I picked up this cabinet card from The Wurdeman Studio. If you enjoy beautiful antique photographs and other bits and bobbles, you can check them out on Instagram or visit their Etsy shop. Be sure to read the how and why of the shop. Here’s a little teaser… “It all started in Mrs. Wurdeman’s Store when I was five.”
Emma Sager’s life was just getting started when it ended in 1894; at age twenty-five she died of consumption.
Tuberculosis, also known throughout history as consumption, scrofula, TB, and the white plague, was highly contagious and killed many, being especially dangerous to those living in large cities and those who lived in poverty. (I realize that not everyone is interested in reading about disease, but if you would like to learn more about the history of tuberculosis, you will find a link in the sources at the end of this post.)
I also came across the newspaper article on the right, published in 1894, that may be of interest to some.
Emma and her eight siblings grew up on a farm in Gentry county, Missouri with her father, Edward, who immigrated to the US from Germany when he was a young boy, and her mother, Susanna (nee Gearheart). When she was twenty, Emma’s mother died and I imagine much of the responsibilities for the household chores, as well as the care of the younger siblings, may have fallen upon Emma and her older sister, Mary, who was also single. However, four years later, in August of 1892, Emma was one of the teachers in attendance at the teacher’s institute in Stanberry, Missouri. If her obituary is correct, this is about the time she fell ill. Whenever someone dies young, I ponder about their life and Emma is no different: Did she finish school? Fall in love? What hopes and dreams were extinguished too soon?
Find A Grave
Sacred Heart Review newspaper, Boston, July 14, 1894
University of Virginia Historical Exhibits- Early Research and Treatment of Tuberculosis in the 19th Century
Ephemeral New York – Tuberculosis Windows
Edward Sager’s obituary from the Boynton Index, Boynton, Oklahoma – June 27, 1919
Darlington Review newspaper, Darlington, Missouri