Indiana Progress (Indiana, Pennsylvania) - November 23, 1871
A Double Suicide
A lewistown (Maine) paper says that Mr. Cobb saw two young ladies sitting on the Auburn shore of the river, on the very verge of West Pitch. Mr. Cobb's daughter also noticed the girls, and thought it very strange that they should be sitting so near the very dangerous place. The more noticeable became the fact when he saw them jump up and trip lightly and carelessly down the precipitous, rocky, and slippery bank, where they removed their outer garments. Miss Cobb then said to her father that she believed they meditated drowning themselves, and so possessed with this idea was she that she resolved to still watch them and see what they were proposing to do.
After removing their outer garments, including their hats, she saw the girls return to the spot where they had been sitting and resume their seats. In a few minutes, not far from 1 o'clock, the train from Bangor came thundering by, the track being about 200 or 300 feet from where they sat. Miss Cobb says that while the train was passing that point she saw the girls rise, each throw her arms around the other's waist, and in his embrace they, with apparently one consent, leaped from the shore into the falls.
Miss Cobb turned to her father. "Father, they have jumped together into the falls." Mr. Cobb, who a moment before had seen them sitting on the shore, looked at once out of the window, commanding a full view of the scene. No girls were to be seen - nothing but the garments they had left on the shore. The facts speedily became known, and crowds gathered in the vicinity of the scene of the terrible tragedy, but nothing could be seen but the garments, bearing silent and at the same time sad witness of the tragedy. An examination by Mr. Cobb, who saw the movements of the girls, and by one or two other gentlemen, who noticed where they sat, but did not happen to see them when they took the fatal leap, established that the two suicides - as they seemed to have leaped from the point where they first sat down - threw themselves from the flat rock which forms a level platform close to the water's edge, near the foot of the first descent of West Pitch, which, as everybody hereabouts knows, consists of two falls. The first is a slight plunge upon a table-rock; then a light fall of a hundred feet, more or less; then a great cataract, with, at present, a fearfull fall of water, rolling down into a chasm many feet from the base of the first fall. Here, just beyond the base of the first fall, they seem to have thrown themselves into the river. Miss Cobb saw them no more.
Late in the afternoon, Miss Starbird, from Attburn, and other, identified the clothing left by the suicides on the West Pitchs one as belonging to Ada Brown of Buckfield, and Anna Wood of Hartford, young girls 14 and 16 years of age. Miss Brown's eldest sister has been at work in the city, and is frantic with grief at the sad tragedy. She left int he afternoon to carry the sad news to her parents. We understand both the Wood and Brown girls were at room, on the Bates Corporation, Thursday night, reaching there at ten p.m. Friday morning the elder sister of Ada carried Ada's breakfast to her room, where both the girls then were. She left Ada with the understanding that she would be in the mill at 8 o'clock. Ada did not go into the mill as promised. As she did not make her appearance at dinner, the elder sister became alarmed, and going out learned of the suicide of the two girls, whom she at once surmised might be Ada and Miss Wood.
A party of lumbermen, in a buttcaux, dragged the river for the bodies Friday afternoon, but discovered no traces of them. The cause of the sad suicide is only conjectured as being the "old story" but will be more definitely known when there shall be an inquest over the bodies on their discovery.