SUICIDE ATTEMPT NEAR WINDOM
Ole Jacobson, a farm hand near Windom, a small town 25 miles southwest of here, attempted to commit suicide last Friday by shooting himself. Prior to the shooting he set fire to the barn of D. A. Slentz, the building being entirely consumed together with six horses and a quantity of grain.
Jacobson had been working for Slentz but had left his employ and gone to work for Jas. Malley. He went to the Slentz house Thursday evening and asked Miss Lena Ginassen, a domestic employed in the family, to go riding with him. She had declined to receive attentions from Jacobson before this, and on her refusal to go for a ride he attempted to choke her, saying he would kill her. The girl's screams brought Slentz to the scene and he ordered Jacobson from the house. The latter then pulled a revolver on Slentz and threatened him. He went away, however, and a little later, about 11 p.m., Slentz was awakened and found his barn on fire. As he went to the door, he heard three shots from a small house across the road and upon investigation Jacobson was found in the building with two bullet holes from a 22 calibre revolver in his abdomen. He had also attempted to cut his throat with a jackknife.
Jacobson was taken to the Slentz home and at last reports was in a precarious condition with chances against recovery. The barn was gutted by the flames, as stated above.
The county authorities have been investigating and if Jacobson recovers he will doubtless either be prosecuted for arson or committed to the insane asylum.
Jacobson is dead but before he expired made a statement giving his full intentions at the time of the crime. According to his own statement Jacobson set the barn on fire and then concealed himself in a shed near the path leading from the house, where he waited for Slentz, revolver in hand, with the intentions of shooting him when the fire would cause him to make an appearance. After shooting Slentz he intended to go into the house and kill his sweetheart, who had jilted him, and then murder the entire Slentz family.
The fire failed to arouse Slentz from his slumbers and the agonizing screams of the burning horses and cattle in the barn prompted the would be murderer to put an end to his miserable existence. He fired two shots into his abdomen and then attempted to cut his throat with a jackknife. Slentz then appeared on the scene, having been aroused by the shots fired, and going into the shed, found Jacobson writing on the floor and attempting to beat out his brains with a piece of coal.
The barn burned to the ground with all its contents, including 300 bushels of corn, a large quantity of hay, eleven head of cattle and six horses. The loss is estimated at $2,500 with no insurance. The girl is prostrated over the affair. She says she was engaged to Jacobson, but was compelled to give him up on account of his bad habits. She is an intelligent and prepossessing young woman.
Hankinson News, 1/15/1906