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Tales from the Morgue: 100 years ago, a widow needs help

Tales from the Morgue

Times have changed, but people still need help, especially when they are elderly and have no family.

A widow had lost her husband and son 25 years earlier when they were killed by Apaches. She had been able to take care of herself for years, but in her 70s, was unable to work. She requested help 100 years ago based on the circumstances of her husband's death.

From the Arizona Daily Star, Saturday, May 13, 1922:

Husband Killed By Apaches; Aid Asked by Widow

Claims He Was in Service of U.S. at Time of the Massacre

Asserting that her husband and her son had been massacred by Apaches about 25 years ago, while in the service of the United States government, Sen͂ora Lola Rivas de Gomez of Tucson yesterday asked Gustavo Couret, Mexican consul at Tucson, to use his good offices in getting some aid for her from the American authorities.

According to Consul Couret, the woman's husband and their son were driving a "Prairie schooner" loaded with provisions for the soldiers at Fort San Carlos and Globe, when they were attacked by Indians and slain. The husband's name was Braulio Gomez and the son's name was Julian Gomez. The raid is said to have occurred near Aravaipa, Graham county.

Mrs. Gomez explained her delay in seeking aid from the United States government by stating that she had been able to earn her own living, but that now the infirmities of age had overtaken her and she was no longer able to work. She is past 70 years old, consul Couret said.

The Mexican consul said yesterday that he would probably make representations to Governor Thomas E. Campbell in the effort to obtain relief of some sort for the needy woman.

Consul Couret yesterday again emphasized the importance of the certification of documents being signed in handwriting instead of typewriting, if such documents were to have legal weight in Mexico. The certifying words themselves need to be written by hand, but the signature thereto must be in handwriting, Consul Couret explained. If this detail is not attended to, the documents will not have legal value in the southern republic.

Tales from the Morgue wasn't sure why there was a need for legal standing in Mexico, but perhaps it is because Arizona was a territory of the U.S. and not yet a state when the deaths occurred.

Also 100 years ago, the Star reported on Hospital Day, which celebrates the birthday of Florence Nightingale. As is the case with print newspaper stories, the celebration occurred the day before.

From the Star, Saturday, May 13, 1922:

300 Tucsonans Visit Veterans at Pastime Park Yesterday

Sports, Vocal and Instrumental Music Amusements

Hospital day, the anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale, was observed yesterday by several hundred Tucsonans, who sent present of flowers and baskets to the patients at the various hospitals yesterday morning, and in the afternoon attended "open house" at Pastime park.

About 300 persons visited the Pastime Park hospital yesterday afternoon during the "open house" maintained by the veterans, and a large number of these remained in the evening to enjoy the program of music and dancing which was provided.

The patients at the hospital were the guests yesterday afternoon of Coach McKale of the university and of the Rotary club at the second game of the baseball series between the University of Arizona and the University of Southern California. Free transportation was provided by members of the Rotary club, who called for the veterans at the hospital at 3 o'clock and took them to the field. After the game the veterans were taken for a short ride about the city and back to the hospital for the evening program.

Open house was also held at the Comstock hospital from 3 to 5 o'clock yesterday afternoon. Visitors were shown through the new addition to the hospital, which was the gift of the Organized Charities and has just been completed.

Silver Tea Given

A silver tea was given yesterday at St. Luke's and a fairly large amount was realized for the purchase of the 12 new beds which it is desired to install soon to care for patients who are seeking admission.

The evening program at Pastime park consisted largely of music, furnished by three orchestras and a band, in addition to vocal numbers.

The program was opened at 6 o'clock by the Frolic's orchestra, which furnished several particularly jazzy numbers.

The high school band, under the direction of Arthur Sewell, followed with a varied collection of jazz and old-time favorites.

Miss Mary Eager furnished two aesthetic dancing numbers and several folk dances, which she executed with considerable grace and charm. She received much applause. She was accompanied on the piano by Miss Dorothy May Green.

Miss Harrison Sings

Miss Selma Harrison furnished several vocal solos, followed by a brief monologue by Mrs. Bentlsy Winstanley. Mrs. Jeremiah Metzger and Mrs. O. E. Weaver were much applauded for their vocal duets and for their solos. Their selections included "Sometime, Somewhere," "Lassie O' Mine," "When Life Is Sweetest" and selections from the light opera "Miss Charity."

The elks' band furnished the closing numbers of the evening's entertainment with a whirlwind of jazz and pep.

Doughnuts and coffee were furnished by the Salvation Army, and disappeared with the same rapidity as was customary in the trenches.

The crowd at the evening entertainment is said to have been one of the largest ever seen in Pastime park, while the hospital was crowded all afternoon by visitors.

A large exhibition of the veterans' craftwork was on display all afternoon, and practically every article was sold before evening.

Johanna Eubank is a digital producer for the Arizona Daily Star and She has been with the Star in various capacities since 1991. 

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Online producer

Johanna Eubank is a digital producer for the Arizona Daily Star and She has been with the Star in various capacities since 1991.

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