Monday, September 7, 2009

The Body in the Farmer's Pickling Box

Star Tribune [Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN]
7 September 2009

What really happened to Clell Miller's body?

By PEG MEIER, Special to the Star Tribune

[In 1876 medical student Henry Wheeler shot dead bank robber Clell Miller, then got possession of his cadaver for his medical school. But before the body was shipped to the University of Michigan, the story goes, it was stored temporarily in a farmer's pickling box.]

[...] Soon after, a young Swedish immigrant who had worked for the farmer that summer showed up to collect his wages. The farmer explained that no one -- repeat, no one -- was paid until the wheat crop was marketed. The young man was persistent. Again, he demanded his pay.

So the farmer took the hired man out to the barn. He pulled an old horse blanket off the top of the pickling box, pointed to Miller's decaying corpse and said, "That is the last man who asked me for his pay before he was entitled to it."