Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 2, Number 3, September, 1992 Page: 144
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Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal
His fever rose gradually through the day, the pain in the bowels increased,
and he died, with a temperature of 1040 Fahrenheit in the axilla, at 11 o'clock P. M.
On Wednesday, the 22d inst., there were six deaths, as follows: - One on
Crockett street, east of Front; one on Preston, between Milam and Bowie; one at the
corner of Preston and Live Oak, it being the second death at that house; one at the corner
of Jackson and Austin street; one at the boarding house, on the south side of the square;
and one at the corner of Bowie and Washington streets. Of these, the latter case only
was under my care, and its prominent features are worthy of note. A German lad, aged
ten years, had been gathering pecans, of which he had eaten freely; was attacked on
the 13th with a chill and fever, for which his father gave him at night Simmons' Liver
Regulator. The medicine failed to operate, the fever gradually increasing until the evening
of the next day, when I was called. Found the patient hot and thirsty, with pulse 120
to the minute; tongue lightly coated and very red on the edges; bowels tender and painful:
prescribed fl. ext. jalap, one dram, tr. verat. vir. three minims, to be repeated every three
hours until his bowels were moved; also, large cold water enemas alternately with the
above, and cold compress over both stomach and bowels. The medicine acted early next
morning, copiously, the first evacuation being dry and hard, covered with mucus,
streaked with fresh blood; succeeding ones thin, dark and offensive. Fever abated some,
but thirst and pain as great as ever; tongue dry; prescribed turpentine emulsion and spts.
nitre alternately with Dover's powders. Saw him again in the evening, and discontinued
the Dover's powders, the pain being relieved to a great extent, though the fever was
unabated. Gave ice freely, and continued the cold compress.'3
16th. Patient about as he was on the preceding day. Treatment continued
with the addition of cold water enemas.
17th and 18th brought no decided changes; a slight abatement of fever;
occasionally some perspiration, but undiminished tenderness of the bowels; treatment
During the day, on the 19th, there was a gradual increase of fever, great
restlessness and some delirium; bowels ceased to act from the syringe. Ordered acetate
potass. mixture and the enemas continued, sometimes with soap and water, at others
with salt and water.
20th. Patient rested better, but otherwise without change; prescribed
aromatic syr. rhei, and bicarb. potass, which operated during the night, removing large
quantities, first of dark, granular, offensive matter, and subsequently thin discharges,
resembling the bloody urine in haematuria miasmatica. Ordered the turpentine emulsion
with spts. nitre and creasote [creosote].
21st. Patient decidedly worse; fever high, restlessness intense, some
delirium and a total suppression of urine. Prescribed the potass. mixture at intervals of
three hours, ice and the cold compress. During the day there was some improvement,
and his father, observing the relief from the morphia in the potass. mixture, gave it every
13 Editor's note: The known deaths from October 22: Lue Ella Harcourt, Elwood Lacey, Matilda
McDaniel, August Schrepfer, end a Mr. Seymour. Harcourt was the wife of Daniel Webster Harcourt who died
the previous day and thus, since it is the only place at which someone died on both days, she was the woman
who died at the house on the corner of Preston and Live Oak Streets. John J. Smith, whose date of death
according to his tombstone at the Columbus City Cemetery was actually October 23, was probably the man
who died at the corner of Jackson and Austin streets, for he had purchased a lot at that location in 1860 (see
Deed Book K, Office of the County Clerk, Colorado County, Texas, pp. 723-724, which chronicles Smith's
purchase of lots 12-14 in block 67 in Columbus on August 29, 1860). The ten year old "German lad" was
probably Louis Merseburger, who apparently actually died on October 21. Nothing more is known of Lacey,
McDaniel, Schrepfer, or Seymour.
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Nesbitt Memorial Library. Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 2, Number 3, September, 1992, periodical, September 1992; Columbus, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth151386/m1/16/?q=nesbitt%20memorial%20library%20journal: accessed December 11, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Nesbitt Memorial Library.