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Ida Bell Chatfield
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Birth: Nov. 19, 1867
Mason County
Illinois, USA
Death: Jun. 4, 1886
Pitkin County
Colorado, USA


Born: prob Bath, Mason Co., Illinois (some census records have her born in Nebraska)

Disappeared: Jun 4, 1886, Aspen, Pitkin Co., Colorado

Died: prob Jun 4, 1886 (age 18) (date according to coroner's report); from drowning, either an accident or suicide

Body found: Aug 6, 1886 in waters of Roaring Fork River below Red Butte, Pitkin Co., Colorado

Occupation: Store clerk/bookkeeper, schoolmistress

Avocation: Singer

Aug 7, 1886, Aspen Weekly Times, Aspen, Pitkin Co., Colorado (pg 1):
MISS CHATFIELD'S Body Discovered in the Roaring Fork Near Maroon Creek.
Ida Chatfield's Body Found.
The startling news was flashed through the city yesterday that the body of Miss Ida Chatfield had been found in the Roaring Fork below Red Butte. Word was brought to town by J.F. Harding and Louis Fontaine that while fishing along the river they had discovered the body of a woman in the water. They at once notified Coroner W.E. Turley and accompanied him to the place where the body was seen. Notwithstanding her mysterious disappearance occurred no more than two months ago interest in the case has not abated.

The body was found in the canon about a hundred yards below the confluence of the Roaring Fork and Maroon Creek. It lay on the north side of the river lodged with some driftwood between two boulders and hidden from the bank by bushes. Fisherman by the score have passed within a few feet of the place and it was by the merest accident that it was seen yesterday. The body lay on its side with the feet down the river, in still water four or five feet deep. The head was between the boulders where a small stream of water ran through. Across the neck was a long log about eight inches in diameter, around which the hair was wound. The head and arm was all that was out of the water. The body was not disturbed until the coroner arrived, and had probably been there for several weeks. The hair was still tied with a ribbon but the arms were bare and the clothing somewhat torn. When the hair was unwound and the drift wood taken away the body floated out. As it lay in the water it still betrayed the graceful form of a woman, and on the left wrist shone a bracelet, while the dress at the throat was fastened with a still handsome pin. These were late in the evening identified by Miss Ella Chatfield as the property of her cousin, Ida. The body, considering the time it has been in the water, is in a remarkably good state of preservation and the natural form retained. The shoes were on and buttoned, and the feet not at all swollen. But the face was a blank, and not a single feature could be recognized excepting the forehead. When the body was loosened the hair, before it was noticed, had floated off down the stream. A board was placed under the body while in the water, and it was then carried out on the land. A cloth was thrown over the once beautiful but now lifeless form, and it was strapped to the board. Six strong men then began the task of carrying the body of an almost perpendicular cliff. They toiled heroically up the stony hill, and place the body in the carriage. It was brought to town and today the inquest will be held. While this closing action is being enacted the people will anxiously look for some disclosures as to the probable cause of her death.

Miss Chatfield's father has been sent for and is expected to arrive this morning. Thus has ended one of the most baffling mysteries which has ever agitated the peoples of Aspen.

Aug 14, 1886, Aspen Weekly Times, Aspen, Pitkin Co., Colorado (pg 2):
The Late Miss Chatfield
At 10 o'clock yesterday a.m. Coroner Turley summoned the following jury and held an inquest on the remains of the unfortunate Ida Chatfield: William Stone, H.A. Iszard, William Balderston, C.S. Adams, R.B. Hathaway and L.A. Stone.

After a short consultation it was decided to hold a post mortem examination, and Dr. Perry was called. A thorough examination was made and nothing of a suspicious nature was disclosed, as it was feared that foul play had been a cause of the young girl's death.

The jewelry that was found upon the body was brought before the jury, and it was completely identified by several witness, who knew Miss Chatfield. The clothing was also identified. It was testified that she was of a very nervous disposition, and that at times she was in a painfully depressed condition. During such spells, the testimony showed, she frequently threatened to make away with herself. The day that she disappeared she also had such an attack. The exciting cause was about a dress which she did not have enough money to pay for. One of her relatives had paid for it for her, but she felt very humiliated because of having to be under obligations for a favor of any kind. In talking of it she said she did not want to live any longer. It was testified by those who knew her well that when she disappeared they felt satisfied she had made away with herself while in one of her depressed spells.

Dr Perry, who made the examination of the body, testified that he found a female affection of a kind which causes great nervousness of the patient, and which, in cases where the patient is naturally of a nervous temperament, often causes temporary insanity. The doctor further testified that with persons suffering from such trouble and mental strain is liable to bring on an attack of insanity, and that such trouble is one of the most common causes of suicide.

The following is the verdict returned by the jury:

An inquisition, holden at Aspen, in Pitkin county, on the seventh day of August, A.D. 1886, before W.E. Turley, coroner of said county, upon the dead body of Ida Chatfield, lying there dead, by the jurors whose named hereto subscribed, the said jurors upon their oath do say: That they find the body lying before them to be Ida Chatfield, and further find that she came to her death by drowning on or about June 4, 1886, and that they believe she met her death by her own act while laboring under an attack of temporary insanity. In testimony whereof, the said jurors have hereunto set their hands, the day and your aforesaid.
Family links: 
  Clark Samuel Chatfield (1838 - 1906)
  Louisa Tankersley Chatfield (1840 - 1868)
  Ida Bell Chatfield (1867 - 1886)
  Della Chatfield (1872 - 1919)**
  Ora L Chatfield Shaw (1873 - 1936)**
  Clark Samuel Chatfield (1876 - 1944)**
  Arthur William Chatfield (1878 - 1959)**
  Willard James Chatfield (1880 - 1900)**
  Mabel Clair Chatfield Sawyer (1883 - 1960)**
  Jacquelin Chatfield Mallon (1886 - 1964)**
  Lee Tomlinson Chatfield (1889 - 1949)**
  Marjorie Emma Chatfield Tuck (1893 - 1983)**
*Calculated relationship
Note: Questionable death circumstances; see for more bio
Ute Cemetery
Pitkin County
Colorado, USA
Maintained by: Catherine Clemens...
Originally Created by: aspeneyes
Record added: Apr 20, 2004
Find A Grave Memorial# 8657929
Ida Bell Chatfield
Added by: Catherine Clemens Sevenau
Ida Bell Chatfield
Added by: Catherine Clemens Sevenau
Ida Bell Chatfield
Added by: Catherine Clemens Sevenau
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- Mary
 Added: Jan. 28, 2013
RIP Ida. You are my 10th cousin, 3 times removed.
- Kellie Jensen Walton
 Added: Aug. 28, 2011
Sleep in heavenly peace, dear lady.
 Added: Sep. 19, 2010
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