Friday, May 21, 2010

Appendicitis and Harry Smith's Family

My father-in-law Grover told me several stories about his uncle, Harry Smith, pictured above with his sister Ellice Smith Morgan and his wife "Pawdy" Smith in 1961. Harry's family moved around with the Morgans a lot so Grover knew them pretty well. Harry was not with the coal mines, though, but was a meat cutter.

Harry and Pawdy had four children: Robert, Thelma, Gladys and Ruth. Only two lived to adulthood---Robert and Thelma. Gladys died of appendicitis before she was 21 years old. Grover didn't have too many details about that but he did for Harry and Pawdy's appendicitis.

Around 1922-1923, Harry had appendicitis when they lived in Landville, WV. He was packed in ice and taken to the hospital the next day. Although it's not in my notes, I seem to recall it was in a bathtub. I'm amazed that was done since that is what is done today with spinal injuries and is considered a break through.

His wife Pawdy also had appendicitis in the late 1920's. Apparently, they were living in Kimball, West Virginia (or nearby---I know Morgans lived in Big Four) at the time because she was operated on by a black surgeon in a black hospital which was over a store. I googled it and found this about the Kimball Colored Hospital. I don't think the timing was right that Dr. Roscoe Harrison would have been her surgeon, but it did verify Grover's story that there was "colored" hospital in Kimball.
One of the reasons I'm doing this blog is because all of the stories from our parents are written down on whatever was handy. This was on the back of an envelope which is nice because it's dated 04 August 1999 :-)

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