From Geneva Gazette 10 June 1853

The Contagion in Gorham -
The communication of last week, giving the views of the writer as to the character of the disease which has been prevailing for some weeks in the vicinity of Gorham, has called out another from the pen of Dr. Potter, to be found in our columns today.  It will be seen that Dr. P. admits that one or two, at least, of the cases which sprung from the contagion, is genuine small-pox.  This admission, to us, seems to favor the position taken by Dr. Beattie that such was the disease from its origin in that locality.

For people abroad to form a correct opinion as to the merits of this controversy, it is perhaps necessary to state that both parties to it are eminently skilled in their profession -- both have a large practice, and both are frequently called upon as consulting physicians far beyond their respective localities.  The question now at issue between them, which ever way it may be decided in the minds of of the public, will not where both are known affect their reputation as skillful practitioners.

Small-Pox vs. Chicken-Pox - THE OTHER SIDE
Gorham, June 5, 1853

Mr. Editor:  I deem it my duty to lay before the community in which I reside the following correct history of the eruptive disease, which has for some weeks past prevailed in Gorham, Seneca, and vicinity; at least, so far as I have been conversant with it--believing that a candid statement of facts will go far to dispel the prejudices which interested persons have sought to excite in relation to the matter.

On the 4th of March last, I was called to visit Mr. John McComb, who was then stopping with his brother Thomas in the town of Seneca.  I found him laboring under a high fever, pain in the head and back, and somewhat delirious.  He had been attacked the day before with a severe chill.  He was of full height, and 18 years of age.  I prescribed for him, and saw him again next day, when his fever had abated considerably, as well as the pain in the head and back.  There was a slight eruption about the face.  I saw him again on the 6th, when the eruption had much increased, and the vesicles were filled with watery fluid.  He was sitting up; was free from pain and quite comfortable; had been outdoors; appetite good; and he asked permission to go to his father's, a distance of nearly eight miles.  I now found on enquiry that he had never had the kine-pock, or the chicken-pock,  He informed me that he had recently been to Rochester, but was not aware that he had been exposed to small-pox, or any other contagious disease.  Having never before observed the small-pox assume such a form in the unprotected, I unhesitatingly stated that it was not small-pox, but at the same time told him he had better be cautious, as his disease, whatever it might be called, was probably contagious.

On the 7th I saw him again and found the vesicles on the face of a conoidal form and filled with colored fluid, while a new crop seemed to be rising, filled with a clear limpid fluid, as the first did that appeared.  He said he felt well, ate well, and he rode home with his father and mother the same day.  Altogether he was complaining more or less for about ten days.

The next cases I saw were two brothers of John McComb, viz:  George, aged 20 years, and Thomas, aged 25.  Both were at the same place where John sickened, were equally exposed, and attacked at the same time.  The symptoms were very similar to those I have above described in the case of John.  Neither of them had been vaccinated, nor had had the chicken-pock.  The eruption, as before, and contrary to what we observe in small-pox, appeared in successive crops; first filling with a watery fluid, which changed to a milky hue, conical in shape, then flattening down and scabbing off, leaving the skin smooth, and giving place to a new crop which succeeded; and in this respect, too, differing from what I have ever seen or read of in small-pox, occurring in the unprotected.  I saw these two brothers first on the 22nd of March.  In less than one week, George rode home to his father's, in the rain, on horseback, and took a severe cold, which prevented his entire recovery as soon as his brother, who renewed his usual business in about ten days.  Five other children in this family had the disease, only two of whom had been vaccinated, and there was little or no difference in the severity of the symptoms, between those who had, and those who had not been vaccinated.  Little, if any, medical treatment was resorted to in these cases -- they ate and drank what they pleased, had good appetites, and all had a speedy and safe recovery.

I was next called, in counsel, to see Mr. Bristol's family, who live with Mr. Abraham Post.  His son took the disease from John McComb, and gave it to his father and sister.  The son and daughter had the disease very light, while Mr. Bristol himself was more severely affected than any I had before seen.  I need not describe the cases in detail; it is sufficient to state that taking the origin of the cases and the symptoms into consideration, I could not conscientiously call them the small-pox.  (Mr. Bristol informed me they had all been vaccinated.)  Mr. B. was confined nearly two weeks, I believe.  Two small children, one belonging to Thomas, and other to Wm. McComb, neither of whom had been vaccinated, took the disease but kept about the house all the while -- and the eruption will not leave any pits or permanent scars -- and here I may remark that Thomas McComb informs me that successive crops of eruptions appeared, on most of the family, for two or three weeks after their first appearance.

The next case of the disease, I believe, was Miss Charlotte Pulver, who took it from George and Thomas McComb, the latter of whom is her brother in law, where she had been on a visit.  A few pimples or vesicles appeared on her face, with little constitutional disturbance, and she was only sick four or five days.  Her father took the disease from her, and died in exactly two weeks from the time he was taken.  I saw him 3 days previous to his death, with Dr. Dean, in counsel.  There was a general tumefaction over the whole chest, the face was badly swollen, breathing difficult, somewhat delirious; the skin was generally rough, not a single pustule on his whole body or face, that was filled with fluid, and his wife informed me since his death, that not one spot had ever stained his linen or bed.  I saw him again Thursday -- no pustules -- but an appearance of general erysipedatous inflammation over the body.  I did not see him again, but left the same day to visit a sister, who was dangerously ill, in an eastern city.  On my return, after an absence of ten or twelve days, I was informed that several persons in the neighborhood of Mr. Pulver's had the small-pox.  I inquired the origin of the disease, and when informed that they were all traceable to the McComb family, I said at once that they could not be small-pox, as the the McComb's family had not had that disease.  As such a report, however, prevailed and the community were becoming alarmed, I determined at once to call in such counsel whose decision would satisfy the people and set the question at rest.  I accordingly called in Prof. Charles A. Lee, of New York, and Prof. James Bryan of Phila., both holding Professorships in Geneva Medical College, and whose knowledge, skill, and experience in their profession are unquestionable.  They devoted two days to the investigation of the matter, visiting the McComb family, the Bristol's, Proudfit, Messrs. Fiero, Pulver, Bayles, Story, Mrs. Potter, the Pitcher family, Mr. and Mrs. Pomeroy, Mrs. Walters and child, &c. &c., and as soon as they had completed the investigation, they addressed a note to Dr. Buck, in answer to one from him asking their opinion in regard to his patient, Mr. Bayles, in which they state that the disease is small-pox.

Prof. Lee informs me that he has drawn up a history of the disease, which will probably be published in the July No. of the American Journal of Medical Science, of Philadelphia, in which he maintains the opinion, that many of the cases which have occurred at Gorham, &c., differ in many important particulars from varioloid or small-pox, as it usually occurs in the unprotected -- but as the cases unquestionably originated from small-pox contagion, they must all be regarded as cases of small-pox, many of them bearing a close resemblance to Dr. Good's "Water-pox," or Gregory's Varioloid species of "Chicken-pock."  Dr. Dean, moreover, an experienced practitioner, who visited several cases believed them all to be Chicken pock, and he has seen much of the small pox, and once had charge of a small-pox hospital.

Any one who is much acquainted with medical literature knows that it is sometimes very difficult to distinguish the eruptile diseases from each other, and especially modified small-pox, from water-pock and chicken-pock, and will be ready to judge any one leniently who may have been so unfortunate as to have mistaken them -- knowing that the same mistake might probably be made by himself.

It is but an act of justice to Professors Lee and Bryan, to state, that in many of the cases, they had no means of forming an opinion except from my statements and descriptions, and the appearance of the scars after the scabs had fallen off.  They saw enough, to satisfy them that the eruption assumed a great variety of forms -- that the disease sometimes resembled simple chicken-pock, at other water-pock, Hives and even purpura and pemphigus -- while in the cases of Mrs. Potter and Mr. Bayles, it presented the genuine marks of small-pox, which I acknowledged just as soon as I became fully convinced of the fact. As to the boy, Proudfit, there was no distinct eruption, either in the form of vesicles or pustules, at the time they saw him, but crimson or purple colored maculae or patches beneath the cuticle -- and Prof. Lee remarked that "the eruption bore no more resemblance to the small-pox, than it did to the itch," to which Prof. Bryan assented -- but no message was sent to any one, as Dr. Lee did not know what physician was in attendance.

I have thus endeavored to lay before my fellow-citizens, and the public generally, a true and candid statement in regard to the disease in question, and the course I have taken in relation to it.  I lay no claim to infallibility of judgment, or superior learning--but I do claim to have acted from honest and conscientious motives, and to have aimed to discharge my whole duty, with a sacred and deep-felt regard for the public safety and welfare.           H. A. POTTER, M. D.

From Geneva Gazette 3 February 1854

From Western Atlas - Phelps NY
Small Pox -
We learn from the Board of Health of this town, that the whole number of cases of Small Pox and Varioloid since the disease broke out in the forepart of January, to the present time, is, of small pox 11, varioloid 25.  Of those having the varioloid, 20 have recovered, leaving but five cases existing at this time.  Of Small Pox, 3 have died, 3 recovered, leaving but five cases existing at this time -- one at Orleans, one at Oak's Corners, one in the south-east part of the town, one in the east, and one in north-east part of the town.  There are no cases in the village, nor has there been since the first week it broke out in the town.

From Ontario County Times 31 March 1869

There has been an unusual excitement in and about Chapinville for a couple of weeks past, growing out of the occurrence there of several cases of small pox. It is in the family of Mr. Herman Andrews, a respectable farmer of that locality, and, we believe a former resident of this place. The disease was taken from a beggar, who called at the house for something to eat. We learn that Aldrich Andrews, son of this gentleman, aged 16 years, was the first to catch it, and he has died, his remains being interred in the orchard, those having charge of him being afraid to keep him a moment above ground, or take the usual method of burial in the cemetery. On Sunday four more of this family were attacked with the terrible disease, including Mrs. Andrews' mother, an aged lady, who was in this town only last week, we believe, in good health. Great apprehensions prevail in the vicinity, and all the usual precautions have been taken to prevent it from spreading. It is to be hoped that the appearance of this dreaded disease so near us will have the effect to prompt such of our citizens as have not already done so to protect themselves so far as possible against its approach by vaccination. That is the only known preventative, and it ought to be universally applied.

From Ontario County Times 7 April 1869

Since our last issue, we learn that one or two more of Mr. Andrews' children have died of small pox, and those of the family now afflicted with it have the disease in a less violent form than those who have been so early cut off. "Prevention is worth a pound of cure, " and we are glad to know that not a few have lately been vaccinated or re-vaccinated, as a preventive in case the terrible disease should appear here.

From Geneva Gazette 28 January 1870

The Scarlet Fever still prevails in our village, and additional fatal cases are reported.  The life of many a child stricken down with the fearful malady hangs upon a very slender thread.  To this most singularly open winter is attributed the prevalence of this and kindred miasmatic complaints; and there seems no prospect of change.

From Geneva Courier 20 November 1872

Small Pox in Phelps -
Last night we were credibly informed that there were several cases of small pox in Phelps.  Knowing that it is a matter of public interest that people know the whereabouts of this terrible disease so not only to avoid it but also to prepare for it and baffle it, we took pains this morning to ascertain the facts in the case.

There are two families at Phelps who have Small Pox.  In the family of Mr. Kelley a child died with the disease and was buried in the night, last night.  Mr. Kelley we understand is now prostrated with the same disease.  Another child of Kelley's is also represented as in a dangerous condition.  There is another case of Small Pox in the family of Mr. Owen.

The Board of Trustees of the Village of Phelps met last night and appointed a Board of Health who immediately convened and took such action as should prevent the spread of the disease.  A physician was appointed to have supervision of the disease and particularly of those existing cases and every possible precaution is to be exercised to confine it to its present limit.

In view of the fact of our nearness to and frequent communication with Phelps and the possibility of the disease being brought into our midst, would it not be wisdom on the part of the Authorities in Geneva to adopt such sanitary measures as are in their power to prevent its visiting us and avert this dreadful scourge from our prosperous village.

From Ontario County Journal 15 January 1875

The situation of affairs as regards the small-pox, since our report a week ago, is briefly told, though we regret that we have to report one death and two or three new cases.  Constable Geo. P. Frost died on Friday last.  He lived in the east part of the town and outside the village limits.  He had been several days ill with pneumonia before the small-pox attacked him.

A niece of Mr. Geo. Moss, residing on Center street, was attacked the latter part of last week, and has the disease in a very mild form.  On Wednesday the infant son of Mr. Moss, aged about 17 months came down with it.  The only other case reported is a daughter of Joseph Boyle, aged about 12 years, residing on Antis street.  The above three new cases are reported as of a very mild type, and no doubts are entertained of their early recovery.  The cases previously reported are doing well and are on the safe side.  There are no new cases at the hotel, and we know of no new cases except as above reported.  We believe the worst of the disease is past for Canandaigua, though there is some fear that some of Mr. Frost's friends may have taken it from him before his house was quarantined.

From Ontario County Journal 22 January 1875

Some of the towns in Ontario county are now suffering from small-pox.  The condition of things at East Bloomfield is related by our correspondent at that place.

Phelps has a case in Mr. Hubbell, a merchant there, who is reported to have taken the disease at the Canandaigua Hotel. He is recovering.

There is a case near Clifton Springs.  Fred. Brown was taken down about two weeks ago.  He is now reported as doing well.

Geneva is now said to be taking her turn.  The disease is reported in a family named Phillips.  One member of the family is now recovering, while others in the same family are coming down.  Their house is quarantined, and egress and ingress is forbidden to all except the attending physicians.  We state this case at Geneva on the authority of a letter written by one of the afflicted family to a friend in Canandaigua.  The Geneva papers do not mention it.

From Ontario Repository and Messenger 27 January 1875

We announced last week that this disease was on the decrease in our village, but since then three new cases have been reported to the Board of Health, and one death has occurred; a daughter of Mr. Joseph Boyle, residing on Antis street, who had been sick about two weeks died Monday afternoon. The new cases which have made their appearance are, one in the family of Mr. Ira Allen on Park street, a little daughter; one a son of Mr. Carey on Phelps street, and the third an infant son of Mr. Joseph Boyle.

From Geneva Gazette 29 January 1875

The Canandaigua papers acknowledge the appearance of four or five additional cases of, and one death from, small-pox in that village since their last report -- which corresponds with verbal information we had received, and shows conclusively that the contagion has not run its full course in that unfortunate town.  It is most deplorable that, under the circumstances, a term of court is to be held and the Board of Supervisors convene in the pestilence-stricken town within the next few days.  It would seem that litigants, counsel, jurors, witnesses and others might well refuse to attend in consequence of the danger still existing that they may be infected.

From Ontario Repository and Messenger 17 February 1875

Miller's Corners, N. Y. -
The scarlet fever is still raging in this place. Within the past week Mr. Curtiss Baker has lost a little girl aged three years. Mr. N. Nugent has lost two girls, their ages being six and eight years respectively. Dr. Wood, of West Bloomfield, and Dr. Benham, of Honeoye Falls, attendant physicians. Six in all have gone in two weeks from our little hamlet; and we miss the little ones who have left us.

From Ontario County Journal 19 February 1875

A child of Oscar F. Sisson's, residing near Bristol Centre, was buried yesterday.  Her disease was scarlet fever, which is raging violently in that section.  About 39 cases are reported so far.

From Ontario County Times 28 April 1875

Bristol, N. Y. -
Some time ago Y. W. Smith, of this town, brought a large number of German laborers from New York city to work for himself and other farmers in this vicinity, and among these Mr. Benj. Bartlett had one, who, after being here some time, and being well pleased with his situation, sent to the city for his wife and child. Shortly after their arrival, the child was taken sick, and the physician, Dr. W. Scott Hicks, pronounced it the small-pox. The board of health has put up a pest-house, and removed the family there. As yet there is but one case -- that is the child, who is not expected to live.

From Ontario County Journal 7 May 1875

Scarlet Fever, of a malignant type is prevailing to a considerable extent in the vicinity of Rushville.  Mr. Warner Page living near Rushville recently lost two children by that disease, and Mr. Charles Henry's children were very ill last week.

From Ontario County Journal 28 May 1875

East Bloomfield, NY -
The scarlet fever is still taking its victims from among the children of our town.  William Thorpe and wife lost their youngest child - Charley - on Tuesday last, aged 16 months.  The remains were taken to Canadice, where Mr. Thorpe formerly resided, for burial.

From Ontario County Journal 2 July 1875

Frost Town, N. Y. -
In the northwest part of this town and in sections of Richmond the Scarlet Fever is raging fearfully. Three of Mr. Cochran's children are dangerously ill with it.  Wm. Wesley has it himself and six of his children.  An old resident, who lives near him, says it is the sickest house he ever saw.  Dr. Templar attends Wesley's family and Dr. Wilbur Cochran's.  There are one or two more families, if we remember rightly, that have it more or less.  One or two schools in that section are closed on account of the sickness in their districts.

From Geneva Gazette 12 May 1876

Small Pox -
The town of East Bloomfield is again in a panic about Small Pox, the dreaded disease having broken out in the family of Hon. Edward Bronson some two or three weeks ago, since which time two more cases have occurred, one in his father's family, directly across the road from his own residence, and the other in the family of Myron Marriner, Esq., who lives in the same neighborhood. Both cases are said to be quite severe.

From Geneva Gazette 29 December 1876

The Hall's Corners Small Pox -
A short time before election, David Clark, residing one mile south from Hall's Corners, returned from the "Big Show at Philadelphia," was soon taken sick with fever - bones aching, and breaking out with yellow blotches or pimples.  Several of his good neighbors and relatives came in to sympathize with him in his sore affliction.  In about ten days, they also began to complain in a like manner about "bone fever."  Then the "wise men of the East" were called in, and after deep deliberation, grave meditation and close consultation, they pronounced it "Break-Bone Fever" - a southern disease that had strayed up here like an alligator in the winter.

The less wise, who had never seen the small pox before, never read anything about it and never heard much about it, united in calling it small pox.  Then the "wise men" began to think so too.  The seeds of small pox being nicely sown, quickly sprang up to a golden harvest of vaccination.  The harvest was great, but the scabs are few.  The citizens of the quiet little hamlet are greatly amused at the vague rumors afloat about the small pox there, as in fact there has not been a case of it within one-half mile of Hall's Corners.  At the time of writing this, (Dec. 26th), there are only five or six cases of small pox in the town of Seneca, and they are all located south and southeast from Hall's Corners; each house is quarantined where it exists - churches and schools closed, and every means used to prevent its spreading.

From Geneva Gazette 5 January 1877

Four additional cases of small-pox are reported to have occurred at the county poor house, one of them proving fatal. The old school house on the premises has been removed to a safe distance from the main building and converted into a pest-house to which small-pox patients are removed, by which it is hoped that a further spread of the contagion will be averted.

From Ontario County Times 24 January 1877

Mr. Spear, keeper of the County Poor House, informs us that there are now no cases of small pox there, and he confidently believes that the danger of a reappearance of the disease has passed. There have been five cases in all, and the names and aged of the deceased are reported as follows:

John McCarroll,
aged forty-five years; came from the town of Seneca, where he contracted the disease while employed upon a farm in the neighborhood of Hall's Corners. Jacob Rosleur, a German, aged seventy-two years; subject to fits, and very feeble. Samuel Salsbury, from the town of Richmond, aged about forty; insane. Moses Kear, from South Bristol; aged about seventy and insane. Joseph Hardy, colored, aged sixteen; had been suffering with diseased lungs. Daniel Rose from Victor, who has been an inmate of the County House for more than a quarter of a century, assisted in taking care of the sick while they lived and was himself attacked with variloid, but recovered.

From Ontario County Times 9 May 1877

Canadice, N. Y. -
Whooping cough has been very prevalent among us for several weeks, but it is now subsiding. One case of it proved fatal, that of the infant and only son of Gabriel Coykendall. Many have also been more or less afflicted with mumps, which were very liberally distributed.

From Geneva Gazette 11 October 1878

Diphtheria is unusually prevalent in our village, of which however there have been so far but few fatal cases, and our physicians seem confident they can treat it with curative results generally if only called in season, in its incipient stages. . . We are informed that there are about sixty cases in town, in some families from two to five . . . Among the latest victims was an unusually bright and interesting daughter of Richard Knight, Jr., aged 6 or 7 years.  A week ago last Sunday, she was in her usual place in the Sunday School at St. Peter's Church, (of which she was one of the most regular attendants and ever perfect in her lessons) -- last Sunday her little hands were folded in the cold embrace of death.  

From Geneva Gazette 18 October 1878

Diphtheria prevails to some extent at Canandaigua.  On Tuesday morning last a little daughter of E. C. Beeman died, a victim of this terrible malady.  Dysentery also prevails there considerably.

This disease has been alarmingly prevalent in our village for a week or more past, the highest number of cases under treatment at one time reaching seventy.  Total number of deaths however only seven.  The deaths occurred are as follows:
1.  A child of Wm. Whitwell, residence Elm st.  All others of the family recovered.

2.  A daughter of R. Knight, Jr., residence Tillman st.

3.  A child of Henry Rigby, residence Elm st.  (This case is said to have been one of membranous croup.)

4 and 5.  Two children of John Fenn (barber) residence in the Kimber block, Main st.  The mother and two other children severely attacked are recovering.

6.  A child of Elias Sanders, residence Colt st.  Four or five others in this family are recovering.

7.  Josie, daughter of John A. Mitchell, residence Genesee st.

From Geneva Courier 20 November 1878


The past week has been marked by the reappearance in town of diphtheria and other throat diseases, which it had been hoped had finally disappeared.  Apparently, at about the same time a number of persons were taken sick, and in several families almost every person in the house caught the disease.  Several deaths have occurred.  Mr. George Bennett lost a little daughter, so did Mr. Jenkinson.  The doctors report a number of cases, most of them not very severe. Tonsilitis and sore throats have been plenty, and many people became frightened, and imagined that they had the worse disease.

Several of the students at Hobart College were attacked, and it was thought best to close the college for two weeks.  There will be no recitations till December 1.  No danger is apprehended in the case of those sick, but the measure is one of precaution.

The list of families in which diphtheria has raged, more or less violently, is large.  Among them are A. J. Kenyon, E. M. Maynard, A. G. Vredenburg, John Fenn, H. Rigby, Wm. Knight, Silas King, Geo. Bennett, Abel Steer, E. M. Crittenden, W. P. Durrant; Mr. Raymond, M. Jenkinson, S. D. Willard, G. E. Seelye, J. A. Parlett, M. Easterbrook, Mr. Clarkson, J. G. Simpson, and others.

Mrs. J. A. Parlett has been doubly bereaved.  She is a sister of Mathew Easterbrook, who died Tuesday, and her youngest daughter died the same day.

Mr. and Mrs. George Bennett mourn the loss of their little daughter, Jennie. Mr. William Mack has also lost a daughter.  In common with the many whose homes have been made desolate, they have the deep sympathy of all.

The news came this morning of the death of Carrie Knight, daughter of Wm. Knight; Sadie Willard, daughter of S. D. Willard.  Hal Durrant, W. P. Durrant's youngest son, is not expected to live through the day.  Truly we are deeply afflicted.  Very many homes in Geneva will long remember the sad summer and autumn of the year 1878.

Sadie Willard, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. S. D. Willard, we announce with peculiar sadness, is dead.  She was loved devotedly by all who knew her, as a child of rare sweetness of disposition and most beautiful and blameless life.  Her parents will have the deep sympathy of all their friends.  Further notice will given hereafter.

From Geneva Courier 27 November 1878
25 Nov - Bellona NY - of diphtheria, H. Spencer Dennis, oldest child of Jennie Markham and Jno. Dennis, Jr., aged 3 years and 46 days.
21 Nov - Geneva NY - of diphtheria, Gracie Affleck, youngest and only surviving child of M. and E. Jenkinson.
25 Nov - Geneva NY - of diphtheria, Jennie Baxter, daughter of William Baxter, aged 10 years and 6 months.
23 Nov - Geneva NY - of diphtheria, Geo. E. Seelye, Jr., youngest son of Evelyn C. and George E. Seelye, aged 4 years, 3 months and 10 days.
20 Nov - Geneva NY - of diphtheria, Henri Laurens, youngest son of William P. Durrant, aged 17 years, 2 months and 18 days.
20 Nov - Geneva NY - of diphtheria, Edward Pitkin, son of T. J. Skilton, aged 4 years, 3 months and 10 days.
20 Nov - Geneva NY - of diphtheria, Carrie L., daughter of William Knight, aged 15 years and 2 months.
21 Nov - Geneva NY - of diphtheria, Henry, son of Silas King, aged about 11 years.
18 Nov - Geneva NY - of diphtheria, Esther, daughter of James A. Parlette, aged 10 years, 3 months and 20 days. 
20 Nov - Geneva NY - of diphtheria, Sadie F., adopted daughter of S. D. Willard, aged 10 years and 1 month.
18 Nov - Geneva NY - of diphtheria, Virginia, youngest daughter of George and Margaret T. Bennett.  Born December 21, 1869.


The past week has been one of continued sickness in town, the diphtheria prevailing with unprecedented violence and fatality.  The list of new cases, and of deaths, since our last issue, is a sad one.  We give the deaths up to this afternoon.

Nov. 20.  Henri Laurens Durrant, youngest son of W. P. Durrant, aged 7 years,  2 months and 13 days.  Henri was a bright, active boy, was a general favorite with his school friends, and all who knew him.  His funeral took place from the home and Trinity church on Thursday morning, Rev. H. W. Nelson officiating.

Nov. 20.  Edward Pitkin, son of T. J. Skilton, aged 4 years, 3 months and 10 days.  This case was rendered peculiarly sad by the death, on Sunday, of Mr. and Mrs. Skilton's only remaining child, Louise.  Mr. and Mrs. Skilton were themselves very sick.

Nov. 20.  Carrie L. Knight, daughter of William Knight, aged 15 years and 2 months.

Nov. 21.  Henry King, son of Silas King, aged 11 years.  All the others in Mr. King's family were very sick, but are recovering.

Nov. 21.  Gracie Affleck, only remaining child of M. and E. Jenkinson, aged 3 years and 1 month.  This is another very sad case.  The death of Mr. Jenkinson's other child, Bessie, was chronicled last week, and now the only one left is taken.

Nov. 23.  Jay, youngest son of Dr. C. H. Carpenter.  The funeral took place on Sunday, Dr. Hogarth officiating.

Nov. 23.  George Edward, second son of George E. and Eveline C. Seelye, aged 4 years, 3 months and 9 days.  The funeral took place on Sunday afternoon from the house, Rev. Dr. Nelson officiating.  Mr. and Mrs. Seelye are both quite ill, but are improving.

Nov. 23.  Lina Cole, little daughter of Charles Cole.  Lina was a member of the infant class of the Baptist Sunday school.  Rev. Dr. Moore officiated at the funeral, which took place on Sunday afternoon.

Nov. 24.  Child of Fannie Greenfield, aged 9 years.

Nov. 24.  Child of Rudolph Schultz, aged 10 years.

Nov. 25.  Child of Daniel Kenny, aged 2 years.

Nov. 25.  Child of Charles Gates, (colored).

Nov. 25.  Jennie, daughter of William Baxter, aged 10 years and 6 months.

Nov. 25.  Flora Covert, second daughter of Dr. and Mrs. N. B. Covert, died on Monday afternoon, at half past five o'clock, aged 10 years and 6 months.  She had a long and painful struggle with disease and death, but until the very last she retained consciousness, and spoke with all who came to see her.  Her death was peaceful, as though falling asleep.  Flora was a member of the Baptist Sunday School, of which her father is Superintendent.  The funeral took place yesterday afternoon, Rev. Dr. Moore officiating.

Mr. John Dennis, Jr., canvasser and agent for the Courier, has met with a severe bereavement in the death of his little boy.  Mr. Dennis had just moved from Bellona to Geneva when the epidemic broke out, and was advised by physicians to return to Bellona, which he did.  A week ago Monday, Mrs. Dennis and the little boy were taken sick, and were tenderly cared for but the child died on Monday afternoon at 3 o'clock.  Mr. Dennis' many friends, in and out of the Courier office, join in the expression of their sympathy with him and his wife in their loss.

A child of Mr. Becker, residing on North Jackson street, died last night.

Mr. Clarkson, Mr. Shoat and Mr. Lewis J. Parker have also lost children.  We are without further particulars in their cases.

Lottie Vredenburgh is much better.  Robbie Vredenburgh is sick, but not dangerously. Two children in Mr. Underwood's family are down with the disease, and four in Mr. Gaylord's family.

We hear of no new cases this morning, and hope that the change in the weather has had a good effect.  We believe the worst is past, and that those now sick will recover.

W. P. Durrant, and Dr. N. B. Covert, the respective Superintendents of Trinity and the Baptist Sunday Schools, have each lost a dear child.  They have the sympathy especially of those of their churches and Sunday Schools, in their trouble.

Libbie Malette, daughter of the proprietor of the Courier, has been seriously ill, and the other members of the family were affected, but all are now convalescent.

Children of Mr. Reynolds and D. Chapin residing on Tillman street, of Mr. Snow, and five children of Mr. Havena, are sick, but their symptoms are favorable.  Mr. Silas King's family are recovering.  They have good care, and the neighbors are constant in their attentions.

Four funerals took place on Sunday, the scene being a most affecting one.  The attendance at most was small, and principally composed of men, ladies and children thinking it safer to remain away.  None can know who will be next attacked, and every precaution is taken to save those homes that have yet escaped.

In such times as the present, the customary words of sympathy and consolation seem utterly inadequate to express the sorrow felt, or to comfort those who mourn.  But the families bereaved in these sad times may be sure that they have the deepest sympathy and earnest prayers of the whole community in their affliction.  Especial sympathy is felt for Mr. and Mrs. E. Jenkinson, and Mr. and Mrs. T. J. Skilton, who in one week have been left childless, two children being taken from each family.

Much credit is due to the physicians of Geneva for their persistent and skillful efforts to save the many children sick.  The prevalence of the epidemic has imposed a vast amount of labor upon them, and many have scarcely got a whole night's sleep for a week or more past.  They have been continually on duty, going from one to another of their patients and working indefatigably to vanquish the terrible disease which was taking the life of their patients.  The malignity of the present scourge is something unequaled, and every case presents new aspects and conditions, so that the many deaths are not to be ascribed to lack of skill or experience on the part of the doctors.  They have done and are doing all that man can do, and their labors are recognized and appreciated by the people.  Several have suffered from sickness in their own families, and Drs. Carpenter and Covert have lost precious little ones.

THE DISEASE ABATING - The latest intelligence from physicians and others who know, is to the effect that the disease is abating; that few new cases are reported, and that the sick are in a fair way to recover.  We have deemed it best to give the facts as they are, to quiet undue apprehension, and stop the wild stories in circulation.

From Geneva Gazette 29 November 1878

The hopes entertained in this community and expressed in our last issue, that with the drenching and purifying rain the air would be clarified, and we should experience an abatement of the prevailing diphtheria epidemic were partially realized, for it is gratifying to report a great decrease in the number of new cases as compared with last week. But the effect of a change of weather on the sick was not, we regret to say, correspondingly beneficial, and we deplore the necessity of recording even a greater death rate than the unusual large announced in our last. Of those reported in last week's Gazette as dangerously ill, the following have terminated fatally: The son of Dr. C. H. Carpenter; the daughter of Dr. N. B. Covert; one of the two children of Geo. E. Seelye; the little son of Daniel E. Moore; the daughter of Louis J. Parker. In addition, the following deaths have occurred among patients not reported dangerous on Friday last: The daughter of Mr. T. J. Skilton (and the second one of the family); a child of Mr. Clarkson, residence Genesee st., near Castle; Lina Johnson, a little one at Chas. E. Cole's; child of Bryan Kinney, residence Bank Alley; a child of Charles Gates, (colored), residence Cobb's Alley; a child of Diedrick Shulte, residence Main st., near Dutch church; a child of Martin Maley, residence Pulteney st.; Geo. E. Seelye, dry goods merchant, whose store adjoins our office. The disease in his case developed unexpectedly in paralysis of the heart, and terminated in his sudden death last Wednesday forenoon. His little son died the Saturday previous, since which time his second and only remaining child, as also his wife, have been in a critical condition, and the latter, with the shock of her double bereavement, has great mental distress as well as the fearful disease to contend against. But she is reported a little better this morning.

Last night a little son of A. G. Vredenburg, residence Tillman street, died after a days' illness. The daughter who has been seriously ill, is reported better. Patrick Cain, residence Grove st., lost a child last night. Mr. J. Dennis, an attache of the Geneva Courier, who several days ago took his family into the country (near Bellona) to escape the contagion, lost one of his children, who died last Monday.

Those reported this morning in the most dangerous condition are: Dr. Carpenter, pronounced by Dr. Dox to be in the most critical situation of all his patients; Mrs. S. D. Willard, whose case has been alarming for five days past, and no change apparently for the better; Mrs. Seelye, though improved, not out of danger; Mrs. E. M. Maynard, ill for the past ten days or more; Lottie Vredenburgh, in the second week of her illness.

From Geneva Courier 4 December 1878


We are very glad to record that the diphtheria, which has raged here so violently for the past few weeks, has greatly decreased, so that there is every sign that the worst is past.  The number of new cases is few, and but five deaths have occurred in town since our last issue.  Those who are now sick are all reported as improving, and we may confidently hope that the worst of the disease is over.

The following deaths have not been reported before:

Nov. 26.  Catherine, only child of Mark O'Maley, aged 9 years and 10 months.

Nov. 27.  Daniel, son of D. E. Moore, aged 5 years, 9 months and 16 days.  The child had been sick for some time, and a week before he died his death was reported, but during the first part of the week he seemed better.  The treacherous nature of the disease showed itself in the suddenness with which the little sufferer was taken off, leaving his relatives sad and disconsolate.

Nov. 28.  Robert Dudley, youngest son of A. G. & H. A. Vredenburg, aged 9 years, 2 months and 19 days.  Robbie was sick only four days, and his death was very sudden and unexpected at the last, though the dangerous nature of his illness has been fully understood.  A bright, conscientious boy, loving his Sunday school, and the lessons he learned there, he was prepared to go.  His death brings sadness to many hearts, but we know that he is at rest.  The funeral took place on Friday afternoon, Rev. Dr. Moore, pastor of the Baptist church, officiating.

Nov. 28.  William, infant son of Patrick Kain, aged eleven months.

Nov. 29.  At Bellown, Louisa Markham, only surviving child of Mr. and Mrs. John Dennis, Jr., aged 1 year and 8 months.  Mr. and Mrs. Dennis have indeed suffered deeply.  On the 23rd their only son was taken from them, and now their only remaining child is removed by the dread destroyer.  They have the sincere sympathy of the whole community in their terrible trial.  Mrs. Dennis is herself quite sick, but her recovery is hoped for by all.

Dec. 1.  Dr. C. H. Carpenter, aged 49 years.

Dec. 2.  A little girl of Patrick Hickey, about 1 year and 6 months old.

The funeral of Mr. Geo. E. Seelye took place on Thursday afternoon from his late residence, corner of Pulteney and Milton streets.  Rev. Dr. Nelson, of the First Presbyterian church, officiated.

The funeral of Mr. Moore's and Mr. Baxter's children took place the same day.

Mr. Maynard and family, who have been quite ill, are much better. Mrs. Willard and Mrs. Seelye, for whom much anxiety has been felt, are also better.

A little child of Mr. and Mrs. William House, residing on West street, died on Monday.

From Ontario County Times 14 January 1880

Victor, N. Y. -
Two children of Mr. John Murphy have died with the scarlet fever, and a third is very sick. The disease seems very prevalent in this town.

From Ontario County Journal 27 February 1880

Flint Creek, N. Y. -
The measles are raging to a considerable extent in this vicinity. A number of schools have been closed, and others have been so reduced that it is not probable they will continue much longer. Our school here has hardly more than twenty pupils.

From Neapolitan Record 4 March 1880

Rushville -
Measles are prevalent in this village and vicinity; James Horton and H. Martin are among the number afflicted.

From Phelps Citizen 11 March 1880

Diphtheria -
There has been considerable excitement in Phelps, for the past week, from the appearance of this disease in a severe form, about three miles northeast of the village. Thus far it has been confined to four families: Frank Overslaugh, Martin Hosford, Spencer Burnett, and Fred Lang. The three first-named families have had one death each, and Mr. Lang has lost three children.

From Livonia Gazette 9 May 1884

Scarlet fever is still raging at Canandaigua. The schools have been ordered closed for another week, and many of the residents are seriously apprehensive. In several of the churches on Sunday, the matter was spoken of by the pastors. Last week seven deaths from the fever occurred in the village.

From Geneva Gazette 6 May 1887

Diphtheria is reported to be alarmingly prevalent in Victor, and that as a consequence public schools in the village have been temporarily closed.

From Ontario County Journal 14 January 1898

Rushville, N. Y. - 
Measles are quite the fashion at present. Among the number having them are E. G. Lapham, Eva Powers, Addie and Emma Kern and Alice Blodgett. Several are just recovering. J. Wesley Powers is very ill and has not had the measles, but it is more like pneumonia.

From Geneva Gazette 13 November 1891

Small-pox in Seneca -
Three cases of small-pox are reported in the Post neighborhood.  One death has occurred, a Mrs. Cook, a young and apparently strong and healthy woman until attacked by this loathsome disease.  Two children of the deceased are down with the contagion and are quarantined in what is known as the old Post house, about three-fourths of a mile south of the turnpike.

From Geneva Gazette 4 December 1891

Another death from small-pox has occurred in Seneca.  Mr. Cook, the father of the first victim and grandfather of the second, died Monday last at the Post house where he was quarantined.  Another grandchild of Mr. Cook is still confined with the loathsome disease, though it has fair prospects of recovery.

From Geneva Gazette 18 November 1892

The following appeared in the Associated Press dispatches of the city dailies last Tuesday morning:

Geneva, N. Y., Nov. 14 --  Diphtheria is more prevalent here than at any other time in fourteen years.  Since August there have been over seventy cases, and eight deaths of this disease.  There are now at least fifteen cases.  The schools have been closed.  The infection is supposed to come from Castle creek, which runs through the town and into which about half the sewage empties.

The Associated Press and the public have been egregiously imposed upon by some unknown newsmonger outside of Geneva.  We are  authoritatively informed that no such telegram was wired from either Geneva office, nor transmitted by telephone line from here.  Some outside enemy has done this thing to injure business in Geneva.  It is a grossly exaggerated statement both as to the extent and cause or origin of the "infection."  But three cases out of 27 all told have occurred along or anywhere near the borders of Castle creek.

When diphtheria showed its prevalence in Geneva to such extent that a number of houses were placarded "quarantined", it would have been better policy for our local editors to publish the exact truth about it, instead of heeding the advice of over-anxious business men to suppress all references to the matter. It should have been foreseen that such a visitation could not long be concealed.  People come among us not alone from neighboring villages but all parts of the country, and their eyes and ears were open to the fact that diphtheria was among us.  It was left to such partially informed sources to spread reports of our affliction in a highly exaggerated form, making the situation appear in print elsewhere doubly worse than it is.  Some people will learn after a while that it is good policy to let local editors run their papers in their own way, to be first in giving publicity to local events, however deplorable the truth may be, rather than suffer outsiders to make highly-colored reports thereof from idle rumors floating about. While we admit the force of the adage that "the truth is not to be spoken at all times," occasions frequently arise when it better not to suppress the truth.

From Geneva Advertiser 2 February 1904

There are several well-developed cases of measles in this city, broke out last Thursday and increasing in number every day. Among them were Misses Mary Black, Harriet Dorman, Mabel Ansley and Miss McDill, whose homes are near Bilsborrow, but who attend the Geneva High School. Some of the young ladies attended a party in the armory Thursday night and were in ripe condition to give it. Many of the houses have the quarantine care "Measles" tacked to the doors. It is a mild disease and had only to run its course.

From Canandaigua Chronicle 21 November 1906

Gorham, N. Y. - 
There are now six cases of typhoid fever in the village, nearly all of them being severe. The latest cases are Geo. Fake and Mrs. A. M. Phillips. The others are Guy H. Detro, Clayton Pettit, Mrs. James McIntyre and Jas. Stokes.

From Geneva Daily Times 14 November 1910

Canandaigua, N. Y. - 
An epidemic of scarlet fever has reached Canandaigua and five cases are now being cared for at the Memorial Hospital annex. Mr. and Mrs. Belmont Parshall of Bristol street were the first to be taken to the hospital. A young man named Brown, residing on Main street south, was next taken; and a short time afterward a companion by the name of Edward Squires was stricken with the disease. The last case reported was that of Mrs. George Stahl of Coy street.

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