Drive Some Hobos Out


Body of an Unknown Man Found on the track

The body of a man, apparently middle-aged, was found at a point a mile and a half east of Niagara, Grand Forks county, scattered along the Great Northern track for a distance of 500 feet.

Circumstances connected with the finding of the scattered remains lead to the belief that the body was laid on the track to cover up a foul murder or that the man committed suicide by throwing himself in front of a train. As no report of such an occurrence has reached railroad headquarters, the suicide theory is not considered tangible.

The horrible find was made by section men, who first found a coat, with one sleeve torn out. This was found on the outside of the track. Next they found one shoe and a stocking between the rails. The other shoe was found forty feet further, outside of the track, and about the same distance beyond this point was found the terribly mangled remains of a man. There was little by which any semblance of a face could be patched up, but it was determined that the man was slightly bald, had brown hair, streaked with gray, a four weeks' beard of the same color. His upper teeth were false. He wore a blue serge coat, steel gray pants, with a light gray stripe. He wore two undershirts and a sweater. The lower shirt was pink and the outside of white material, fleece-lined. The sweater was of maroon color. Brown overalls completed the outfit and the man wore a slouch hat of black with the names "Easley & Bradley, Makers, Waterloo, Ia.," on the sweatband.

The man's feet were terribly mutilated, and the fact that his shoes were not cut or marked leads to the belief that they had been removed before the body was struck by the train, or before it had been laid upon the track to divert suspicion. The most convincing find came in a hand and forearm which was found some distance from the other parts of the body. Tied tightly around the wrist was a portion of suspender, which had been drawn tight and tied in a manner that could not possibly have been done by the man himself.

Coroner Matthews spent Sunday at Niagara and made as thorough an investigation as possible. He reported his findings to state's attorney Wineman, and and effort is now being made to identify the remains of the victim. While the body was found early Saturday morning, and the railroad officials at Larimore notified. {sp} No report was made to Coroner Matthews until late Saturday night. On account of this delay on the part of the railroad officials at Larimore much valuable time was lost, and if it was a case of murder the guilty ones have had sufficient time to get beyond the danger of apprehension.

Three freight trains and the overland flyer passed Niagara between midnight and Saturday morning, going east, the position of the body making it certain that the body had been mutilated by an east-bound train. None of the train crews reported striking an obstruction at or near Niagara.

Wahpeton Times, 11/25/1904

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Posted 11/25/2017