Archived Story

A look back at other illnesses

Published 12:02pm Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Last week we looked at influenza as one of the (currently and usually) nonfatal diseases from which people may suffer to the extent that they have to be hospitalized. There are others, however – past and present, which also warrant mention because they tend to be more common in winter. People were often victimized by claims of false cures. Professional medical facilities were very limited.

Sept. 19, 1895 – Hartselle is on a plateau and is thus free from miasmatic influences. Such influences lead to diseases resulting from a vapor in the air, suspended particles of decaying matter causing cholera, Chlamydia, even the Black Death!

July 11, 1899 – Dr. A.R. Wilson was taken suddenly ill Thursday afternoon with a congestive chill. He is still quite sick.

Dec. 7, 1899 – A local woman suffering from dementia left home last Sunday and no trace of her could be found until today when she was discovered in a woods, about one mile from the city, in a very sorrowful condition. Her clothing was in bad shape and she was nearly starved and frozen. She was taken to her house where she is being cared by relatives and friends. (Medical facilities were extremely limited at this time.)

Feb. 18, 1900 – Because some people claim that it actually does work the Himalaya asthma remedy is selling briskly at local pharmacies even at the steep price of $1.65.

May 29, 1911 – The body of Tom Evans Sr., a resident of Falkville, six miles south of Hartselle, was found in the woods near Falkville Sunday afternoon with his gun by the side of it. At an inquest held by Esq. J. W. Young, a verdict of suicide was rendered. Evans was generally considered to be in a demented condition.

March 5, 1907 – Word was received here this morning of the death of county commissioner S. P. Lovelady of the Fourth district. He had been in bad health for some time but the immediate cause of his death was due to a severe cold, which developed into a case of pneumonia. (He was the father of the fine young physician, Dr. W. H. Lovelady.)

Nov. 15, 1910 – Bob Clemons seems to be the victim of a series of unfortunate circumstances. He and his family reside on the corner of East Grand and Maple Street, New Decatur. Today one of his children died with diphtheria and two of his other children are ill with the same disease. Clemons himself has been quite ill for many months.

Feb. 16, 1911 – Dr. McWhorter has just been in this area looking for a suitable location for the establishment of a tuberculosis sanitarium for the state and a state epileptic sanitarium. He was much impressed with the high altitude of this county, saying that this portion of the state should be free from consumption and kindred lung trouble.

Dec. 1, 1923 – Members of the Morgan County Medical Association today were discussing enthusiastically the address of Dr. James McLester, a prominent Birmingham physician, who recently addressed the members of the society on the use of insulin in the treatment of diabetes.

Dec. 4, 1927 – Doctors are currently seeing more bronchial illnesses among their patients who smoke than those who don’t. Its harmful effects may be mitigated by using a cigarette or cigar holder, or pipe. Persons suffering from indigestion, bronchial catarrh or profuse salivation, must not, however, under any conditions, smoke. (Sage’s catarrh cure is currently selling for about 40 cents.)

Oct. 1, 1942 – To the relief of families in every community, Morgan County was not one of the 13 counties in which cases of epidemic typhus fever (Brill’s disease) were reported last month.

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