Editor’s Note: This is an excerpt from a 1903 article in the New York Post describing the controversy over the Garfields remains.
After a bitter clash between sentiment and commercialism in the Village of Worcester, a bank there has secured the right from the town to build a new banking-house upon the site of the graves of the grandparents and great-grandparents of President Garfield. The excavations have been made and the masonry is in course of construction.
No special effort has been made to find the remains of the grandparents of the late president; the reason given being that no one was quite sure in just what place in the quarter-acre graveyard the graves were.
...The graveyard, located in the heart of Worcester, was many years ago abandoned as a burying ground, and it had become overgrown with weeds. The boys used the few remaining headstones as bases in their ball games.
... James Nelson, a resident of Worcester, has in his possession a letter from President Garfield written shortly before his assassination, wherein he expresses a hope to be able to soon visit Worcester and attend to the last resting places of his ancestors. One of the places which he was intending to visit on the trip he was about to take was Worcester.
No need was paid to protests of the minority of the citizens that a preservation of the burial plot in some suitable way would be creditable to the town.