CHRISS PETERSON FOUND DYING BY NEIGHBORS
Death Attended by Peculiar Circumstances—Home Brew Blamed
The exact cause of the death of Chriss Peterson, who died late Sunday night at his home 6 miles west of Fort Yates, after having been found that morning by neighbors, lying on the floor, unconscious, clad only in a shirt, in an unheated room, will probably remain in doubt unless revealed by an autopsy, should such an action be decided on. As it now stands an empty home-brew bottle which was found near him is the only indication as to the cause of his death.
The verdict of the coroner's jury, which was impaneled Monday with Judge Short as acting coroner, was in substance that Peterson came to his death from drinking home brew, which may or may not have contained poison. The jury decided that there was no evidence of foul play; over $40 in cash was found undisturbed, although the room was in the wildest disorder.
Sunday morning about 11 o'clock Glee Rusher, a son of Mrs. Rusher living nearby went over to Chriss Peterson's to borrow a pick ax. When no one answered his knock he looked in the window and saw Peterson lying on the floor only partially clad. Becoming alarmed, the boy ran over to George Hammond's.
Entering the house on his arrival, Geo. Hammond found Peterson in a deep stupor, the usual tidy house in great disorder, matches covering the floor, bed clothes strewn about the room and no fire in the stove.
Other neighbors soon arrived and all that could possibly be done was done to aid the stricken man, who did not at any time recover from the deep stupor in which he was found. The only thing found which shed any light on the cause of his condition was an empty bottle that had recently contained home brew. Death came twelve hours later.
Chriss Peterson, about 60 years of age, was a native of Denmark, having come to America as a boy. He was a bachelor and had no known relatives in this country. He settled here about four years ago, buying a quarter of Indian land.
He was a man of good repute among his neighbors, sober, honest and reliable. He was never before known to drink home brew, having often stated that he did not care to have anything to do with it. He was known to have been bothered with heart trouble, which may have been more the cause of his death than home brew.
Sioux County Pioneer, 12/22/1921