Soldier Dead Four Years Identified as James O. Harrison, June 1926
Prepared by John F. Stichman.
Sister Able to Prove Identity and Collect Bonus!
In April, 1922. a man was found dead just south of the Kansas line near Caney, with a 22 caliber rifle by his side. He had been shot just below the heart. A coroner's jury returned a verdict of suicide. It was ten days after the finding of the man that Mr. Ziegenfuss came to Caney on business. He was a former member of the police force of that city and was asked to view the body with a possibility of recognizing it. Arrangements were made to bury the body but Mr. Ziegenfuss, a finger print expert, asked them to hold the body for ten days so he could make an effort to find out who he was. He also took a photograph of the man. Finger prints were sent to the war department and two other places and in less than ten days, May 11, 1922, the following letter was received from Robert C. Davis, adjutant general:
"With reference to your letter of the 7th inst. with inclosure of finger prints of man found dead near Caney, Kansas, beg to advise that the finger prints are identical with those of James 0. Harrison, who enlisted June 9, 1917, at Fort George Wright, Washington, honorably discharged September 2, 1919. This soldier gave the name and address of relative to be informed in case of death as Mrs. J. O. Harrison, mother, R. F. D. No. 1, Sullivan, Mo."
Attached to the letter were proofs sent to the Government. With these papers and an affidavit by Mr. Ziegenfuss to the effect that he took the finger prints and knows the man is dead, the sister has successfully perfected her claim against the Government and has collected the bonus due her brother. Mr. Ziegenfuss does not know why the claim was delayed so long nor why the brother was not missed sooner.
1. "Old Photograph and Finger Prints Identify Soldier Dead Four Years", Finger Print and Identification Magazine, Vol. 7, No. 12, June 1926, page 8.
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