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 Elizabeth Unknown

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Elizabeth Unknown

  • Birth unknown
  • Death 1876
  • Burial Weikert, Union County, Pennsylvania, USA
  • Memorial ID 14942948

The article below was sent to me by subscriber, D.
Roger Libby of Lewisburg. This article was originally
published in The Sunbury Daily Item, date unknown.
It is copied verbatim.
Legend Of Spurned Girl's Death Under Lover's Train Told
(Folk tale of the construction days up in "Tight End." Written for The Daily Item by Dr. Charles M. Steese.)
Our story concerns the building of the extension
of the "Lewisburg, Centre and Spruce Creek Railroad"
from Laurelton to Spring Mills. It took place between the years 1875 and 1877, when the construction gang was grading the road bed and laying the tracks in the narrows along Penns Creek west of Glen Iron.
This railroad had been started more than 20 years before. By 1871 it had reached Mifflinburg and by 1875 was extended to Laurelton. In later years the name was changed to the "Lewisburg and Tyrone Railroad Company." It is now owned and operated by the Pennsylvania Railroad.
In order to build the road it was necessary to import
much of the labor. All of the engineers and surveyors were, as they were then called, "city men." As the construction moved westward, these men were forced to find lodging and meals at various farm houses. Late in 1875 a boarding house
was opened near Pardee and here most of the foremen and surveyors roomed, and all of them took their meals. While working on the right-of-way nearby, the men thinking of this boarding house used to sing:
"There is a boarding house not far away.
Where they have onions three times a day.
Oh how the boarders yell when they hear
the dinner bell. Oh how the onions smell, three times a day."
Several young ladies, daughters of nearby farmers were engaged to wait on tables at this boarding house. One of these girls was a beautiful brunette about 19 years old. Her name was Elizabeth, and she was called "Liz" by her friends. Soon she became well acquainted with the chief foreman, a tall young man whose home was in Wilmington. The couple would always be together in the evening after the girl's work was done. Many times they took long walks, going as far on a number of occasions as the store at Weikert, where he bought trinkets and ornaments to please her.
On Memorial Day 1876, Liz and her friend drove up through the narrows to Millheim for the celebration, and on July 4th of the same year they went down to Sunbury on the work train and spent the night there, coming back the next morning with the crew.
By the fall of 1876, the work on the east side of the Cherry Run Tunnel had been completed and many of the workmen were preparing to leave the Pardee boarding house and go to Coburn and make their headquarters there. The young man from Wilmington was not going with them. He had decided to take another job and was going back home.
The night before he was to leave he and Liz took a long walk. It was then that she told him she had "loved not wisely but too well," and begged him to marry her. He was silent a long time and then he gently told the girl that he could not marry her, as he had already had a wife back in Wilmington. He did promise to help her, and tried to give her some money, which she refused.
They returned in silence to the boarding house. There had been no quarrel. Just outside the door, in the darkness, Liz turned quickly, kissed the young man goodnight and then ran into the house.
The next morning he was up bright and early and walked to Pardee in order to get passage to Lewisburg on the work train. After he had left the boarding house, Liz quietly went out of the back door and down to the creek which she followed almost down to the Thomas Mill. By the time she got there she could hear the whistle
of the work train. She quickly lay down over the tracks. A few minutes later the train roared by, bearing the unsuspecting young man from Wilmington.
Several hours later track walkers found the mangled remains of Liz. She was buried in an unmarked grave at the Hironimus
Church. It is doubtful if the young man who had been the cause of her suicide ever heard the sad story.


  • Created by: Leanne Keefer Bechdel
  • Added: 15 Jul 2006
  • Find A Grave Memorial 14942948
  • Anonymous
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Elizabeth Unknown (unknown–1876), Find A Grave Memorial no. 14942948, citing Hironimus Union Cemetery, Weikert, Union County, Pennsylvania, USA ; Maintained by Leanne Keefer Bechdel (contributor 46601597) .