Sunday, January 31, 2010

1865 Deaths in Scipio

Continuing to review the record of deaths in 1865, I found two ladies with the same surname, presumably from the same family. Sarah F. Shaw, age 9, died January 19, 1865 of diphtheria and 17 year-old Jane E. Shaw died of the same disease on March 3rd of that year. Diphtheria is mostly eradicated from the US thanks to the development of a vaccine, but historically this bacterial disease has claimed many lives.
Little Carrie Waldron was only 17 months old when she died due to croup on February 28,1865. Usually but not always, croup is due to a virus. Anyone who has had a child with croup can tell you what a scary sound that barking cough is in the middle of the night!
An Irena Hoskins died on Valentine’s Day, February 14, 1865. A 77-year-old native of Connecticut, her death was caused by congestion of the lungs. The Hoskins name is well known in Scipio, as is the name of Fordyce. On July 22, 1865, Alpha Fordyce died due to an inflammation of the bowels. Today we know that as Crohn’s Disease; also we have ulcerative colitis. Both are very limiting and serious diseases even today.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Scipio Website

If you scroll to the bottom of this page, you'll find some of my favorite links. One of them is the link to the Town of Scipio website. Take a few minutes and click on it to see the improvements that have recently been made.
We now have a volunteer webmaster, and he has worked hard to make Scipio information easier to access. Pictures have also been added; some of scenic views and some of our historic buildings. It is a work in progress, and I am sure that it will grow and improve over time.
Let the town know how you like the new look, it's your website!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Tundra Swans

I was visiting a friend who is lucky enough to live right on Owasco Lake. Her house is about at the midway mark of the west side, and in the summer it is a pleasure to sip a cup of coffee on her patio and watch the baby ducklings make their way along the shoreline.
Last week, the weather was a bit chilly at 20 degrees, and so we were indoors looking out at the many birds that call Owasco Lake their home for some or all of the wintertime. There are plenty of Canadian Geese of course, but what struck my eye was the lovely line of tundra swans; a long white thread of graceful birds making their way from Auburn at the north end to Moravia at the south end, heading for their evening meal.
There is a certain grace to their flight, unmatched by the geese or other birds of their size, that makes them immediately recognizable. Every winter, they visit Scipio. That is not a bad idea!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Diseases of 1865

A previous blog entry discussed some diseases we don’t hear about today. Some of them have thankfully been eradicated by modern medicine; others have been renamed.
Consumption was prevalent in America in the mid-1800’s. Also known as Phthisis, today we refer to it as tuberculosis.
On July 10th of 1865, Emily Conklin died of Consumption in Scipio. A native of Onondaga County, Emily was 24 years old and married. It was not until 1882 that the bacillus that caused tuberculosis was identified. Immunizations began in 1921 and gained acceptance in the 1940’s.
Ever hear of Dropsy? Elizabeth Van Liew died of it on June 27, 1865. Today, we would say she had edema due to congestive heart failure. I can’t read her age on the copy of the vital records so perhaps an alert blog reader has some Van Liew family tree information that would tell us how old Elizabeth was when she died? Calling all relatives!
Patrick Meullally was only 3 when he died on January 20th, 1865. He was diagnosed with an inflammation of the stomach. Today usually referred to as gastritis, this can be caused by an infection, an acute injury or burn, or can be a symptom of stomach cancer or other serious disease.
Sadly, another child only two years old died on October 27th of that year. Ada E. Sharp’s cause of death was given as Infantile Fever. Most likely, this was Typhoid Fever.