Wednesday, October 19, 2011


I was trying to figure out why Alfred Wyburn was in Austin, Minnesota when he met my mother Annabell.  As far as I knew he didn't have any relatives there.  So what was he doing there?

The only thing I could come up with was..........and this is only my opinion...........or rather my take on this encounter.  Alfred's brother in law was Erwin Blaul who had been adopted by Frank and Ida Fink in Dubuque, Iowa.  My mother worked for a couple, house cleaning, babysitting, etc, by the name of Rose and Bub Fink.  I've tried and tried to connect but so far no luck.

Erwin's parents lived in St. Paul, Minnesota.  His father was an agent for the railroad.  Suppose, just suppose Alfred and Erwin went together, stopped in Austin to see relatives (Finks) then headed north to St. Paul to visit family.  Sounds reasonable..........

Now for the rest of the story.............In 1926 there was a train robbery in St. Paul and the men that were indicted for their roll in it:  Danny Hogan, Frank W. Sommer, who was a former St. Paul police chief and secret service official, and George E. Blaul, former agent at South St. Paul and Reuben C. Lilley, alias "Black" Carter.  (information taken from

December 5, 1928 St. Paul gang figure slain blared all over the papers when Danny Hogan got in his car and when he started the engine it burst into flames.  A bomb had been planted for this St. Paul restaurant proprietor and well known figure in the Twin Cities underworld.  He died shortly before 9 p.m.  Among some of the other well know figures in the mob was Dapper Dan and Dillinger. 

Maybe Erwin and Alfred were making trips north to check on family or maybe, maybe they knew of some of the things that went on.  In the 40's Alfred stayed a couple of nights in jail because of receiving stolen property, but that's another story.

Otto Blaul was born abt 1849 in Bavaria, Germany.  He arrived in US 9 Jun 1866.  He married Agusta b. abt 1847 in Iowa.
children:  Mary E.  b. 1872; Fred C. 1873; Otto S. 1875; Hattie M. 1877; Baby Mar 1880; George E. 2 Oct 1882 IA.

George E. d. 11 Sep 1969 Ramsey, MN, m. Anna Grutzmacher abt. 1905.
children:  Erwin William Blaul 6 Jun 1907 IA.  m.  Katherine Mary Wyburn 15 Jan 1929 Dubuque, IA.
James O. 1912 MN-Feb 1971, buried Ft. Snelling, Minneapolis, MN; John 1915 MN; David 1917 MN; Georgeen 1920 MN

1900 census IA Clayton Millville District 44
1910 census ND Casselton Ward 1 Cass
1920 census MN Dakota S. St. Paul District 31
1930 census MN Dakota S. St. Paul District 33


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