In mid-May, 1916, 25-year-old Lucile Bersworth died at the Chicago office of Dr. Anna Marie Albers from complications of an abortion perpetrated that day. Though Albers was held by the coroner and indicted by a Grand Jury, the case never went to trial.
Albers seems an unlikely abortionist. Born August 8, 1863 in Muscatine, Iowa, she was the daughter of John W. Albers, originally of Oldenberg, Germany, and Hannah (Deitz) Albers, originally from Indianapolis, Indiana. She was one of five children.
Anna’s father operated a steamboat line, then expanded into the lumber business. The family was prominent in Muscatine. Anna’s mother was the daughter of John Christian Dietz, a friend and advisor to the Prussian emperor.
Anna attended St. Mathias school in Muscatine and St. Boniface in Quincy, Illinois. When she was 13, her parents arranged private instruction. While hospitalized herself in Marion Sims Hospital in St. Louis, she decided to become a physician. She began by training as a nurse and working for one year was in the office of Dr. Homer in Oskaloosa, Iowa, as an assistant in x-ray treatments. This job enabled her to pay her way through medical school.
She graduated from Illinois Medical College in 1903, then worked for four years under E. C. Seufert, professor of pathology and histology. For three years she was assistant to surgeon Edward Ochsner at Augustana Hospital. She trained in pathology under Dr. E.R. LeCount of Rush medical College, after which she opened a private practice.
She opened a private office at her residence at 723 Belden Avenue in Chicago and also worked on the staff of Augustana Hospital. She was a member of the Chicago Medical Society, the State Medical Society, the American Medical Association and the Woman’s Medical Society, and was a prolific author of articles for medical journals.
She died in Chicago on May 29, 1934.
Source: J. Seymour Currey. “Chicago: its history and its builders, a century of marvelous growth,” V. 5, 1912