Indiana · Newspaper clippings

The birth of Pearl and Ruby Jones, their short lives, and the death of their father

June 24, 1889
Indiana
Conjoined twins Pearl and Ruby Jones are born

Pearl and Ruby were born joined at the pelvis and without legs, to parents James Henry (24) and Lucinda (19). The girls were reported to have been 22 pounds at birth. Sources listed their birthplace alternately as either Tipton or Russiaville, Indiana.

Pearl and Ruby were an immediate hit with newspapers, who focused primarily on the positive aspects, calling them a medical miracle or commenting on their “striking beauty.”

On February 19, 1890, the girls died. They had been recovering from measles and, during their compromised health, were afflicted with bronchitis. Pearl preceded her sister in death by 45 minutes. Ruby was “bright and hearty” until the moment her sister died and deteriorated quickly after.

Logansport Reporter (Logansport, IN) Feb. 22, 1890

Their parents encased their remains in a specially-made casket. Initially, they were to be buried in a cemetery with a guard detail to prevent grave robbing, but their father decided instead to bury them at their home to keep a diligent watch over them. At some point, the girls’ remains were apparently exhumed as I found an advertisement in several newspapers printed on November 22, 1890 for the Boston Dime Museum, listing Pearl and Ruby as an attraction.

The Scranton Republican (Scranton, PA) Nov. 22, 1890

Their father died November 23 of the same year during a hunting accident. The Republic (Columbus, IN; Nov. 26, 1890) reported “He was standing on a log to reload when the gun slipped off the log, and the hammer striking as it went down discharged the gun into her bowels of the unfortunate man.” Their mother remarried eventually and died in 1941.

The Republic (Columbus, IN) Nov. 26, 1890

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