I am thinking I have a picture of Katie by an informational history rest stop type Bloody Benders sign on one of our vacations....or maybe I just took a pic of the sign....or just read the sign while Kevin was walking to get his knee 'ok' again, which is a frequent mishap on road trips.....he can't drive forever before it locks up and it's miserable for him. and I have to pee or get a drink constantly anyway.....I'm worse than a puppy. but we do get to hang out at interstate rest stops which is educational and sometimes quite beautiful and peaceful. anyway, I digress. before my lengthy working-on-my-weekend-so-gonna-sleep-all-afternoon-and-not-get-to-see-my-husband nap I read:
one of the victims found by the people looking for Dr. York was a badly mutilated young girl about 8. (actually, they found 2 girls about this age, one had a broken arm and they thought she was tossed in the grave alive and her dead father thrown in on top of her.) her breast bone was driven in. her right knee wrenched from its socket and and the leg doubled up under the body.. after she was exhumed, someone cut off her golden hair and fashioned it into a wreath, a custom of the time. ( I have met Miss Lila, a collector of and creator of hair jewelry. I know she'd love to have this one! I just wanna see it!) THE WREATH IS STILL ON DISPLAY IN A CHERRYVALE MUSEUM.
Mass grave: This photograph from 1873 shows the graves found behind the Bender farm. It was noticed that the Benders' garden was always freshly plowed but never planted
and I had forgotten that I had read before that Laura Ingalls Wilder did a lecture or speech or something, where she talked about the Bloody Benders. her family had stopped there for free water. they couldn't afford to eat at the tavern. and later, someone came to the cabin to get Pa. they were looking for the Benders. Pa came back and didn't say anything. but when someone would talk about the Benders, he would say they would never be found. and Laura came to her own conclusions.
the Cherryvale Bender Museum is closed. has been for years. I was planning a vacation!
I think I read today that these murder hammers are on display at the Leatherock Hotel, but it's all jumbled in my mind....