Where’s Jack? I don’t know. I need your help.

Trying to figure out what happened to Railroad Jack’s body has been the most frustrating part of this project. I feel like I have exhausted all of the obvious resources. If any information exists on this matter (or even if his taxidermied body is still somewhere), it seems like it is in someone’s home or tucked away in a small museum I haven’t yet contacted. I need your help.

Here’s what I know about the last locations of his body. Jack died on June 13, 1893 at the Union Depot in Albany, NY. He was taxidermied by an Albany man named William Vigars. The railroad men planned to display him in the train station. The last reference to the location of his body was on December 3, 1894, in the Albany Times-Union:

“William Vigars, of 55 Central avenue, is the taxidermist responsible for the superb display of “stuffed critters” in Saul’s window on North Pearl street. All the various birds and animals are notably life-like. “Railroad Jack” looks ready to take a train for one of the places he was wont to visit periodically.”

And then he’s gone. What happened to Jack? Where did his body go? I can’t figure it out. I’ve detailed the places I’ve looked and people I’ve talked to elsewhere on this site, but I now need help. Do you have any information? Any new places I should look?

Also, I am searching for an oil painting that was done of Jack. The last I’ve been able to track it was hanging in Jimmie Farnham’s hotel on Chapel Street in Albany in the 1940s. I hope it’s hanging in someone’s home. I’d love to see it if you know where it is!

Railroad Jack portrait
A terrible newspaper copy of the missing oil painting.