Friday, August 15, 2008

Bridge Hermit Strangely Killed

from The Evening Bulletin, Monday, May 7, 1923


Refined Recluse Who Never Begged Found on Tracks,
Slain or Hit by Train

the “hermit of high bridge” is dead
his body was found
beside the pennsylvania railroad
tracks at wallingford
examination disclosed his skull
had been crushed, one arm was
cut off but otherwise the body
was not marked he never begged
for food and never asked alms
he was always willing to work
and when he spent his money
it was with economy
he was evidently
a person
of refinement as he spoke
english fluently and appeared
educated he fitted up his hut
comfortably under the bridge
with his books, stove, table,
lamp and bed he gave his name
as george johnson but avoided
all inquiries as to his past
despite his eccentric ways
the hermit held the affection
of many people for whom he
did odd jobs and gardening
townspeople say he had been
disappointed in love if he were
possessed of wealth his garb
did not indicate it—he wore
clothes ofttimes ragged and unkempt
although he was always clean shaven
he accepted gratefully the small coins
which were the reward
of his odd jobs