Burn Bridle Press – Bucks County History

A Skeleton Found in Huffnagle’s Woods

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After a trip to the Spruance Library, we have identified our first unknown grave in Strangers Row. With Rayna’s help, I found two articles about our stranger listed only as “man found in woods” (d. 7/21/1913).

He was a man about 60 years old named Cunningham, a pauper from the Almshouse who left on April 1st and probably died shortly thereafter. He was found wearing two shirts and two pairs of pants, with $4.62 in cash and a $1 watch.

From The Newhope Weekly, Friday, July 25th 1913:

Skeleton of Man Found Near Newhope

Indications Point to Death of Unknown Three Months Ago

Edward Vorhees, of Newhope, while walking through the woods on the farm of John Huffnagle, near Newhope, at noon on Monday, stumbled over the corpse of a man. He notified the authorities at Newhope and they in turn called Coroner Howard P. White, who made an investigation in the afternoon. The man was unknown in that section a[n]d from the appearance of his hair it is [s]upposed that he was about sixty years of age.

There was nothing on his person or clothes to identify who he was. He had almost white hair and wore two shirts, two pairs of pants and a blue coat. He was about five feet and six inches in height and had an Ingersoll watch and $4.62 in cash in his pockets.

The condition of the body was such as to indicate that the man had been dead for at least three months, as nothing was left of him but a frame of bones. Near a tree was found an empty bottle and a cup, but what it had previously contained could not be learned. Near him was found a local newspaper, dated March 27, 1913, which was probably about the date of his heath. No one in the vicinity could give any testimony as to having seen the man, and the supposition is that he laid [sic] down to sleep where he was found and died.

Coroner White gave a certificate of death from exposure and the body was turned to Undertaker Worthington, of Wycombe, for interment.

The supposition is that the dead man was an inmate from the County Home who left that institution a few days before April 1, but there is no proof to sustain this theory.

From The Newhope Weekly– Friday, August 1, 1913:

It has been announced by Coroner White, of the c[o]unty, that he has every reason to believe the body of the man found in Huffnagle’s woods on Monday, July 21, was that of a man named Cunningham, who was an inmate of the Bucks County Home until the first of April this year. In the dead man’s clothes was found a key which they think must belong to a trunk he left at the Almshouse. The trousers, coat and the clothing corresponded to that he wore while there and the agate drinking cup was like the ones with which inmates are supplied.

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Written by Moses Doan

March 24, 2011 at 7:58 pm

Posted in Death, Graves, New Hope, Solebury

Tagged with ,

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