His name was Reuben Lindstrom, I gave him a brief introduction in my first blog with promises to continue your introduction to him in upcoming blogs.
Reuben was a fixture in Wisconsin Rapids and most knew him as a hobo recluse and nothing more. He actually was an inventor with a published patent for a Wind Driven Tractor (US 2206197A) is the patent number. Reuben had long grey hair and beard and believed that he would die if either was ever cut saying “I could die if I cut my hair or washed. Dirt’s natural and it keeps human diseases from penetrating the skin and entering my body.” Yes, that was just Reuben… His brother died in WWI and his mother actually gave him most of her money, a loaf of bread and bag of cookies and told him to start walking north and don’t stop until the war is over… and he did just that. After returning to the states after time spent in Canada and Alaska he traveled the country from Nebraska to New York where he was arrested for vagrancy. At the time of his arrest, they referred to him as Sampson due to his long flowing hair. There are also unconfirmed reports of him traveling in South America and canoeing down The Amazon River. Reuben ended his life in a home in Southern Wisconsin the same way he lived his amazing life, alone and on his terms.
From a 6-year-old boy waiting on him to ride the rails past me to an adult inventor inspired by the man who lived his live on his terms, to living life on mine. A copy of his patent hangs on my wall as a tribute to this “Hobo Inventor”.
- Posted by Randy Jack
- On December 7, 2017
- 0 Comment