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Conaway Wellington – Whiteside Co Illinois Health Report on His Farm

Office Of State Veterinarian.

Chicago, Ill., April 17th, 1883. John H. Kauch, M. D.,

Secretary Illinois State Board of Health. Dear Sir:—

In accordance with the request of the State Board Of Health, dated April 11th, 1883, that I report to the Board of Health of Genesee Township, Whiteside County, Illinois, I have the honor to lay before you the following statement, embodying the result of my visit to that place:—

On April 13th, together with Dr. Trumbower, veterinary surgeon, of Sterling, Illinois, I left for Coleta, distant about thirteen miles from Sterling. I there met in consultation two members of the Board of Health of the township, W. C. Burless, esq.. justice of the peace. and S. S. Cobb. esq., clerk of the township: the third member of the said Board being absent from Coleta.

The Infected farm of the late Wellington Conaway, distant about a mile and a half from Coleta, was visited the same afternoon. While all the dwellings and outhouses on the farms for miles around bear evidence of prosperity and good taste, the dwelling and outhouses of the Conaway farm, long before it was reached, were remarkable by a very conspicuous contrast to all the others. On one side of the public highway, and about seventy-five feet distant from the latter, stands a dwelling, two stories high, and covering a space of about 25×60 feet, the length of the building being parallel with the highway. The floor of the building Is raised about two feet from the surrounding surface, and there is a cellar underneath, full of putrid and decaying animal and vegetable matter, skeletons of hogs, dogs, etc.. evidently the accumulations of years. A strong, penetrating, indescribable odor pervaded the dingy and filthv rooms In the house, in spite of a very recent sham performance of disinfection with chloride of lime, which was said to have been sprinkled here and there, but perhaps only in the room that was occupied by the deceased.

father and son during their brief illness. The adjacent rooms, and the rooms up stairs, were occupied by the widow and about half a dozen children of both sexes, varying from about six to over twenty years old.

The dwelling is one of the old landmarks of the township, being upwards of forty years old and it has evidently for many years back received no other repairs than such as were most necessary to ward off the worst of wind and wet, evidenced by Hide and clumsy patching here and there, the weather-boards being disarranged and loose everywhere. Along the highways, on both sides, is what in former days was a picket fence, but now only partly represents such a structure, half of it being down and all of it rotten, and the posts and remaining railing bearing evidence of having been used for hitching horses, who, with their teeth, have rendered It still more unsightly and useless. Opposite the dwelling house, on the other side of the public highway, and close to the same, is the stable, a rude structure of common boards, and about twenty-five by fifty feet, having, under an extension of the roof, on both sides, space for grain, etc.

The stable has a sort of ceiling of loose rafters and boards, on which is placed a small quantity of hay and rubbish, and the shingled gable roof is about twenty-five feet high from the ground. There are five stalls with mangers, the construction of which is in keeping with the building. In the stalls were five horses of various ages, and in moderately fair condition, as to flesh: otherwise they were dirty and rough looking. One by one they were led outside for inspection, and were found to be suffering with glanders in various stages of development.

After returning to Coleta, in the evening I advised the Town Board of Health to send a constable with a written notice to the widow of the late Wellington Conaway. informing her that, under penalty of law she was from that moment and until further orders, prohibited from removing any of the said live horses, as well as six other horses, kept elsewhere on the farm.

On the morning of the following day. April llth, together with the aforesaid two members of the Town Board of Health, and Dr. Trumbower. V.S., I visited a number of farms in the neighborhood around the Conaway farm, for the purpose of inspecting all the horses, as they were feared to have been more or less in contact with the horses on the infected farms.

I also inspected several horses owned by various parties in the town of Coleta. The horses on the Conaway farm had been running at large for some time, and some of the neighboring farmers, while visiting Wellington Conaway and his son George, during their sickness and attending their funerals, had been in the habit of hitching their horses to the fencing above mentioned, and, consequently, reasonable fear was entertained as to their being tainted with the disease. The result of this inspection will be found stated below.

Thereafter the Conaway farm was revisited. On my recommendation, proper disinfection of the dwelling house was entrusted to George W. Remage. M.D., of Coleta, and this gentleman accompanied us to the farm. The widow was inclined to resist all of our proceedings. I quietly informed her that I was present on behalf of the State Board Of Health, and that our mission was one of peace. I also stated that in order lo accomplish proper disinfection of the premises, it was necessary that the family move away temporarily, and that the town supervisors would accommodate her and her family.

A volley of abuse and invectives was the reply; and she was then told that she should move peaceably if possible, but forcibly, if necessary. After listening to the advice of William C. Hurless, justice of the peace and member of the Town Board of Health, who, during her husband’s life, had been his counsellor and adviser, she relented and consented. When, thereafter, the stable was entered, the best one of the five horses was missing. It was suspected that the oldest son, about 20 years old, had taken away this horse; but the whole family pretended to know nothing about it. Being informed that a warrant for his arrest would be forthwith Issued, the above mentioned son went quietly away, and after an hour’s absence, brought the horse panting and sweating as after a hurried run.

Five good, true and disinterested farmers and tax-payers had been selected in the morning. They were now sworn in by the justice of the peace, and proceeded to put a valuation on the following property which I had advised to be destroyed, viz: Two horses and three mares, (one of these in foal); the stable containing the horses; about eight hundred Feet of fencing, railing, boards and pickets being about four hundred feet along each side of the road, and also the fencing around the barn-yard: besides all the loose boards and planks lying around within forty feet of the barn. Also, a watering- trough, the halters, all the harness and bridles, curry-combs, pitchforks and shovels; besides the frame work of a hay wagon.

Also in the dwelling house, two feather beds and pillows, together with ihe bedstead after being valued, the live horses were led away and shot, and the stable, together with the fencing, and all of the above mentioned things, upon which a valuation was put will be burned as soon us the wind moderates. I also advised that all the hitching-posts and railings in the streets, and the same adjacent to the churches, and at the blacksmith shops in the village of Coleta, be removed forthwith and destroyed. On the evening of the 14th of April there was, consequently, great scarcity of places where to hitch a horse.

Horses Examined in the Vicinity of Coleta, Whiteside County, Ill., April 13th and I4th, 1883.

No 1.—Black horse, owned by Martin Overholzer; manifested a slight injection of the nasal mucous membrane. History:—Had been driven to, and tied to the fence in front of the Conaway House several times during the past two months. Was ordered to be kept under surveillance during sixty days; allowed to work on the farm, but not to be exposed in public places, nor to be sold or otherwise disposed of until further notice.

No. 2.— Black horse owned by the Rev. Mr. Bales, of Coleta: manifested a slight gluey discharge from the right nostril and a trifling enlargement of the submaxillary lymphatics. Was ordered not to be tied to any public hitching-post and if fed away from home, to be tied in a cow-shed.

No. 3.— Gray horse, owned by Martin V. Overholzer. Has a tickling of the nasal mucous membrane, and slight enlargement of the left submaxillary lymphatic glands. Was ordered to be kept secluded during sixty days, and not to be sold or otherwise disposed of.

No. 4.—Gray horse, owned by Martin V. Overholzer; was received from the Conaway farm six or seven weeks ago. Was ordered to be kept secluded during sixty days, and not to be sold or otherwise disposed of.

No. 5.— Old bay horse, owned by Joseph Bushman; manifested a slight enlargement of the left submaxillary lymphatics, and slight infection of the nasal mucous membrane. Same precautionary measures ordered as above stated.

No. 6.— Brown gelding, owned by Jospph Bushman: had several small pimples on the inferior surface of the right ala of the nose. Same precautionary measures ordered as above stated.

No. 7.— Bay gelding, two years old, owned by Joseph Bushman; manifested a slight enlargement of the submaxlllary lymphatics, and had an aqueous discharge from both nostrils. Same precautionary measures ordered as above stated.

No. 8.— Bay gelding, three years old. owned by Wm. J. Howe, kept at Joseph Bushman’s farm: had slight enlargement of the right submaxillary lympathics, slight tumefaction of the nasal membranes on both sides. Same precautionary measures ordered as above stated.

No. 9.— Grey gelding, four years old, owned by Henry B. Bushman, kept at the same above-mentioned place. Had slight thickening of the nasal mucous membranes, swelling and tenderness of tendinous bursa: of the fetlock of the left fore-leg. Same precautionary measures ordered as above stated.

No. 10.— Brown fllly. one year old, owned by Joseph Dintz: manifested enlargement of the submaxillary lymnhatics on the left side, somewhat adherent to the bone, and thickening of the mucous membrane of the ala of the nose on the corresponding side. Same precautionary measures ordered as above stated.

No. 11 — Gray mare, owned by George W. Remage, M. D.. of Coleta. Manifested infiltration of the nasal mucous membrane on both sides together with a slight puckered roughness; granular aspect of the inferior surfaces of the ala of the nose: also, some characteristic enlargement of the lymphatic submaxillary glands on the left side. History:— Dr.Remage bought this gray mare, at three years of age, of Wellington Conaway, in the fall of 1881. Soon afterwards there appeared an enlargement of the submaxillary lymphatic glands, with subsequent suppurating abscess. After the abscess had healed she was apparently well. Exposing her to stormy and wet weather she caught cold and discharged very profusely from both nostrils. Mr. Conaway took her back for treatment, on or about the 1st of December, 1881, allowing her to run at large among his other horses. In the spring of 1882. she was extremely poor in flesh, but she was allowed to remain on the Conaway farm until the first week in November, when the owner took her home, and found her not entirely free from a nasal discharge. At the present date, April 14th, 1884, she is in fair flesh. Ordered secluded; not to be used by the doctor for any purpose whatever during sixty days, or longer, if necessary, and not to be sold or disposed of otherwise.

No. 12.— Sorrel stallion, aged fourteen years, owned by the late Wellington Conaway.

No. 13.— Bay mare, aged fourteen; same owner.

No. 14.— Bay gelding, aged five years, same owner.
No. 15.— Old bay horse, broken winded; same owner.

No. 16.— Sorrel gelding, aged two years; same owner.

No. 17.— Sorrel gelding, aged one year: same owner.

History:— Nos. 12 to 17, inclusive, were continually exposed to the glandered and condemned horses, during the past eight months, or longer, by running at large on the owner’s farm. While none of these six animals show any decided symptoms of glanders at present, they are, however, ordered to be kept secluded, under surveillance, and the widow of the late Wellington Conaway is ordered not to sell or otherwise dispose of them during sixty days, or longer, if found necessary.

Annual report of the State Board of Health of Illinois. 1884 pg 45-47
Online at Google Books


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