West, Mrs. Birdie 1904

Obituary – Mrs. Birdie West
East Liverpool Tribune


Poison Swallowed During Sunday Afternoon Brought About the Desired Result Monday Soon After Four O’clock.

Mrs. Birdie West died yesterday afternoon (January 18, 1904) at 4:03 o’clock at the residence of her sister, Mrs. Charles W. Richardson, 181 Church alley, as a direct result of a dose of poison believed to have been taken with suicidal intent some time during Sunday afternoon. The funeral will take place tomorrow and the body will be buried in Riverview cemetery. The case presents a number of features decidedly out of the ordinary.

Mrs. West had been living with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Templeton Pugh, at the family home on West Market street. Three weeks ago she went to the Richardsons home where she was gladly received as Mrs. Richardson is by no means well and she would be an acquisition to the household. She was urged to remain, but two weeks later entered the boarding house of Mrs. Anderson on Market street where she worked for a week. She returned to the home of her sister on Sunday afternoon and remained about ten minutes. While visibly excited she gave no evidence of having taken poison. She left in a short time to go to the home of another sister, Mrs. George McConnell who lives with her husband in Drury lane. There she had supper, and it is believed remained until she returned to the Richardson house about seven o’clock. Picking up the baby she began to play with it, but in a short time burst into tears and sobbed as though her heart would break. She complained of the troubles that have in recent months filled her life and soon went to sleep. Mr. Richardson noticed in the course of half an hour that she did not seem well and perspiration was dripping from the ends of her fingers. He called his wife’s attention to the tact, and together they put Mrs. West to bed.

She at once fell asleep and thinking all was well the family also retired. When Mrs. West returned to the house early in the evening she showed them a bottle of morphine. Mrs. Richardson took possession of it fearing that the woman might in her excited condition take the deadly drug. About two o’clock Mrs. West awoke and asked for morphine, but was promptly informed by her sister that she could not have it. Richadson heard the request and when it was repeated remained quietly in bed as though he were asleep and said nothing. Mrs. West later arose and going to the place where the spring water was kept drank deeply from the bottle. She returned to bed about three o’clock and was soon fast asleep. From that sleep she did not awaken on this earth.

When Richardson returned form his work, as foreman of the kiln drawers in the gloss department of the Thompson pottery at noon yesterday, he inquired from his wife how the woman was getting along. Being informed that she was still asleep and breathing heavily he recalled the morphine bottle, and hastened to her room. A glance was enough to convince him she was dying, and he imparted the information to his wife as he hurriedly left the house in search of Dr. Laughlin. The physician was found and did all in his power to save the life of the unfortunate woman, but to no purpose. The poison had been taken too many hours before he reached her for him to be of the slightest of help. While he could not say what she had taken he was convinced it was poison of some sort and she was dying form its effects.

Mr. West’s father and mother and her sister, Mrs. McConnell, were quickly summoned to the house and remained with her until the end came at the time indicated above.

Services Will Be Held This Morning at Ten O’clock

Funeral services over the body of the late Mrs. Birdie West will be held this morning at the residence of C. W. Richardson in Church alley. Mrs. C. W. Miller, the undertaker, has prepared the body for burial and it reposes in a white casket in the home where she died. Interment will be in Riverview.