Contemptible Person


Geo. Adams and H. H. Bragg Meet With Death On the Burnt Creek Road.

They Left Bismarck At Dark Last Night to Return to Painted Woods.

Partial Intoxication and Careless Driving Lead to a Tip-Over Of the Wagon.

Adams Instantly Killed and Bragg Lingered Until 2 O'Clock This Afternoon.

Two Are Killed.

the city was startled by the report brought in about Monday noon, that near Sperry's north of the city, the body of George Adams had been found, dead, and another person, a stranger, so seriously injured as to be unable to tell the cause of the tragedy. It seems that Adams and a stranger had been around together during the Sunday afternoon and at dusk had started for the house of Mr. Adams on the river north of Bismarck. The team evidently took fright and ran away with the above results. A Tribune reporter left for the scene of the disaster at 2 o'clock to obtain the particulars.


George Adams of Painted Woods, well known to everyone in the city, and H. H. Bragg, a blacksmith by occupation who came recently from Montana, and who was employed by Adams, left the city at about dark last evening, and by the lower road, passing Sperry's place, for Painted Woods.

Both men had been drinking, and were partially intoxicated when they left the city. Had they not been, there might have been no cause for an inquest which is being held this afternoon.

At 11 o'clock this morning Chris Johnson, a herder, who is in the employ of T. W. Griffin, while riding along the road came upon a shocking sight.

Just where the road forks at Sherley's place, was an overturned wagon. The load was scattered about promiscuously, the wheels torn from their fastenings, and the box standing upon its side in the road.

Just underneath the wagon box, was Adams with his head and neck resting in a rut in the road, his arms and legs doubled up under him, and—dead.

At the bottom of an incline and about twenty feet distant from Adams lay Bragg—unconscious, covered with blood, his head bruised and cut from contact with some hard substance in the fall, and his hands bloody where he had scratched and cut them.

Johnson at once gave the alarm, and help was summoned. Bragg, the injured man, had laid wounded unto death from 8 o'clock in the evening until 11 o'clock this morning. He was at once taken to Sperry's, and efforts made to revive him. But of no avail were these attempts. He did not regain consciousness and died about 2 o'clock.

When the news was brought to the city, Coroner Webb, Dr. Smyth, and numerous citizens drove at once to the scene of the accident. From all appearances, it was not a run-a-way, but a mere overturning of the wagon, incident to carelessness in driviug {sp}.

Just where the road forks at Shirley's, {sp} is a cut bank, probably three feet in height. Upon this and to the right of the road leading to Shirley's place; to the left, and just at the bottom of the bank, is the river road.

Adams and Bragg were not watchful, and the horses took the upper road; discerning the fact that they had gotten up, that they were on the wrong road, Adams turned them off to the left to regain the right one. Over the bank went the front wheels and over tipped the wagon. The fall, from a high seat was ten or twelve feet. Adams was stunned, and from the position in which he lay, and his general appearance, suffocated.

The other man was internally injured, probably, and this with the resultant exposure, caused his death.

Young Adams was a popular fellow and was in town last week with a load of onions. When under the influence of liquor, however, he was somewhat quarrelsome and being a husky young fellow delighted in a little display of his muscle. Hunters and others always found a welcome at the home of Adams near Painted Woods and he was one of the best known settlers along the river. An older brother was shot in Montana by a fellow companion about five year {sp} ago.

Of course, there are rumors of foul play, but it is probably the facts in the case were about as above stated. An inquest is being held.

Bismarck Tribune, 11/3/1893


There is not much new in the connection with the feath of Adams and Bragg, as particularized in Monday's Tribune. There were rumors of all kinds on the street Monday afternoon and last evening as to foul play. It was stated that Adams and Bragg had been met by several persons between Ward's and Sperry's Sunday night, and said that there was a third man with them at that time; also, that Adams when he left town, had quite a sum of money with him, about $200, and these circumstances, it was held, looked like murder and robbery.

But it is probable this suspicion is untenable. A quart bottle, about three-fourths empty, of tangle-foot whisky, found alongside the body of Adams does much to prove carelessness, drunkenness and accidental death. It is a matter of much doubt whether either of the men had any money when they started from town. When Adams came to town about a week ago, he had about $100, and a load of onions, which he sold. But he has been knocking about Mandan and Bismarck ever since, seeing the sights, and that amount of money would not last him long. It is probably he spent it all, before he started for home.

Adams' father, was notified of the accident yesterday, and he came to the city this morning. His opinion is that the deaths were the result of an accident, and he has no suspicion of foul play.

Coroner Webb held an inquest out at Sperry's Monday afternoon. Nothing new was deduced thereby. Chris Johnson, who found the bodies, was examined, and he merely stated the facts of finding the wagon and men. There were no suspicious circumstances, as far as he knew. A herder for Sperry, who attended the man Bragg until he died, was examined, to discover if Bragg had regained consciousness at any time, and it was found he had not.

Dr. Smyth was examined as to the condition of the men, and he stated that there were no marks on either of them, except as such would have been made by the fall of the wagon. He did not think the fall enough to kill either of the men instantly, and had they been found at once, their lives might have been saved. But Adams, he thought, was stunned, and, from his position on the ground, died of suffocation; Bragg, from loss of blood and exposure.

As there were other witnesses whose testimony might be of value, the stage driver, who had seen the men, and others, Coroner Webb adjourned the inquest until November 2d.

The bodies were brought in from Sperry's this morning, and are now at the coroner's.

The funeral services over the remains of George Adams, who was accidentally killed last Monday night, occurred at the Episcopal church on Wednesday afternoon. Though somewhat wild at times, the deceased was of an open hearted disposition, had many friends on the upper river, and his aged father, C. K. Adams, is one of the old settlers and universally popular. He will have the sincere sympathy of everyone in his bereavement. The remains were interred in Fairview cemetery.

Bismarck Tribune, 11/3/1893

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