Typhoid Rug Kills Family

Preface: As we shelter-in-place to weather the spread of Covid-19, I was reminded of our family’s tragic history with a different type of outbreak, back in the 1920s. Your first thought might be the Spanish Flu, but that pandemic had largely passed by the time this happened.

This morning I had a conversation with my mom and my Aunt Dee about their Aunt Mamie, who died before either of them was born. The story that was passed down to them is that Aunt Mamie’s husband William had died from an illness that was passing through that region of South Georgia, in the summer of 1921.

Several years later Aunt Mamie pulled an old rug out of storage and took it outside and beat the dust out of it before setting it up in their front room. The rug had previously been in the old house that her husband William had died in. Not long after, Mamie took ill and died from the same illness in November of 1924 – more than 3 years after her husband.

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