Historical Cryptid Headlines of Wisconsin
Eau Claire Leader
August 30th, 1910
“Saw Monster Alligator”
Clintonville- “The presence of my husband and brother-in-law and two other men is probably all that prevented my niece Selma Schauder, and I from almost dying from fright last Thursday afternoon when we discovered an immense alligator swimming toward us with his mouth open and making a savage hissing noise,” said Mrs. H. Peterson of Chicago, in referring to the report that she had seen a live alligator in Grass Lake, near the city. “Mr. Peterson and my brother-in-law, William Schauder, city treasurer of Clintonville, were fishing in the weeds along Gibson’s Island, across the neck of the lake from our cottage, and Selma and I started out in another rowboat to join them. I was just learning to row and was going slowly. The men came out of the weeds just before he got there and the first thing I knew I heard Selma, my little niece, scream. I looked around an saw an alligator about six feet long swimming on top of the water towards us. It was only about six feet from us when I dropped my oars and began screaming for help.”
The men were only about twenty feet away and came up as rapidly as possible. Just as Mr. Peterson raised his oar to strike the alligator over the head, it dived into the water and escaped into the weeds. Mr. Peterson and Mr. Schauder, as well as two men from Chicago, who are camping on Pine Lake, and who were also near at the time, corroborates Mrs. Peterson’s account of the incident, and all agree that the alligator was at least six feet long, that it’s head was about a foot long, its eyes as large as those of a cow.
The campers and resorters, especially those from Chicago and Milwaukee are excited over the discovery of a hungry alligator in the Clover Leaf Lakes, and from fishing and boating the pastime has now changed to hunting for the alligator. Although many scoff at the idea of an alligator being able to live in the waters of a Wisconsin lake, no one is able to tell what else it was that was seen by at least a dozen people in the last three days. Some say it might have been a large mud turtle, or a sturgeon, or pickerel, but none of them answer to the descriptions given by those who have seen it. About thirteen years ago a friend in the south sent an alligator about eighteen or twenty inches long to Richard Jackson, a restaurant keeper in the city. Twelve years ago Mr. Jackson gave the alligator to A.C. McComb, the Oshkosh timber and real estate dealer, who built the resort on Pine Lake, one of the three lakes in the group known as Clover Leaf Lakes, and Mr. McCombs, after keeping it for several weeks in a little pond, threw it into the lake and since then it has not been seen.
“Historical Cryptid Headlines of Wisconsin” showcases actual articles involving cryptids that were published within Wisconsin newspapers back in the 1800’s-1900’s. These articles are posted here exactly as they appeared during their original publishing date.
-The Pine Barrens Institute