Skip to comments.Mysterious 1870s Wis. photo sparks jokes
Posted on 01/05/2007 6:52:48 AM PST by SpringheelJack
WAUSAU, Wis. - Who is that mysterious, elegant man? And why is he sitting on a dead horse? Such are some of the questions sparked by a black-and-white photograph taken in Sheboygan between 1876 and 1884 that has led to nationwide curiosity, speculation and jokes.
"It is just a funny picture," Prescher said. "He is sitting on there with a top hat like he had somewhere special to go and his horse just croaked in the middle of the road."
No one knows who the gentleman is, exactly what year the picture was taken or the circumstances surrounding it, said Beth Dipple, director of the Sheboygan County Historical Research Center, which has had the picture in its collection for at least 20 years.
Some of the ideas for what the picture depicts include the thoughtful it was staged for a political campaign perhaps related to sanitation issues to the bizarre the horse is being helped to relieve "excess flatulence."
A Web site sponsored a contest for readers to write the best caption for the photo and about 100 were submitted, including: "Lay still old girl, FEMA's on the way."
Dipple said about all that's known about the picture is it was taken at South Eighth Street and Indiana Avenue between 1876 and 1884 based on the bridge over the Sheboygan River in the background and the lack of railroad tracks that were installed in 1884.
The city had laws on the books that required people to stay with their dead horses until they were picked up and disposed of, Dipple said.
"Who knows why somebody would take a picture of it?" she said. "People had weird senses of humor then just like they do now."
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I would imagine it's because when you say "I have to go see a man about a horse" it sounds like you have some really important business to take care of. That's the part that makes it funny. Maybe you're going to go buy or sell a horse. Saying "I have to go see a horse" doesn't sound all that impressive.
The Rudy McRomney Campaign - March 2008
Hey! I recognize that guy! That's Ken L. Ration.
I never claimed to have all the answers 8-)
Is this you in High School?
I'm glad to know someone else doesn't have them, either!
Only a french hillbilly would eat roadkill horse.
The rest of us will only take a deer....
...although a racoon or possum will work if they aren't too flat.
Perhaps simply because 1 could actually meet with a man to buy a horse. "Seeing a horse" doesn't really mean anything but literally seeing a horse (looking at a horse), which isn't as much action as meeting a man somewhere.
e's just pinin'
Hilarious! Thaks for the pics. Tourist Guy really gets around. Anyone ever find out who he really is?
That photo reminds me of the song, "I'm So Lonely In My Saddle Since My Horse Died".
Am I the only one here who's read "Wisconsin Death Trip"?