Davenport’s Darkest Legend: “Limb Of Unknown Child”
Towns, cities, and states have their own myths and legends. Davenport Iowa has one that many don't even know about. Every year this legend from Oakdale Cemetery gets more and more popular.
The Cemetary itself has a few local legends around it, but the two biggest appear to be "Baby Boy Fear" and "Limb Of Unknown Child," Both are very sad and have a very vague history.
In this cemetery is a special section where children from the Iowa Solders’ Orphans’ Home are buried. Inside the Iowa Solders' Orphans section there is a headstone found at the end of a very long row in Oakdale Memorial Gardens. The headstone reads:
“Limb of Unknown Child”
One of the main reasons this headstone stands out is that there is very little known about this grave and conflicting information in the story makes this more strange.
The limb is thought to be an orphan boy’s leg. The tragedy that caused this is usually thought to be a fire. You may also notice in the picture there is no date.
Last year when I went to the site no one knew for sure where it was rather just giving me vague directions, that lead me off the main path, and onto a dirt one.
According to the Davenport local library,
difference between the information in the interment records and the burial location. The limb is located in section T-E of the Orphans lot. But when the internment records were reviewed, the burial location is listed as T-F, or the next row up from T-E.*
Many have searched through countless newspaper records with nothing found, or mentioned. No cause of death has ever been truly agreed upon. The biggest question is "Why."
Why Name it this?
Why bury a limb?
Why no date?
These are questions we will be asking for a long time that may never be discovered, but this remains an iconic local legend and mystery in Davenport Iowa.
If you walk by Oakdale Cemetery on Halloween night you'll hear the cries of the Iowa Solders' Orphans.
If you go to the Iowa Solders' Orphans section during the summer on a beautiful day you may hear the children laughing and having fun.
If you go to some parts of the cemetery, and politely tell "residents" there your name they may say it back to you in a whisper.
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