Friday, January 06, 2023

January 6, 1924: Dumps Lover and Dies from Abortion

 Chauffeur Harry Morse was known by his fellow drivers as "one square guy." As he later testified before a Coroner's Jury, the 28-year-old man sobbed that he had been in love with 26-year-old office worker Helen Koss for three years. They went on car rides and to the movies. They went dancing and had summer picnics. Again and again he asked her to marry him, but she always refused. Helen told him that although she loved him, her ambitions were a bit higher than to marry a chauffeur.

Helen was the daughter of German immigrants Carl and Rose Koss. She lived with her widowed mother and three grown siblings.

On December 15 of 1923, Helen tearfully confided to Harry that she believed that she was pregnant. He took her to a physician, who verified her fears. Once more Harry pleaded with Helen to marry him. Again she refused. She told him, "I don't ever want to see you again," and walked out of his life. When he went to see her or tried to call her on the phone, her relatives rebuffed him. 

Broken hearted, Harry went to the Koss home on January 2, sat on the front steps, and drank a bottle of iodine. Somebody found him and took him to Alexian Brothers Hospital, where physicians were able to save his life.

What Harry hadn't known would have made him even more despondent: On December 30, Helen had undergone a criminal abortion. She herself lay dying at Norwegian American Hospital. She named midwife Emma Morck of Fullerton Avenue as her abortionist before dying on January 6.

The police arrested Morck and she was indicted for homicide by the grand jury.  The case was stricken off on October 6, 1925. 

Morck doesn't have a particularly grim history as far as I can tell. She'd been tried and acquitted in 1908 for the abortion death of Christine Gorss.

Watch "One Square Guy" on YouTube.


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