John B. Stickney

This impressive monument became a cenotaph when Judge Stickneys body was moved to Washington, D.C.

This impressive monument became a cenotaph when Judge Stickney’s body was moved to Washington, D.C.

John B. Stickney was serving as the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Florida when he died of dengue fever in 1882 while on a trip to Washington, D.C. He was buried in the Huguenot Cemetery where he remained for more than 20 years. His children wanted his body moved to Washington, D.C., to be closer to them. During the transfer operation the casket was opened at the St. Augustine cemetery and witnesses described seeing several intoxicated by-standers handling the bones. Later, the gravedigger noticed that several of the deceased man’s gold teeth were missing. This news created quite the ruckus at the time and remains an unsolved mystery.

Today the gold teeth are one of many stories adding to the popularity of St. Augustine’s ghost tour business.

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