DESPERATE GUNMAN WAS BADLY WOUNDED BY SOO OFFICIAL AT VALLEY CITY
Had Terrified and Robbed a Group of Transients In a Box Car
Was Weak From Loss of Blood When Captured by Deputy Sheriffs
Is Chained to Bed in Hospital Where He is Kept
Valley City, N.D., Aug 5.—In the darkness of a box car in North Valley City early Monday, a lone man covered a group of terrified transients and robbed them of their cash and jewelry.
At the identical time, Charles Davis, an employee of the Soo railroad, passed by, and hearing the noise, stopped to peer in. The gunman covered Davis instantly and moved towards him.
"It's your turn now," he cried, leveling his 45-calibre Colts at Davis.
"It's too high," objected the road employee. "Give me a lift."
Unwittingly the robber complied and as Davis extended his left hand he whipped out his revolver and fired from the hip, firing three shells, all taking effect.
The robber reeled, but recovered himself before the railroad man could climb in, and escaped through the door on the other side of the car and into the maze of the switching yards.
Davis started in pursuit but found no trace of him and hurrying to the Nestor farmhouse a quarter of a mile away, called the sheriff's office.
Deputy Sheriffs James Kelly and Fred King rushed in a car to the scene and the three commenced a search among the incoming and outgoing trains.
Later the officers discovered the outlaw on the rods of southbound passenger No. 150 which had just arrived in North Valley City from the north. The holdup man had taken a freight to Rogers, and then doubling on his trail had caught a returning passenger back to Valley City yards. He was weak from loss of blood and almost exhausted. At the local hospital where he was taken he is now chained to his bed until his complete recovery.
James Kelly, one of the deputy sheriffs searched the gunman and found a purse containing $8.20 in currency, a gold ring with emerald setting, a gold chain and a twenty-three jeweled watch. One of the bullets had struck the upper part of the watch badly smashing it and stopping the works at just six minutes of three. Inside the case were the initials, "J. L. Z." and on a card in his inside coat pocket was the following:
"If anything happens to me, notify my wife at Guthrie, Okla., her name is Mrs. J. L. Ziegel, and send my watch to my mother, Mrs. Zeigel at Walo, Texas."
Only one other means of identification was found, this was a letter written July 19th, to Joe Ziegel at Minneapolis and was signed "Annie." The address was that of his wife.
"Joe," it said in part, "we are all wondering why we don't hear from you. You wrote last time that you were going to Minneapolis and that you had a notion to ship out to North Dakota as a harvest hand. We are getting more and more in need of money, Joe. It was all I could do to pay the grocer's bill for the last two weeks. Hurry and get something to do, won't you, Joe? for we need it—need it badly now. Katy's face is becoming more pinched every day and Buddy cried himself to sleep the other night because he wanted an extra cup of milk and there wasn't any. Mrs. Hyslof gave me the address of a house where I could go and wash every Tuesday, but I don't know, I've been feeling so tired and weary of late, Joe, that I hardly know what will become of us."
Ziegel is resting easier and undoubtedly will recover. His wounds were only flesh wounds, one in the arm, one in his hand and another in his right hip, but the long exposure and the loss of blood made his condition for a time very critical.
Upon his recovery Ziegel will be lodged in the county jail to await trial at the next term of district court at Valley City.
Bismarck Tribune, 8/6/1913