The building was erected in 1836. The sheer size of the building and its' close proximity to the Ohio River and railways made it a desired storage location for the bodies of soldiers killed during the Civil War. A train station was located directly next door as well. During the Civil War, the bodies of soldiers would be brought up the Ohio River from the south on barges and off loaded into the building. Barges from the north would arrive and pick up the bodies and transport them to Pittsburgh, New York, Boston, etc. The trains would do this as well, utilizing the building as temporary storage. It is understood that thousands of bodies were stored in the building during the years of the Civil War. The building eventually became a General Store and hosted barges and river workers during that time.
At some point it became a furniture store before becoming a heating and cooling establishment. It frequently became the temporary home of transients and other men and women who used the Ohio River as a mode of travel. People who used to be employed by the businesses in the building, those still remaining alive, recall strange sounds and eerie feelings throughout their employment. One morning in the early 1880's Mr. James L. Cox, returning home from work in Mingo, found a dead man on the railroad tracks just above town (behind the new building). I was the first person he saw and when he told me about it I wanted to see him also. When the 8 A.M. train came in I got a good look at the body. It was W. H. Steen, a burglar. He had all his burglar tools with him when he was killed. He had been drinking excessively the night before in one of the local saloons and became very inebriated. It being winter the body was kept in the freight depot for two days, swung from the rafters by a rope passed around under the shoulders and arms and another under the legs at the knees. The corpse was placed in a box on Sunday for the trip to the cemetery. The coffin was at least ten feet long and four feet square. It was an old crate that had fruit trees shipped in it. It was also learned that a worker was killed while on the clock. His family remains in the area and, out of respect, the circumstances behind the death and his name will not be made public.
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