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Dirty Deception


A poor Fargo morning woke up to find herself very much deceived on this day in 1903. The woman, Mrs. Bernblott, had been the cause of some stir in the city of Fargo in recent weeks, but it had been hoped that her problems had been alleviated and that she would live happily ever after after all. But, as she awoke on that morning, she found her situation anything but a happy one.

Mrs. Bernblott married Mr. Louis Bernblott in Fargo three years earlier, in 1900. In November of 1902, Mrs. Bernblott gave birth to the couple’s first child. The following February, Mr. Bernblott sent his wife to live with her relatives in Minneapolis, claiming various reasons for the relocation. Mrs. Bernblott, having every confidence in her husband, happily made the move. After moving, though, the woman received absolutely no word from her husband, despite repeated attempts on her part. He sent no funds to support his young family either, and it was for this reason that Mrs. Bernblott made the long trip back to Fargo in July. The woman went into Justice Ryan’s courtroom and swore out a warrant to have her husband arraigned, claiming that he had failed to provide for his young child. She claimed that she wanted nothing for herself, but only for the raising of her child. On August 8th, Mr. Bernblott appeared in court, along with Mrs. Bernblott and her family. During the short trial, a supposed reconciliation was made between the husband and wife. Mr. Bernblott “promised to take care of his wife and babe in the future, and stated that he would take them to a farm which he had recently purchased in the western part of the state.” Mrs. Bernblott accepted his apologies, and it seemed a happy ending to the whole affair. The following morning, however, Mrs. Bernblott awoke to find her husband missing; supposedly he had left in the early hours of the morning for the east, and had taken a woman from the city along with him. The man had “evidently made the promises to avoid prosecution, believing it to be the quickest and easiest way out of trouble.”


Fargo Forum and Daily Republican (Evening ed.). August 10, 1903: p. 4.

-Jayme L. Job