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Berks County Legends

BERKS COUNTY LEGENDS



A STRANGE PACT


BISSINGER MURDER SUICIDE


LEININGER LEGEND


SUSANNA COX SAGA


STONE MAN WILLIE


TOMMY COLLINS


MISS FRANCIS SUICIDE


CHINAMAN MURDER

A Strange Pact


Tom Hannahoe
Tom Hannahoe was born 1835 in County Mayo, Ireland.

At 20 years of age he married Jane Johnson and they honeymooned in the United States.

They decided to remain and Jane came to Reading, Pa. to stay with relatives while Tom went to New York and entered the cigar business to "sock away some money."

Tom joined his wife here in Reading and was granted a license to sell liquor and cigars. Later groceries and notions were added.

Tom ran two saloons and labored at a steam forge until a pipe fell and severely injured his leg. With that injury, he sold Bibles and church supplies.

In the early 1870's, Tom bought a frame house at 514 S. 11th Street. A portion of the residence was opened as the Stars and Stripes saloon.

Alvah O. Schaeffer became a close friend of Tom's in spite of the age difference and Tom being Irish and Alvah being German.

St. Patrick's Day was a special time at the Stars and Strips saloon.

This night, Tom struck up a pack with his friend Alvah. If Alvah was to die first, Tom, at midnight on every St. Patrick's Day would sing at the gravesite, "Lass of Galway" and "Nearer My God to Thee", if Tom went first, Alvah would do the same. It was written down and read to the 18 or 20 men that were present at the saloon that night.

Tom died on Wednesday, Feb. 10th. 1897 of typhoid pneumonia, at 61 years of age.

The following evening friends gathered at Tom's house to hold a "wake."

St. Patrick's Day fell 5 week's after Tom's death. Alvah kept his pack and reported to the cemetery at midnight, playing the appointed songs on his cornet.

As the years passed, a following of friends and family and curious onlookers attended the midnight ritual.

In later years, Alvah appointed Charles Longendorfer to play as Alvah was in poor health. On March 10, 1947, Alvah died at age 80.

In 1977, after a 30 year hiatus, the midnight tradition was renewed and to this day is carried out every St. Patrick's Day at midnight at St. Peter's Catholic Cemetery at 12th & South Streets in Reading, Pa.

Personal Note...On March 17, 1998, St. Patrick's Day, my collogues and I attended the Midnight ritual. The night was warm for this time of year. The sky was a beautiful blue and the stars shinny brightly and no moon to be found.

We stopped at a bar on Cotton Street for a few Irish beers and joined in on the celebration. Leaving the bar, we headed for the cemetery with flashlight in hand as to not fall over any headstones. We had to walk a slight hill to get to Tom's grave.

There were close to 200 gathered, more than the year before. Two men dressed in Kilt's and having a heavy Irish brogue joined us.

As the Reading Pagoda's lights atop of Mount Penn turned off at Midnight, there was a signal from the crowd that they were ready to start.

A Pastor said a prayer with all joining in with AMEN. A brief description as to why all of us had gathered in this cemetery was spoken. Then the grandson of Alvah O. Schaeffer was introduced. Another man, Brian Carr, Tom's descendent was introduced and he told of his tree and how if anyone was related to Tom should contact him to be added. Three members from the brass section of Reading's Ringgold Band played three short songs. Then a Happy St. Patty's Day was sent out to all. As everyone filled pass the headstone, which had a carnation laying on it, coins were thrown. I'm not sure why but it is thought the money goes for the printing of the flyers that are handed out before the ceremony starts.

I introduced myself to Brian Carr. He is the man who has sent me the pictures of Tom and his wife Jane. Although Brian lives about 20 minutes from me, I had never had the honor of meeting him in person.

Had it been a weekend, we would have stopped at another bar on the way home, but it was off to our paying jobs in a few short hours.

IMPORTANT NOTICE

In the year 2000, the Midnight ritual has been canceled until further notice. The preist at St. Peter's Church, who oversees the cemetery, is totaly against this yearly outing.





This is Tom's bar, The Stars And Strips.




This is Tom and his wife Jane.



Tom on the front porch of his bar.


The HANNAHOEs in Four Generations



Bridget Mary BREEN

Born in Glencar, Co. Kerry in 1849, she emigrated with her parents, Andrew and Bridget BREEN arriving in New York City on 1 Nov 1854. She married Patrick in 1870 at Saint Peter's Catholic Church, Reading, PA and raised eleven children at 929 Cotton St. and 308 So. Tenth St., Reading. She would rave about the beauty of the Lakes of Killarney while her granddaughter, Dorothy, sat on her knees. She died on 16 Nov. 1932.

Patrick Clarke HANNAHOE

The youngest brother of the hotelier Thomas C. HANNAHOE, he was born on 7 Dec. 1844 in Corroy, Co. Mayo the son of Michael and Catherine (nee CLARKE) HANAHOE. He worked many years as a puddler for the Reading Iron Works becoming a U.S. citizen on 15 Feb. 1875. He died on 7 Oct. 1917.

Many thanks to Brian M. Carr and Bart B. Hannahoe who supplied these three pictures and the picture of Tom at the top of the page.

The following pictures are liquor licenses from Tom Hannahoe's bar. They were bought and submitted to this site by Derek and Edward Oswald.







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Bissinger Murder Suicide

On Tuesday, August 17, 1875, Louisa Bissinger , wife of Capt. Philip Bissinger, told her three children, Mollie, Lillie and Philip, they were going on a picnic. They crossed the Harrisburg (Penn Street ) Bridge, walked on the Union Canal towpath towards the Tulpehocken Creek.

The children ages, nine, six and three years, skipped alongside their mother in a gleeful manner. They reached the Union Canal Lock #49 East around 5:00 P.M. The mother stopped, picked up stones and placed them in a basket and tied the basket around her waist. She picked up the boy and held him to her breast, and tucked each daughter on each side of her arms and jumped into the canal. The woman disappeared beneath the surface of the water, the children, still clinging to her also sank into the water.

An eye witness could not save the children who kept bobbing to the surface of the river because he could not swim. He ran to the house of Mr. Gring where a boat was launched.

What caused this woman to take her own life and murder her three children?



It was reported that Capt. Philip Bissinger treated this wife Louise with "undo respect" for many years, and "openly courted another woman." Mrs. Bissinger felt if she took her own life, she didn't want her children brought up by another woman. Unknown to many until the suicide, she was expecting.

Capt. Philip Bissinger



Mr. Bissinger, a well known restaurateur, was at Library Hall at Fifth & Franklin Streets, conducting musical exercises when the news of the death of his wife and children was broken to him. He appeared grief stricken. Later, patrons of the city of Reading said he mourned his children, not his wife. Rumors had it that Mr. Bissinger attempted to commit suicide.

Friday, the day of the funeral, hundreds of people flocked to the house at 611 Penn Street. The bodies were in four separate coffins. Police were called in to control the crowds. The Rev. A. S. Leinbach began the service, then the coffins, under the charge of undertaker, E. B. Miller, went to Charles Evans Cemetery in a white hearse drawn by white horses.

Mrs. Bissinger and her children were placed in the Bissinger family plot next to the two children who died previously, Louis P. 1869 age 4 months and an infant, died 1874. Instead of digging separate plots, a long trench was dug and the coffins placed inside.



Capt. Philip Bissinger re-married and his second wife is buried next to him. Capt. Bissinger died in 1926.



This is approximately the vicinity where the tragedy, at Lock 49 occurred.



The Death of Captain Philip Bissinger

Business Man Passes Away at the age of 84.

A well known citizen, president of the Reading Brewing Company, founder of the Bissinger Cafe, a patron of music and Civil War veteran, passed away on Nov. 11, 1926.

He was a native of Germany. Born in Duerkheim on Jan. 24, 1842 to the parents of Mr. & Mrs. George Bissinger.

Philip Bissinger's Will

Mr. Bissinger left an estate of $100,000 in personal property and $20,000 in real estate.

He gave the Reading Hospital, St. Joesph's Hospital, Homeopathic Hospital, Reading Public Museum and Art Gallery and Home for Friendless Children, $1,000 each.

Topton Orphan Asylum, Bethany Orphan's Home, St. Catherine's Female Orphan's Home, House of Good Shepherd, Associated Charities and Home for Widows and Single Women, $500 each.

The Charles Evans Cemetery receives $100.

Since he was the last of his line, he gave to his nieces and nephews the residue of his estate.

His housekeeper, Margaretta Goos got a life interest in $20,000.

Ida S. Bissinger, wife of Philip died on September 16, 1910.

She was the daughter of William Rothermel, the veteran journalist and founder of the Reading Post.

Being in ill health, she and her husband traveled to Hanburg Germany and entered a private sanitarium. Later she entered a sanitarium in Nuremberg, Germany. She returned home September 1.

Ida S. Bissinger's Will

She left her husband Philip, $20,000 of Real Estate.

May they all Rest In Peace.



Read about the Bissinger story in a book called Ghost Stories Of Berks County by Charles J. Adams 111, copyright 1982.

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THE LEININGER LEGEND



By Tiffany Walter, Southern Middle School





Drawing by Ed Wolf. 1999

In the year of 1755, Penn's Creek, Stouchsburg, Pa., lived the Leininger family. The family consisted of six. Besides mother Regina, father Sebastian, brother Christian was 19, sister Barbara was 12, brother John was 16 and sister Regina was 9.

As all German families, their farm house was warm and filled with love and respect. They all shared with the planting, harvesting, household chores and gathering around Father when he read the bible and listen to mother sing a German hymn called, "Allen, und Doch Nicht ganz Allein"

The German families had their share of problems with the Indians stealing their crops, burning their houses and massacreing families. The Indians did this because they didn't like the "White People" taking all their hunting lands.

On October 16, 1755, mother Leininger and her son John had gone to the mill leaving behind her husband and two daughters and eldest son. In their absence, Indians massacred the father and son and kidnapped the daughters.

The Indians were taking the girls to the Ohio region to live. After several months of traveling the Indians split the girls up, each going to different tribes to live. Against Regina's will, she was taught the Indian language and culture. After several years, she began to forget her family. Her sister Barbara was successful in escaping from the tribe she was taken to. Barbara and another girl, Marie Le Roy arrived in Philadelphia on May 6, 1759. They later moved to Lancaster where Barbara married Peter Ruffner.

In May of 1765, under the leadership of General Henry Bouquet, the prisoners were released and returned to different forts to await being reunited with what was left of their families. Regina was taken to Carlisle, Pa. Hundreds of family members looked in awe as their children, now years older, resembled the Indians that destroyed their families. Regina's mother, was distraught trying to pick out her daughter among hundred's of young adults. She broke out in the old hymn "Allen, und Doch Nicht ganz Allein". Across the room Regina, who had forgotten the German language, started to sing along. Mother and daughter were reunited at last.This took place on December 31, 1764.

After their reunion, mother Leininger took Regina to Stouchberg to visit with the Rev. Muhlenberg. He gave Regina a Bible because the family Bible was destroyed in the house fire when the Indians captured Regina and Barbara. Rev. Muhlenberg was amazed as Regina, who could not speak a word of her native German, opened the Bible and read the German passages.

Regina and her mother are buried at Christ Church in Stouchberg. Regina never married.

On October 11, 1958, a headstone was dedicated in Christ Church in honor of Regina. My mother and I looked through the Christ Church record books and cannot find a date of death for Regina nor her mother. Some reports say Regina lived a long life while others say both she and her mother died soon after Regina's release.



Regina Leininger

In Legend Regina Hartman

As a small child held captive

1755-1763

Identified by her mother's singing the hymn:

"Allein, Und Doch Nicht Ganz Allein"

Due to a change in the English calendar, the headstone should read:"1764"

Translation of the German Hymn

Alone and yet not all alone

Am I in solitude though drear

For when no one seems to own

My Jesus will to me be near

I am with Him and He with me

I Therefore cannot be lonely be

I Therefore cannot be lonely be.

This is the music for the Hymn.



The story of Regina Leininger has been, over the years changed. She is also known by Regina Hartman and another variation is, Christina Wampler and her sister Eva from the Lancaster/Lebanon Counties.

There is a book about Regina, called "I Am Regina" by Sally M. Keehn, published in 1991.



Sources:The Story Of Regina Leininger, Indian Captive of the Penn's Creek Massacre. Supplied by Jeffrey Gensemer of Lebanon, Pa.

The picture of Regina's headstone supplied by Elaine C. Albert of Hamburg.

The Life of Regina, supplied by Tom Gillett of Rochester, N.Y.

The Christina Wampler information from Herb Bohler of New Jersey.

Many thanks to these people and all who have e-mailed with Regina information. And thanks to my Mother, Justine for all her help.


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THE SUSANNA COX SAGA



Drawing by Ed Wolf. 1999

The year was 1785 when Susanna Cox was born in Berks County, Pa. They were a humble and large family. In 1798, at the age of 13, Susanna was sold as a domestic to the Daniel Schneider family in Oley Township, Pa.

In 1803, Daniel's daughter Esther married Jacob Geehr. Susanna helped raised Esther's three children. Being without an education, Susanna stayed close at home and attached herself to the Geehr family.

Rumor had it that when Mr. Geehr's wife Esther became a semi-invalid, he turned his affections to Susanna. Susanna became pregnant, hiding it from the family members.

On February 14, 1809 at 4:30 am., Susanna gave birth to a son. Around daybreak on February 17th, Mr. Geehr discovered the baby's frozen body hidden in a outbuilding. Susanna admitted the baby was her's but insisted he was stillborn. Mr. Geerh placed the baby's body back where he found it and sent his tenant farmer to Reading to summon the Coroner.

Due to illness, Peter Nagle, Esq., a Reading Justice of the Peace came in the Coroner's place, accompanied by a young medical practitioner, Dr. John B. Otto. A surgical examination of the body was made. Dr. Otto's report said the baby's lower jaw had been broken, the tongue torn loose and thrust back, and strangulation produced by a wad of flax which had been forced into the infant's throat.

Upon being told the doctor's finding, Susanna cried then seemed willing to go to Reading for the trial. She ate supper, then dressed warmly for the journey. She was committed to the Reading prison to wait for her trial.

An indictment against Susanna Cox for willful murder was found by the grand jury. On April 7th, she was arraigned before the Court, the Honorable John Spayd presiding. Susanna pleaded not guilty.

The prosecution on the part of the State was conducted by the Deputy Attorney-General, Samuel D. Franks., Esq. The defense team was Marks John Biddle, Charles Evans and Frederick Smith, Esqs.

Susanna stuck to her story that her baby was born dead. The reason for the concealment of it's birth, she feared she would lose her place of employment.

Popular sympathy for Susanna was enlisted in an effort to have a commutation of sentence. The Governor of the State, Simon Snyder, was petitioned to spare her life. The hanging of a woman was then repugnant to the people of Pennsylvania although two woman had previously been executed in Berks County for murdering their children. Elizabeth Graul was convicted in November of 1758, and Catharine Krebs, convicted in November 1767 and hanged in Reading, Pa.

The Governor set Susanna Cox execution for Saturday, June 10th, between the hours of ten and two o'clock. She was to be hung in "Gallows Hill" in Reading at the foot of Mount Penn. Gallows Hill is now City Park.

During Susanna's stay at the city jail, she was treated with the upmost leniency, assisted the Sheriff's family and ate her meals as though she was their guest.

The day of Susanna's execution, the Rev. Philip Reinhold Pauli administered Holy Communion. She was given a white dress trimmed with wide black ribbons.The same dress she was buried in.

The tenth of June was clear and warm. The town was crowded with on-lookers. At a little after eleven o'clock, the procession started to the gallows. The Rev. Pauli said a prayer, a German hymn was sung.

"Ich armer mensch; ich armer sunder

Steh hier von dinem angesicht.

Ach Gott, ach Gott, verfahr gelinder,

Und geh nicht mit mir in's gericht.

Erbarme dich, erbarme dich,

Gott, mein Erbarmer, uber mich!"

I, wretched creature, sinner poor,

Stand here before they sight.

Oh God! show mercy in this hour,

Judge not with vengeful might.

Take pity Lord, thou pitting God,

Upon my desperate plight.

The wagon containing the coffin, stood under the gallows. Susanna stood on it, the mask placed over her face, the noose placed around her head.

After hanging seventeen minutes, Susanna was placed in her coffin and driven to her brother-in-law, Peter Katxenmoyer's farm and buried.

In May of 1905, 100 years after the hanging, Susanna's bones were dug up. To this day, no one knows what happened to them. The coroner's office said record keeping was hit and miss in those days and there is no record of what became of Susanna's bones.



This was the Schneider house in Oley, Pa. Picture taken in July, 1999.





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STONE (MAN) WILLIE



Stone (Man) Willie

In the year of 1895, a body of a man was taken to the Auman Funeral Home in Reading, Pa. He died in the old prison that stood in Penn's Common which is now our City Park.

Theodore C. Auman was intrigued with the possibilities of preserving the dead, other than placing them on a block of ice. He had found in an old German medical book a chemical formula for preserving meat. Until now, he had no means of experimenting. He seeked permission from state and local authorities to use the unclaimed body. In his first attempt, he used too much formula and the body became mummified.

The identify of Stone (Man) Willie has to this day remained anonymous. He was thought to be Michael Phohonski, a man who hanged himself in the same prison. Pietro Buccieri, a man who killed a nurse at St. Joseph Hospital in 1892. James Murphy from Wilkes-Barre, James Maypenny from Philadelphia, plus many more.

When he was arrested Oct. 7, in West Reading, Pa, for burglarizing the Morris Brown Boardinghouse. He gave the name James Penn, admitting it wasn't his real name. To this day, no one knows where the name Stone (Man) Willie came from.

The only time I saw Stone (Man) Willie was in 1972. He was in a lower part of the funeral home. He laid on a cot. There had been many myths about the dead man which were dispelled. His hair and fingernails do not grow. The body shrinks every year making the hair and nails longer. He was a white man , 37 years of age, 5' 10" and weighted 127 pounds. The formula that was injected into him has made his skin tone darker. We were told that every few years they give him a new pair of pajamas to ware.

Around 1994, the Auman Family sold the business to Service Corporation International, the largest funeral and cemetery company in the world. Theodore C. Auman III remains as president and manager. It was rumored, Stone (Man) Willie would be buried. Last week a call was made to Auman's and they said Willie was indeed still there but he is no longer available to be viewed.

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TOMMY COLLINS



Thomas Jefferson Cummings Alias Tommy Collins

Thomas Jefferson Cummings was born July 27, 1857 in Lancaster, Pa. He was one of three children of William and Esther Cummings.

After his father's death, he and his mother moved to Reading around 1877 and lived at 845 Cherry Street.

1886-1895 they lived at 947 Court Street and 1896-1899 at 220 N. 2nd. Street.

He was known to own 25 suits and 20 overcoats, changing clothes at least 6 times a day.

Dressed in old clothes, Tommy would peddle wares in the countryside of Berks County, returning to Reading to dress as a Beau Brummell.

Several times Tommy campaigned for President of the United States and Governor of Pa.

Later on in life, Tommy took to living on the streets and sleeping in haystacks. He became eccentric as time passed.

In 1909, he stayed in houses being constructed in Wyomissing, Pa. He was taken in custody and sent to the county Alms House in Shillington, Pa. He spent several winters there and also the former Berks County Prison on Penn Street.

During one of his prison stays, Tommy took ill with heart disease and asthma. He died in the hospital on Dec. 18, 1921. He was 64.

300 people attended his funeral and burial took place at Charles Evans Cemetery.

No one knows why he was called Tommy Collins.

Tommy at an early age.



Drawing by Ed Wolf 2000

Tommy, before he died.



Drawing by Ed Wolf. 2000



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This article was taking from the Reading Eagle newspaper, Monday, March 16, 1891.

SUICIDE OF MISS FRANCIS

MENTAL TROUBLES CLAIMED AN ESTIMABLE YOUNG WOMAN TO END HER LIFE.

By Hanging on the Attic of Her Home on Sunday Forenoon.

Great excitement was caused in the vicinity of 12 1/2 and Chestnut Sts. Sunday noon by the discovery that Miss Alice S. Francis had commited suicide by hanging. She resided with her mother at No. 208 12 1/2 St. in a house just built.

Mrs. Francis and her daughter moved into the house last week and had not yet properly arranged all the furniture. Mrs. Francis, mother of the deceased, gave the EAGLE the following account of the sad affair.

"Alice said because the weather was so fine I should go to church. I said she should go too. She replied she would go see her Aunt, Mrs. Noll, on Mineral Spring Road, and insisted I should go to church. We both left the house together around 10 o'clock. Alice went up the back way and I went to Grace Lutheran Church. When I returned home I sat by the stove warming myself, and, looking into the kitchen, saw Alice's wrap on a chair. I also noticed the key in the lock and knew she had returned home. She had been acting strangely for some months and sometimes I was afraid to leave her alone. No one knows the trouble I had. I started to search for her and not finding her in any of the rooms on the 2nd. floor went up to the attic. I don't know what led me to the steps. I saw Alice hanging near a window. It was an awful shock to me. I called to my little grandson and he ran for Mr. McKinney on Mineral Spring Road, who quickly came down and took her body down. Alice had not been well for six month. Often I bathed her head with cold water. She worried a great deal after she had bought the house we just moved into. She feared she would not be able to pay it off and would then lose what she had paid on it. One of her friends told her that if she took sick and could not meet her payment she would lose all. After that she worried more than ever. She imagined she had great trouble. After deciding to buy the house, several months ago, she often took her friends to see it and took great pride in it."

From other sources it was learned that Miss Francis told her fears about her purchase to some of her church members and they assured her she would be well taken care of if anything happened, and that she should not worry at all about it.

When the suicide was discovered, Dr. I. Leo Mingle was summoned but found Miss Francis dead. Her body was still warm. She had used a piece of rope clothes line which she had doubled by passing twice through a hole in the wall above the attic window. The window was lowered from the top. Nearby was a chair which she had stood on to fasten the rope around her neck, and from which she had stepped into eternity.

Deceased was in her 37th year. She was an active member of Grace Lutheran Church and presented to the congregation the handsome alter talbe at a cost of $75, earned by extra work at sewing at night. She was regularly employed at dressmaking ad went out to work nearly every day. Her father was the publisher of the Spirit of Berks. She was his clerk and cashier and after his death retained the position in the Herald office for some time. Ever since her father shot himself, Miss Francis was greatly worried. There is much sympathy expressed for her troubled mother.

The only testimony heard was that of Wm. H. McKinney, who found and cut down the body, and Dr. I. Leo Mingle, who was summoned, but found life extinct. Verdict in accordance with the facts.

Miss Francis was married about 10 years ago, but secured a divorce shortly afterward. Her unfortunate marital affairs also preyed considerably on her mind.

Deceased did not visit her aunt, Mrs. Noll, as she said she would, and it is thought after parting from her mother she returned at once to the house and took her life. No note or other writing was found. The funeral will take place on Thursday afternoon. Mrs. Francis said that recently her daughter had spells lasting only for a short time, but on such occasions she was quite violent. Deceased was a daughter of Daniel S. Francis and was born in Reading. She will be buried at the Amityville Cemetery.

On Saturday, August 5, 2000, we set out to find the house at 208 12 1/2 Street. After driving in circles, we found the street, at some time had a name change. It is now Chapel Terrace.

208 12 1/2 Street, now Chapel Terrace





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CHINAMAN IS MURDERED

The year was 1920.

The mutliated body of Li Chang Wing, also known as Joe Lee was found at 8 AM in the back room on his bed in his laundery at 17 N.10th Street in Reading, Pa. It appeared he was murdered with a heavy knife.

After two hours of police investgating the crime, Chung Tao, also known as John Jung, a Chinese cook , was arrested. Mr. Tao was was held in the Berks jail. He denied the charges against him.

Mr. Tao was arrested in his room at a hotel at 7th & Franklin Streets in Reading, Pa. Officers found a large jack-knife, and blood stained clothes. The police believe the motive was robbery. A feud was know to exist in the Chinese community, envy of a more succuessful business than another.

Mr. Wing had lived in the city for five years and was considered a good neighbor and friend.

The body was found with the right leg drawn up close to his body and his right arm was drawn across his face. He was waring a suit of underclothes and dirty khaki trousers and was barefooted. There were at least twenty knife wounds covering his face, arms, chest, and back. His right arm had skin about three inches long and two inches wide that had been cut away and the muscle showing. A four inch gash was found over his right kidney.

Mr. Wing's white shirt hanging in a closet was covered with blood as was the floor. Blood was also found on a stairway leading to the first floor of the house. Blood was found on woodwork and a pool of blood was found at the top of the stairs leading to a cellar. Blood was also found on a rear door and fence. A gun was found, fully loaded under Mr. Wing's pillow with no shells discharged. On the top shelf of the closet a roll of bills, amounting to $165 and a gold watch was found. A certificate showing Mr. Wing had purchared $900 worth of stock in Met Ed. Electric Company was also found. The cash drawer in the laundry was emptied of all the money.

Back at Mr. Tao's room, police found his clothes bloodstained. They found $259 in cash, small change in the amount of $17.61, cerificates issued by the Shanghi and Hong Kong banks worth $2,200, all stained with blood. Mr. Tao was employed as a cook in a restaurant on Penn Street. Mr. Wing's flesh, was not found in Mr. Tao's room. The removal of flesh in the shape of a triangle is common with members of the Chinese Tong. Mr. Wing's brother was notified that his brother was dead about 10 hours before being discovered.

The funeral of Mr. Wing was the first of a Chinese resident and the first burial of a Chinese in a local cemetery. Several hundred residents of Reading viewed the body at Seidel's on North Fifth Street. Mr. Wing was a member of Judge George W. Wagner's Bible class in the First Reformed Sunday School. With the exception of a scar on his right cheek, the body did not appear to be was a victim of a murder. He was dressed in a dark suit with patent leather slippers. He was laid out in a oak casket with silver handles and a plate with "At Reat" inscribed. He was laid to rest in Aulenbach's cemetery.

Taken in part from the Reading Eagle Newspaper, October 1920.

Mr. Li Ching Wing



Mr. Chung Tao



The store where the laundry was at 17 North Tenth Street as it looks today.



Mr. Wing's grave at Aulenbach's Cemetery.





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