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img_6017Many years ago, anyone suffering from a communicable disease in Superior, Wisconsin, who wanted to save other family members from becoming ill could be treated at the Isolation Hospital. Superior’s twenty six room Isolation Hospital was located at 2222 East 10th Street, in Superior, Wisconsin. The hospital treated such diseases as smallpox, scarlet fever, diphtheria, and meningitis. Each of the diseases were treated in separate wards of the building, in an effort to isolate on illness from another. The hospital was managed by Mr and Mrs Peter Roe. The hospital always had a registered nurse on duty and patients could hire a private nurse as well, if needed. Mrs Roe cooked all the meals for the patients under the direction of their attending physicians. To help the patients pass the time while they were confined, “The Evening Telegram” and Superior citizens raised money for a radio. The hospital was under the supervision of Dr George Conklin. Because it was harder to cure diseases in days gone by, people might find themselves confined for some time, even the rest of their lives.

Smallpox was probably the most widespread medical terror in our past. Smallpox outbreaks occurred in 1894 and 1872, and the state was swept by cholera in 1849. The same disease had decimated the troops at Fort Crawford in August 1833, taking down 23 soldiers and killing six. But the most notorious epidemic in our history was surely the Lake Superior smallpox outbreak of 1770, when the British deliberately introduced the disease among the Ojibwa Indians in revenge for the death of a fur trader. At least 300 people around modern Duluth-Superior were killed in this early act of bioterrorism. In August of 1895, smallpox had swept through the south side of Milwaukee where the traditions of recent Polish immigrants clashed with modern public health practices. The first patients were segregated at the Isolation Hospital outside the neighborhood, even though the residents preferred caring for their own sick in their own homes, as they had in the old country. When hospital patients began dying, the residents came to see it as a slaughterhouse where they would never send their loved ones. This only increased the spread of disease, of course, and soon thousands were affected. But when city health officials or ambulances attempted to remove patients to protect the uninfected, they were met by barricaded doors and armed uprisings.

Eventually Saint Mary’s Hospital replaced the Isolation Hospital. The new hospital was finished in 1911, but it was the smallpox outbreak of May, 1915 that really put it to the test. The outbreak in Madison filled the hospitals and even took down the staff at Saint Mary’s, including the nurses and nuns. Smallpox was a terrible disease, for which there was no immunization in early years. Now with much hard work, and scientific research, it is considered a disease of the past. It also bears mentioning, that today, every time there is an outbreak of a contagious disease, doctors, nurses, staff, as well as friends and family wear protective gowns, gloves, and masks, in an effort to stop the spread of the disease. Medicine has come a long way since the days of the 1894 Smallpox epidemics. There are many ways to help people fight and win their battle against disease.

My niece, Kellie Hadlock is like her mother in so many ways. She is that “good” child, who doesn’t get in trouble, and can always be found with a smile on her face. Kellie can’t help but smile. It isn’t that no trouble passes by her. It’s just that Kellie chooses not to participate in the troubles of this world. There are probably a number of things that Kellie chooses not to participate in, but those really aren’t the important things. It’s the things Kellie chooses to participate in that really matter, because it is those things that define the wonderful woman Kellie is.

As a child, Kellie brought happiness and sunshine into a room with her every time she entered. She was always giggly and happy. Her laugh simply could not be ignored, because it was contagious. She laughed and you had to laugh, because she drew you into her unique sense of humor with every giggle. Her laugh expressed so much glee, that you couldn’t help but giggle right along with her. The reality is that little Kellie didn’t have a serious bone in her body, and I’m not so sure she does now. It’s not that she can’t be serious if she tries hard enough, but Kellie just chooses to take life with a big dose of laughter…and that hasn’t changed to this day. Still, no matter how funny and giggly Kellie was, there was one other bone missing from her body…the mean one. She couldn’t be mean to anyone if she tried. And believe me, Kellie doesn’t try to be mean, any more than she tries to be serious.

Kellie has a beautiful God given gift, in addition to her laughter…her singing voice. Kellie loves to sing, and even records her songs and puts them on YouTube. If you haven’t had the opportunity to listen to her sing, I highly recommend that you check it out. She plays the piano as well, and the music she creates is amazing. While Kellie is an insurance agent, her true calling is music ministry, and I can tell you that she definitely ministers to people through her music. When Kellie performs solos at our church, her message can move you to tears…not because the music is sad, but because it is so totally and completely beautiful. Kellie sings from her heart, and she has a heart for God. Her sweet spirit and her love of God show in every word she sings, every word she speaks, and even in her social media posts. What an awesome woman of God she is. Today is Kellie’s birthday. Happy birthday Kellie!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

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