BRETT, Edna 1894-1914
Posted By: Tammy (email)
Date: 9/25/2016 at 18:45:29
Girl Lies Dead Two Months In Corn Field
Body Was Found By Boys Last Thursday
Was Badly Decomposed And Unrecognizable
Ring And Clothes Told Girl Was Edna Brett
Coroner's Jury Says Suicide
The badly decomposed and unrecognizable body of a girl was found in a corn field Thursday afternoon by Arnot Middleton and L. Peterson, two boys about ten years old who were out hunting rabbits. A ring on the girl's finger and the clothes she wore told that the body was that of Miss Edna Brett, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. C. O. Brett who until a few years ago lived on one of the Boies farms southwest of town.
The body was found on a vacant lot owned by Daniel Kerr. The lot had popcorn on it. It touches a main traveled road leading onto west Main street. The body was lying not over 30 feet from this main traveled road and not any further from the city park which probably a thousand people have visited since the girl died there. It was easily visible from the road and from the park and that no one saw it there before is both unbelievable and unexplainable. Many people who were near there remember now that they detected a very bad odor but thinking the odor came from a dead cat or a dead chicken they didn't take the trouble to investigate.
The boys who found the body reported it at once to the sheriff. The sheriff wouldn't believe that the boys were serious in their report but he went at once to investigate and he found the report correct. The coroner was at once notified and he impaneled a jury and they returned a verdict of suicide. They were prompted in making their verdict from an empty bottle which is believed to have had chloroform in it and which was lying near the girls face. From the position in which the girl lay it was evident that she died without a struggle. Her outer skirt and cape were pulled over her head and they covered the face. Later in the evening the remains were placed in a casket and they were taken in charge by Undertaker L. D. Coffman. On Saturday they were buried in the local cemetery. Rev. Dilman Smith conducted a brief service at the grave.
Miss Brett's parents are now living in Glenwood. She came here several months ago. Much of the time when she was here she spent at the home of her brother Willis who lives on a farm west of town and at the home of her sister Mrs. A. P. McMillan in town. She was last seen alive on September 24th. On that day she attended the picnic at Ivester and in the evening she attended a meeting of the Yeoman lodge here. She left the lodge room after the evening exercises were over in company with Boyce Mastin. Mastin says he left her when they were within a block of her sister's house and he assumed that she went home. The McMillan family made no search for her that night because they thought she probably went home with her brother who brought her to town in the evening. When the family here learned that the girl was not at her brother's home they made a quiet investigation for her. They heard of a girl at Vinton who answered to Miss Brett's description. This girl is reported to have bought a ticket for Iowa Falls a few days later. A man was said to have got on the train with her. After that relatives were unable to find any trace of the missing girl at all.
When the report went out Thursday afternoon that the body of a dead girl was found relatives of the missing girl viewed the remains and they were horrified when they identified the ring and the clothes the missing girl wore the evening she was last seen alive.
Miss Brett was twenty-one years old. She leaves a family consisting of a mother and father, several brothers and sisters.
The parents living at Glenwood were at once notified. The tragic news prostrated the mother and she was unable to leave home. The father came at once and he was present at the funeral service.
No one can give any cause or reason for the suicide. The girl appeared to be in good spirits and contented and to enjoy life as much as any other girl of the same age. Why she committed suicide and in such an unfindable place will always remain one of the mysteries.
--Grundy County Democrat (Grundy Center, Iowa), 3 December 1914, pg 1
Grundy Obituaries maintained by Tammy D. Mount.
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