Death Notice Not Inserted

Death Notice Not Inserted By Her, She Tells Herald


Requests Publicity Given Her Case and Hope to Return to Syracuse When Health Improves.


Stuffed Keyholes to Keep Out Draft, She Says — Husband Not Traveling in South.

(Previously Death Notice In Handwriting Of ‘Deceased’ Woman Following Her Disappearance, Mystifies Police )

Mrs. Mabel M. Wallace, discovered alive in Camden after the appearance of her obituary in local papers, gave a long interview to a Herald reporter Saturday, in which she denied all knowledge of the source of the notice.

Health Apparently Good.

Mrs. Wallace did not appear physically weak.  However, she seemed to be laboring under a severe mental strain.  The only time she smiled during her talk was when the conversation led to her husband.

The woman admitted stuffing cotton in the keyholes in the doors of her home, but declared it was only to keep out the draft.  She also said it was she who took down the pictures from the wall of her home, but that she left them covered up on a bed.

The mysterious telephone call received by Mrs. Genevieve Searle, and also listened to by Chief Cadin, in which the woman on the Camden end said Mrs. Wallace was alive, was sent by Mr. Wallace’s sister, Mrs. Nellie McDaniel.

The woman whose death according to notices in local papers was said to have occurred in Camden, February 23d, was discovered at the McDaniel home by Deputy Sheriff Earl E. Paddock, Friday night.  On his first visit, Mrs. McDaniel stated that she knew nothing concerning her sister, however the Sheriff was called back after threatening to appear with a court order the following morning.

Condition Looked Serious.

This time Mrs. Wallace made her appearance in her night clothing, and looked to be in serious condition, according to Sheriff Paddock.

Saturday morning a Herald reporter call at the McDaniel home.  The woman who answered the door stood about 5 feet 7 inches in height, was dressed in brown calico with a working apron.  She wore laced shoes and her hair was neatly done.  She appeared as if she just came from work in the kitchen.

Addressed as Mrs. McDaniel the woman replied, “Mrs. McDaniel isn’t here now but I am her sister, Mrs. Wallace.”

The surprise was great as Mrs. Wallace had been described as seriously ill the night before and just able to leave her bed for a few minutes.  At first sight she did not look as if she were seriously ill.  During the talk however she showed signs of severe mental strain.

“What is all this notoriety about?” she asked.  “I’m alive; what interest is it to the outside now?”

Something of the serious consequences which might result from the placing of the paid notice of her death in Syracuse papers, was hinted at.

May be Another.

“But what has that to do with me?” she asked. “I surely did not place the notice in the papers.  Then it may have been another Mabel M. Wallace who died.  The notice did not read that the woman was from Syracuse or that she died in Camden, N. Y.  It just said Camden, it may be Camden, J. J.

“I know there is another Mabel M. Wallace for at one time by mistake $101 was deposited by this woman was placed to my credit in Syracuse banks.

“I have been with my sister since January 25th, when I left Syracuse.  Early in February we went to Utica and rented rooms but returned here about a week ago. Since then I have been sick in bed, in fact I have been in ill health several years.  I heard the conversation Mrs. McDaniel had with another Syracuse reporter yesterday and she did not say whether I was here or not. She just said she would give no information.  I was upstairs at the time.

“The first we know of the ad appearing in the paper was when letters inquiring in to it were received from Mrs. Searle and another neighbor. At the time I didn’t care whether I was alive or not.  In fat sometimes I wonder what is the use of living for I have been ill for several years.”

Questioned about her husband, Mrs. Wallace brightened. Smilingly she described him as “very good looking.”

Traveling in South.

Mrs. Wallace said her husband was traveling in the  South and that she had not heard from him in a few weeks.  Told that her husband was seen leaving the Fage avenue home two weeks ago, Mrs. Wallace showed interest and asked the name of the neighbor who saw him.

Before leaving the city Mrs. Wallace said she covered all her furniture and stuffed the keyholes. She said she did this to keep the draft out of the house. She says that she had the water and gas turned off and had the telephone temporarily discontinued expecting to stay in Camden for several weeks.

“I wish this publicity hadn’t started,” she remarked as she accompanied the reporter out on the front porch of the house, ” I am a great lover of my home and have never injured a soul.  I want to return to Syracuse an expect to just as soon as I get in communication with my attorney who is Mr. Wallace’s brother- in-law in Albany.”

Source : The Syracuse Herald, Sunday Morning, March 2, 1919

Mrs Wallace Found



Syracuse  Woman, Whose Death Notice Had Been Twice Published, Discovered Seriously Ill After Search by Deputy Sheriff of Oneida County.

(Previously, Death Notice In Handwriting Of ‘Deceased’ Woman Following Her Disappearance, Mystifies Police )

(By Staff Correspondent.)

Camden, March 1. — Mrs. Mabel Wallace of No. 128 Fag avenue, Syracuse, a notice of whose death was sent to two Syracuse newspapers on February 26th and 27th, was discovered on Friday evening by Deputy Sheriff E. E. Paddock of Oneida county seriously ill at the home o her sister, Mrs. Horace MacDaniels of Camden.

The notice read as follows:

“Wallace — In Camden, Sunday February 13th, 1919, Mabel M. Wallace.”

When Deputy Sheriff Paddock called at the home of Mrs. MacDaniels on Friday the latter declined to state where her sister was. She declared that it was no one’s business.

Leave to Get Court Order.

“Perhaps a court order which I will bring to-morrow morning will make you more talkative,” said the sheriff, and left the house.  He had not yet reached his own door when Mrs. MacDaniels’s young son came rushing after him.

“My mother wants you to come back the house right away, said the boy.

“There’s no use in my going back there and wasting any more time,” said the sheriff.

“Mother says may be it might be worth your while to come.  She might have something to tell  you,” answered the boy, and Mr. Paddock returned with him, and followed the messenger into the MacDaniels living room where Mrs. MacDaniels and her husband sat.

Woman Sought is Ill.

“Just a moment, ” said Mrs. MacDaniels, and left the room.  In a few moments she returned, half leading, half carrying a woman clad in a nightrobe, her hair streaming down her back.  She swayed to and fro and was unable to stand on her feet without help.  She looked terribly ill.

“Here’s the woman you’re looking for,” said Mrs. MacDaniels.  “Here’s Mrs. Wallace.”

The sheriff spoke to Mrs. Wallace who demanded in a weak voice what interest her whereabouts were to the police or to anyone else.

“It’s because you put a notice of your own death in the papers,” said the deputy.

“That notice didn’t say anything about Syracuse, said Mrs. Wallace.  “It didn’t say Camden, New York.  It might have referred to another person entirely. There are other Mabel Wallaces.”

Asks Penalty For Crime.

She was silent for a moment.  Then she asked:

“What will they do to the person who put that notice in the papers?”

“It’s a State prison offense,” said Mr. Paddock.  The woman bent her head and seemed unable to speak.  The she said,

“Just as soon as I am well enough I’ll consult an attorney and then I’ll go to Syracuse and straighten matters out.”

In the opinion of the sheriff Mrs. Wallace is seriously ill.  It is the general belief among her friends here that she inserted the death notice in the hope that it would meet the eye of her husband who left his home in Syracuse early in January and whose whereabouts have been a subject of speculation to acquaintances of the family.

Source : The Syracuse Herald, Saturday Evening, March 1, 1919

(The Story Concludes : Death Notice Not Inserted By Her, She Tells Herald)