“The Encounter: Frank Benedict vs. Frank Wolf – A Tale of Robbery and Self-Defense”

By | August 1, 2023

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In December 1896, Frank Benedict, an agent of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad, thwarted an attempted robbery at the Fairfax train station. Benedict managed to grab one of the robbers’ guns and shot and killed him in self-defense. The identity of the other robber, initially known as Frank Wolf, was later revealed to be Henry Schultz. Schultz was captured two days later and confessed to the attempted robbery. It was also discovered that Frank Wolf’s real name was Frank Loescher. Schultz was found guilty and sentenced to 10 years of hard labor. Diane Fannon-Langton reported

On December 7, 1896, a brave railroad agent named Frank Benedict foiled an attempted robbery at the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad station in Fairfax, Iowa. As Benedict finished his duties for the night and reached up to turn off the lamp on the platform, he was suddenly confronted by two armed men. Instead of complying with their demands, Benedict fought back.

Using his left hand, Benedict grabbed one of the robber’s guns, causing it to misfire. Simultaneously, he reached into his pocket for his own gun and shot and killed the man who had threatened him. As the other robber began firing at Benedict, he managed to escape unharmed and ran into the station’s waiting room. The second robber checked on his accomplice and discovered that he was dead. He grabbed the dead man’s gun and fled down the tracks.

Benedict immediately informed the authorities in town about the incident. Justice William Park, the elected peace officer and acting coroner in Cedar Rapids, conducted an inquest and ruled that Benedict had acted in self-defense. He was exonerated from any blame.

In the aftermath, the identity of the dead robber remained a mystery until a woman recognized him as Frank Wolf, son of Frederick Wolf, who ran a saloon near Amana. The robber’s real name was later revealed to be Frank Loescher. It was discovered that Loescher and his accomplice, Henry Schultz, were part of a gang that had been robbing the Amana Colonies for months. Schultz was eventually captured and sentenced to 10 years of hard labor.

This incident highlighted the bravery and resourcefulness of Frank Benedict, who single-handedly thwarted a robbery and ensured the safety of the Fairfax train station..

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