Thursday, October 7, 2010

Thriller Thursday-Sad Case of Poisoning

This is a story about the family of my 2nd Great Grand Uncle, Oliver VanBilliard. The Daily Times of Bethlehem, PA reported on 18 May 1868 that the family had recently moved to another part of Freemansburg. And that the groceries were still mixed up from the move. When Mrs. VanBilliard decided to bake on the Saturday before the 18th, she accidently used rat poison instead of baking soda, "using a good teaspoonful" when baking a cake. When one of the children was hungry she gave them some cake and then had some herself and then fed the baby and all three bacame "violently attacked with nausea". After being treated with "powerful emetics" they were recovering. It was rumored that Mr VanBilliard had purchased a package of soda in a drug store at Bethlehem and had received the poison by mistake. He said this was untrue and he would certify it.

The next day, in "Recovering", the Daily Times said that "the unfortunate ones" were doing much better thanks to their physicians. They said it "may take several months until Mrs. VanBilliard is perfectly restored, she having been attacked the most violently".