1909: Missing Texas boy turns up in cotton bale in England

In December 1908, a Texas cotton farmer, George Hartman, reported his two-year-old son Alfred missing. Young Alfred had accompanied his father on a delivery run to Fredericksburg but went missing while Hartman Snr. was conducting business.

An extensive search of the town failed to turn up any sign of Alfred. It was presumed he had wandered into a local waterway, drowned and sank to the bottom. The mystery was solved six months later, with:

“…the finding of the dead body of the infant in a bale of cotton opened in Liverpool, England… The child having crept into the press while open and, falling asleep, was ginned into the bale of cotton. The cotton was sold to a Texas concern, placed in a warehouse for several weeks and finally exported to Liverpool.”

Source: The Gettysburg Times, May 10th 1909. Content on this page is © Alpha History 2019-23. Content may not be republished without our express permission. For more information please refer to our Terms of Use or contact Alpha History.