May 8, 1908
POLICE LOOKING FOR THEM.
If you should meet two girls, one 12 years old, light hair, blue eyes with a squint in her right eye, wearing a red calico dress and red coat, and the other 13 years old, dark hair, eyes and skin, and wearing a gray coat and dark skirt, it might be advisable, if you are not equipped with a fumigating apparatus, for you to climb a tree or jump in a well until they have passed.
Girls of this description took French leave of St. George's hospital in the East Bottoms yesterday about noon. The city's smallpox patients are quarantined there. The 12-year-old girl is named Edna Sickler. Her home is at 6415 East Fourteenth street and her mother and two small brothers, 3 and 7 years old, are still in quarantine. Grace Kaufman is the 13-year-old. Her home is at 2307 East Eighteenth street and her mother and a sister 11 years old are still at the hospital.
"The girls have been down here nine days," said Dr. George P. Pipkin, who has charge of the hospital. "Both of their cases were very light, but they are endangering the public as they left here wearing the same clothes in which they came and were not fumigated. I have given their descriptions to all the police stations and want them returned here at once."
With five other children the two girls were playing about the hospital grounds about 11 o'clock yesterday. Telling the other children that they were going up the river bank to gather flowers they disappeared. As that is a custom, nothing was thought of the incident until the girls failed to show up for dinner at 11:45 o'clock.
Fearing that some accident had happened them the mothers went in search but got no trace of them. Then the matter was reported to Dr. Pipkin who, with Morris S. Sharp, a guard, made a search in the immediate neighborhood. That, too, was fruitless. Sharp then took the wagon and drove toward town. From a man working near the Crescent elevator in the East bottoms he learned that the girls had passed there, seemingly in a great hurry to reach the Fifth street car line, just about noon. Then the matter was reported to the police.
From the mothers Dr. Pipkin learned that both girls had been given a nickel in the morning. They wanted to buy a candy at a little store nearby, they said. The doctor also learned that the girls had taken particular pains to wash up in the morning, and one of them complained that her dress was not clean.
Sharp came to the city and went to the girls' homes, but they had not shown up there. When he went to a flat near Twenty-eighth and Wabash avenue, where the Kaufman girl's father worked as janitor he was informed that Kaufman had been gone two days. Mr. and Mrs. Kaufman are separated. When informed that her husband had gone, sh said she feared that the girl was with him. The father and three sisters at the Sickler girl's home said they would inform Dr. Pipkin if Edna came home.
Men at the smallpox hospital are watched very closely, but it has never been deemed necessary to place a guard over children. They have always been given as much freedom as possible as it was known to be good for them. These two girls are the first to ever run away from the institution. The police believe the girls are still in the city and hope to land them back at the hospital today.