Dr. Francis Julius LeMoyne was a man who got things done. He was a practicing physician, a devoted husband, a loving father of eight, the founder of Washington's Citizens Library, a co-founder of the Washington Female Seminary, an ardent supporter of abolition, and, it seems, a bit of a medical detective!
When residents of his community (Washington, PA) kept getting sick with the same or similar symptoms, many of them dying from their illness, Dr. LeMoyne became more and more convinced that the culprit was directly linked to our burial practices. He believed contaminated matter from buried and decomposing bodies was running off into the streams and water sources and causing the same diseases to strike new victims. Cremation would eliminate disease-ridden contaminants from leeching into the soil and water supplies and spreading the often-times fatal illnesses.