Strange Suicide


Of Snakes Taken From an Old Ice House in Benson County.

The truth of the following snake story cannot be disputed, as at least a dozen different persons at Pleasant Lake are able to vouch for the reality of it, says the Leeds Review.

Mr. C. W. Mendenhall and his hired man, Frank Hamman, while removing straw from an ice house perparatory {sp} to again filling it with ice found in the bottom of the building beneath the straw, a layer of snakes, nearly a foot deep. The snakes were all coiled together into a solid mass, and on being disturbed began squirming and hissing in a most frightful manner, while they emitted a nauseous odor. The snakes were from a foot to six feet in length and large around in proportion to length. The reptiles were reanimated by being exposed to the air for a moment, and one large fellow with a quick movement coiled himself around Mr. Hamman's ankle. With a wild scream of "O my God!" Mr. Hamman leaped to the door of the ice house and ran down the hill, and could not be pursuaded to return to that location for some time.

At length the chaff was removed and there was exposed to view the mass of squirming, twisting reptiles. The chilling air soon rendered the snakes "hors du combat" {sp} and then they were removed, and measured, there being twenty three bushel basketfuls.

These were piled for a time by the roadside, where they were seen by most of the residents of this place.

Last Saturday the snakes were hauled out on the prairie by E. E. Greene, who pitched the now frozen reptiles into his wagon with a fork, and was obliged to make two trips to remove them. This goes to show that North Dakota can not be out done even in the production of snakes.

Jamestown Weekly Alert, 2/3/1898

The Summons Came

Posted 02/11/2016