Smallpox Epidemic, Part XVII

Indianapolis Journal - 1900-02-01 (Smallpox epidemic)RUMORS OF SMALLPOX
Reports To State Board Of
Health From Over State.

Disease Said to Be Spreading in
Greene County-Chicken Pox
In This City.

Dr. Hurty, secretary of the State Board of Health, received a letter yesterday from H. M. Aspy, the health officer of Geneva, Allen county, which stated that a letter had been received by one of the citizens of the town from Elmer Myers, who lives at 3610 East Twenty-eighth street, Indianapolis, saying that three of Meyer’s children were broken out with smallpox.

Mr. Hurty immediately turned the letter over to City Health Board, and Dr. Ferguson was sent to visit the place. After a careful examination Dr. Ferguson diagnosed, the disease as chickenpox, and when interrogated last night said there was no cause for alarm.

Dr. E. D. Laughlin, the vice president of the State Board of Health, wrote Dr. Hurty yesterday that he had made a second visit to Campbellsburg, and had found a number of cases of smallpox.

A report was also received that the disease was rapidly spreading at Linton, Green county. It is reported that 2,500 new cases of smallpox have developed in Greene county. When Dr. Hurty was apprised of the report last night he said the State board had received no information in regard to it, and added that it was probably untrue.

“Rumors of Smallpox,” The Indianapolis Journal (Indianapolis, Indiana), 1 February 1900, p. 3, col. 3; digital image, Chronicling America ( : accessed 6 December 2014).

Flower (Gladys)

Letter transcription:

Kentland Ind.
Aug. 20 – 1943

Dear Daddy –

I have been writing v-mail every other day and this should be a v-mail day but decided I would use reg. air mail again. Your mother, David & I went to Laf. today. Dr. Cole cut the cast off David’s leg. He was dreading the job but the case was pretty well soaked so wasn’t hard to cut off. He said he found that something else besides vinegar & peroxide would dissolve plaster. I had told him we called David “Flower” (the little skunk character in Walt Disney’s movie Bambi). He said is may smell like a flower but he didn’t know what kind. I was afraid David’s leg would be very touchy, and his knee would hurt when he tried to bend it but by the time we got home he was getting around pretty good. I put him down in his bed on his back and he pulled right up. In a day or two I doubt if we can tell he ever had it in a cast. I believe he was very happy to get out, he was so happy all evening – tho he is usually that way. Your mother says we should have named him David Roscoe. She says he looks so much like you. Now my dear, as much as I think of you, I still wouldn’t want to do that. We might compromise and call him Jake, or little Jake. Don’t mind me – just running off.

[page 2] I asked Dr. C. if he had written you about Mother – he said he hadn’t had time to even address a letter since he has been back – (Took Sun., Mon. & Tues. off). I said I didn’t suppose he would have since he came back. I asked him if he got to rest any while away & he said he slept the clock around. I don’t know when you will hear from him. After he told me Sunday I wrote Jim & Glenn and Jim called me last night. He wanted to know if anything could be done. Dr. Cole said Mother couldn’t stand surgery. I haven’t had any more word from Glen – Had an air mail from them Mon. & answered with a night letter & told them to come on – they wanted to know if Mother would be able to have them come for a visit, or wait until later. Since they haven’t answered I wouldn’t be surprised to see them come in any time.

Mark has gone to bed. He is still tired from his 4-H camping trip but I sent him to bed so he will feel rested by tomorrow. John is playing with a toy I got to give Bobby Funk for his birthday (Sept. 6). Also got a gift for Donnie – his birthday comes Aug. 29. I got a wedding gift for Earl & Imogene – they will be here tomorrow to get your mother – Ruth M. had me to get her gift at Loebs – so I got mine (ours) there too – a set of glasses & sherberts to match. Your mother said the shower will be next week & she is saving her gift till then but I will give them ours tomorrow. I had the store clerk wrap them ready to give in white tissue & ribbon – Well I am tired & John is going to take this to the hotel to mail so must sign off – with Love – Mother

Earl Imogene wedding picture 001

Earl and Imogene (Photograph courtesy of Don Yegerlehner)

©2014 copyright owned and transcribed by Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found:

Smallpox Epidemic, Part XVI

Indianapolis Journal - 1900-01-31 (Smallpox epidemic)CRY FROM FORT BRANCH
Clerk of That Place Wants
Mount Vernon Quarantined.

Says There Are Over Two Hundred
Cases of Smallpox in Po-
sey County.

Dr. Hurty, secretary of the State Board of Health, received a letter from the city clerk of Fort Branch yesterday, demanding the State Board of Health to at once quarantine the city of Mr. Vernon, Posey county, as there were over two hundred cases of smallpox in that place. When asked what action the board would take in the matter, Dr. Hurty said that at the present time the board would not interfere in any way, because the local health board at Mr. Vernon was doing everything within its power to check the disease, and the State Board of Health was only needed in the localities where the people refused to protect themselves. Sixteen new cases of the disease were reported from Greene county yesterday, and Dr. Cole, the local health officer, has written the State Board that he is having a lot of trouble with the local physicians, who insist on diagnosing the disease as chickenpox. Two new cases were also reported from Owen county, near Coal City. The health officer of Owen county writes that at least 60 per cent of the people in the county have been vaccinated.

The health officer at Waldron, Shelby county, reported yesterday that in the family of Barbara Thibo there were eight cases of typhoid fever, two of which have resulted fatally.


Several Cases Developed, Infection
Coming from Clay City

Special to the Indianapolis Journal.
LINTON, Ind., Jan. 30. – The prevalence of smallpox at Clay City has caused uneasiness among the people of this vicinity and fears have been entertained that the disease would finally appear here. The expected has taken place, for in the last five days no less than ten cases are reported. At South Linton and Island City cases are also reported. The doctors are having all they can do to vaccinate those who volunteer, but so far no actual enforcements of the law have been made. All the infected houses have been quarantined and every precaution is being taken by the health officers to confine the disease to the present victims. Persons direct from Clay City have been arriving here almost daily, and a strict quarantine against that point will be enforced from now on.

State Normal Student Has Smallpox.

Special to the Indianapolis Journal.
TERRE HAUTE, Ind., Jan. 30. – Richard McCloskey, of South Fourteenth-and-one half street, a student of the Indiana State Normal School, has smallpox. The house is quarantined. It is said to be a mild case. McCloskey had not been in his class since last Thursday and the Normal authorities do not think there is danger of an epidemic in the school. A case of smallpox was reported from Honey Creek township but when investigated was found to be eczema.

“Cry From Fort Branch,” The Indianapolis Journal (Indianapolis, Indiana), 31 January 1900, p. 6, col. 3; digital image, Chronicling America ( : accessed 6 December 2014).

New Piano (Roscoe)

Letter transcription:

Aug. 19, 1943
Lieut. R. S. Yegerlehner USNR
Navy 60 F.P.O. San Fran Calif.

Dear John,

I started writing you and Mark last night but Mark was as far as I got so now that I’ve finished Mother’s letter I’ll see if I can think of some of the things I wanted to write you.

First of all I’ll bet you are really glad to have the new piano. I’ve wondered if it will hold the pitch as well as the old or I mean better than the old. Hope it is really a good piano.

Mother wrote me you were having some pimples on your face and nose – I wouldn’t be alarmed about those since that is very natural for boys your age – but let me give you some advice don’t pinch or squeeze them – use a wash rag and wash them rather vigorously once or twice each day and if they are broken open all the pus from them will be washed away, and new ones are not so apt to reappear.

School will be very near by the time you get this and I suppose you will be glad to get back to the old swing of things.

Well here is hoping you like the new piano and don’t forget to give that kiss to Mother from me

Love Daddy

John (January 1943)

John (January 1943)

©2014 copyright owned and transcribed by Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found:

Smallpox Epidemic, Part XV

Indianapolis Journal - 1900-01-30 (Smallpox epidemic)STILL CAUSE FOR ALARM

Dr. Hurty Continues Apprehen-
Sive of Smallpox Spreading.

New Cases Reported from Clay City,
Where the Authorities Have Be-
come Aroused Over Situation.

Dr. Hurty said yesterday that his smallpox mail was just as heavy as ever and he was still very apprehensive of the disease spreading. E. B. Laughlin, he member of the State Board of Health who went to Campbellsburg Saturday to investigate reported cases of chicken pox, supposed by the State board to be smallpox, sent word to Dr. Hurty yesterday that the disease was really chicken pox, and chiefly attacked the children.

Four more new cases of smallpox were reported from Clay City, but the health officer says they are not to be attributed to any negligence on the part of the authorities, as everyone in Clay City is working hard to abate the plague, there being absolutely no opposition to the orders given by the health board. There were also four new cases reported from Jackson and Benton counties, two cases from each county. Dr. Beckes, of Vincennes, write Dr. Hurty that in Illinois, directly across the Wabash river from Know county, there is an awful epidemic of smallpox raging, and that the Know county health board is quarantining against it.


Everything Possible Is Being Done to
Stamp It Out.

Special to the Indianapolis Journal.
CLAY CITY, Ind., Jan 29. – Now that Clay county is aroused to her needs in connection with the smallpox situation, no effort is being spared to stamp out the disease. Hundreds of persons have been vaccinated, and the quarantine is rigidly enforced. A place of detention has been secured for those refusing to submit to quarantine and this has operated to deter violations of the rules. Fourteen deputies patrol the streets, and care for persons under quarantine, besides guarding the approaches to the town. At Middleberg, a mile away, there are twelve or fifteen cases, and all through the neighboring country the disease is widespread, but everything possible is being done to stamp it out.

No Smallpox in Daviess County.

Special to the Indianapolis Journal.
WASHINGTON, Ind., Jan. 29. – The report that there is smallpox in Daviess county is absolutely without foundation. County Health Officer McConn says there is no smallpox and no sign or immediate danger of any.

Why Not Test the Case?

To the Editor of the Indianapolis Journal:
At the present time there is a wide-spread opposition to vaccination, all over this country. A large majority of intelligent physicians believe that the ills of vaccination are not as bad as the smallpox itself. A large number of people seem to believe the reverse. Now, suppose we stop trying to compel persons to be vaccinated, and let smallpox have a chance for a year or two? “How long halt ye between two opinions? if the Lord be God, follow Him; but if Baal, then follow him.” In the eighteenth century smallpox in France carried off annually 30,000, and in Prussia, 26,000. What if it did? Well, the people in those countries introduced vaccination and stopped completely the spread of that dread disease. They believe in the efficacy of vaccination now. Let us try the disease, pure, simple and unfettered, and see how we come out. A good many people will die, of course, but then we have lots of people this year. It may paralyze business for a time, but we can recover that by patience. When it is tried there will be fewer of the persons living who did not believe in vaccination, and those who survive will not be so handsome after the experiment.
Muncie, Ind., Jan. 29.

“Still Cause For Alarm,” The Indianapolis Journal (Indianapolis, Indiana), 30 January 1900, p. 8, col. 5; digital image, Chronicling America ( : accessed 6 December 2014).

New Mess Boy (Roscoe)

Letter transcription:

Aug. 19, 1943
Lieut. R. S. Yegerlehner USNR
Navy 60
F.P.O. San Francisco Calif.

Dear Mother,

I started writing the boys last night but Mark was as far as I got – Had too many visitors but I think I can write John today and get them out on the same mail.

Yesterday was really a pleasant day. Cloudy and therefore fairly cool all day long but old Sol is really putting it down this A.M. trying to make up for lost time and I think from the way if feels the lost time will be made up very rapidly.

As you gather from the things I’ve written I’m having a hard time thinking and writing but if I keep writing maybe something will finally click.

Our mess boy is here cleaning now and he is telling some cock & bull story about some of his colored friends – his story are a little vague but he laughs just the same and of course we join in when he laughs just to be sociable. We now have a new mess boy and he does much better than the previous one. He even sweeps from behind the bunk. The other one just cleaned out the center.

[page 2] The news we are getting of the war sure sounds good but I sometimes wonder if maybe we aren’t a little over stating our damage to the enemy. It’s hard to really say. So far as I know it seems to be rather accurate but I’m not in the know to any great extent.

I left my good Asia map at the last station and I miss it so much but I’ve got out good connections out for another. I did bring the one from Europe and Uncle W. sent me a small one of the So. Pacific. However I guess the war would go on even though I didn’t have a map.

You wrote of picture – The last I’ve gotten are those of you and the boys and the one of Virginia with D. If there was any since then I haven’t received them.

Well, hope everything is OK with you
Lots of Love

YEG1943-07 David with a Zell girl

Virginia Zell with David

©2014 copyright owned and transcribed by Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found:

Smallpox Epidemic, Part XIV

Indianapolis Journal - 1900-01-29 (Smallpox epidemic)JOHN LANE’S TROUBLES

A Smallpox “Suspect” On His Way
To Cincinnati To Get Married.

He Created Consternation at the
Police Station and Was Prompt-
ly Ordered Out.

Commanding officers of the police force, with one exception, are anticipating much amusement this winter from smallpox scares, and the fun began last night. It resulted in a serious discussion whether or not there should be a large sign over the walk in front of the City Dispensary for the guidance of persons afflicted with smallpox, who invariably inquire in the police department for the dispensary. John Lane, colored, entered the office of the police desk sergeant about roll call time. All the sergeants were present, including Sergeant Lowe, who, on one occasion last winter, jumped from a window to get away from a smallpox “suspect.” Lane’s face was disfigured, and he no more than got inside of the room when someone said “smallpox.” Captain Dawson was holding a consultation behind closed doors, but Sergeant Lowe disturbed the conference to get away. Lane did not have a chance to make explanations, but was required at once to leave the room. He had before been in the dispensary and by the doctors there sent to the police department.

Lane said he had been working for a dental company in Chicago and on Monday last, while taking a bottle of sulphuric acid from a shelf, let it fall, turning the contents of the bottle on his face, badly burning it. He was unable to work and was given a pass, he claims, to Cincinnati. At Champaign, Ill., he lost the pass and was put off the train. His face was broken out and all to whom he applied for assistance turned him away, thinking he had smallpox. Finally the city authorities gave him a pass to get rid of him. The transportation furnished did not take him much beyond the county line and there again he was put off. He again applied for transportation and had no difficulty in securing it, and got a little farther on his way. He finally landed in Crawfordsville, where it was thought he had smallpox, and he was furnished with a ticket to Indianapolis. Physicians in Crawfordsville telegraphed the Board of Health here, and Dr. Ferguson was sent to the City Dispensary, where Lane had been instructed to go, to investigate. He found no trace of smallpox, and gave the man a letter to that effect. Lane had no money and as his only means of securing transportation had been spoiled, he knew not how he was going to get to Cincinnati. He was also much worried over the reception he would receive on his arrival there, saying he was going there to get married, but was afraid his affianced would go back on him because of the disfigurement.

Dr. Ferguson, while talking with Sergeant Lowe, told a story of the tendency to discredit a physician’s diagnosis of a case as smallpox, saying that when he was in a small town about a week ago he found every house in the village contained victims of the disease. He was standing in the hotel talking to a local doctor, who contended the afflicted did not have smallpox. Finally, after a number of men said they believed the diagnosis of their local physician, one of them asked Dr. Ferguson if he had examined the patients. He said he had and then the question came, “Have you been with them to-day?” “Yes,” said the doctor. “Well, did you change your clothes or disinfect them afterward?”

“No,” said Dr. Ferguson, “I forgot all about that. I believe I’ll have to do that now – “ but before he had finished the room was clear. His hearers evidently wished to take no chances.

No Cases at Salem.

Special to the Indianapolis Journal.
SALEM, Ind., Jan. 28 – There are no cases of smallpox in Salem nor nearer than several miles. The disease is confined to Gibson township, where it originated, with three new cases across the line in Monroe township, but no deaths. The report that Dr. Mayfield, health officer, has been threatened by Salem citizens is denied by him. The doctors of Salem are having all they can do to vaccinate all who come voluntarily. There are a few cases of violation of the quarantine, but all such offenders may have to answer for these violations as their names are taken and prosecutions will follow.

“John Lane’s Troubles,” The Indianapolis Journal (Indianapolis, Indiana), 29 January 1900, p. 8, col. 6; digital image, Chronicling America ( : accessed 6 December 2014).