Pants Down Woods...

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Gypsies of the 1870's Gypsies of the 1870's

Just ahead on the left, you’ll find Marsetta Drive.  From the mid-1850’s to mid-1870’s, this area was known as ‘Pants Down Woods’.  Matilda Stanley was born in Reading, Berkshire, England in 1821 and later married Levi Stanley, son of Richard “Owen” Stanley, king of a prominent gypsy tribe.  Owen and his affiliated families settled in north Dayton in 1856.  Upon Owen’s death, Levi and Matilda became king and queen, attracting many gypsies to the Miami Valley.

These nomads would often commit highway robbery along this stretch of the Dayton and Xenia Turnpike.  Their tactic would be to steal a man’s wallet and pants so that he couldn’t report the matter to the authorities until after dark, facilitating their get-away.  Hence the name “Pants Down Woods”.  Matilda died in 1878 and is interred in Dayton’s Woodland Cemetery.  The crowd at the ceremony was estimated to be 25,000 with a procession of a thousand carriages from downtown to the cemetery!

You can download her obituary from multiple newspapers below...

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Brett Williford

Re-introducing you to the Beavercreek you love... from 1803 to today!


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