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Final Edition

Franklin Ames, Heir to Ames Tannery, Passes Away

Franklin Ames, once CEO of the Ames Tannery before its closure in 1971, dies amid rumors of an unusual lifestyle.

By Jonathan Heywood | April 15, 1975

The town of Question Mark, Ohio, bids farewell to a once-prominent figure, Franklin Ames, who passed away this week at the age of 57. Ames, best known for his leadership of the Ames Tannery until its recent closure in 1971, had become a subject of local folklore due to rumors about his alleged involvement in the occult and a descent into madness in his later years.

The Ames family has a long history in Question Mark, with Franklin inheriting the tannery from his father, Wilbur Ames. Under Franklin's direction, the tannery remained a central part of the town's economy until its closure. In the years following, Franklin became increasingly reclusive, fueling rumors about his eccentric lifestyle and possible occult practices.

In a move reflecting the concern over potential vandalism due to these rumors, Franklin Ames was buried in St. Casimir's Cemetery under three tons of concrete. This unusual precaution highlights the controversial and mysterious public perception of Ames in his final years.

“He said he was afraid of vandals, and also ghosts,” Barry Waldrop, groundskeeper at St. Casimir’s Non-Denominational Cemetery stated. “He had very explicit directions on how he wanted to be buried.”

Franklin Ames is survived by his daughter Margaret, aged sixteen, and his young son, Gerald, who is just five years old. The weight of the Ames family name in Question Mark now rests on the shoulders of these young heirs.

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