Cox - BLanche 1900 - Montgomery InGenWeb Project

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Cox - BLanche 1900

Source: Crawfordsville Weekly Journal Friday, 30 November 1900
Blanche Cox, a pretty seventeen year old girl who came here three months ago from Aurora to work at the match factory, committed suicide last Saturday at the home of Joseph Brown, on South Mill Street. The death, distressing in itself, is made more harrowing by the sensational circumstances surrounding the case.

The girl came with a number of others from Aurora to work at the factory and was highly esteemed by them. She was light hearted and jolly and took part in all the social entertainments of the young people. Until Thursday last she boarded at the home of J. S. Stover, but because of some difference with one of the family she went to the Brown place. Last Friday after she had gone to work a letter arrived by special delivery and she was telephoned to come from the match factory to read it. She remarked when she had done so that it was from an old sweetheart and seemed somewhat distressed by the content
She burned the letter as she did a second one that arrived later in the day.

In the afternoon a small woman, about fifty years old, arrived at the Stover place in a carriage and asked for Miss Cox. She was told that she had gone to Mr. Brown’s home, and thereupon she stated to Mrs. Stover that she was a Mrs. Scott, of Aurora, and had come here to confront Miss Cox with evidence of her intimacy with Mr. Scott. She said that she had written the girl letters, signing her husband’s name, and had received answers convincing her that all was wrong. She then went to Mr. Brown’s place and made similar statements to Mrs. Brown asking to be permitted to remain there to see Miss Cox. Mrs. Brown telephoned her husband and he going out home refused that a conference take place there. Mrs. Scott then went back to the Stover place and arranged that Miss Cox be told, on leaving the factory, that Mr. Scott awaited her at Stover’s. This message for some reason failed to carry, however, and when Miss Cox arrived at her room Mr. Brown told her that Mrs. Scott had been there and what she had said, warning her not to go to meet her. The girl vehemently declared that she was guiltless of all wrong and that she had nerve enough to meet any one accusing her. She threw a fascinator over her head at once and went to the Stover residence. She was gone nearly an hour and when she returned she looked utterly miserable. To Mr. Brown she said: “Well, I am alive yet. She didn’t kill me but she might as well have done so.” She then proceeded to say that she was going to town to wire her folks that she would start home on Saturday. She refused to eat any supper, declaring that she never wished to taste food again. Mr. Brown walked to town with her and on the way down she confided in him a pitiful tale of a young life wrecked by a man of standing and influence. She said that J. W. Scott, a prominent and wealthy lumber dealer of Aurora, had for some time exerted over her a baneful influence and that while she did not love him and really dreaded him she was unable to escape from the influence of the man. She had left her home at Aurora to escape him but had not been able to do so. When Mrs. Scott came last Friday she forced a confession and had asked the girl to help her catch her husband red handed and had suggested that Blanche wire him to meet her in Indianapolis. When they were together Mrs. Scott would appear and a divorce could thus be easily secured. In her distress the girl consented to this, so she said to Mr. Brown, but on leaving Mrs. Scott, she changed her mind and resolved to go home. She was greatly distressed, almost wild, all the way to town and parted with Mr. Brown at Martin’s ice office, going ostensibly to the telegraph office, but really to Steele’s drug store where she purchased morphine and a bottle of carbolic acid. Arriving at the Brown home she expressed great grief and declared that she wished she were dead, that she could not go home to face disgrace and that she could not stay here as the story would be all over the match factory in the morning and she would be shunned by the girls with whom she had been intimate. Later in the evening Claude Cunningham, who had been very devoted to her since her arrival here, came to call and she told him that she had resolved to kill herself but did not tell him why. She said she could not face her troubles and both she and Claude cried over the situation, she giving him one of her rings on parting. He said on Saturday before the coroner that he merely believed she was down hearted but did not suppose that she would really take her life. Soon after Claude left she retired to her room and no more was seen of her until next morning when Mrs. Brown entered her room and found her lying on the bed evidently very ill. She cried out that Miss Cox had taken poison and Mr. Brown hastily summoned Dr. Niven by phone. He came promptly but found the poor girl beyond all aid, death coming to her relief at about nine o’clock. She had not taken the carbolic acid but the whole paper of morphine had been swallowed. It is likely that the poison was not taken until 2 or 3 o’clock in the morning. On her table was found the following touching letter, addressed “To my mother:”

“MY DARLING MAMMA:--When this reaches you I will be beyond all earthly aid and I hope safe in Heaven, for your sake. Pray for me, mother dear, for I love you dearly but I have failed to show it. I have been a bad girl, mamma, but it wasn’t my fault entirely. Try to think of me as kindly as possible and remember for your sake and for Claude’s I die. Forgive me for the trouble I have brought upon you and because I don’t wish to bring you any more disgrace I die at my own hands. Ask God to pardon and forgive me and you do the same. Tell my sisters I left my love for them and the baby and may God bless him and lead his steps aright. My band ring that you gave me is for Claude. I want him to keep it. My garnet ring I want Lee to have, and my bracelet is for Addie. My neck chain is for Nan. Give Mollie some little things and the balance you can do as you please with. Pay Mrs. Brown for her trouble out of what is coming to me at the factory. My life insurance and burial association will cover all expenses. And now I guess this is all. Remember me as kindly as possible. Hoping to meet you in Heaven, I remain—Your heart broken daughter, Blanche”

Coroner Dennis held his inquest and found the facts as above stated.
The employees of the match factory, who came from Aurora, state that Miss Cox came from a family of eminent respectability and was regarded at home as a most estimable girl. She was very young, not being over sixteen. Mr. Scott, who figures so unhappily in the case, is a man of means and address. He is a leading citizen of Aurora.  Mrs. Scott, it is supposed, left the city Friday night. – thanks so much to S for all the hard work on the obituaries on this site

Source: Crawfordsville Weekly Journal Friday, 30 November 1900

The body of Blanche Cox, the unfortunate girl who was bullied into committing suicide last Saturday, was taken to Aurora Sunday, several of the employees of the match factory, who came from Aurora, accompanying it. Arriving at Aurora they found a singular belief existing. The undertaker there had given out the word that Miss Cox had died suddenly of blood poisoning, stating that she had been burned with phosphorus in the factory. The people of the town were therefore all unprepared for the tragic story brought by those who came with the body.

The family of the child victim, eminently reputable people, was simply prostrated by the death of the loved girl and the awful circumstances connected with the tragedy and their grief bordered on frenzy. Said one who was present at the house when the body was brought in: “I hope never to witness so harrowing a spectacle again. The girl, she was only a child, had been a favorite and the unhappy ending of her life has driven her parents and sisters to the verge of insanity. It was all so awful and so wholly unexpected that it may result fatally for some of them.

The people of the town blame Mrs. Scott and the harshest criticism is indulged in. The poor girl had gone away from home and could have caused no further trouble when Mrs. Scott had her suspicions aroused as to events that were past. She then employed decoy letters to establish a case and simply hounded the girl to her death. She is an inordinately jealous woman and for years has had such a reputation. It has been town talk there in Aurora.

Scott himself is a man who has always been prominent and popular. He is a contractor and gets some fancy contracts for railroad and street work. He also deals in lumber. The tragedy has rendered him almost wild with remorse and he was simply beside himself when we left to come back here. A watch was being kept on him to see that he did not commit suicide himself. Yesterday was a sad day in Aurora, and what the whole thing will result in, no one can tell. It will certainly result in no good, however. At Aurora the blame is all given to Mrs. Scott and the people don’t say much against Scott himself as yet. What they will do later remains to be seen. – thanks so much to S for all the hard work on the obituaries on this site

Source: Crawfordsville Weekly Journal Friday, 4 January 1901
An attorney from Aurora has been here two or three days looking up evidence in the case of the suicide of Blanche Cox, the match factory girl. It is proposed by the girl’s parents to sue Scott, the man who ruined her, and Mrs. Scott, whose appearance here terrified the girl into taking her life. The Scotts are said to be worth $100,000. -s

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