SUMMARY: Twenty-eight-year-old Cathy died on December 25, 1909 in Cook County Hospital in Chicago from complications of a self-induced abortion.

CathyH.jpg"Cathy," identified in the source document as "Mrs. H.," was 28 years old and 8 weeks pregnant when she used a catheter to self-induce an abortion on December 15, 1909. An hour later she began to experience chills.

The next day she had abdominal pain and fever. Three days later, on December 19, she went to Cook County Hospital, where she was admitted wit a pulse of 118, respirations of 28, and a fever of 100 degrees. She was suffering from vomiting.

That day, a doctor curetted her uterus and packed it with alcohol-saturated gauze. Cathy's condition deteriorated rather than improved, and she died of peritonitis on December 25.

Source: "A Study Of and Deductions From Fifty Fatal Cases of Puerperal Fever," Dr. Herbert Marion Stowe, Surgery Gynecology and Obstetrics, 1912, Part 1 and Part 2


Illinois death records show a 28-year-old woman named Ida Hadel who died in Chicago on that date. An inquest into her death was filed on December 30. Since this indicates a suspicious death, it's likely that "Cathy" is actually Ida.