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The story of mad dogs here in 1890s

and one hog owned by Rudolph Miller

Hydrophobia. The word may sound foreign to today’s resident, but in the 1890s in Bluffton, it was commonly used word. Here are several examples from the Bluffton News, and, as a refresher, a definition follows.


Hydrophobia: It is a clinical sign characteristic of human rabies. This sign occurs following paroxysmal contractions of pharynx responsible for hydrophobic spasms.


1898 Notice

The dogs owned by the following persons having been bitten by a supposed mad dog, the owners are required to keep them confined for a period of at least nine days, as a precaution against possible hydrophobia:


Mrs. Hamilton,

Frank Scott, Wm. Pepple, Wm. Strayer, K.N. Kraft, James Bogart, Abe Kearns, Fred Badertscher Gabe Bartsch also one hog owned by Rudolph Miller.

Sept. 8, 1880

Monday evening last a daughter of Wm. Messimore as bitten in the arm by a dog. Dr. Clark attended the child and made application to draw the poison our if there was any.



Last Sunday, the second daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Reuben Thut, living near Rockport, was tripped by a dog, falling over him and causing a fracture of the elbow. Dr. Steiner was called and reduced the fracture.


 Jacob Amstutz and Cyril Coburn dispatched the mad dog, Tuesday, south of town, that has been running at large for several days, scaring horses and biting other dogs. This was the same dog that frightened Benedict Leichty’s horse, causing it to run away Monday, demolishing the buggy.


May 1898

Rudolph Miller’s hog that was bit by the Mt. Cory mad dog a few weeks ago, became strangely affected last Friday and continued so for several days. Whether it was hydrophobia is difficult to tell, but the strange disease undoubtedly resulted from the dog bite.






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