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5 Orphan Boys Find Lincoln Portrait and Chest Near Empty Field, Return for Them 13 Years Later — Story of the Day

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By Monica Otayza
Feb 22, 2022
12:20 P.M.

Five orphan brothers often played at an abandoned field. One day, they found an old portrait of the late President Lincoln and a mound filled with old things. They decided to hide these things, and thirteen years later, it changes their lives. 


Peter, Adam, Edmond, John, and Scott became orphans at young ages when their parents tragically died during a hurricane that devastated their town. While the five kids were at school, their parents were out working on a field as farmers when disaster struck. 

The brothers were inseparable, and after learning of their parents' deaths, the eldest, Peter, requested they all be placed in the same orphanage so as not to be separated as they continued to grow up. Feeling sorry for the five brothers, social workers did everything they could to keep them together, and that's exactly what happened. 

After school, the boys would often play baseball before heading back home to the orphanage. There was an empty field nearby, and they would play together until sunset. 


Peter, Adam, Edmond, John, and Scott enjoyed baseball so much they'd play every day at an abandoned field. | Source: Imagebb

With them would be a stray dog that lingered near the orphanage. As the boys played with him and gave him food and water, the dog followed the boys wherever they went. They decided to name him "Stinky."


One day, while they were practicing, Adam accidentally hit the baseball too hard that it ended up landing in the forest near the field. Stinky ran and followed the ball, eventually finding it. 

However, instead of running back with the ball like he usually did, Stinky started barking. Curious, the brothers ran towards him. When they got there, they found a framed painting of a familiar-looking man on the ground and a small mound. Immediately, Stinky started digging. 

"Wait a minute," Peter said, picking up the frame. "That's President Lincoln!" 

Stinky started barking after chasing the baseball. | Source: Unsplash


"What have you got there, Stinky?" Adam asked as the dog continued to dig quickly. Then an old box surfaced, and Adam picked it up. 

"A gold oil lamp, gold compasses, small swords, a hat, books, and some gold bracelets. What are we supposed to do with these?" Edmond asked as they looked through the content of the box. 

"Nothing for now," Peter told his brothers. "Let's just hide it first. These might be useful for us one day," he said, instructing his brothers to bury the box in the soil again and mark it so they could easily retrieve it years later. 

They hid everything and promised one another that they wouldn't tell their friends about what they had found. After that incident, Peter, then seven years old, started to become even more interested in history. 


The brothers found a wooden chest with artifacts, but they did not know how valuable those were until years later. | Source: Unsplash

Peter and his twin brother Adam were the first to turn 18, followed consecutively by Edmond the next year, John in the next, and finally, Scott the year after. Peter and Adam moved out of the orphanage first, finding part-time work while studying to be able to rent a small apartment. 


Edmond, John, and Scott moved in with their older brothers when they turned 18. They all went to college and had part-time jobs to pay for their everyday expenses. 

By then, it had been thirteen years since that random day on the abandoned field. Peter was in his fourth year in college, taking up a course in American History. There, he studied the American Revolution and Abraham Lincoln's part in it. He learned about the Emancipation Proclamation, where Lincoln freed all slaves in areas still in rebellion with the federal government.

He became so immersed in the topic that he realized the artifacts they found when he and his brothers were children were important antiques from the revolution.  He also found out that these now cost a lot of money and were in high demand due to museums trying to get a hold of such items. 


Peter diligently studied history and found out the artifacts they once discovered belonged to the time of President Abraham Lincoln. | Source: Unsplash

After class, he went straight home where he told his brothers about what he had discovered. "Guys, do you remember that old chest we found near the abandoned field?" Peter asked his brothers. 


Adam and Edmond remembered quickly, but John and Scott could hardly recall. After all, they were still young boys then. "What about it?" Edmond asked his older brother. 

"I was studying the revolution and realized the contents of that chest are unique treasures that cost a lot of money if we sell them to museums," Peter explained. "That portrait of Lincoln was likely painted by someone during that time, too, and could cost a fortune. What do you guys say? Should we go back there and check if they're still there?" he asked. 

"Well, of course! Let's go right now," Adam said excitedly. He knew that if the treasures were still there, they could change their lives forever. 


The brothers went back to the mound where they hid the artifacts, hoping to still find them there. | Source: Unsplash

They got to the abandoned field and walked towards the forest nearby. Luckily for them, the marking they put 13 years ago remained untouched, so they dug the treasures from the ground. As they examined each of them, Scott found a note hidden behind the portrait. It read: 


To whoever is reading this, my name is Albert. I am an antique collector raised at the orphanage near this field. I worked my way towards earning my own money by studying well at school and working multiple jobs. Because of that, I was able to fund my antique collection. I have no family to share this with, so I hope someone in need finds these and makes a fortune from them. As I came from the orphanage nearby, I somehow hope that this too could help a child from there. All that I ask in return is for you to please visit my grave and lay flowers at least once a year. I have attached its location at the bottom of this page. In case you're wondering, yes, I built a small mausoleum for myself in hopes of being remembered forever. No one else would do that for me, so I did it for myself while I am still alive. I wish you all the best, Albert Durenberger.


After Scott read the message out loud, the brothers were stunned. Albert was an orphan like them, who wished to help those who came after him. They promised to honor the man's last request by visiting his grave and placing flowers. Once they were done, they proceeded to visit several museums to sell the artifacts they found. 

The brothers visited Albert's grave to pay respects and to give him flowers. | Source: Unsplash


Once they successfully sold the treasures, they were a million dollars richer, with some artifacts selling for as much as $80,000 apiece. The brothers decided to split the money amongst themselves and, inspired by Albert, gave a portion to the orphanage where they were raised. 

The money gave them enough freedom to live comfortably. Each of them rented their own apartments and continued to study and work part-time to maintain that same lifestyle until they grow old. 

Every year, they continued to visit Albert's grave, and Peter also started visiting his old tutor, Teacher Nancy, who was the reason why he started studying history when he was younger. She gave him history books, and because of those books, he developed a passion for history and it changed his life for good. 


What can we learn from this story?

  • Being lucky doesn't mean we should stop working hard. While the five brothers became richer, thanks to the artifacts they found, they didn't stop studying and working so they could continue to save. 
  • It's always good to give back. Albert decided to give back to the orphanage that raised him by leaving his riches nearby hoping that one day, a fellow orphan would find it. Years later, the five brothers also decided to give back to the orphanage after finding Albert's treasures. 

Share this story with your loved ones. It might inspire them and make their day. 

If you liked this story, you might like this one about an orphan boy who visited the unfinished house his late father was building before his death and found a locked hatch inside.

This account is inspired by our reader's story and written by a professional writer. Any resemblance to actual names or locations is purely coincidental. All images are for illustration purposes only. Share your story with us; maybe it will change someone's life. If you would like to share your story, please send it to