A construction crew in Defuniak Springs, Fla., unearthed bones and a concrete tombstone during a jobsite excavation last month, sparking a two-week investigation that concluded the bone fragments were not human, but from a cow.
The tombstone, made from 1920s-era concrete, stated, “Here lies the carcass of J. Fuller Gloom,” and included the dates 1 B.C. and 1921.
Investigators found that J. Fuller Gloom was a pen name of columnist Thomas Morgan, who wrote for the Kansas City Star, Saturday Evening Post and other publications. Morgan died in 1929, and is buried in Rogers, Ark.
When the remains were found, police brought in the district medical examiner’s office, which forwarded the bones to Florida anthropologist Joanne Curtain at the University of West Florida. Curtain determined the bones came from a cow.
Florida historians suggest the tombstone could have been a prank, but more likely it was to mark the grave of a cow named after J. Fuller Gloom.