The Vidette-Messenger Centennial EditionThe 1936 special edition celebrating Porter County's centennial year . . . .

The following article has been transcribed from the August 18, 1936, issue of The Vidette-Messenger, published in Valparaiso, Indiana. This particular special edition focuses on Porter County's centennial celebration and contains a 94-page compendium of Porter County history up to that time.

Return to the index of articles from The Vidette-Messenger's Porter County Centennial special edition.

Source: The Vidette-Messenger, Valparaiso, Porter County, Indiana; August 18, 1936; Volume 10, Section 3, Page 6.


Quarantine On Porter County Farms Occurred Twice; One In 1914 and Again During 1919

Porter county farmers have felt the rigidness of quarantine on farm operations on two occasions, viz when the hoof and mouth disease was raging among cattle during the period between November 7, 1914, and March 1, 1915, and in 1919 when Australian take-all infection attacked wheat fields in Porter LaPorte counties.

First intimation that Porter county cattle were infected with hoof and mouth disease came when Dr. E. W. Dickerson of Pueblo, Colo., inspector of the U. S. Bureau of Animal Husbandry, arrived here on November 6, 1914, from Niles, Mich., to examine under government order cattle shipped to this vicinity during the month previous from Chicago stockyard for traces of hoof and mouth disease. While it was said that no trace of the disease was found in this county the government was taking no chances. Simultaneously with Dr. Dickerson's arrival came Dr. E. E. Lang, state inspector. Dr. Lang went to the Newton and Houghton ranch where it was thought some disease existed, but none was discovered. Dr. Dickerson made a tour of the McCool, Crisman, Lottaville and Ainsworth districts.

Following discovery of the disease in Union and Portage townships by Dr. Lang, and discovery that ninety head of cattle on the Newton & Houghton ranch were infected with the disease state and federal officials announced that Porter county would probably be placed under a quarantine. It was announced that Newton and Houghton herd would be ordered killed. At the Marton Brummitt farm, near Chesterton, a quarantine was ordered because of a recent shipment of cattle, though no trace of disease was found. Five animals were found afflicted on the Lewis Robbins farm near McCool. Three animals brought in from Chicago recently were allowed to run with sixty cows and thirty steers. When inspectors arrived at the Robbins farm shredding was in progress. This was stopped and the men disinfected as was also the corn.

On Nov. 9, Dr. F. A. Balsom, assistant state veterinarian, arrived in Valparaiso. He went to the George Firebaugh farm, east of Kouts, where it was thought a herd of thirty cattle were infected. Dr. A. T. Sigler, state appraiser, who was also here, left for Kentland, Ind., where over 300 cattle were afflicted and were ordered killed.

On Nov. 10, Porter county was officially placed under quarantine at a mass meeting of farmers and stockmen held in the court house. The room was crowded to the doors, and many were unable to get in. A permanent organization to combat the disease was formed. Sheriff W. S. Lindall named deputy sheriffs in every township with full powers to arrest all violators. All dogs running at large were ordered shot to prevent transmission of the disease.

An order placing Porter county under strict quarantine was received on Nov. 13 from Dr. A. F. Nelson, state veterinarian. Owners of farms under quarantine were prevented from moving from them until the quarantine was lifted or modified. Persons living on infected farms were required to disinfect and change clothing before leaving the premises; children on such farms were not allowed to attend school or ride in conveyances with other children. No cattle on infected farms could be moved across public highways; no dogs were allowed to run at large, and all pigeons were ordered killed. No hunting was permitted, and all violations were subject to fines and imprisonment.

With receipt of two bulletins on Nov. 16 by C. W. Benton, county chairman, from Dr. A. F. Nelson, state veterinarian, the quarantine ban on the county was clamped down more severely.

The bulletins prevented the moving of any meat from any place where livestock was kept. The bulletin also prevents shredding of corn or shipping hay and straw or sacks. Deputy sheriffs were kept busy watching farmers who persisted in shredding.

On Nov. 18, assurances that the quarantine would be modified somewhat came with the arrival of Dr. A. F. Bolster, of the state veterinary department. Porter county milk shippers received word that no more milk would be accepted in Chicago unless is was pasteurized.

Word that the quarantine had been modified was received on Nov. 21 from A. F. Nelson, state veterinarian. The new order allowed shipments of poultry from areas no closer than three miles from where the infection was known to exist. The same rule applied to livestock, but provided that examination must be made by a licensed veterinarian and a certificate issued showing the animals were free from the disease.

On Nov. 22, Chairman C. W. Benton received word from Dr. Nelson that shredding corn and hauling straw and hay without a permit was allowed. However, this did not apply to the three mile limit from the farms under quarantine. Officers were kept busy investigating reports from several parts of the county that agents for remedies for both cholera and hoof and mouth disease were selling their wares to farms. Several arrests were made by deputy sheriffs of farmers violating the quarantine.

The county appeared to be free from the disease on Nov. 23, when Drs. Rynerson and Dickerson, federal inspectors, came here and looked over hers that had been placed under suspicion. No trace of this disease was found.

On Nov. 30, a new outbreak of the disease was recorded. The discovery was made at the Charles Turk farm where thirty-five cattle and fifty hogs were found infected.

On Dec. 4, A. C. Fist, of Niles, Mich., a federal official came here to dip 600 hides at Lippman & Company. The hides were dipped in a solution of bichloride of mercury to prevent the spread of any infection.

On Dec. 9, Chairman C. W. Benton received a new order that livestock might be shipped to the Chicago market from all parts of the county except in the three-mile area. The stock had to be examined by a federal inspector. Four days later Porter county shippers got busy and began shipping to Chicago. Horn Brothers & Gossett shipped four carload of hogs from Valparaiso, and Jerome Bartholomew five cars from Kouts.

With the hoof and mouth disease epidemic causing considerable trouble, Porter county farmers longed for a county agent to assist them in some of their problems. The feeling seemed to be that the services of such an official were important in such a situation.

On Jan. 11, 1915, Dr. Scott, federal inspector, visited the Charles Turk, L. H. Robbins and Newton & Houghton farms for an inspection. Everything was found satisfactory. He assured Newton and Houghton that should no new cases develop they would be allowed to stock their ranch with 500 head of cattle.

On June 22, 1915, the Chicago & Erie railroad opened up its yards at Kouts for the shipment of livestock to Chicago. Sam Rasor, a farmer, was the first shipper, with three carloads. Dr. E. E. Cunningham, deputy federal inspector, examined the animals for disease.

On Feb. 18, Porter county was placed under a modified quarantine and on Feb. 25, Dr. Dickerson on a visit here declared the county was practically free of the contagion. A short time later came the official order ordering the quarantine ban lifted.

The Australian Take-all infection was short-lived, the quarantine ban lasting about a month. More than 200 acres in Porter and LaPorte counties affected by the contagion, were placed under quarantine by Frank Wallace, state entomologist. No grain could be removed from the farms until permission was given.

Farm associations of the county met at the court house and passed resolutions protesting against a state-wide quarantine and offering co-operation to the government in cleaning up the disease.

Despite the fact that disease was found in some sections of the county, farmers as a whole throughout the county harvested a bumper crop. In the Wheeler district the yield ran as high as twenty-five bushels, while in Pleasant and Boone townships, yields were reported as high as thirty-five and forty bushels per acre.

During the harvesting of wheat in the infected areas, State Entomologist came to Valparaiso and obtained gas masks to protect the men against fumes from formaldehyde, which was used in spraying the wheat. A number of masks were obtained from service men attending Valparaiso university and Dodge's Telegraphy and Wireless Institute.

On Aug. 8, the work of threshing all the wheat in the infected areas of eastern part of Porter county and western part of LaPorte county was completed. The wheat was shipped to the U. S. Grain Corporation at New York City.

F. N. Wallace, state entomologist, and John G. Brown, president of the Indiana farm bureau, later the appraised the straw from the infected fields. The straw was burned and the farmers reimbursed for their loss.

Article transcribed by Steven R. Shook


CSS Template by Rambling Soul