Obituary Details

Billy Nern Wolfe Thompson

(11/30/-0001 - 03/25/1940)
Courtesy of The Lusk Herald, 03/28/1940

Billy Thompson, 12-Year-Old Girl, Diphtheria Victim Monday

Billy Nern Wolfe Thompson, aged 12, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Powder River Thompson, residents of the northwest part of Niobrara county, passed away at 1:30 o'clock Monday morning, March 25th, 1940, at the Converse county pest house where she had been placed on Friday of last week. Death was attributed to diphtheria.

Billy was an eighth grade student at the Emery school, located some 60 miles northwest of Lusk. A sister had been ill with the same contagious disease and had been taken to Douglas for treatment, she responded rapidly and returned to the family home. Several days later Billy contracted the disease and last week was treated by Mrs. Fritscher of the Lance Creek first aid station, who realizing the seriousness of her condition, took the patient to Douglas where she was placed in the pest house for contagious diseases under the care of Dr. Hylton.

She failed to rally and passed away early Monday morning. At the time The Herald went to press funeral arrangements were not available.

The diphtheria outbreak in that vicinity has been investigated by county health officer Dr. W. H. Hassed and the Thompson home is under quarantine. Two hired men at the ranch also contracted the sickness, one Jack McMurray, 67, being in a serious condition. On Saturday last, McMurray was taken to Douglas, however, the pest house was full and he was treated and returned to the ranch. Tuesday of this week his condition was reported as somewhat improved.

It is stated that approximately twenty people in the vicinity of the Thompson home have been exposed to the diphtheria outbreak. On Sunday of this week Dr. W. E. Reckling, his office girl Kitty Browder and Ford B. Kuns made a trip to Lance Creek and inoculated several persons from that vicinity and on Monday Dr. Hassed inoculated several more from that part of the county.

Dr. Savage from the State Health office at Cheyenne was in Lusk the fore part of the week and made an investigation of the outbreak. At this time there is but one home under quarantine, the Thompson home. The health officer stated that it would be a very opportune time now for people to be considering such diseases as diphtheria and to have their children inoculated to prevent any similar outbreaks.

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