“The Law Requiring the Report of Dangerous Disease is Observed.” Kinda. Sorta.
Thanks (again) to Mark Hardin, I have now read parts of the “Nineteenth Report of the State Board to Health to Wisconsin” for 1901/1902, which covers the time period during which Addie Hoyt Fargo allegedly died of diphtheria. This report was for the state of Wisconsin, and has a listing of all reports from all health officers in Wisconsin cities, towns, villages and townships. Full text here.
Doctor Oatway was the county health officer at the time. The same Dr. Oatway that attended to Addie as she lay dying from diphtheria.
In this report, he states that there were no deaths from diphtheria in the city in 1901. But wait, how can that be? Addie contracted diphtheria. She died of diphtheria. The death certificate states that, and Oatway certified that the death certificate was true, but this report contradicts the death certificate.
What the heck?
So Addie allegedly died of diphtheria, but Oatway didn’t report her diphtheria or subsequent death to the state (in his report below)? Maybe if there’d been a requirement that murder victims be reported to the state of Wisconsin, he would have remembered to report Addie under that column.
No time for a loquacious blog today, so please read the text in full, and please leave comments below.
As my beloved brother Ed would say, “This certainly puts another wheel on the wagon…”
Page 15 of this report states that the deceased victims of diphtheria and other communicable diseases were to be placed in “sturdy coffins.” When Addie’s disinterment day arrives, that could be a real blessing.
And the best part, is the last line of this report: Oatway says that “the laws requiring the issuing of…burial permits are observed.”
Wow, wow, wow.
Guess he’d rather lie to the state than end up in jail?
Please leave comments below. I always learn so much from other people’s ideas and intelligent insights.
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