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A look back at typhoid fever

Typhoid fever has been referred to by various names, often associated with symptoms, such as gastric fever, enteric fever, abdominal typhus, infantile remittent fever, slow fever, nervous fever, phytogenic fever, brain fever and low fever 

It is not like the current novel coronavirus in that one doesn’t get it from another person; someone becomes afflicted with typhoid fever when he or she consumes bacteria found in contaminated food and beverages.   

It is like the coronavirus in that it can be a killer of people of any age, gender, ethnicity, or economic standing. 

Typhoid fever killed more Morgan County residents in 1888 than any other disease. Here are just a few of the casualties attributed to typhoid fever in the horrific year of 1888. 

March 15, 1888—Mrs. Emma Almon, age 27, passed away today due to typhoid fever. She is survived by her children, including three sons, George, Oscar and Burns, and two daughters, Eunice and Bertie. She will be laid to rest in Herring Cemetery. Mrs. Almon was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Andrew C. Thomason. 

June 161888—John F. Morris, 76, a resident of the Danville community, succumbed to typhoid fever at his home today.  He is survived by his widow, Mary Caroline Morris. The Morrises brought five children into the world—four sons, John McClarty, Philemon Newton, James Columbus and Edwin Alexander Morris, and a daughter, Mrs. Mary Morris Bullington. 

June 23, 1888—Little Alma Blanche, age 2, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Isaac Harvey Jackson, died of typhoid fever at her parents’ home today. 

June 26, 1888—James Wiggins, 62, a resident of Flint, died of typhoid fever at home today.  He leaves a widow, Nancy Adline Wiggins, and a son and daughter, William Edwin Wiggins and Mrs. Beverly Mae Hester. 

Oct. 10, 1888—A. J. Wilson, 73, passed away at his home in the Valhermoso Springs community.  He leaves a widow, Rebecca. 

October 15, 1888H.P. Segars, age 19, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Miles Jackson Segars, died of typhoid fever today at home.  He will be laid to rest in Herring Cemetery. 

October 15, 1888—Dr. William Gardner Gill, born April 14, 1819, before Alabama became a state, died as a result of typhoid fever today.  He leaves a widow, Elizabeth S. Gill. 

October 18, 1888—Mrs. Elizabeth Caroline Sandlin succumbed today due to typhoid fever. Mrs. Sandlin is survived by her children, James F. Sandlin and Euphemia Caroline Stewart. She will be buried in the Forrrest Chapel Methodist Church cemetery.  

October 26, 1888—T. N. Speegle, the infant son of Mr. and Mrs. Albert Gallatin Speegle, died today of typhoid fever. He will be laid to rest in the Speegle-King family cemetery. 

November 4, 1888—A young man in his teen years, Henry F. Sherrill, 17, of Danville, passed away due to typhoid fever today at home. Henry was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Doke W. Sherrill. His older brother, John D. Sherrill, 27, died a month ago from the same illness. He was married and left a widow, Sarah Jane Sherrill. 

November 26, 1888—Mrs. Mary A. Moore succumbed today as a result of typhoid fever at the home she shared with her husband, Hugh Dixon Moore. She will be laid to rest in the Hartselle City Cemetery. 

December 7, 1888—Dr. William D. Russell of Florette died today as a result of having contracted typhoid fever. Dr. Russell is survived by his wife, Julia Ann; two sons, Thomas Jackson and Arnick Reed Russell; and one daughter, Mrs. Julia Russell Blackford. 

July 9, 1896Mr. W. W. Grubbs of the Decatur News is reported quite sick with slow (typhoid) fever, and the Philomathic-Danville oratorical contest which was to have occurred here during the present week has been postponed on account of the fact that Mr. Grubbs bore a leading number on the program