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Dixon, Lodivia 1862-1900


Posted By: Doris Hoffman, Volunteer (email)
Date: 3/18/2015 at 21:46:26



Miss Lodivia Dixon Saturates Her Fate and Breast with Kerosene and applies Lighted Match--Death Caused by Inhaling Flame--Was a Helpless and Dependent Invalid and Her Mind was Undoubtedly Affected by Troubles

During the quiet hours of last Sunday afternoon, at about 3:40 o'clock there occurred one of the most and sad terible episodes in Akron's history as a result of which Miss Lovidia Dixon met sudden death. The lady lived alone in a rear room of the Tuttle building, on Reed Street, and at the time above stated. S. E. Peters and wife, residing in front rooms of the same building and John R. Jeffers and wife, of Chatsworth, who were visiting them, heard sounds of moaning, as of someone in pain, coming from Miss Dixon's apartment. Knowing her to be subject to heart trouble, Mr. Peters hurried to her room. To his inexpressible horror he found th epoor woman in a kneeling posture on the floor, her breast, face and arms enveloped in fierce flames. Calling for Mr. Jeffers to come in, Mr. Peters seized some bed clothing and, with Mr. Jeffers' assistance, suceeded in quickly extingquishing the fire on her person.

She was carried out the rear door tenderly aid on the walk and dr. Ellis summoned. All this transpired in a short space of time, but only a few seconds after the physician arrived her soul took its flight. A large crowd gathered upon the scene in a few moments and the san spectacle was one never to be forgotten.

Careful investigation was at once made as to the manner in which the flames were communicated to Miss Dixon's person. Upon a small table in the room sat a lamp, the chimney of which had been removed and was sitting on the table. The lamp was almost empty and it was evident the kerosene had recently been poured therefrom the burner being unscrewed and the outside of the lamp wet with oil. There is only one concusion regarding her ddeath that can sensibly be arrived at, which is that she intentionally poured the kerosene from the lamp upon her breast and face, and then applied a lighted match to the same. Her death was directly due to inhaling the flames, although the burns inflicted would ultimaely have been fatal. The hands, arms breast, neck and face were badly charred, and the lips entirely burned away.

Immediately after the lady's death, a telephone message was sent to the county coroner, apprising him of the circumstances; but Mayor Slaughter, acting as a justic of the peace, took charge of the case and empanelled a jury, comprised of Dr. H. H. Cilley, M. A. A gnes and E. J. Bradley. After the inquest the jury returned a verdict to the effect that Miss Dixon came to her death by ignition of her clothing, the orgin of fire being unknown.

There are several reasons which might have lead Miss Dixon to have taken her own life. In the first place, she was an invalid, having lost the use of her lower limbs and was compelled to get about in a wheeling chair. Her parents were both dead, but a brother and sister reside in England, although to relatives live in thsi country. She was at times very despondent over her condition and dependency upon oothers, and a couple of weeks ago suffered a temporary attack of insanity or hysteria which required te attention of a physicaian.

Mrs. Evelyn Parke was among the witness testifying before the coroner's jury, stating that on Tuesday of last week she had vicited her friend, Miss Dixon, at her home, when she acted in a peculiar manner and seemed very low spirited, accusing witness of talking about her, and remarking also that she hoped she would not live to old age. Putting all these facts together would indicate that her mind had become slightly affected and that the act was probably premediated.

Miss Dixon was in the habit of writing considerable scriptural literature, the passages being generally of a rather melancholy nature.

Deceased was about theirty-nine years of age and a native of England. She came to Akron seven years ago with the family of Fred Myers and has since resided here. She was possessed of an unusually bright mind, was very active in religious work and a devout member of the Baptist church.

In the comb-case at her home was found a letter addressed to the members of her church, evidently written but a short time before her death, stating that she knew she was a sinner and praying forgiveness, but no allusion whatever was made of her intention to end her earthly existence.

Until about eighteen months ago she had made her home with the family of Fred Myers since which time she had lived by herself, doing light sewing and recieving some assistance from the church and county, this latter allowance having recently been slightly reduced by the board during the summer months. Withal, she was a most lovable and interesting lady, and the entire community was saddened by her untimely and frightful taking off.

The funeral services were held at the Baptist church on Monday afternoon, REv. Geo. Jones delivering the sermon. There was a very large attendance and the floral offerings were most beautiful. Interment was made in the Akron cemetery.

Akron Tribune
Thursday, May 3, 1900
Akron, Iowa


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