Girl puts an end to her life, Carlotta Hemingray suicide


Publication: The San Francisco Call

San Francisco, CA, United States
vol. 92, no. 183, p. 1, col. 4-6




Carlotta Hemingray

Shoots Herself

in Head.

Horseman's Bride Dies,

Laying the Blame

Upon Him.

Goes to Death Clasping

Mother's Photograph to

Her Heart.

Fearing that she had lost the affections of her husband, which she valued more than life itself, Mrs. Robert Hemingray, the beautiful young, wife of a well-known turfman, ended her life last night in the Hotel Knickerbocker, at 1340 Pine street, by firing a bullet through her brain. She had been married only four months, but it is evident from the note which she penned just before ending her life that she felt that she had forfeited her husband's love.

Few men or women have ended their lives under more pathetic circumstances. When Mrs. Hemingray's body was found it was reclining on the bed in the room. The young woman had gone to her death with her mother's picture grasped tightly in her left hand and pressed fondly against her heart. There was a gaping wound in the suicide's head and the bed was covered with blood. The despondent wife had the pistol against her right temple and the bullet had gone completely through her head, emerging at the left temple. From the nature of the wound death must have been instantaneous.

Robert Hemingray, the husband, heard the shot, though he did not see his wife end her life. He and his brother, C. L. Hemingray, were in the hotel hallway, going toward the room in which the unfortunate woman was preparing for death. He heard the report of the pistol coming from the direction of his wife's room and was instantly seized with a dire presentment. Being in frail health he feared to approach the room. He summoned the proprietor, J. E. Locke, who was the first to enter the apartment where the body lay. Locke immediately summoned a physician, but the unfortunate woman was past the help of all earthly ministrations.


Mrs. Hemingray carefully propped herself up with pillows on the bed, so as to make certain of her aim. Before firing the fatal shot she wrote a note to Rose Hemingray, her sister-in-law, asking to be forgiven if she had done anything wrong, and requesting that all her clothes be sent to her mother in Cincinnati. She left a letter sealed and addressed to her husband. In this, containing the last words that will ever be penned by her hands, she assured him of her undying love. She told him that without him she cared nothing for life. The letter is as follows:

"Bob, Dear: Don't curse me when I am gone please. But I am heartbroken and cannot live without you, as I love you with all my soul. You'll bury me, won't you, Bob? Just a little dirt over the body of the girl who would not live without you, dear. I am sorry I did such a wicked thing as gossip, but I am so young, only remember, Bob, and you have trifled, with my heart. When you told me you did not care to talk with me I just longed to kiss you throw my arms around your neck, but you would have knocked me down. So I die without one kiss, but I had one long look at your dear face. Ask Con and Rose to forgive me, for I can never do it again. Good-by, sweetheart. Again I say you will never know how you had gained the love of your little girl.


Appended to the letter was the address of the dead girl's mother, Mrs. P. F. Campiglio, 626 West Fourth street Cincinnati, Ohio. In a note at the bottom of the last page was a request to her husband to mail a letter to her mother informing her that her daughter had passed from the struggles and cares of this life.

The pistol used was of 32 caliber and belonged to Mrs. Hemingray's husband. Only one cartridge had been fired.


"I cannot think of any reason why my wife should have ended her life. We had had no quarrels. I spoke to her about gossiping regarding the horses which I own. I asked her not to talk about them. I have been making mountains out of mole hllls in trying to arrive at some solution, but I cannot think of a single reason for her doing this dreadful deed. I met her at the track this afternoon and I and my brother left her at 7 o'clock in her room at the Knickerbocker. She appreared to be in good spirits. I and my brother went out to get our supper and I wanted to purchase some magazines. When we returned to the hotel at 8:30 o'clock and were walking down the hall we heard the shot. A foreboding came over me at once that something dreadful had happened. I feared to look into the room, as I suffer from a weak heart and a sudden shock might kill me.

I first met her at Hot Springs, Ark., about a year ago. I met her again, four months ago in Chicago and married her. Her mother's name was then Mrs. Steffens, but she has since and is now Mrs. Campiglio. I came to this city with my wife at the opening of the present racing season.

Despite the husband's positive assertions to the contrary, it is evident from Mrs. Hemingray's letter that they were not living happily together. On one occcasion the unfortunate woman asked the proprietor, of the Knickerbocker what he would: advise her to do with a husband who was sick and could not be pleased. He responded, "Oh, love him a little more."

Mrs. Hemingray was a very pretty little woman with a wealth of golden hair. She was proud of sunny tresses and thought of them even when preparing to commit suicide. She carefully tied them up so they would not be stained with her blood. She was very sensitive and had been suffering from headache.

The body was removed to the Morgue.

Robert Hemingray is well known among turfmen in all parts of the United States. This is not his first visit to this State. He is the owner of Hindred and Lord Kitchener, two horses which are now at Ingleside.

The following dispatch regarding the dead woman was received last night:

CINCINNATI, Ohio, Nov. 29. Carlotta Camplglio was 18 years old and the step-daughter of T. F. Campiglio, organist and soloist in many leading churches here. She left here five months ago. Her mother says she married Hemingray four months ago and can give no reason for her daughter killlng herself."

Researcher notes: 
Supplemental information: 
Researcher:Bob Stahr
Date completed:December 9, 2010 by: Bob Stahr;