"Mr. Phil Huber died Thursday after a brief illness. Mr. Huber moved here about three months ago from Bowling Green, Ky.
He leaves three daughters and one son, Misses Minnie, Mayme, and Lena, and Charles.
The remains were taken to Bowling Green, Ky., for internment." [from Birmingham News]
"Philip Huber died this morning after a long illness with typhoid fever. Mr. Huber came here several months ago from Kentucky. He leaves a wife and several grown children." [from Birmingham Age-Herald; April 5, 1901]Phillip Huber was my great-great-grandfather. Born in Flörsheim, Main-Taunus-Kreis, Hessen, Germany, on December 17, 1847, to Georg Huber (1809-1900) and Eva Katharina Fauth (1807-1875), Phil immigrated to America in June of 1867. Arriving in New York, he soon settled in Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky. He married Barbara Brunett (1852-1896), my great-great-grandmother, on April 25, 1871, and together they had seven children.
Phil worked for many years as a miller in Bowling Green, learning to read, write and speak English - something he could not do as was reported in the 1870 Census. By 1900 he was a Saloon Keeper. His wife Bridget had died in 1896. He had also buried three of his children: oldest child John William, known as"Willie," (1872-1898); Ida Catherine (1875-1879); and Clarence Joseph (1879-1900). Soon after the 1900 Census was taken, Phil moved to Bessemer, Jefferson County, Alabama, with his four grown children: Mary Bertha, called "Mayme", 27, a school teacher (and my great-grandmother); Philomena Barbara, called "Minnie", 24; Magdelena Hilbert, known as "Lena", 18; and Charles Thomas, 17.
Within just a few months of moving to Alabama, Phil contracted Typhoid Fever. He apparently had set up a Saloon in Bessemer, as the inventory of his possessions at the time of his death included: 5 bottles cherry and pineapple; 12 quarts whiskey; 24 pints champagne; 8 bottles Rhine wine; 20 quarts wine; 6 dozen bar glasses; 1/4 barrel corn whiskey; 1/5 barrel Apple brandy; 5 dozen empty bottles; 30 stone jugs.
According to the notices of his death (above) he had lived in Bessemer only 3 months. He became ill fairly quickly and suffered quite a while with this illness. The disease was painful [click this link for a complete description: ILLNESSES-TYPHOID ] and which could be (but was not always) deadly. Unfortunately, in this case it was. Phillip Huber died in the early morning hours of Thursday, April 4, 1901. He was just 53 years old. His body was transported back to Bowling Green on a train, where he was buried next to his wife and three children at St. Joseph's Catholic Church Cemetery. No headstone exists.
After their father's death daughter Mayme (my great-grandmother), still unmarried at this time, became legal guardian to her younger siblings - Lena, 18 and Charles, 17.
Typhoid Fever in Jefferson County, Alabama
A report by Dr. J.M. Mason, County Health Officer, to the Jefferson County Board of Health, stated that for the year 1901 there were 38 deaths from Typhoid Fever. The report also stated, "In order to prevent the spread of infectious diseases, the city has purchased the best obtainable Formaldehyde Generator, and each house in which an infectious disease occurs, is thoroughly disinfected by the city sanitary inspectors before the placard is removed. Each case of infectious disease is also reported to the school authorities as soon as reported to this office, and in this way school children from infected homes are excluded from school." [The Alabama Medical Journal, Vol. 14, No.5; Medical Association of the State of Alabama; April 1902.]
In 1906, the Sanitary Commission in Jefferson County recognized the need for a way for the county to enforce laws regarding its sewer system, in order to regulate the sanitation and health of the citizens of the county. Working with the Commercial Club of Birmingham, a "Greater Birmingham Commission" was nominated to push for legislation to annex surrounding municipalities and un-incorporated areas to create Greater Birmingham.
When the proposal was under consideration by the State Senate in 1907, eighty-one physicians sent the following letter to each State Senator:
"To the Alabama State Senate:
We the undersigned physicians of Birmingham, Alabama, most urgently request you, on behalf of the people of the entire citizenship of this city and the adjoining towns, to pass the King Greater Birmingham bill now pending before your body.
We are now afflicted with local epidemic of typhoid fever, and unless all this territory is put under our city government and the sanitation is urgently enforced we may suffer terrible consequences in the future from the ravages of said epidemic. We regard the passage of this bill as absolutely necessary for the public safety."In August 1907 the Greater Birmingham Bill was enacted into law, incorporating eleven municipalities and a large amount of unincorporated areas into the city of Birmingham, effective 1909.
|from Birmingham News, September 28, 1948 (p.2)|