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52 Weeks Of Personal Genealogy History

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Thriller Thursday ~ Watchman Shot With His Own Gun

My great great uncle George Day was shot while on duty as a watchman on the Duluth docks here in Minnesota. This took place October 26, 1928.

I knew about his tragic death from family history and a distant cousin of mine had found one article at the Minnesota History Center which she shared on ancestry. I have been spending some time at the library to find newspaper articles about the shooting.

Duluth Minn Friday October 26 1928
Duluth Herald
Dock Watchman Slain Defending His Charge
George Day Murdered in Early Hours
On D., M. & N. Coal Dock
   George Day, aged 59, night watchman at the D. M. & N. coal dock, Twenty ninth avenue west and the bay front, was killed early this morning by bandits, who attempted to rob the tool house in the plant transformer building.
   Day was either shot in the left temple or clubbed to death with a large file in a desperate fight, which resulted in the apparent wounding of one of the bandits, who left blood trails over the dock. Two empty chambers in Day's gun gave evidence of his firing on the bandits in his attempt to drive them from the dock. Two empty chambers in Day's gun gave evidence of his firing on the bandits in his attempt to drive them from the dock.
   Evidence collected by the police indicated that Day surpised the bandits after they had broken the lock to the transformer shed and had removed a number of tools.
   Blood trails over the dock indicate that the things made their escape in a boat which evidently had been left by them at the end of the dock to be used to carrying away the loot.

   Police Find Clues

   Definite leads that may result in arrests were announced by police with the finding of two caps evidently lost by the bandits during the fight with the watchman; part of the rope which was used to tie the getaway boat to the dock a large heavy file and the right shoe of one of the bandits. The shoe covered with blood was further indication police believe, that Day succeeded in wounding one of the assilante. The rope was cut, giving indication of a hasty getaway in the boat.  
   Authorities are combing the water front seeking a boat with blood stains and other indications that may assist in locating the killers.

In Early Hours
   The murder of the night watchman occured some time between 3:30 and 4:30 o'clock this morning . Day had pulled his Western Union patrol box at 3:30 o'clock. When he failed to make his 4:30 pull Ray Murray, roundsman for the Western Union went to the dock and found Day's dead body lying near the transformer house.
   Joseph Kreisel, another watchman in the vicinity of the office buildings heard nothing of the fight or shots. He was informed of the death of Day by Murray after the latter had investigated.
   The murder and attempted robbery is believed by police to be the work of the same gang that robbed the tool house at the Elliot Packing company yesterday morning.  That the gang consisted of two or more was evidenced by signs left following the killing of Day.
   Dr. C. P. McComb, county corner, who investigated the murder this morning said that he could not determine whether Day had been shot or clubbed to death. The body was taken to Crawford mortuary pending an investigation. Dr. McComb was of the opinion that an inquest would not be necessary.
   The dead watchman had been employed on the coal docks as a watchman for ten years. He is survived by his wife and two daughters who make their home in St. Paul, and one son Curtis Day, employed as a craneman at the plan of the Minnesota Steel company in Morgan Park. For several years he made his home at the Western hotel, West End.

Come back to read other articles about my great great uncle George Day that I will be sharing in the days to come.
Thanks for stopping by.. Grace

1 comment:

  1. It is interesting to find and read these articles but also sad when you know it is your family.
    Theresa (Tangled Trees)