Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Someone Who Should Haunt Naperville
Last year we wrote about Edward Sanitarium, the precursor to our current Edward Hospital complex. What we didn’t tell you is that Dr. Theodore Sachs, the tuberculosis expert who conceived and ran the Sanitarium, committed suicide on the grounds and was buried on the property.
Dr. Sachs was a Russian immigrant of Jewish descent who arrived in America in 1891. Already armed with a law degree earned in Oddessa, Ukraine, Sachs studied medicine at the University of Illinois, graduating in 1895. He specialized in diseases of the lungs, becoming extremely influential in the Chicago Tuberculosis Institute. With the financial backing of Eudora Hull Gaylord Spaulding, he opened the Edward Sanitarium for tubercular patients in 1907.
But in 1913, Sachs clashed with Chicago Mayor William Hale Thompson over political appointees
on the Chicago Sanitarium board. Thompson’s camp responded with accusations of financial mismanagement. Sachs resigned from the Chicago board in March, but became overwhelmingly despondent.
On April 1, he told the nurse on duty he would rest in his library where they found him the following morning, dead of a morphine overdose. He left two suicide notes protesting his innocence, one to his wife and one to the city of Chicago.
An enormous crowd attended Dr. Sachs’ funeral on that cold day and he was buried on Sanitarium property under a large bronze and stone monument. The grave was moved more than once due to Edward’s expansion, most recently in 1989.
Poor Dr. Sachs! If anyone has a reason to haunt Naperville, the good doctor does!