History Nebraska Blog

The Haunted Cabin of James Conway

Cabin near Alexandria, Nebraska (RG2083.PH000004-000051) (photo at left).

Source: #4 Alexandria Journal 10/30/1965

The town of Alexandria, population 73 at last count, is found northwest of Fairbury. This sleepy farm community is said to have had within its boundary, a haunted cabin with a history going back to 1878. The owner of the original cabin, a man named James Conway, was physically impaled with a wagon tongue during a drinking spree gone horribly awry. Shortly after that, as the story goes, the wife’s body was found under an oak tree near a set of railroad tracks. Her body was free of obvious assault or attack. Everything was in place for the story to become local legend.

As a tale sometimes grows with each telling, the accident killing James Conway quickly became the much more exciting adventure of the headless man who emerges from the house at sundown holding a basket on his shoulder. Another report was made, stating that the ghost of Mrs. Conway, all dressed in white, had been seen at the oak tree where her body had been found.

Alexandria log house

The original cabin was dismantled and moved to the Big Sandy River, where it remains today.

-Dale Bacon Assistant Curator

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