Today I found a wealth of information on the Cemetery of Choice death from this date. The Homicide in Chicago Interactive Database had her name transcribed incorrectly, but a newspaper archive search for her abortionist revealed the whole story of a young woman's death.
On December 22, 1891, a 21-year-old Swedish girl named Tillie Thor was found dead in a bed at the rear of the office of Dr. Franklin E. Brooks on Ogden Avenue in Chicago.
Brooks was unable to give an innocent explanation as to why Tillie was
dead so he, along with George Lundy, a carpenter, were arrested. Lundy
and Brooks had a longstanding friendship.
Tillie has been working as a domestic servant in the home of an upscale
family until September of 1891. For a reason I've been unable to
determine, she moved in with her sister, Christina Armblade, and
Christina's husband, Frederick, on Sangamon Street.
Behind the Armblade house was George Lundy's carpentry shop. He offered
her a job as his housekeeper, and she accepted, beginning her job on
September 23. A short time later, Lundy relocated to Dussold Street, and
against the vehement objections of her family, Tillie accompanied him.
They had seen that Tillie was infatuated and feared that she's marry
Lundy, a man they considered "odious." Tillie's brother-in-law went so
far as to collect Tillie's belongings from Lundy's home and bring them
to the Armblade family home.
Tillie sent Lundy to bring her things back to his home, and she remained
there, though she spent a brief time at her sister's home in October to
be attended during an illness. Her family's attempts to convince her to
leave Lundy fell on deaf ears. Tillie said she knew the ways of the
world and could take care of herself.
Tillie visited her family less and less often, though her 15-year-old
sister, Alma, frequently visited her at Lundy's home. Alma said that
Tillie seemed contented living with Lundy, but was disquieted by things
she'd observed there, such as Lundy being present in Tillie's room while
she was dressing or undressing.
One of Tillie's friends, Helma Boyer, testified that she'd frequently
spent the night at the Lundy home and had sometimes seen Lundy sitting
by Tillie's bed after Tillie had retired for the night.
However, around the 14th of December, Tillie informed Lundy that she was
pregnant. He made arrangements to go to Brooks for the abortion on
December 16. Tillie evidently was expecting the abortion and recovery to
take several days, since her sister Alma reported that she'd visited
Tillie briefly on the 16th and had seen her packing, ostensibly for a
vacation. This prevented Tillie's family from having any suspicions
regarding her absence from Lundy's home.
Tillie never left Brooks' practice alive. The abortion, which has been
perpetrated by an undetermined means, triggered peritonitis. Brooks, who
insisted that she'd only been suffering from stomach and bowel
problems, kept her in the bedroom at the back of his office and attended
her there until her death.
On December 20, Brooks had called in a second physician, Dr. James B.
Williams, for a consultation on Tillie's case. Dr. Williams found
Tillie, who had been identified to him as "Mrs. Wales," with a high
fever and symptoms of the peritonitis that would eventually kill her.
Dr. Williams found the whole situation fishy, advised Brooks to continue
his current treatments and expressed a desire to extricate himself from
Dr. Williams returned the following day with a Dr. Dal, and together the
two doctors concluded that "Mrs. Wales" was suffering from
complications of an abortion. They prescribed morphine for her and
questioned her about how she'd come to be in her current condition.
Eventually she confessed that she'd gotten pregnant by a man in his 40s,
with whom she resided. However, she refused to provide the doctors with
any clue as to her real identity. Dr. Dal questioned her alone to get a
deathbed statement identifying her abortionist. When asked if Dr.
Williams was the guilty party, Tillie answered with an emphatic, "No!"
When asked if Brooks was the culprit, she gave no answer.
The two consultant doctors testified that Brooks' nephew, Mr. Wales,
told them that his uncle was fretful about Tillie's condition and feared
he'd go to prison.
For reasons I've been unable to determine, perhaps due to a tip-off by
one of the consulting physicians, police staked out Brooks' office. They
arrested Lundy first, when he'd approached at around 1 a.m. the day of
Tillie's death with a paper with Brooks' address on it that somebody had
shoved under his door.
Tillie's family, who had been tricked by the story of the vacation, were stunned by the news of her death.
Brooks had a history as an abortionist. Fifteen years earlier he'd
served 18 months for perpetrating an abortion upon a young woman who
survived her ordeal. So far I've been unable to determine the outcome of
the Tillie Thor case.
Tillie's abortion was typical of those before legalization in that it was performed by a physician.