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More Oddities from Ward


If you were listening on January 9, you heard the summaries of several strange stories from “the wilds of Ward County.” On this date, another strange story, from Velva, was published in the Minot Weekly Optic in 1908.

It seems that Fred A. Lind and L. B. Monican were out hunting rabbit, when they heard “a scream that resembled that of a panther emanating from a cluster of thick bushes.” They urged their horses forward and found themselves “face to face with a man of gigantic size and strength.” He was naked except for “A sheepskin laced and tied with binding twine about his loins,” and “his body entirely covered with hair.”

Monican hurried back to town for rope while Lind kept the man at bay, waiting for his friend’s return. Then Monican lassoed the wild man. He was taken to Velva and placed in the basement of the McKnight & Lind drug store.

The man refused all offers of food, the paper reported, and he had two long, tusk-like front teeth as well as an animal strength.

The story spread across rapidly, published first in the Fargo Forum and in other dailies, and then pushing across the border of North Dakota to Minneapolis and even further east. “The article, fittingly illustrated, ought to appear in this week’s issue of the Chicago Ledger unless considered a trifling too sensational and devoid of blood curdling thrills,” the McHenry County Journal reported.

People kept sending messages and calling the two who caught the wild man, and someone in Minneapolis even asked the captors to set a price for the man.

“The string fiend who conceived the idea is no doubt laughing at the commotion and meanwhile working on a sea serpent story to be released at the first symptoms of the breaking up of the Mouse River,” the McHenry County paper stated.

That could have been the end of it, but it was not; a week later, the same paper gave a message to the Fargo Forum on this day, on behalf of Lind and Monican: “On account of the numerous phone and telegraph messages we are constantly receiving at others’ expense, we wish to state through the columns of your paper that the wild man which we captured some few days ago has been disposed of to J. L. Lee of this place,” who the two reported was traveling in the east with the wild man on display, with great success.

WRITTEN BY: Sarah Walker


The McHenry County Journal, Jan. 16, 1908, Wednesday, p.4

The McHenry County Journal, Jan. 23, 1908, p.1

The Minot Daily Optic, Jan. 11, 1908 and Jan. 16, 1908, p.1, 4