May 2, 1907



This Turns Out to Have Been Carbolic Acid -- Coroner Says Too
Much Was Taken to Substantiate Theory of Accident --
A Note Missing.

Many mysterious things have developed since the body of Mrs. Mary S. Galbraith was found in her home, 1610 Lister avenue, Tuesday night by her 3-year-old baby Mercedes. It seems now, from what her oldest child, Gladis, 5 years old, says, that Mrs. Galbraith made careful preparations for death. She left a note for her brother-in-law, Clay Galbraith, which cannot be found. From the child's story, lisped in broken sentences yesterday to the neighbors, it is inferred that Mrs. Galbraith may have tried to take Gladis with her.

Little Gladis said that shortly after the postman left the home Tuesday afternoon, which would have been about 3 o'clock, her mamma was reading a letter. The child said she read it over and over and cried bitterly while she was doing so. Then she called Mercedes, the baby, to her and, giving her a penny, sent her to the grocery at Seventeenth and Lister to buy candy. The grocer said she got it and went out to play.

Gladis said then that her mother wrote a letter to "Uncle Clay." After that, still weeping, she went to the bath room and took Gladis with her. The child says that her "mamma opened a bottle of medicine and wanted me to take some. I didn't like it and wouldn't take it," she added. "Then she gave me the letter to give to Uncle Clay and told me to run on out and play. She took a big dose of the medicine and went in her room and fell on the bed."

Little Gladis went out to play with her sister, Mercedes, and several other children. In her play she said one of the boys took the note to "Uncle Clay." The whole neighborhood was searched yesterday, but no trace of the note, which could explain everything, could be found.

It was after dark when Mrs. Charles Parsons found the little sisters playing out in the cold and took them to their kitchen door and placed them inside. They ran upstairs just as the front door opened and Clay Gallbraith, the dead woman's brother-in-law, arrived from his work at the Y. M. C. A. headquarters. He heard little Mercedes upstairs in her mother's room crying, "Wake up, mamma. I tan't wake my mamma. She won't talk to Mercedes any more." When Mr. Galbraith passed the door he saw the baby on the bed with the dead mother, patting her face and hugging her pulseless body. He called a doctor and the coroner was summoned.

The bottle of "medicine" of which Gladis spoke was found in the lavatory in the bath room. It was carbolic acid. Dr. O. H. Parker, deputy coroner, held an autopsy at Forster & Smith's morgue yesterday, and reported that carbolic acid had been taken in too large a dose for it to have been a mistake or an accident.

"Do you reckon she wanted to take Gladis with her?" many of the neighbors were asking yesterday. "Why did she send Mercedes away?" The little daughter said that her mother burned the letter she had been reading which "made mama cry." There was no trace of it to be found yesterday.

J. A. Galbraith, husband of the dead woman, was reached by wire at Dallas, Tex., and is expected home at 8 o'clock this morning. The arrangements for the funeral will be made after his arrival. The coroner said there was no need of an inquest, as he was satisfied as to the cause of death.