Burn Bridle Press – Bucks County History

Another Dead Stranger Identified

with 2 comments

Our Stranger Found Dead (10-28-1880) has been identified. Cold and alone he took refuge in the warmth of a lime kiln, but the gas from the cooking lime asphyxiated him in his sleep. He left in search of work and wound up dead, another unknown body buried in Strangers Row.

From the Doylestown Democrat from November 2, 1880:

An unknown man was found dead at John Conner’s lime kiln, in Solebury, on Thursday morning [this] week. He had visited the house of Jacob Parson the evening before, and said he was on the way to Lambertville, where he had the promise of work. This was the last that was seen of him until the next morning, when he was found dead near the kiln. A jury was summoned, and after due deliberation returned a verdict of death by suffocation. The body was placed in the hands of Wm. Large, overseer of the poor, and was buried in Solebury Friends burying grounds on the following Saturday.

This was apparently a common hazard. I found another article about an unknown tramp found dead near a lime kiln around this date, and I know that Albert Large (the so-called Hermit of Wolf Rocks) was found and saved after he passed out next to a kiln.

And what about Albert’s relative William Large, overseer of the poor? He died in 1888 and is buried at Solebury Friends Meeting. His title certainly lends credence to the idea that people were buried in Strangers Row out of charity.

At some point I need to track down some old property maps to figure out where our two strangers died. I’m not sure where Parson and Conner lived, but because the man was travelling to Lambertville I’d bet they lived along Lower York Road. Our previous dead stranger was found in Huffnagle’s woods, and I believe the hamlet near the old Heath mill where Sugan Road meets Stoney Hill was known as Huffnagle.

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Written by Moses Doan

March 26, 2011 at 8:39 am

Posted in Death, Graves, Solebury

Tagged with ,

2 Responses

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  1. My name is Amanda Large- William and Albert are relatives of mine (obviously distant relatives). I was wondering if you have any more information on them (especially Albert)??

    Amanda Large

    August 17, 2011 at 1:30 am

    • There’s a lot of sensationalized material on Albert, but the best source I’ve found is A.E.P. Darrow. Born Annie Pearson, daughter of Wilson Pearson (you’ll find his name on the maps from that period), she wrote about Albert as an old woman in the 1930’s and her father worked with him in Solebury as a young man. I will email you the material I have (and one of these days I’ll write a post about him). I should also mention Albert lived in the attic of what is now my grandfather’s house for a couple winters!

      Moses Doan

      August 19, 2011 at 3:26 am


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