The Unknown Citizen
Could it be, that the first
citizen of Camrose was never identified?
During my search for information regarding
cemeteries in the Camrose County,many helpful residents have directed my
attention to another cemetery, that I had overlooked, or given me clues
to unregistered sites.
foundation, finds old skeleton
From this , i've been able to fulfill my commitment
to the Canada GenWeb with a full compliment of cemeteries
from our county. This page has been published
for an article that was , as stated previously , brought to my attention
from one of the helpful residents i've described.
July 11, 1962
discovery of a human skeleton buried close to the surface of the land being
prepared for Page Hersey's new pipe mill last Friday aroused all kinds
of speculation in town . Questions as to whose remains they might be ,
and how they came to be buried in that spot have been circulating ever
Immediate speculation that
it might be the remains of Frank Willey, golf pro of Edmonton who disappeared
several weeks ago, were quickly dispelled when it was learned the skeleton
measured only four feet in height , and had been in the ground for many
years. It was found buried only twenty-two inches below the surface.
Back-hoe operator Herman Rompain told the
Canadian he wasn't concerned when his machine scraped away the sidewall
of the grave and revealed a group of bones about 9 a.m., machine operators
are accustomed to digging up skeletons of buffalo ,deer, dogs, etc. About
half an hour later however,it occured to him these bones were different
and he went back to investigate .
He discovered the bones
were roughly at right angles to the trench . Digging into the side along
the bones,he found the skull sitting on the thigh bones.
Mr. Rompain then informed
his foreman, Harold Cleaver, who called City Police, who called in Coroner
Dr. Young. The remains were removed by Police and forwarded to the University
at Edmonton for investigation.
The skeleton was found
lying on it's back , all in line ,except for the head , and the vertebrae,
which seemed disconnected just above the pelvis. The skeleton gave the
impression of having been there for forty or fifty years,possibly.
Found with the skeleton
were several items of clothing , including buttons belt buckle , knife
blade, pipe bowl , and jewelry, including several teeth which had fallen
from their socket . The teeth were reported to be in very good shape ,
City Police told the Canadian, indicating the probability of a comparitively
A wave of speculation ran
through the community over identity of the person buried there, and the
circumstances. Reports were received that at one time Indians used to bury
their dead in the area, but this would
have been many years ago. Presence of the
rings and large decorative buttons lent some support to the idea of a woman
. This was strengthened with the report of only 48 " in height.
However , the unusual location
of the skull , plus the break in the backbone, and the addition of the
large knife blade, gave rise to the theory of foul play. Disappearances
of many years ago have been searched for , but nothing has checked out
At present report, the
police department has received no reply from the university hospital on
the remains forwarded to them.
Shades of the Past
Found in the grave with the bones were the items
shown above, as they were spread out in the local police station ,
with glass sealers surrounding them. The right
foreground shows a long skinning knife or spearhead , while the long oval
above seems to be a belt buckle. The left corner shows the bowl of an old
pipe , next to two rings . Three metal buttons are shown in the picture,together
with six larger wooden buttons. Also shown are a number of teeth , and
other miscellaneous bits.