Entries: 487    Updated: Sat Aug 25 20:33:04 2001    Owner: Unknown

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  • ID: I055
  • Name: Elva Zona HEASTER
  • Sex: F
  • Birth: ABT 1873 in Greenbrier County, West Virginia
  • Death: 23 Jan 1897 in Greenbrier County, West Virginia
  • Fact 1: The Greenbrier Ghost
  • Note:
    The central figure in the infamous "Greenbrier Ghost" legend, Elva Zona Heaster was born probably in 1873, though her tombstone says 1876. In the June 1880 Greenbrier County census she is listed as Elva Z., age seven, a schoolgirl, adding at least three more years to her life. The records of Greenbrier County indicate that she was twenty-two on November 29, 1895, when she bore an illegitimate male child, whose supposed father was an unskilled laborer named George Woldridge (Book 1, p.230, line 310). It appears that people guessed at ages, rather than keeping accurate account. From the dates on Zonaís tombstone, 1876-1897, it appears that she was twenty-one at the time of her death, not twenty-two, as her death certificate reads. Actually she was probably twenty-four.

    According to census records the absence of any child born in or near 1885 to the Hedges Heaster family indicates that Zonaís illegitimate child was raised by someone else. He could have died in infancy, but if so, his death is not recorded. All efforts to discover anything at all about him have been unfruitful. Today there are Woolridges living in the area (no Woldridges or Waldridges), but they donít seem to know of any Georges among the family names. That he is called Heaster in the birth book would seem to indicate that he would be accepted and raised by him. But apparently that was not the case,

    For anyone wishing to know more about the murder of Zona Heaster Shue two excellent books on the subject are "The Greenbrier Ghost and Other Strange Stories by Dennis Deitz and The Man Who Wanted Seven Wives by Katie Letcher Lyle.

    Father: Jacob Hedges HEASTER b: 15 Oct 1847
    Mother: Mary Jane ROBINSON b: 15 Dec 1849

    Marriage 1 George WOLDRIDGE
    • Marriage Beginning Status: Single
    1. Has No Children Infant Boy HEASTER b: 29 Nov 1895

    Marriage 2 Erasmus Stribbling Trout SHUE b: ABT 1861 in Augusta County, Virginia
    • Married: 20 Oct 1896 in Lewisburg Station Parsonage, Greenbrier County, WV
    • Marriage Ending Status: Death of one spouse
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