Ida Stewart

Ida May Jackson Stewart, a 37-year-old homemaker, died at around 4:30 on the afternoon of September 20, 1900 in Tipton, Indiana after a doctor tried to perpetrate an abortion using 20 psi compressed air through a catheter. Mrs. Stewart reportedly suddenly rose up, exclaimed, “Oh!” and fell back down dead.

Dr. Horace Reed, identified as one of physicians attending Mrs. Stewart, said that during the autopsy, Ida’s husband, Emery, had related the entire story. Emery, a farmer, was left to raise their toddler daughter alone.

So far I am unable to gather any further details in this case, which is strikingly similar to the self-induced abortion death of Laura France in Ohio roughly 90 years later.


  • “Ratcliffe Case Called a New Stewart Mystery,” The Day Book, Jul. 29, 1916
  • death certificate