News: Spencer - Wild Cat Encounter (Dec 1903)


Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon


Surnames: Moon, Gardiner


----Source: Marshfield Times (Marshfield, Wood Co., WI.) December 25, 1903


Encounter With A Wild Cat (December 1903)




Mr. W. Moon succeeded in capturing his fifth wild cat Saturday which he sold to Mr. Chapleau of Fond du Lac. Mr. Chapleau intends keeping it as a pet.




About four miles east of the village of Spencer is a farm owned by William Moon of that place.  ‘Tis situated in a lonely spot in the heart of extensive woods and is unoccupied.


Last Tuesday John Gardiner, Sr., one of Spencer’s oldest settlers, found occasion to visit the Moon farm.  He remembered having heard the owner mention the setting of a large spring trap there, and impelled by curiosity, Mr. Gardiner set out in quest of it.  His search ended in a wholly unexpected manner.  On entering one of the thickets he suddenly ran upon a monstrous wild cat. The animal arched its back, and stood its hair on ends.  Its large eyes glared fiercely, its huge red jaws yawned and frothed, and the claws of it foot now protruded threateningly.  ‘Twas a sight sufficient to terrorize the bravest.  John halted, paralyzed with fear.  He was without arms, defenseless.  Should he cry for help no human ear could hear him.  Running could not save him.  Death seemed inevitable.


The ferocious animal glared at hits intended victim’s unprotected throat and crouched for the fatal spring.  John uttered a few words of involuntary prayer, and settled himself for death.  The cat sprang but it never reached the mark, it was in Moon’s trap and could not reach the brave man.


Seeing that the wild cat was securely held, Mr. Gardiner regained his presence of mind. He turned and ran as he had never ran before and as he will never run again.  He reached the horse near the road, tumbled into the sleigh, grasped the reins, wielded the rawhide, and repeated the ride of T’am O’Shanter.


Twenty minutes later Mr. Gardiner reached the village.  He told his thrilling story, and received compliments on every hand for his valor.


Later: It is learned that Mr. Moon went to his trap after hearing of Mr. Gardiner’s adventure.  Instead of finding in it the terrible man-devourer so blood curdlingly described by Mr. Gardiner; Mr. Moon found only a poor harmless owl.


Mr. Gardiner has not been seen since Mr. Moon’s discovery.  ‘Tis thought however that he has sought the solitude of his study in order to complete his masterpieces, entitled "Wild Cats; How to Recognize them", Vol. 1 and "Wild Cats; how to Exterminate them, Fol. 2 and 3."



© Every submission is protected by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998.


Show your appreciation of this freely provided information by not copying it to any other site without our permission.


Become a Clark County History Buff


Report Broken Links

A site created and maintained by the Clark County History Buffs
and supported by your generous donations.


Webmasters: Leon Konieczny, Tanya Paschke,

Janet & Stan Schwarze, James W. Sternitzky,

Crystal Wendt & Al Wessel