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October 28, 1909


Bowed 'Neath Weight of Tragedy.

Timothy McMahon, the invalid brother of James and Patrick McMahon, was sent to St. Margaret's hospital in Kansas City, Kas., yesterday afternoon and Mrs. Ellen McMahon, woman of sorrow, a mother facing not one, but many tragedies, spent last night practically alone in the old McMahon homestead, five miles west of the Kansas City, Kas., limits, in one of the loneliest spots in Wyandotte county and within a rod of the Van Royen house, where her two daughters were murdered ten days ago by one of her own sons.

This sorrowing mother spent yesterday on the verge of nervous prostration. Mrs. Kate Ellis, a half-sister, who lives at Seventh street and Oakland avenue, in Kansas City, Kas., called on her in the afternoon and lent what consolation she could. It was Mrs. Ellis who urged that Timothy, an invalid for two years and who can not live many weeks longer, be removed to the hospital as a means of relieving the mother from a great care. Late in the afternoon the hospital ambulance arrived and Timothy was taken into the city.

Soon Mrs. Ellis returned to her home, for she had her own children to look after, and the mother, 58 years old, and older than her years, was left alone. There were two hired hands on the premises, but they were men not known to Mrs. McMahon and they could give little solace. During the day Mrs. McMahon suffered severely from headaches and late in the day she decided to deny herself to all callers, save relatives of the family.

It is a fact generally known that Mrs. McMahon has twice been an inmate of an insane asylum and the fear of the family is that her recent troubles may cause a recurrence of her old ailment.

What Mrs. McMahon has undergone in recent weeks is hardly realized by most persons. Five weeks prior to the murder of her two daughters and her son in law, her sister, a Catholic nun, died unexpectedly. From the day that the murder of her daughters and son-in law was discovered, her two sons have been suspected of the crime and the mother knew it. Tuesday both sons were arrested and following their arrest one of them, James, confessed to the killing of the Van Royens and his unmarried sister. During all this time the care of the invalid son, Timothy, has been upon Mrs. McMahon and she has been driven nearly frantic by the multiplicity of her misfortunes.

There was only one consoling event in the McMahon home yesterday afternoon. That was when Patrick, the youngest son, called up his mother over the telephone, told her that he was all right; that he would be home on the morrow and for her not to worry.

"One of them all right; one of them is coming home," sobbed the poor mother, as she knelt before a crucifix and in tones half audible recited the prayers on her rosary.

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