Mary E. Ault

Ault Family Marker

Woman’s Death By Own Hand

Says the Coroner’s Jury in the Case of Mrs. Ault,
Who Swallowed Carbolic Acid.

The Daily Telegram., February 24, 1908
The Clarksburg Telegram., February 27, 1908, page 5

Mrs. Mary E. Ault, wife of Charles Ault, a glass worker employed at the West Fork Glass Factory, died shortly before 8 o’clock from carbolic acid poisoning at their home over Leonard Lewis’s store on West Main street near South Chestnut street. The acid was taken during a quarrel with her husband and she lived less than half an hour afterward.

West Fork Glass Factory

The circumstances were such that the police arrested her husband and placed him in jail, where he remained until taken before the coroner’s jury Sunday afternoon and liberated by virtue of the verdict of the jury.

According to the evidence given by Mr. Ault before the jury consisting of Charles L. Hickman, E. W. Wells, Charles H. Griffin, Henry Henize, E. R. Johnston, and E. M. Goodman, with Justice G. H. Gordon, acting coroner, Ault and wife came up town Saturday afternoon went to Broad Oaks where they formerly resided, returned to the business section of the city, did some shopping, paid their grocery bill, purchased a pint of whiskey and went home.

Mrs. Ault drank some of the whiskey as she was unwell and he noticed she had taken a large drink and felt the effects of it. They arrived home about 4:30 o’clock. He remained at home awhile, then came up street again, purchased a quart of whiskey and some beer and returned home.

Carbolic Acid

There he noticed she had taken more whiskey and they began to quarrel. He threatened to go out and smash the quart bottle of whiskey. She got possession of a $5 bill stood in front of the fire and insisted that she would burn it up if he went out to destroy the whiskey. Then she ran into the front room and drank the acid from an ounce vial he purchased for her six weeks previous for medical purposes and in knocking the bottle from her mouth some of the acid came in contact with her face.

It was estimated that she swallowed at least a half an ounce of the acid. He went down stairs and asked Mr. Lewis to come up stairs. The latter did not go and Ault returned to the woman and half carrying her down stairs into the store room. She was speechless and Lewis being informed by the man that she had taken carbolic acid aided him in taking her back up stairs.

Physicians were then summoned but she was virtually dead when they arrived. They attempted to restore her but without success and she was dead within less than half an hour after she took the acid.

Mary E. Ault Grave Marker

The physicians who attended her were Drs. Kornmann and Morgan. The former was on the witness stand and told of the dying condition in which he found her and stated that she had swallowed a fatal dose of the acid.

Leonard Lewis, the merchant told the jury about hearing the couple quarrel and that while he could not hear what the woman was saying the husband was quite abusive and called her vile names. He also told of Ault’s leading the woman down the stairs and his aiding him in getting her back up to the room.

Sketch of Court proceedings.

Chief Scott testified about being called to the scene and of finding the woman dying. He identified the acid vial, which he picked up off the floor in her room.

Ralph Harris told the jury of his going after the physicians, when requested so to do, upon information that the woman had swallowed poison.

The jury returned this verdict: ‘Mary E. Ault came to her death by carbolic acid poisoning by her own hand.”

Ault was then liberated.

Mrs. Ault’s brother, James Warnick, of Alva, Doddridge County, arrived Sunday evening. He was accompanied by F. C. Moriarity, his brother-in-law.

The Aults are from Pennsylvania and came here from Mt. Vernon.


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The Daily Telegram., February 25, 1908

The funeral and burial of Mrs. Mary E. Ault, who committed suicide Saturday night by swallowing carbolic acid after a quarrel with her husband,  Charles Ault, took place Tuesday morning.

The services were at the Clifford-Osborne morgue and interment was the Odd Fellows’ cemetery.

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