On This Day in Pittsburgh History: May 13, 1929
Pittsburgh county detectives and the homicide squad began a joint probe into the death of Rose Collins, 25, the first woman to be granted an aviator’s license in Pennsylvania. [The Pittsburgh Press]
She helped to host Pittsburgh’s Aero Club ball in March and was in the news in April as part of a photoessay The Pittsburgh Press had done on the increasing numbers of women aspiring to be pilots.
In July 1929, The Pittsburgh Press reported that Collins had died of peritonitis several days following “an operation.” Before she died hospital attendants and physicians made attempts to divulge the name of the person who performed it, but she refused. Her fiance testified to investigators that he had urged Collins “to marry him and not undergo the operation.” No arrests were made. Rose Collins was a clerk at the Pittsburgh Country Club in Beechwood, where she resided.