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Published: Saturday, 9/10/2005

Marker laid to rest in police catacombs


A gravestone with a misspelled name that was found by Toledo police has a new resting place.

I think it s met its fate in the corner of the large storage area of the property room, Lt. David Schmidt said.

Eleanor Orndorff, the niece of Conrad Yahn, said her family is not interested in taking the marker with Mr. Yahn s misspelled first name. The decision came after the 91-year-old Clyde, Ohio, woman spoke with her daughter.

The stone means nothing to her with Conard on it, Ms. Orndorff said.

The stone of Mr. Yahn, who died in 1898, was found in July in an alley in North Toledo. Police, with the help of a curious librarian, recently learned to whom it belonged.

Authorities found the grave of Mr. Yahn, buried under the name John H. Jahn, in Forest Cemetery and a headstone with his properly spelled first name.

Lieutenant Schmidt said if the family doesn t claim the stone, anyone else who wants it will have to show legitimate proof of ownership, such as a sales receipt.

The stone is the property of the city because police have had it for 30 days. Normally, police would dispose or auction such property, depending on its value.

The lieutenant said he does not want to go those routes in an effort to avoid the stone from showing up out of nowhere in the future. So, it will stay in the property room.

We ll make sure it s moved out of the way to a quiet place, he said.

Since the story about the found stone appeared in The Blade on Aug. 24, there have been a few theories about its history.

Sgt. Jerry Heer said a North Toledo woman relayed that her children found the stone 20-some years ago after a man who lived nearby set it out for trash pickup. She said they picked it up, brought it home, and put it in her basement or garage.

She said someone in the family recently put it out for trash, and someone else may have picked it up, the sergeant said.

An anonymous man called The Blade and left a message indicating that he knew of a man who lived in the area who, a few years ago, used headstones as end tables.

Ms. Orndorff said the find brought a little excitement to her family for a while.

She said they were glad to learn that her uncle s grave is marked with a stone one that is properly spelled.

She said they plan to visit his grave when they go to the cemetery, possibly this month.

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