Leroy, Mn. and Elysian, Mn. have little in common except they are both small Minnesota towns with populations of less then one thousand. So what’s the big deal, one may ask? Coincidental both of these small towns made headline news within a few days of each other because of the acts of a couple good Samaritans from the areas of these two small Minnesota communities. One story ended up with a very happy ending for the town, while the other story doesn’t have that same type of ending.
Frugal was how this Leroy Minnesota farmer, who was predeceased by two wives and an only son was described by fellow townsfolk. But when 94 year old Loren Krueger died last year, he not only left behind a plain white house on Leroy’s Main Street, but there was also a $3 million dollar bank account where the funds would eventually be distributed throughout the community of Leroy . Now the World War II veteran was seen in a much different light.
Various churches including his own parish, St. Patrick’s Catholic Church which was willed $1 million dollars, received checks from this frugal millionaire’s estate. The Leroy Senior Center, fire department and ambulance service are among some of the other recipients who received checks from Kruegers will.
The Leroy Senior Center was getting by on $600 a year that the county was giving it. Now with the $220,000 they have received from this frugal Minnesota farmer’s estate, they have a little more wiggle room, to say the least. The Leroy fire department plans to replace a fire truck with the windfall they received from Krueger’s estate. One can’t even began to imagine all the good benefits the community of Leroy will derive from this one man’s goodwill.
All of a sudden Leroy,Mn., a small Minnesota town just north of the Iowa border with a population of around 900 residents has grabbed national media attention by both NBC Nightly News and NBC Today Show Weekend Edition. Both of these shows ran stories on the Frugal Millionaire who left the sleepy little town of Leroy a $3 million dollar fortune. What a wonderful holiday story, I must say.
The headline news story that comes from Elysian, Mn. about a good Samaritan trying to be helpful has a much different twist then the Leroy story had. A 70 year old woman allegedly asked for a ride to a bank so she could make a withdrawal so she could pay her rent. A 26 year gentlemen agreed to give the elderly lady from Janesville, Mn. a ride to the bank in nearby Elysian.
According to police reports, the 70 year old woman went into the bank and told the bank teller she wanted money and she had a gun. The woman was given an undisclosed amount of money by the bank teller. She reportedly left the bank and got into the car driven by the 26 year old male.
A bank official was able to follow the suspect vehicle, (which was not disobeying any traffic laws) leading authorities to stop the car and arrest both of the occupants.
Statements from the arrested persons released by the police, indicated the 70 year old woman acted alone in the bank robbery and had allegedly told her driver she needed a ride to the bank to make a withdrawal from the bank to pay her rent. The driver was eventually cleared of any wrongdoing in the robbery. The woman faces charges of aggravated robbery.
Did this woman really need to rob a bank to pay her rent? Is she another victim of hard economic times, or is she truly just a hard nosed criminal? It makes one wonder. This is a sad holiday story to say the least.
Although these two stories are totally unrelated and have totally different endings, they both are examples of why we here in Minnesota are sometimes described as Minnesota Nice. It’s all about people, helping people whatever the outcome.
Sources:kstp.com 5 eyewitnessnews/unsuspecting good samaritian drives senior to rob bank
nbcnightlynews.com/making a difference/12/17/20
nbctodayshowweekendedition/frugal millionairie leaves townhis fortune/12/18/2010