Archive for the ‘Medical matters’ Category


Hand Caught in Wringer

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: Oct. 24, 1906

Hand Caught in Wringer

Little Dessinger Bady (sic) Injured This Afternoon at Home.

While playing with a wringer that was fastened to a tub, late this afternoon, the little child of Mr. and Mrs. W.H. Dessinger, residing at 701 1/2 south First avenue, was painfully injured. A physician was called to the home at once and succeeded in easing the pain of the little one and in dressing the wounded hand.

(Editor’s note: I suffered a similar incident at the age of four. In my case, the wringer was operated by electricity and my arm was stuck at the elbow. I still have the scar from the friction burn.)


Died of diptheria

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Iowa North West: Jan. 2, 1866


In this place, of Diptheria, Dec. 31st – Fred B., aged 5 years and 8 months, son of A.M. & N. Dawley.

(Editor’s note: Fred’s initial may be D., but it looks closer to B.)

The Fort Dodge Messenger: June 23, 1904


Of Interest to Wives Whose Husbands Drink to Excess

Orrine quickly and permanently destroys the craving for liquor. You can give it without patient’s knowledge, if desired, in tea, coffee or milk, as it is tasteless, odorless and colorless. Price $1.00 per box — money refunded if it fails. Book free. Oleson Drug company. Fort Dodge, Iowa.

(Editor’s note: A search for orrine brings up a lot of things, including more advertisements like this one. I imagine it was some sort of snake oil remedy that may have had more than one name. I wonder how many people asked for their money back.)


Showman Meets With Accident

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: Aug. 31, 1903

Showman Meets With Accident

John Wood, Leading Character in “Two Merry Tramps” Suffers Fractured Leg

Falls Thru Open Trap Door

Unaware of Opening in Floor, He Falls Into Basement Below

John Wood, one of the two leading characters in the Wood and Ward “Two Merry Tramps,” which is to be produced at the Midland tonight, met with an accident at 12:30 this afternoon by which he will be unable to appear on the stage for some time. As a result of his failure to see an open trap door on the stage in the rear of the opera house he was precipitated to the basement below nad suffered a fracture of the right leg between the hip and knee.

Wood, who as well as being one of the leading characters in the play, is a member of the band, and with that organization had been playing on Central avenue at noon. A few minutes before 12:30 the band returned to the opera house. A chest in which the uniforms are carried was standing near an open trap door and while in the act of placing his cap upon the cover of the box Wood unconsciously stepped into the hole and fell, a distance of fifteen feet. The other members of the band were present and several of them even saw him step back into the hole, but had no time in which to warn him of his danger. Wood himself said that the bright sunlight of the street in contrast with the interior of the opera house caused him to fail to see the opening in the stage floor. Those who saw him fall were unaware that he did not know of the opening  until too late to warn him.

A surgeon was summoned and the injured man was given attention.

The production, however, will be given tonight as usual. It is customary to provide for contingencies of this nature by carrying an understudy and in this way Wood’s part will be filled tonight.

It has since been learned that Wood’s correct name is Kenyon.


Narrow Escape for Boy

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: Aug. 26, 1904

Narrow Escape for Boy

A Heavy Weight Falls Upon Robert Craig

Pinned Down Under a Furnace Which Weights 500 Pounds, But No Bones Are Broken

Robert Craig eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Craig had a narrow escape from an awful injury on Wednesday. Mr. Craig has purchased a new heating furnace for his house and it has been stored in the barn this summer. He and Robert were out in the born (sic, should be barn) and Robert was playing about when suddenly Mr. Craig heard a cry and looking about he discovered his boy pinned under the entire front of the plant which had fallen on him, just leaving his head out above the iron.

The front weighed about five hundred pounds, at least, so it seemed to the distracted father as he raised it from off what he supposed would be a crushed and broken child. The little boy was found to be badly bruised but not a bone broken. As the front fell the door fell open and supported the weight of the structure, thus in a large measure saving the child who would no doubt have been killed, or badly injured if this had not been so.

Robert is a badly bruised boy, but he will soon be around again and there is a very thankful family up at the Craig home, in spite of the fact that just after this accident the baby secured a case knife and cut his little finger to the bone to make a diversion for his parents, who were no doubt too much taken up with Robert to please the small autocrat.


Unclean Practice Deserves Reproval

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: Aug. 23, 1905

Unclean Practice Deserves Reproval

Ice Men Said to be Cleaning Ice in the Horse Watering Troughs

The Physicians Say to Stop

The Names of the Ice Men Who are Doing This Kind of Work Will Be Published if There Are Any More Complaints of Like Nature

The employes of an ice company have been cleaning chunks of ice in the public watering troughs and then carrying the ice to the residences, where is used for drinking and other purposes.

The practice has been going on for some time and has been called to the attention of the ice men and to many of the patrons. Physicians have taken the matter up and say that unless the practice is stopped at once the ice men will find themselves in trouble.

Even if there is no law prohibiting an affair of this kind the names of the dealers could be published. No clean housewife would think of using ice that has been subjected to such treatment.

The ice is dipped into the horse troughs and the worst of the dirt and sawdust is removed. When the ice is received at the house the housekeeper thinks that it has been cleaned by throwing water on it as is the usual custom. The ice is placed in the refrigerator and pieces may be chipped off to make ice water, lemonade, ice tea or some other cooling drinks.

The ice is kept in the refrigerator for some time and if disease germs and other impurities do not find their way into the refrigerator it is not the fault of the ice man. The practice is very unhealthy as the watering troughs are used as bathing place for dogs as well as for a drinking place by horses.

The matter has been called to the attention of the Messenger before but it was thought that the practice would be stopped and there was no proof at the time. Now that proof has been given that certain employes have been indulging in this practice it is thought time to call a halt.


Workman Gets Neck Broken at Harcourt

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: Aug. 20, 1906

Workman Gets Neck Broken at Harcourt

Fatal Accident on the New Interurban Line Saturday Afternoon

A.J. Gore Was the Victim

Heavy Rail Struck His Crowbar He was Thrown Into Air and Fell on Head Instantly Killed Buried at Boone Today

A.J. Gore a laborer employed on the construction gang of the Fort Dodge, Des Moines and Southern was instantly killed Saturday afternoon at about two o’clock while working near Harcourt. A car of rails was being unloaded. One of them was thrown to the grown in such a manner that it struck another under which was the crowbar of Gore. He held the other end of the steel bar in his hand and the shock threw him into the air about ten feet. He struck on his head and was instantly killed.

His fellow workmen called a physician from Harcourt and also notified Coroner McCreight of this city. As the manner of death seemed perfectly clear and there was no evidence of foul play or even a suspicion of the same no inquest was held. Gore’s neck was broken in two places.

The unfortunate victim of the accident resided at Boone where with his brother he lived with an aged grandmother. These are the only relatives that he had. The body was shipped at once to Boone and burial was made there today.

Gore was a young man 23 years of age. He was well known in Boone and very well liked among his fellow workmen. Not the slightest blame is attached to any one for his death, it being entirely the result of circumstances.


Black Diptheria at Stanhope

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: Aug. 13, 1904

Black Diphtheria at Stanhope

Dread Disease Made its Appearance There Some Time Ago

Many People Were Exposed

Malady Was at First Pronounced Tonsillitis and Many People Visited the Afflicted Homes, Exposing Themselves to the Disease

The town of Stanhope, a few miles south of Webster City, is in a high state of terrified anxiety over the appearance of several cases of black diphtheria, from which three deaths have already resulted. It is reported new cases are breaking out with terrible regularity and that many exposures have occurred thruout (sic) the town.

Every effort is now being made by the terrified citizens to put a stop to the spread of the malady, and it is hoped that from now on there will be no more eposures (sic). The disease is stated to be the most malignant type of that most dreaded of all the ills of childhood, black diphtheria.

The malady has not attacked children exclusively, but in one or two instances grown people have been infected.

Reports from the Leonard Hill home today indicates that Mr. Hill who is suffering from the disease, is no worse but appears to be holding his own. Little Mildred, who was buried Sunday last was the last of the Hill children, which fact makes the case particularly sad and elicits the sympathy of all.

It is feared that unless the officials in Stratford and Stanhope exercise the strictest quarantine and care in families who have the disease or have been exposed to it, that it will spread rapidly. It appears that when the disease first made its appearance in the Leonard Hill family it was pronounced tonsilitis (sic). Neighbors and other friends went in and out of the home in a very free manner. Of course all these have been exposed to the black diphtheria and if the authorities are to protect the people from an epidemic of diphtheria all persons who have been exposed should be promptly put under quarantine and kep there until it develops whether or not they have the disease. Black diphtheria is not a disease to be trifled with and the health of the community demands that all quarantine laws be strictly enforced regardless of how many or how prominent the people who may have been exposed to it.

Besides the little Chipman girl the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Milburn is also suffering with the disease.


City Physician Says Boil Water

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: Aug. 11, 1903

City Physician Says Boil Water

Impurities in City Water Are Caused by its Being Turned in Direct From River

Thinks Plant is Inadequate

High Water Necessitates Cleansing of Galleries at Water System, Which in Turn Necessitates Turning in Water Direct From River

“Every one should boil the city water before using,” says Health Physician C.H. Churchill.

Monday the water was turned into the galleries direct from the river, and in the opinion of the health physician its consumption is unsafe unless it has first been boiled. The river at the present time is at a high state, a fact making it all the more necessary that the water should be in some manner purified before using.

The high water has necessitated a recent cleansing of the galleries at the head of Duck Island. To do this it became necessary to empty the galleries and then they had been cleaned, the consumption of water made it necessary to refill them direct from the river. At the present high state of water, which has been maintained for the greater part of the spring and summer, the river contains much vegetable and animal matter. This being true, the health physician advises every consumer to boil the water before using.

It is the opinion of Dr. Churchill that the water plan is inadequate to meet the demands of the city and do so with entire satisfaction.

(Editor’s note: In March 1903, Dr. Churchill pronounced the water safe to drink.)


Yetter Suffers Typhoid Epidemic

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: Aug. 8, 1903

Yetter Suffers Typhoid Epidemic

Prevailing Sickness in That Town Prompts the Council to Take Action

Excessive Moisture the Cause

Cellars Filled With Water for Past Two Years Said to Breed Diseases Germs — Property Owners Must Connect With Drains

Yetter, August 8 — This city is experiencing an epidemic of typhoid which from present appearances promises to assume a serious aspect. No deaths have yet occurred as a direct result of the epidemic, but a number of people are seriously ill.

The sickness has been caused by prevailing dampness in houses, the cellars of which have been filled with water, some of them being in this condition for two years past. In some cases the water was allowed to stand while in others it was found impossible to keep the basements dry.

As a remedy for this defect and in an effort to prevent further sickness, the city council has taken up the matter and has ordered all property owners to connect their houses with drains. The matter up to the present has been left with the individual property owners, but the spread of typhoid fever has assumed so serious proportions that it is now compulsory to adopt sanitary measures. There is no doubt in regard to the sickness being a result of the excessive moisture and it (is) hoped that this action on the part of the council will have a benificial (sic) effect.

Frank Bussell and Miss Erickson, trained nurses, have been called from Frot (sic)Dodge to care for a number of the sick.