The following stories appeared on the front page of the January 25, 1894 issue of the Chicago Daily News:
“More Small Pox at City Hall – John Cleary, Suffering with the Disease, is Held for Health Officers – John Cleary, a steamboat hand, 35 years old, stricken with small pox, sought shelter in the city hall shortly after 7 this morning.
While a number of newsboys and loungers were warming themselves over the steam pipes in the lower corridor the young man came in and even the most inexperienced could judge his case to be small-pox. He was conducted to the little room between the city and county buildings that serves as hostler’s room and there allowed to wait until the health office would open. Two hours later he was examined and his was pronounced to be a severe case of small-pox.
This last victim came to Chicago on Monday last. He gives his home as Buffalo and says that he has found work as a deck-hand on steamboats. The last few nights he has made his home on board a steamer now lying in the river. After the man was taken to the pest-house the authorities ordered the boat fumigated.
It seems that the city hall keepers have allotted this small room next to where the tire marshal’s rig stands as a sort of detention pest station for small-pox cases that may come to the city hall. After the removal of Cleary the halls were sprinkled with a solution of water and carbolic acid.”
“Juror’s Absence Explained – J.P. Lauermann Met with a Serious Accident Tuesday Night. – The members of the grand jury are wondering to-day why one of their number, J.P. Lauermann, has not been present at their sessions since Tuesday afternoon.
Mr. Lauermann lives out near Wilmette and left the grand-jury room Tuesday afternoon without making any announcement that he would be absent from the sessions of the body for two days, but it developed to-day that the missing juror is not likely to be present in the jury-room again this month.
When Mr. Lauermann arrived at Wilmette Tuesday evening he started to walk to his home in the blinding snowstorm. He had proceeded but a short distance, when he slipped and fell, breaking one of his legs.
The snow drifted around him as he lay in his helpless condition and part of the night passed before he was discovered by friends who happened along the street. He was taken to his home and all efforts were made to make him comfortable Tuesday night.
Yesterday a physician was called and said that Mr. Lauermann would be unable to leave his house for several weeks.”
There is a possibility for J.P. Lauermann and his family on the 1900 census.
Are either of these front page stories part of your family history? Did John Cleary survive his bout with small pox? Has J.P.’s story of laying in the snow been told around your kitchen table? If you know what became of these gentlemen, please share their stories with my readers and me.