An 1800’s Epidemic Is Responsible for Nearly Everyone in This Indiana Cemetery
This small cemetery, located in Jennings County, Indiana is a reminder of how incredibly difficult life was back in the 1800s. Diseases and injuries that are easily treatable today were very often deadly 200 years ago, and these graves are a tragic example.
James Branam shared these photos on the Abandoned and Forgotten Indiana Facebook group. He took the pictures at Saint Catherine's Cemetery in Hayden, Indiana, where legend has it that nearly everyone buried there died from cholera.
What is Cholera?
I have heard of cholera, and I know that it is some kind of disease, but beyond that, I am (was) pretty clueless. Learning about this cemetery has taught me more about though. Here is what the World Health Organization (WHO) says about this deadly disease:
Cholera is an extremely virulent disease that can cause severe acute watery diarrhea. It takes between 12 hours and 5 days for a person to show symptoms after ingesting contaminated food or water. Cholera affects both children and adults and can kill within hours if untreated. Cholera remains a global threat to public health and an indicator of inequity and lack of social development.
A worldwide outbreak of cholera started in the 1830s and wiped out towns all throughout the midwest. The sad fact is that many cemeteries, just like the one in Hayden, are full of people who died from cholera during that time.
We are lucky that here in America, cholera has become pretty rare - only about five cases per year - but those who live in underdeveloped countries are not so lucky. The WHO says that "Each year, an estimated 1.3 to 4 million people get cholera and 21,000 to 143,000 die from it worldwide."