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A. J. MILLSLAGEL.
CASS COUNTY'S FIRST DEMOCRAT.
And here a break in Mr. Bradshaw's sketch must be made to say a word regarding this one Democrat--the first in Cass county, and A. J. Millslagel by name. For miles around he was known as "Old Slagel," and he was the first professional prairie breaker in the county; that is, he was paid for breaking the soil for those new comers who were not provided with the wherewithall to do it themselves, or were too lazy to do it.
But Old Slagel's chief title to distinction was his eating capacity. It is said that he could starve longer and eat more at a sitting than any man, Indian or white, in Iowa. Hunters who knew him would not allow him to accompany them, because it was so difficult to fill him; for him a quarter of venison was hardly an appetizer. One time in the winter of 1853 Jeremiah Bradshaw was many miles north of the Indiantown settlement on a hunting expedition, and his family started Mr. Slagel toward him with an enormous supply of provisions. The messenger and bearer traveled by ox team and therefore very slowly, and when he reached Bradshaw's camp there was scarcely any provisions left.
It is also claimed that late one summer afternoon Old Slagel shot a doe with its fawn, and that (with what weak assistance he could get from another man) he managed to eat the fawn and the foreward half of the doe before dinner the next day. Vegetarians will be pleased to learn that this ravenous eater of flesh came to a bad end. He afterward removed to Montgomery county, where he shot and killed a man, being sent to the Fort Madison penitentiary for a term of fourteen years.
From "Compendium and History of Cass County, Iowa." Chicago: Henry and Taylor & Co., 1906, pp. 49-50.
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