FULL TEXT: Mrs. Elizabeth Osborn, of 2447 North Tenth street, was summoned before Coroner Dugan yesterday to explain the death of an infant at her home, and on cross-examination she admitted that she adopted children and kept a “baby farm.” The child was that of Rudolph Speelhoffer, of Ambler. He testified that his wife died soon after the child was born, and that he took the infant of Mrs. Osborn’s place. The child died the other day from the effects of the heat.
Mrs. Osborn stated that she had kept a “baby farm” for several years, having formerly lived at 2831 North Eleventh street. She also admitted that she never summoned a doctor when the children became sick, and that six deaths had occurred at her place within the past year. The Coroner asked the woman how she got permits to bury the other children, but she refused to tell, and Coroner Dugan informed her that he would make it a point to find out.
The Coroner in commenting on the case said that “baby farms” were a curse to the community, and that all of them should be closed by the authorities.
[“Told Of Her Baby Farm – Mrs. Osborn Called Upon by Coroner to Explain Infant’s Death,” The Philadelphia Inquirer (Pa.), Jun. 18, 1899, p. 2]
For more cases of “Baby Farmers,” professional child care providers who murdered children see The Forgotten Serial Killers.