Part 13:
It seemed certain Cassie Chadwick was headed back to prison, and while her husband was under indictment, he kept insisting he'd done nothing wrong. He was lucky enough to be spared a trial, though his humiliation might have been punishment enough.

Until Mrs. Chadwick went to trial, she remained confined to the Cuyahoga County jail, claiming it was her choice because she could have been out on bail if she wanted. At the jail, she had an interesting visitor who, perhaps jokingly, suggested the con woman might have an interesting career move in her future.

New York Morning Telegraph, February 8, 1905
Grace Cameron, the actress who has just returned from a Western tour and is this week playing an engagement at Keeney's Theatre, Brooklyn, is telling all her friends how she broke into the county jail at Cleveland last Saturday and had a chat with the Duchess of Ducats, Mrs. Cassie L. Chadwick.

Miss Cameron and Mrs. Chadwick have long been friends, and through the intervention of a Cleveland attorney, Peter Quigley, Sheriff Mulhern was prevailed upon to arrange a meeting between the two women in Mrs. Chadwick's cell for two hours.

The story went on to say they talked of the decline of the drama, Parisian gowns, and how to get rich quick. Miss Cameron ate with Mrs. Cameron; the meal was delivered from a nearby hotel.

When she left, Miss Cameron kissed Mrs. Chadwick on the forehead and said she might be able to get her a job on the vaudeville stage doing some high finance kicking or something of that sort when her legal problems were all over.

Mrs. Chadwick responded with a wan smile, probably thinking such an offer, which wasn't as far-fetched as it seemed, would have been more up her alley back in her Lydia Devere days.

Miss Cameron had trained to be an opera singer, and was featured with the Bostonians, a comic opera company, before switching to vaudeville, where she was a big star for many years, kind of a forerunner to Fanny Brice. (While Brice enjoyed her biggest success on radio as "Baby Snooks," Ms. Cameron's biggest hit was "Little Dolly Dimples." You can hear her perform a song from that show on YouTube.

No vaudeville offer would ever come Cassie Chadwick's way, but a performance offer of another kind actually was received by Dr. Leroy S. Chadwick. It was made after an auction at what used to be his home.

New Haven Journal Courier, March 18, 1905
CLEVELAND, March 17 — The household property of Mrs. Cassie L. Chadwick was sold a auction today to A. G. Nelson of New York for $25,200. Samuel L. Winternitz of Chicago was the second highest bidder at $25,100. There were twenty bidders.

Clothing to the value of between $4,000 and $5,000 which Mrs. Chadwick held to be exempt from the claims of her creditors, under the bankruptcy laws, was no offered for sale today.

It was learned after the sale that Mr. Nelson bought the Chadwick articles for an art gallery in New York City. The twenty bidders were required to put up a guarantee fund of $1,000 each before they were permitted to bid, which was returned to all who made no purchases.

* * *
Send in the clown
The auction was held by the Savings Deposit Bank of Elyria, whose officials were wise enough to attach the right strings to the loans they had given Cassie Chadwick. The bank held a mortgage to the house on Euclid Avenue and title to all the furnishings, and the auction helped the bank recover a nice chunk of the money Mrs. Chadwick owed. As for A. G. Nelson, a week later it became clear why he had purchased Mrs. Chadwick's things:

New York Telegraph, March 25, 1905
CLEVELAND, March 24 — While Mrs. Cassie L. Chadwick is languishing in jail, her husband, Dr. Leroy S. Chadwick will provide the musical features which have been arrange to accompany the public exhibition of the furnishings and trappings of the former Euclid Avenue residence of the fallen queen of finance.

To make the exhibition more attractive, C. E. Smith, representing Abram G. Nelson, the purchaser of the Chadwick effects, yesterday completed arrangements with Dr. Chadwick to have him give two organ recitals on the $9,000 organ which is one of the distinct features of the lavish furnishings of Mrs. Chadwick’s former home.

For $100 a week, Dr. Chadwick has agreed to give recitals from 11 a.m. to noon and from 4 to 5 p.m. daily. He will start upon his contract at once.

After the limited engagement of the attraction in this city, the Chadwick effects will be shipped to New York City to be placed on exhibition in the Knickerbocker art galleries. Dr. Chadwick will also go to New York to perform upon the organ. The promoters of the exhibition believe that daily performances by the husband of Mrs. Chadwick will go a long way toward swelling the receipts.

Dr. Chadwick last night admitted he had agreed to give two organ recitals daily. “The situation is just this,” said Dr. Chadwick. “Mr. Nelson want to sell the organ. He asked me to exhibit its fine points, and I agreed to do so.”

Mrs. Chadwick displays little interest in the fact her former possessions are to be exhibited. When informed that her husband is to play the organ, her only comment was: “The whole thing is ridiculous; it’s silly.”

Dr. Chadwick soon came around to his wife's way of thinking and decided he wouldn't be part of the exhibit which opened at what formerly was his house, but was now referred to as "once belonging to Cassie Chadwick." One newspaper had this to say about the exhibition:

New York Telegraph, March 27, 1905
The first performance was well attended ... The house has been only slightly re-arranged for the exhibition, but looks more completely furnished than before. The onyx stand that formerly supported the celebrated “perpetual” clock in the library has been replaced with a rug-covered table.

The house remains largely as Mrs. Chadwick left it, and most of the much-advertised features may still be found there. The big wax doll that was formerly laid out on a pillow on the library desk has been removed, however. The art experts in charge decided it looked too much like a dead baby.

In the library hangs the best picture Mrs. Chadwick possessed. It is a genuine Verboeckhoven bull, and is appraised at $1,500. On the same wall hangs a landscape dear at $5, and nearby is a copy of a Russian painting (subject, robbery of a mail coach), that is said to be a hot favorite for the distinction of being the worst picture in the house.

The owners do not expect to sell any of the property here, except possibly the organ. This, being mechanical, will be played during the exhibition by the manager, who is a musician himself. He regrets, however, that Dr. Chadwick will not be able to render some of his favorite pipe organ and also alto horn single-handed duets. The organ may not be moved to New York with the other stuff. The lot will eventually be put up at auction at New York.

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Here a theory, there a theory
While Cassie Chadwick awaited trial, the press filled space by passed along various theories. One held that Mrs. Chadwick selected Andrew Carnegie as her "father" on the chance the man would die before her scam was discovered. (Carnegie was 69 years old at the time of her arrest.)

If he were dead, she figured to have a shot at being awarded all that money — more than $16,000,000 — that was included in the phony estate she'd created from forged signatures. And while Carnegie claimed his signature was much different than those that appeared on Mrs. Chadwick's documents, experts who examined them said they were similar enough.

A story in the Chicago Sunday Tribune (February 19, 1905) suggested Mr. Chadwick had hidden $1,000,000 in cash and $150,000 worth of jewels, and had hoped to sneak out of New York and sail to Europe where she would meet her husband in Brussels, where they would live happily ever after, with her son and his daughter.

Before sailing, the newspaper claimed, Mrs. Chadwick hoped to secure one more loan, for $500,000, but it fell through. When she left Cleveland for New York in late November, she hadn't anticipated being constantly watched by agents of the United States Secret Service.

The newspaper also said several of the women's creditors were upset when United States Attorney John J. Sullivan had the woman arrested when he did. The thinking, according to the Tribune, was that if she had been given more time, she would have led authorities to the money. As it was, her stash — if it did exist — was never found. Which killed the theory it was on deposit, along with her jewels, in a Brussels bank.

Some believed much of her money was tied up in property she had purchased in Vienna, Geneva, Venice, Berlin, Frankfort and London.

Some stories I found said Dr. Chadwick had filed for divorce before his last trip to Europe in November, 1904, but there's no record of him having done so, though other stories say he and his wife had been on the outs for most of their marriage and had been living apart for years, even during those few occasions they were under the same roof. When it came to being weird, Cassie Chadwick had nothing on the man she married, not once, but twice, both wedding eventually declared invalid. But, as mentioned earlier, in Ohio, where neither wedding ceremony took place, Cassie Hoover had become Dr. Leroy Chadwick's common law wife.

Weirdest theory was the one circulating in the hometown of Charles T. Beckwith:

Albany Argus, December 15, 1905
Oberlin, Ohio, is famous as the seat of a theological college; also, as the original of Mark Twain's "Hadleyburgh," the town which was virtuous because never tempted, until a cunning appeal to cupidity corrupted the whole town; also as the location of one of the bank's most largely victimized by Cassie Chadwick.

Whether there is any connection between these three propositions, or ideas, or not, there is a distinct connection between the Cassie Chadwick exploits and the sensation which now convulses Oberlin.

President Beckwith,, of the Oberlin bank, was ruined financially and undermined in health and spirit by the revelations of his connection with Mrs. Chadwick's transactions. He died before the government could try his case. Or at least, so it was said, but now it is asserted and widely believe in Oberlin that President Beckwith i alive in Canada. An Oberlin dispatch says:

"Beckwith is supposed to have died last March, and the question on everyone's lips tonight is: Was his body actually lowered into the grave last March, or was it a rough box filled with stones that was covered up by Mother Earth? This possibility of the aged banker being alive recalls with extraordinary vividness the circumstances surrounding his death. It was in the dead of night that the report was sent out from the Beckwith home that the aged banker had died. No one but members of the family was permitted to see him.

"Tonight's report says that an undertaker was not engaged to embalm the body, although an Oberlin undertaker late tonight asserted that he had been called in after death. The funeral was private and newspaper men who called were denied admittance to the home. Utmost secrecy was maintained throughout. Dr. Bruce, the family physician, when seen tonight, said he was not present when Beckwith died, but declares that he attended the funeral and saw Beckwith's body in the coffin. It is expect that not only the authorities, but the insurance companies will make an investigation."

The first thing wrong with that dispatch from Oberlin is Beckwith died in early February, not March.
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When in doubt, faint
From the time she realized arrest was imminent, and more so while she lived in the Cuyahoga County jail as her trial approached, Cassie Chadwick became afflicted what women long ago called "the vapors." Iri Reynolds took things a step further.

Minneapolis Journal, February 15, 1905
New York Sun Special Service
CLEVELAND, February 15 — Mrs. Cassie L. Chadwick is giving her jailers and attorneys anxiety because of frequent fainting spells. On one occasion medical assistance was necessary to revive her. Her counsel says Mrs. Chadwick has a severe case of heart failure and may collapse and die before the time for her trial arrives.

Iri Reynolds, the man who Mrs Chadwick made trustee of her magical $5,000,000 in securities, has been confined to his bed for several days with grip. The worry due to his connection with the Chadwick affairs has weakened him, and in his delirious moments he talks of nothing else. His family and physicians are greatly alarmed.

While there may have been a serious, but undetected root cause to Mrs. Chadwick's condition, Iri Reynolds recovered and lived until 1928, when he died at the age of 83.

On March 11, the Chadwick trial concluded when the jury found her guilty on seven of the 16 counts in her indictment. She was sentenced to ten years in the Ohio Penitentiary, but it would be almost ten months before all of her appeals were exhausted. Until then she remained in the Cuyahoga County jail. Her case eventually reached the United States Supreme Court, but the justices either rejected her appeal or refused to waste their time on it, and in January, 1906, she finally checked in to the Ohio Penitentiary in Columbus.

Weeks earlier, federal authorities sought permission to confine her to a federal prison, either in Atlanta, Georgia, or Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. This was done out of fear the state of Ohio might pardon her. However, Judge Taylor, in the United States district court, ruled she should serve her time in Columbus, and federal authorities would just have to trust the Ohio board of pardons to do what was right.

Her 10-year sentence officially began January 12, 1906, but with good behavior she could be out in less than seven years. However, for awhile it appeared she might serve all her time in the penitentiary hospital, where she was confined almost as soon as she arrived. After four days, she was put the work with a needle, making buttonholes in shirts, from her hospital bed. Prison officials said she would continue at that work until she was well enough to run a sewing machine.

* * *

Couldn't have enough jewelry
In addition to her trial, Cassie Chadwick also testified in March during a hearing in bankruptcy court where efforts were made to recovered whatever money she had in order to pay her creditors as much as possible. Not surprisingly, she claimed she did not owe as much as her creditors claimed, nor did she receive as much money as people believed.

Rather than borrowing between $1,000,000 and $2,000,000, she said, "I do not owe much more than $750,000," sounding as though that were a paltry amount.

Some of those who'd loaned her smaller amounts had been given pieces of her jewelry as security. Mrs. Chadwick mentioned receiving a loan of $17,000 from Ludwig Nisson of New York, and says she secured it with a string of pearls he later sold for $60,000.

Jewelry was her weakness, and she purchased it everywhere she went. She bought so much jewelry in Europe that, for awhile, government agents believed she might be a smuggler. A lot of her jewelry was still in Brussels, held hostage by a firm that claimed she owed them thousands of dollars.

The impression I received from stories I read is her smaller creditors were given jewelry as security and may have profited from their dealings with Mrs. Chadwick. However, the bigger loans — those made by the bank in Oberlin and its unfortunate president, Charles T. Beckwith, and Newton and Friend — were not repaid, and there were some who felt these people had gotten a taste of their own medicine.

That's why, in December, 1904, about the time Cassie Chadwick was arrested, she received some unexpected emotional support:

New York Sun, December 12, 1904
BOSTON, December 11 — Mrs. Hetty Green, who stopped over in Boston last night, probably the last person in the world who would be expected to defend Mrs. Cassie Chadwick, placed herself on record as a friend of that woman, for the time at least.

“I don’t know the woman; I never knew her kind; but you just wait until the thing’s over and you probably won’t find her to be quite as wicked as she's painted,” said Mrs. Green. “Probably when they get through with it, they will find some of these big bankers and lawyers have been behind her, using her to get money. It would not surprise me a bit to find they and not she have got the money.

“Now perhaps you don’t think that is possible, but I’ve had a lot of experience and I know more about bankers and banks than most people. All the crooked ones ain’t in jail yet, and the Lord knows there’s enough of them there. And you can’t believe all the District Attorneys say about her, either."

Hetty Green, 70 years old at the time, was known as the richest woman in America, and our biggest miser. Word was she wore the same dress every day until it was in tatters. Only then would she buy another one. Because she was female, her nickname was “The Witch of Wall Street." Were she a man, she would have been called a wizard. Everyone seemed to agree she was shrewd, but honest. She was born in New Bedford, Massachusetts, to a family which owned a large whaling fleet. She began with a modest fortune, and doubled it several times.
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Threatened by her own lawyer
Mrs. Chadwick's testimony during bankruptcy court obviously was self-serving, but probably contained grains of truth. Certainly the widow of W. C. Jutte, a Pittsburgh coal operator, believed Mrs. Chadwick were believable enough to help her in a lawsuit she was filed against James W. Friend and his business partner, Frank N. Hoffstot. Mrs. Jutte felt the two men had taken advantage of her husband's unstable mental condition to steal everything Mr. Jutte had owned before he committed suicide in Atlantic City in 1905. Jutte had attempted suicide four years before that, but survived a bullet to his head. The second time he shot himself in the chest.

Anyway, when Mrs. Jutte instituted her lawsuit in 1906, her lawyers wanted to take a deposition from Mrs. Chadwick at the Ohio Penitentiary. This led to yet another stranger-than-fiction incident in the life of the mind-reading con woman.

Francis J. Wing, a former United States district judge, was one of Mrs. Chadwick's lawyers before she went to prison. In September, 1906, he admitted threatening her with dire consequences if she went ahead with the deposition for Mrs. Jutte. He told Mrs. Chadwick the deposition would hurt her chances of ever being paroled from the Ohio Penitentiary because it would make an enemy of Mr. Friend, who had friends powerful enough to have her parole applications denied.

She resented the threat and went ahead of the deposition, which became a big issue in Mrs. Jutte's case, especially when it was sealed for several months. When it was finally entered into the case, weeks after Mrs. Chadwick had died in prison. the judge shrugged, and expressed surprise anyone felt there was significance to her deposition. He ruled in favor of Friend and Hoffstot, saying Jutte was of sound mind when he took out a loan from the two men, a loan he couldn't repay, thus costing him his entire estate.

Apparently, what Mrs. Jutte and her lawyers thought there was importance to Mrs. Chadwick's testimony that Friend had referred to Jutte as insane and in no condition to handle his own affairs.

Also in the deposition, Mrs. Chadwick went into detail about six loans she had received from Friend, and the total amount loaned was $798,200, not the $225,000 she claimed during the 1905 bankruptcy proceedings.

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Loans or blackmail?
To me, the biggest mysteries about the woman originally known as Elizabeth Bigley, are how she operated in Toledo as clairvoyant Lydia Devere, and the period between her release from prison in 1893 and her marriage to Dr. Chadwick, when she called herself Cassie L. Hoover.

A story in the New York Sun (December 9, 1904) estimated that by the year of that marriage, she had borrowed $300,000, again on no credit, from some prominent men who, perhaps wanting to avoid embarrassment, chose to forget the loans and deny any knowledge of the woman.

There seems to be evidence she entered her marriage to Dr. Chadwick with more money than he had — maybe much more. A story in the Chicago Sunday Tribune (December 4, 1904) says she owned a house on Lake Avenue, on Cleveland's west side, where she reportedly was living in style. What remains unknown to me is whether this Lake Avenue residence was that brothel where she and Dr. Chadwick supposedly met. In any event, in 1897, the woman was in debt to no one, maybe because those "prominent men" didn't loan the woman money, but paid her for services rendered, or as blackmail.

Despite those who have belittled the woman's looks, I think men found her attractive, at least until the last few years when she seemed to age rapidly. The photo of her at the top of this page — one that was taken in prison — is positively scary. She was only 49 years old, but looked like she was in her 60s. Like Charles T. Beckwith, she may have willed herself to die. She popped up in the news several times while at the penitentiary, mostly because of her health problems, real or imagined.

Milford (MI) Times, September 28, 1907
A suspicious and shrewd prison doctor caught Cassie Chadwick, serving a term in the Ohio penitentiary, in her attempt to secure sympathy and release by feigning illness and faking blindness. So she will be put to work again.

The records of Mrs. Chadwick’s alleged confinement as Madame Devere many years ago show that she succeeded in getting a parole on the ground of ill health. At that time she fooled the medical staff by well-shammed sickness. It was this history that caused the suspicion she was trying the same old dodge, and the plan of the physician proved its correctness.

Next week Mrs. Chadwick will be back at her task of sewing for the rest of the inmates of the big prison.

But two weeks later she was dead, passing away on her 50th birthday. One of her sisters arranged for her body to be taken home to Canada for burial.

1. A multiple choice biography
2. Have card, will swindle
3. My, what big eyes she has
4. Temporarily transgender
5. Kindness is costly
6. Lydia had a little lamb
7. She finds a perfect husband

8. Mansion makeover
9. Time for her big scene
10. Deep pocket fishing
11. He's never heard of her
12. A friend in Pittsburgh
13. Back behind bars
14. Her spirit lives on