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Catherine "Katie" Meyers Fuss 1857-1905


Posted By: Merllene Andre Bendixen (email)
Date: 3/11/2011 at 21:39:59

Mrs. Paul Fuss Dead
Suddenly Stricken Wednesday Evening and Died in Less Than Ten Minutes
Mrs. Paul Fuss [Catherine] died very suddenly at seven o’clock Wednesday [June 7, 1905] evening. She was in her lunch room on Lincoln street alone when people on the street were attracted by her screams and going in found her on the floor in a helpless condition. Doctors were at once summoned and when Drs. Birney and Wilson arrived she was almost breathing her last. It was thought she had either been poisoned or committed suicide and an autopsy was held and a jury composed of A. C. Brown, M. J. Groves and G. R. Connelly had returned the following verdict: “The said jury on oath do say: We do find that said deceased victim came to her death by means and from causes to this jury unknown.”

At the autopsy they failed to find any trace of poison, whatever, and Dr. C. E. Birney issued the following statement:

Coroner’s Statement
In this case I was the first physician to arrive prior to her death and was closely followed by Dr. Wilson. I found her sitting on the floor, vomiting, talking incoherently and frothing at the mouth. We gave her a heart stimulating hypodermic which gave no relief and she was dead in about ten minutes after my arrival. Her family reported her as in good health fifteen minutes prior to death and her death occurring in so short a time, public inquiry was aroused as to the cause of her death and the jury being unable to arrive at the cause of the death I deemed it of sufficient importance to hold an autopsy which was done by Drs. Bradley and Wilson under my directions. We found the heart, lungs, liver and stomach in a normal condition except with a slight enlargement of the liver. With a view of determining whether death was possibly due to poison, I ordered the stomach and contents analyzed by Dr. Bradley who did so and his report is filed with the returns herewith made. No trace of poison being found, from the evidence, the circumstances surrounding and from my personal examination I conclude that death was due to natural causes undetermined, though unusual. – C. E. Birney, Coroner

Dr. W. E. Bradley analyzed the stomach and its contents and made the following report:
“The mucous membrane of the stomach was somewhat inflame in spots but no evidence of corrosive action such as would be produced by the ordinary irritant poisons, mineral acids, carbolic acid, alkalis, etc. There was no arsenic or strychnine present in the stomach’s contents.
This clears up all suspicion of foul play or suicide and shows that her death was natural, though unusual.

Deceased was forty-eight years of age at the time of her death and had been a resident of Estherville for sixteen years. For the past three years she had conducted a restaurant and lunch room on Lincoln street and was an industrious and hard working woman.
A husband, seven sons and one daughter and two sisters are left to mourn her untimely death.
Funeral services were held in the First Baptist church Saturday afternoon and interment made in the Oak Hill Cemetery. (Estherville Democrat, Estherville, IA, June 14, 1905)

Note: per 1900 census, born Luxembourg, Jan 1857. Per Ancestry.com, maiden name Meyers


Emmet Obituaries maintained by LaVern Velau.
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