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 Unknown Traveler

Photo added by Angela Stallard

Unknown Traveler

  • Birth unknown
  • Death Dec Pound, Wise County, Virginia, USA
  • Burial Pound, Wise County, Virginia, USA
  • Memorial ID 74276085

Family Burying Grounds in Wise County, Virginia - 1936 WPA Report

"Somewhere in the east end of this graveyard is the unmarked grave of an unidentified man. Willie Church told me the story: Late one afternoon, a few days before Christmas, several years ago, a stranger came walking up the North Fork Road, turned up Phillips Creek, and took the trail that leads across Pine Mountain to the head of Kentucky River. Someone remembered seeing him pass. Someone remembered giving him directions. That was all. A big snow fell the following night, and the snow was followed by a cold spell. Nobody thought anything more about the unknown traveler who, in the December dusk, had sought the Pine Mountain Trail.
Time passed. The big snow melted and spring came. George Church was sanging in the woods on Pine Mountain. He grew thirsty and went down to one of the headsprings of Phillips Creek to get a drink of water. And there, half covered with leaves, he found the body of the man who somebody remembered as the stranger who had, nearly six months before, sought the trail that would lead him across the mountain to Kentucky.
A pay envelope was found in the dead man's pocket. It had been issued to a miner named Green, by the Haymond plant of the Elkhorn Coal Corporation, for the last payday before the man was last seen alive. Enquiry at Haymond revealed that Green had left there for his home in Tennessee a few days after the mid-December payday. This led Willie Church and the otheres who were investigating the case to believe that Green had been drinking, and, that in his intoxicated condition, he had wandered off up the North Fork and tried to return to Haymond by the Pine Mountain Trail. That he froze to death was the generally accepted verdict. But a letter to his home post office in Tennessee brought the startling information that Green was alive and well at his home there. He could throw no light on how his pay envelope got into the dead man's pocket.
So the matter was dropped there, and the people on the North Fork, around the Gilly School, made up money for a shroud and a coffin, and they buried the Unknown Traveler in the Standifer graveyard, it being the nearest burying ground to where the body was found."


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  • Created by: Joyce Treat
  • Added: 1 Aug 2011
  • Find A Grave Memorial 74276085
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Unknown Traveler (unknown–Dec), Find A Grave Memorial no. 74276085, citing Standifer Cemetery, Pound, Wise County, Virginia, USA ; Maintained by Joyce Treat (contributor 47523490) .