A mummified man known as Stoneman Willie, who was kept on display at Auman’s Funeral Home in Reading, Pennsylvania, for 128 years, is scheduled to be buried properly.
Naija News gathered that the unidentified man who died of kidney failure in a local jail on November 19, 1895, was accidentally mummified by a mortician experimenting with new embalming techniques.
It was reported that because the man gave a fake name when arrested for picking pockets, Stoneman Willie’s identity was unknown for many years, and local officials were unable to locate his relatives.
According to Reuters, the man dressed in a suit with a bow tie was displayed in a coffin with a red sash across his chest with his hair and teeth intact, and his skin has taken on a leathery appearance.
The funeral home had petitioned the state for permission to keep the body instead of burying it to monitor the experimental embalming process.
But Auman’s Funeral Home says it has now identified Stoneman Willie using historical documents and will reveal his name later this week when they lay the body to rest.
The Funeral Director, Kyle Blankenbiller, said, “We don’t refer to him as a mummy. We refer to him as our friend Willie,” adding that “He has just become such an icon, such a storied part of not only Reading’s past but certainly its present.”
It was gathered that ahead of the funeral, the city of Reading will memorialise the man who has been part of the city’s folklore for generations.
It was learned that all this week, Willie will be on display at Auman’s Funeral Home, and on Saturday, he will make his final journey through the streets of Reading and will be buried at a local cemetery, where his real name will finally be inscribed on his tombstone.