BURIAL OF A GYPSIE QUEEN.
—TWENTY THOUSAND PERSON PRESENT—THE SERVICES—CHARACTER AND HISTORY OF THE GYPSIES.
Special Dispatch to the New York Times
September 6, 1878
A PDF format is available on the New York Times website.
Cincinnati, Sept. 15.—The funeral of Matilda Stanley, the late Queen of the Gypsies in the United States, took place at Dayton to-day in the presence of over 20,000 people. The programme of the services did not differ essentially from any Christian burial. If any exercises of a peculiar character took place, they were apart from the public demonstration. There was a long line of carriages, and the services in the cemetery were conducted by Rev. Daniel Bergher, of the United Brethren Church, of Dayton, assisted by a quartet from the church choirs of the city. The Gypsy Queen dies in Vicksburg last February, and her boy was embalmed in such a manner that it still retains the natural aspect of life. It was placed in a vault in the cemetery, and every day members of late Queen’s family have come with fresh flowers to sterw over her. To-day there were a dozen chiefs and their tribes in the city from different sections of the United States, to pay their last tribute to the dead Queen. The deceased was a plain, hardy-looking old woman, with a touch of Meg Merrilies in her appearance, and a manner indicative of a strong and pronounced character. There are stories told of her wonderful faculty of telling fortunes, when she pleased, and her remarkable powers as a mesmerist, both qualities being explained by the assertion they were handed down to her as the eldest daughter in the Stanley family, and were secrets possessed by her alone. She possessed a singular influence over her people that has not entirely ceased with her death. Her subjects came to America in 1856, and shortly after selected Dayton as their head-quarters for he Summer months, and it became the centre for the gypsies of the country. They are good neighbors, industrious and thrifty, contrary to the usually conceived idea. They have several large farms near the city. In the Winter they pack up for the South, to speculate and trade, leaving one or two of the tribe to look after their property at home. They are reverent church people, and the reigning King, Levi Stanley, and his son and heir, known as Sugar Stanley, are members of the I. O. O. F. in good standing. The grave of the Queen, in which the coffin will rest, is a box made of stone slabs, 2 feet deep and 10 by 4 in dimensions. Over the grave will be raised in the form of a monument a bowlder, 8 feet in diameter, surmounted by life-size figure of the Queen in white marble.