A Historical Medical Mystery

I was poking around GenealogyBank and found 2 articles that mentioned an illness that my father had in 1921. He would have been seven years old.

From the Dresden Enterprise and Sharon Tribune, Friday, June 10, 1921:

From the same paper a week later:

Now, Dad had a sister that was born in January of 1922 and lived for one day.

I suppose that Grandma could have been pregnant with Dorthy Sue during the summer of 1921.

Since Dad couldn’t swallow for almost a week, I wonder if he had diphtheria. And Grandma? Did she have the same illness that Dad had?

So many questions, and no one to ask.

3 Responses to “A Historical Medical Mystery”

  1. Aquila Says:

    I suspect your guess of diptheria is probably correct. My maternal aunt had diptheria as a child, probably about 1921 or 1922. The whole household was quarantined and food delivered to the doorstep. My aunt survived and lived into her late 80s. The family doctor was Dr. Anna Robinson (her husband was also a doctor). From what my grandmother said it was very frightening to deal with but didn’t go into details.


    • Ruth Rawls Says:

      When I stop to think that my grandmother was probably pregnant with Dorthy Sue, and had 2 little boys (1 who was very sick), and had lost 2 daughters, and was sick herself, this all makes me grieve for their hardships.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Aquila Says:

        I know in the work I’ve done in genealogy, there are so many births that resulted in death before the age of five and quite a few before the age of 21. Illnesses and accidents were fatal more often than now. I sometimes wonder how our ancestors could go on after all the losses and grief.

        Liked by 1 person

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