The following interesting Ives family story was provided by Jeanita Strong. Her husband is Donald Ives Strang. His grandmother was Grace M. Ives who married Herbert T. Strang. Grace's father was Charles Augustus Ives, born 1841 in Racine, Wisconsin. Charles's father was Stephen N. Ives. His father was Roland Ives, Sr.
Grace Ives, born in 1885 in Davenport, Iowa, was the seventh of eight children of Charles Augustus Ives and Rosebelle Bullock Ives. Grace was born into a railroad family. Her father Charles was a conductor. Her brothers, Robert S. Ives and William G. Ives also worked for the railroad. In September 1902 Grace married Herbert T. Strang of Lake County, Illinois, who worked for the North Shore Electric Railroad. They had 5 children.
On May 15, 1919, Herbert died suddenly at his home in Highwood, Illinois. The coroner determined there was strychnine in Herbert Strang's stomach. Grace was then charged with poisoning her husband. There were almost daily articles on the case from May 16, 1919 thru June 19, 1919 with a concluding article Oct 29, 1919 in the Waukegan Sun and the Waukegan Daily Gazette (Waukegan, Illinois). Grace was arrested at her home and taken to the jail in Waukegan, Illinois, leaving her children unattended. Kenneth was 15, Donald was 13, Lenore was 9 and Thomas was 4.
The newspaper articles at first hinted that Grace was having an affair with another man. It appears from the newspaper articles that no poison was found at the home nor did Grace purchase any poison from any drugstore in the area. The states attorney James G. Welch was sure he could prove Grace poisoned Herbert. R.J. Dady was the attorney for Grace. On June 12, 1919, the judge denied the motion for a special grand jury as the grand jury was not in session. By June 16, 1919 Grace Ives Strang was released on $25,000 bond. Grace's brother, Will Ives (supervisor of the North Shore Electric R.R.) had spent most of his time working on her case since she was arrested.
The bond was signed by a large number of business and professional men of Highland Park and Deerfield, Illinois. The June 17, 1919 Waukegan Daily Gazette listed those who signed the bond. Besides the businessmen, they included her brothers, Charles A. Ives of Erie, Pennsylvania and William G. Ives, R.L. Bullock, a cousin on her mother, Rosebelle Bullock Ives' side, and E.L. Terry, a brother-in-law. On June 24, 1919, Grace took her children to live with her brother Charles A. Ives in Erie, Pennsylvania until the October grand jury.
The last article that I have found thus far is Oct 29, 1919. The grand jury did not indict Grace. "Donald, the thirteen year old son of Mrs. Strang was one of the chief witnesses before the grand jury. Although called by the prosecution, his testimony, more than that of anyone else, is said to have influenced the grand jury in failing to return an indictment. The boy testified that on the night his father was taken ill, that he helped his father to place the food on the table, the father having returned home after the others had eaten. He said he and his father ate the same food."
Donald was called to testify before the grand jury every day for two weeks. The article further stated that several witnesses testified that Mr. Strang had talk of suicide. The grand stated that the evidence for murder also could point to suicide. The grand jury left it open for the prosecution to further pursue the investigation. She was told by my husband's aunt, Lenore, that the family had eaten supper together. Her father had gotten up to get something for a migraine headache and had mistakenly taken the wrong thing. She founnd that if that had been true why the poison was not found in the house and why this did not come out in the hearing.
Jeanita said that can see why Grace's son Donald Robert Strang named his son Donald Ives Strang, in tribute of his mother. Grace's brother, Robert (Bob) Ives. He was crushed between 2 railroad cars in Kansas City in 1918. Robert was the superintendent of the electric railroad.