Freeport, IL Girl Falls To Death From 4th Story, Jun 1921


Adjusting Screen, Miss Grant Loses Balance and Plunges to Sidewalk 50 Feet Below.
Miss Mary Ellen Grant, 24 years of age, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Grant, West Galena avenue, office assistant to her brother, Dr. J. J. Grant, fell from a fourth story window on the Stephenson street side of the State Bank building last evening, receiving injuries which caused her death two hours after the accident took place. Internal hemorrhage in the chest caused death.
The news of the death of the young lady spread rapidly, the family receiving the sympathies of the entire community in their bereavement. Miss Grant was admired by hundreds of friends.
The accident which ended this happy young life took place at about 4:25 o'clock. Dr. Grant had just left his office, going to the Emmert drug store. He was absent from his office about 15 minutes when he was called to the offices of the Western Union Telegraph company. He was not informed of the facts in the case and did not know who was injured until he bent over the prostrate form and recognized his sister. Other physicians were summoned and every possible aid given the young lady. She was removed to St. Francis hospital and an examination made, which revealed the fact that but one bone was broken, that being at the elbow and then symptoms of grave internal injuries presented themselves and it was then known that she could not survive very long and she passed away at 6:40 o'clock.

Was Adjusting Window Screen
There were many stories concerning the accident. However, Mary Ryan, fourteen-year-old niece of Miss Grant, was visiting in the office at the time and told of the facts inside of the office when Miss Grant fell. Little Miss Ryan stated that she and her aunt were laughing and talking and that Miss Grant went to the screen where she was evidently attempting to adjust it. Directly in front of the window there was a piece of furniture and it was necessary for the young lady to reach somewhat to get to the screen, and while adjusting it she was obliged to use some force. The screen suddenly became unfastened and started to fall. Miss Grant reached for it and lost her balance and pitched head foremost out of the window. Miss Ryan stated that as she fell Miss Grant called "My God save me, catch hold of me." The little girl who was seated some distance from the window made an attempt to catch her aunt but failed. It was evident that Miss Grant made a struggle to save herself. She made an effort to catch hold of the curtain and to hold onto the window ledge but her weight was too great and she was precipitated to the cement sidewalk 40 or 45 feet below. On the window ledge there were finger nail scratches and the curtain was torn from its fastenings.
Several pedestrians heard her screams and noticed her fall. Police Officer James Witt was near at hand and he stated that the body turned over at least two times in descent and that the young lady struck on her left shoulder and left hip. James Shawl stated that he also was attracted by the screams and saw her pitch forward from the window and that she did not turn over in the downward plunge. Several traveling salesmen who were seated in front of the Brewster Hotel were also eye witnesses to the accident and they also state that the body turned over.

Screen Hits Pedestrian
The screen which fell from the window struck a man by the name of Mitchell who resides in Lancaster township, no part of the frame struck him or he would have undoubtedly been injured. He received several scratches from the wire as the frame went over him and fell to the sidewalk. Those who rushed to the side of Miss Grant expected to find every bone in her body broken and it is a miracle that she was not crushed beyond recognition. Her descent was without obstruction and she received the full effect of her fall.

Native of Freeport
Mary Ellen Grant was born in Freeport on September 8th, 1896, and was a daughter of Thomas and Anna Grant. Her entire life time had been spent in Freeport. The young lady received her education in St. Mary's parochial school and the public schools of Freeport. When her brother, Dr. John J. Grant, started the practice of medicine in Freeport several years ago she took charge of his offices as bookkeeper and had been in that position up to the time of her death yesterday. She had grown up with the profession of her brother and became an exceptionally competent and efficient assistant. At all times she manifested a keen interest in the profession and aided greatly in the success of her brother.
Miss Grant was a popular young lady, having a wide circle of friends throughout the community. Being of a modest and retiring disposition she had the happy faculty of making and retaining friends and she was perhaps one of the best known young ladies of the community and the stricken family has the sympathy of a great number of friends and acquaintances.
She was a faithful member of St. Mary's Catholic church being an active worker in the church and being connected with a number of the church societies and organizations.
She leaves to mourn her loss her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Grant, and the following brothers and sisters: Dr. John J. Grant, William Grant, Arthur A. Grant, Robert T. Grant, and Mrs. William D. Ryan, all of Freeport, and Charles I. Grant, of Muskegon, Michigan.
Funeral services will be held from the late home, West Galena avenue, at 2:30 o'clock Sunday afternoon. Burial will be made in St. Mary's cemetery. The funeral mass will be celebrated at St. Mary's church Monday morning.

Freeport Journal-Standard; Friday, June 17, 1921; page 1; Freeport, Illinois