Source: Crawfordsville Star 15 May 1879 p 1
Susan Smith is a pleasant faced girl, young and unsophisticated in the ways of the bustling world, who makes her home with her father at Waveland. Though only in her 18th year, full of the vivacity of young life, she took her life in her own hands on last Sunday and came about as near unveiling the might secrets of the other world as it is possible for a mortal and live. To get back to the history of it all and to arrive at the truth, it will be well to state that the young girl came up to Crawfordsville on lst Friday on the morning train from Waveland. She had a number of brief acquaintances in the city and she spent most of the day with them, attending Forepaugh’s show in the evening. She spent a part of Friday at the Nutt Hotel and the rest of the time at the residence of Miss Ada Myers, a dress maker living on Walnut Street where she spent most of the time till Sunday afternoon when the first intimation anyone had that aught was wrong was when she fell to the floor in convulsions, caused by poison taken for self-destruction. Drs. Keegan and Leech were summoned and manned the stomach pump, after protracted efforst succeeding in saving the poor girl’s life. For a while her chance on life was light but she begged pitifully to be saved. She took the drug several hours before and had it not been that she took an overdose the result must have been fatal. She purchased a dime’s worth of strychnine at some drug store and took the greater portion of it. A large and excited crowd soon gathered about the house in the evening while the girl was almost in her death agony and on Monday morning she was removed to more quiet quarters at the residence of Adam Hanna, near the Plum Street Depot. When the Star’s representative called on yesterday she was resting quite comfortably. Carl Smith, her father, is a poor but honest carpenter and farmer in a small way and is almost distracted over the ever to be regreated rashness of his daughter. The most searching reportorial skill can arrive at nothing satisfactory as to the cause of Susan Smith’s attempt at suicide. Nothing in the persuasive art being sufficient to wring any sort of a statement from her. Her story, highly colored, exaggerated and remodeled by frequent repetitions at the hands of Dame Rumor is that she was dragged and ruined by one or more young men whom she met after the show on last Friday evening. The man she charges with the crime is Con Cunningham, a cloth-drummer, well-known here from a citizenship of ten years. Cunningham was seen in her company on the street on the following afternoon (Saturday) and the girl was in the best of humor; hence the story attributed to her lacks consistency. We have taken all possible pains to get at the real facts in the case, but nothing further can be developed. Mr. Cunningham is an energetic young business man of intelligence and considerable property, and denounces the rumor afloat as false in essence and in fact. This is the first act of the kind ever charged at his door and judging from the quiet way in which Susan Smith’s friends treat the matter there can evidently not be a great deal in it.
LATER – Cowan & Proctor, as Susan Smith’s attorneys have entered suit for $10,000 damages for seduction. Cunningham will fight the case to the end.
Source: Crawfordsville Star 29 May 1879 p 1
Susan Smith has returned to Waveland. Her friends and attorneys have begun to feel that it would have been wiser to have suffered her to give the newspaper reporter her true statement for the alleged outrage when asked for. The matter is in the court now and the press have no desire to enter further into the details of the same nor to criticize the trial, further than to sharply criticize the short-sighted policy of Susan Smith’s poor advisers. There would have been less suspicion of blackmail on her friend’s part had not the reporters have rebuffed so gruffy when out in search of news.