Weird Epidemic – Third Hanging at Denaby – Wife’s Whim for a Whiff

October 1921

Mexborough and Swinton Times, October 1.

Weird “Epidemic”
A Third “Hanging” at Denaby Main.
Wife’s Whim for a Whiff
Suicide in a Temper

Within 10 days there have been three cases at Denaby Main of suicide by hanging, two middle-aged women and a boy. Last Friday, shortly after midnight, Mary Elizabeth Stainrod (47) of 90 Loversal Street, Denaby Main, was found by her husband, Joseph Stainrod, a miner, hanging by a close line to the door of the back bedroom, and quite dead.

There were four people in the house at the time. Joseph Stainrod, his wife, and their two children, Edith, aged about 14, and Bertha, aged about seven

Stainrod was the first to go to bed, and Bertha, who sleeps in the back bedroom, went next. She was followed shortly by a mother, and Edith was still downstairs when Bertha cried out in alarm that her mother was “behind the door.” Edith then rows. The father, went to the back bedroom, found his wife hanging, and took her down.

A very curious circumstance was mentioned at the inquest held on Saturday night by Mr Frank Allan, at the Denaby Main Hotel. Stainrod said he last saw his wife alive about 10.55 on Friday night, when he went to bed, leaving her downstairs. He was awakened at 12:10 (midnight) by his daughter. He got up, and found his wife hanging behind the door of the back bedroom. She had hung herself with a close line. He lifted up the body and the rope dropped. He took off the role and carried her to his bed. The body was warm, but death had taken place. He sent for Dr Ford, who came at once.

The coroner: You have had some words with your wife during the day? – Just a few.

What about? – Well, she was in the habit of having a smoke out of my pipe, and I would not let her have it, so she started calling me. It was just before I went to the pit for the afternoon shift.

Did you have words again at night? – She started on me again at night.

What about? – Expect it was over the same thing.

Did you hit her? – No.

Was she sober? – Yes, she was sober enough.

Were you? – Yes.

As she ever threatened suicide? – No.

Edith Annie Stainrod, aged about 14, daughter of the deceased and the last witness, said she had heard her father and mother. “Having if you words” early on Friday afternoon. Her father went off to work “out of the way.” He came back in from work about 10 o’clock. Both of them were sober. They had someone more “words” when he came in, but her father soon went to bed “out of the road.”

It was about your mother smoking his pipe? – Yes, in the afternoon.

What was it at night? – I couldn’t tell you; I think it was the same thing.

Did you see your mother pick up the poker? – Yes, but she never offered to touch him. I took it from her.

The girl added that her father went to bed first, then, a little sister, Bertha, about 11:30, then her mother about 5 min afterwards. The close line was kept behind the door at the foot of the stairs, and was likely that her mother took it as she passed.

Witness was still downstairs when, soon after midnight, her sister Bertha called out, “Where is mother?” Witness replied, “She is knocking about the room.” Bertha then shouted, “She is behind the door!” Witness ran upstairs and woke her father, being too frightened to open the door of the back bedroom.

The coroner: Have you ever heard your mother threatened to kill herself? – No Sir.

How did your father treat her? Did he thrash her sometimes? – Well, about three weeks since he knocked her about. I think it was all the same thing – the pipe.

Did she like a “draw” out of his pipe? – Yes, Sir.

Didn’t he like her to smoke? – Yes.

Why didn’t she get one of her own? He wanted to smoke first, and she wouldn’t let him. She was dragging it off the cornice and he was at the same time.

The child told the coroner, in reply to further questions, that her father had been very good to them all. He were regularly, and they had plenty of food and clothing.

The coroner called Stainrod in and told him that he was satisfied that he was not to blame or censurable. He returned a verdict of “Suicide during temporary insanity.”