Person:Isabella Cole (1)

Isabella Victoria Cole
b.NOV 1873 Guayamas, Mexico
d.2 DEC 1908 Los Angeles, CA
m. 29 MAY 1893
  1. Conrad E. Wardwell1887 - 1916
Facts and Events
Name Isabella Victoria Cole
Gender Female
Birth[1] NOV 1873 Guayamas, Mexico
Marriage 29 MAY 1893 Cochise County, AZto David Kilburn Wardwell
Death[2] 2 DEC 1908 Los Angeles, CA
Burial[3] Mountain View Cemetery, Altadena, CA


Government Decides Mrs. Wardell Shall Remain in Arizona-Now Insane.

BISBEE, Ariz., Aug. 8.-Officials of the government at Washington have notified the authorities of this Territory that there is no law under which the deportation of Mrs. Wardwell. the leper, to the lepercolony of Molokai, can be ordered. Mrs. Wardwell, who Is in quarantine at Tombstone, has become violently insane, and is kept shackled to a bedpost. Her husband. Gen. Wardwell, aged 86 years. is very weak, the result of a operation for cancer. A petition will be presented to Gov. Kibbey asking him to pardon Albert Cole, a brother of Mrs. Wardwell, who is serving a six years' term in prison at Yuma, In order that he may care for the aged couple. -New York Times 09 August 1908

Authorities Unable to Order Mrs. Wardwell to Molokai Women is at Tombstone, Ariz, Crazed by her Fate, and Waited on by Aged Husband

Though virtually a part of the United States, the leper colony on isolated, Molokai cannot recruit its doomed population from this country. It is this fact that makes it impossible for government officials to comply with the request of the Territorial authorities of Arizona for the speedy deportation of aged Mrs. Wardwell, wife of Glen. Wardwell, whome the terrible disease has marked as its victim. According to Dr. H. D. Geddings, assistant surgeon general of the bureau of public health and marinehospital service, the leper settlement at Molokai is strictly a Territorial enterprise or charity, maintained by the Hawaiian Islands. There exists neither law nor precedent to warrant the removal of a leper front any state or Territory to the settlement, and Dr. Gleddings voices the opinion of the bureau that the Hawailan health authorities would not apprde of such a move. "There is a law" stated" Dr. Geddlngs yesterday, "that prohibits the transportatlon of a Ieper "from one State to another, but exception probably could be made in this case were it possible for us to have her deported to Molokai. But we have absolutely no jurisdiction there and have so informed the authorities of Cochise County, Ariz. of which Tombstone is the county seat. We wired them to this effect immediately on receipt of their telegram, and followed this with a more detailed explanation of the reasons for our inability to act by letter." Mrs. Wardwell's case is an unusually pathetic one. Doomed in her declining years to live an outcast from society and to endure a living death, her mind has given way and she is violently mad. Quarantined in a lonely spot in Tombstone, her isolation is made doubly certain, for she is kent shackled to her bedpost. To make the case more sad, if possible, her husband, who is 86 years old, is weak as the result of an operation for cancer, and unable to minister to the needs of his afflicted mate. With a. devotion that challenges admiration, this noble old man insists on remaining with his wife until they are finally parted byr death. It is hardly likely that they will leave Tombstone. Mrs. Wardwell has a brother, Albert Cole, now serving a term of six years in prison in Arizona. Gov. Kibbey will, it is said, be petltloned to pardon him in order that he may care for the afflicted pair. -Washington Post 10 August 1908

MRS. WARDWELL FOUND Widow of General Evades Guards of Leper Colony for a Time

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 19-Mrs. Wardwell, the quarantined leper, widow of Gen. Wardwell, who escaped from her quarters in Tombstone, Arizona, last night, boarding a Southern Pacific train for Calidornia, arrived here tonight and is now a prisoner in the county hospital. Several Weeks ago Gen. Wardwell, fearing that he would be separated from his leper wife, stole her from a California hospital and took her to Arizona. He had been broken in health and the strain of caring for her caused his death last week. -New York Times 20 August 1908.


Arizona Authorities Forcibly Returned Mrs. Wardwell to California.

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 20.-There is some resentment here at the return from Arizona of Mrs. Isabel Wardwell, the widow of Gen. David K. Wardwell, who is afflicted with leprosy. When the train arrived Mrs. Wardwell was found locked in a compartment. Two hospital attendants took her in charge and she was placed in the contagious ward of the hospital. Mrs. Wardwell showed evidences of a disordered mind and appeared in poor health. The authorities do not believe Mrs. Wardwell escaped from the custody of the Arizona authorities, as was reported. They believe she was sent away to relieve Arizona. of her care. One county official says that the Cochia County authorities had done no more in sending Mrs. Wardwell back to Los Angeles than the authorities there had done in sending her to Tombstone. The Los Angeles authorities bought tickets for Gen. and Mrs. Wardwell several weeks ago and sent a nurse of the county hospital with them as far as Naco -New York Times 21 August 1908

Obituary reads: "Mrs. J.C. Wardwell, the leper wife of General Wardwell, whose case created such a stir in this community and in Arizona, died today (December 2) of leprosy in the county hospital. Since her return from Arizona and the death of her husband, Mrs. Wardwell has grown steadily worse and her death has been expected for some time." -Fort Wayne, Indiana Sentinel, 03 December 1908.

  1. 1900 United States Census.
  2. Fort Wayne News Sentinel Obituary.
  3. The General & The Leper Marjorie Wardwell Otten & Shannon May.