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Susan 'Anna' Firestone


Rich Hill Cemetery

Susan "Anna" Firestone was born on July 8, 1869 in either Somerset or Fayette County, PA, the daughter of Lewis and Sarah Ann (Rose) Firestone.

Little is known of her life, except for her sad fate.

Anna suffered from epilepsy. By the time she had reached age 22, the illness had become more overwhelming than country doctors could treat.

It was recommended that she receive more specialized medical care. So she was admitted in 1891 to the Dixmont Asylum for the Insane north of Pittsburgh, on the heights above the Ohio River. Dixmont was well known as a psychiatric hospital which had been founded as a progressive, self-sustaining facility for serving the mentally ill, with an endorsement from mental health pioneer Dorothea Dix.


Dixmont's main entrance

Anna remained a patient at Dixmont for five years.

Sadly, on Nov. 27, 1896, the 27-year-old was found dead in bed. Reported the Pittsburgh Commercial Gazette, "The case was reported to the coroner and he held an inquest. The jury determined she died from an epileptic fit."

Her remains were returned to Connellsville for interment in the family plot at Rich Hill Church Cemetery.

In addition to the article in the Commercial Gazette, stories appeared in the Pittsburgh Daily Post and the Pittsburgh Press, referring to her as "Annie." A one-sentence obituary was published in the Connellsville (PA) Courier.


Copyright 2004-2005, 2020 Mark A. Miner