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Where Mrs. Luetgert Was Seen:
The Green Bay area
According to the September 1, 1897, Chicago Tribune, the prominent Chicago attorney Luther Laflin Mills was helping Adolph Luetgert with his defense. The newspaper reported:
During one of (Mills') interviews in the County Jail Luetgert showed him a big bundle of letters from people who said they knew his wife was alive. Some wanted money to find her; others told preposterous tales.
One impressed Mr. Mills. It was signed by a man named Smith and said that in his opinion Mrs. Luetgert was alive and living in a demented condition on a farm near Bay View, Wis., a small town near Green Bay and just south of Sturgeon Bay Canal.
Mr. Mills sent for Smith. He told his story in a straightforward manner. It seems that he had received information that a mysterious woman had walked into the farmhouse about May 10, simply asking for food, shelter, and work. She seemed to be travel stained, worn, and in great mental trouble, and was given shelter. She gave no name, vouchsafed no information about her antecedents, and to all questions as to her home simply shook her head.
News travels slowly in the country and it was some weeks before the farmer's family heard of the Luetgert case. Finally a paper came along containing the story. It was under discussion one day when the mysterious woman entered the room. According to Smith's story, when she heard the name "Luetgert" she turned pale and almost fainted.
Mr. Mills was impressed with the story and asked Smith if he would accompany an agent of his up into Wisconsin and try and find the woman.
He said he would, and made an appointment for the following night. The hour named came but no Mr. Smith, and although the lawyer and his detective waited until almost midnight, it was in vain.
The next day search was made for Smith, but he could not be found. The following day, Mr. Mills' agent saw the object of his search talking with four lumbermen in a saloon on North Clark street. Early the next morning they sailed on a lumber barge for Green Bay.
Two days later the detective went north. He found the farm, but the woman was gone. Her disappearance was a surprise to the farmer and a subject for meditation by the detective.
He found, so it is said, that the four lumbermen had appeared in the neighborhood shortly before she vanished. He at once came to the conclusion that their appearance and her disappearance were something more than a coincidence, in fact he thought the former might account for the latter.
Pictures of Mrs. Luetgert were shown members of the farmer's family. They thought the woman was the original of the photograph, although she was not as thin as the pictured prototype. This they thought might be due to the worry she had recently been through.
Then the hunt for the woman began in earnest...
Then ensued days of watching and tracing and telegraphing and writing. The scent grew hot and cold, then cold and hot. From farm to farm the detective wended his way. He heard on every hand of the mysterious woman, but never got within forty-eight hours of her...
No matter where the detective went, he found one or more of the Chicago quartet [of lumber men] with him. He found that one of them was an ex-convict...
Mr. Mills does not know what to think of the queer goings-on in the Wisconsin woods...
Read about other places where the missing Mrs. Luetgert was supposedly seen.