Mary Ware, poem – A Tribute to Eugene Field

DUG HIS OWN GRAVE
A Birmingham special to the St. Louis Republic says: The statement is often 
heard that a man is digging his own grave, but it does not prove true literally 
very frequently.  In the cemetery at Pratt City, Ala., is buried a man who dug 
his own grave.  He was no crank preparing to die.  On the contrary, he had no 
idea that he would fill the greave when he was preparing it.  The story is a 
peculiar one.  The man was JAMES THOMAS, a railroad employee.  His brother had 
been ill in Tennessee for quite awhile.  He received a telegraph announcing his 
death, and saying that the body would be shipped to Pratt City on a certain 
train, and that it was imperative on account of the condition of the corpse 
that it be buried immediately upon its arrival. In his hurry to prepare a grave 
for his dead brother, Thomas dug it himself.  The next day the body had not 
come and he received a message saying that the corpse was so badly decomposed 
that it could not be shipped and had been interred in Tennessee. The grave was 
left unmolested, and just 10 days later Thomas himself was ground to death 
under the wheels of his train and his body laid in the grave he had dug for his 
brother.

Birmingham State Herald, THE HAMILTON APPEAL VOL. 1 HAMILTON,, MARION CO.,
ALA. FRIDAY FEBRUARY 28, 1896 NO. 7

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