Bio: Fricke, Adolph (12 Sept. 1895)
Contact: Ken Wood
Surnames: Fricke, LaBudde, Jacques
----Source: Marshfield News (Marshfield, Wood County, Wis.) 12 September 1895 Page 1
MURDER AT ABBOTSFORD
The Victim Shot in the Back and then Placed on the Railroad Track
On last Friday night freight train No. 23 on the Wisconsin Central, ran over a man just west of Abbotsford, Wis. The engineer saw the prostrate form, but was unable to stop the heavy frieght train in time. The body was horribly mangled, arms, legs, and head being cut off and for some time no one could be found to identify the remains. The ghastly remnants of humanity were brought to Abbotsford and piled under the water tank and in the morning were found to be those of Adolph Fricke, formerly a hotel-keeper in Colby, Wis. He was a man of means, owning the hotel at Colby, which is now occupied by Theo. La Budde, well known here. It was at first supposed the unfortunate man was asleep on the track, but closer investigation disclosed what seemed to be a bullet hole in the body, and this coupled with the fact that a large amount of money known to have been carried by Mr. Fricke, was missing, gave rise to suspicions of foul play. An inquest was held Monday afternoon at Abbotsford and the jury rendered a verdict finding that the "deceased came to his death from a gunshot wound in the left shoulder, inflicted by some person or persons unknown, and that the body was then laid on the railroad track to cover the real cause of death." A reward will be offered for the murderer.
At the autopsy it was developed that nearly every bone in his body was broken. A hole through the left shoulder blade was evidently made by a bullet that had cut its way through coat, vest and underclothing, but the mangled condition of the remainder of the body prevented the tracing of the ball.
Dist. Atty. Jacques, who has been conducting the investigation, was in the city yesterday on his way to Neillsville and was interviewed by a News reporter. from the testimony brought out at the inquest the following facts were adduced; All day Friday Fricke, who was a widower and well-known in Colby, was around that town drinking with his friends, who were joking him about getting married again as he had on a new suit of clothes. In the evening he took the train for Abbotsford and upon arriving there made the round of the different saloons. By eight o'clock he was so intoxicated as to be hardly able to walk. He was last seen alive, staggering west on the track leading to the water tank. About that time the men working in the yard heard what they thought was a shot fired, but hering nothing further and being busied with their work, no further attention was paid to the circumstance. But that shot was the death knell of a human life, and when No. 23 pulled out of the yard it ran over the body, which was lying on its back with one leg over the rail.
During that day there was not a single suspicious stranger in either Colby or Abbotsford, and the theory is that the murder was committed by some one familiar with the fact that the old man carried a large sum of money with him, and was also aware of his condition that night. To reach the point where he was found dead from where he was last seen alive, the deceased would have had to cross three cattle guards, and, drunk as he was, this would have been an impossibility. So it is very evident that the body was dragged that distance after the killing, as at that point where the train struck it is a hevy down grade, and the murderer, familiar with the locality knew that the train could never be stopped. The idea was that the remains would be so badly mangled by the train that all traces of the bullet would be destroyed, and everything point to the fact that poor Fricke had goten drunk and laid down on the track. There is no clue to the perpertrators of this dastardly deed, but if ever discovered they should be given short shrift and no shroud.
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