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Cemetery Mixtape Posts

Joseph Wicher, Killed By Jesse James

In the Pinkerton Detective Agency lot at Graceland, most of the graves are worn down and illegible.   Which is probably why it took me so long to find out that a victim of Jesse James is buried there!  Joseph W. Wicher, killed by the James Gang in 1874, is buried beneath the grave on the left below, in a section that looks appropriately like something from the “Wild West” . You can almost make out the name: What’s remarkable about the lot is, though it certainly served as good advertising for the agency just by existed, we know very,…

Charles McKnight, Alexander Hamilton and The Doctors Mob

Charles McKnight, buried at Trinity Church in lower Manhattan, was a revolutionary war surgeon and, at times, physician to George Washington. Was Alexander Hamilton among the founding fathers who protected him from an anti-grave robbing mob in 1788? You can read several letters to and concerning McKnight on Founders.gov, the National Archives site that makes letters of Washington, Adams, Jay, etc. available. Get ready to squint trying to make out their handwriting! The Doctor’s Mob, 1788 In April of 1788, America experienced what some have called its first real riot. Passions had been inflamed against grave robbing by a series…

Kathryn Evans, Who Saw Lincoln Shot

Kathryn M. Evans had the first line in Our American Cousin at Ford’s Theater the night that President Lincoln was assassinated there. She went on to a long career, eventually retiring in Chicago, where she once had a reunion with another old cast member at a play about Lincoln at the Blackstone Theater (now the Merle Reskin). One lingering mystery is what became of her theatrical memorability; stories about her in her old age say that her apartment was full of it. Perhaps her probate record is on file in Chicago and might give us a clue! Her grave and story…

Coming Soon!

A new podcast from Adam Selzer of Mysterious Chicago, digging up tales behind graves he’s researched all over the United States, including: A detective murdered by Jesse James. The woman who had the first line onstage the night Lincoln was shot. A doctor who was once protected from an anti-grave robbing mob by Alexander Hamilton (or was he?). A flapper who set Chicago on fire before becoming a mystery novelist. At least one president. The man who killed Andrew Jackson (in a way) A deadball era Hall of Fame baseball player. The soldier who’d LOVE being erroneously credited with inventing…