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Costello - John

Source: Crawfordsville Daily Journal Saturday, 30 June 1894

Yesterday afternoon a representative of The Journal strolled out to the Old Town Cemetery and noticed the work of the resurrection and re-interment of the remains of many of Crawfordsville’s oldest citizens. The north sixty feet of the cemetery from east to west is to be vacated and utilized as a road and the work of re-interment has been in progress now for several days. Each body (only a few bones remain of most) when resurrected is placed in a small unplanned and unpainted oak box of about 1 x 2 feet and re-interred in a part of the cemetery not vacated, unless, perchance, some relative of the dead person remains who manifests enough interest to have the bones carried to some other and more reputable burying ground.
Large numbers of people visit the scene of the work daily and display the curiosity and inquisitiveness incident to lovers of such uncanny work. There are several workmen employed under the contractor, Jere Carver, and J. H. Cook superintends the work and keeps the books. The cemetery has not been used for a burying ground for a number of years and is rankly overgrown with brush and trees. The roots of these have in many instances penetrated to the coffins of the dead and gathered nourishment. In a number of cases the bones were found encased in a network of roots. In nearly every instance the coffins have disappeared, leaving only a little wood rot to show that they had ever been employed. The few yellow remaining bones of the deceased are picked carefully up, however, and deposited in the boxes prepared for them. The portion of the cemetery vacated is the most densely populated of the little city of the dead and yesterday afternoon sixty two bodies had been taken up, with as many more remaining.

Yesterday afternoon the bodies of John Conners and his little grandson, Dennis Ward Jr., were taken from adjacent graves after a sleep of twenty years. Only a few bones remained but, strangely enough, the little boy’s skull was perfect and covered with hair in which the parting was still clear. The bones of both were placed in one box and taken away by Dennis Ward Sr.
The bodies of Micaiah Reeder, 1779-1849, and his daughter, Mrs. Wm L. John, rest under a large monument and have not yet been molested. Mr. Reeder died here while on a visit to the Burbridge family and was buried far from his home. His epitaph reads:
“Touch the Love Harp for Him,
Thus far from Home,
Sweet Home where Love still fondly clings.”
A peculiar case came to light in the grave of an unknown girl a few feet west of the Reeder monument. The skeleton was found face downward and twisted horribly as though the buried one had come to life again after interment and died struggling miserably. The bones of the feet were encased in high heeled shoes still in a good state of preservation.
The skeleton of Mary Corder was found with a great wealth of flowing hair, probably grown after burial.
The skeleton of Isabelle May was in an excellent state of preservation. The body of Nancy Smith, which had been buried for thirty four years, was found in excellent condition, the clothing still being preserved and even the hair pins in the queerly dressed hair.
The bodies of Mrs. Margaret Misner and two daughters were removed from adjacent graves.
The bodies of John O’Conner and his children, Mickey and Maggie, were removed to the Catholic Cemetery.
Yesterday afternoon the white coffin of an unknown child was dug up. The coffin was in splendid condition and was re-interred in another part of the cemetery without being opened.
The body of the burglar Mont Fisher shot in his store at Whitesville six years ago was the worst case handled. The coffin and body broke in several places while being removed and were hard to handle.

The bodies of John, Tessie, and Lizzie Costello were removed to the Catholic Cemetery.

A skeleton was taken out upon the marble footstone of whose grave were the letters G. G. S. There was a large headstone too, but it was of soft sandstone and time and weather had effected the inscription entirely.

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