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Thursday, October 27, 2005

185-Year-Old Couple Moves to Higher Ground

From the Pittsburgh (Pa.) Post-Gazette:

Long road for long-dead to dry ground

Thursday, October 27, 2005
By Dennis B. Roddy, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

JOHNSTOWN -- One-hundred-sixteen years after he survived the Great Johnstown Flood, 109 years after he died, and five hours after a judge granted a petition to move him to higher ground, Henry Leckey was out of the clay of Sandyvale Cemetery and en route to the suburbs.

He traveled light: a shattered skull, some surprisingly perfect teeth, a left thigh bone, bits of a jacket and the sole of a size-8 shoe were Henry. His first wife, Mary, who died 14 years before him, made the journey as well. Diggers found bones and a dress.

[snip]

"I don't want my great-great grandparents under a pond," said Donald Leckey, a Michigan engineer who spent years seeking his ancestors and, upon finding their grave, was mortified at plans to turn their cemetery into a memorial botanical garden, complete with decorative pond, fruit trees and a recreation area -- all of it, presumably, atop the nearly 3,000 early Johnstowners interred there.

[snip]

[Read the whole story]

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