Family Of Seven


Body of Mrs. Swain Taken to New Rockford for Burial.

She Leaves a Happy Home and Elopes With the Hired Man.

Couple Found Dead in Each Others Arms—Their Last Word.

The body of Mrs. Swain of New Rockford, who with Frank Addison, committed suicide at Valley City Friday, by taking prussic acid, was taken home for burial Saturday. The bereaved husband, Sheriff Fay and C. J. Maddux accompanied the remains.

The story of the case is extremely sad and points to undoubted mental derangement on the part of Mrs. Swain for she had one of the finest homes in Eddy county, a kind and loving husband and was very pleasantly situated in many ways. Their home is four miles west of New Rockford where Mr. Swain is the possessor of large land holdings and is accounted one of the most prosperous and enterprising farmers. It seems that he was acquainted with the almost insane infatuation of his wife and did all he could to remove it. Frequently his wife had told him that she could not live with him and would die with Addison.

Frank Addison, said to be an unpreposessing character, was hired by A. C. Swain a year ago to care for his stock during his absence in the east. On. Mr. Swain's return he found that Addison had ingratiated himself in the affections of his wife, but the matter was hushed up. Mr. Swain said that Addison followed the woman around with a revolver in one pocket and a bottle of poison in the other and had her entirely under his control. He was a cook by profession and had made Eddy county his home for several years having cooked for Mr. Swain's threshing crew and in the hotel at New Rockford.

An attempt was made to prevent the elopement, but without avail, and the couple left Wednesday, took the train to this city and Valley City where they registered at the Kindred hotel as Thos. Owens and wife of New Rockford. They were assigned to room four and were not seen again until yesterday when their absence was noticed. The door of their room was forced open and they were found lying on the bed dressed and covered with a quilt. A note was found on the table saying: "Separated in life but united in death," and requesting that they be buried together.

Addison was 40 years of age and said to be generally worthless. He came from Baltimore, Md. The coroner's jury agreed that the couple came to their death from prussic acid administered by Addison. His body was buried in Valley City.

Mrs. Swain was 36 years old and the mother of four children, the oldest a daughter of 17 the youngest a boy of 7.

The Valley City Patriot gives further details of the tragic suicide of Mrs. Swain and Frank Addison of Eddy county. They were found locked in each others arms. On the wash stand lay the bottle of prussic acid and near by a pass book on a page of which is written the following brief statement:

To whom it may concern:

You will find sufficient funds in my pocket book to bury us. Our last request is to bury us together without any fuss, and do not try to find out whom we are. Parted in life but joined in death.

The couple were assigned to a room which had the glass broken in the transom over the door and on request of Addison, the hotel clerk placed a piece of muslin across the transom. The next morning they were duly summoned to breakfast, to which there was no response or appearance, and the assumption was, as is often the case, they were taking their meals out, and nothing more was thought of them until Friday morning, when their non-appearance excited suspicion. At about ten o'clock an examination was made, and the key was found to be inside the locked door. There being no response to a summons and a view through the transom showing some one on the bed the door was forced with the result of finding the bodies above described.

Investigation showed that the poison had been procured at Clark's drug store Wednesday evening where the man and woman had gone together, the man cooly asking for it and signing the registry book as "William Johnson."

Upon the body of the woman beneath the corset was found the photograph of the man and on the man beneath the undershirt was a picture of the woman.

Jamestown Weekly Alert, 11/26/1896


Posted 11/28/2016