|Auburn Citizen Dec. 4, 1906 & Auburn NY Weekly Bulletin 1906 –
Girl of 15 A Suicide: Genevieve Benedict of Bath Uses a Revolver: Sequel of a Love Affair: In a Letter She Asked That her Dolls be Given to Her Little Sisters:
Bath, Dec. 4: The most sensational suicide in Bath in years was the death last night of Genevieve Benedict, a beautiful young girl 15 years old, who [killed] herself in the boarding house of Mrs. Joseph White, 18 Howell Street. It is believed to be the sequel of a love affair which had its beginning in a summer flirtation at Canton, PA, last summer when pretty Genevieve went there to visit her grandmother, Mrs. Sarah L. Benedict, and met and at once fell in love with Harry Perry, a lad of 18 or 19 years.
Genevieve was there from June until August 15, when she returned here. She and her father were then keeping house, but discontinued this and the little girl went to work for Mrs. White to help her in the kitchen and to wait on table. Her father, Frederick W. Benedict went there to board. Since she returned, it is said, Genevieve had corresponded with the boy who won her heart in Canton, and her only desire was to go back there. She insisted on going Thanksgiving but her father insisted that she must wait until Christmas. However, she began to plan to go Wednesday and confided to Mrs. White her intentions.
When her father returned from work at the Bath harness factory for dinner yesterday Mrs. White informed him of Genevieve’s intention to go to Canton and he told the girl she could not go till Christmas. She said nothing to him, but after he left she remarked: “Papa will be sorry”.
She went to the post office yesterday afternoon but received no letter, and this is believed to have preyed on her mind. She returned home, went to her room, dressed herself in a red flannel shirtwaist, removed her slippers, lay down on the bed, took her father’s 32-caliber revolver and [killed herself.] When boarders in the house reached her she was dead, with the … revolver clutched in her right hand. Dr. O.W. Button who was hastily summoned, said death was instantaneous.
She wrote two letters, one to her father, telling him to give her dolls, pincushion and hat to her little sisters and saying that she had lost all she had in the world. She had called downstairs to Mrs. White to say, “Good-bye, Aunt Sarah,” and also called on a young married lady and bid her good-bye yesterday afternoon. The other letter was to Mrs. White telling her to “see that I have a white dress to be buried in” and “No, I don’t want to live. I am going home to mother.” Her mother died about a year ago. The girl also wrote a postal to her grandmother in Canton yesterday saying, “I will come home Thursday night.” Just before committing the deed Genevieve burned a big stock of letters in the kitchen stove. She was 15 August 30 last.
Genevieve had read much about the Gillette murder trial at Herkimer and discussed it with the boarders. Her desire to go to Canton, and her father not consenting, is the cause assigned for the deed. She had worked in other families since she left school last year. She looked for her father’s revolver Sunday. He hid it in the commode and she found it yesterday. Her father said it was childish folly. Two sisters and a brother survive. Her father said he insisted that she get in early at night when she went out. The boarders say she was cheerful, but apparently had planned suicide for some time. The girl will be buried tomorrow and her directions to Mrs. White carried out.
Rochester Democrat & Chronicle, Tuesday, Dec. 4, 1906
Bath Young Lady, Angry at Her Father, Shot Herself: Steuben County Village Shocked Last Night by a Sad Tragedy: Miss Genevieve Benedict, aged Sixteen Years…Death Was Instantaneous: She had Been Refused Permission to go to Pennsylvania on a Visit
Bath, Dec. 3: Piqued and angry because her father refused to allow her to go upon a visit with relatives in Pennsylvania, Miss Genevieve Benedict, older daughter of Frederick W. Benedict, shot and killed herself at 6 o’clock tonight at the White boarding house where with her father she made her home. Miss Benedict who was 16 years old had been anxious to visit her grandmother, Mrs. Sarah L. Benedict in Canton, PA where Miss Benedict was also acquainted with a young man to whom she was considerably attached. At noon today in conversation with her father, upon the subject of the visit, he forbade her going until Christmas when he would accompany her. She passed the afternoon apparently in her usual spirits, although she separated from her father in anger. After spending an hour or two in visiting several stores she returned to the boarding house and retired to her room. Mrs. White was in the sitting room below and called to Miss Benedict to come down. She replied that she would shortly. A half hour elapsed when she called to Mrs. White, “Good bye, Aunt Sarah.” This was immediately followed by a pistol shot. Frank Wilkes, a boarder immediately ran upstairs to Miss Benedict’s room. There on the bed with the revolver in her hand, lay the lifeless body of the young lady, a bullet in the right temple having caused instant death. Dr. Sutton was sent for but upon his arrival stated that her death had resulted at once.
Miss Benedict left two letters, one to her father in which she hinted that she had hitherto meditated suicide and that although he had once before found a revolver in her possession and had taken it from her that he would now know that she had succeed in finding it again. The rest of the letter was devoted to a disposal of her clothing and other property.
The second letter was addressed to Mrs. White, who had been the girl’s counselor and advisor. This letter thanked Mrs. White for her many acts of kindness, all of which the writer said were deeply appreciated. It further directed that Mrs. White should see that she was robed in white for the burial. That the suicide was mediated and carefully planned was shown in that Miss Benedict had carefully dressed herself, removed her shoes and lay upon the bed before doing the shooting. The revolver had bee owned by her father and she had taken it from his room without his knowledge.
Miss Benedict’s mother, formerly Miss Estelle Tubbs of this village, died several months ago, since which time the girl had lived with her father in the boarding house. She was well known and one of the most esteemed young ladies of the village. Her father with two sisters and a brother survive. The coroner’s verdict has not been given yet.
Rochester Democrat & Chronicle, Wednesday, Dec. 5, 1906
Had Contemplated Suicide: Bath, Dec. 4: That Miss Genevieve Benedict who shot and killed herself at the boarding house of Mrs. Joseph White in this village Monday evening had deliberated for some time upon the steps shown by the statement made today by Clarence Henley. Mr. Henley is a gun and locksmith, and says that Miss Benedict came to him several days ago with the revolver with which she did the shooting. She requested him to place the weapon in repair as it had lain for some time and had grown rusty. She joked with him at the time and told him that she wanted the gun to make way with herself. It is now thought the young lady was slightly deranged.
Auburn New York Citizen, Jan. 7, 1907 ~ Woman Awakened Her Husband to Say Good Bye, Then Shot Herself
Bath, Jan. 7: Burdened with imaginary troubles, Mrs. Frederick Landgraff, wife of a Bath hotel keeper in a moment of desperation shot herself at 1 o’clock yesterday morning, dying two hours later… Mrs. Landgraff for some time had been much depressed, and had frequently, in conversation with her intimation, dwelt upon suicide as a happy solution to all earthly tribulations….Since the suicide of Miss Genevieve Benedict a few weeks ago, by shooting, Mrs. Landgraff has been impressed with that method, and had, unknown to her family, secured a revolver. This revolver she had hidden in her dresser, where its case was found after the shooting.
[Note: some of the more graphic descriptions in these articles have been deleted, places are marked with [ ]. Full articles are on file in my Fred W. Benedict folder.]