LolaMaddisonBayCityMITimes28Nov1907.pngOn March 2, 1906, Miss Lola M. Madison, a stenographer from Salt Lake City, Utah, died from an abortion at Passavant Hospital in Chicago. She was 28 years old. A recent graduate of Merrill Academy, she went to Chicago on the advice of a friend and made straight for Lucy Hagenow's practice, where she remained for several days.

Somehow, her sister, who was a nurse, learned where Lola was and went to check on her. She found Lola seriously ill, and had her brought to the hospital before notifying the police.

As she lay dying, she refused to identify the man who had gotten her pregnant, though Chicago police deduced that he was "a prominent lawyer and former federal official of Utah."

The location of the offense is listed as a medical facility, and it might be that the abortion was actually performed there, at the hospital However, this is not likely, since the woman identified as responsible for Lola's death was a known abortionist who plied her trade on her own premises and even had a preferred mortician to haul off her dead.

Police Sargent George W. Pearsall testified in a 1908 trial for Hagenow that he's known her under the name of Ida VonSchultz. He saw her at a second floor medical practice at 480 North Clark, with a sign on front of the building reading, "Dr. Lucy Hagenow, Physician and Midwife" and "Dr. Ida VonSchultz, Physician and Midwife." Pearsall met Hagenow at the door and asked if she was Dr. Hagenow. She said no, she was Von Schultz. The sergeant took Hagenow to Lola's room at Passavant Hospital about five o'clock on the afternoon of February 20. He asked Lola, "Do you know this woman?" To which Lola replied, "Oh, yes, that is the doctor." The police captain asked for clarification and Lola identified Hagenow as the doctor who had performed the abortion at her office on Clark Street. Hagenow stepped up to the side of the bed rubbed the Lola's face with her hand and said, "Don't talk too much, my girl, it won't do you any good" Hagenow then bent over and whispered something to Lola that the police were unable to hear.

Abortionist Lucy "Louise" Hagenow
Mrs. Lucy Hagenow, a physician and known abortionist, was arrested and held by the coroner's jury March 3. She was listed as a midwife on the source document, but at that time female physicians were often identified as midwives.

Because of technical issues with the indictment, the case was dropped on July 22, 1907. Salt Lake City papers make much of the fact that the victim was the sister of Mrs. Annie Bradley, who at the time of Lola's death was facing charges in Washington regarding the murder of Senator Brown.

Hagenow, who had already been implicated of the abortion deaths of Louise Derchow, Annie Dorris, Abbia Richards, and Emma Dep in San Francisco, would go on to be linked to over a dozen Chicago abortion deaths:

Hagenow was typical of criminal abortionists in that she was a physician.

Note, please, that with general public health issues such as doctors not using proper aseptic techniques, lack of access to blood transfusions and antibiotics, and overall poor health to begin with, there was likely little difference between the performance of a legal abortion and illegal practice, and the aftercare for either type of abortion was probably equally unlikely to do the woman much, if any, good. For more about abortion and abortion deaths in the first years of the 20th century, see Abortion Deaths 1900-1909.


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  13. 20s
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  16. NAF
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  97. suicide
  98. teens
  99. texas
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