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Sinerius and Runion


Around 1941, Fred Sinerius lost his farm to the Bank of North Dakota and moved in with his son, Bennie, six miles west of Beulah. Sinerius hadn’t left his home empty-handed; he took some storm windows, screen doors and some lumber with him. The bank sent 29-year-old V.P. Wolf to Bennie’s farm to look for these items, and Mercer County Deputy Sheriff Joseph Runion went with him.

Fred Sinerius didn’t appreciate the visit, and when Wolf and Runion spied the missing articles in Bennie’s shed, he grabbed a shotgun and shot them both.

Runion pretended he was dead as Sinerius finished off Wolf with a rifle. Runion then managed to crawl to a neighboring farm for help, but he died at noon, on this date in 1941, less than 24 hours later. Sinerius gave up without a fight and was given a life-sentence.

Written by Merry Helm

Source: Beulah North Dakota, Golden Anniversary, 1914-1964; Mercer County Historical Society.