A dispatch from New Salem under date of May 14 tells the following story of the supposed death and coming to life of a prominent lady of that village: This community has been startled by the apparent death of a well known woman and the return to life of the supposed corpse. Mrs. Anna Bell, daughter of the late Thomas Gray, a former treasurer of Pike County, and one of the most prominent women in this community has been very ill for some time and all hopes had been given up for her recovery. Mrs. Bell, a pious Christian woman, had herself given up all hope, and was calmly awaiting the end. She bade her family and friends good-bye while she still had strength to talk. Sunday she passed into a trance, which was pronounced death. The doctors were summoned, and after a close examination they said she was dead. There was no pulse and no perceptible beat of the heart. Neither did she breathe. The usual tests were made, the tests that are generally regarded as infallible, and all indicated death. A lighted candle held before her mouth and nostrils did not flicker in the least. The lighted candle was held back of her hand, and there was no dim light between the fingers. There was no doubt that she was dead, and while the family mourned, preparations were made for the funeral. The undertaker was summoned to prepare the body for burial, and it was decided that the funeral should be held Tuesday. The body grew cold while the preparations for the funeral went on, but after several hours it became warm again, and then the supposed corpse gave signs of returning life. The undertaker was sent home and the physicians were again called, and after several hours more Mrs. Bell returned to consciousness. She is still alive but is very low and weak. The family is rejoicing.[i]
[i] The Pike County Democrat, Pittsfield, Illinois, Volume XLIV, Wednesday, May 15, 1901, page 2. The Barry Adage also carried the story.
Willie Ann (Anna) Bell was the grandmother of Glen Hillmann, who was living with her at this time. Glen Hillmann was the grandfather of Janet (Kleinlein) Chapman.