March is National Woman’s History month.
From her March 11th post:
Did you have any female ancestors who died young or from tragic or unexpected circumstances? Describe and how did this affect the family?
I am posting about my Grandfather’s sister – Gwendolyn Morgan Kiley. She was named after her aunt, Gwendolyn Lloyd Humphreys.
Gwen was born on November 28, 1898, in Gardner, Grundy, Illinois, to William and Margaret (nee Lloyd) Morgan. She was the fourth born and the third girl to the couple.
She married Harry Kiley around 1920. I have yet to find a marriage certificate for the couple. Their daughter, Dorothy, was born on January 30, 1921, in Chicago, Illinois.
Now for the unexpected part:
It was August 24, 1923…
“Mrs. Gwendolen Kiley, 25 years old, 416 East 113th street, was killed last evening when she jumped from a Cottage Grove avenue car at 94th street just as it was struck by a Monon train due in Chicago at 9:10 o’clock. The locomotive struck the rear end of the street car, which was partly wrecked. Five passengers who remained in their seats were unhurt. Mrs. Kiley was in the center of the car when she saw the train bearing down. In her excitement to escape she leaped in front of the train.”[i]
Her death certificate states:
“The cause of death was as follows:
“From shock and injuries due to external violence caused by Monon RR Passenger train striking street car in which she was riding at 94th St & Cottage grove Ave”
Definitely an untimely death; she left a husband and little girl behind.
[i] “Woman Leaps to Save Life, Killed By Train,” Chicago Daily Tribune (Chicago, Illinois), 25 August 1923, Section C, p.1.
[ii] “Kiley, Gwendolyn Morgan; Death Certificate No. 23326, August 24, 1923, State of Illinois, Department of Health – Division of Vital Records, Chicago, Illinois. Standard Certificate of Death.