Merced Star, Merced, Ca., Saturday Jan. 28, 1922, front page.
Merced Woman Ends Her Life With Poison.
Mrs. Alma Champlin committed suicide at her home in the edge of town on Bear creek this morning between 11:30 and 12 o'clock by taking carbolic acid. She was alone at the time. About 10:30 she called her daughter, Mrs. Frank McConnell, bookkeeper at Lucchesi's grocery store, asking her to come home and also to tell the son, Everett Fitchett, who works at the Union Oil station, to come home also, but instructed Mrs. McConnell not to call any other of the relatives.
Mrs. McConnell immediately sensed something wrong with her mother and phoned her aunt, Mrs. R.S. Weaver, who lives on the adjoining place on Bear creek.
Mrs. Weaver sent her son, Harold, across to the Champlin place. When Harold went into the house he found his aunt, Mrs. Champlin, lying on her bed in the throes of carbolic poisoning. Dr. Fountain was summoned but nothing could be done to save the unfortunate woman although heroic efforts were made to revive her.
She passed away soon after the doctor's arrival.
The bottle of carbolic acid was standing on the table in the room, indicating that Mrs. Champlin had taken the poison, set the bottle back on the table and then stretched herself on the bed to die. She was fully dressed when found.
The body was removed to the undertaking parlors, where Coroner Griffin will hold an Inquest.
Mrs. Champlin's maiden name was Alma Crandall. She came to Merced with the Crandall family in 1891. In 1899 she married George Fitchett, who passed away in 1915. From this union there are three surviving children; Everett Fitchett, Mrs. Edna McConnell and Arthur Fitchett.
In 1917 the widow married W.L. Champlin, who died in March of the following year.
Following the death of her second husband, Mrs. Champlin suffered ill health and periods of despondency.
She had of late mentioned the possibility of ending her life, but the family thought the remarks caused simply by nervousness which would emerge from her despondency with treatment and that her health would return.
This morning Mrs. Champlin rose and performed her household duties in her usual manner. She prepared breakfast for her two sons, Everett and Arthur, and when Everett started for the oil station to work she went out with him to his machine and helped him fill the radiator with water. Later Arthur, aged 9 years, went out over to his aunt's, Mrs. Weaver, leaving his mother alone.
In addition to her bereaved children, Mrs. Champlin leaves her parents, Mr. and Mrs. P. Crandall, and a brother and sister, Chris Crandall and Mrs. R.S. Weaver.
Contributed by: Carol Lackey