of Nebraska - Genealogy Trails
Indians Begin To Scratch and Itch
Smallpox Becomes Epidemic Among Winnebago of Thurston and
One Hundred and Twenty Five Cases and Sixteen Deaths Are
Reported From Where It Rages
Among the Winnebago Indians of Thurston and Dakota Counties
in northeastern corner of this state, smallpox is rapidly becoming
epidemic. The disease is attended with
more fatalities than last winter.
Deputy United States Marshal Allan has returned from the
Winnebago agency, where he went last week. He reports a serious condition of affairs there, so far as smallpox is
concerned. He says that at this time
there are not less than 128 cases on the reservation and that there have been
sixteen deaths from the disease. The
agency doctor has his hands full and is unable to prevent the spread of the
scourge among the Indians.
Up to this time nearly all of the cases have been among the
Indians who live in the timber, along the Missouri River, east of the agency,
but fears are expressed that it will break out further west and move toward the
The agency doctor informs Deputy Allan that it is seldom
that smallpox breaks out so early in the season and that if it is not stopped
when cold weather sets in it will spread far and near. Whenever a case appears, it is quarantined,
but he regulations and facilities for isolating the infected Indians are
defective and the quarantine amounts to almost nothing.
The Indians, while they have no desire to contact the
disease do not seem to fear it. The look
upon it as a punishment inflicted by the Great Spirit and donít seem to think
that it will do any good to take precautionary measures.
Up top this time the disease has not broken out among the
Omahas, who reside a few miles further south, but its appearance is looked for
almost any day.
Federal Court will convene in Omaha the second Monday in
November and in the criminal section there will be a large number of suits that
if tried, will require the presence of Winnebago Indians as witnesses. The prevalence of smallpox upon the
conservation will be called to the attention of Judge Munger and it is probate
that he will issue an order that these witnesses be not called.
Tuesday, October 15, 1901
Omaha World Herald (Omaha, Nebraska) Volume: XXXVII Issue: 15 Page: 5