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 • Turtle Lake Cemetery
 • Turtle Lake
 • McLean County
 • North Dakota
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Jacob Wolf
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Birth: 1879
Death: Apr. 22, 1920
McLean County
North Dakota, USA

One of the most horrific mass killings in North Dakota history happened April 22, 1920, on the Wolf farm three miles north of Turtle Lake.

John Kraft, a neighbor, had found the eight bodies two days after the murder when he noticed the family wash hanging on an outside line in soggy weather. Kraft discovered the bodies of Jacob Wolf, 41, and two of his daughters, Maria, 10, and Edna, 8, in the barn, half covered by dirt and hay. Shortly thereafter he discovered five more bodies in the cellar of the home. They were Jacob Wolf's wife, Beatta, 35, and three other daughters, Bertha, 13; Lydia, 6; and Martha, 3. Across the body of Beatta Wolf and the two girls was another victim, Jacob Hofer, 13, a chore boy and the son of a neighbor.
The only survivor was the baby girl, Emma, almost 9 months old. Kraft found her in a small bedroom in a cradle lightly clad and weak from hunger and cold.

The killings happened when Henry Layer, another neighbor, had an argument with Jacob Wolf about his dog biting one of Layer's cows. Layer was first suspected of the crime when he showed up at the Wolf farm while the sheriff happened to be there investigating. Layer was eventually arrested for the murders May 11, 1920, and confessed a day later. He was sentenced to life in prison, but would die at the state penitentiary in 1925, less than five years after he was sentenced.

The mass funeral, held at the Wolf farm, was attended by 2,500 people. Jacob Hofer and the entire Wolf family are buried side by side in the cemetery.

 
 
Family links: 
 Spouse:
  Beata Bossert Wolf (1885 - 1920)
 
 Children:
  Bertha Wolf (1907 - 1920)*
  Maria Wolf (1911 - 1920)*
  Edna Wolf (1913 - 1920)*
  Liddia Wolf (1914 - 1920)*
  Martha Wolf (1916 - 1920)*
  Emma Wolf Hanson (1919 - 2003)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Turtle Lake Cemetery
Turtle Lake
McLean County
North Dakota, USA
 
Created by: Brian Backes
Record added: May 12, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 52276601
Jacob Wolf
Added by: Burnt Almond Fudge
 
Jacob Wolf
Added by: Burnt Almond Fudge
 
Jacob Wolf
Added by: BabiiXx
 
 
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95 years and your family is still remembered
- kateb
 Added: Apr. 22, 2015

- Mimi
 Added: Jan. 24, 2015

- Linda Rodgers
 Added: Apr. 25, 2014
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