Cause of Death – Pulmonary Tuberculosis

Today would have been the 115th birthday of Nora Schmidt who was born on October 9, 1901.  Unfortunately, Nora lived only a short 24 years.  Cause of death:  pulmonary tuberculosis.  For a while, this disease was called White Death.

Nora was the daughter of Martin Wilhelm and Elisabeth (Roth) Schmidt.  This Schmidt family had seven children, five girls and two boys.  A previous post was written about Martin’s parents titled Schmidt nee Schmidt.  Theirs was a marriage between a Schmidt and a Schmidt.

Here is the death certificate for Nora, who died in Altenburg in 1925.

Nora Schmidt – Death Certificate

Sadly, Nora was not the only one in that family that died from this lung disease.  Her older brother, Theodore, died one year later in 1926.  He was only 33 years old when he died.

Happily, Nora and Theodore had another brother who went on to raise a family.  His name was Martin Joseph Schmidt.  One of Martin Joseph’s sons is one of our faithful docents here at the Lutheran Heritage Center & Museum.  His name is Delbert Schmidt.

Martin Wilhelm Schmidt family

Nora is the girl standing between her mother and father.  Theodore is the taller boy standing behind his father.  Delbert’s father is the boy standing to the left.  I happen to think that we should get Delbert to grow a handlebar mustache so he could imitate his grandpa.

In the early 1900’s, the state of Missouri opened the Missouri State Sanatorium in Mount Vernon, Missouri.  Its original purpose was to isolate and treat patients who had tuberculosis.  We have no record that either of these Schmidts were patients there, but it was an option for Missourians at the time.  It was in the 1950’s when major inroads were made in the treatment of TB.

Missouri State Sanatorium

UPDATE:  Since I published this post, I talked with Delbert.  He said that after Nora and Theodore died, Nora’s husband and Theodore’s wife were married.  That’s not a story you hear every day.

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