Taken ill in October of 1937, he had failed to respond to treatment and ten days ago was taken to the Iowa sanitarium for care and continued treatment under the family physician and specialists. Yesterday he grew rapidly worse and death came just after noon today.
Earl, an eighth grade student at Milford Consolidated School, leaves, besides his parents, his older sister Miss Vera, (Milford Twp 1932) & (Iowa State 1936) a teacher in the Fernald schools, and a younger brother, Richard (Milford Twp 1947).
The news of the death of this popular school boy comes as a distinct shock to the family and friends where he was so well known and admired for his many fine qualities. He was a member of the Milford Hustlers 4-H Club and had a project of dairy cattle.”
The W.A. Stevenson family moved from McCallsburg to the south side of Sec 26 of Milford Twp in the spring of 1923. See page 218.
**Iowa Sanitarium was a large (40 bed), wooden, five storied hospital that was in south Nevada on the south side of the West Indian Creek that is at the south end of Seventh Street. It was destroyed by fire on 30 Jan 1943 with the lose of one life.
***Caused by a bout of Rheumatic Fever (RF) at age eight and then a recurrence of the disease at age 15. The reoccurrence can happen at any time there is a bacterial infection in the blood. Simple things, even cleaning the teeth, can cause this to happen. 40-80 % of RF patients develop pancarditis, an inflammation that affects all aspects of the heart. With the current program of antibiotics, which were not available in 1938, Earl would probably have overcome his original problem with RF. RF is a complication of, and very often follows, a bout of strep throat.
Adapted from the Nevada Journal of 28 April 1944:
Norman Rexford Hughes, eight year old son of Mr. and Mrs. Rexford Hughes of Milford Township, and student in the third grade at the Milford Consolidated School, passed away at his home about 11;30 p.m. Tuesday. Norman has been suffering with leukemia since February and was in the Iowa Methodist Hospital for awhile.
Funeral services will be held Friday at 2:30 p.m. in the Nevada Methodist Church with Rev. O.E. Cooley in charge. Burial will be in the Pleasant Grove cemetery. A prayer service will precede the services at the church at 1:30 p.m. in the Hughes home.
Edited from a family portrait of 1942
A few memories from years later; I don't recall much about my older brother who died when I was six years of age. But I do recall that my folks had a bed set up for him in the northwest corner of the kitchen as that is where Mom spent most of her time. There were numerous trips to Des Moines to hopefully receive the miracle treatment that would stop the disease. Nothing did. The War was on and Dad would give any serviceman who was hitchhiking, and many were, a ride to or from Des Moines.
After the Doctors told my folks nothing more could be done, my Dad brought Norman home one cold, raw, and windy overcast day, wrapped him in a big heavy blanket and carried him into the house to die. (Just Dad and Norman made this journey- Norman in the back seat)
A week or so later, after my Brother died, my Dad took the iron bed apart in which Norman had actually died, burned the bedding and took the metal parts to the machine shed and there it is still hanging on the wall sixty years later. That first morning after his death, when I came downstairs, the kitchen seemed so empty without that green iron bed in the corner and the house had a sullen gloomy quiet atmosphere that I had never experienced before even though there were a number of people accumulated there speaking in muffled voices.
I don't recall my folks ever mourning our lose, but over fifty years later, I found a cache of letters my Mom had received in a round robin letter exchange with her sorority sisters and apparently she had poured out her heart to these "sisters" and they had apparently told my folks- “to be strong for the other children's sake”.Norman Hughes would have been in the class of 1953.