Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Deadly Olive Hill...

Another from the annals of Olive Hill's sordid history!

Cincinnati Enquirer Apr 5, 1903

She has Been Married
Brief Story of Her Life Told By Mrs. Ferguson,
Who Is Accused of Poisoning Her Foster Mother
Declares She Only Gave Medicine Prescribed By the Doctor - Effects of Imprisonment

Grayson, Ky, April 4 - The preliminary trial of Mrs. Marie Ferguson, charged with having given poison to Mrs. Wilson of Olive Hill, has been passed until next Wednesday in order that the analysis of the stomach of the deceased might be completed.

Mrs. Ferguson for the first time discussed her case fully to-day, though she is under the care of a physician. She said: I was born and raised in Greenup County, Ky, 10 miles from Portsmouth Ohio, where I lived until about 15 years of age. At that time I was stolen from my home, and by chance fell in with the Wilson family at Olive Hill, where at different times in my life I made my home.


Mrs. Ferguson stated that she had been married three times, once to Jerome Bonapart Bryant, a traveling man, who was subject to heart disease, from which he dropped dead in Georgia. She was not appraised of his death until after his burial, being in Texas at the time. Another husband, William Daulton, was drowned in the Atlantic while bathing. Dr. Ferguson, her present husband, with whom she has not lived for some time, is now an inmate of the asylum at Lexington Ky.

Mrs. Ferguson said she had been an invalid the greater part of her life and had traveled extensively in various parts of the United States for the last three years. Prior to last fall, when she went to live with the Wilson family, she had made Portsmouth (Ohio) her home. While on a visit to the Wilson family at Olive Hill last summer she said Mr. and Mrs. Wilson, whom she had always called her father and mother, insisted that she come and make her home with them, and she went there in September last.


Mrs. Ferguson, on being questioned about having given Mrs. Wilson some medicine, alleged to have been poison, stated that while she had been using some mazivenn(?) , which Mrs. Wilson called for and which she gave her, as Mrs. Wilson had taken it several times before. On Friday Mrs. Wilson was very sick and Dr. Hanfield having left some calomel for her, Mrs. Ferguson stated that she gave the calomel as directed. After taking this the patient complained of having a headache and called for acetanilide, which Mrs. Ferguson gave. Mrs. Ferguson further said the condition of Mrs. Wilson was such that on Friday and Saturday nights she was up the greater part of the time waiting on her and that she did not leave the Wilson home until after supper Sunday evening. She says that Mr. Wilson told her he would rather, if convenient, she would leave, that he would not then tell her what for, but that she would find out. Her imprisonment is already telling on Mrs. Ferguson.

First off I will give my thoughts on just the article without doing any research. This story stinks! She was "stolen" from her home at 15 and "fell in" with the Wilsons?? This reporter needed to be strung up for not getting into this!  Any way... Is it just me or does everybody else notice a pattern? I would like to know the circumstances behind Dr. Ferguson's "insanity". My guess is that there are a few other deaths that could have been connected to her as well. I say she's a good candidate for a serial killer.

I couldn't find any information on maziven. But like most medicines back then the other two could be deadly. Acetanilide was the forerunner of acetaminophen and calomel is mercury chloride.

Now for the research part: I found this great write up about Mrs. Ferguson by Glen Haney titled God Only Knows. According to his sources she was married to Daulton first and then Bryant. The background on Dr. Ferguson's insanity is given, although I suspect poison could have been involved. Mrs. Ferguson is also connected to another murder although it seemed she got away with it each time. Spoiler alert: She was found not guilty in the death of Mrs. Wilson too!

And then history eventually swallows her up...

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