Zella Cole and Tuberculosis

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Zella Cole Ensor

This lovely lady is Zella Cole Ensor. She was the daughter of Robertson J. Cole and Mary (Mollie) C. Lowe. The Cole and Lowe families are old residents from Carter County, Tennessee.

Zella was born 24 April 1889 in Carter County, Tennessee. During the winter of 1907, at the age of seventeen, Zella married George W. Ensor. Four years later, they had a daughter named Hazel. She was born 15 June 1911 in Carter County, Tennessee.

Sadly, like so many living in the area at the beginning of the 20th century, Zella contracted Tuberculosis during the winter of 1914. A few months later in March of 1915, Zella passed away at the age of twenty-five. She left a husband and a three-year-old daughter.

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Image Source: FamilySearch

Thankfully, a picture of Zella Cole still exists to remember by.

Tuberculosis (formerly known as consumption) is not widely talked about today since we can treat it with success. However, only a hundred years ago TB was a major problem. Many individuals lost their lives to the disease.

Some of the symptoms Zella would have suffered from fatigue, night sweats, and “wasting away.” According to the University of Virginia, at least 450 people in America died every day from Tuberculosis. Most victims were between the ages of fifteen and forty-four years old. The disease was so common that it became a synonym for death.

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Deaths from TB during 1945. Image Source: University of Virginia

Tuberculosis was rampant in the cities especially among the poor. It was not until the late 1800s/early 1900s doctors used isolation to keep the disease from spreading.

If you would like to learn more about the history of Tuberculosis click here.

 

Thank you for reading.

J. R. Findsen

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