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(Left to right) Beltrami County Sheriff’s Deputies Lee Anderson and Scott Wherley note the location of a humble footstone in Kelliher’s Fairview Cemetery. Buried in the grave is James Art Wilson, the only sheriff’s deputy to die in the line of duty in the 115-year existence of the force. Anderson and Wherley are seeking any remaining family members for help in creating a memorial for Wilson, killed Nov. 16, 1923. Monte Draper | Bemidji Pioneer

A place of honor: Sheriff’s deputies hope to create a memorial for fellow deputy killed in 1923

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KELLIHER — The stories, nearing 100-years-old and printed in this newspaper and a now-defunct rival, are confusing to say the least.


They describe a "long-standing dispute" that cost four lives — including that of James Art Wilson, a Beltrami County Sheriff’s Deputy — and the killings came at the "hands of Leonard Portano, the ‘Wolf Man’ of Kelliher."

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Justin Glawe
Reporting on crime, courts and Beltrami county government. Follow me on Twitter @JustinGlawe.
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