Two stories from the front page of the January 10, 1894 issue of the Chicago Daily News caught my eye:
End of Sad Married Life- How the News of Harry Goss’ Suicide Was Received at His Wife’s Home – He had been the victim of morphine – Family and Friends Often Tried to Stay His Downward Steps – Romantic Courtship
This morning a brief telegram from St. Louis announcing the suicide of Harry Goss was delivered to his home, 3238 Graves place, Chicago.
It brought mingled sensations of relief and sorrow to the recipients. With a single stroke the Gordian knot of difficulties that beset the path of young Mrs. Goss has been severed. Deserted and dependent upon her relatives, she has still clung to the hope that her path in life would one day be made smooth.
A woman with a tear-stained face answered the ring at the bell and, though she proved very uncommunicative, Mrs. Goss’ father was quite willing to talk. In a subdued voice that often trembled he told the following story:
“Four years ago my daughter met Harry Goss in LaCrosse, Ill. He was a southerner and had once been wealthy, but had run through most of his property. He was dashing in appearance and soon won her affections. They were married after only six month’s acquaintance. It is the old story of a good-hearted weak young man and the girl who married him to reform him. For years he has been a victim of the morphine habit and his people and our family have done everything we could to make a man of him. About nine months ago, while they were living in St. Paul, I received a telegram from Katie saying Harry had left her alone with her baby- then only three or four days old.
“I went up there and brought her home, bundled in a dozen shawls, so she would not catch cold. Harry had gone on a morphine drunk and left her. When we found him we sent him off to Dwight to take the Keeley cure. That straightened him up and I got him passes to St. Louis and gave him $10. I told him he might come and get Katie when he could take care of her. He was a splendid bookkeeper and readily secured positions, but was careless and unfaithful and could not hold them. Four or five times I have got them nicely started housekeeping, but he always mortgaged the furniture. The last time, in St. Paul, the people who held the mortgage foreclosed. I tried then to convince Katie that he would never be any good and that she had better give up all idea of his ever amounting to anything, but she would not hear of it.
“He was too happy-go-lucky to get very much discouraged, though he did threaten to make away with himself once before. The telegram was a terrible surprise to us, though perhaps he took the only way out of the difficulty.
“My daughter has been so tossed about by uncertainty during the last few months that she is not strong and the shock completely prostrated her. We kept it from her as long as we could, but she saw something was the matter and soon discovered what it was.”
The telegram contained the news of his death and a copy of the letter written just before he took the poison. The poor little woman shed heartbroken tears over it. The note ran: “Good-by, Kittie darling, kiss both our babies for me. I have tried hard to get work but could not. It is hard to go away and leave you with so much work in the world to be done. I love you always, Katie.”
It was not settled whether the body would be brought to Chicago for burial.
Could this be Harry and Katie’s oldest child? I wasn’t able to locate the 1893 birth Katie’s father mentioned, although Harry does appear in the 1891 and 1893 St. Paul Minnesota city directories. I wonder what became of Katie after Harry’s death?
The second story is a good reminder about lending money to relatives:
Thrown through a Window – Sad Ending of an Attempt to Collect a Debt
Henry Bradour made his appearance at the Maxwell street police station this morning with his head swathed in bandages and his beauty enhanced by a pair of black eyes and an assortment of bruises about his face.
Henry had a hard-luck story to relate to Justice Dooley, which, the latter announced, eclipsed anything he heard this morning. Henry wanted a warrant for the arrest of his brother-in-law, Henry Brabbo, who conducts a saloon at 318 Blue Island avenue.
Some weeks ago, the complainant said, he loaned his brother-in-law $50, with the understanding that he would be repaid in a few days. As the weeks sped by his faith in humanity diminished and yesterday he went to his relative’s saloon and made a demand for his money. He claims that he was given a terrible beating and was then thrown through a plate-glass window by his relative.
That was adding insult to injury. Henry thought; hence the appearance of Officers Keough and Murray at Brabbo’s saloon this morning armed with a warrant.
Bradour’s injuries are said to be of a serious nature and Brabbo will be held, awaiting the outcome of the matter.
If anyone named in the stories above resides in your family tree, please let me know what became of the survivors. I’m sure other readers would also be interested in learning how these stories really ended.