IAGenWeb Project - Clayton co.

Polio outbreak Summer-Fall of 1949

Clayton Co. Polio outbreak Summer-Fall of 1949
~compiled by Reid R. Johnson from local newspaper reports

First Case of Polio Reported.
Kenneth Schug, five-year-old son of Mrs. Norma Schug, was taken to Iowa City Sunday afternoon and admitted to the hospital there with bulbar type poliomyelitis. He complained of having a headache as early as last Thursday and became very sick on Saturday. Kenneth is the younger of Mrs. Schug's two sons. Her husband died in 1944. This is the first case of polio reported in Clayton county this year.
~Clayton County Register, Thur., 14 July 1949


O. Schoulte's Son Stricken
Ralph Schoulte, son of Mr. and Mrs. Oliver Schoulte is in Iowa City afflicted with Polio; his condition so far has not improved.
~Garnavillo Tribune, Thursday, 21 July 1949 (National column) Note: surname was spelled variously Schulte or Schoulte in these articles; the latter spelling is correct.


Polio Strikes Two Children At Elkader & Clayton Center
Two cases of Polio were reported in Clayton county during the last week.

Sandra Cota, 7, Elkader, had been sick since Friday noon but showed no polio symptoms until Tuesday noon. She was taken to the university hospital at Iowa City Tuesday afternoon where her case was pronounced very light, affecting the muscles of the left shoulder.

The second case was that of Judy Meyer, 8, daughter of Eldo Meyer who lives near Clayton Center. Judy was stricken Saturday and was taken to the Dubuque hospital Tuesday where her case was diagnosed as polio and her condition called serious.
~Clayton County Register, Thur., 18 Aug. 1949


Guttenberg Still Free From Polio
Guttenberg, still free from polio cases within the city, continued this week to take steps to prevent any outbreak from occurring here. This week the town council passed a resolution stating that all activities will be prohibited which encourage outsiders to come from a distance. The resolution also stated that with the occurrence of the first authenticated case of polio in this vicinty, all church services, entertainents, socials, etc. will be prohibited to thise under sixteen years of age.

The nearest polio case is Brian Hyde, four year old son of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Hyde of Mallory township, who was taken to Iowa City as a polio patient on Saturday, on the instructions of a local doctor.

Another case from west of Colesburg is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Harold Klaus. The lad is in Mercy hospital in Dubuque.
~Guttenberg Press, Thursday, 18 August 1949


County Polio Score Now Six, Caused Two Deaths - Cases Spread Through County, Local Funds Called Inadequate - Warn Of Insurance Claims
Six cases of polio have been reported in Clayton county to date, according to Arthur J. Meyer, chairman of the county chapter of the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis. The cases are widespread throughout the county, one each in or near Edgewood, Elkader, Colesburg, McGregor, St. Olaf and Strawberry Point. Two deaths have been reported, one case called serious, two indefinite and one almost completely recovered.

Lyle Moyle, 5, son of Mrs. Leslie Moyle, Edgewood, died August 12. Obituary

Judy Meyer, 8, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Eldo Meyer, St. Olaf, died August 20. Obituary

Brian Hyde, 4, son of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Hyde, Colesburg, had not been sent to the hospital at last reports.

Ralph Schulte, 10, son of Mr. and Mrs. Oliver Schulte, McGregor, was still in Iowa City spending his fourth week there. [Schoulte]

Sandra Cota, 7, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Don L. Cota, Elkader, still had a light touch of the disease at last reports.

Kenneth Schug, 5 year old son of Mrs. Norma Schug had been released from the hospital this week, apparently completely recovered.

Mrs. Lloyd Carpenter, 24, went to Iowa City Monday but doctors there found no polio. She was to be released for the trip home today (Thursday).

Local funds will be adequate to relieve any undue hardships in those cases already reported, Meyer explained. State chairman, John V. McCarthy, has assured the backing of the resources of the National foundation.

Chairman Meyer added that many inquires have come to him regarding polio insurance. He said it would be extremely difficult to pass on this type of insurance without the policy and the underwriters. Meyer thought the insurance a fine thing if bought from a local agent or an acquaintance. He warned against taking at face value the false claims of some agents who misrepresent the local chapter.

The chapter will be generous in all cases, Meyer said. He asked people to remember that a large part of the donations to the March of Dimes is used for research which has made it possible for thousands to recover completely from polio. Meyer reiterated that the county chapter has sufficient funds at its disposal to take care of local cases and asked that anyone who knows of new cases report to him.
~Clayton County Register, Thur., 25 Aug. 1949


Community Children Polio Victims - Garber - Garnavillo Children Under Treatment
Dana Wittman, eleven months old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Wittman of near Garber, is a patient in a Dubuque hospital where he illness was diagnosed as polio. She was taken to the hospital on orders from a local physician.

The Wittman case and that of Brian Hyde of near Osterdock are as close to the town itself as polio has been reported this year, but Judy Meyer, 8, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Eldo Meyer, prominent farmers living near Clayton Center, died Saturday night of polio in a Dubuque hospital, while another case was reported last week at Elkader.

Billy Tuecke of Garnavillo is being brought home from a Dubuque hospital this Thursday after showing good recovery following a presumptive diagnosis of polio at the hospital. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Carl Tuecke.
~Guttenberg Press, Thursday, 25 Aug. 1949


County Death Toll At Five As Polio Drive Starts - Cases Reach Record High, Drain Funds - Campaign To Last One Week Starting Today, Student Solicitors To Call For Contributions
The death of Patrick Orr, five-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. Raphael Orr, Volga, at Mercy hospital Monday evening brought to five the number of polio fatalities in Clayton county. Obituary

Two new cases were reported this week. Louis Meyer, 39, son of John Meyer, Garnavillo, has been at the Dubuque hospital since Saturday where polio has paralyzed him from the knees down. His condition is described as very good now.

Dean Meyer, 17-year-old son of Elmer Meyer, Garnavillo, is also in the Dubuque hospital where his condition is said to be good.

Art Meyer, local chairman of the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis said Wednesday night that the county organization has enough money available to meet any expected emergency and that for an unexpected emergency it has unlimited credit to draw from national funds. Just Wednesday, he said, the foundation began paying the cost of treatment in the case of Mrs. Carlin of Garnavillo. He was surprised to find many people didn't know that the National Foundation was prepared to use funds collected during the March of Dimes and emergency drives to pay up to the entire cost of treatment for polio cases.

Polio this year has reached a record high, Meyer said, and is costing $100,000 per day in hospital expenses on a national scale. An all-time record of 40,000 cases has been set this year and funds are dangerously low. They may be exhausted by October 1. With funds running out at this rate the national foundation has declared an emergency one-week drive from September 8-15 during which people of Clayton county may contact any polio foundation worker or Art Meyer, chairman, with contributions for the fight against polio. Elkader Mayor A. L. Oleson proclaimed the week of Sept 8th, to Sept. 15, to be "Polio Emergency Week" and asked all citizens of the community to join in the common crusade against infantile paralysis.

Local postmasters have been authorized to handle money for the drive and rural mail carriers will collect funds from boxes on their routes, according to Duluth Pieper, County Infantile Paralysis chairman.

Local Chairman Meyer was making arrangements Wednesday to have girls from the upper two grades in the town high schools solicit funds from door to door throughout Elkader next Monday. In this way he hoped to give everyone a chance to contribute to the battle against polio. The entire amount collected from the drive will go to the national foundation, will in turn be allocated to areas of greatest need, he said. Each town in the county is organized in a similar way, Meyer added.
~Clayton County Register, Thur., 8 Sept. 1949


Schoulte Boy Home
Ralph Schoulte, 10 year old son of Mr. and Mrs. Oliver Schoulte who has been suffering with polio since July, returned home from Iowa City on Friday. He gets around with the use of crutches.
~Garnavillo Tribune, Thursday, 22 September 1949 (National column)


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