In Memory of Caddy Naugle

Story of the death of a little girl, grieving father, and a stranger

The story of the little girl at the gate and the mysterious stranger is one that has been told many times around Salem in the past 60 years.

In Crown Hill Cemetery there is a remarkably detailed carving in stone of a little girl standing at a gate. In essence that is the story of little Caddy Naugle.

The bright part of Caddy’s day was swinging on the front gate late in the afternoon, waiting for her father, John Naugle, to come home from his work as a stonemason and monument maker.

But those happy days soon were to end. Caddy became ill and died in 1901 at the age of 4.

John Naugle was so disturbed by the death of his little girl that his business suffered. Then one day an itinerant mason appeared in town and asked Naugle for a job.

He was hired on the spot and proved to be an excellent mason. He soon heard about the tragic death of Caddy and felt deeply that he wanted to help the Naugles ease their suffering.

Visitors to the shop soon thereafter were astounded to see a remarkable likeness of little Caddy taking shape in stone under the hammer and chisel of the wandering carver.

Some details of the story are missing and it is not clear just how the carver made such a good likeness of Caddy. However it is assumed that he worked from a photograph and from descriptions, given by friends of the Naugles.

At any rate, soon the carving was complete. It showed Caddy standing by the gate, waiting for her father, just as she had done so many times.

The carving was given to the Naugles and was placed on Caddy’s grave.

Then, as though his mission there was completed, the itinerant mason left Salem as mysteriously as he had arrived. He was never seen again in the district.

The story still is told here, but no one ever has been able to provide the name of the man who carved the statue of the little girl at the gate.

Photo of John Milton HayWho was John Hay?

Statesman, Author, Ambassador

John Hay was a great American statesman, diplomat, author and poet, whose political career spanned over 50 years.  He was born in a small brick home in Salem, Indiana, on October 8, 1838.

After John displayed considerable potential in his schooling, his Uncle Milton Hay, who was a practicing lawyer in Springfield, Illinois, took a special interest and sent him to Brown University, where he graduated in 1858. 

In 1860, when John Hay’s childhood friend, John Nicolay, was appointed Abraham Lincoln’s presidential campaign secretary, he was brought on board to assist with the enormous amount of correspondence. 

Hay grew to adore President Lincoln for his goodness, patience, understanding, sense of humor, humility, magnanimity, healthy skepticism, sense of justice, resilience and power, love of the common man and mystical patriotism. Many later noted that Lincoln too, loved Hay as a son and was very attached to him.

In 1903, after years of negotiating treaties, Hay successfully passed legislation that afforded the United States the opportunity to start construction on the Panama Canal. 

Brown University’s John Hay Library was named in his honor, as was the John Hay Air Base, in the Philippines and both his birth home, in Salem, Indiana and his summer estate, The Fells, in New Hampshire, have been historically conserved. 

John Hay Center Hours of Operation

Thursdays - 10:00am – 5:00pm
Fridays - 10:00am – 5:00pm
Saturdays - 10:00am – 5:00pm

Tour Pricing

Self-Guided Tours

Adult (Age 18+) - Donation
Child (Age 6-17) - Donation

Guided Tours

Complete Comprehensive Tour
(Museum,Pioneer Village, The Depot)
Adult (Age 18+) - Tour Price  $20.00
Child (Ages 6-17) - Tour Price $10.00
Guided Tours - Free to Members

Steven's Museum Guided Tour
(Approximate 2 hour Tour)
Adult (Age 18+) -  Tour Price $7.00
Child (Ages 6-17) - Tour Price $4.00
Guided Tours - Free to Members

Pioneer Village
(Approximate 1 hour Tour)
Adult (Age 18+) - Tour Price $7.00
Child (Ages 6-17) - $4.00
Guided Tours - Free to Members

The Depot Railroad Museum
(Approximate 1 hour Tour)
Adult (Age 18+) - $7.00
Child (Ages 6-17) - $4.00
Guided Tours - Free to Members

School Tours

Private & Public School Tours: $3.00 per student/parent (Teachers free & 10 student minimum)

Private Tours

Scheduled Private Tours (More than 5 Guests) (Minimum $50)

Additional Information

*All regular tours are free for Life Members
*Children under 5 are free

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