Urbana Democrat, Urbana Illinois
Bones of Giants Found Under Soil West of Urbana
September 11, 1914
The workmen at the sewerage disposal plant west of Urbana unearthed two skeletons Thursday afternoon of unusually large proportions. The steam shovel employed in the excavation work tore into the bones and broke a number of the pieces but enough has been found to piece out enough of the bodies to show that the original possessors of the framework were of unusual build. The bones were discovered about two feet from the surface of the ground between the soil and the gravel, immediately under the soil. Charles McDargh, authority on and collector of such things, went to the place Friday and secured the bones and will piece them together to make as near the complete skeleton as is possible. Mr. McDargh was interviewed by the Democrat as to the possible origin of the bones Friday morning. He stated that he had never seen so massive a specimen as the one secured with but one exception. While in the Chattanooga museum he had seen the parts of the skeleton of a person taken from the Tennessee river which measured pretty well up to the one secured Thursday. The Southern specimen was said to have measured approximately 7 1/2 feet high. These are of a race supposed to be mound builders, as they bury their dead very near the surface. Mr. McDargh has not decided as yet whether the specimens recently acquired is of that period or of some enormous Indian. The teeth are all in place in the jawbone, which measured 5 inches and is 7 inches long. The teeth are in a good state of preservation, though worn down considerably, indicating the age of the possessor. All the bones secured are of unusual size and the man was undoubtedly a large fellow. If the men are of the same race as the one found in Chattanooga they probably lived some three or four thousand years ago, as it has been determined that the southern gentlemen was that old. As soon as the bones were discovered Sheriff Faulkner was called upon to take charge but he felt that it would be an usurpation of authority and suggested that the township trustees were the proper ones to take the case in hand. M. B. Saxbe was not notified but no action was taken. All thought of any recent interment has been abandoned, as the bones show clearly the long time they have lain under the surface. When first discovered the workmen at the plant flocked to the place and all sorts of theories and conjectures were advanced but it was finally decided that the bones were of ancient and not recent origin.