Source: “Rest at Last,” Provo Daily Enquirer 11, no. 76 (30 September 1887): 3

Transcription of Article

After More Than a Year of Indescribable Suffering

It is our mournful duty to record the death of Miss Zella Lee Webb, a most estimable young lady, who it will be remembered met with a most distressing accident some three weeks more than a year ago.  She is the daughter of Pardon Webb and Clarissa Jane Lee Webb and at the time of her demise, which occurred at half past seven on the evening of Wednesday, Sept. 29.  She was 23 years, 2 months, and 14 days of age.

The circumstance of the terrible catastrophe which has cost our young sister more than a year of almost indescribable suffering, and finally her life, are briefly these. On the night of Sunday, Sept. 12, 1886, Miss Zella was at home alone, her mother having left that day on a short visit away from town, with the expectation that her daughter would stay at the home of a near relative during her absence. The young lady retired early, leaving the lamp burning, as she was desiring to read while in bed.  all was oblivion to her until nine or ten o’clock, when she suddenly awoke and found her clothing in flames, and herself striving in a half conscious manner to extinguish the fire. In a truly heroic way she fought the fiery element till it was subdued, actually drawing water at the well and carrying the same to the room. When all was quiet she ran to a neighbor’s house, and then it was found that the whole upper part of her body, both front and back was burned almost to the bone, and her feet terribly lacerated from treading in the fragments of the broken lamp, in her laborious struggle with the flames.  It is supposed the sad accident is to be attributed to the explosion of the lamp; though it must be confessed many of the circumstances are not clearly explicable. The whole occurrence is mysterious.

Medical and other aid was at once summoned, and everything that skillful attendance and loving friends could do was done to assuage the young lady’s terrible sufferings.  The first few months following the accident were months of extreme anxiety, as appearances indicated it was impossible that the sufferer could survive; then an improvement followed, and faith and hope to a high toward a final recovery, but the summer months proved so trying to her system, already riven by pain and weakened by almost un-intermittent agony, that nature could endure the ordeal no longer. Serious internal disorders manifested themselves, and for twenty-one days preceding death no food or nourishment of any kind was retained in the stomach.  The immediate cause of death was inanition, as a result of the long and weary year of suffering. at last, she has the rest so long coveted. To herself, her release appeared a pleasant one. May she sleep in peace!

The funeral services were held in the Tabernacle this afternoon, commencing at 3 o’clock. We shall present a full account of the proceedings in our next issue. After the services closed the remains were conveyed to Payson, the former home of the deceased, on the evening Utah Central train. The final rites and interment will take place in that city tomorrow at 11 a.m. at which all friends of the family are invited to be present.

In the above connection it may be proper to state that an order has been issued by Mr. Cope of the U. C. Railway, authorizing single fare tickets to Payson and return for the occasion.

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