Latin School of Chicago

Latin School of Chicago Magazine Spring 2014

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Page 44 of 67

43 L AT I N S C H O O L O F C H I C A G O May 4, 1923 A poor little heiress to millions all at sea without her chauffeur and her limousine, got lost in the maze of Chicago's streets yesterday, gave her parents, wealthy residents of Oak Park, several hours of the deepest anxiety, kept the police department on the run, and completely disrupted businesses in the bakery shop of James Toman at 2753 Turner avenue. The "poor little rich girl " is Miss Myrtle Fahrney, 17 year old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. E. H. Fahrney of 400 North Euclid avenue, Oak Park, and a junior at the Chicago Latin School for Girls, 59 Scott street. Her father is secretary of the million dollar proprietary medicine business of Chicago and Joliet, Dr. Peter Fahrney & Sons' company, founded by her grandfather, and also a trustee of the Peter Fahrney estate, the bulk of which she will some day inherit. Starts Home Alone Myrtle always has been driven to and from school by the family chauffeur, but yesterday she was to return home alone on the L. She left school at 11 o'clock in the morning. When she had not arrived at 6 o'clock, her father notified the Oak Park police and the detective bureau and descriptions of her were flashed to all stations. At 6:30 Mr. Fahrney received a telephone message from his daughter. She was talking from the Toman bakery. She was so excited she was talking Heiress Takes First "L" Ride And Gets Lost incoherently and her father asked her to call some one else to the phone. Anna Toman, the baker's daughter, took the receiver. "Her mind seems to be wandering," she said. "She looks as if she's walked and walked until she's all exhausted. She's so nervous we can't hardly keep her still." "Keep her there and I'll come for her," the father directed. But Myrtle refused to be comforted. Her blue eyes were wide with fright and she shook her blonde curls until her jaunty black hat was all awry. Wants to Go Home "O, I want to go home!" she kept moaning. "I want to go home." "Don't cry, honey, you're going home," Anna soothed. "Your father is coming for you." "O, not my father!" Myrtle shrieked, and, grabbing up her tan spring coat rushed out into the street. Anna called her younger sister, Libbie, and her cousin, Antone Knourak, and directed them to follow her and call the first policeman they saw. Mr. Fahrney arrived and made more frantic calls to the police. The bakery was in an uproar. Toman left a whole pan of buns to burn and joined in the search. In the meantime, Libbie and Antone stuck to their job. For two hours they followed the bewildered girl, who darted down one street and then another without sense of direction. Finally, at 22nd street and Sacramento boulevard they got close enough to Myrtle and a policeman at the same time and Sergt. George Garry took the girl to the Lawndale station. Overstudy, Father Says. Mr. Fahrney, breathless, reached there at 8:30. Myrtle appeared to be too dazed to recognize him at first. "I want my mother," she kept saying. "I went for a ride on the South Side L with a girl friend and got lost. I want my mother." "It is a case of overstudy," Mr. Fahrney explained. "Myrtle has been studying extremely hard for the junior exams and she has been in a highly nervous condition. She doesn't know the streets in Chicago and she never had been on an elevated train before in her life. She probably took the wrong one, got lost, became bewildered and then hysterical." An article from the Chicago Daily Tribune Archives. Myrtle Fahrney

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