Delia William

The Tombstone, Arizona fire of 1881 caused significant property damage. Most everyone managed to recover from the fire. However, Delia Williams suffered a catastrophic and unrecoverable personal loss on June 24, 1881.

The following article published in Tombstone’s Daily Epitaph on June 24, 1881 reports Delia’s loss as follows:
“FIRE - A colored woman by the name of Delia Williams, had just rented a house between Sixth and Seventh streets and fitted it up for a restaurant, and had $1700 in greenbacks stowed away somewhere on the premises which went the way of all the rest.”

Approximately eleven weeks after the fire Delia Williams publicly announced the sale of all of her personal effects in the September 9, 1881 edition of the Daily Epitaph as follows: “NOTICE TO THE PUBLIC - I hereby sell, convey and make over unto Madame Brosse all of my personal effects in this home for the sum of one hundred and twenty-three ($123) dollars, the receipt of which is hereby acknowledged. The goods are in the house at the present occupied by me on Tough Nut Street, just below Fourth. Delia Williams "her X mark."

On Friday, September 9, 1881, the same day the “Notice to the Public” is printed Delia Williams took an overdose of laudanum. She lingered until Sunday, September 11.

The Daily Epitaph published on September 13 reported Delia’s death as follows: “Four or five days ago a colored woman named Delia Williams, took a dose of laudanum with suicidal intent, from the effects of which she died at 12 o'clock Sunday night. At the inquest a verdict was returned in accordance with the above facts.”

The same day of the Daily Epitaph’s report the Nugget published this report on September 13: “A Bruce of Suicides - Delia Williams, who kept a boarding house on Toughnut near the corner of Fourth Street, took arsenic last Friday with the intention of committing suicide. It was thought at that time that by the immediate administering of antidotes she would recover, and it was so reported, but the poison was too thoroughly diffused through her system, and she died yesterday at the hospital.”