In The News, August 12

Washburn Times, August 12, 1920

Another Farm Wife Commits Suicide

Moquah woman hangs self Friday.

Body discovered in barn on home place. Children sent down by mother and father returning from work finds body in barn.

Mrs. Frank Zacek , age 37 years, wife of a farmer residing 1 1/2 miles west of the village of Moquah, committed suicide Friday afternoon by hanging herself.

The body of the woman was discovered by her husband, upon his return from work in the village of Moquah. During the late afternoon the mother sent the two children to Moquah to purchase some Paris green and upon their return home they could not find their mother anywhere about. The father returned home at about seven o’clock and inquired for the children why the cows have not been milked, and they informed the father that they could not enter the barn because the door had been locked from the inside. The father succeeded in breaking the lock and discovered the body of his wife hanging from a rope which had been tied to one of the rafters of the barn.

Mrs. Zacek had placed a milking stool on a box while she fastened the rope around her neck and had been kicked the stool from under her.

Coroner Amos M. Hansen of this city was called to Moquah but he decided that no inquest was necessary and a jury was not impaneled.

Mrs. Zacek was the wife of a Slav farmer residing in the Moquah district. For some time she has been acting queerly and it is thought that she took her life during one of these spells.

There seems to have been a small epidemic of suicide among the area’s farm wives in 1920: in February, a woman in Grandview doused herself in kerosene and set herself ablaze, and in April, a woman in Washburn’s “Finnish Settlement” drowned herself in her well. Mrs. Zacek’s death seems to have been the last, at least for a while. One does wonder what, if anything, this all says about the lives led by farm women onf the era. Do three cases say anything at all?

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