September 11, 2019 — A horrifying event outside Hillsboro was reported on this date in 1914. Gutfred and Bertha Gilbertson were living on a farm five miles northwest of town at the time. Their two young sons were playing in the vicinity of the pig pen when the older one – about three years old – somehow got inside the pen. He managed to enrage a large hog, and it attacked him.

The boy’s younger brother ran to the house for help, but by the time their mother reached the pen, the hog had torn off the boy’s ear and gouged out one of his eyes. A doctor came immediately and determined the boy’s chances of recovering were good – but he was unable to undo most of the deadly pig’s damage.

“Dakota Datebook” is a radio series from Prairie Public in partnership with the State Historical Society of North Dakota and with funding from the North Dakota Humanities Council. See all the Dakota Datebooks at, or subscribe to the “Dakota Datebook” podcast.

Load comments