Thursday, October 13, 2011

Thriller Thursday ~ Hit by Auto

Death certificates for Cook County, Illinois (for the years 1878-1922) can be found at FamilySearch. Some time ago, I found the death certificate for my grandmother's maiden aunt Carrie Adsit, who died on May 6, 1922.

Illinois, Cook County Deaths, 1878-1922 (index and images, FamilySearch,, from Illinois Department of Public Health, Division of Vital Records, Springfield, Illinois, accessed May 2011),, Carrie J. Adsit, died 6 May 1922. Citing Death Records, FHL microfilm 1,378,964.
Of course, I always look at the cause of death. Since she was over the age of 70, I figured it could be any number of illnesses, but I was surprised to see: "Shock + Injuries; Struck by Automobile; Manslaughter."

Detail from Death Certificate of Carrie Adsit

Although I can find a death notice for her from the May 9, 1922, Chicago Tribune in the Historical Newspapers database on,
I wanted to know if there was a news article. Today I discovered that Fold3 has full issues of the Chicago Tribune covering the years 1849 - 1923.

Chicago Sunday Tribune, May 7, 1922, page 1, from

Carrie Adsit, Hit by Auto in Park, Dies

   Miss Carrie J. Adsit, 70 years old, died in Columbus Memorial hospital late yesterday afternoon a few minutes after being struck by an automobile while she was walking in Lincoln park. She was a sister of Charles C. Adsit, La Salle street broker.
   E. F. Helmas, 636 Briar place, driver of the machine, was arrested at the scene of the accident. Robert A. Tuke, 4021 Clarendon avenue, his brother-in-law and owner of the car, who was riding with Helmas when Miss Adsit was run down, drove away, but was captured half an hour later by the police as he was leaving the Helmas apartment by a rear door.
Dies in Hospital.
   Miss Adsit was walking with her sister, Miss Jeanie Adsit, when the car bore down upon them, and she walked directly in front of it. She was thrown several feet and injured so badly that she died while being carried into the operating room at the hospital.
   The Adsit family live at the Ambassador hotel. Mr. and Mrs. Charles Adsit [my great grandparents] and another brother, J. M. Adsit, lived with the two sisters. When Charles Adsit was suspended from the stock exchange for failure to meet his obligations, which were estimated at about $650,000, Miss Carrie Adsit was one of the members of the family who came to his assistance and aided him in the partial liquidation that has taken place. About 20 per cent of the debts have been paid.
Tuke Is Held.
   Lieut. Samuel Pincus of the Lincoln park police sent a squad of motorcycles after Tuke as soon as he learned the address of the owner of the car. Policemen Morley and Reynolds arrested Tuke in the rear of the apartment just as other officers entered by the front door. He was taken to the Hudson avenue station. 

Thriller Thursday is a daily blogging prompt from GeneaBloggers, the genealogy community’s resource for blogging. It is used by many genealogy bloggers to help them tell stories of their ancestors.


  1. Wow -- such detail. What a great find.

  2. Wendy - thanks for reading and commenting. I hope to find some time to browse some more in the online Chicago Tribune for any follow-up articles.

  3. Whew, what a story! You did some great detective work, and really pulled a lot of information together. What an intriguing obituary--Even though it happened many years ago, it is still sad to read about a tragic death. It sounds like she was a good person.

  4. Sheryl, Thanks for reading and commenting. One thing I found interesting was that the three unmarried siblings lived with my great grandparents in Chicago's Ambassador Hotel. How awful for the family to lose a sister that way!

  5. This must have been awful for her family. But as another commenter said, what a great find!