Diseases and Epidemics in Wise County

1856 -1894

Causes of deaths
As recorded in Wise County Death Records
Fannie Lane Steele

Listed below is a list of diseases and epidemics in Wise County from 1856 when the county was formed through 1894. The infant mortality rate was enormous. Notice the many infant and children’s deaths in comparison to adults.

In 1856 there were 28 entries of which 19 were children under the age of 12 years old

In 1857, 28 were infants and children and 9 were above the age of 12 years.

In 1864-1866 there were 38 entries of which 22 were infants and children. Many were babies who only lived a few days, hours or months.

In 1867-1869 seventy deaths were listed of which 41 were children

1870-1874 there were 76 entries of which 36 were children

1876-1879 there were 108 entries of which 35 were children

1880-1883 there were 106 entries listed and 50 of them were children

1884 there was 108 entries listed of which 65 of them were children and 73 of the 108 died of the flux.

1885 – 74 listed of which 40 were children under 12 years old.

1886 – 37 listed of which 21 were children

There were very few who lived to be the age of 90 or older. Note the simple and repetitive causes of death such as “fever,” ”Old age,” ”Hives, ” “Fits,” ”Child Bed Fever” and “Croup.” Other causes of death were stated as: “Killed by a horse,” or “Killed by a tree,” ”Falling off Train,” ”burn,” ”drowned,” or simply “shot.”

There were numerous causes listed as simply “Unknown.” This makes us realize how far medicine has progressed. The causes of death listed below does not represent every death during the years listed. I only listed the causes of death for each year as there was numerous repetitions of the same cause of death such as “flux,” in the year of 1884.

From the time our county was formed in 1856 the disease of “Consumption” was rampant, which I understand is “Tuberculosis.” In 1884 there was an epidemic of the disease called “Flux” which was a stomach or bowel disorder. In 1917 the influenza “Flu” epidemic was everywhere including Wise and surrounding counties.

Notice the strange names such as “Bealing,” ”Erysipelas,” “Gravel,” “Hydrassal,” “Infantum,” “LaGripp,” ”Putrid,” ”Torpid,” ”Scrofula”

What is the difference in “Hives” and “Bold Hives?”

1856

  • Hives
  • Bold hives
  • Consumption (Tuberculosis)
  • Killed in a fracus (fracas)
  • Burns
  • Croop (croup)
  • Old age
  • Child bed (fever)
  • Killed by a horse
  • Tipos (typhus) fever (Typhoid?)
  • Not known
  • Fits
  • Dropsy
  • Croops (croup)
  • Hives

1857

  • Flux
  • Unknown
  • Pleurisy
  • Scarlet Fever
  • Palsy
  • Fits
  • Dropsey (dropsy)
  • Crushed by log

1858

  • Hives
  • Flux
  • Burned
  • Consumption
  • Fever
  • Croop (croup)
  • Unknown

1859

  • Unknown
  • Croup
  • Scrofula
  • Fever
  • Quinsy
  • Whooping Cough
  • Dropsy
  • Liver Complaint
  • Eating Dirt
  • Child Baring (bearing)

1860

  • Croop (croup)
  • Unknown
  • Phthis(?)
  • Burn
  • Whooping Cough
  • Ulcer
  • Hives
  • Colera (cholera)
  • Palsey (palsy)
  • Killed
  • Quinsy
  • Palsy
  • Liver
  • Gravel
  • Rhematism (rheumatism)

1861

  • Measles
  • Consumption
  • Croup
  • Unknown
  • Croup
  • Fever
  • Hives
  • Stillborn
  • Colaymorbes
  • Disease of head
  • 1864-1866
  • In Child bearing
  • Unknown
  • Erysipelas
  • Dropsy
  • Fever
  • Diarrhea
  • Congestive Heart Failure
  • Hives
  • Burn
  • Flux
  • Shot
  • Croup
  • Childbirth
  • St Antnies fire
  • Cancer
  • Consumption

1867-1869

  • Fever
  • Croup
  • Inflammation
  • Bleeding
  • Consumption
  • Old age
  • Unknown
  • Disease ??
  • Hives
  • Kidney Disease
  • Typhoid
  • Shot
  • Lung Fever
  • Irecepilas
  • Rheumatism
  • Cholera
  • Irrecep
  • Burn
  • Erecylipus
  • Change of life
  • Killed
  • Cold
  • Hives
  • Dropsy

1870-1874

  • Bold Hives
  • Unknown
  • Old Age
  • Fever
  • Smothered
  • Drowned
  • Diphtheria
  • Still born
  • Consumption
  • Whooping Cough
  • Cramp
  • Poisoned
  • Tumor on arm
  • Fulex
  • Hives
  • Dyspepia (dyspepsia)
  • Dyspepsia
  • Kidney Disease
  • White Swelling
  • Thrash
  • Croup
  • Breast disease
  • Dropsy

1876-1879

  • Bold Hives
  • Consumption
  • Diphtheria
  • Hooping Cough (Whooping Cough)
  • Neumonia (Pneumonia)
  • Old Age
  • Palpitations
  • Unknown
  • Fever
  • Burned
  • Dropsy
  • Shot
  • Unknown
  • Drowned

1880-1883

  • Fits
  • Shot/Dr. Howell
  • Dyspepsia
  • Unknown
  • Consumption
  • Infla. bowels
  • Coroup (Croup)
  • Piles
  • Fever
  • Heart Disease
  • Dropsey (dropsy)
  • Heart Disease
  • Diphtheria
  • Scrofula
  • Cramp
  • Lung Disease
  • Bronchitis
  • Brain Fever
  • Hives
  • Burn
  • Palsy
  • Old Age
  • Unknown
  • Ulcer

1884

  • Flux
  • Fever
  • Swallowed Fish bone
  • Liver Disease
  • Inflam..stomach (Inflamed)
  • Pneumonia Feaver (fever)
  • Chollera (cholera)
  • Consumption
  • Croup
  • Canser (cancer)
  • Cold
  • Lung Fever
  • Unknown
  • Dipthery (Diphtheria)
  • Old Age
  • Spinal Affection (Infection)
  • Child Bed Fever
  • Hart (Heart) Disease
  • Brain Fever
  • Inflammation Brain
  • Dead Born
  • Dropsy
  • Ulser (ulcer)
  • Cramp
  • Accidently (accidentaly) killed by a tree
  • Scrofula

1885

  • Bole Hives
  • Hooping Cough (Whooping Cough)
  • Spinal Affection (infection)
  • Bealing of Stomach
  • Fits
  • Hemorrhaging
  • Flux
  • Fits
  • Pneumonia Fever
  • Bold Hives
  • Euresipullas (Erysipelas)
  • Disease of Kidneys
  • Cancer
  • Unknown
  • Brain fever
  • Consumption
  • Scarlet Fever
  • Croup
  • Canser (cancer)
  • Accidental Shot
  • Bold Hives
  • Dropsey (dropsy)
  • Burnt to death
  • Bronchitus (bronchitis)
  • Heart Disease

1886-1887

  • Disease of liver
  • Measels (measles)
  • Flux
  • Brain Fever
  • Yellow Janders (Jaundice)
  • Fever
  • Consumption
  • Inflammatory rheumatism
  • Diseased lungs
  • Croup
  • Unknown
  • Diptheria (diphtheria)
  • Infermation (Inflammation)
  • Bold Hives
  • Hives
  • Falling off Train
  • Scrofula
  • Burn
  • Hooping (whooping) Cough
  • Heart Disease
  • Diptheria (diphtheria)
  • Putrid Sore Throat
  • Crooked limbs
  • Bold hives
  • Fevor (fever)
  • Not known
  • Dipthery (diphtheria)
  • Not listed
  • Cholerra (cholera) Infantum
  • Flux
  • Measels (measles)
  • Inflation of Brain
  • Croup
  • Consumption
  • Rupture In Side
  • Dropsy
  • Hives
  • Childbed fever
  • Child Bearing
  • Unknown
  • Croup and Bold Hives
  • Lung Disease
  • Hooping (whooping) Cough
  • Enlargement of Bowels
  • Hydrassal
  • Bone Eresephlis (erysipelas)

1888

  • Infermation (Inflammation ) of Brain
  • Nerve Fever
  • Asthma
  • Consumption
  • Not known
  • Croup
  • Paralysis
  • Hives
  • Dropsey (dropsy)
  • Shot
  • Hooping Cough (whooping cough)
  • Infermation (Inflammation) of stomach
  • Rodeolo
  • Not Known
  • Heart Disease
  • Measles
  • Whooping Cough
  • Erechyalas (erysipelas)
  • Brain Fever
  • Fever
  • Dipthera (diphtheria)

1889

  • Yellow Jaundice
  • Not Known
  • Fever
  • Spinal Affection
  • Consumption
  • Bold Hives
  • Brain Fever
  • Old Age
  • Dysenterria (dysentery)
  • Diptherie (diphtheria)
  • Flux
  • Paralysis
  • Murdered
  • Rupture on the Brain
  • Lagrippe
  • Dropsey (dropsy)
  • Suicide
  • Killed
  • Rheumatism of the head
  • Killed Accidentley (accidentally)
  • Crop (croup?)
  • Rheumatism of head
  • Liver Diseas (disease)
  • Paralysis
  • Typhoid Fever
  • Cholery (Cholera) Infantim
  • Fits
  • Pneumonia Fever
  • Died at Birth
  • Hives
  • Inflamation (Inflammation)
  • Membramers (Membranous) Croup
  • Sore Throat
  • Diptheria (diphtheria)
  • Burn
  • Billious Fever
  • Inflamation (Inflammation) Bladder
  • Paralysis

1890

  • Consumption
  • Fever
  • Hives
  • Yellow Jaundice
  • Dysentery
  • Croup
  • Hooping Cough (whooping)
  • Drowned
  • Notriceran (?) (Nutrician?)
  • Dysentry (Dysentery)
  • Jarpron
  • Dysentary
  • Old age
  • Typhoid Fever
  • Not known
  • Paralyisis (Paralysis)
  • Dyspepsia
  • Indigestion
  • Bold Hives
  • Brain Fever
  • Drowned
  • Measels (measles)
  • Murdered
  • Dropsey (dropsy)

1891

  • Bold hives
  • Dropsey (dropsy)
  • Catarrah of Head (catarrhal)
  • Lagripe
  • Parralisis (paralysis)
  • Consumption
  • Fever
  • Not Known
  • Ulcer
  • Not listed
  • Pregnant condition
  • Fever or Lagripp (Lagrippe)
  • Croup
  • Heart Diseas (disease)
  • Shot
  • Murdered
  • Relaps on Measels (relapse)
  • Burnt to death
  • Rupture
  • Shot
  • Congestion of Brain
  • Yellow Jaundice
  • Liver Diseas
  • Pluracy (pleurisy)
  • Measels (measles)
  • Shot
  • Paralysis
  • Dipthery (diphtheria)
  • Brain trouble
  • Torpid Liver
  • Killed by Train
  • Dropsy & Fever
  • Poisoned
  • Old Age
  • Croup
  • Famer (?) (Fever) ?
  • Lagrippe
  • Measles
  • By fire
  • Killed by Blast
  • Collery Infantum (cholera)
  • Hives
  • Cholliera Infantum (cholera)
  • Scroffula (scrofula)
  • Not known
  • Erresipalis (Erysipelas)
  • Worms
  • Hives
  • Lagrippe
  • Drowned
  • Neuralgia

1892

  • Torpid Liver
  • Killed by a falling tree
  • Shot
  • Not known
  • Measles
  • Old age
  • Typhoid Fever
  • Flux
  • Murdered
  • Bold Hives
  • Fever
  • Hives
  • Consumption
  • Murdered
  • Thrash
  • Spinel (spinal) Affection (Infection?)
  • Iritation of Stomach (Irritation)
  • Heart Failier (failure)
  • Hurt with a tape(?)
  • Dropsey (dropsy)
  • Heart Diseas (disease)
  • Not Known one hand?
  • Rheumatism
  • Croup
  • Herat (Heart) dropsey
  • Lagrippa (lagrippe)
  • Acidently (accidentally) Shot
  • Skin Disease
  • Gravel
  • Margetis (meningitis)
  • Killed in Coal Mines
  • Cancer
  • Lagrip (Lagrippe)
  • Scrofula
  • Liver Diseas disease)
  • Rheumatiom (rheumatism)
  • Worms
  • Asthma
  • Shot
  • Suicide
  • Bronchitis

1893

  • Hives
  • Not known
  • Killed by Falling
  • Indijestion (indigestion)
  • Fever
  • Absess of Bowels (abscess)
  • Killed y RR Train
  • Dipthera (diphtheria)
  • Dropsey (dropsy)
  • Consumption
  • Croup
  • Abcess (abscess) of Bowels
  • Diarea (diarrhea)
  • Fell Down Stares
  • Scrofulus (scrofulous)
  • Spinal Menjitis (meningitis)
  • Cholra Morbus (Cholera morbus )
  • Flux
  • Cramp Colic
  • Rheumatism
  • Childbed Fever
  • Liver Diseas (disease)
  • Diarrehorea (diarrhea)
  • Died from a fall
  • Cold
  • Gravel
  • Diarrhea
  • Bronchitus (bronchitis)
  • Paralysis
  • Bold Hives
  • Heart Disease
  • Spinel Mengetis (spinal meningitis)
  • Spinel Disease (spinal)
  • Lagrippe
  • Burned
  • Burnt
  • Exposier (exposure)
  • Lagripp
  • Paralissis (paralysis)

1894

  • Not Known
  • Scarlet Fever
  • Spinal Mengitis (meningitis)
  • Hooping (whooping) cough
  • Killed Accidintly (accidentally)
  • Side Pluracy (pleurisy)
  • Typhoid Fever
  • Lung Disease
  • Whooping Cough
  • Rheumatism
  • Consumption
  • Spinal Mengitis (meningitis)
  • Croup
  • Burnt to Death
  • Side Pluracy (pleurisy)
  • Paralissis (pleurisy)
  • Rheumatism
  • Hemorhage (hemorrhage) of womb
  • Dropsey (dropsy)
  • Spinal Affection
  • Whooping Cough
  • Typhoid Fever
  • Spinal Menegitis (meningitis)
  • Bold Hives
  • Fell – accidently Killed (accidentally)
  • Ulcer of Bowels
  • Scrofula
  • Paralisis (paralysis)
  • Lagripp
  • Fever
  • Not known
  • Hives
  • Brain Fever
  • Hooping (whooping) cough
  • Erecipelas (erysipelas)
  • Cole (cold)
  • Flux

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