The Typhoid Fever Epidemic of 1914
as reported in the “Montgomery Transcript”
3 September 1914 – A score and a half of the residents of Skippack and Worcester townships are ill with typhoid fever, or symptoms of the dread disease. Because many of those affected have drawn their supply of milk from the same milk dealer it is believed that the infected milk is responsible for the outbreak.
In Skippack the sick are:
Christian G Becker, the wheelwright who is quite ill.
Herman, son of Harry W Dambly.
Ethel, daughter of Irvin B Kline, superintendent of the local trolley line.
Justice of the Peace, B Whitman Dambly.
Hiram T Bean, teamster for merchant S A Metz.
State Highway Supervisor, John C Cole.
Rose, wife of A D Hallman.
Alvin Heacock, Sidney Larrad and his daughter, Emily Larrad, all residing in the same house.
Warren Hillegas, hostler at the Farmers’ Hotel, and his son, Lester and daughter Blanche.
Mrs Eva L Springer, residing below the village.
Anne, daughter of Henry H Reinford. She was employed at home of H L Nyce, Worcester, and when she became ill removed to the home of her father.
In addition to the above there are a number who are sick and whose symptoms point to typhoid, though they may not and it is earnestly hoped will not develop the fever. They are Mrs Elwood K Cassel, Miss Pearl Custer, Mrs S A Metz, M B Godshall and Margaret Frank.
Elmer Nyce the first victim, residing on the farm of Harry G Troxell, who was the local milkman.
Mrs Augustus Bitting and her daughters, Misses Stella and Mabel Bitting.
Lester, son of drover H M Geyer.
Mrs Christian Moseman and daughter Evie. Removed to Charity Hospital [became Montgomery Hospital]. Mrs Moseman died in the hospital.
Pearl, daughter of M B Kline, whose home is opposite Wentz’s Church.
Miss Mary Rittenhouse, a well-known school teacher.
Mrs Wm Hyer, employed by Wm H Nyce, taken to Charity Hospital.
Augustus Krieg, employed by Dr Kriebel, taken to Charity Hospital. It has been stated that Mr Krieg is suffering with malaria.
Mildred, daughter of Dr E G Kriebel.
Mabel, Clarence, Elizabeth and Catherine Allebach, children of merchant Oswin Allebach.
Gladys, daughter of Harry H Hunsberger.
Idella and Pearl Krause, daughters of Howard B Krause, of 718 Haws Avenue, Norristown, who were visitors in Worcester, are no down with the disease at their home.
Miss Grace McKinnen, aged 14 years, of Philadelphia, who was a visitor in the Allebach home, is now ill with the fever at her home in Philadelphia.
The total number of cases is thirty and in addition there are a number with symptoms of typhoid.
Some of the patients are very ill and are in charge of trained nurses, while others are only mild cases.
This is the most serious outbreak of the disease ever experienced in this community, and there is much dissatisfaction with the health authorities in that it seems to be impossible to get any action. It is believed the spread of the disease might have been prevented if when the first case was reported proper precautions have been taken. Several of the physicians in charge complain that they reported conditions but that the authorities seemed to be disinterested.
10 Sep 1914 – The epidemic of typhoid fever in this region is spreading and nearly a score of new cases are reported since last Thursday.
New cases in Skippack include:
Mrs. Amanda Stauffer, wife of the village blacksmith.
Harry W Dambly, of the “Transcript”.
Kepler K Tyson, also of the “Transcript”.
Charles M Pool, the local undertaker.
Samuel B Hunsberger, hostler at the Valley House.
William B Willauer, only son of Joseph H Willaeur.
Harry K Cole, son of John C Cole.
Mrs Eugene Dambly, wife of the editor of the “Transcript”.
Lincoln Landis, son of Abram S Landis, whose home is in Towamensing, but is near Skippack.
Mrs Jacob H Snyder, wife of the sexton of Trinity church.
Martha, wife of Ephraim Hallman, clerk in Metz’s store.
A daughter of Christian Moseman, of Cedars. This is the third case in this family. The mother died Wednesday.
Those who have symptoms of typhoid fever are:
Carrol, son of A D Stauffer. His mother has typhoid.
Atwood, son of E K Cassel. Mrs Cassel is down with the fever.
Ralph Johnson, employed with machinist Irvin A Reiff.
Mrs R D Pennepacker and her daughter, Miss Sallie Pennepacker.
Mrs Henry G Cross, the well-known landlady of the Valley House.
In Worcester the new cases are:
Mrs Rittenhouse mother of Miss Mary Rittenhouse, who was reported ill last week, and another daughter Deborah.
Mrs Wm K Metz, of near Wentz’s Church.
George Bossert and his son.
Claude Craft, clerk in the Center Point store. This is the fifth case in that house.
Mrs Elwood K Cassel, wife of the Skippack contractor, Miss Margaret of Skippack, and Miss Pearl Custer, of Cedars, who were reported ill last week, have since developed the fever. Miss Custer has died from typhoid.
Those reported ill last week, with a few exceptions, are doing well. There are a few cases that are very serious and are causing considerable anxiety.
Practically all the new cases either used milk from the farm of Harry Troxell or drank water there.
The State health authorities have had samples of water from the farm of Mr Troxell and also from the farm of H M Geyer, of Cedars, analyzed and both were found to be contaminated. The well on the Geyer farm has been condemned and a spring and well on the Troxell farm have been condemned.
17 Sep 1914 – The epidemic of typhoid fever in this region is on the wane, and while there are more than half hundred sick and the new cases reported this week are few in number to those of last week and two week ago.
The new cases in Skippack are:
Jacob H Snyder, sexton of Trinity Reformed church. His wife was taken ill last week.
Mrs John A Stauffer, in the lower end of the village.
Howard, son of Irwin B Kline. His sister was reported ill two weeks ago.
Helen Richard, daughter of Howard M Richard, of Lansdale. He spent a week in August in the family of merchant S A Metz.
Those who are ill with symptoms of typhoid are:
Eugene, son, of B W Dambly.
Mrs Marcella Tyson, mother of Kepler Tyson.
Blanche Kulp, who lives with her mother in the C G Becker house.
Since last week the physician has pronounced these as having fully developed cases of typhoid:
Carrol, son of S D Stauffer, Atwood, son of E K Cassel; Ralph Johnson of Creamery, an employee of machinist I A Reiff; Mrs R D Pannepacker and her daughter, Miss Sallie Pannepacker; Mrs Henry G Cross.
The typhoid patients in Skippack are all doing well, according to the report of the attending physician, Dr Wright this (Thursday) morning.
Some are only mild cases while others are more severe but according to the physician, none of them show any alarming condition.
The sick at Center Point are doing well. The Rittenhouse family, mother and two daughters, are reporting improving, merchant Allebach’s four children are recovering. One is able to be downstairs. Three are still bedfast but are convalescing.
In the family of George Bossert there are four sick – father and mother and two boys. They are getting better.
Lester, son of H W Geyer, has been very sick, but improvement is noted in his case.
The reported illness of Gladys, daughter of Harry Hunsberger, has proven to have been incorrect.
The three sick in the family of August Bitting are doing well. The daughter who was the first stricken in that family is able to sit up in bed.
The three children in the P H Moseman family are recovering.
Dr B Franklin Royer, of Harrisburg, Chief Medical Inspector of the State Department of Health, and Dr H H Whitecomb, County Medical Inspector, spent Friday and Saturday here canvassing the situation with a view of taking measures to prevent the spread of the disease and future outbreak.
As a precaution they warn the public to boil all water used for domestic purposes.
Tuesday and Wednesday three inspectors came to town and made a census of all the cases of typhoid and will make a survey of all the properties draining into the Skippack Valley.
It is the intention of the Department of Health to remain in this section until the epidemic was abated. Whose duty is will be to follow up the abatement of the possible menaces and to frequently visit of the premises to see that the typhoid excreta is properly disposed of so that it will not be a menace to the water supply.
24 Sep 1914 – Four new cases of typhoid fever are reported In Skippack this week:
Blanche Kulp, who resides in the Becker home.
Mrs Marcella Tyson, Mother of Kepler Tyson. She is very sick.
Ephraim Hallman, Clark in Metz’s store. His wife has been ill for three weeks.
Mrs Clarence Beyer, of Worcester is a daughter of Mr and Mrs Isaac S Cassel, of Skippack, is ill with typhoid fever at the home of her parents. She was reported ill last week but the physician has not yet diagnosed the trouble as typhoid fever.
Most of those heretofore reported sick are doing well and some of them are convalescing.
Mrs John A Stauffer has been very sick during the past week. As old trouble has become aggravated and this complicated with typhoid has caused her to be quite ill.
Mr and Mrs Jacob H Snyder very sick but are better.
G G Becker, the wheelwright, is sitting in his chair.
H W Dambly, getting up in bed.
Samuel B Hunsberger, still has considerable fever.
Kepler Tyson, bedfast but improving.
Mrs R D and Miss Sallie Pennepacker, both improving.
B W Damply, still bedfast, recovering.
Mrs A D Stauffer, and her son Carroll, both improving.
Hiram T Bean, recovering.
Mrs Ephraim Hallman, getting better slowly.
Mrs S A Metz, growing stronger, still bedfast.
J C Cole, able to be out of doors.
Harry K Cole, bedfast and quite weak, improving.
W B Willauer, still has considerable fever.
Margaret Frank, sitting up in bed.
Mrs Eugene Dambly, bedfast, considerable fever.
Mrs H G Croll, improving.
Mrs A D Hallman, slowly regaining her strength.
M B Godshall, improving.
Sidney Larrard, improving slowly, bedfast.
Emily Larred, ill more than four weeks, bedfast and quite weak.
Alvin Heacock, improving.
C M Pool, improving, still bedfast.
Eugene Dambly, Jr, able to be out of bed.
Warren Hillegas and his son are doing well. The daughter Blanche is not so well.
Mrs Elwood K Cassel is recovering. Her son Atwood, has been quite sick.
Mrs Elias Springer is doing fairly well.
Howard, son of Irvin Kline is quite ill.
Ralph Johnson of Creamery, is doing well.
Lincoln Landis, of Towamensing, is able to sit up in bed.
Mrs Augustus Bitting and her daughter Stella is able to sit up. Mabel the other daughter will be able to set up in a few days.
Claude Craft, Cedars, in doing nicely.
Lester Geyer, Cedars, very sick, but is recovering.
Mildred, daughter of Dr Kriebel, Center Point, is convalescent.
The sick in Oswin Allebach family, of Center Pont, are able to sit up a little every day.
It is reported that Mrs Gideon Nice, of Hatfield, is ill with typhoid fever. She is the mother of Elmer Nice, who died on the Troxell farm, of Cedars, and helped to nurse him during his last illness.
Representatives of the Health Department are taking samples of water from each premise upon which there is a case of typhoid fever and will have them analyzed.
1 Oct 1914 – Few new cases of typhoid fever have developed in Skippack during the past week. These who are ill, with the exceptions, are doing well, and the anxiety over the situation is subsiding.
The new cases in Skippack are those of Clarence Beyer, of Worcester. He is at the home of his father-in-law, Isaac S Cassel, where his wife is also typhoid fever. Clarence Beyer died from typhoid fever.
Jesse N Scholl, an aged resident of Skippack, was taken ill with typhoid last week. Mr Scholl is 77 years of age.
Mrs H Schlosser of Towamensing is a fever victim. She is the mother of Mrs Warren Hillegas, of Skippack, and has been assisting her daughter, and their two children. Mrs Scholosser was taken sick last week.
Two cases not heretofore reported are those of Mr and Mrs J S Pratt, of Philadelphia, both ill with typhoid. Mrs Pratt and her daughter Dorothy spent the greater part of August at the Valley House, and Mr Pratt came up for the weekend. They doubtless became infected while here and both are ill. Mr Pratt is very sick.
The case of Ephraim Hallman, clerk in Metz’s store, is pitiful. He and his wife occupied the same room and he is very sick. His wife died on Wednesday. They have an infant child about a month old.
Mrs Marcella Tyson has been very ill during the past week and the condition of Mrs John A Stauffer has been the source of much concert of the physician.
The sick in the family of John J Troxell, below Kulpsville, are recovering. Mrs Gideon Nice and her daughter, Mrs Cyrus Kriebel, of Hatfield, the former the mother and the later the sister of the late Elmer Nice, of Cedars, are both sick with typhoid. Mrs Kriebel’s five year old daughter, Vandala, died of the fever on Tuesday. The report the Mr Kriebel is ill is correct.
Inspectors have sampled the water on each premise where the fever exists but thus far no reports have been received.
The sanitary inspectors have recommended changes in a number of places with a view to protecting the health of the occupants as well as others, and these recommendations should be received in the spirit they are made and should be followed. With so many cases of typhoid fever in such a limited territory there is danger of future trouble unless special precaution is taken to prevent contamination of water supplies. The States’ inspectors are here for the purpose of pointing out how such contamination may be avoided and it is the duty of every good citizen.
8 Oct 1914 – Nearly all the typhoid fever victims in this town are recovering. Some are able to be out of doors.
A few, however, are very sick. Among the latter are Jacob H Snyder, the aged sexton of Trinity church, Mrs Marsella Tyson and Ephraim Hallman.
Mrs Elias Springer and Mrs Eugene Dambly continue to have considerable fever.
Cyrus Kriebel’s infant son, in Hatfield, has typhoid fever. His daughter, it will be recalled, died last week. The mother is also ill.
Mrs Gideon Nice, of Hatfield, is recovering. A son-in-law, Wm Seitz, is also ill with the fever.
Four of the workman employed by contractor James M Smith, of Perkiomenville who were engaged in repairing the Skippack bridge who was boarded at the home of Mrs Springer, during the month of August, were stricken with typhoid fever, and one Wm Erb, died last week. Those who are ill are Allen Breyer, Jere Frederick and John Schmoyer all are recovering.
15 Oct 1914 – During the past week one death that of Jesse N Scholl, was added to the list of fatalities following the outbreak of typhoid fever in Skippack, making a total number of seven to date.
No new cases have developed, but a little girl, Pearl Dean, in the family of Isaac S Cassel, was taken sick, Tuesday, and removed to a hospital. The family physician feared the illness might develop in typhoid and advised that the child be removed in as much as there are two cases of fever in the Cassel home and a third would be an added burden to the already sorely taxed family.
Most of the fever victims are recovering. Those sick and their conditions are as follows:
Jacob H Snyder, is improving. Mrs Snyder able to sit up.
Mrs Amanda Stauffer and her son, able to be out of doors.
H W Dambly, out of bed several house a day. His son, Herman, about the house.
Son, of Irvin B Kline, sitting up.
Mrs Marcella Tyson, very sick.
Kepler Tyson, sitting up in bed.
Mrs R D Pannepacker and her daughter, Miss Sallie, both down stairs.
B W Dambly, out of bed a few hours each day.
Hiram Bean, down stairs.
Ephraim Hallman is better.
C M Pool, out of bed a few hours a day.
Mrs S A Metz confined to bed, but slowly recovering.
Harry K Cole, able to be out of doors.
Samuel B Hunsberger, able to be about the place.
Mrs Eugene Dambly, still bedfast.
C G Becker and Mrs Becker, out of doors.
Blanche Kulp, sitting up.
Margaret Frank, goes out on fine days.
Mrs H G Croll, able to be about her room.
Mrs A D Hallman, able to be about her room.
Mrs John A Stauffer, bedfast but recovering.
Mrs E K Cassel, downstairs. Her son, Copeland, is better.
Ralph Johnson, down stairs.
Sidney Larrad and Alvin Heacock, able to be about the house.
M B Godshall will get out of bed this week. Emily Larrad is still in bed.
Warren Hillegas and his daughter Blanche are out of doors. His son is able to sit up in bed.
Mrs Clarence Beyer is somewhat better, her husband is very sick.
Mrs Eva Springer, still has fever but is better.
The three members of the Bitting family are convalescent.
Claude Craft, Cedars, out and will go to work next week.
Mrs Wm K Metz, Cedars, able to be up.
The four members of the family of George Bossert, Worcester, are all out.
The Rittenhouse family, Worcester, Mother and two daughters, up and about.
The two children of Clinton Moseman, formerly of Cedars have recovered.
Three members of the John Troxell family, Towamensing all out of doors.
Mrs Valentine Schlosser, Towamensing, still as considerable fever.
22 Oct 1914 – There was another case of typhoid fever reported this week.
The rest of the patients are doing well. Most of them are able to be out of doors.
So far there was only eight deaths from typhoid fever.
8 Nov 1914 – Mrs Warren S Hillegas is the latest victim of typhoid fever. She was taken ill last week and a trained nurse was engaged to care for her. Mrs Hillegas has had a most trying time during the past ten weeks, nursing her husband and two of her children through sieges of the fever.
28 Jan 1915 – Reuben son of Jeremiah C Anders, of Center Point was stricken with typhoid fever this week, at this time seven members of the family are bedfast with typhoid fever. All of them are said to be improving.
4 Fb 1915 – Leroy, son of Jeremiah C Anders, of Worcester will with typhoid fever, is reported a very sick by. The other six in the family are improving slowly.
11 Feb 1915 – The seven victims of typhoid fever in the Jeremiah C Anders family are said to continue to improve, including Leroy, who was reported quite ill last week.
25 Feb 1915 – Leroy and Susie, are the only one of the seven victims of typhoid fever in the family of Jeremiah C Anders who are still kept indoors.