WILMINGTON — Clinton County Commissioner Pat Haley spoke to the Wilmington Rotary Club which meets at noon on “Eugene.”
Haley stated that on June 9, 1929, the body of a middle-aged black man was discovered in a ditch along Wilmington Pike in Sabina. He seemed to have died of natural causes, but the papers found on his body led the police to a vacant lot in Cincinnati. When the police talked to residents of the Cincinnati neighborhood, no one seemed to recognize or remember the man.
When the police returned to Sabina, they decided to give the body the name Eugene, named for the last person they spoke to in the Cincinnati.
Due to Ohio law, Eugene could not be buried. So, he was embalmed and the body was kept at the Littleton Funeral Home, waiting to be claimed.
But his wait was much longer than expected. He was kept at the funeral home and displayed for over 30 years. Eugene was finally buried in the Sabina Cemetery in October 1964 without ever being identified.
Pat Haley has done extensive research on Eugene but his current job and schedule has slowed the research work. He hopes to one day be able to finally identify the body.
Also, honored at Rotary were Students of the Month from Wilmington, Clinton-Massie and East Clinton high schools:
• Jamie Wells, Clinton-Massie — She plans on taking a gap year to help her father in his business and to take eventually enroll at Sinclair Community College.
• Sophie Reed, Wilmington – She is the Interact President and plans on attending Ohio University to major in graphic design.
• Tristan Bosier, East Clinton – He will be attending either Wright State or Miami University to major in computer science.