Mrs. J.W. (Fanny) Heatherly By Allan Hooper

Katie Catherine Heatherly (1876-1967) is my maternal Great Grandmother. Katie was born in Venita, Indian Territory, Oklahoma, USA. Her father is Rufus M. Heatherly (1849-1916) and her mother is Eloise Anderson (1850-1927).

Katie Heatherly and John Bell Wall had three children; my Grandmother Adelaide Alzora Wall Durham (1897-1984), Iola Bernice Wall (1894-1919) and Mary Francis Wall (1903-1906). Katie died in 1967 at the age of 91 in Nogales Arizona where she is buried with John Bell Wall.

Katie’s father, Rufus Heatherly (1849-1916), my maternal Great, Great Grandfather, was born in Tennessee, USA. Rufus married Eloise Anderson in 1866 in Illinois. Rufus and Eloise Anderson had three children: Jas W or James W. Heatherly (1869-1930), Thomas Jefferson Heatherly (1874-1924) and Katie Catherine Heatherly (1876-1967).

Katie’s brother Jas W. or William James Heatherly was born in St. Joseph, Buchanan, Montana, USA. He married Mrs. Della Barnet on August 9, 1890 in Glenwood Garfield, Colorado. He then married Frances Izorn Hampton in 1894 in Aspen, Pitkin, Colorado. Neither of these two marriages resulted in children. Jas then married Frances Emily Fullington on August 25 in Ypsilanti Washtenshaw, Michigan. James “Jas” was involved in mining and was an officer and director of the Hope Mining, Milling and Leasing Company in Aspen Colorado. Jas’ second marriage to Frances Elzora “Fanny” Hampton-Heatherly ended when she died in a terrible accident. The accident was front page news as Jas and Fanny were well regarded in the community.

Publication Daily Journal (Telluride, San Miguell County) Date: June 18, 1903. Section Front Page: Page Number 1. This paper covers Denver where the event occurred. The headline reads SNATCHED FROM GRAVE'S BRINK Escaping gas in her bath room very nearly caused the death of Mrs. J.W. Heatherly AKA Fanny Heatherly (nee Francis Izorn Hampton) yesterday in her rooms at 1624 Welton street.

She was unconscious and breathing very slowly and irregularly when she was accidentally discovered and it was not until twelve hours later that she regained consciousness. Even yet she is not entirely out of danger. Mrs. Heatherly went into the bath rooms shortly after 2 PM yesterday afternoon. The water is heated by a gas burner, and in some manner she turned on the gas after she had turned out the fire. The room is small and without ventilation, and when it filled with gas while she was bathing she was overcome so suddenly that she was unable to reach the door. She had started to the door and was hanging over the edge of the tub or she would have drowned.

When Mrs. Heatherly had been in the bath nearly an hour, the landlady, Mrs. Wolfe thinking she had left the room, tried to open the door. She found it still fastened on the inside, and at the same time heard a groan. The door fastens with a hook and by pushing hard Mrs. Wolfe opened it an inch and saw Mrs. Heatherly hanging over the edge of the tub gasping for breath. She called for help, the door was broken in, and the unconscious woman was carried to her room. Police Surgeon Davis had hard work to keep her from dying, she had been so long under the influence of the gas.

Mrs. Heatherly is the wife of a prominent political and mining man of Aspen, where the family had lived for 15 years. Mr. Heatherly has held the office of city alderman and other positions of honor and trust. He is interested in some leases and other ventures. He will arrive in Denver this evening.

Mrs. Heatherly is a sister of Mrs. James Crosson, of Pandora, and having visited here several times has a large number of friends in Telluride who regret to learn of the accident and who trust that it will terminate in the lady’s recovery.

Mrs. Crosson received a telephone message last night saying that her sister was much worse, with but slight hopes for recovery, and took the 8:40 train for Denver...... (next day’s paper titled “BAD DEMISE “... Mrs. Heatherly lived on until 1:10 PM (the next day) when her spirit foretook its earthly tenement of day”........ Her death is a sorrow and shock to the entire community...She had gone to Denver on an errand of business.... and then the accident occurred.”

“She was a prominent favorite both in social and large circles and always turning a smiling face to all. Hers was a beautiful character and her memory will linger long in the hearts of all who knew her. The community had a parade and several services for Fanny.