Wednesday, October 12, 2011

One Secret Unraveled and Another One Begun

Yes I'm still reading newspapers.  Yes I'm still finding things and finally it has paid off in a huge way, well at least for me it has.  It has also left me scratching me head with regard to a completely different topic and possibly having to eat crow over an assumption.  We'll see what happens with that.

August 18, 1928
Evening Gazette

Dr. Moorehead Has Dayton Pastorate
The Rev. John H. Moorehead, new pastor of Patterson Memorial Church, Dayton has arrived in that city, accompanied by Mrs. Moorehead from their former home in St. Louis, Missouri.
Dr. Moorehead graduated from the Xenia Theological Sanctuary of which his uncle Rev. W.G. Moorehead was president.  He will take charge of his Dayton pastorate September 2nd after four years charge of the Carondelet Presbyterian Church in St. Louis.
They have two daughters, Agnes Robertson, who will be graduated from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts next spring and Margaret Ann, nurse at the Jewish Hospital St. Louis.

Okay folks this means Margaret was a nurse, however, she was a nurse at the Jewish Hospital.  I'm sure this made for many a boisterous exchange about religious beliefs in the Moorehead household.  The other thing it may mean is that Margaret graduated from The Jewish Hospital School of Nursing.  So perchance a record of her matriculation may be found there. 

Aside from the obvious woohoo we now know Margaret was a nurse this tidbit in the Evening Gazette throws another curve ball at the whole where does this information come from thing.  It clearly states that the Moorehead's moved from St. Louis to Dayton.  Every piece of documentation I have read to date says they moved from Reedsburg, Wisconsin to Dayton.  I think that perhaps this misinformation was given in order to cover the fact that Margaret did not reside with her family and hadn't for many years.  We know she went to Dayton in the fall of 1928.  My guess is late September or early October.  We also know she was in St. Louis until that time.  By July she was dead and this information makes that death even more horrendous.  She really was a nurse.  She definitely knew the effect that taking Bi Chloride of Mercury would have on her.  She most assuredly knew it would be fatal despite her reassurance to her mother that she had taken care of a girl who recovered.  You don't recover from this.  It isn't even a remote possibility unless you are literally at the front door of the hospital when you take it.  There is a mere 10 minute span of time during which it is potentially possible to save a person who has taken Bi Chloride of Mercury.  Margaret was down somewhere either at home or at "Franks" for quite awhile.  This is a young woman who wanted to die.

I wonder now after reading of her being shipped to Ohio to spend a summer with a family not related to the Moorehead's at the tender age of eight exactly what kind of family this was.  One thing is certain it produced one child who successfully terminated their own life and one child who hid herself from the world behind a persona that was larger than life.  Terrified, as it were, that someone would come to know the real Agnes.  I truly believe, especially the more I read, that this family was dysfunctional on a level we can only begin to imagine and that the two sisters were likely far closer than anyone would assume.  I do believe Agnes was a mother figure to Margaret and the absence of Agnes from her parents home thrust Margaret into a position of having to cope daily with Mollie.  It turned out to be fatal.  I think Agnes carried the pain of her sisters death to the grave with her and felt completely responsible for it because she wasn't there to run interference.

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