The Death of Bridget Agnes Slavens

“Eluding the vigilance of those who had been watching her for several days, Mrs. Slavens, aged 63, wife of JM Slavens1, who resides in the Eagle building, Second and Court streets, entered the lavatory on the second floor at 11 AM Friday and raising a window leaped out into the alley, a distance of 25 feet. She suffered a fractured skull and internal injuries and was in a serious condition when taken to Mercy hospital. There it was stated that an examination showed that Mrs. Slavens had suffered a fracture of the base of the skill and was bleeding at the mouth, nose, and ears.”

Eagle Building, River City Aerie of Eagles, Portsmouth, Ohio2

“JC Kittrick who is employed in GW Hill’s garage on Court street and EL Kiser were the first persons to reach Mrs. Slavens. Picking her up they carried her across the street to the FC Daehler garage, where she was placed in an ambulance and conveyed to Mercy hospital.”

“Mrs. Bruce Parker of Front street was walking north on Court street and was an eye witness to the affair. She says she heard the window being raised and was horrified to see a woman climb to the sill and then hurl herself to the ground below.”

“Mrs. Slavens, whose mind has been unbalanced for three months made several unsuccessful attempts to jump out of one of the front windows of the Eagle building this morning, but neighbors watched her too closely. She remarked several times this morning that she was tired of living and sooner or later would kill herself. She was sent to a Columbus institution three months ago and improved for a short time, but lately she had suffered recurrent attacks and for sometime her mind had been unbalanced. This morning after entering her room in the Eagle building she proceeded to break almost every dish in it.”3

“Injuries suffered by Mrs. Bridget Agnes Slavens aged 64 when she jumped out of a second story window of the Eagle building last Friday proved fatal. Mrs. Slavens, passing away in Mercy hospital at 11 AM, Sunday. She suffered a fractured skull in the fall and never regained consciousness.”

“In addition to her husband, JM Slavens who is in feeble condition, she leaves one brother, Dan Murphy of Louisville, Kentucky. Mrs. Slavens had been a well known and high respected resident of this city for many years. The body will be shipped to Louisville, Kentucky, and the last rites will be held there Wednesday. Owing to his feeble condition Mr. Slavens will not be able to make the trip to Louisville.”4

Certificate of Death for Bridget Agnes Slavens5

“Attorney Russell K McCurdy has been appointed by the Probate court as administrator, with the will annexed, of the estate of the late Bridget Slavens, aged woman, who died June 24 last, from the effects of injuries which she sustained in jumping from a window of her apartments on the second floor of the Eagle building while demented. Under the terms of her will she left her property, consisting entirely of personalty with an estimated value of $1400 to her husband, John M Slavens.”6

  1. John M Slavens
  2. H.A.Lorberg, Publisher, made in U.S.A., “Eagle Building, River City Aerie of Eagles, Portsmouth, Ohio,” Local History Digital Collection, accessed February 1, 2023,
  3. Woman Leaps Out of Second Story Window in the Eagle Building; Skull is Fractured. (1923, June 22). Portsmouth Daily Times, p. 16.
  4. Mrs. Slavens Succumbs. (1923, June 25). Portsmouth Daily Times, p. 2.
  5. “Ohio Deaths, 1908-1953,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : 21 May 2014), 1923 > 40601-43500 > image 103 of 3243.
  6. Left Estate to Husband. (1923, July 25). Portsmouth Daily Times, p. 2.
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