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Between 6 and 7 o'clock Saturday night, on the steps of Coroner Boyen's office, on Pulaski street, an elderly and portly woman was seen swallowing something taken from a paper. The person seemed eager to obtain all there was in the paper, which eagerness probably was excitement over an act later producing death.
The act was witnessed by occupants of the Gaus boarding house, corner of Logan and Pulaski street, who had observed the woman walking up and down the street in an aimless sort of a way for an hour or so. It was not long after the act of swallowing the potion that the sequel revealed a case of suicide.
It was probably 6:20 p.m. when Lynn W. Parker in walking along Pulaski street from the Central school building toward the business district found ___?____(unable to read smudge in print) close to the wagon went and knocked at Hassenstats. He inquired to ascertain her trouble and upon __?__ was requested to take her to the home of Coroner Boyden, humanely did so and there she was identified as Eliza Pierce who was estranged from her husband and children several years ago.
Upon arriving in front of the coroner's office one of the spasms produced by strychnine came on and she fell. Mr. Parker and another person aided her into the office and Mr. Boyden was called and in answer to his query, she said she had heart trouble. Dr. Rembe was called and responded and to him she told she had swallowed strychnine. The doctor resorted to heroic measures to save her life, but death ensued in a brief time, following the act of taking the terrible poison.
The ending of the unhappy life was not a surprise although a shock. Mrs. Pierce had frequently declared her intentions of committing the deed and even explained how she would do it by having in her possession available a large dose of Strychnine. For years her mind was affected and she lived in various places and was morose and despondent. She was an inmate of St. Clara's hospital for a long time, then lived for brief periods with old acquaintances who could not keep her, as she was a burden, being blind and so old she was no longer able to work. Recently she lived with Mrs. Doyle and Mrs. Williams on Fourth street.
Within a few weeks Mrs. Pierce lived in the Central house on South Kickapoo street, where she remained as long as she would be kept, as she was in the custom of doing. When ordered to seek another home she walked out on the streets and concluded to give up the battle for life and atone for her past by sacrificing what is dearest and sweetest to mortal - life.
The deceased had a horror of becoming an inmate of the county house and repeatedly declared she would commit suicide rather than go there and she kept her word. She was aided by the county when the inmate of homes, and labored under the idea that arrangements were being completed to send her the the county home, therefore the tragical incident and end of a life once of much usefulness and value to a family and community.
The ending of the unhappy and unfortunate life naturally causes a pang of sorrow among former friends and acquaintances, who were numerous in the days of happiness and prosperity. Yet, everything considered, however deplorable the deed, the victim is far better off, as unhappiness and sorrow and suffering are forever ended and in the grave the frailities and the mistakes of the deceased will be buried with her.
The unfortunate was in her youth, a woman of remarkable energy, strength and courage. She was hospitable and obliging, kind-hearted and charitable - when able to give. Her husband, whom she married in 1861, was a prominent man in this county. And to them were born four children - two sons and two daughters, who are living in distant states and territories.
The deceased whose maiden name was Eliza Horn, was born in Pike county, Illinois, and came to Logan county when a young woman. She was married in 1861 and lived for nearly twenty years with her husband, and when ? children were grown to ?? manhood their paths ? and both ?
The funeral ? place, Wednesday. The exercises will be held in the office of Coroner Boyden at 10:00 o'clock and the remains will be taken to Lucas cemetery for interment.
This page is " Obituary" on the Logan County, Illinois, ILGenWeb site. The address of this page is http://logan.illinoisgenweb.org/obits/pierceeliza.htm..
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