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Heartbroke Hermit


A tragic “prank of fate” was reported from Mandan on this day in 1916. Christian Maier came to Morton County, North Dakota after his life took a horrible turn back in his mother country of Russia. Maier returned to Russia after fighting in the Russo-Japanese war. He found, to his horror, that his best friend had fallen in love with his wife and told her that her husband had been killed on the battlefield. The two were married, and when Maier returned to find his wife in the arms of his friend, he fled to the other side of the world. Heartbroken, the poor man settled a homestead claim near New Leipzig, but became known as somewhat of a hermit in the area. Finally, neighbors went to check on him one day and found the man half-starved, talking to invisible persons. Maier did not even seem to notice the neighbors’ presence, and it was decided to send him to the state hospital for the insane at Jamestown for help.

Written by Jayme Job


Fargo Forum and Daily Republican (Evening ed.). July 14, 1916: p. 2.