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Body of Dead Man Found Twelve Miles East of Laporte.
Which Strickingly Resembles the Missing Fredericksen, the Chesterton Man.

Early Wednesday morning a telephone message was received from the authorities at Laporte stating that the body of a man had been found near Hudson Lake, twelve miles east of that city, which answered the description of the missing Fredericksen, and asking for persons able to identify Fredericksen to come there. In compliance with the request, John Johnson, Charles Gabel, Roy Diddie, John Flannery and a Tribune reporter left on the morning train. The party was met at the depot by the Laporte authorities, and taken to the undertaking rooms of Mr. Cutler. The sight which met their eyes and the stench was something horrible. Laying in a coffin was the body of a man, from whose face much of the flesh had fallen off, and what was on the body, was black and putrid. The man must have been dead at least three weeks. At first glance, the men who knew Fredericksen in life, thought it was he. The body was well dressed, the clothes answered the description of those Fredericksen last wore, except the shoes. Fredericksen wore a pair of congress, while the dead man had on a pair of lace.

The marks on Fredericksen were, a crooked finger on the left hand, the left leg at one time broken, and bald head. The dead man had a crooked finger on the left hand, a scar on the back of the head, but was not bald, and did not have a facture of bone on his leg. The witnesses from Chesterton therefore decided that the man was not Fredericksen, although the size weight and age of the two men seemed to agree.

Coroner H. H. Long held an inquest on the remains Wednesday. The following is a copy of the testimony taken by him.

Chas. F. Uhl, being duly sworn, said:

"I am a resident of New Carlisle, my occupation, section hand on L. S. & M. S. R. R. On May 2 at 4 p. m. I was at work near Hudson bridge. The foreman, Mr. Catterlin told me that the Danielson girls had told him there was a dead man in the brush or woods west of the old gravel pit. Mr. Catterlin, a polish fellow and myself went up there on a hand car. The body was laying on the back, at feet some pieces of board under back. The boards were fence boards 5 or 6 feet long. The body was inside of the right of way about 150 from north rail. We then went away and foreman notified authorities. I was within 4 or 5 feet of the body. Body was badly decomposed and smelled badly. Body appeared fairly well dressed. Hat was a stiff one. Shoes looked new. Did not notice condition of hair. Features are not recognizable."
C. F. UHL.

James Catterlin, being duly deposed:

"I am a resident of New Carlisle, occupation section foreman of L. S. & M. S. R. R. About 4 o'clock p. m. May 2 we were working near Hudson. Chas. Danielson's two sisters and wife notified me that they had found a dead man down where the old shanty used to be. Chas. Uhl, Antone Antomock and myself put car on track and went down there. We saw the body of a man, body lying north and south. Some pieces of fence board under body. Derby hat was lying at feet. Clothing appeared good. I then went to New Carlisle and notified railroad officials. Body was lying 200 to 250 north of rail on north side of track. Man's hair was iron gray and he was not bald. Body was lying on back with legs straight and hands up to head."

Mrs. Danielson: -- "I am a resident of Hudson township. My two sistersinlaw and self were hunting mushrooms on the afternoon of May 2. We were along the railroad tracks west of Hudson. We noticed a strong odor. My sisterinlaw noticed a man's black stiff hat. We wwent a little closer and saw the body of a man. Body was clothed in brown coat, striped shirt and good black shoes, striped trousers. We then notified Section Foreman Catterlin. Body was several hundred feet from rails. Man had gray hair."

Emma Danielson: -- "I reside in Hudson township. May 2, in the afternoon my sister Anna and sisterinlaw, Mrs. Chas. Danielson were in search of mushrooms. We were along the railroad west of Hudson. About 4 p. m. we came across a dead man lying in some brush in a hollow on the north side of the track about 200 or 250 feet from rails. There were many bushes around there and the body could not be seen from any distance. The body was on back, turned slightly to one side. Body seemed well dressed. Black derby has was lying at feet, not crushed. We then notified section men."

Anna Danielson: -- "I reside near Hudson Lake , in Hudson township. May 2, in the afternoon my sister and sisterinlaw and self were in search of mushrooms. On the way home we crossed the L. S. & M. S. tracks and found a dead man about 225 feet north of tracks in west end of gravel pit. Body was laying surrounded by bushes. Body could not have been seen from a distance. Body was in a hollow with head laying on some dead brush. Hat was a black derby laying at feet. Hat was not crushed. There were not weapons or anything near it. Brush was not trampled and did not indicate any struggle."

Victor Smith: -- "I live at Hotel Hudson. About 5 p. m. May 2 two boys came along and told me there was a stiff up the road. Jas. Van Riper and Jay Sharp went with me. We saw the body near where there used to be an old shanty in the west end of gravel pit. Body was laying with feet to north and head to south. Feet were laying on ground and head on some sumake bushes. Hair was short iron gray. Body was fairly well clothed, had on good hat and shoes. Body was very much decomposed. Hair was cropped close, but was not bald on top. Sunday preceding I was driving by and noticed bad odor. Body was about 100 feet from wagon road. Fence is barbed wire covered with grape vines. Place body was found was in a comparatively clear place, surrounded by a thicket. Hat was a derby laying at feet, clothing appeared good.

The trains go slow at this point. There were no weapons near body. This was quite a stopping place for tramps."

John Johnson: -- "I live at Chesterton. My occupation is that of butcher. I knew Christ Fredericksen in Chesterton since last March. I saw him often since he came to Chesterton. He was often at my house. I often saw him with his hat off. His hair was black, and he was gray but little. He was quite bald. I have looked at corpse closely and in my best judgment would say it is not Fredericksen. I last seen Fredericksen when he was on his way to Laporte."

John Flannery: -- "I live at Chesterton and keep a saloon. I knew Christ Fredericksen for two weeks. I looked at corpse closely today. I do not know whether deceased is Fredericksen or not."

Owing to the horrible stench it was impoosible to make a careful examination of the body. Mr. Johnson claims there was a bullet hole through the dead man's hand, although others deny this. Coroner Long says that there were a number of marks on the body, any one of which could have caused death. The general concensus of opinion is that the man was murdered and taken out to the place where he was found.

There was nothing on the dead man in the shape of papers to identify him, and it is claimed that his pockets were turned wrong side out.

Instead of solving one mystery, another has been unearthed. Leading citizens of Laporte, including ex-Lieutenant Governor Nyland, Editor Wadsworth, are thoroughly aroused and have begun a thorough investigation. The fact that Fredericksen came to his death in their city and cannot be traced out of the town has induced them to look into the matter and with their hearty co-operationnow secured, the people of Chesterton may be assured that the Fredericksen case will receive just treatment in Laporte. If Fredericksen is a wife deserter, his friends want to know it. If he is dead, they want to know it. The awful uncertainty is what is killing the wife.

Newspaper: The Chesterton Tribune
Date of Publication: May 6, 1899
Volume Number: 16
Issue Number: 4
Page: 1
Column(s): 5 and 6

Key to Newspaper Publication Locations:
    Newspapers Published in Chesterton, Porter County, Indiana
                Chesterton Tribune
                The Tribune
                Westchester Tribune

    Newspapers Published in Valparaiso, Porter County, Indiana
                Porter County Vidette
                Practical Observer
                Valparaiso Practical Observer
                Vidette and Republic
                Western Ranger

The obituaries and death notices appearing on this website have been transcribed exactly as they were originally published in the newspaper. Please note that we do not provide photocopies or digital scans of obituaries and death notices appearing on this website.

Obituary/death notice transcribed by Steven R. Shook


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