Fast Diggers: The Demise of Emil Ulbricht
You might remember the name Emil Ulbricht from some of the Fast Digs posts of the past particularly, though not limited to, those relating to the Los Angeles to Santa Monica Road Race during which he set new course records in both 1894 and 1895. Ulbricht came to Los Angeles from Chicago where he was already highly regarded by the racing men of that city. It was expected that Ulbricht would bring increased esteem to the local racing scene. For the most part, that is what he did.
So it was kind of surprising, not to mention shocking, to discover the headline (never mind that the newpaper men never could settle on a single spelling of his name):
"BICYCLIST UHLBRECHT DEVOURED BY SHARKS"
"Honolulu, July 20 - The remains of Emil Uhlbrecht of Los Angeles, well known throughout the United States as a bicycle rider, who was drowned off Makapuu point last Sunday, were discovered yesterday in the stomach of a shark caught at the entrance of Hololulu (sic) harbor. When the shark's body was opened by native fishermen they found some bare hip bones, a right femur with no flesh on it at all, and a right foot, the latter in a most remarkable state of preservation. The shark's teeth had bitten if off at the ankle as clean as a blow from a guillotine might and being swallowed whole, it had remained with only a few scratches. The condition of the other bones showed that when the unfortunate young man's body was at the mercy of the waves, a number of sharks had attacked it at once and they had fought over it, rending it limb from limb. One of the toes of the foot had a very peculiar malformation. From this fact Mrs. Uhlbrecht, the widow of Uhlbrecht, and several other friends identified the remains. The shark was 14 feet long and weighed over 700 pounds."