Tuesday, January 23, 2007

You never know what you will find!

Columbia City Post, Whitley County, Indiana
Saturday ~ May 27, 1905
Pulled Gun on Physician. Henry Phend Whose Home is Quarantined for Scarlet Fever Made Dr. Souder Shiver Tuesday With An Empty Revolver.

Dr. C. L. Souder who is attending physician at the home of Henry Phend, who has been under quarantine since Tuesday May 16 on account of scarlet fever in the family, was confronted with a peculiar situation Tuesday afternoon.

He alleges that when he entered the house about 2 p.m. that Phend came forward with a revolver that looked like a cannon to him and told him to begin praying. The Dr. resorted to the use of some diplomacy and finally succeeded in getting the irate man to explain his warlike actions. Phend claimed that his case had not been properly reported to the health officer and that he was tired of being shut up. He later apologized to the physician for his behavior and showed that his gun was empty, but Dr. Souders avers that his heart missed several beats while Phend had him covered. The latter has six or seven children, but so far only one of them has had a light attack of the disease.

The best thing for the family to do when quarantined is to submit to the inevitable and avoid all disturbances. Officers must obey the law and physicians must do likewise. No officer will hold a family in quarantine for spite work or when it is unnecessary. They do it because the laws require it.

Henry Phend is my great-grandfather. He was a well known building contractor in Columbia City from 1900-1956. The oldest child at this time would have been my grandfather, Victor, who was not quite 12 years old. The other children were Cecil, age 10; Gladys, age 8; Bernice, age 6; Russell, age 4; Donald, age 2; and Virgil, just 6 months old. There was no follow-up article so I don't know if any charges were filed. By all accounts, Henry Phend was a mild-mannered gentleman. Being cooped up in a house with his wife and seven children must have driven him over the edge! My immediate reaction to this article was surprise and amusement, and then sympathy for both Henry and poor Dr. Souder!

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