Ashes of man who died in 1940 returned to Ohio from Oregon
Updated 1:47 pm, Thursday, December 1, 2016
NEW LEXINGTON, Ohio (AP) — The ashes of a man who died at an Oregon mental health facility in 1940 are returning to Ohio to be buried next to his wife.
Thacker's death certificate states the 85-year-old died of heart disease a few weeks after being admitted to Oregon State Hospital in Salem, Oregon. The residential facility, which treats people with mental illnesses, served as the setting for the movie, "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest."
Thacker's ashes were sealed in a numbered copper canister and stored in an outbuilding on the institution's property with more than 3,000 other canisters.
Thacker was born in Ohio, possibly Perry County, in 1855. He married Nancy Alice Latta nearly three decades later.
They had four children, Violet, Wyliff, Wayne and another unidentified child who apparently died as an infant. Wayne Thacker was Gaddis' grandfather.
Albert Thacker moved west in 1900, and his wife and children stayed in Ohio.
"We don't know whether he abandoned his family or went seeking his fortune," Gaddis said. "His grandchildren never knew him."
Zegers' research indicates Wyliff later went west and died in Oregon in 1938. He was buried at Grants Pass where Albert was living. Albert was admitted to the hospital the following year.
"It's startling to me that there are 3,500 (unclaimed urns)," Gaddis said. "When you got sick and indigent, you wound up in places like that."
Information from: The Daily Jeffersonian, http://www.daily-jeff.com