the information reported in the Tombstone Daily Epitaph and
Tombstone Nugget newspapers, it appears that the loss Delia Williams
suffered on Friday, June 24, 1881, was too much for her to bear.
Eleven weeks after the fire took Delia's possessions, money and dreams, she
sold all of what little she had regained to one Madame Brosse and placed a public
notice in the Daily Epitaph. Delia Williams took a fatal dose
of laudanum or arsenic the same day the notice appeared, Friday, September
9, 1881. We thank historian Anne Collier
for providing us the following excerpts:
June 24 1881 Daily Epitaph
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.
September 9 1881 Daily Epitaph
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"
[Though Delia could not write, as evidenced by the amount of money she had stashed when her home went up in flames on June 24, she was a shrewd businesswoman - who lost everything in that fire]
September 13 1881 Daily Epitaph
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.
September 13 1881 Nugget
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.