Sunday, September 17, 2017

"Teething as a Cause of Death": Frances Ann Elizabeth Glade

The parents of Frances Ann Elizabeth Glade were recent immigrants to the United States. Frances's mother, Eliza Mary Litson, arrived in Salt Lake City in 1863 and married widower James Glade, who had been in the country just two years longer. Eliza was from Wales and James was from Devon, England, by way of Wales. James's wife Mary died while crossing the plains, and he had one young daughter.

Frances was Eliza and James's second child, born on Pioneer Day in 1866. She probably would have been walking and starting to talk when she fell ill, then died at the age of fourteen months. The burial record showed the cause of death as "teething." Drs. Harry Gibbons and Kent Hebdon studied the Utah death records and suggested that this probably meant cholera infantum. (West J Med. 1991 Dec; 155(6): 658–659.)  Cholera infantum happened in the warmer months and mainly struck children who had just been weaned. It was likely caused by bad milk, and the disease all but disappeared once the government started to require pasteurization.

The grieving young parents buried their little girl in the Salt Lake City Cemetery, grave B_1_2_W/2. They may have marked the grave, but based on burial databases like FindAGrave, there is no longer a marker.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Happy Labor Day

It's Labor Day tomorrow. The picture to the left is Rose Biodo of Philadelphia, ten years old in 1910. She had already worked for three summers, minding a baby and carrying berries, two pecks at a time. "This is the fourth week of school and the people here expect to remain two weeks more." 

It was the plight of children like Rose Biodo that led my grandfather's grandmother, Utah State Senator Elizabeth Hayward (bottom right), to support progressive legislation against child labor. The button to the top right was Elizabeth's, from a national campaign to levy an extra ten percent tax on those who used child labor. In 1922, the Supreme Court declared the Child Labor Tax Law of 1919 unconstitutional, but the battle to protect children continued and ultimately prevailed.