The following story appeared on the front page of the January 30, 1894 issue of the Chicago Daily News:
“No Inquest on Mrs. Gardner – Post-Mortem Must First Be Held-Trouble About the Furniture. Ex-Ald. Frank Vierling and wife of 2347 Michigan-av., backed up by another witness or two, with great loads of suspicions on their minds, went over to 2353, only a few doors away, this morning to attend the inquest over the body of Mrs. Catherine Gardner, who died yesterday afternoon.
Mrs. Dr. Georgia Ruggles, who was both attending physician and receiver for Mrs. Gardner, accompanied by her consulting physician, Dr. Merriman, and several other friends and the nurse of the deceased, was also there.
Mr. and Mrs. Vierling say the death of Mrs. Gardner was suspicious and Mrs. Ruggles says the request for an inquest on the part of the Vierlings was simply a piece of malicious persecution caused by the fear that the ex-alderman wouldn’t get his rent for the building in which Mrs. Gardner lived.
Deputy Coroner McNally arrived and it was decided to hold a post-mortem examination before determining the advisability of an inquest.
The body is terribly emaciated and certainly bears the appearance of having passed through a lingering illness.
“Death was caused by paralysis of brain and body,” said Mrs. Ruggles.
The Vierlings say they think some opiate was given since last Friday.
“We wanted to ask her if she didn’t want Mrs. Ruggles removed from her position as receiver,” said Mrs. Vierling.
“But whenever we called after the court gave permission last Friday Mrs. Gardner was always asleep and the question was never asked.”
Yesterday Mrs. Ruggles gained permission from Judge Horton to sell Mrs. Gardner’s diamonds, for the purpose of raising money to pay bills.
Minnie Metz, who was for some time a servant of Mrs. Gardner, holds a bill of sale for all the furniture in the house.
Are any of the people in this front page story part of your family history? If you know what became of Frank Vierling and his wife, Mrs. Dr. Georgia Ruggles, Dr. Merriman, Deputy Coroner McNally, Judge Horton or Minnie Metz, I hope you’ll share their stories with my readers and me.