"Make No Bones About It!!"

(meaning--state a fact in a way that has no have no objection to)

Richard Palmer sent me a couple of clips below that raised the question in my mind about where the meaning of the statement "Make No Bones About It" derived.

Arguments will last forever with no real proof, but, a probable, but somewhat surprising, origin is from the meal table. The oldest version of the expression is to find bones in something, meaning to find a difficulty or objection in some course of action. The first example is from one of the Paston letters of 1459. It seems to have been linked especially with soup: to have a bone in that certainly presented difficulties in eating it. To find no bones in something meant that you had no problems or difficulties. The idiom seems to have grown out of that.

In this area will be presented the clippings about "bones" --instead of "no bones"....Skeletal Remains!!

I will also publish any responses to these articles and the questions that are raised as a result of the writings.  Any other clips which are submitted will also be published.

Email Comments & Information to:  Ron Taylor


Bolivar Breeze, Friday,  Oct. 30, 1896



   Italians Unearthed the Skeleton of an 

       Indian Chief While Excavating

       For the Water Lines. Presented

       to the School Museum.


   The old "happy hunting ground" of the Seneca Indians now covered by the picturesque village of Belmont, has once again given its testimony to the historic past and yielded from its store-house of hidden treasures a relic of much value and importance. This relic is the skeleton of an Indian warrior supposed to be a chief from the fact that a large "skinning knife" was found with the remains Monday afternoon. 

    Some Italians were digging a trench connecting the main water line with the residence of Joseph Demmer on Court street, and came across a perfectly formed human skull. While they were holding an animated discussion over their "find," Prof. Crissey, principal of the Belmont Union School, happened to be passing and his attention was immediately arrested.

     He interested the workmen in making further searches, and much to his gratification the skeleton was found. Some of the bones had rotted greatly while others were disconnected from the body, but on the whole it was in a remarkable state of preservation.

     The skinning knife was about four inches long and showed skillful workmanship. Fragments of pottery were also found near the knife. Professor Crissey will probably place the skeleton in the museum connected to the school.

  1. question:  What became of the Skeleton?
  2. question:  What became of the Museum?



Bolivar Breeze, Thursday, Oct. 11, 1900

An Indian's Skeleton
Burial Place of a Seneca Brave Found
on Genesee River Bank.
     The grave of a Seneca Indian was found on Tuesday, just below Oramel, along the Genesee River, by George and Richard Tucker, says the Belmont Dispatch.
     The burial place was first discovered by the finding of a whitened skull at the edge of the river, along the high banks, from which it had rolled down to the water. Looking up from below two crevices were seen in the bank and the edge of a kettle was next noticed. In this when uncovered, were disclosed some seeds, and a trencher, and a wooden ladle, on which was carved a totem in the shape of a bird. When interred, the kettle had undoubtedly contained food for the Indian's journey to the happy hunting ground.
     After considerable digging the skeleton was unearthed. It was found in a sitting posture, according to the traditional mode on Indian burial, with the knees raised and the arms folded. A piece of buckskin legging adhered to one knee. Under the kettle was found a small shred of cloth, hand woven from husks.
     An especially interesting feature of the discovery was the plain evidence that the Indian's body had been packed in clay before being laid in the sand bank. Mr. George Tucker took charge of the skeleton and the relics for the Smithsonian Institute at Washington, some of the officials which are expected here soon to investigate the newly-discovered burial ground.

question:  Is this Body at Smithsonian?


Bolivar Breeze, Sept. 6, 1901

     Jerry O'Leary is putting a stone wall under his house on Friendship street.

     Yesterday morning while excavating for the wall a skull and a number of bones were unearthed. The skull fell in small pieces when exposed to the air. Some of the bones were three or four inches long.

     Dr. Dorr Cutler examined the bones which were gathered in a tin basin and pronounced them those of a human being. Several of the teeth were in an excellent state of preservation and Dr. T. B. Smith, dentist, stated that they were those of a male, and probably a white man.

     Dr. Cutler is of the opinion that the body must have been buried at least 80 years. Careful inquiry fails to find among the old inhabitants a record of the disappearance of any person in pioneer days. The spot where the bones were found was a forest when Bolivar was settled, and after it was cleaned it was a pasture until the oil boom came. Then houses were built around it.

     The bones were found directly beneath the front door of the O'Leary house and lay a depth of 18 inches below the surface. Possibly if "Uncle Ben" Cowles were alive he might be able to furnish a clue that would assist in solving the mystery.


from Newsletter - April 2005 - Thelma Rogers Genealogical & Historical Society, Wellsville; 100 Years Ago, "Echoes from the Archives"; Researched & Submitted by Mary Rhodes.

"Wellsville Daily Reporter -- 4/13/1905 –


Curious Find Made by Workmen While Excavating for New Bank Building

Contractor Hurd, who is in charge of the excavating for the new bank building made a rather unusual find yesterday.

At a depth of six feet the workmen came across a number of bones which were at first supposed to be those of a human being, while with them were found the sole of an old army boot, a copper case, evidently belonging to an old time watch and some brass ferules.

From the condition of the soil, which was of different material at this location, it is believed that the bones and articles were buried there many years ago.

The Coats brick house was built some time in the 60’s and before that time the property was occupied by a wooden house.

Another peculiarity found at this locality were several holes which were perfectly square and which ran down into the ground a depth of eight or ten feet. There was nothing to indicate that an iron pipe or a wooden stakes had ever been driven in the holes, yet they retained their shape so perfectly and are worn smooth. The holes of such unusual length and yet retaining their perfect shape attracted the attention of many people but no one seemed to be able to explain how they came there.

The bones are in Justice Torrey’s office."

Wellsville Daily Reporter -- (Researched & Submitted by Mary Rhodes)

Oct 14, 1885 

The usually quiet little village of Canaseraga was thrown into a state of great excitement on Saturday over the unearthing of the bones of a human being.  A stone mason named James VanScoter while cleaning out some dirt preparatory to building a cellar wall under one of Col. Faulkner’s tenement houses, discovered the bones which were covered by about two feet of dirt.  They were in a pretty good state of preservation and are supposed to be those of a woman.  A foul murder is suspected and an investigation will soon be commenced. – Hornellsville Times.

(Awaiting someone to come up with Chapter II)!!

Andover News - 4/25/1940 -- (Researched & Submitted by Mary Rhodes)