Towns, cities, and states have their own myths, and legends. Davenport, Iowa has one that many don't even know about. The telling can be found deep within the website of the community's public library.

One of the most persistent local legends in Davenport centers on Oakdale Cemetery on Eastern Avenue. In this cemetery is a special section where children from the Iowa Soldiers Orphans’ Home

Apparently, if you go there on Halloween night you can hear the cries, but there is another legend in that graveyard that has baffled people for years.

Inside the Iowa Soldiers' Orphans' section, there is a headstone found at the end of a very long row in Oakdale Memorial Gardens. The headstone reads:

“Limb of Unknown Child”

There is very little known about this grave and some conflicting information which just makes this more strange. The limb is thought to be a boy’s leg.

When I went to the site no one knew for sure where it was rather just giving me vague directions, that lead me off the main path, and onto a dirt one.


According to the Davenport local library,

difference between the information in the interment records and the burial location. The limb is located in section T-E of the Orphans' lot. But when the internment records were reviewed, the burial location is listed as T-F, or the next row up from T-E.*

Many have searched through countless newspaper records with nothing found, or mentioned. No cause of death has ever been discussed. The biggest question: Why?

Why Name it this?

Why bury a limb?

Why no date?

These are questions we will be asking for a long time that may never be discovered, but this remains an iconic local legend and mystery in Davenport, Iowa.

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