SUMMARY: On June 22, 1909, 29-year-old Tessa died in Chicago's Cook County Hospital from complications of what was most likely an abortion attempt by a midwife.

TessaZ.jpgOn June 6, 1909, "Tessa," identified by the source document as "Mrs. Z.," was 29 years old and four months pregnant. She availed herself of a midwife to be "treated" -- as it was termed in her hospital records. The "treatment" was most likely an abortion attempt.

After this "treatment," Tessa took ill, with a dull abdominal pain, hemorrhage, and fever.

She was admitted to Cook County Hospital on June 20, suffering with chills. Her pulse was an elevated 128, her respirations at 50. Her fever was comparatively low, 101 degrees, but she appeared "very sick," so she was taken into surgery that same day.

She was put under ether anesthesia while a doctor used a cleaned finger to remove the contents of her uterus. However, after five minutes of anesthesia it was clear that Tessa wasn't doing well so the surgery was stopped.

The next day Tessa was moribund. Her temperature was a clearly unwell 102.4, but her pulse and respirations were more alarming, at 148 and 60, respectively. She died that day, June 22.

Possible ID: Bessie Ziolkowski, who is listed under inquest fees collected in Cook County in June of 1909.