“Martha, burn these bed clothes and linens at once, for Addie has died from diphtheria, and we want no one in this household to become afflicted with this scourge.”
If Enoch did kill Addie, it seems likely that other people would have been involved in this crime, and even complicit. Were Fargo’s two servant girls in on it?
According to the 1900 Census, there were two servants listed in the Enoch Fargo household (see picture below). I’m not even sure of their names, but they appear to be Mary Frey (18-year-old German girl) and Marthia or Martha Draper (also from Germany, about 29 years old). (Please look at the photos below and see if you can discern the names.)
What became of Mary and Martha? Discovering the answer to that might help solve the mystery of Aunt Addie’s mysterious demise. Did Mary and Martha live well beyond 1901? If so, that casts more doubt on the story that Addie died from diphtheria, as that was a highly contagious disease, and surely one of them would have been tending to Addie and washing her bed linens and bringing her food and tending to her chamber pot.
Or maybe Mary Frey and Martha Draper came into some money after Addie died? Perhaps they went from being immigrant Germanic servants to prosperous landowners.
If Addie Hoyt Fargo was indeed shot in her sleep by her husband Enoch, surely Mary (age 18) or Martha (age 29) would have heard the shot. Enoch allegedly paid off Dr. Oatway to falsify the death certificate. Two young immigrants, working as mere servants, would have been easy for Enoch to “manage.” Did he pay them off? Or did he just threaten to kill them if they ever uttered a word?
If you’d just discovered that your employer had shot his wife in the head, it’d be real easy to believe that he could do the same to you.
Especially if you’re an immigrant, far from family, broke, and have virtually no life outside of the household.
Did Mary and Martha come running to Addie’s room when they heard the gunshot? Or had Enoch sent them away that Tuesday night so that no one would hear the explosive crackle of a revolver? Even if they were not home when it happened, there would have been a mess to clean up later.
And cleaning up a mess of that magnitude would have required far more housekeeping than Enoch was accustomed to doing.
Perhaps he stripped off the bedsheets and piled them into Martha’s hands and told her, “Burn these bed clothes and linens at once, for Addie has died from diphtheria, and we want no one in this household to become afflicted with this scourge.”
By 1905, Mary Frey and Martha Draper were gone, replaced by two new Germanic immigrant servants: Mary Zimmerman and Minne Lewis (see below). By 1905, maybe Mary Frey and Martha Draper were comfortably ensconced in their new home on Mulberry Street, alongside Enoch and his newest wife, Mattie Fargo.
Please take a look at the pictures below and offer a guess as to these two names. If you’ve any idea what became of Mary Frey and Martha Draper (of Lake Mills, Wisconsin), please leave a comment below.
Thanks to David Spriggs (Norfolk) and Bruce A. Samoore, Volunteer Historical Researcher (Wisconsin) for unearthing much of the hard-to-find genealogical facts, death certificates and obituaries.
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