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Cholera Epidemic, Dearborn County, 1849-1851

Cholera Epidemic, Dearborn County, 1849-1851

Posted: 1139080269000
Classification: Query
Surnames: Various
(Note: There were several reported cases of cholera in Dearborn County in the spring and summer of 1866 which probably prompted these articles.)

Lawrenceburg Union Press, Thursday, May 10 1866

The Cholera
A Review of the Epidemic as it Raged in Dearborn County in Former Years
In view of the universal interest on this subject we give some extracts from Dr. Sutton's "Report to the Indiana State Medical Society on Asiatic Cholera" as it existed in this county. It is very interesting at this time. Read it.
When the cholera made its appearance in New Orleans in the winter of 1848-9, five of our citizens became its victims before they reached home; others returned to Aurora, laboring under diarrhea, having returned on boats on which Cholera was prevailing. One man was landed at Aurora on the first of January, from a steamboat on which there had been a number of deaths from cholera. He had had the diarrhea for several days, and a few hours after his arrival was attacked with vomiting and purging, also cramps of the extremities. The discharges, however, were not at any time those of the "rice water" character, so peculiar to cholera. The disease gradually assumed the form of a typhoid fever, of which he died after about a week's illness.

On the 19th of May, a citizen of Aurora was landed from a steamboat on her way to Cincinnati in the collapsed stage of cholera, and died in a few hours.

On the 4th of June, a woman residing near my address in this city was attacked with diarrhea; this was followed during the night by vomiting and cramps of the extremities; towards morning, she suddenly became faint and prostrated, and her friends for the first time were alarmed. I was sent for and found her passing into a collapse; she died about three o'clock in the afternoon. This was the first death from cholera which appeared to originate within the town. About the same time, a woman who resided five miles below Aurora died of cholera.

On the 9th, a man died at Aurora who left Cincinnati a few days previous unwell with diarrhea; he was suddenly attacked about noon with cholera and died that evening between 9 and 10 o'clock.

About this time Dr. Sutton was attacked with vomiting, accompanied with cramps in his stomach and legs and inexpressible smothering or oppressive sensation in the epegastric region, which he says is a symptom belonging to cholera that he has never seen properly described. In fact it is very difficult to describe. It is a peculiar sensation that immediately
precedes the act of vomiting or the discharge from the bowels, or cramps. Numerous new cases were developed next day, four or five of which proved fatal. During the day, Drs. Harding and Tate of Lawrenceburgh, Drs. Ebersole and Locke of
Wilmington, and Dr. Haynes of Rising Sun were sent for and assisted in treating the disease. In his report Dr. Sutton continues: "On the 14th large fires were made at the corners of the streets in the infected portion of the town and cannon were fired every twenty-five minutes for four or five hours. This, I doubt not, did harm. We had 14 deaths this day and the
disease was unusually malignant. Some died in four hours after they were attacked. On the 15th we had six deaths. By this time nearly all that could leave the infected portion of the town had left. Deaths continued to occur daily among the inhabitants that remained.

"There were in the infected district about 97 inhabitants, 51 of whom died. Several left at the commencement of the disease, that are not included in this number. Three weeks from the time cholera assumed its malignant form, our town presented the
most desolate appearance - 1600 out of a population of 2000 had left the place. The few neighbors we had were most of them too unwell to leave their houses; and as we saw but few individuals, the part of the town in which I resided appeared almost entirely deserted. Those who went to the country, with few exceptions, soon regained their health; for out of the 1600 that left Aurora, there were only 13 deaths, and nearly all who died were attacked before they went away and it is worthy of remark that although the citizens that left Aurora unwell regained their health, yet they appeared in many instances to communicate the disease to the inhabitants in the country.

"We had now lost, from the 27th of May up to the 2d of August, 132 of our inhabitants - 51 men, 34 women, and 47 children under 12 years of age. While the cholera was prevailing, several dogs and cats died suddenly in the infected portion of the town, which was supposed by some to be caused by cholera.

"A large number of our citizens, many of them quite unwell, went to Wilmington, an elevated and healthy situation. At this place cholera made its appearance and there were nine deaths, besides a number of cases. There were two physicians at Wilmington - one of them, Dr. Locke, died from cholera. I saw him shortly after he was attacked; he stated that he had the diarrhea the day previous but attended to practice until late in the evening; he was attacked with vomiting in the morning and died after about nine hours illness. The other physician was also unwell. I might here remark that four physicians of Dearborn county died with the cholera - Dr. Taylor of Dillsborough, Dr. Locke of Wilmington, and Dr. Sherry of Dover, in 1849; and in 1851 Dr. Loda of Aurora."

Dearborn County has suffered severely from cholera. It has prevailed in every township; but in Centre, Sparta, Kelso, York, and Jackson, it assumed its most malignant form. Dr. Ashbaugh who attended the cholera in Sparta township, writes that cholera made its appearance in that part of the county on June 14 1849. It was introduced by a Mr. Blanger who had just
returned from Cincinnati where he had the day before buried his father and brother who had died of cholera. The day after his return he had diarrhea; the next day he was attacked with cholera and died after four hours illness. The next day the man who attended him was attacked. The day following, a woman residing in the same house was also attacked. Three days afterwards, another man residing in the same house was attacked and died. The Doctor writes that another "starting point" was from a man who was brought into the neighborhood from Aurora, unwell with cholera. A few days afterwards a young woman
who attended him was attacked. On July 11th another one of the family was attacked. The day following, also another of the family was attacked; on the 14th another, on the 15th two more, on the 17th another, also another on the 18th, making seven cases of cholera and four deaths occurring in a family of eight persons. Another point from which the disease seemed to emanate, the Doctor says, was in a family who lived in a retired place. The father of the family returned from St. Louis on the 24th of June. He came up the river on a boat on which there were some 15 deaths from cholera. The day after he returned,he was attacked with cholera and died. The day following, his daughter was attacked; on the 28th, the man who assisted in laying out the old gentleman took the cholera and died; the same day this man was buried his wife was attacked.

The disease then spred through the neighborhood; people were continually arriving from Aurora, unwell with the cholera, and it became difficult, the Doctor says, to trace the connection between the cases that occurred. The Doctor mentions one instance where the disease appeared to be communicated by bed clothes. He was attacked himself with symptoms of cholera.

Dr Brower of Lawrenceburgh writes that there has not been many cases of cholera at that place. He states "that it is an indisputable fact that the population residing upon our alluvial formation have, during every visitation of cholera, enjoyed a remarkable exemption from its ravages and I can call to recollection no case occurring in such localities which were not connected with great neglect of personal cleanliness or impurities in or around the dwellings; this immunity extends also to its congener epidemic, Dysentery, nine cases out of ten of which occurred in the dry elevated ridges or on slopes or side hills where the limestone substratum was seen frequently cropping out; nearly all the cases of cholera and most of those of Epidemic Dysentery, in this vicinity, were found on the most elevated plateaus or in the adjacent valleys fed by small streams."

"As to its treatment, my principal reliance was upon a combination of calomel, capsicum, and camphor, in moderate and frequently repeated doses, absolute rest in a horizontal position, dry friction, chloroform lotion to the spinal column, frequent draughts of ice water, and occasionally an emetic of mustard or salt. The result of any mode of treatment, however, in advanced cases, were by no means satisfactory, and even in those who partially recovered from its first onset, a large proportion eventually died from consecutive congestion of some important organ, so that the proportion of absolute recoveries was extremely small."

Dr. Harding of Lawrenceburgh sends me a list of 24 cases which came within his knowledge at that town in the year 1849. He states "the first case died in 20 hours after being attacked. The second, treated with large doses of calomel died of consecutive fever; the 3d treated homeopathically, died in 24 hours; the fifth and sixth died in 24 hours, the seventh died without treatment (referring to sake medicine) in 12 hours - the four next were all in one family; two died, one in 12 and the other in 20 hours; 14th and 15th died in 12 hours; one contracted the disease in Cincinnati, the other in Aurora; 16th and 17th, both intemperate, died without treatment in 12 and 24 hours; 18th contracted the disease in Cincinnati and died in 11 hours; 19th contracted the disease from the last case and died in 12 hours; 20th died in 14 hours, 21st in 8 hours, 22d in 12 hours, 23d and 24th recovered." The Doctor says "that in the above list none are included which had not actually passed on to the collapsed stage of the disease. Scores of cases of diarrhea were occurring in the meantime which would undoubtedly
have passed into cholera but for the timely intervention of remedies.

"In 1850, we had but few cases; perhaps some 10 or 15 and those mostly among strangers or persons who had been from home. But we had instead, an Epidemic Dysentery, in a very malignant form, especially on the ridges between Hogan and Tanner's Creek, and Tanner's Creek and White Water.

"In 1851 and 1852 we had occasional cases of cholera, generally occurring amongst persons who had been traveling on the river, or though districts where cholera was prevailing; not invariably so, however, and scarcely extending beyond the individual case, showing the absence of predisposing cause as existed in 1849 and 1850.

"In October 1852, I saw seven cases, the only ones I encountered that year. William Matlock had just returned from Ohio; he was attacked with diarrhea in the evening and died in about 20 hours - no other cases occurred in his family or among his attendants. About the same time, a German family arrived via New Orleans, having traveled on deck of a steamboat. The son was attacked two or three days after their arrival - he recovered; his mother, after attending him three or four days, was attacked and died of the consecutive fever; two days later her niece who had waited on her took the disease and died in 12 hours. The sister of the first named young man had it, but recovered. Lastly the two children belonging to the niece were attacked - one died in ten hours, the other recovered in a few days."

Dr. Hughes of Harrison writes that he saw much of cholerine, or cholera diarrhea in 1849 and 1851 in Miller and Logan townships; the disease was generally mild, however and easily managed. He depended in the treatment of the disease upon
astringents, in combination with stimulants, anodynes, and calomel, variously combined to meet the indications.


Lawrenceburg Union Press, Aug 23 1866

The Cholera in Lawrenceburgh in 1849
There being considerable talk about the number of deaths which occurred here from Cholera in 1849, we have clipped from an old paper the following list of deaths which took place here at that time:

June 19 - Anderson, a negro; put off of the steamboat Wisconsin in a collapsed state.

June 22 - Old Mrs. Darragh (originated in Cincinnati)

July 1 - Benj. Dair, (originated in Aurora)

July 2 - Nicholas Haubald's child (Ger.)*

July 4 - John Hamilton * +

July 4 - Wilson's child (originated in Aurora)

July 5 - Myers (German) *

July 7 - J. Martenstein's child * (German)

July 7 - Nicholas Florsh's child * (German)

July 8 - Mrs. Lowe (originated in Wilmington)

July 8 - Nicholas Florsh's 2d child * (German)

July 10 - Beaumont *(stranger) +

July 10 - Collins * (German)

July 10 - Joseph Darragh (originated in Cincinnati)

JUly 11 - Mrs. Ecase (German)

July 11 - Nicholas Florsh's 3d child * (German)

July 12 - John Northern *

July 13 - Miss Harriet Turner * (stranger)

July 15 - Wm. Chapman's child

* Originate here
+ Disease disputed

Re: Cholera Epidemic, Dearborn County, 1849-1851

Debby Scott (View posts)
Posted: 1139198480000
Classification: Query
Surnames: Scott, Hannah, Hill, Bullard
Thank you For posting this article of the Epidemic. I had heard stories of this from my aunt how has long been gone many years. She told me lots and lots of people died.

Maybe, this is one reason my Scott family moved to Daviess County, IN. They were there in 1850 and 1860 Census. Then they are in the 1870 Census in Daviess County, IN.

From what I understand from my aunt it hit Dearborn, Ohio, and switzerland counties pretty hard.

Thanks again

Debby Scott

Re: Cholera Epidemic, Dearborn County, 1849-1851

Pat James (View posts)
Posted: 1139716901000
Classification: Query
Surnames: Savage

WESTERN COMMERCIAL, A Family Newspaper: Neutral In Ploitics, Volume 1. Number 30, Aurora, Indiana, Saturday July 21, 1849

"Cholera --- Its Disappearance.
We again make our appearance to our readers, and with joy announce the glorious tidings that the cholera, which for many days spread terror and death over our fair city, has disappeared. The last case occurred on the 13th inst. But since the issue of our last paper, many, alas! Many of your citizens have gone to their long homes. Great, indeed, has been thy work, oh! Dreadful scourage, and God comfort the friends of the departed ones.

We are under obligation to Daniel Armel, E?q, for the following correct list of the deaths by cholera in this city, also of those of our citizens who died in the country, since the outbreak of the disease to its entire disappearance.

May 27 – Alexander Mc Cabe
June 6 – Mrs. Jane Steel
June 9 – Bennet Hammond
June 11 – Miss Harriet Steel, John Mahony, Mrs. Wood, son of F. Ellis, Stephen Jones, Larrah Haring
June 12 – Wm. Cropper, Mrs. Longly, (found dead) old Mr. Savage, old Mr. O’Brien, a son of P. O’Brien, son of James Cumming, son of Doct. Geo. Sutton, aged 4 years – child of Mr. Brewer
June 13 – John Mahony’s daughter, Mrs. Redding, Mr. O’Brien, Mrs. Cropper
June 14 – Mrs. Rothert, Miss Sarah Gibbs, Mrs. Haring, Huge Stage, Morgan Morris, Mary Jane Carson, Coonrod Yeck, Mr. Inman, Joseph O’Brien, Mr. Wood’s child
June 16 – C. Denderline, Jas. Hering, Mr. Fip’s child, Geo. White, Mike Moore, Mr. Brower’s child
June 17 – Mr. Wood’s child, Mrs. B. F. Trester, Mrs. Trester’s child, Mrs. Abbot
June 18 – Jas. Longly, Mrs. Plummer
June 19 – Mrs. Unglamb, Preston Osborne
June 20 – J. H. Wood and two children, Mr. Knowl’s child
June 21 – Wm. F. Ellis and wife, Mr. Plummer’s son, Mrs. Johana Wilcox, Mrs. Trester’s child
June 22 – None
June 23 – Mr. Wilcox’s child
June 24 – Old Mr. Trotter, Mrs. Higbee, Mrs. Denderline
June 25 – Irishman (name unknown), Mrs. Ardlia Trotter’s son
June 26 – Mrs. Robt. L. Ross
June 27 – None
June 28 – Wm. Savage, Mrs. Terhune
June 29 – J. Wilcox’s child, Sales Wasmer
June 30 – John Lanker, Mrs.. Burnett
July 1 – Wm. Sylvester, T. Wilson’s child
July 2 – G. W. Smith’s two children, Mr. L. Eperson’s two children
July 2 - None
July 3 – Mrs. S. Trester, Blake Ellis, Mrs. A. Wright, T. J. Hays, Newton Rag dall, Mrs. Eperson and child, Mr. Geogold, Mrs. Hahony’s child, Mr. Robert’s child, Mr. Griffith’s child, Horace Porter, O. P. West, Eperson’s child
July 4 – C Robert’s child, Jno. Graden’s child
July 5 – Mrs. Haven, Moses Smith’s child, J. Graden, Robert L. Ross, Jerry Williamson
July 6 – H. Wilkey’s child
July 7 – Wm. Allen’s child
July 8 – Eperson’s boy, Mrs. Williams
July 9 – Three Germans
July 10 – One German
July 11 – None
July 12 – Mrs. Savage
July 13 – Mr. John Werts, C. Thomas’ child

Making in all, one hundred and 9 deaths in Aurora.

Citizens of Aurora who died in the country.
Mrs. Flemming, Wm Johnson, (boy,) Pernel J. Laws, C, Wilman’s child, Anthony Kasiner and 2 children, E. Freeman, Benj. Dare, Mr. Griffiths child, Frank Gillen , Robt. Holmes, Charles T. Conwell. "

Abbot, Allen, Armel, Brewer, Brower, Burnett, Cabe, Carson, Conwell, Cropper, Cumming, Dare, Denderline, Ellis, Eperson, Fip, Flemming, Freeman, Geogold, Gibbs, Gillen , Graden, Griffith, Hahony, Hammond, Haring, Haven, Hays, Hering, Higbee, Holmes, Inman, Johnson, Jones, Kasiner, Knowl, Lanker, Laws, Longly, Mahony, Moore, Morris, O’Brien, Osborne, Plummer, Porter, Redding, Robert, Ross, Rothert, Savage, Smith, Stage, Steel, Sutton, Sylvester, Terhune Thomas, Trester, Trotter, Unglamb, Wasmer, Werts, West, White, Wilcox, Wilkey, Williams Williamson, Wilman Wilson, Wood, Wright, Yeck

Re: Cholera Epidemic, Dearborn County, 1849-1851

A B. Jones (View posts)
Posted: 1140880422000
Classification: Query
Surnames: Mahony
Thank you for this newspaper article, it explains how my ancestor, John Mahony died in 1849. I had a portion of a will but nothing else. Many thanks!

Re: Cholera Epidemic, Dearborn County, 1849-1851-Mahony

Posted: 1140917234000
Classification: Query
Edited: 1163971294000
A B,

Would you please list whatever details you have for your John Mahony?

My g-grandmother was Lucy C. MAHO/R/NEY, b. 1861, KY; d. 1911, Spencer Co., IN. She married Richard W. HEDRICKS, 1879 in Trimble Co., KY.

Lucy's parents were Elza MAHONEY, b. 1817, Henry Co., KY and Sarah Ann Frances (UNDERWOOD) MAHONEY, b. 1832, Trimble Co., KY. They married 1849 in Trimble Co., KY. Elza's first wife was Martha GRIFFITH and they were married 1838 in Ripley Co., IN.

Elza's parents were Fielding MAHONEY, b. 1786, VA; d. 1853, Ripley Co., IN and Rebecca YEAGER, b. 1798, VA or KY, d. 1871, Ripley Co., IN. It is believed that Fielding and family moved from Henry Co., KY to Ripley Co., IN around 1837.

Fielding's father was Dennis MAHONEY, b. ca 1760, VA or Ireland; d. bef 1835, possibly Henry Co., KY. He lived primarily in Fayette and Henry Co., KY.

I have been searching for a few years now for provable information about the first twenty years (1859-1878) of Richard W. HEDRICKS life (my g-grandfather). His obituary states that he was born in Harrison Co., KY and that he was orphaned young. In the parent information on the marriage license of my grandmother (his daughter), it states that he was born in Lawrenceburg, IN. Another document, although difficult to read, appears to give his birthplace as 'Derbin' Co., IN and names his parents as James Hedricks and Jane SADLER.

I am also seeking information for the family of Benjamin and Jane Frances (WHITE) MAHONEY married ca1810 probably in KY. Their daughter, Frances J. Mahoney married Charles W. HUSSEY, Dec. 31, 1850 (don't know where). Charles and Frances's son, John Cabell Breckenridge HUSSEY, married Maud B. ROBERTS, 1907 in Spencer Co., IN. Maud was the niece of Richard W. HEDRICKS.

This is the first reference that I have seen to the MAHONEY surname in Dearborn Co., IN, so, I am leaving no stone unturned.

Any information is appreciated.


Jane Wheaton
Evansville, IN

Re: Cholera Epidemic, Dearborn County, 1849-1851-Mahony

Dianne Rossman (View posts)
Posted: 1140957553000
Classification: Query
Surnames: Hedricks, Hendrix, Halsey
Didn't find them in Dearborn County but this might be Jane Hedricks & son Richard in Harrison County in 1870:

1870 United States Federal Census > Kentucky > Harrison > Berrys District, Post Office Boyds Station Ky (image 11 of 48)
Dwg 81 Fam 80
Hendrix Jane, 38, f, w, keeps house, b Kentucky, cannot read/write
Hendrix Richard, 11, m, w, at home, b Kentucky, attended school, cannot read/write
Halsey James, 22, m, w, Stone Quarrier, b Kentucky, cannot read/write
Halsey Louisa, 20, f, w, no occupation, b Kentucky, cannot read/write

Re: Cholera Epidemic, Dearborn County, 1849-1851-Mahony

Posted: 1140965967000
Classification: Query
Edited: 1163971294000
Thanks for taking the time to search. I have seen this family and think it is probably my Richard and Jane. I think also that Louisa may have been a Hedricks because an older family member (now deceased) said she thought she remembered an Aunt Lou. I'm planning to go to Cynthiana, hopefully in the not too distant future, to see what I can discover about this family group. Richard's sister, Ann, is in the 1870 Harrison Co., KY Census. She married Jasper ROBERTS and they are living in the HH of Hammond and Susan SCOTT. Susan is Jasper's sister. That's another reason that I think this could be my Richard and Jane.

Thanks again for looking.


Re: Cholera Epidemic, Dearborn County, 1849-1851-Mahony

A. B. Jones (View posts)
Posted: 1140969264000
Classification: Query
The Sr. John Mahony was born about 1817 (I believe in IN).
He had a sister named Bridget and a brother named Dennis.
Dennis ws thought to have died in TX with Fannin at Goliad ans I have many original letters from 1841-1881 where the family was trying to obtain his land grant but since there were 2 Dennis Mahony's who died there were having a very difficult time. To my knowledge they never succeeded. There is no proof to my knowledge that he actually died there.

John Mahony Sr. married Helene (maiden name unknown) and they had two sons named John and Dennis! This I can prove again because of family letters regarding the Sr. John's estate when he died about 1849-1859. Their are also land papers for property in Dearborn Co. The last accounting of the estate was done in Dearborn Co. I do not have the will and have asked for a copy but was told I needed to get someone in Dearborn Co. to go get it. They would not copy it for me at the court house. (Nice, Huh!)
John Jr. showed up in Louisiana about 1850 and married Adelle Berthaud, daughter of Jean Baptiste Evariste Bertaut/Berthaud and Elise Aycock. John and Adelle's marriage record says he is the son of John and Helene Mahony and was born in Indiana. Their daughter Estelle Mahony married Ivy Rochel and was my great grandmother. Hope this helps in your search. Regards.

Re: Cholera Epidemic, Dearborn County, 1849-1851-Mahony

Posted: 1140976004000
Classification: Query
Edited: 1163971294000
Thanks for the details. On the surface, it doesn't appear to connect to my Mahoney line, but, you never know.

Regarding the will, I found this on the Dearborn Co., IN USGenWeb website:

Dearborn County Historical Society
508 West High Street
Lawrenceburg, IN 47025-1916
Ph: (812) 537-4075
Hours: Tues through Thurs., 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Fri. 10:00 a.m. 3:00 p.m. EDT
The Historical Society will research a specific name for a $5.00 per hour charge. The Historical Society requires a first and last name of the person to be researched, along with a
Self Addressed Stamped Envelope. Please send the request to the above address

I have not utilized this resource.

It sounds like you already know the Book and Page for your will and that it's just a matter of someone going to the courthouse and getting a copy of it. I would think it wouldn't take very long for someone to retrieve this information and at minimal expense.

Good luck in your search.


Re: Cholera Epidemic, Dearborn County, 1849-1851-Mahony

Debby (View posts)
Posted: 1141086436000
Classification: Query
Surnames: Hedrick, Sadler

I don't know if we have spoken before or not. Does your Jane Sadler -- do you know if she had any brothers, sisters, and what is her parents name?

I have a few Sadlers. Also, I have tons of Hedricks. I have a couple of Richards, but I don't think it is the same Richard. By looking at the Surnames, and Locations of both -- I feel, your family just may connect to mine.

Please contact me at Would like to exchange info.
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