Friday, November 06, 2020

November 6: Unable to Undo the Damage

Unable to Undo the Damage

On November 6, 1919, 28-year-old Ms. Anna "Annie" Merriman died in Union Hospital in New Philadelphia, Ohio.  

Dr. C. L. Tinker testified that a man had come to his office on November 2 asking him to come quickly to Annie's bedside. Dr. Tinker found her deathly ill, with her heart racing at a staggering pulse rate of 190. Annie told him that she was ailing because of an abortion that had been performed by 66-year-old Dr. L. H. Hughes at his practice in Dennison, Ohio.

Dr. Tinker told Annie that her only hope of survival was to be hospitalized, and she consented. She was admitted to Union Hospital in Tuscarawas County. The next day she told a hospital employee that she'd gotten pregnant by a friend, rather than by her husband, Roy, from whom she had been separated for about two years. She had only been 16 years old when they had married.

Annie also told this woman, in front of two other witnesses, about the abortion, saying that he had been performed on October 25.

Annie's condition never improved, and she died at 7 p.m. on November 6. She left behind three children. Two physicians who performed a post-mortem examination concluded that Annie had died of general septic peritonitis from the abortion. Hughes was arrested in her death and released on $2,000 bail. He was able to get trial postponements due to difficulty in locating witnesses. I've been unable to determine the outcome of the case.

See newly added sources below.

An Unknown Perpetrator

On November 6, 1914, 25-year-old Genevive Tatar died at Cook County Hospital in Chicago from complications of an abortion performed by an unknown perpetrator.


Watch the YouTube video.

New sources on Annie's death:
  • "Woman Dies at Union Hospital Thursday Night," clipping without newspaper title or date
  • "$2000 Bond is Required of Physician," Daily Times, December 10, 1919
  • "Doctor's Trial is Postponed; Seek Witness," Daily Times, February 28, 1920
  • "Dennison Doctor Goes on Trial on a Serious Charge," Coshockton Tribune, November 16, 1920
  • "Indictment is Nolled," Cincinnati Enquirer, November 16, 1920

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