Friday, March 23, 2018

On This Date in Minnesota History: March 23

March 23, 1904 – When D. C. Kissel opened the front door of his home this evening at 9:30 in response to a ring of the bell, he was surprised to find instead of a visitor, a small package wrapped carefully in a large woolen shawl, lying on his threshold.

Illustration by Slug Signorino*

 Bending over the bundle, he found it contained an infant, and upon hurriedly removing the coverings discovered the chubby face of a small boy, whose large blue eyes looked at him in wonder. Taking the baby in his arms, Kissel made an attempt to find the person who had left the infant, but the night was dark and no one was in sight. Buggy tracks making a sharp turn in front of his house led Kissel to the conclusion that the person who had left the child had made good his or her escape by driving away.

Kissel and his wife believed the baby boy to be about two-months-old, and looked to be- in the best of health. That his parents had been in good circumstances was indicated by the quality of the clothing, and the boy evidently had been well cared for.

Written upon a small piece of paper torn from the back of an envelope in a neat feminine hand was the following”

“This baby has been baptized in the Catholic faith.”

This note, the only information concerning the child, was tucked between the buttons of his little frock. There were no marks on the clothing that might lead to establishing the boy’s identity.

Kissel and his wife already have several children of their own, and decided they should not assume the burden of rearing the unknown baby boy. Therefore they called the police and the patrol wagon was sent and the baby was conveyed to the City Hospital. He was placed in the children’s ward, where he will remain until his parents are found or he is removed to an asylum.

The police believe that the persons leaving the boy on the Kissel’s doorstep made a mistake, and that they intended to leave it with Mrs. Henrietta Stenzel, a midwife living next door.

The St. Paul Globe; “Find a Boy Baby on Their Doorstep. West Central Avenue Family Presented With a Pretty Waif Deserted by Parents.”; March 24, 1904; p. 1.


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