Cresson TB Sanatorium Remembered
Anna Johnson Ritter
Loretta Johnson Obusek, who has her own "Personal Story" page, also had an aunt who was a patient at the Cresson San.  Here are the few details known about her story.


I forgot to tell you about my Aunt Anna Johnson Ritter who died of TB in December of 1921.  Anna was born in 1890.  Her parents, William Johnson and Lena Carlson Johnson were born in Sweden.   Anna Johnson married Edgar Ritter, who was from either Altoona or Johnstown, and they lived in Johnstown during their marriage.  Anna worked outside the home doing domestic housework.  She and Edgar had no children.   Edgar contracted TB and Anna cared for him at home until his death on August 17, l916 when Anna was only 26 years old.  I don’t believe he was ever at Cresson and we don't know where he is buried. 

Of course, Anna was exposed to the TB bacillus while caring for Edgar, but it apparently was dormant in her until she came down with influenza during the world wide flu epidemic in 1918-1919.  Shortly after, she was diagnosed with TB.  Anna was sent to Cresson San where she spent about 1 and 1/2 years during which time her condition worsened.  Grandma and Grandpa Johnson decided to bring her home in June of 1921 and cared for her until her death on December 4, 1921.   She is buried in the family plot at Brisbon Cemetery in Houtzdale, Pa.  No one else in the family every contracted TB from having Anna cared for at home.


1.  Left:  Anna Johnson in the back with 5 of her younger siblings.  Three more
     sisters were born after this photo was taken. 
     Right:  Anna's obituary following her death in 1921 at age 31.
Note from Chuck Felton:  The fact that Anna died in 1921 prompted me to check the 1920 San Census Records.  Anna Ritter is listed on Page 18A (partially reproduced in Photo 2 below) of the census which was recorded on January 29, 1920.  She is listed as being born in Pennsylvania, 29 years old and a widow.  Her parents are recorded as being born in Sweden. 
2. Cresson TB Sanatorium 1920 Census Record