Archive for the ‘Disease’ Category


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.)


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.


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.


County Jail Inmate Ill With Appendicitis

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The Fort Dodge Chronicle: July 3, 1907

County Jail Inmate Ill With Appendicitis

Has Been Confined to General Hospital But Has Improved and Will be Returned to Jail

Andrew Swadling, who was sentenced to serve six months int he county jail for the theft of a couple of rings and a few small articles from a room in the Union house last fall, has been confined at the general hospital for a few days, suffering from an attack of appendicitis. He is under the care of County Physician Mulroney.

His attack was very acute and for a time it was considered an operation was necessary but this was objected to so strongly by the prisoner he was given other treatment and has now so far recovered as to be able to return to the county jail, to which place he will be brought back within the next couple of days to complete his sentence.



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The Fort Dodge Messenger: May 1, 1905


John Swanson, one of the hands who are employed on the bridge gang, was quite badly hurt by a falling plank one day last week. The plank struck him in the face and resulted in breaking his nose and bruising his face in general.

Little Pearl Chase, of Trenton, North Dakota, arrived in Gowrie Monday  morning. Pearl is going to make her home with her aunt, Mrs. F.N. Brunson and attend school here as there is no school convenient where  her parents live.

Miss Ruby Osborn is sick at present with tonsilitis.

Mrs. Clark left here for Minneapolis Monday evening where she expects to visit with friends for a few days.

Little Gladys and Helen Spangler have been on the sick list lately.

Mr. and Mrs. Chase of Fort Dodge visited with their daughter, Mrs. T.N. Brunson, the fore part of the week.

Wedding bells are ringing. Have you heard their chimes?

Miss Lucy Chock who has been attending school in Clare, is visiting with her parents at present.

Walter Evans of Worthington, Minn. who has been visiting for a few days with his mother, Mrs. O.E. Evans, returned home Monday, accompanied by his two children who have been visiting with their grandmother for sometime.

Mr. and Mrs. Guy Johnson of Callender were visiting friends in Gowrie Sunday.

Mr. and Mrs. L. Burgoon of Paton were transacting business in Gowrie last Saturday.

The E.L. social held at the home of Mrs. and Mrs. Wertz was quite well attended in spite of the inclemency of the weather and about $9 was raised (about $216 today).

Mrs. Hibbard of Lorhville is visiting friends and relatives in town this week.

Oscar Lungren who is attending the Ames Agricultural college is home for the Easter vacation.


City Water is Pronounced Pure

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: March 21, 1903

City Water is Pronounced Pure

No More Impurities are Revealed by Careful Tests of City Physician Churchill

No More Need for Teakettles

Necessity for Boiling Water is Now Over. Lasts Typhoid Germ Has Fled

Fort Dodge city water has been pronounced pure. No longer need the anxious housewife bend over the steaming teakettle in which the family beverage is simmering in order that the last wandering microbe may be exterminated. No longer may the business man, busy at his office down town, and far from the disinfecting teakettle, rush hastily out to get a drink of Colfax water or something stronger, that he may incur no danger of catching the dread thyphoid (sic).

City Physician Churchill announced this morning that after repeated tests, he has failed to find signs of impurity in the city  water, and that it is once more fit to drink.

The happy outcome of the bad water scare indicates that truth of the supposition that the cause of the impurities which manifested themselves was the holding of surface drainage beneath the ice. Now that the ice has gone out, the trouble seems to have righted itself.

Just as soon as the water is low enough, the sand in the filters will be renewed, and all will be well again.

The news that the water is pure again will be gladly received all over the city, as the condition of Fort Dodge’s favorite beverage has aroused considerable anxxiety (sic) for the past few weeks.


Death Angel Enters Hovel

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: Feb. 10, 1906

Death Angel Enters Hovel

Old Man Discovered Friday is Dead.

Was Sad Affair – G.A.R. Will Take Charge of Burial – Try to Find Relatives.

Last night shortly before the hour of eight, the death angel entered a miserable hovel on Central avenue where in a lowly room, Eugene Lockwood, a veteran of the civil war, had struggled for week, unattended and uncared for with the dread disease of pneumonia.

Lockwood’s case was reported in last night’s Messenger. The unfortunate man was alone in the world with the exception of distant relatives whose names or address are not known. For three weeks he has lain gasping for breath and almost with the death rattle in his throat, practically on the street where hurrying crowds rushed by, and nothing was known of his condition by those who were in a position to do anything to aid him. The members of the G.A.R. who would have done anything within their power to aid their comrade did not discover his plight until Friday and the county officers were not informed until the same day. It was then too late. Pneumonia had closed its grasp upon him, and it merely remained for him to gasp out his closing hours of life the same as he had his days of sickness before.

The local G.A.R. will have charge of the burial unless relatives come to claim the body. It is understood that distant relatives live in Mason City. An attempt will be made to learn who they are, but this seems unlikely. Lockwood has lived in this city for about five or six years. He had supported himself by doing odd jobs about town. He was last employed as a porter at the Freeman and Schureck saloon.

(Editor’s note: The G.A.R., or Grand Army of the Republic, was a fraternal organization of veterans of the Union Army during the Civil War.)


Old Man Dying in Dirt and Squalor

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: Feb. 9, 1906

Old Man Dying in Dirt and Squalor

Pitiable Case Called to Attention of the Police Last Night.

Man is Ill With Pneumonia

Lies Gasping for Breath in Miserable Room Right on Central Avenue – Not Room for Him at Hospital – County Takes Up Case.

One of the most pitiable cases on record of the winter was brought to the attention of the police last night, by parties employed in the Peschau cigar store, w ho reported that an old man homeless and friendless lay deathly sick with pneumonia in a narrow room over the cigar establishment. Chief Tullar visited him and found the report all too true. An attempt was made to do something for him last night, but it was learned that the hospital was full, and as it was late when the case was discovered, it proved impossible to remove him to any other place. An officer was detailed to go up to the room every few hours to keep a fire burning and render whatever aid proved possible.

The case was brought to the attention of the commissioner of the poor and the associated charities this morning and it is probable that the sick man will receive prompt attention.

A Messenger reporter visited the place this morning and learned that the name of the sick man was Jean Lockwood. He is a veteran of the civil war and is a man about sixty years of age. He was unable to talk, but lay gasping for breath, which the inexorable hand of pneumonia strove to hold from him, on a hard bed in one corner of the miserable room. Broken panes of glass, poorly patched with boards and stuffed with clothing failed to keep the bitter air from sifting into the room, and a rusty stove burned at the bedside. August Hassher, a laboring man who resides at the place, has been the only attendant of Lockwood during the three weeks that he has been sick until yesterday when a physician was called. He states that Lockwood has lived here for about two years during which he has supported himself by doing odd jobs about town. When he was taken sick, Hassher out of pity allowed him to stay at his place.

The case is an example which it is to be hoped will not soon be found again in Fort Dodge. It illustrates plainly the need of an institution in the city for the care of such unfortunates.  The hospital, the only place where such can be taken, is at present almost daily overcrowded. An institution of the proper kind would undoubtedly find itself plentifully supplied with work.


Small Pox Appears in the City

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: Jan. 7, 1907

Small Pox Appears in the City

Two Cases are Under Quarantine – Mayor Issues Warning to People.

Two cases of small pox have appeared in the city. One is at the residence of Grover Harris at 316 South 5th street where Mr. Harris is ill with the malady. The other is on North 7th street where Frank Devore a black smith employed at the Dan Noonan shop is confined.

Both cases were promptly placed under quarantine by city physician Mulroney, who pronounces them both of light form and not likely to become dangerous.

Neither of the afflicted parties have an idea as to where they contracted the disease. Sioux City has one hundred and twenty-five cases and it is thought probably that it came here from that city in some manner.

Mayor Bennett, desiring to warn the people says: “All should take very precaution to prevent the spread of contagious disease. Physicians inform me that soft weather like this makes it much more likely to spread. On the first appearance of sickness that gives indication of turning into scarlet fever, small pox or any other infectious sickness do not hesitate to call the city physician. If quarantine is promptly enforced the danger is small, whereas if the disease is let run three or four days it is likely to be transmitted to others.”

(Editor’s note: There was a related brief on another page of the same edition of the paper, in the “What They Say” section, which follows. It appears he is referring to the home of Frank Devore.)

“The other day I noticed a milk wagon drive up in front of a home on north 7th street where a family is quarantined for small pox. The milkman poured out a quantity of milk into the pitcher brought out to him, looked at it, then evidently thinking he had given too much, poured part of it back from the pitcher into the big can from which he supplies all his customers. He drove on then to peddle milk from that same big can all over town. It looks as if that were a pretty good way to spread disease in case there were any germs on the pitcher, for milk is said to be the worst medium for carrying germs known.”

-Robert M. Wilson


More Than Their Share of Misfortune

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: Dec. 24, 1903

Nore (sic) Tham (sic) Their Share of Misfortune

Home of W.H. Newsum, on Twelfth Avenue South, is the Scene of Many Troubles.

Misfortune seems to shadow the home of Mr. and Mrs. W.H. Newsum, at 622 Twelfth avenue south. Some time ago their little daughter was taken ill with scarlet fever. But a few days after the quarantine was raised, the same child was again quarantined, this time for diphtheria. A few days ago their little son met with a serious accident by falling from a horse, the most severe of his injuries being a fractured skull. Meanwhile the quarantine was lifted from the home. Wednesday quarantine was again established, another child being ill with diphtheria.