Farmer’s disappearance plays out in media

Published 4:33 pm Saturday, April 28, 2012

“Driverless Wagon Was 1908 Mystery” is the headline on a story in the April 17, 1956, Austin Daily Herald. Certainly piqued my curiosity:

“An event which had all the ingredients of a mystery drama kept Austinites in suspense for several weeks in 1908.

John Bailey, a Richland farmer, had come to Austin to sell a load of hogs at Hormel’s for $81. That evening his team was found strayed into a farmyard. His name was on packages in the wagon and neighbors feared he’d met with foul play, since a mask and club was found nearby.

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Several weeks later, on December 11, Bailey’s wife received a letter from him that he was in Canada visiting his mother.”

The article does not mention how he traveled to Canada after having left his horses in Austin. Richland, distinguished from New Richland, is a township in Rice County near Faribault.

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