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CHADWICK, CASSIE L.

CHADWICK, CASSIE L. (1857-10 Oct. 1907), Cleveland's most famous con artist whose trial drew world-wide attention, was born Elizabeth Bigley in Eastwood, Ontario, Canada. At 22 she was arrested in Woodstock, Ontario, for forgery, escaping conviction on grounds of insanity. In 1882, Bigley married Dr. Wallace S. Springsteen of Cleveland, but after 11 days was thrown out when her background was revealed. She became a fortuneteller, known as Lydia Scott, in 1886; and in 1887 assumed the name Madame Lydia DeVere. In 1889, she was sentenced to 9 and 1/2 years in the state penitentiary for forgery in Toledo. Four years later, after being paroled by then-governor Wm. McKinley, she returned to Cleveland, living as Mrs. Hoover. In 1897, "Hoover" married Dr. Leroy Chadwick, who knew nothing of her criminal activities. Between 1897-1905, Chadwick borrowed vast sums of money from Cleveland banks, claiming to be the illegitimate daughter of Andrew Carnegie, and using $5 million in securities and certificates forged with Carnegie's name as security. She accumulating over $1 million in debts, but was exposed on 2 Nov. 1904 when H. B. Newton brought suit to recover $190,800. She fled to New York, was arrested, stood trial in Cleveland, and on 10 Mar. 1905 was convicted on 7 counts of conspiracy against the government and conspiracy to wreck the Citizens Natl. Bank of Oberlin. She was sentenced to 14 years in prison and fined $70,000. Chadwick was jailed on 12 Jan. 1906, dying a year later.