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Brown's Family Captured
The History of Renville County, Volume 2
Compiled by Franklyn Curtiss-Wedge
The news of the murders below reached Leopold Wohler at the "lime-kiln," three miles below Yellow Medicine, on Monday afternoon. Taking his wife, he crossed the Minnesota river, and went to the house of Major Joseph R. Brown, on the Sacred Heart.
Major Brown's family consisted of his wife and nine children; Angus Brown and wife, and Charles Blair, a son-in-law, his wife, and two children. The Major himself was away from home. Including Wohler and his wife, there was then at their house, on the evening of the eighteenth of August, eighteen persons.
They started, early on the morning of the nineteenth, to make their escape, with one or two others of their neighbors, Charles Holmes, a single man, residing on the claim above them, being of the party. They were overtaken near Beaver creek by Indians, and all if the Browns, Mr. Blair and family, and Mrs. Wohler, were captured, and taken at once to Little Crow's village. Messrs. Wohler and Holmes escaped. Major Brown's family were of mixed Indian blood. This fact, probably, accounts for their saving the life of Blair, who was a white man.
Crow told him to go away, as his young men were going to kill him; and he made his escape to Fort Ridgely, being out some five days and nights without food. When he entered the post, he has completely exhausted yet Lieutenant Sheehan had him arrested and confined as a spy thus hastening his death. Mr. Blair was in poor health. The hardships he endured were too much for his already shattered constitution; and although he escaped the tomahawk and scalping-knife, he was soon numbered among the victims of the massacre.
J. H. Ingalls, a Scotchman, who resided in this neighborhood, and his wife, were killed, and their four children were taken into captivity. Two of them, young girls, aged twelve and fourteen years, were rescued at Camp Release, and the two little boys were taken away by Little Crow. Their fate is still shrouded in mystery. A Mr. Frace, residing near Brown's place, was also killed. His wife and two children were found at Camp Release.
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