When lightning strikes twice… or three or four times

Here is the strange tale of William Yeldell Cosper, born 1844 and died 1919. His grave lies in Childersburg, Talladega County, Alabama, but it has not been a peaceful rest.

In 1919, Cosper was standing on his front porch during a storm and was struck by lightning. Miraculously he survived, even though he was pushing 75. He was convalescing some time after the incident when lightning struck him again, inside the house! The second strike was fatal.

He was mourned and buried in the Childersburg Cemetery and left to rest in peace. However, several years later his headstone was struck by lightning and destroyed.

Photo by Tina Urban

The family had the stone replaced. Then, sometime later, the stone was struck, yet again, and destroyed a second time. At this point the family was no longer able to bear the expense of another stone replacement, so the grave remains in its shattered state.

Is there any reason for lightning to be so persistently attracted to William Yeldell Cosper? Is it simply a remarkable coincidence?

You can find details about William’s grave on his find-a-grave page, posted and maintained by David Cahoon.


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