DEATH NOTICE NOT INSERTED BY HER, SHE TELLS HERALD
Requests Publicity Given Her Case and Hope to Return to Syracuse When Health Improves.
EXPLAINS CLOSING OF HOME IN CITY
Stuffed Keyholes to Keep Out Draft, She Says — Husband Not Traveling in South.
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