Seney, Iowa, History "in the old news"

Decade of 1900-1909


LeMars Sentinel, Sept. 20, 1904

Over A Dozen Victims of Ptomaine Poisoning At Seney
Birthday Feast Ends in Tragedy

Lela (sic--Lelia) Osborne, the Six Year Old Daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Osborne Succumbs to the Effects and Several are Dangerously Ill--Was Busy Time for Doctors

One dead and fifteen suffering more or less from the effects of ptomaine
poisoning is the result of eating pressed chicken at a birthday party
given at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Reeves at Seney on Saturday
evening.  Members of more than a dozen families in Seney and vicinity
are suffering from the effects of the poison and Lela (sic--Lelia,) the six year old little girl of John Osborne, succumbed at eight o'clock on Sunday
evening to the effects.  He sister, May (sic--Mae) Osborne, aged ten years is in a precarious condition and Paul Reeves the five year old son of Robert Reeves is in a very serious condition.

Those who were acutely effected by the poison are:
Miss Jessie Reeves, aged 17,
Ralph Hughes and Vera Hughes aged 10 and 8, children of Ed Hughes
May (sic--Mae) Reeves, aged 8
Earl, aged 10, the son of Elam Chapman
Thurit Chapman, aged 11, the son of Grant Chapman
Guy, the eleven year old son of Elmer Anstine
Mrs. John Osborne
Mr. and Mrs. George Reeves and their little daughter, Edna.
A twelve year old boy named Daugherty was also one of the victims.

Dr. Richey was called out Sunday morning and later Dr. Mammen was called and they worked hard all Sunday and Sunday night in their efforts to relieve the sufferers several of whom spent hours in agony.

The cause was traced to some pressed chicken by the physicians.
Several ladies assisted in the preparation of the chickens which were
killed, boned and pressed early on Saturday morning in preparation for a
birthday party which was held at the Reeves home for the young people in
the afternoon and evening.  Supper was served at half past five, but no
bad effects were apparent until well along on Sunday morning, when a
dozen different households had patients in dire distress.  The neighbors
who had been lucky enough to escape were soon busy aiding the sufferers
and the little village of Seney was converted into a hospital for the
time being.

That the poisoning was directly due to the pressed chicken is
conclusively shown by the fact that Lela (sic--Lelia) Osborne, the victim of the sad occurrence, was not at the party.  Her older sister, May (sic--Mae,) brought home two sandwiches made of pressed chicken and her mother, Mrs. Osborne and the little girl ate them and were taken violently ill early on Sunday morning.

Mrs. Osborne was suffering terribly and was unable to minister to her
little daughter, Lela (sic--Lelia,) who died in the evening.

The tragedy has cast a gloom over the pretty little city, and the
calamity is deeply deplored by all.

The funeral of Lela (sic--Lelia) Osborne will be held today at the Methodist church in Seney.

LeMars Sentinel, Dec. 15, 1905

SENEY: (Special Correspondence)

The telephone men from LeMars were up the middle of last week putting up a new wire.  The phone in J. Alderson's store is now connected directly
with the LeMars Central office which will prove more satisfactory in
many ways.

LeMars Sentinel, May 8, 1908

SENEY: (Special Correspondence)

The telephone line men, from LeMars, were in town Wednesday and changed some of the wires on Line 24, putting the phones at the depot and lumber office on the toll line connected with the phone in J. Alderson's store.


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