Photograph courtesy of the Library of Congress.

Photograph courtesy of the Library of Congress.

Scarlet Fever was once a very common and often deadly disease among children .  Caused by a streptococcus infection, scarlet fever, struck fear in communities up through the early twentieth century.  This childhood disease was such a common part of life that it was part of the plot of the famous children’s book, The Velveteen Rabbit, published in 1922.  The healing waters of the Yellow Springs could not keep this childhood disease at bay.

As published in the Cincinnati Enquirer on January 27, 1914:

ANTIOCH COLLEGE

Ordered Closed on Account of Scarlet Fever Cases.

SPECIAL DISPATCH TO THE ENQUIRER.

Springfield, Ohio, January 26–Antioch College, at Yellow Springs, was ordered closed today by the faculty for two weeks because of an epidemic of scarlet fever.

Summer Fess, son of Congressman S.D. Fess, the President, and Robert Mead, another student, are ill.

It is claimed that both lads contracted the disease from using a book which last year was in the possession of a pupil of the school who had scarlet fever.

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