SUMMARY: Emma Alby, age 15, died in Chicago on September 10, 1915 after an abortion perpetrated by Dr. Charles R. A. Windmueller.
On July 7, 1915, 15-year-old Emma Alby of Burling Street, Chicago, went to her parents and reported suffering from what the Chicago Tribune called “nervousness.”
Emma’s mother, also named Emma, thinking that her daughter “had been misbehaving,” took her to Dr. Charles R. A. Windmueller. Emma vigorously protested that she wasn’t pregnant, but Windmueller told Mrs. Alby that she was and recommended an abortion.
Windmueller performed the procedure on Emma, who took ill. She was taken to Norwegian Lutheran Deaconess Hospital, where she died two days later.
An autopsy showed that Emma’s parents should have listened to her: she hadn’t been pregnant.
Evidently Emma’s family, immigrants from Hungary, had been prosperous, since her father, Frank, filed probate records indicating that Emma had left behind personal possessions worth $10,000.
- “Coroner’s Jury Holds Doctor in Girl’s Death,” Chicago Daily Tribune, Oct. 14, 1915
- Cook County, Illinois Deaths Index, 1878-1922