Newspaper Reports relating to Harry Drabbs:


The following newspaper report mentions Henry Oxley Drabbs and members of his family, and their life in America

The Hampshire Advertiser [Saturday 4th January 1902] reported

Halifax Man Murdered in America.

Details of a foul murder of a man in America have just reached his native town.

Seven years ago, Mr Harry Drabbs, a greengrocer from Ovenden, Halifax, left England and established himself on a large farm at Hinsdale, Montana.

Later he was joined by his wife and six children, the eldest of whom, Samuel Oxley Drabbs, in time became possessed of 160 acres of well-stocked land.

The family have experienced an exceedingly sad life since they left the old country. Three days after Mrs Drabbs joined her husband, their youngest child died, and a month later Mr Drabbs was left a widower.

At a subsequent period the second son [?] was induced by some friendly indians to go shooting, and nothing has been heard of him since.

The murder of the eldest son, Samuel, is the most pathetic of all.

On 29th November 1900, Samuel, who was 22 years of age, and a friend named Elmar Nelson, age 18, left Hinsdale with seven dogs, five horses, and provisions for the winter, and went to the 9th point on the Missouri river, where they commenced to make a dug-out to live in during the winter. It was their intention to hunt coyotes.

They had been there only two days, and had not completed the dug-out when Nelson shot and killed Drabbs. He buried the body where it fell in the dug-out, and took the dogs, horses & clothing of the murdered man, and started on a journey down river.

After disposing of what plunder he had secured he and his brother, Frank Nelson, who had stolen horses, left Montana for their childhood home in Minnesota where they were arrested last August and taken back to Montana on a charge of grand larceny. Sometime in May of this year, the remains of Samuel Oxley Drabbs were found by a man named Dennis while taking a trip up river.

A coroner's inquest revealed the fact that the young man had been murdered.

The state ferreted out a chain of evidence which has landed the murderer in the penitentiary for life.

His brother Frank has been sentenced to 14 years in the penitentiary for stealing horses


© Malcolm Bull 2021
Revised 17:03 / 7th April 2021 / 4444

Page Ref: MMD772

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