In 1928 the body of an unidentified man was found in a ditch along the road in Sabina, Ohio. In his pocket was $1.40 and a piece of paper inscribed with the address of a vacant lot in Cincinnati. Authorities would never be able to identify who the drifter was, but he would become one of the oddest roadside attractions the country had ever seen.

Professionals examined the body and believed the man was between 40-50 years old and died of natural causes. Locals in Sabina reported seeing a drifter in town the day before, but no one knew who he had been or what his business was there. Many guessed the man was travelling around looking for work. A man living close to the site where the body was found was named Eugene, therefore, the corpse was dubbed ‘Eugene.’ The body was taken to Littleton Funeral Home where it was embalmed and put on display in the hopes that somone would recognize him. After a month, no one had claimed to know who he was but the funeral home decided to place Eugene in a shed on permident display rather than burying him. They believed that eventually someone would come forward with his identity and the mystery solved.

Over a million people stopped to see the mummy man, Eugene, over the course of the 40 years he was on exhibit. He became the unofficial mascot of Sabina and a local legend. Eugene became the center of a few teenage pranks over the years but the most extreme prank involved his body being stolen in the middle of the night and transported to a bench on the campus of Ohio State University. Imagine the shock students and faculty experienced the next morning!

Eugene was returned to Littleton where it was decided that he would finally be laid to rest. His identity remains unknown.

The grave marker says he was found in 1929 but it is believed he was actually found in 1928. Image credit: Times Gazette

Tell me, would you have stopped to investigate something like this today? I think the people involved had their hearts in the right place, unfortunately no one was able to uncover his real name. 40 years is a long time though so it wasn’t for lack of trying. Forensic science has come a very long way and now professionals have more sophisticated avenues with which to try and locate the identies of found persons.

Check out my other post where I discuss the history of public morgues HERE

Until Next Time

N.F.

Sources:

“1929: Who Was Eugene the Mummy?” Ohio Mysteries. Accessed 24 August, 2022. https://ohiomysteries.com/ohio%20mysteries/1929-who-was-eugene-the-mummy.

Warner, Isabella. “The Mummy Man of Sabina.” The Times-Gazette. 2 October, 2018. Accessed 24 August, 2022. https://www.timesgazette.com/opinion/31361/tthe-mummy-man-of-sabina.

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