Leon Reporter, Leon, Iowa
Thursday, September l0, l903
Last Monday about noon our little city experienced one of the greatest and saddest shocks for many a day. The word went like fire before a hurricane that MISS CORA, the 24 year old daughter of MR. and MRS. DAVID DAVIS, had drank carbolic acid and was dying at the family home. Friends from all over town went hurrying to the scene with the hope of being some assistance in saving her life, and were stricken with grief on entering the home and there seeing the lifeless form peacefully sleeping, her eyes closed in death. Medical aid was hastily called, but was too late, the deadly poison had done its work. The following note which she left and which was addressed to her sister "BERTHA" is partly explanatory:
"Dear folks, I am going to drink carbolic acid and try to
kill myself. I don't want to live but don't punish EDD for
he has been so good and I brought it all on myself. I have
been so wicked but can't help it. Please don't punish him,
it will be more than he can stand to think I would do such a
thing but I am in misery here on earth and make everybody
else miserable, so goodbye to all and EDD, goodbye one and
The only reason that the family can assign for MISS CORA's
rash act is that she has been in poor health for a year or
more and has become despondent and discouraged, as she had
lately been often heard to remark, "Wish I could die," "What is to become of us," "take a knife and cut my throat," and expressions which might cause suspicion by people other than relatives, of a desire of self destruction, and it was only lately that her mother became alarmed, sufficiently, to insist on the companionship of her sisters. It was only last Saturday she returned from a week's visit in Cainsville with her sister, MRS. CHAS. STROBLE, and Saturday night she sat up finishing a waist, which her sister jokingly said, "You must be going to be married in that." She remarked, "No she was going to be buried in it." And Sunday she seemed not to care to take any particular notice of the surroundings but crying a good deal of the time. EDD. MCNEIL, of whom she speaks in the note and whom she was going to marry Christmas, took her
in the afternoon Sunday to see the river, as several others
were going, but he says there was but little change, the same blank expressions or fits of crying. Monday morning she got up and ate breakfast with the family as, afterwards her mother went into the garden and coming back she asked where CORA was and being informed that she was up stairs, she sent one of the other girls up to see what she was doing, who going up found the door closed and could hear her snoring very loud. She did not disturb her but came back and told her mother she was asleep. About an hour later MRS. DAVIS went to call CORA for dinner and on entering the room found the windows darkened and as soon as she saw her, recognized that death was there. She gathered the girl up in her arms and carried her into another room and hastily used what home remedies she could think of and in the meantime sending out the alarm. That was nearly noon, but the work had been done.
No one knows how much carbolic acid she drank as an empty two ounce vial was found in her room, nor is it possible to give the time she drank it.
MISS CORA had always borne the best of reputation, her
character was spotless, and we can but draw the mantle of
sweet charity before the scene, feeling that God in his
wisdom knowing the secret places has permitted this to be
done for a blessing.
MISS CORA, daughter of MR. and MRS. DAVID DAVIS, was born in
Philips County, Kansas, December 27th, l879, and died at the
family home in north Pleasanton Monday noon, August 3lst,
l903, being 23 years, 8 months and 4 days old. She had been
in poor health but yet able to do her work, for nearly a
year, which occasioned melancholy, despondency and
indifference at times to her duties and surroundings, and in
one of these periods the final end came with her.
In July following her birth her parents moved to Mercer
County, Mo., where they continuously resided, with the
exception of four years in Harrison County, Mo., and five
years ago coming to Pleasanton, Iowa.
In early life she was converted and joined the St. Paul M.E.
Church and later eight years ago, affiliated with the Baptist at Riverview at the organization of that church, of which she lived a member until the last. CORA was a dutiful girl, devoted to her parents and home, kind and affectionate to her friends of whom she had many. Thus the light of a young life has gone out from this world into the unknown. The following day, Sept. lst, after a short service at the family home, the remains of poor MISS CORA were taken to Freedom Baptist Church south of town, followed by a large concourse of friends, and where the funeral rites were held, conducted by Rev. Cyrus Devoe, after which the body was deposited in Mother earth in the Cemetery nearby. She leaves her parents, a large family of brothers and sisters, and a host of friends to mourn her passing. Peace to her ashes.
Copied by Nancee(McMurtrey)Seifert
"With permission from the Leon Journal Reporter"
March 22, 2003