Sunday, February 8, 2015

Sunday's Cemetery - Mausoleum Mystery

Published in February of 1911 in the Beaumont Enterprise out of Beaumont, Texas
MYSTERY SURROUNDS MAUSOLEUM ROBBERY
NEWSPAPER MEN DRIVEN FROM CEMETERY WITH REVOLVERS
Investigation Showed That One Body Had Been Carried Away by Six Men
     Erie, Pa. Feb. 9 – Following this discovery late last night that the family mausoleum of the late Congressman Wm. L. Scott had been ransacked and robbed and unusual mystery developed when it became known today that a body had been stolen from the vault. The identity of the body is held secret by the family and the police, but it is said to be that of Mrs. Anna McCollum, a sister of Mr. Scott. It is said that the vandals also intended to carry away the bodies of Scott, who was a millionaire, and Mrs. Scott.
     Newspaper men early this morning were ordered from the cemetery at the point of revolvers.
     Investigation showed that the casket containing the body of Mrs. McCollum had been carried away. It had been sealed in a wall and a chisel had been used on breaking the seals before the metallic box could be reached.
     Directly opposite on the second tier is the casket containing the body of Mrs. Scott.
     The seal here was also broken and this casket was half way out.
     Two other caskets were broken into but no attempt was made to carry either of them away.
     That Mrs. McCollum’s casket was carried away in a wagon is indicated by tracks in the snow about the tomb. The footprints of four and in some cases, six men, were discernible.
     An Italian settlement near the cemetery has become an object of scrutiny by the police and every dwelling being searched from cellar to garret.
     Two years ago the Strong family received “blackhand letters” demanding $10,000, with the alternative of having their summer home west of this city blown to atoms. Mrs. McCollum was a member of a prominent family of Philadelphia and her maiden name was Tracey.
     Mrs. Chas. H. Strong, daughter of Mrs. Scott and wife of the president of the Erie & Pittsburg railroad was one of the first members of the family notified of the grave robbery.