Mary Farwig

SUMMARY: On November 4, 1899, 28-year-old domestic servant Mary Farwig died from a botched abortion attributed to Dr. Garrett D. Leach of Indianapolis, Indiana.

Mary Farwig was a 28-year-old domestic servant employed at the home of John H. Diehl in Muncie, Indiana. She died at around 9 a.m. on November 4, 1899 from peritonitis caused by a botched abortion.

Deihl, along with his brother Frank Diehl and Dr. Garrett D. Leach, were all tried in her death. Leach, who completed Mary’s death certificate was acquitted. While he noted the septicemia and peritonitis, he made no note of the abortion. He indicated that he had been caring for her since October 28. No postmortem examination was noted.

John was convicted but appealed.


  • “Transcript in Diehl Case,” Indianapolis Journal, May 14, 1901
  • death certificate