Was Aunt Addie Poisoned With Arsenic?

Was Addie poisoned by her husband, Enoch Fargo?

Her remains are in Milwaukee being autopsied, and we’ll soon know for sure.


  1. Tina

    I really enjoy reading this – I need to try to find the two books mentioned. Looking forward to learning more!

  2. Sears Homes

    Hi Tiina,

    The History Of Lake Mills was a limited print book and is primarily a genealogical record of the old families of Lake Mills. That one story about Addie was the only thing of interest I found within its 800 pages. The other book (Ghostly Encounters) did not have a bibliography which was disappointing.

    How *do* you find out the truth about an alleged death bed confession? I’d love to know.


  3. Robin Untz

    There was a C.H. Hildebrandt that was in the furniture and undertaking business with Calvin Oehler. Their partnership was dissolved in 1901 and the business was moved around to various buildings during the time they were in business. Perhaps a family member signed off on the death certificate? There are still Hildebrants who live here in Lake Mills.

  4. Robin Untz

    Also Hansen & Hildebrandt is the correct interpretation of the document. the “v” shape was used in place of the ampersand mark. So it may have been two individuals that were involved in the burial. On my father’s side of the family and Hansen had married my great, great Aunt Cordia. The Hansen Family Grainery can be found at Atztalan Historical site. The time frame would be correct for a family member to have helped at the cemetery.

  5. Joeylynn Mattson

    Again, VERY fascinating! I think YOU need to do a book; simply because you can add such a personal touch to it, it being family history.

  6. Sears Homes

    @Joeylynn Mattson
    I would *love* to do a book. I feel such a connection to this woman already, having studied these photos for hours and hours. Plus, she is my great, great Aunt! Please tell me if you know anything more about this story. I’m really scrambling to find more details.

  7. Sandra Spann

    Interesting…I always heard the Fargo Mansion was haunted, but I thought it was someone who passed away….peacefully. Depending on how far you’d want to go with this, any chance of exhuming the body and having an autopsy performed? If she was in fact shot in the head, it would be pretty obvious.

  8. HollyHilpert

    Wow, Rosemary, that’s some mystery you have on your hands. Did anyone on her side of the family ever get suspicious of her death and demand an autopsy? Yes, she could have been fed poison over a period of time, till finally the arsenic killed her. Does anyone know if she was ill for a long period of time?

    I don’t know if her husband was having affairs behind her back, but, he may have accused her of having some, and may have hit her because of his jealousy, or it is possible that he might have wanted her to participate in some sort of threesome, with him and his other lover, or one or both of the maids you mentioned and she refused.

    Hey, people who lived in the Victorian and Edwardian period weren’t the prudes many people think them to be.

    As far as shooting Addie, might not have been in the head, but rather in the back, or through the heart. If he did shoot her, maybe he had to pay off others (like an undertaker) to cover it up?

    Have you read about the William Desmond Taylor murder case in 1920s Hollywood? At first it appear the director might have had some sort of heart attack. It was when the body was turned over that they discovered he had been shot. I agree with Sandra about the exhumation of the body part. If he did feed her poison (like arsenic), it will show up.

  9. Pat Wolf

    Interesting story. Just an observation, but on the death certificate it shows her as 29 yr 1 mo which isn’t congruent with her DOB and DOD.

    Good luck. I hope you can have her body exhumed to actually find the truth.

  10. Tom Hendricks

    I was wondering if they could do a heat x ray to even see if there is a body below the surface of the cemetery marker. Also I thought handwriting analysis could be used for the doctor’s certificate to see what he was thinking. Looks like all the t’s are crossed. Also do genealogy on the doctor’s family and see if he came into some money about that time–would the bank ever keep records back that far?? Let’s take it a step farther and actually do a CSI marking inside the house to see if any bullets were used — or markings exist.

    Tom Hendricks

  11. Tom Hendricks

    Oh and no body reviewal???

  12. Shari

    Do you know how his first wife died?

    Rose’s Reply: Now THAT’S an interesting question, but Mary Rutherford is no relation to me. NONE. Mary Rutherford has plenty of kin right there in Lake Mills. Addie is my blood kin, and she’s the one I’m charged with looking out for. Plus, legally, I have no standing in anything involving Mary Rutherford and financially I am SPENT. There is so much more to this Addie story.

    At first, I was not going to write a book about this story. I just wanted Addie’s soul to find peace. I’ve written eight books. I’m tired of writing. It’s a lot of work and hassle. However, the experiences of this last week have changed my mind.