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Lost Children of the Alleghenies - Imler, PA

Updated: Oct 5, 2021

To get to the Lost Children of Alleghenies Monument you drive on a remote 2.5 gravel road in Imler, PA. There is a pull-off where you can park and follow the path over wooden bridges and through the wooded area to the monument.


On the morning of April 24, 1856, the Cox boys, George, aged 7, and Joseph, aged 5, sons of Samuel and Susannah Cox, wandered from their home, a log cabin in Spruce Hollow, Bedford County, PA..


While eating breakfast, Samuel’s dog started barking. Believing that the dog treed a squirrel he took his rifle and headed into the forest. It is believed that the boys may have followed him and gotten lost. Susannah thought the boys were with Samuel. After shooting the squirrel Samuel used a different path to head home. It was only when Samuel returned that they realized that the boys were missing.


After calling out for the boys and receiving no answer, Samuel went to the neighbors to get help. That night more than 100 men went into the forest to search for George and Joseph. Fires were lit in the forest in hopes that the boys would see it and head toward them.

A dowser and a witch were brought in to locate the children with no success. One man used a forked branch of a peach tree to help in locating the boys, but he also had no success. Eventually all eyes turned on Samuel & Susannah and their property was searched but still the boys were not found.


On May 8th, over a week after their disappearance, their remains were found by a local farmer, Jacob Dibert, After he followed signs he saw in a reoccurring dream. George and Joseph were found under a Birch tree.


George and Joseph Cox were laid to rest in the Mt. Union Cemetery.


In 1906, on the 50th anniversary of George & Joseph’s disappearance, the community raised money to create a monument to the Cox boy’s at the place where their bodies were found.


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