights Train Crew.”; Oct. 22, 1904; p. 2.


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