Barber County Kansas

The Barber County Index, July 23, 1903.


Mrs. V. E. Sleeper Stricken Dead With Heart Disease.

Mrs. Lee Sleeper wife of Victor E. Sleeper of Valley Township, fell dead last Thursday evening at 6 o'clock. Rupture of blood vessels at the heart caused her death. Nobody except her two small children were with her at the time. Her husband had gone over to Nashville only a few minutes before. She was found on the east side of the house by one of Mr. Ormiston's boys who was working for Mr. Sleeper, when he came in from the field in the evening. She was lying with her face on the ground and her arms and hands under her body. There was no struggle after she fell and the only bruise sustained were slight abrasions of the skin on the forehead and nose caused by the forward fall when life ended.

Mrs. Sleeper had never before been troubled with sickness. She was a healthy young woman and the announcement of her death came as a great shock to her husband, relatives and friend.

A neighboring lady had visited her that afternoon and found her in usual health, only complaining of being tired as a result of having done a large washing.

On account of the suddenness of death and the tendency of individuals to start false reports of the cause of death, the family thought it best to hold an inquest. Dr. Moore, coroner, was sent for as soon as possible after the death, but the inquest did not take place until Friday morning when Dr. Kociell assisted in the examination. A coroner's jury was impaneled consisting of O. O. Ormiston, Geo. Austin, M. Coughenour, J. S. Bruner, John McClelland and James A. Louthan, and after the evidence of physicians and neighbors was submitted they returned a verdict that "the deceased came to her death from valvular heart disease."

From the circumstances surrounding the case Drs. Moore and Kociell concluded that Mrs. Sleeper, after completing her work was preparing for a bath and that the rupture of the blood vessel was caused by stooping quickly. This had the effect of taking away her breath and she rushed out in the open air to regain it. The physicians say that she ran until she strangled and then fell lifeless. To corroborate this theory Mrs. Ormiston remembered seeing her run around the house but thought nothing of it. Mrs. Ormiston is her closest neighbor. Another circumstance tending to prove that the physicians were correct, was that her body from the breast up turned black soon after her death, showing a derangement of blood circulation.

The funeral was held on Friday afternoon and was conducted by Rev. J. L. Patterson of this city. The body was interred at Mumford.

Mrs. Sleeper is survived by a husband and two small children two and three years old. She was the oldest daughter of H. I. Tilden. She was an excellent lady loved and esteemed by all her neighbors and acquaintances.

The husband's grief is very intense, more so than if there had been prolonged sickness. The sympathy of everybody is with him in his great loss and dire distress. Only those who have lost their companion in life can fully realize the gravity of his sorrow. He had a nice comfortable home, a good farm well stocked and was enjoying life with his family. The misfortune is a very sad one.

Thanks to Shirley Brier for finding, transcribing and contributing the above news article to this web site!

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