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52 Weeks Of Personal Genealogy History

Thursday, February 9, 2012


It has been almost a year since I wrote on my great grand uncle George Day and his death on the docks of Duluth, Minnesota.
I wrote this post on April 14th 2011
My great grand 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.
The picture below is of George Day years earlier when he was working in Duluth as a police officer

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.
You can read more of this article by clicking on the above link.
     This is the story I knew and read on the first trip to the library. I never shared the other newspaper articles until now because they were just more of the same story.  This last month I revisited the library and the newspaper articles and found more articles I had missed. 
     I have held off sharing these additional articles because the story will change as the articles are written.  What is written is not what I was told.  Did my mother, her sister and brother know the rest of the story or was this kept from them also?  Do George's direct family know what was written or was this kept from them also ?  Family secrets are an interesting fact, stories whispered behind closed doors to just certain family members.
Duluth Minn Saturday October 27 1928

Duluth Herald
Signs Indicate Victim Fought
Three Men Thought to Have Attempted Robbery
Police Have Clues.
     George Day 59, night watchman of the D. M. & N coal dock. twenty night ave west and the bay front, who was found dead on the dock early yesterday morning, was killed by a bullet from his own revolver which was either wretched from or discharged in his hand in a struggle with his assailants in  the belief of Dr. C. F. McComb, county coroner who preformed an autopsy on the body late Friday. No arrests were made up to late last night.
Resting against the inner wall of the right side of the skull was found a battered bullet believed to be of a 38 calibre, the same type found in the revolver carried by the watchman.  The bullet entered the left side of the head near the ear and passed through the brain.
 Evidence Points To Fight
     The autopsy revealed several bruises about the head and face which led Coroner McComb to suggest that Day engaged in a fight with with his assailants after they were discovered in the act of loading into a nearby boat a quanity of tools taken from the plant transformer building.  Day who was of stocky build, is believed to have engaged in combat with the robbers, but was over powered by superior force and killed by a bullet with his own gun.
At least three men are believd to have attempted the robbery one of who left several clues which police are investigating.  Robert E Donaldson, chief of detectives, reported a find of two caps, one brown and other gray, and a large file near the scene of the murder.
Robbery was the motive, according to investigators, who believe that there had been no intention of murder until the watchman disturbed the men in making their getaway.
Found by Roundsman
     The murder occured some time between 3:30 am and 4:30 am police point out.  Day, in fullfilling his duties as watchman, reported his duties as watchman, reported hourlyy to the Western Union up to and including the 3:30 report.  When no report was received at 4:30 am, Ray Murray, roundsman for the Western Union , went to the dock and found Day's body near the transformer house.
The murder and attempted robber is believed to be the work of the same gang that robbed the house of Elliot Packing company early Wednesday morning.  Day was competing his 10 th year of employ on the dock.
     Survivors include a wife and two daughters living in St. Paul and one son, Curtis N. Day, employed as a cransman at the plant of Minnesota Steel company in Morgan Park.  Day recently moved from the Western hotel and was due to check into the Rex hotel Thursday morning.  
This is the second article written in the local newspaper, I will share more articles soon. Thanks for stopping by.. Grace

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