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Algonquin Historic
Commission

In the year 1873, when William Lade, of Algonquin Village, was digging a ditch on the west side of the railroad, with the view of carrying water to the cheese factory, which was then in process of building, he unearthed several human skeletons. The skulls were found only a few inches below the surface of the ground, while the bodies and lower limbs were found further down, indicating that the bodies had been placed there in an erect position. The bones were all in the same stage of decay, showing that they had all been placed there at or about the same time. The place was a spring spot of ground which had once been slightly excavated with the hope of procuring water, but the attempt was abandoned and the place known as a mud hole. Though cattle had tramped over these remains, three perfect skeletons, were found; the rest had been broken by the cattle. In all there were seven skulls found. This circumstance, for a time, threw the community into quite a state of excitement and many conjectures were made, but having nothing tangible to base their theories on they at last settled down upon the opinion that they knew nothing about it. If there was one conjecture that looked more plausible than another it is the one in which Dundee figures. The story runs as follows: Previous to this event, about twenty years, while grading the Fox River division of the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad, there occurred at Dundee a circumstance which many believe furnished the bodies of the skeletons afterward found here. It is said that John Moore, of Dundee, had some difficulty with some Irishmen who were engaged upon the railroad, and that one night a hundred or more banded together and went to Moore's residence for the purpose of killing him, and were only defeated by Mr. Moore accidentally hearing of their plans, and preparing for them. The mob shot several volleys through the windows at a dummy which Mr. Moore had constructed and placed in his rocking chair, with a newspaper in its hands, seated near a lighted lamp on the table. While the Irish were firing at this inanimate objects, Mr. Moore and a friend, who had secreted themselves near a bridge, which was only a few feet in the rear of the mob, attacked the would-be assassins with shotguns loaded with buckshot and bullets. They were armed with several weapons and did effectual work. It is supposed several were killed owing to the fact that many near and direct shots were fired into the mob and many shrieks rent the midnight air, and through the dim light parties were seen carrying with disabled persons. It is also stated that when the payroll was called several Irishmen came up missing, and never afterward responded. When these points are considered and cognizance taken of the fact that there was but one burial heard of after this event, and that being of a young Irishman who lay dead on the ground till the following day, when his father came and took him off the field of carnage, is it unreasonable to suppose that other dead bodies were secreted in the above described place at Algonquin, to hide the enormity of the crime and thus prevent further investigation on the part of the law?

Human Skeletons

1885 History of McHenry County, page 385

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