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52 Weeks Of Personal Genealogy History

Monday, December 27, 2010

Amanuensis Monday 05 1952 Polio Epidemic In The News

Genea-blogger John Newmark (who writes the TransylvanianDutch blog) started his own Monday blog theme many months ago called Amanuensis Monday.

What does "amanuensis" mean? John offers this definition:"A person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another."

Last week I shared a letter that I had come across that my mother wrote to her family June 1952. She wrote this on letter head from a company my father either worked for or had worked for. The letter is newsy but also she is sharing that she is not feeling well. She would be taken to the hospital with days and be diagnoised with Polio.


Last summer my sister and I with our husbands took a day trip to Baytown, Texas. Our parents lived there in 1952. We found the house we had lived in, had lunch and then went to the library to find articles of the Polio epedimic at that time.

It is so much different to read these articles when you see your mother's name in print.


All articles are from the Baytown Sun ... Baytown, Texas


June 14th 1952

Polio claims second life

Concern over the polio epidemic in Baytown increased after the death of Jules N Weathers, 35. A Cyrpress street housewife was also added to the list of patients. Mrs. A. R. Zion of 1201 Cypress was taken to Hedgecroft clinic Fiday morning in a Paul L Lee Ambulance.




June 16th 1952

Latest Polio Victim Taken To Hospital

Mrs. A. R. Zion, 1201 Cypress Baytown's latest polio patient, was reported Monday to be in serious condition in Hedgecroft clinic in Houston.



June 17th 1952
Three Iron Lung Cases From Area Reported Critical

Three polio patients from the Baytown area were in Iron lungs at Hedgecroft clinic ( Houston) Tuesday and were reported in critical condition.
There were Lee college Instructor J C Chamberlain, Mrs. A. R. Zion 23 year old Baytown housewife and George Mathis of La Porte.
A special nurse was being sought for Chamberlain, Mrs. a W Costley, a friend of the family said that she had been able to obtain one on a temporary basis after calling all day yesterday in the Baytown area.
She asked that any available nurse call her.
Other polio patients from this area were reported resting comfortably.


June 18, 1952
Shortage of Nurses Is Biggest Problem Says Hospital Chief

Still critical
Three polio patients from Baytown in Hedgecroft clinic remained in critical condition Wednesday. There were Lee college Instructor J. C. Chamberlain and Mrs. A R Zion of Baytown and George Mathis of La Porte. All remain in iron lungs


Late Bulletin
Eleven new patients, one of them the mayor of Richmond, Texas were diagnosed Wednesday as having polio and four others were listed as " possible " cases as the outbreak continued unabated in Houston and Harris county.


It is interesting to read newspapers from this time period. My mom came out of this horrible disease alive, many did not. She was handicapped, wearing a brace and using crutches her whole life.
This never stopped her. She could of sat home and felt sorry for herself but did not.
She raised my sister and me and had two more children. Arthur Jr who passed away shortlay after birth and my brother David. She was involved in the church and my school. She is my inspiration.

thanks for stopping by and reading some of my sharings of my mother.
I hope that you will return soon. Grace

1 comment:

  1. Oh, Grace, what a frightening disease and we hardly give it a thought these days. How hard it must have been for your mother to have had a healthy body with easy mobility and then to have it taken away. I can see why she would be an inspiration to you. Thanks for sharing these news articles.

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