|In 1893 John Eddy Roll copyrighted this picture and turned it into a Carte de Visite (Cabinet Card) that was sold at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition held in Chicago.
|A Cabinet Card that was sold at the 1893 Chicago World's Columbian Exposition.
|A cropped picture of Fido from a Cabinet Card.
So there was Charlie Planck, one day in 1866 heavily intoxicated, sitting on a curb, head hanging down. Some accounts say he was whittling a stick. In any event, he was holding a "sharp, long-bladed knife." A friendly yellow dog came up to him, the way it often approached strangers. And it put its muddy forepaws on Charlie Planck. In a blind, drunken rage, Planck drew the knife and plunged it into Fido's chest.
Wounded and whimpering, the most famous dog in Springfield—an in all of America, for that matter—struggled to make his way back home, back to the Roll house, hobbling, hobbling, while blood poured from his chest. But it was too far. He would make it only as far as the Universalist Church on the corner of Fifth and Cook, just three blocks from the Roll mansion.
Fido, mortally wounded, his yellow coat matted with blood, labored to the backside of the church. He curled up tight against the chimney as if to keep warm. And there he died.
Poor old Fido was buried by loving hands in a spot that is kept sacred to this day.
Compiled by Neil Gale, Ph.D.