Dakota Datebook

Husbands Hoax

Saturday, December 5, 2009


Minot reported a curious tale on this date in 1910, writing that a death notice and obituary it published two months earlier was nothing more than an elaborate hoax concocted by a mischievous ex-husband. Louis Sickles lived for some time in Minot and was married there. The couple had two children, but ultimately separated. Mr. Sickles believed himself the victim in the ordeal, and vowed revenge on his former wife. Years passed, and he continued to create trouble for the poor woman, who had relocated to Seattle. In 1910, the Minot paper, along with several others, received a letter by a D. A. White of Pendleton, Oregon, announcing that Mr. Sickles had died in a train wreck in that city, and that his ex-wife was to inherit a $6,000 life insurance policy. This news eventually reached the former Mrs. Sickles, who immediately took a train to Pendleton. Unfortunately, it was there that she found a very much alive, and very much amused, Mr. Sickles.

Dakota Datebook written by Jayme L. Job

The Fargo Forum and Daily Republican. Monday, Dec. 5, 1910: p.1.

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Dakota Datebook is a project of Prairie Public, in partnership with the State Historical Society of North Dakota, with funding from the North Dakota Humanities Council.

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