Search America's historic newspaper pages from 1836-1922 or use the U.S. Newspaper Directory to find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present. Chronicling America is sponsored jointly by the
National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress. external link Learn more
Image provided by: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL
Newspaper Page Text
who could fire or hire them, Man
ager S. M. Hitt, was on the job
at the inquest. He sat at the left
elbow of each witness in the
Mrs. Murphy is a brown-eyed,
winsome-faced woman. She was
dressed in blue velvet. She told
her story as if it were something
terrible she wanted the whole
world to know, and the like of
which she never wanted to see
"I was shopping at Hillman's,"
she said. "They have cakes there
that we like, acnd we always buy
them there. I was on the fifth
floor Monday afternoon.
"I was going toward the ele
vator when I noticed that the
gate to the shaft was open about
ten inches. I saw this woman
whose body is downstairs here
walk to the elevator gate.
"The elevator came up. The
colored boy operating the car
came into sight. Mrs. Dorf pulled
open the gate to the elevator
shaft. She was going to step into
the cary The elevator kept on go
ing up. The woman raised her
left foot and tried to get into the
elevator. She missed it. She lost
"The last I saw of her she went
straight down, head first. She
screamed asshe went. I noticed
that she had on white stockings
and black shoes. That was tlje
last I saw. I turned dizzy and
had to go and lean against a
"Did the elevator slow down
.any?" asked Deputy Coroner
LCharles F. "Kennedy.
"It sldwed down a little, but it
did not stop."
"What did the elevator opera
tor do when he saw the woman
had missed the car?" asked Ken
nedy. "He turned toward me. He
stopped the car for a moment.
The whites of his eyes were roll
ing. He looked scared and sent
the elevator shooting up."
"Was the light good, Mrs.
Murphy?" asked Kennedy.
"Yes, it was. I could . see all
those things clearly."
"Have you -noticed elevator
gates open at Hillman's before
"I have; several times. I saw
another one yesterday. The gate
was open about that much (indi
m tino- ahont fnur inches bv soan-
kning fingers.) I spoke to a floor
walker about it. He seemed
frightened right away, and went
and closed the gate."
Marie Hartman, of 2029 West
Twentieth street, employed by
Hillman's as a salesgirl of coffee,
cut glass and china, took the
Miss Hartman's face was flush
ed, her lips were trembling, when
she seated herself in the witness
chair. She spoke so fast that
Kennedy interrupted with a cry
Miss Hartman is pretty. And
her work before the coroner's
jury would have been endorsed
by Belasco himself. She was the
sensation of the afternoon, when
she cried :
"It looked tame as though the