Letter from Dr. Howden, St. Louis, 1918

From the July 11, 1918 Skidmore News, page 1:

Letter from Doctor Howden

Isolation Hospital, St. Louis, Mo.
July 6, 1918

Editor News:–

 

I was certainly filled with much joy this morning in receiving the Skidmore News.

 

One of the house doctors here happened to come into my room and spied the sheet. “Skidmore!” he said, “Why that’s a funny name for a town. Where in the h— is it? I never heard of such a place.” “What!” I said, “didn’t you ever hear of the Skidmore Punkin show?” He admitted that he had not, so I had to inform him.

 

I was beginning to feel a little lonesome out here at the Isolation hospital until I received the News.

 

I wasn’t expecting to be sent to the Isolation hospital so soon, but when I landed in town and saw the superintendent of the city hospital, I was informed that they needed a doctor most in Isolation work.

 

My work at present is not so hard, but it is mighty quiet in an Isolation hospital. If you don’t believe it get the diphtheria in Saint Louis and see.

 

I have forty patients on my service. Most of them being children from under one year of age up to five.  The prevailing diseases are measles, whooping cough, scarlet fever, diphtheria, miningitis [meningitis] and erysipelas. Every patient that comes in must be vaccinated for small pox and believe me some of these 5 year old kids can put up some scrap.

 

There is one little fellow on my service about 3 years old with whooping cough. Tonight when I was making my ward rounds I asked him how he was getting along he said, “not very good doctor my kidneys haven’t moved today.” I think that’s very good for a three year old.

 

There are three other house doctors here besides myself, we will be in the Isolation hospital for 2 months.

 

This hospital is one of the newest and most up to date Isolation hospitals in the country, and is located in a beautiful place. It is about a six mile ride from here down town to the City hospital. It is much cooler out here than down in the city as the business section is much lower in elevation.

 

I haven’t been to quite all the parks yet, but had a delightful swim out at Delaware Gardens last night. I suppose you know the place.

 

Trusting you and your fellow citizens are well, I am sincerely yours,
Lawrence Howden.