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Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Uncle Ben

My favorite obituary ever is from The Winston-Salem Journal, dated June 9, in the year 1933.

"Uncle Ben" Is Laid to Rest Eighteen Years After Death

"Uncle Ben" was buried yesterday, just eighteen years after his sudden death in this city. His body had been viewed by thousands of persons while it remained at Vogler's Funeral Home here. But yesterday he was given a new suit of clothes and laid to rest in Forsyth Memorial Park Cemetery.

"Uncle Ben" as he was known during the years since his death, was Benjamin Deardorf, a German who made his living by making cowhide vests and turning cow horns into hat racks. He was 64 years of age when he died suddenly on January 15, 1915, at the boarding house operated by Ida Ball Warren.

Deardorf had resided in this city for sometime prior to his death. He had a room at the Warren boarding house and died suddenly between the time Ida Ball Warren's husband was murdered and she was sentenced to death with Samuel P. Christy.

Following his death efforts were made to locate relatives of Deardorf, but only a nephew could be found. He did not claim the body.

Vogler's embalmed the body and kept it in a special cabinet at the funeral parlors. During the past eighteen years "Uncle Ben" has been viewed by thousands of persons, many of them making a special trip to Vogler's to inspect the embalmed body.

But yesterday "Uncle Ben" was removed from his cabinet, dressed in a nice new suit of clothes and placed in a casket. The body was interred. He has gone to his eternal rest.

This may just require a trip to Forsyth Memorial Park Cemetery, for verification purposes.
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