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Bob Lind, Published June 13 2012

Lind: Story of love, gunshot, forgiveness a mystery

Neighbors recently carried a story sent in by someone who found a clipping in an old newspaper about a young man and woman in Inkster, N.D., who, back in 1897, were in love but had a falling out, and one day she shot and wounded him.

The man who sent in the piece wonders what happened to this couple.

Well, as you know if you follow this column, its readers often respond to challenges.

The reader who stepped forward in this case was Jeanne Swick, Moorhead.

Jeanne went online, seeking to track down the couple, named in the story as Mary Lexton and Ole Halverson. But she has had only limited success.

She suggests, however, that the woman’s name might have been Mary Liston, not Mary Lexton.

She found several women with that name from that era, including one who died in 1950 in Grand Forks. “She shows up from the age of 15 on a North Dakota census until that time,” Jeanne says, adding that she imagines “if you had this happen to you (in a small town) you’d head for the nearest big town, too, to become more anonymous.”

Jeanne searched death records for an Ole Halverson and found it was a common Norwegian name; there were lots of them, none of whom she could tie to the Inkster incident.

Jeanne also searched the 1900 census for Inkster residents. But nothing appeared concerning Ole or Mary.

But Jeanne hasn’t given up. She found three family trees on a website who might be tied to one of the two, emailed them, and says she’ll let Neighbors know what responses she gets.

Anyhow, Jeanne says, “I had a bit of fun doing this. But I’d love to see someone tell you what happened to them.”

But keep this in mind. The original story said that Ole, despite being shot by his girlfriend, forgave her. That’s one nice point coming out of this otherwise sad story.

If you have an item of interest for this column, mail it to Neighbors, The Forum, Box 2020, Fargo, ND 58107; fax it to (701) 241-5487; or email blind@forumcomm.com

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