News from The Cartersville Express

The Cartersville Express
Cartersville, Georgia
August 8, 1879, Page 1
Transcribed by:  

The Woman’s Say.
Memmler’s Cartersville Wife
Champions Her Husband’s Cause.
How and By Whom She was Induced to make His Acquaintance.
She Takes a Ride With Him.
Likes Him.
And Hastens the Marriage to Avoid Trouble.

The case of Dr. Frederick William Memmler on the charge of bigamy is to be called in Bartow superior court this morning.  So shocking was the news that he had married Mrs. Fannie Pritchett, a few months ago, the record was not made in the Express, and we have heretofore been silent on the various charges against him.  Silence can no longer remain a virtue and we decided yesterday to let our readers know of the case.  An Express representative called at the residence and was cordially received by Mrs. Memmler, with that grace which is characteristic of a southern lady.  Explaining his mission, she spoke freely and at length.  She was informed that she could make such statement to the public as she desired, and the following article was hastily written.  They are statements which may annoy certain of her relatives but the case “is everything” to her and she asks to be heard.  Further comment will not be made, than the plea that “woman’s weakness” be accredited.  It is a repetition of such incidents as has brought sorrow to the homes of thousands.  Woman’s infatuation is like that of the innocent bird under a charm.

“To refute certain reports that have obtained circulation and credence in this community and elsewhere, I trust it will not seem inconsistent or unwomanly in me to assume the position of champion for myself and for my husband, Dr. F. Wm. Memmler.  I suppose we know less than any one of the scurrilous attacks that have recently filled the press and occupied the tongues and time of many members of this and other communities. In making a statement to the public I will recur to facts that are familiar to persons in this community.

Several years since I was attacked by a typhoid fever which prostrated my whole system.  I was under the treatment of the late lamented Dr. O. Pinkerton.  By means of his skill and the kind nursing of my friends I was restored partially to health.  Before my system had gained anything like vigor however, I was attacked the second time by the same disease in a far more violent form.  Dr. Pinkerton, after the exercise again, of his skill and kind and careful attention pronounced me convalescing.  I was left so weak in body and mind that I could not use my limbs nor think nor remember occurrences.  I was under most depressing surroundings, yet in the course of weeks I was restored sufficiently to consider and care for myself to some extent.  I sent for Dr. Pinkerton to arrange for settlement of his medical bill.  I then told him my condition physically and asked him if I was in danger of serious damage to my mental faculties from the attack of fever.  He replied that the fact that I was aware of the weakness of my mental faculties was a symptom that I was out of danger in that respect.  Language cannot express the appreciation I had of his kindness and the gratitude I felt for his assurance.  It gave me strength to maintain a self-control, which I think under the Providence of God, saved me great suffering.

My depression was sore and greatly increased by my surroundings.  In course of time I was able to return to my home in Cartersville.  (My first sickness was in Cartersville and the next at Col. Rials (sic) in this county.)

My health continued to be imperfect.  I had reason to consult a physician time and again.  I applied to Dr. J. A. Jackson, Dr. Pinkerton’s health finally being impaired to such an extent that he could not practice.  The medicine used was calomel and resulted in salivation, and I knew I would be compelled to abandon the remedy.  In September, 1878, Dr. Pinkerton sent me word by Capt. Peacock, that he wished me to consult a physician who had recently begun a practice in our town, which he felt sure would prove a cure to me.  I was not familiar with the changes in our community and in this way I received my first intimation that Dr. Memmler was in existence.  I hesitated about consulting him as I thought calomel was the remedy universally used for the liver, and was determined never to resort to the use of that again.  I felt that I could only suffer my allotted time on earth and die.  After repeated solicitations, I consented to go down to the Foster house to meet Dr. Pinkerton, who had put himself under Dr. M.’s treatment.  By earnest urging from him I consented to consult Dr. M.  I did so but after returning home I felt exceedingly doubtful about the propriety of what I had done.  I took counsel with the pastor of the Baptist church, of which I am a member, Mr. Headden, and his wife, and they urged me to continue under the doctor’s treatment for a time any way, and while they appreciated my situation said they could see no impropriety in the step I had taken, and none in my pursuing this course.  I felt much hesitation still, and consulted Marcellus Pritchett, the first opportunity I had.  He said he agreed with Mr. and Mrs. H., and could see no impropriety whatever in placing myself under the doctor’s treatment.  He furthermore told me that Walter Pritchett, his brother, had been greatly benefited by him. Not only physically, but that in the association he had a fine moral influence over him, and that he felt under personal obligations to him therefore.

Thus reassured, I saw the doctor every day, Sundays excepted, until he moved his office across the railroad with Dr. Lindsay J.  I never saw anything about the doctor’s deportment that was not in perfect keeping with that of a gentleman and a Christian.  He asked me repeatedly to ride with him, and I refused until I saw it offended him.  I asked Marcellus Pritchett if there could be any objection to riding with him, and he said there could be none and that it would be a benefit to me without a doubt.  I then felt perfectly at ease in accepting the doctor’s invitation.  I don’t think I would have done so, however, but for a cordial request to visit Miss Othella Jonsey, who was ill at her father’s in the country.  The doctor happened to be present when the invitation came, and when I said that I had no way to go, he replied that he was going out after dinner and that if I would go he would call by for me, so I could not refuse without directly insulting him.  I agreed to go.  This visit I repeated with the doctor and afterwards rode with him several times.  Meanwhile, Marcellus Pritchett, through some influence unknown to me, called to see me and reprimanded me severely for having ridden with the doctor at all.  His opinions being so contradictory it ceased to have any weight with me and I consulted him no more.

On one occasion I asked the doctor to take me to see my sister, Mrs. Ryals, as he had asked me to ride and I had no other opportunity of going to see her.  He was very glad to take me.  At this time I was engaged to be married to him.  She treated him with much reserve, and when I asked for Col. Ryals, stating that I was anxious for him to know the doctor; she replied that she didn’t think “that he, the colonel cared to form his acquaintance if reports that had reached them were true.”  What these reports were I did not inquire. I felt much regret that I have subjected the doctor to this treatment.  I had intended to introduce him to my relations and friends, but was discouraged.

I wish to make a statement with regard to our engagement.  The doctor told me he would not consider it binding upon me until he told me all the facts in regard to his family, his life, and all the circumstances attending his coming to America.  He told me of his former wife, and placed all the papers relating to his divorce in my hands for perusal.  He told me of his sham marriage, of his feelings in the matter of the language used by his former wife.  He divorced her for the only Scriptural reason—her guilt having been confessed to him by her.  He refused to believe her, and would not until she repeatedly assured him of the fact.  He would not then be convinced, but was stupefied by her statement.  She then reasserted her guilt, and further to prove it made a written statement. He then put her away immediately, sent her from the house, and procured a lawful divorce.  She had nothing but what he had earned, and was supported entirely by him, her father having refused to give $10,000 when he had made $10,000.  He had at this time a daughter aged 8 and a son aged three years.  They were not cared for now as they had been by their mother, were fretful and, besides, were taken very ill.  He was doing a large practice, was engaged day and night, and consequently they were neglected.  He employed this woman as nurse as she had no means of livelihood, and he paid her wages for her services as he did other servants, and she remained in that capacity.  He was living, at this time in Joplin, a mining town in Missouri.  The population was for a great part transient, consisting of many persons of doubtful character.  While living in this way, Mr. Busse came in one evening and informed the doctor that he was about to be taken up for living in adultery; that he could obtain a license which should not be recorded, but that it would appease the public, who were about to arrest and deal with him.  Further he stated it would mean nothing, and that he would only have to pay five dollars for it.  As it was a mere sham the doctor consented, and when he was asked the usual question said, “no,” and his wife said the same—remarking that, “she would not be tied to him again for any amount.”  He made this statement explicitly and clearly before he would consider the engagement binding on me at all.  He stated that he did not wish to marry under a year, for having given his former wife most of his property he wanted to make a good living again, by means of his practice and his iron works before getting married; as he wished to establish his character in this section.  In the meantime I received a visit from my brother, Dr. Janes, very unexpectedly.  He soon broached the subject of reports he had heard in reference to myself in connection with Doctor M.  I told him I liked the doctor very much, and begged him to let me send for and introduce him.  This he refused positively and said he would take other means to obtain information concerning him.  He asked me if I was engaged to him.  I did not answer directly, but evaded the question, telling him I had no idea of marrying anyone soon.  He insisted that I should wait until he could make inquiries concerning the doctor’s character, etc., to which I readily consented.  The next day as I was going across town I was called by my brother, in company with Col. Ryals.  He spoke to me about the doctor, telling me that he wanted me to have nothing to do with him, expressing the opinion that he was an imposter, that he did not believe he had a physicians certificate, that he was only after my property, and would desert me, and that I “need not expect to fall back on” him; and that he was then giving me “fair warning.”  He went on moreover to make the threat that, “if I did not break off all communications with the doctor, professional and otherwise, means would be taken to force me to do so.”

The threat he had no right to make and I will only state that the period of twelve months, the time of our engagement, seemed a considerable time given to an enemy to collect matter to break up our engagement.  I concluded, under existing circumstances, my mind being thoroughly made up, that a speedy termination would be best.

This decision, I must say, was my own, and against the doctor’s judgment and wish.  He finally, however, concurred with me in the opinion that our marriage might put an end to all discussion.

Mrs. F. Wm. Memmler.

The Other Side.
Joplen (Mo) Herald.

Many of our readers will remember a dwarf who came to our city in 1877 and advertised himself as Dr. F. W. Memmler, competent to cure the incurable, and perform miracles of all kinds.  He bought a building of Dan Moore, in November, calling it the Joplin medical institute, where at first he had quite a run of custom, but in the short space of four months the fellow proved himself a probable humbug, and his patients left him one by one.  The burning of his institute in April 1878, is already fresh in the minds of the citizens of the first ward, which occurred under very suspicious circumstances.  The fire was said, was caused by chemicals.  Whether prepared for that purpose and by whom has never been ascertained—he had a similar fire a year previous, in Wisconsin, and it is said, makes things look a little colored and we understand the companies are still working up the matter, and do doubt justice will soon overtake the guilty party, should he be found guilty.  In February, 1878, we are told he procured a divorce from his wife with her consent for the purpose of going down south, (and as he said) to marry rich widows until he got rich, when he would return and show people what he could do. This divorce he intended to keep secret, and he cohabited with his divorce wife the same as before.  By the 1st of June it got to the ever attentive ear of the grand jury and an indictment for adultery would have been inevitable, had he not married the same woman a second time, and by this legal act saved himself from prosecution under the law.  Some three or five days afterwards, he with his bosom friend, Zoppi, left under cover of the night, for parts unknown, his wife left two days later for St. Louis, where it is reported, they met by agreement, when she went north and he went south, till all at once he turns up in the State of Georgia, where he also caused quite a rumpus through show cards and bogus diplomas.  One of his patients down there a very rich widow, who had not been in her right mind since her husband’s death, was by his medical treatment and personal persuasions, induced to marry him last April.  Her relatives, who are of high social standing, undertook to trace up his past record and learned nothing good of him, and above all, that he had another wife living, (he had said his wife was dead).  This seems to have been more than our Georgia friends could stand.  They caused his arrest and are prosecuting him for bigamy, and have also stopped his getting hold of a large sum of money.  It is to be hoped the scoundrel will get the full extent of the law and placed where he will not disgrace humanity.  The gang of which he seems to be the “boss,” appears, as far as known to consist of several persons scattered through Kansas and Wisconsin, with headquarters at present in Georgia, who are ever ready to help each other out, when in trouble.


Page 4.

Bartow Superior Court.

Chas R. Edwards vs. Josie Lowe, application to adopt minor child; order passed allowing same to be done, but not disturbing the custody of child; the defendant—being the mother—now having custody.


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