Minnesota County Histories
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The Death of Charles Howey
The History of Renville County, Volume 2
Compiled by Franklyn Curtiss-Wedge
Chapter XXXIX
p. 1241-1242

Charles Howey, a transient farm laborer, was found dead near a livery barn at Bird Island, Jan. 30, 1903. A coroner's inquest held a few days later brought in a verdict of death caused by "heart failure due to alcoholism."

At the inquest it developed that Howey had been seen on that day with a large roll of money, amounting to not less than one hundred dollars. When he was picked up in the snow the only money found on his person was a silver dollar and a twenty-five cent piece was discovered nearby imbedded in the melted snow and ice. Abrasions on the skin on forehead and nose and a pool of blood in the snow aroused the suspicion of many that he had been foully dealt with in order to secure his money.

When, after the jury's verdict, preparations were made to bury the body, an injunction was secured against the burial and another inquest was held about ten days later. Examination of the vital organs showed evidence of inflammation in the region of the brain and a fatty degeneration of the heart. The coroner's jury decided that his death came by rupture of the valves of the heart.

Considerable excitement was engendered during the progress of the case, although no evidence of foul play was found. It seems likely, however, that robbery was committed.

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