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Obituary for Ms. Hazel Lawley December 18, 1917







December 18 - Ms. Hazel S. Lawley, aged 25, after an illness of several weeks died in her family home from a seizure brought about by an acute high fever.

Deceased is survived by her sister, Alethe Lawley, and her father, noted magistrate William Lawley. The funeral will take place on Friday evening, internment to be made at White Oak cemetery. The services will be held in the Lawley family home at half-past 5 o’clock.

Note: Believe it or not this is not the scariest thing I found in the box on the second floor. 


  • October - Hazel Lawley rejects Castile Madigan’s proposal.

  • In early December, her sister Alethe writes a letter to Castile’s father accusing him of poisoning Hazel.

  • A few weeks later, Hazel is dead.

  • Then, January 6th, the estate shuts down. I don’t know whether the Lawley incident has anything to do with what happened at the estate, but it seems worth bearing in mind.

  • "Lawley Orchards." Never heard of it. This the family business? Why isn't it on records in White Oak?


Someone gathered together Alethe’s letter, Hazel’s final letter (her last written words, for all I can tell), and this clipping of a newspaper obituary, and put them in a box only to hide them under their bed. Why?

The last document I found sheds little light on all this but makes it a great deal more ominous. Sinister, even. I’ll see if I can get it unrolled properly without damaging what’s stuck to it.

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