Dr. Ellwood Harvey of Delaware County was a man well-known for progressive attitudes. He was one of the first professors at the Female Medical College of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. He was also an abolitionist whose most daring rescue involved dressing a female slave in mens' railroad attire and helping her escape to freedom in Canada. But it seems that Dr. Harvey had an open mind about more supernatural matters as well.
On Sunday morning, September 24, 1876, Dr. Harvey was called to the home of Charles F. Kenworthy. Kenworthy, a respected Chester businessman and member of St. Paul's Protestant Episcopal Church, lay desperately ill. Despite the doctor's efforts, Kenworthy died the following Tuesday morning, September 26th.
The evening of Kenworthy's death, Harvey and several other gentleman gathered together. The topic of the deceased man was broached by Thomas Appleby who remarked that he found the news shocking for he had no knowledge that Kenworthy was sick. In fact, said Appleby, he had just seen Kenworthy on the street the day before he died. Thomas's brother David offered the same sentiment, saying he too had seen Kenworthy on Monday walking toward the post office.
Dr. Harvey, believing the men to be confused about the days, told the brothers they could not possibly have seen Kenworthy - that he had, in fact, spent the last days of his life bedridden. But David Appleby would not be dissuaded. He was certain he had seen Charles F. Kenworthy walking along Market Street in Chester the day before he died.
At this point, a third friend spoke up. John O. Deshong supported the brothers' story by saying he TOO had seen Kenworthy walking along Market Street the day before he died.
By now Dr. Harvey had become equally insistent that this visage was simply impossible. He explained to his friends that on Monday he had been to the Kenworthy home several times and that Kenworthy's family had given the dying man medicine hourly without interruption. Kenworthy had never left his bed let alone his home, Harvey proclaimed.
But later that night, Dr. Harvey was met with yet another mystifying story. During a visit to another home the host expressed surprise at the death of Charles F. Kenworthy - and told the doctor that both his daughter and daughter-in-law had seen Kenworthy on the street on Monday.
Harvey decided he must hear this story from the witness herself and visited the home of his host's daughter. Yes, she insisted. She had undoubtedly seen Mr. Kenworthy walking along Edgmont Avenue on Monday, the day before his death. When Harvey questioned if she could have the date wrong the woman politely but firmly told him she assuredly did not. And she was not the last to make the claim of seeing Kenworthy.
In total, seven witnesses - including the City Recorder - saw Charles F. Kenworthy the day before he died, even though family members were vehement that he had never left his bed. They did admit, however, that in his delirium Kenworthy muttered incessantly about the need to go to his office, attend a meeting, and go to the post office.
Out of respect for Kenworthy's widow, Dr. Harvey kept the story to himself for some time. A year after she too passed, however, he made these events public.
How did so many people see Charles F. Kenworthy walking the streets of Chester while he lay at death's door in his own bed? Is it possible that - before Kenworthy gave up his struggle for life - his spirit took one final walk here on earth?
Dr. Harvey did not offer an opinion. He simply shared his admittedly amazing story and let others draw their own conclusions - as will Hauntingly PENNSYLVANIA™. 💀