Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Miss Lucretia Baisley of Los Angeles

“Miss Lucretia Baisley of Los Angeles, one of the handsomest and most popular of the female attachés of the Senate…”

This is how the Los Angeles Times began its article on the news of the illness Miss Lucretia Baisley. She was just twenty-two years of age when she died, however short her life may have been she left an enormous impact of the people she worked with and met.

Sacramento, Feb. 25. – [Exclusive Dispatch.]  Miss Lucretia Baisley of Los Angeles, one of the handsomest and most popular of the female attachés of the Senate, is said to be dying tonight at the Wentworth Igo Hospital as a result of an operation for appendicitis, performed several days ago.  Her condition has cast a gloom over the entire Los Angeles delegation, and although the unfortunate young woman is receiving every possible attention, the attending physicians stated tonight that the end would probably come before morning.
                Miss Baisley, for several years, has been stenographer in the office of O. Z. Hubbell in Los Angeles, and by him she is regarded as one of the best in that branch of work whom he ever knew.  Coupled with her ability, was a gentleness of character, and a kindliness of nature which endeared her to all who knew her.  She came here at the request of Senator Hubbell, and by him was made a stenographer of the Senate.  Among the members and the other attachés she soon made a host of friends.
                Less than a week ago she became ill, and the doctors pronounced her illness a case of appendicitis.  An operation was decided upon, and for a time it was thought to have been successful, but peritonitis set in, and her present condition is the result.
                Her mother, who lives on a ranch near San Gabriel, was telegraphed for, but will not arrive until tomorrow morning. Source: Los Angeles Times, February 27, 1903

Sacramento, Feb. 26. – [Exclusive Dispatch.]  The death this morning of Miss Lucretia Baisley of Los Angeles, stenographer in the Senate, cast a gloom over that body today as nothing has done this session, and as few things could do.  To the members of the Senate and those who have had business there throughout the session, the news of her death came as a personal loss.  The announcement of it was made soon after the opening of the session this morning by Senator Curtin, who presented a resolution in which the fact of her death was announced, and which provides that the expenses of the funeral should be paid out of the contingent fund of the Senate, and that the sergeant-at-arms should send a deputy to accompany the body to San Gabriel.
                Speaking of this resolution, Senator Curtin delivered a eulogy of the deceased, which moved even members of the Senate to tears.  Such a sight has not been witnessed in that house for a long time.  It was with difficulty that Secretary Brandon called the roll which resulted in a unanimous adoption of the resolution.  Then a motion was carried that, when the Senate adjourned, it would be out of respect for the memory of Miss Baisley, and that the night session, which had been arranged to discuss the Capitol removal, be abandoned.
                Perhaps the saddest incident of the day was the arrival of the mother of the deceased.  She reached Sacramento at 10:20 o’clock this morning, knowing nothing of the death of her daughter.  She was met at the depot by a number of friends of Miss Baisley, and was told that the end had come.  She was almost prostrated from grief.
                Tonight in the undertaking parlors of Clark & Booth, the funeral services were held.  The little chapel was crowded with members of the Senate and friends of the deceased.  The simple-beautiful service for the dead was by Rev. C. L. Miel, chaplain of the Senate.  The floral tributes were so numerous that there was not room for all of them in the chapel.  The body will be sent south tomorrow, and will be taken to San Gabriel for burial. (Source:  Los Angeles Times, February 27, 1903)
 Thanks also to Savannah Memorial Park researcher, Heather Hooper for her input for this article.