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UPI Archives
Friday, Dec. 24, 1909

Daughter of Mark Twain dies in bath

REDDING, Conn., Dec. 24, 1909 (UP) -- Miss Jean L. Clemens, younger daughter of Mark Twain, was found dead in a bath tub at the home of her father, "The Stormfield," by her maid this morning.

An effort is being made to determine whether Miss Clemens died directly from epileptic convulsion or was drowned. The tub was about half-filled with water when the maid entered the bathroom and Miss Clemens' head, it is understood, was beneath the surface.

Miss Clemens began her bath at 7 o'clock. The maid had instructions to help Miss Clemens dress at 7:30.

The maid waited until 8 before going to the bathroom to find why Miss Clemens was delayed.

She knocked at the door, but there was no response. Then she forced open the door, and found Miss Clemens dead in the tub.

Epilepsy, from which she had suffered for several years, is given as the cause of Miss Clemens' sudden death. When she arose this morning she greeted her father cheerfully before retiring for her bath.

Clemens is taking her death hard and fears are felt that the shock will prove serious to him.

Miss Clemens was 25 and had been acting as her father's private secretary. Her sister (Clara), Clemens' only other daughter, is at present on a honeymoon trip in Switzerland with Ossip Gabrilowitsch, Russian pianist.

Jean Clemens was prominent during litigation that followed a wedding gift made by Twain to Miss Isabel Lyon, his former secretary, when she was married to Ralph W. Ashcroft, then Clemen's business manager. It was declared Twain gave her a home at Redding, called the "Lobster Pot."

While Ashcroft and his bride were abroad, an attachment was filed against their other home at Farmington, Conn., for $4,000, which the secretary was charged to have overdrawn. The Ashcrofts hurried home and sued for defamation of character.

These suits were settled out of court.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International.