Cresson TB Sanatorium Remembered

Email 14

 

From: kentompkins3@comcast.net  

Subject: Louise Randall

Date: Jul 20, 2016  

Sir,
Just found your site and am responding to your request for information about family members who were sent to Cresson Sanatorium. 
 
A great-aunt of mine whose name was Louise Randall was there from July 19 to August 9, 1917.  The cause of death according to her Death Certificate was diphtheria and tuberculosis.  The physician signing her Death Certificate was Dr. Melvin E. Cowen.  She was almost 14 years old when she died.
 
She came to the Sanatorium from Sayer, Pa.  I hope this interests you. 
 
Ken Tompkins 
 

LouiseRandallsDeathCertcopycopy.jpg

Two Photos of Louise:  The one on the left as a child at about 6 years old and the one on the right closer to the age of 13 when she died.  It's tragic that she died within 3 weeks of entering the san.   The Death Certificate lists the hospital as PSCS, short for Pennsylvania State Cresson Sanatorium.     

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Mark O'Neill (moneill76@gmail.com) sent me the following information in July 2016:

 

My grandmother Nora Ruffing O'Neil worked at Cresson from around 1933 to early 1939 and again from the late 1940s until she moved to the Ebensburg state hospital around 1955 or 1958.

 

NoraONeillWEB.jpg

Nora Ruffing O'Neill is seated on the far right wearing glasses.  The photo was taken in 1958 when she worked at the Ebensburg State Hospital. 

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From: Kate Bayer   kateb1950@gmail.com

Subject:  Cresson State Sanatorium

Date: March 26, 2017

Hi - I just stumbled onto your website while writing a piece about my mom who as a child spent some time at Cresson during the 1930s for diphtheria.  I'm not sure how long she was there but do know it was likely months and not years and that her parents visited her there and eventually brought her home.  I'm attaching a picture with the buildings in the background.  My mom is the older child.  I don't know who the younger child is but assume it's likely one of my mom's relatives who came to visit.  I would like to have her name included on your site if you can advise me how to do so.  My mom's name was Ella Jane Stone,   1925-2011   
 
What an interesting story you have told.  Thank you.
 
 
(Chuck Felton:  Kate also sent the following write-up)
 
 
 Ella Jane Stoner In Cresson Preventorium

 

Ella Jane Stoner was born in 1925 in the small village of Tarrs, Westmoreland County. When she was about 7 years old she was sent to a hospital in Cresson, Cambria County for the treatment of diphtheria. It is likely she spent that time in the Preventorium as a preventative to a possible progression to tuberculosis. We don't know her length of stay or her treatment.  After a few months she returned home to Tarrs.  Why she wasn't vaccinated for diphtheria is unknown since the vaccine was invented in 1923 and would have been available. No other members of her immediate family were ever diagnosed or treated for tuberculosis. Throughout her life she had a tendency towards upper respiratory infections but was never diagnosed as having been exposed to tuberculosis. She died at the age of 86 in 2011.  During her life she rarely referenced or talked about her experience at Cresson.

 
 
EllaStonerComp.jpg
Left Photo:  Ella, about age 7, on the children's playground merry-go-round.  Behind her are the Men's West Wing Wards.    Right Photo:  Ella as a young woman.

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