Sunday, October 20, 2013

Dr. Joseph Kuder's Sanitary View of Lehighton in 1916

(Check out the companion piece "Typhoid Fever and Toilet Slops".)

The Kuder and Langkamer families of Lehighton, starting with the Reverend John H. and wife Rebecca (Fink) Kuder and G. Charles and Emma (possibly Koch) Langkamer, have placed many gifts at the feet of those living here today.  Among them: A still prosperous and faith-filled congregation of Trinity Lutheran Church, an historical account of the sanitary conditions of the town of Lehighton as they appeared to a somewhat neutral observer, a nationally famous radio gospel singer, and three Kuder men who served our country in war-time: One during WWI, and a father and son who both served in World War II.  
The four foot walls of the town reservoir held another million gallons of water in an area of 100 by 75 feet.  Though in 1916 a fence was being built around the Long Run dams, no such fence was planned for the above reservoir along a dirt road above town.  From the looks of this view, it looks to be at the location of the current flat-shaped tank at the top of the Seventh Street.

This 1916 picture was part of Joseph M. Kuder's "Sanitary Survey" of Lehighton, a project of his third year of Harvard Medical School in 1916.  Note the pine trees in this view do not differ too greatly from those in the picture below.  The written caption on the above edge is in Kuder's own hand.  I have an entertaining  image of Kuder's adventure into this remote wilderness, wondering if he took a horse for travel and companionship, spending the day fishing  and whiling away a summer day here.  This hand-laid rock dam was said to hold 3.5 million gallons.

None of this perhaps would have been possible had the congregation of Trinity been less persistent.  For even though he would become their longest tenured pastor, it is fair to say the Rev Kuder was somewhat reluctant to take up their numerous offers.  He served as their supply pastor from May of 1882, and then as a year to year pastor from 1884 until March of 1885.  He deflected every overture until certain conditions were made right, chiefly, the clearing of Trinity's $4,200 building debt incurred beginning from 1873

Trinity Lutheran Church on Third and
Iron Streets in Lehighton as it looked
during the tenure of Rev Kuder.

The Reverend John H. Kuder served Trinity
Lutheran Church of Lehighton from May 1882
until his retirement in March of 1919.  He served
his congregation longer than any other here,
growing the congregation from 192 members
up to nearly 800 at the end of his 37-year career.

Dr. Joseph Matthew Kuder was born in Lehighton on May 27, 1891 to the Reverend John and Rebecca (who married in 1888).  At a young age of nineteen, Joe became the organist and choir director of his father's church, a position he held for about two years starting in 1910.  

The Kuder's other son, John Andrew, was born August 24th, 1894.  Prior to the war he worked as a clerk at Bethlehem Steel.  Oddly, as the younger Kuder brother served in the first world war, it was the older brother Joseph who at the somewhat riper age of fifty-three, made the landing at Normandy in World War II albeit nearly two weeks after the initial assault.

But for the Rev Kuder, starting in 1902, a small controversy was brewing, one that would not be fully reconciled until after the first war.  

Since Pastor Kuder was still known to speak for more than an hour during his German-only sermons, a small group of further removed German descendants sought to include more English into the services at Trinity.  

The still predominately German-language only majority of the church declined to budge, even if the request was for only one Sunday per month.  

In January 1903 the issue was put to a vote again.  This time the one English language service per month motion passed.  
A workerman attempts to make
repairs to the original steeple
after a 1968 lightning strike.  After
careful consideration, the congregation
decided it was better to build a new
sanctuary over fixing their current

However it was still not enough for this minority group.  In November of 1903 they proceeded with their plans to form their own English language-only congregation. They formed the Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church at the corner of Fourth and Mahoning Streets in Lehighton.

Germany's villainous disposition in 1917 is believed to have caused many of that lineage to shun their own heritage.  In my own family, my great uncles Strauch changed their names from Ludwig to "Louie," Wilhelm to "Willie", Heinrich to "Henry," and Great Aunt Katherine with a "K" became Catherine with a "C."  So much so was the case at Trinity that the members loosened the language standard to English-only in the first and third Sunday of each month.     

The spring of 1919 brought many more changes to the congregation.  By April and in light of the new-found animosity toward all things German, the congregation voted to stop all German language services.  And in light of the Nineteenth Amendment granting women national suffrage, so too did they grant full membership and voting rights to the women of the congregation.

It was also in this spring that Rev Kuder decided to try to "conserve his health" and offered his last resignation (He once tried to resign in 1910.).  The council accepted it as of March 1st, however in July of 1919, they created the position of "Pastor Emeritus" for him.  
Trinity Lutheran Church as it looks today since 1973.

During the course of his thirty-seven years as pastor, Rev Kuder buried both the young and the old.  Some deaths due to natural disease and  simple aging, while others came unexpectedly swift and vicious to the young and their unprepared families.  
Department of Health quarantine placards included in Kuder's 1916
Sanitary Survey of Lehighton.  

My Great Uncle Garrett Edgar Rabenold died of typhoid fever at the age of 14.  Rev Kuder performed the graveyard services on October 25, 1905 in Lehighton.  These premature deaths had a way of spreading a certain gloom over the community, for if death could take a healthy boy of fourteen, who then was safe?  
Rev Kuder buried many residents over his
career: This a 14-year-old typhoid fever
victim, Garrett Edgar Rabenold.

The record is full of the burials Rev Kuder made.  People who died from common illnesses of the time such as pneumonia, "consumption" (tuberculosis), "brain fever," cholera morbus, scarlet fever, and "la grip."  He buried infants and teens and healthy working men and mothers.  

It can be inferred that burials as these had their effect on the Pastor and his family, since he too had a boy of fourteen and one of eleven at home. And certainly hearing of these untimely deaths must have played into the young Joseph Kuder's decision to go on to study medicine.  

Dr Kuder interned at Boston City Hospital in 1918 to 1919 and was a resident surgeon at Burlington County Memorial Hospital.  Later he started his private practice in Mt Holly.  He became Major Kuder as a battlefield surgeon for the army in World War II.  

Suffice it to say that there are many alive today, as well as many descendants of those he healed, who can be thankful to Dr. Kuder.

While in his third year of medical school, the yet to be married Joseph Kuder came home with a special project aimed at the betterment of the Lehighton community as a whole.  In the summer of 1916 he completed a comprehensive 200-page "sanitary survey" of the town, including many first-hand photographs of town seen here in this post.

With an eye on sewage management, the water supply, refuse collection, proper ventilation of privies and chicken coops, and the amelioration of mosquito breeding pools, the future doctor made a thorough documentation of the sanitary condition of Lehighton as it stood in the summer of 1916.  

He hoped to make an impact on his hometown and perhaps save some the community from senseless deaths due to improper sanitation, like the typhoid fever death of my Great Uncle Garrett Rabenold.  For current historians, it provides a vital snapshot of life in this Carbon town nearly one hundred years ago.

In the age before antibiotics, science had begun accounting for the environmental causes, sources and spread of communicable disease.  So just like Dr. Urbino in Garcia-Marquez's "Love in the Time of Cholera," our own future Dr. Kuder was plotting out life saving measures for the modern, prospering 6,000 residents of Lehighton.

Here is Dam No. 1 of the Lehighton water supply.  The water flowed to town located about three miles west of the reservoir and flowed into an auxiliary storage reservoir in town.  This dam could hold up to 25 million gallons and was secured with a cement walled-breastworks.  There was no purification of the water at this time.

A modern day view of Dam #1 of Lehighton's Long Run Reservoir.  The flood-gate turret and surrounding flora and fauna looks strikingly unchanged in the nearly 100 years since Dr. Joseph Kuder visited here.

The town was much different then.  Though it had fifty-four miles of street, only one-mile of it was paved (First Street).  He notes in the report that even though Lehighton's water supply did not have a purification system, he concluded one was not necessary due to the elevated and remote location of the two dams of Long Run Reservoir within the pristine hills four miles east of town.  

Lehighton had no central sewage then.  Most homes had their own cesspools.  However, a significant amount of sewage was sent into the river by way of three privately built sewers.  One of these sewers was created by Obert's Meat Packing plant, the last section of which, ran through a small creek near the Lehigh Valley Railroad tracks near the present day by-pass in Lehighton.

It was a small creek largely tinted red with the blood of the slaughtering, which was one of the largest operations of its kind in the country.  The other two sewers were privately built and Kuder could not ascertain just how many households contributed to them.

None of this was deemed a major concern.  No town below Lehighton drew water from the river except one "thirty-miles" downstream.  Therefore, a central sewage plant was considered an unnecessary luxury.  The town mentioned also had an "excellent slow sand filtering plant" and conducted "weekly laboratory inspections of the water" which diminished Lehighton’s culpability.

More from this "1916 Sanitary Survey" will be included in future posts.

John Andrew Kuder, the younger of the Rev John and Rebecca only two children, attained the rank of 1st Lieutenant at the Headquarters Company of the 58th Infantry Regiment.  Though he was well enough to work for Kodak of northern New Jersey after the war, he can be counted as among the casualties of the first war due to a rare and little known disease called "sleepy sickness."

'Encephalitis lethargica' spread world-wide from 1917 to about 1928.  No other epidemic has occurred since.  Besides headache, blurred vision, and sleepiness caused by the swelling of the brain, some of the afflicted experienced coma and psychosis.  

In some cases long after the initial onset, patients have developed 'postencephalitic' Parkinson's disease.  Sadly, such was the case of John Kuder.  There wasn't much that medical science of the day (or even today either for that matter) could do.  Dr Kuder did what he could for his dear brother, but in the end all he could do was make him comfortable and even that was no small task.

John Kuder died one month shy of his fortieth year. His widow Helen (Kuntz; the same family name as his father's mother's family) Kuder buried him on June 28, 1934.  They are both buried in section D-28 of Allentown's Fairview Cemetery.  They did not have any children.

His brother Joseph did not serve in World War I as he was still in medical school.  He earned his Bachelor's in 1914 and graduated from Harvard Medical School in 1918.  Perhaps it was this missed opportunity of service and his brother's premature death that called him to volunteer twenty years later.  

Dr. Joseph Kuder married Laura Viola Langkamer in 1921.  Her family were congregants of his father's church and lived within one block of the Kuders.  Laura was making a career as a dressmaker until she married the doctor.  Her parents were G. Charles and Emma Langkamer.  

G. Charles Langkamer was a brakeman on the Lehigh Valley Railroad.  He was born in 1873 in Bavaria Germany while Emma's parents were earlier German immigrants, both born in Pennsylvania.  They had a total of nine children, eight of which lived beyond childhood.  

They were: Laura (1893), Sadie N. (1897), Luella (1898), Arthur C. (1899), Infant (born in 1902 or 1903, buried July 16, 1903), Ruth J. or N. (1907), Geneieve (1911), Carl L. (1914), and Richard J. (1918).

Arthur C. Langkamer dropped the "-kamer" and became simply "Arthur C. Lang" to make a career as a radio gospel singer.  In 1930 he was living in Los Angeles with his wife Jeanie Lang.  They headed the household with three 'roomers' living with them: a husband and wife, and a bachelor named Harold G. Leonard, a movie actor.
There are several pictures like the one above of
Jeanie Lang.  Despite several attempts, a picture
of her husband and Lehighton native Arthur C.
"Lang" has yet to be found.

Their celebrity required an odd bit of deception.  His WWI draft card reveals his birthday to be December 22, 1899.  But instead of saying his age to be twenty-nine, he claimed to be only 26 in the spring of 1930.  His wife of three years listed her age as nineteen.  Another showbiz device forced them to travel and perform not as a couple, but rather as brother and sister.  Jeanie Lang appeared in film and on radio with Buddy Rogers and starred with John Boles in the 1930 film "King of Jazz." 
A scene from "King of Jazz" 1930 - Jeanie Lang and Paul Whiteman.  Jeanie Lang was the wife
of Lehighton native Arthur C. Langkamer who dropped the second half of his name for stardom.  According to Joe Kuder Jr., Jeanie was a bit of a "Betty-Boop-type" starlet.

There is family lore that my grandmother, Mary Strauch Rabenold a lifelong devout member of Trinity,  enjoyed listening to them on WJZ radio out of New York City in the 1930s.  However, according to Joe Kuder Junior, their careers were a bit short-lived, especially so for Art.  "He developed trouble with his ear, so much so he couldn't hear himself sing."  

The following is an excerpt from a social column in "Radio Mirror" believed to be from sometime around the end of 1935:

"Sometimes, one runs into marriages that even outlive radio careers.  For instance, remember the baby voice of cute Jeannie (sic) Lang?
She trotted about town like a gaga, Wellesley girl escorted by a handsome lad she always introduced as her brother.  I took it all in for too many months.  Finally, the news broke that Brother Lang was really Husband Lang.  Also, he held a responsible job as a director of the choir of New York’s Calvary Baptist Church.
Somehow, after that news story, Jeannie dropped out of the Manhattan radio picture.  She and Buddy Rogers did a series from Chicago and then the networks lost track of her.  So did I.  Old friends in radio wondered what had become of her.
Several months ago, I happened to go to a service at the Calvary Baptist Church.  That morning, I found the answer to all our questions.  For there was Jeannie Lang, former hotcha spellbinder of the kilocycles, singing in the choir."

At sometime before the above appeared there were other mentions of the couple pretending to be siblings, once they both dressed for a production as fishermen, and there were several other articles that mentioned the allegation of them being married.  One article mentions Arthur Lang starting his career in 1923 and it listed his hometown as Lehighton.  

He last appears in the 1920 census in Lehighton as Langkamer.  He shows up in Los Angeles in the 1930 census as Lang.  According to Kuder, Art became the District Sales manager for the Webster Cigar Company in NYC.  They retired to Florida sometime after 1945, both are buried there.  They did not have any children.  Though they loved their pair of Yorkies.

During World War II, while his fifty-three year old father served all over the mainland of Europe from Belgium to the beaches of France with the 67th Evacuation Hospital, the only child of Dr. Joseph and Laura, Joseph M. Kuder Junior, was fighting in the Mediterranean theater of war.
A look inside the 51st Evacuation Hospital from August
of 1944 in France.

The 67th Evac Hospital was still in Gloucestershire Enlgand on June 14th, but landed on Utah beach on June 17th, 1944.  And though some enemy action was expected, none occurred.  They gained the beach "without so much as a wet foot."

The younger Kuder fought in the Combat Infantry Unit in Northern Africa and was wounded during the landing at the Anzio beachhead.  The 95th Evacuation Hospital at Anzio was bombed by German fragmentary bombs, killing twenty-eight and wounding sixty more.  Joseph Kuder Junior survived the heinous attack.  

So while Joe Kuder Senior was making his way across the English channel, Joe Junior was heading home across the Atlantic aboard a hospital ship.  After he recuperated at Valley Forge Military Hospital, he served eight months at Fort Dix New Jersey before being discharged near the war's end.  Dr Kuder remained in Europe until several months after the end of the war.

Both Joseph Kuder Senior and Junior were the last of the Kuder line. And had it ended there on the battlefield in Europe, it would read near to a Greek tragedy as any.

The commemorative placard that hangs in the hallway
outside of Luther Hall today was salvaged from the church
Rev Kuder presided over into the modern Trinity of today.

Rev Kuder passed away on April 13, 1923 and is buried in Lehighton Cemetery section A-112 with his wife Rebecca.  She died January 6, 1935.
Rev John and Rebecca Kuder resting in Lehighton Cemetery.

Dr. Joseph Kuder retired in the late 1960s and died February 23, 1973.  His wife Laura Langkamer Kuder lived into her 100th year, passing away August 7, 1993.  They are both buried at the Presbyterian Church Cemetery in Moorestown, New Jersey.

One other Langkamer, Laura's younger brother Carl (b. November 8, 1913) was still a faithful member of the Trinity congregation until his death on April 13, 1991.  He served on one of the 100th anniversary committees for Rev Kuder's church in 1973.  He and his wife Grace (March 21, 1913 to April 9, 2001) are buried in plot B-66 in Lehighton Cemetery.  One son was an Art Teacher in Bethlehem.  Another son, Lynn, recently retired as Lutheran minister, having served a congregation in Allentown, PA.

Carl Langkamer (center) served on the Furnishings Committee
for Rev Kuder's church for their 100th anniversary in 1973.
Also in picture are Mrs. Dennis Zellner, Mrs. Eugene
Hutchinson, and Willard Green.

World War II Veteran and retired architect Joseph Kuder Jr, healthy and well and into his early nineties, still lives in his home area of Marlton, New Jersey with his wife Peggy (Bird of Cleveland).  They raised one son, Joseph Kuder III husband to the former Karen Kapistan, and two daughters on named Jessica.  

Among their grandchildren lives Joseph Kuder IV.

The Kuder and Langkamer names have vanished from Carbon's landscape.  But their lives have made distinct impressions into the culture and community of Lehighton and beyond.

Kuder Family Lineage:

The three Kuders involved in WWI and WWII were not the only of their lineage involved in fighting for our country.

Bernhard Kuder was born to Hans Adam and Margaretha Kuder in Neckargartach, Wurttemberg Germany February 15, 1729.  He emigrated to Germantown, PA in September 1748 at the age of nineteen.  He married Anna Maria Hoffman (the widow of Wilhelm Hoffman) in November of 1764.  Bernhard served as a wagonmaster in the Revolutionary War and according to family lore was wounded at either the Battle of Brandywine (September 1777) or the Battle of Germantown (October 1777) and supposedly died as a result of those wounds but not until about five years later and having bore two more children in that span.

Second of his eight children was John Kuder, born February 13, 1767 in Germantown.  While bound out in New Jersey, John returned to Pennsylvania with his first wife Elizabeth (Minn).

Among their children was William (Wilhelm) M. Kuder born January 3, 1816 in Trexlertown.  William married Catherine (Kuntz) Keck.  William purchased his brother Solomon's coverlet weaving and dying business in Laury's Station in 1848.  On May 1st of 1852, John Henry Kuder was born.  William and Catherine both died in 1886 about four years after Rev John H. Kuder took over his duties in Lehighton.  They are buried in Egypt Cemetery in Whitehall Township.

Lehighton Press - October 27, 1905: "Rev and Mrs Hiram Kuder and family of Seigfrieds, are guests of the former's brother, Rev. J. H. Kuder and family, South Fourth Street."

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Mauch Chunk’s Plague Year and the Linderman Brothers - Love and Peril in Our Time of Cholera

It can be said that the Lehigh Canal and Asa Packer’s Lehigh Valley Railroad brought cholera to Carbon County in 1854.  It could be told that cholera helped bring G. B. Linderman here, who eventually married Packer’s daughter Lucy, producing the only descendants of the Asa and Sarah Packer line.  So amid the distress of those days, love bloomed here long before ever entering the vernacular with Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s novel.
Lucy Packer Linderman - Asa's only child
to produce an heir, met her husband during
the time of Cholera in Carbon.

Distress indeed, for after the outbreak killed two of the three practicing physicians (Drs. Thompson and Righter), it was fortunate that the community was not swept under and thus lost in a panic-stricken chaos.   The community was lucky that two brothers, Drs. Garrett Brodhead Linderman (who was only 25 at the time) and Henry Richard Linderman (only 29), selflessly answered the community’s call to duty. 

The cholera plague was the middle of three grave disasters to befall Mauch Chunk (today's Jim Thorpe): The Fire of 1849, Cholera in 1854 and the Great Flood of June of 1862.  

(Every major business was touched by the fire, including Packer's General Store, the court house, and every structure around Hazard Square, save the still standing Hotel Switzerland (today's "Molly Maguire Pub.") built around 1829.  There were many devastating floods in Mauch Chunk's history, but the one in 1862 was particularly deadly.  It destroyed the Upper Grand section of the Lehigh Canal from White Haven to Mauch Chunk: the successively breached dams caused tidal waves, claiming as many as 200 lives.)  

The cholera epidemic started here five years to the month on the heels of the July 1849 fire.  This post is the first of a series of posts to examine the impact of contagious diseases on the lives of the people of Carbon County.

Dr. Henry Richard Linderman, "H. R." - Gained most
notoriety with the Federal Reserve, but selflessly came
to the aid of the sick of Mauch Chunk in the summer of 1854.

They were the so called “good old days,” before antibiotics, when unexpected deaths due to an array of contagious illnesses such as scarlet fever, diphtheria, or typhoid fever were commonplace.  Anecdotes abound of people being as healthy as a horse in the morning, working an honest day along the canal or railroad but who were dead and buried by the evening. 

Other diseases such as pneumonia and “consumption” (known today by tuberculosis) also took down many before their prime and thus lowering our average life expectancy. These untreatable infections diseases are the prime reason for the lower life expectancy of the time.  A person had a good chance to live into their 70s if they could avoid them.

In many cases, with scarlet fever, smallpox, and during the cholera outbreaks, several members of the same family would take ill at once.  And because of these yet to be understood mystery germs, services were held in private, many times conducted under the cover of darkness to both avoid further spread and in some instances, family shame.

The spread of cholera in particular was a world-wide event, handled in our burgeoning community of about 3,500 that was intensified by the transportation boom occurring here at the time.  It is history like this that makes careful analysis so important for we gain a greater understanding of the world on the whole when we do.

Before 1817, cholera was a problem only found in the Far East.  It wasn’t until the first world-wide outbreak of 1832 when it hit the U.S.  The symptoms were strikingly similar to those of arsenic poisoning: debilitating diarrhea, spasmodic vomiting and dreadfully painful cramping.  It has been written that some had used the cloak of a cholera outbreak to rid themselves of an undesired business partner or even an unwanted member of the family by slipping them a fatal dose of the poison. 

Unlike many other infectious diseases, cholera only impacted the United States for a thirty-four year span.  The last major outbreak occurred in 1866.  The number of deaths in Mauch Chunk due to cholera from July to October of 1854 is most likely in the thirty to fifty range.  (As of August 17th, only three weeks into the scourge, the Mauch Chunk Gazette estimated "ten to fifteen" people had died locally.  Deaths would continue through September, some succumbing into October, including Dr. Righter.  However, the Carbon Democrat reported two days later, on August 19th, that there had only been nine fatalities thus far.)

Though diseases such as malaria, typhoid and scarlet fever were an insidiously ever present part of life, it was the sudden outbreaks that could whip a community into a frenzy.  However, historically all told, few Americans died of cholera.  For each case of cholera, there were scores more who died of the other diseases.

Though Zachary Taylor didn’t die of Asiatic cholera, he did die of a variety known at the time as “cholera morbus,” a type of dysentery.  Some blamed his death on his meal of raw cherries and iced milk at a hot July 4th 1850 fundraiser for the Washington Monument. 

Several of his cabinet suffered with similar symptoms which is what eventually led to the 1991 investigation to rule out assassination by arsenic poisoning, which it did indeed do.  Vice President Millard Fillmore became just the second person to ascend to the office due to death of the president.

Despite contrary scientific evidence, the laying of blame onto the consumption of green or raw fruits and vegetables continued into the 20th century.  The September 1905 cholera morbus death of Sallie Zwiller, a Reading “factory girl,” was purportedly from eating a “green apple.”  And the diphtheria death of Henry Small Coombe of North Scranton was blamed on “bathing in the foul waters of the Lackawanna River.”

Cholera could spread person to person from contact with an infected person’s feces, certainly something that could be held in check with hand washing (much like the infamous “Typhoid Mary”).  Should said feces come in contact with raw fruits or vegetables, well then yes one could contract the sickness from uncooked or unwashed foods, but these means were not generally responsible for widespread outbreaks.

Cholera, like typhoid, can be spread along “any pathway leading to the human digestive tract.”  The chief culprit was the poor sanitation with raw sewage contaminating the untreated water supply.  (Much credit for this article comes from Charles E. Rosenberg's "The Cholera Years," University of Chicago Press (1962).)

City tenements were known for crude efforts toward sanitation and were often devoid of the luxury of fresh water.  As a consequence, cholera and other infectious diseases of the day were inextricably tied to areas of “filth and want,” particularly hitting those living in crowded conditions.  It came to be known by some as “the scourge of the sinful.” 

Indeed the poor suffered disproportionately from these diseases than did the more affluent. The poor, caught in the “blame the victim” cycle, were believed to get their due for their “slothful and intemperate ways.”

The nation though surely had to find exception to this bias when it heard the news of the deaths of recently widowed former President Millard Fillmore’s daughter and his half-brother who died of cholera within twenty-four hours of each other. 

(His wife Abigail died of fever twenty-six days after leaving the White House, taking sick at the inauguration of his successor, Franklin Pierce, in March of 1853.  So yes, the well to do did indeed experience death by disease in those days through no fault of their own!)

On July 26th of 1854, Mary Abigail Fillmore took ill in Flemington New Jersey, not far off from the nearly completed Lehigh Valley Railroad right-of-way.  Her illness was surely part of the emergence of the same cholera that came to plague Carbon. 

In her sickened state, she wanted desperately to reach her home in Buffalo.  She made it there, but like many of its victims, she died less than twenty-four hours after initially becoming ill on July 26th.   She was just twenty-two.

On July 27th, Charles D. Fillmore was stricken while driving on a stagecoach from St. Paul to Stillwater, Minnesota, but managed to get back to St. Paul before he died. His cholera death prompted St. Paul livery teams to carry a bottle of “cholera medicine” under the driver’s seat.
Mauch Chunk Gazette - August 3, 1854 announces the death
of President Fillmore's half-brother Charles, who did indeed
die of cholera, with 24-hours of Abigail Fillmore.
From an 1882 Perry Davis advertisement.

"Perry Davis' Pain Killer" was a mixture of whisky, tincture of opium, and tincture of capsicum.  It was administered internally but it was also suggested to be applied to the afflicted’s abdomen. Three days later, the niece of Charles Fillmore's wife also died of cholera.

It was Dr. John Snow of London who was able to empirically prove to the medical establishment the connection between poor sanitation and the cholera outbreaks.  He established his theory in the 1849 outbreak, but it wasn’t until the one in 1854 that allowed him to apply and prove it.  “The Broad Street pump incident” is the most famous example, but the scope of the contamination was much broader than at just that pump.
Dr. Snow of London, considered to be
the "Father of Epidemiology" empirically proved
cholera was caused by a contagion in the water supply.

London had two competing water supply companies: The Lambreth drew its water from the Thames above London while the Southmark and Vauxhall drew its water from below London on the lower Thames.  Neither company treated the drinking water before it reached their customer.  Of course it was the water from the latter company that came to prove Dr. Snow’s theory as their water was contaminated by raw sewage entering the Thames from London. 

July 27, 1854 - The Mauch Chunk Gazette reported - 
“The Cholera – Is spreading over the country, especially at the west, north and east. - The southern part of the country is now the healthiest part of the Union.  The number of deaths in Brooklyn NY last week was greater than in either Baltimore or New Orleans...In Easton and vicinity there have been several deaths, mostly foreigners.  The work on the Valley RR in that section has been suspended.”

Mauch Chunk Gazette - July 27, 1854
Surely, the clean living people of Mauch Chunk would be once again spared.  The major outbreaks of the disease of 1832 and 1849 missed us here in Carbon County, giving many the false belief that our elevation was “above the Cholera line,” believing our elevation alone put us high enough in the atmosphere to be above its deadly effects.

July 27, 1854 - The Mauch Chunk Gazette reported -

“Cholera Mark – That cholera is not apt to prevail in the elevated regions is very certain.  We recollect reading, some years since, that Hollidaysburg is “above Cholera.”  If this be so, we suppose Mauch Chunk may be considered a safe retreat at the present time.  Those, however who prefer a still greater altitude, will find ample accommodations at White Haven, Beaver Meadow, Hazelton or Summit Hill.”
"Cholera Mark" - Mauch Chunk Gazette July 27, 1854

Most physicians did not understand the cause of the disease.  The contagion, Vibrio cholera, was not identified until after the 1854 pandemic.  Though many doctors intuitively attributed the disease to something unseen and yet to be empirically recognized, most doctors surveyed at the time attributed outbreaks to “a disturbance in the atmosphere” and perhaps as Daniel Drake asserted to a “small winged insect not visible to the naked eye.”

Victims of our Own Success:

The coal industry placed Carbon County at the center of the industrial revolution.  Charles Francis Adams (John Qunicy’s son) wrote of the 1832 outbreak that cholera “followed the tracks of commerce, which would seem to sustain the doctrine of contagion,” ironic and prophetic words for Carbon’s outbreak.     
19th Century Workmen on the Lehigh Canal, Following the "Tracks of Commerce" - Foreigners, laborers and travelers
were blamed for the outbreak as they were among the population hardest hit.   

It is unclear how it spread through Mauch Chunk.  There is little to question that it came here by travelers and workers by way of the canal from Easton. Certainly commerce played a significant role.

It is easy to imagine a traveler arriving here in the early stages of illness, ducking into one of the numerous stables all along Broadway, relieving themselves and releasing scores of the bacteria into such a host environment as a stable full of manure. 

The toll for hauling manure, earth, sand, clay, limestone and etc on the Lehigh Canal
 was three-fourths of a cent per ton per mile in 1850 as seen in this 1851 Mauch Chunk Gazette
Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company advertisement.

Besides coal, the canal boats were employed hauling all manner of materials needed along its route including manure.  One can see the lowly stable hand tracking the germs into his home or eating a meal with unwashed hands.  Boats traveled from here to Philadelphia, to New York and all points in between.  All potentially unsuspecting carriers of plague.

(The Lehigh Canal, from White Haven to Easton, connected to Philadelphia via the Delaware and Raritan Canal.  It connected to New York City via the Morris Canal.  The Raritan Canal connected the Delaware Canal with the Raritan River servicing both Philadelphia and New York City.  The Morris Canal connected northern New Jersey to the Hudson River.  All of these systems were operational after the 1830s.) 

Besides travel and spread from the Lehigh Canal, Packer’s Lehigh Valley Railroad was nearing completion.  Final work was halted due to the 1854 cholera outbreak.  The papers pointed a veiled finger toward the canal men and rail workers who had become sick as culprits who brought the disease to our purported little elevated sanctuary.  

One of the first deaths of cholera that summer was that of Lewis Lewis of Summit Hill (Prior to his employ with the railroad, Mr. Lewis (b. 1815), a resident from Wales since at least 1850, worked in the mines in Banks Township.  He had a his wife Esther (b. 1816) and seven children: John (b. 1840), Ann (b. 1841), Mary (b. 1842), Jane (b. 1843), Margaret (b. 1845) and William (b. 1849):

The First Reported Carbon County Cholera Death - 
July 27, 1854 - The Mauch Chunk Gazette reported - 
The Inn at Jim Thorpe of today was originally Cornelius Connor's "White
Swan Hotel."  Originally a wooden framed-structure destroyed in the 1849
fire it was rebuilt with brick and mortar under the newly established fire-code
giving the downtown that "New Orleans" look.  The White Swan
was the location of the first reported local cholera death around July
27th, 1854.

                        “One death by disease occurred at Connor’s Hotel, Mauch Chunk last Thursday.  Mr. Lewis Lewis, a Welchman, employed by Belford, Sharpe & Co as a boss on the North Penn RR arrived in the Allentown Stage late in the evening, was attacked in the night, and died the next morning.  We understand that after this situation was known, he was carefully and assiduously attended to by the family and others about the house.  He resided at Summit Hill, and has left a wife and family.
            Some cases have been reported among the boatmen on the canal in this vicinity; but we have not heard the particulars or the result.”
First Local Cholera Death Reported -
Mauch Chunk Gazette - July 27, 1854

In addition to the rapidly expanding rail travel and immigrant workers seemingly arriving here from everywhere at once, tourists also began to arrive to simply ride the Switchback Railroad.  This new-found mobile society already had a well-established stagecoach route that connected it to many communities.  

One could travel from Mauch Chunk on a coach and be in White Haven in six hours (at $1.25 per rider).  For another dollar and another six hours, a traveler could be in Wilkes-Barre.  The stage ran six days a week, including clear through the winter. 

For Carbon County, everything revolved around coal and its transportation, it was big business.  And cholera was bad for business.  It could not have hit at a more critical time.  In poker parlance, Packer was “all in.”  The Lehigh Valley Railroad was his biggest gamble and the success was far from certain.
Asa Packer gambled on the Lehigh Valley Railroad in
1854 - Without it, Lehigh University would never have
been endowed and perhaps Dr. G.B. Linderman would have
never married Packer's daughter Lucy.

In the final analysis, Packer had to feel a sense of tremendous gratitude toward the Linderman brothers for their service in helping this mecca of commerce to weather the storm.  Their service perhaps helped Packer regain the stability necessary for the final launch of his fledgling railroad.

Larger cities like Philadelphia, Baltimore and St Louis established boards of health.  Among their first actions were to set up hospitals.  The New York Board of Health was unable to find landlords who were willing to lease temporary space to serve as a hospital for the sick and dying. 

They paid a high rent for an unfinished warehouse with a leaky roof and openings still not fitted for windows.  The mosquitoes which freely visited patients along with the lack of clean water and sanitation exacerbated their problems.

The local newspapers in Carbon County seemed to strike a careful balance in message.  They did not ignore the obvious nor did they incite hysteria.   It is certain the business stakeholders held sway over what was printed.  Some ink explained the number of local and national deaths but at the same time trying to assuage public fear.  

The local paper relayed the following story of two weary women travelers:

August 31, 1854 - The Mauch Chunk Gazette printed the following letter from "Springville, Susquehanna Co." 
  “Messrs. Editors:                       
         Owing to the extreme warmth of the weather, the abundance of dust, and the little accommodations offered by the mail hacks on the Susquehanna, our journey to this place was very tedious and unpleasant, and I would recommend to those whom business and pleasure invites to this section, to take the Scranton Stage to Wilkes Barre and the L. & W. RR cars at Scranton.
            You cannot imagine what exaggerated accounts of the Cholera in Mauch Chunk have reached the towns through which we travelled.  At White Haven we found two Misses Y_____s, from Yardleyville, who wished to visit Tamaqua, and fearing to go through Mauch Chunk, came to us to Wilkes Barre, where they took the Packet for Catawissa, thence by R.R. to Tamaqua, about 100 miles.  In this vicinity, rumor had reported 80 deaths by Cholera in Mauch Chunk, and it was not until the article from the Gazette was circulated among the people here through the local papers that the public mind was disabused of the false impressions.            The drought in this vicinity is more severe than was before known at this season of the year…”
Mauch Chunk Gazette - August 31, 1854

The ‘letter’ was more likely a personal editorial written by a member of the Springville paper.  It continues to another column, hitting many topics including politics, and the dusty summer.

The outbreaks were claiming hundreds in cities like London, New York, Baltimore and Cincinnati, Philadelphia, and folks in Mauch Chunk hoped the conventional wisdom at the time held true, that we were “above the cholera line” that our altitude and fresh mountain air would prevent such an epidemic here.

August 3, 1854 - The Mauch Chunk Gazette reported - 

“The Cholera – Baltimore, Saturday, July 29 – Great mortality from cholera is reported in Burke County Georgia.  Out of 57 cases in one locality no less than 50 proved fatal.

Seven deaths from cholera have occurred at Wheeling VA, during the past three days.
Philadelphia, July 30 – Four members of one family were interred this afternoon who died from cholera on Friday and Saturday – father, mother, and two sons.  Three children survive, two of whom are very sick.
Philadelphia, Saturday July 29th – The Board of Health report 573 deaths during the week ending today.  70 of them were from Cholera, 105 from cholera infantum, 39 dysentery, 21 diarrhea, and 11 cholera morbus.
Nine new cases and eight deaths from cholera have occurred in the Alms House during the twenty-four hours ending noon today.
Boston July 30 – There were twenty-two deaths by cholera for the week ending Saturday noon.
The deaths in this city during the week ending at noon today were 180.
Deaths in NY last week over 1,100.”

August 9, 1854 - The local paper in Flemington New Jersey reported - 

A Mr. Higgins, died on Sunday afternoon last, at the residence of his brother-in-law,
Mr. Adam Bellis, in Raritan township, near Kuhl's Mills, of Cholera. Mr. H. was keeper of the Poor at or near New Brunswick...

August 10, 1854  - The Mauch Chunk Gazette reported - 

     “The Cholera. – This disease still prevails extensively throughout the country.  The number of deaths in NY city last week was 280; total number of deaths 1135 – a majority of whom were children.
In this town there has been considerable sickness.  Two or three children have died this week.
The Easton papers publish names of about one hundred persons who died there during the month of July – several of them by cholera.
Mr. John Burt of Easton, aged 67 and his wife, aged 53, died on the 30th.
About a dozen deaths occurred at Lambertsville and an egual number at New Hope on Sunday last.”

It is fairly certain, Drs. Thompson and Righter the possible exceptions, that no citizen of means died from the disease in Mauch Chunk.  The more affluent had their own water supply, they kept their own carriage and livery, and they could afford to avoid the areas of public contamination. 

Whereas a workaday citizen had to continue among their normal haunts, all the while more open to susceptibility to the cholera.  It hit people like Mr. Lewis riding the public stagecoach, visitors of Mrs. Troy’s boarding house and residents of Cornelius Connor’s hotel (today’s Inn at Jim Thorpe).

The poor and those who associated with them were most susceptible.  Case in point is the death of Mr. Bellis.  The blight of the Irish at this time and on up to the “Day of the Rope” in June of 1877 is well-documented.  The German immigrant was also disparaged by some natives who feared foreigners.  Some felt the German diet invited cholera, admonishing their “green vegetables, sauerkraut, and strong beer.”

Acts of courage and compassion were certainly part of the tragedy as well.  Bishop John Neumann, the father of the parochial school system, paved the way to his eventual sainthood by arriving here from Philadelphia just ahead of the outbreak in the summer of 1854.  He set up quarters in the basement of the new Immaculate Conception Church on Broadway.  Both he and the new Father Coffey answered the calls of the sick and dying both day and night. 
Then Bishop John Neumann -
"Father of the Parochial School System,"
he was already on his way to sainthood
before he came to Carbon.  He even slept in
the basement of the Immaculate Conception
Church on Broadway to be better able to
minister to the sick and the dying.

It is not known what happened to Father Coffey, he disappears from the area in October of 1854.  There is no burial record of him nor is there any lead as to his assignment to another church.  Consider my speculation of the possibility that Father Coffey was among the nameless local victims of cholera. 

As in the following article, most of the names were never published.  Cholera promoted anonymity.  With families too wrought with grief and fear, some too tried to conceal the fact of the illness had visited their home.  The potential for castigation and shunning by their neighbors and business associates made the disease an embarrassment most wished to hide.  Unless of course a detailed journal from that time appears, it is unlikely we'll ever know the full extent of cholera’s effects here in Carbon.
August 17, 1854 - The Mauch Chunk Gazette reported - 
“Sickness and death – Since our last some ten or fifteen persons have died in this vicinity of Cholera and Cholera Morbus.  Among them Mr. and Mrs. Jacob West, Mrs. Leonard Blakeslee, Mr. Joseph Hunter, Catherine Keen and child…Solomon Teel of Wilkes Barre.
_____ Cutter of Newark, casting a gloom over the community such as was never before witnessed in Mauch Chunk.
Many more remain sick, two of our most skillful physicians among the number.  Mr. West died Tuesday night and Mrs. West on Wednesday morning, leaving a large family of orphan children.  We have not time to dwell further upon the mournful subject this week.  Every precaution has been taken to prevent the spread of the disease.”

(Dr. John Thompson was attended by both of the Linderman brothers as well as Drs. McConnel, Longshore and Brass.  He died on August 19th, 1854.  Dr. William Righter though stricken with the illness in mid-August didn't succumb until October 11th.)
August 17, 1854 - Mauch Chunk Gazette stated "ten to fifteen persons have died" in this area including Mr. and Mrs West, Mrs Leonard Blakslee, Mr. Joseph Hunter, Catharine Keen and child, and Solomon Teel of Wilkes-Barre.  
Dr. and Mrs. Thompson's grave in the Upper Mauch Chunk Cemetery.

August 17, 1854 - Mauch Chunk Gazette

August 19, 1854 - The Carbon Democrat reported this two-column story discussing what is known about the disease -
  • “Interesting Suggestions in relation to cholera – The August number of Hall’s Journal of Health, contains the following interesting article, covering many suggestions and observations in relation to the epidemic that now prevails so generally throughout the country…
What is Cholera?  Cholera is the exaggeration of intestinal vermicular motion…As cholera has become a general, and perhaps, at least for the present, a permanent disease of the country, and at this time more a less prevalent in every state of the Union- and one too, which may at any hour sweep any one of us into the grave-…The human gut is a hollow flexible tube between thirty and forty feet long…forever moving in health – moving too much in some diseases, too little in others.  In headaches bilious affections, costiveness, and the like, the bowels is torpid and medicines are given to “wake it up”…Perfect quietude, then, on the back is the first, the imperative, the essential step towards the cure in any case of cholera...The second indication of instinct is to quench the thirst.  When the disease made its appearance in the US in 1832 it was generally believed that the drinking of cold water soon after calomel was taken, would certainly cause salivation and, as calomel was usually given, cold water was strictly interdicted….Cholera being a disease in which the bowels move too much, the object should be to lessen that motion, and as every step a man takes increases intestinal motion, the very first thing to be done in a case of cholera, is to secure quietude…”

The following appeared in the Carbon Democrat on August 19, 1854 and in the Mauch Chunk Gazette on August 24th.  However, the Mauch Chunk Gazette added the story about the death of Dr. Thompson -

“Cholera – Several cases of this disease have occurred in this borough during the present week some of which have proved fatal.  This result may be ascribed, in most cases, to neglecting the disease in the primary stage.  Diarrhea is the first symptom, denoting its approach, and it is this time that medical aid is generally successful in arresting its progress nad therefore, should be employed early.  If the disease is neglected at this stage, it soon runs into collapse, when most of the cases will terminate fatally, in spite of the best directed efforts of medical science.
We are informed by the physicians that in the cases which have occurred within the last few days, the symptoms are much more favorable, and indicate that the disease has reached its climax, and a declination in severity may certainly be expected.
Let the citizens be firm and unterrified (for fear is one of the causes which invite an attack of the disease); with firmness and a prudent regard to the laws of health and an early resort to medical aid, and there is but little danger to be apprehended.
The borough authorities have been quite prompt in strewing the gutters of our streets with lime; and we hope they will not stop at this, but throw a goodly quantity of the same in the creek at the head of Broadway, and also in the streets and alleys.  Don’t be backward in spending a few dollars in this way; “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
Since Sunday last there have been forty cases, nine of which have terminated fatally.  Out of the number of cases which have occurred since Thursday morning, there have been but one or two deaths.  Great credit is due to the medical gentlemen, who have been unremitting in their attentions to the sick, and also to those of our citizens who promptly stepped forward and gave their best exertions to aid the sick and dying.”

August 24, 1854 - The Mauch Chunk Gazette reported - 

Death of Dr. J. D. Thompson – Death has aimed at and struck down a worthy man in the person of Dr. Thompson, who died at his residence in this borough on Saturday, the 19th inst.  He was attacked with the prevailing epidemic, on the morning of the 14th inst., which run into collapse in a very few minutes.  From this stage he recovered, and stong hopes were entertained of his restoration to health.  This prospect so cheering at first, soon became gloomy.  Congestion of the liver supervening, rendered recovery in the prostrated condition of his system, extremely doubtful.  He was carefully attended by GB & HK Linderman and had the benefit of the professional advice of Drs McConnel, Longshore and Brass, but the disease progressed, it became evident to his attendants that it would terminate fatally.  Fully impressed with the belief that he could not recover, he gave directions respecting his temporary affairs and prepared to meet his last enemy.  With strong religious faith, and perfect composure, he tasted the dark waters of death, and calmly resigned his life into the hands of Him who gave it.  Dr. Thompson in his 53rd year, and had practiced his profession in this region for many years, and was universally respected and beloved for his benevolence, urbanity and for the manner in which, for twenty-five years, he had ministered to human suffering.  During his illness he was tenderly watched by his affectionate wife and devoted daughters, and also by personal friends, who esteemed it a pleasure to attend his wants.- His loss to his sorrow stricken family is irreparable, and will be severely felt by those who were accustomed to look to him for counsel in the hour of distress.”

August 24, 1854 - The Carbon Democrat reported - (This copy is quite poor in quality, some words cannot be determined.)

“The Cholera – We are happy to announce to the public that since the date of our last issue…almost entirely disappeared from our borough.  Only one case; acquired in the past few days.  Notwithstanding this evident improvement of the public health, it will be prudent to avoid ???? of all kinds for it is very probable that we shall continue to have cases of cholera morbus among us for some time yet.
Now that the epidemic has ceased its ravages a few observations relative to the same will not be out of place.  Previous to the appearance of the disease at Mrs. Troy's boarding house, on the 18th of the present month (Aug 1854) several deaths from cholera had occurred in this vicinity among the boatman…”
“…On the day above referred to, Mr. Otting, a boarder at Mrs. Troy's boarding house was taken with the disease, and died the same day.  During his illness, Mr. Hunter attended him and was taken with the next 24 hours, and fell victim on Wednesday.  Mr. West, residing in the immediate vicinity was attacked with the same disease and died; his wife, who during his illness, had watched closely at his bed-side was attacked the same day, and survived only a few hours.  These and other cases, occurring in rapid succession dispelled all doubts as to the nature of the disease, and caused the utmost anxiety in the public mind.  Many families left town and those who remained knew not at what moment they would be struck down with the disease but to the honor of humanity be it said that the sufferers were not left to die without proper attendance. A few brave and sympathizing men men volunteered their services in the cause of the suffering humanity and went wherever their services were most needed.  Among the most conspicuous in the good work may be mentioned.  Messrs.T.P. Simpson, John Painter, George Newton, LD Knowles, SB Price, WB Tomblet, Wm O. Struthers, Merit VanHorn, G. Frebee,Herbert Williams, John McMullen and Jno. F   Sherry.  Those gentlemen, regardless of personal consequences, for several days and nights devoted their time in attending the livingand performing the last officer for the departed. – For these services so fearlessly and freely rendered, they deserve the public thanks.
We have not been able to ascertain the names of those who died of this disease previous to the 18th inst. but understand that there were some six or eight cases which proved fatal.  Since the date first referred to, the following persons have fallen victims to the epidemic viz: Joseph Hunter, Mr. Cutting, Mr & Mrs Jacob West, Geo Adams, son of T. Brelsford, Mr. Leonard Blakeslee, Catherine Keen and two children, Mrs. Conda Lyon, Dr. JD Thompson, Mrs Hughs, child of Charles Faga, and Mr. Toban, making 15* in all."

*(Eight were reported previous to this story bringing the reported death toll to at least twenty-three.  The last paragraph that follows here seems to intone a sense of calm and perhaps indicates the press had a vested interest in not only allaying public fear but it could also suggest that the press could have been intent on sandbagging the tally.)

"We are not able to state precisely the number of cases which have occurred in this borough and vicinity, but enough is known to state that the mortality has not been great; and when we take into consideration the fact that many of the cases occurred on board of canal boats, and in other places where prompt aid could not be obtained, the wonder is that there were not more fatal cases.  The pestilence, which has now ceased in this place, has left marks of its visitation.  It has carried sorrow into many family circles, and to some extent paralyzed business, but in view of all the circumstances, we have great reason to be thankful that its ravages were not greater.” 

  Do No Harm -

Absent modern antibiotics and electrolyte-restoring fluids, the best a doctor could do was keep their patients comfortable and as hydrated as possible, with water (including ice-chips, where available) that was hopefully not contaminated with the cholera bacteria. 

However common treatments of the day may not have been so benign.  Many physicians used varying combinations of a three-pronged attack of: 1.) Calomel, a chalky mercury compound used as a care-all, 2.) Laudanum (opium the key ingredient) and 3.) to administer a good bloodletting or bleeding.

The above were considered to be “conservative treatments.”  The radical doctors tried tobacco smoke enemas, electric shock, and injection of saline solutions into the veins.  The president of the New York State Medical Society suggested plugging up the rectum with beeswax or oilcloth to bottle up the diarrhea. 

Some who claimed to know the best cure in fact just got lucky with a few patients who either did not actually have cholera or at worst a minor case of it.  Though most were well-intentioned and through no fault of their own, physicians were administering treatments that had little to do with an effective outcome.  This in addition to unscrupulous practitioners led many to hold the lot of doctors in low regard.

Some of the less savory were known to conjure up patients who claimed to be cured by the doctor’s “special method,” some staging miracle cures by healing shill patients to simply profit from the outbreak.  Also particularly harmful to public opinion was the custom by some to charge exorbitant fees during times of virulent outbreaks. 

The good doctors of Mauch Chunk seemed to have been treated with respect, at least by the local papers of that time, speaking highly of them all. Dr. H. R. Linderman arrived here to answer the plea of his brother G.B. Linderman and arrived in Mauch Chunk to help heal. 
Henry R. Linderman was permitted to leave from his new appointment as director of the Philadelphia mint to return to the area to help combat the disease, exemplifying uncommon valor and courage in coming here.  The same can be said of Garrett B. Linderman for bravely standing in the way of the disease’s destructive path.

The Good Doctors Linderman

Henry Richard (Dec 25, 1825) and Garrett Brodhead (October 15, 1829) Linderman were born in Lehman, Pike County to Dr. John Jay and Mrs. Rachel Brodhead Linderman.  Dr. John Linderman was born in 1787.  “G. B.” studied at the College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City and practiced with his father.  He then took over “H. R.”’s service to the Nesquehoning Coal Company around 1851, though some sources cite 1854 as the year. 

This is the same time when “H. R.” began a distinguished career in service to his country eventually becoming an apt and able director of the U.S. Treasury, authoring many papers including two books: “The Proposed Mint: Why it should be in St. Louis” (1875) and “Money and Legal Tender in the United States” (1877).  (Both of these books are available for free on "Google Books.")

Henry was President Grant’s authority on all matters associated with the monetary system and was an ardent proponent of replacing our dual standard of gold and silver with just gold alone.  This is what the “Coinage Act of 1873” did.  H. R. Linderman was the sole author of that bill.  One source mentions Henry as serving the Union cause as a physician during the war.

March 9, 1851 - "Business Card Ad" - The Mauch Chunk Gazette – 
G. B. Linderman, MD – Tenders his professional Services to the citizens of MC and vicinity.  Office joining JR Struthers’ Law Offc.”  

The "Prominent People Tied to Hopkin Thomas" site offers this indictment of G. B. Linderman:

 “During the subsequent cholera epidemic at Mauch Chunk he gave his services to the people of that sorely stricken village, and with such zeal and success that they earnestly solicited him to become a resident, and be continued to labor there for ten years, making for himself a splendid reputation as a practitioner. His abilities were recognized far beyond his immediate sphere, and he would undoubtedly have soon been called to a higher place in the profession had it not been that circumstances led him away from it altogether.” 

September 21, 1854 – The Mauch Chunk Gazette reported -
Cholera in Pittsburh…55 deaths in past 36 hours…
Cholera at Columbia, Baltimore, Sept 15…there were seven deaths  by cholera since 6 o’clock yesterday evening, making ninety-one deaths in all.  Subscriptions are being made here for the Columbia sufferers.

The local papers discontinued any mention of further area cholera deaths or illness, but at the same time, did not declare an end of the contagion either.  Though the folks in the vicinity of Easton were still experiencing the full reaches of this plague, little was written of any local deaths. 

The last local death was posted on September 13, 1854: “A Mr. German, resident of this place, was attacked in the morning with the Cholera, and died about five o'clock in the afternoon. He leaves a wife and three little children.”

Of course G. B. Linderman also goes on to a distinguished career away from medicine.  By 1863 he was a partner in the East Sugar Loaf Colliery, started the firm Packer, Linderman and Company with his father-in-law Asa, and a partner in the Room Run Colliery with Douglas Skeer another relative of the Packer dynasty of family and business partnerships. 

Two years after the cholera epidemic, “G. B.” married Lucy Packer on August 21, 1856.  Before dying from a fall from a horse, Lucy had the following children with Garrett: Sallie who married Warren A. Wilbur, Robert P. Linderman and Garrett B. Lindeman II.  (“G. B.” married again on March 16, 1880 to Miss Frances Evans, a daughter of George Evans of New York City, having three daughters: Lillian, Ida and Helen.) 

Lucy Packer Linderman was the only Packer child to bear children.  Of those descendants members of the Frick family carry on, as well as a few Linderman's.  Many of whom have grandchildren and great grandchildren living today.
The south Bethlehem home of the Linderman's after 1870 in Fountain Hill -
Afforded close proximity to the L.V.R. R., Bethlehem Steel and St. Luke's
Hospital, key endeavors of the Packer's and Linderman's.  The home was
later owned by U.S. and Bethlehem Steel chief Charles M. Schwab.

It was in 1870 when “G. B.” and Lucy built their Fountain Hill, South Bethlehem home.  But as of the 1870 census, they were still living in Mauch Chunk.  Living next to them on Broadway was the widow of Dr. Righter and two of their living daughters. 
Dr. Righter's grave in Upper Mauch Chunk Cemetery.

The sons of Dr. Righter who died
in their infancy.  Note Robert died, less than
a year old, at the start of the cholera troubles.
The cause of their deaths is not known.

The widow Jane Righter, assisted by her daughter Annie, was “Post Mistress” of Mauch Chunk.  “Effie” Euphemia Righter was a music teacher.  They had an African-American servant from Virginia named Temple Gross living with them.  Their total personal estate was estimated to be valued at $900.  

The 1870 census listed G.B. as a “coal operator.”  They had Sallie P. age 10, Robert P. age 7, and Garrett Jr. age 5 at home along with two servants, a nurse, a cook and an African American coachman from Virginia named Thomas Dixon living with them.  Their combined personal estate was estimated at $769,000.

“G. B.” was an original member of the board of trustees of Lehigh University, of which was created from a $10 million endowment from his father in law Asa.  He was also a trustee of St. Luke’s Hospital also closely connected to the Lehigh Valley Railroad.  Other businesses were G. B. Linderman & Co., Lehigh Valley National Bank of Bethlehem, Bethlehem Iron Company (Bethlehem Iron was the forerunner to steel giant Bethlehem Steel and was the nation’s leading producer of railroad track rails.) and the founding member of the Association of the Bessemer Steel Companies of the United States. 

In 1903, his mansion in Fountain Hill was purchased by Bethlehem and U.S. Steel magnate Charles M. Schwab, both he and his wife also having other local ties.

It appears no amount of wealth could prevent the Lindermans from entering an early grave, the years of toil and perhaps a predisposition to heart disease were the culprits.

According to the American Medical Association’s “Deceased Physicians Card File,” Henry Linderman died in Washington D.C. in 1879 at the age of 53 due to “heart failure.”  Garrett died September 28, 1885 at his Fountain Hill home due to “congestion of the brain.”  He was only 55. 
Robert Packer Linderman
did not follow his father into
medicine as father followed his
own father.  Rather, Robert rose through many
of the same business ranks as "G. B."

Garrett and Lucy’s son Robert Packer Linderman followed his father into many of his business pursuits including becoming President of the Lehigh Valley National Bank, becoming the nation’s youngest national bank president up to that time.  He too died at an early age, only reaching his 39th year.

It is ironically sad that men so dedicated to the healing of others had such short lives themselves.  

Further research must be conducted in the journals of the Lindermans (at perhaps Lehigh University) and for Saint Neumann's to find more information on this despairing time in Carbon's history.

The Garrett B. Linderman family grave site in Nisky Hill Cemetery,
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

It has been said that Lucy met her demise from a fall from a horse.
A son-in-law of Garrett and Lucy Linderman.