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Both visited Quincy on several occasions, conversed with the study club, corresponded warmly and held Sarah in high regard. It was reported that Alcott and Emerson both stayed at the Denman home.

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According to Paul R. Through this work Sarah gained friendships with significant leaders of the national suffrage movement such as Lucy Stone, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and others who stayed in her home when they traveled to the West.

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Sarah and her husband spearheaded a petition drive at the time of the Illinois Constitutional Convention in when an ardent push to pass an amendment granting women the right to vote was in motion. After the Civil War she worked for the indigent including former slaves and raised money to provide food and shelter to those in need. Through work of the Relief Association Sarah learned of the desperate need for medical care for poor people. In time money and land was given in the Denman name to organize a hospital for their care. In the hospital was run by a board of women managers with Mrs.

Denman as president. In through her efforts the first permanent endowment was given to the Quincy Free Public Library.

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It was one of her last gifts to the city that she so benevolently influenced. Sarah Atwater and Mathias Denman had met at a gala ball held in honor of Marquis de Lafayette in Philadelphia in Sarah was young when she met Mathias, an already wealthy nineteen-year-old man. The married in Sarah and Mathias enjoyed an elegant lifestyle in Philadelphia for a time. However, when the financial crisis peaked in the later s the Denman family and thousands of others lost everything. After 16 years of marriage they left behind their families and cultured surroundings and began life in a village of 2, people in Their move west was life-changing.

They were unaccustomed to isolation and frontier physical inconveniencies. Sarah was unable to have children and, instead, nurtured her nieces and nephews and those who needed assistance. Journeys back to New England nearly every summer kept her in touch with family and in touch with the latest publications. Coming from a family that had helped found Yale College in New Haven, Sarah, an independent thinker and devoted reader, sought to keep abreast of the newest books and journals.

Mathias eventually attained great wealth through land, real estate management, and a lumber business. After 50 years of marriage Sarah lost her husband in August of while visiting family in Connecticut. Anderson, Paul R. Platonism in the Midwest. Philadelphia: Temple University Publications, Anderson, Paul Russell. Tillson, General John. History of the City of Quincy. In Collins, William H. Perry, Past and.

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Chicago: S. Clarke, The first recorded polio epidemic in Illinois was in The purpose of the meeting was to discuss polio cases and share information with the public. Poliomyelitis or infantile paralysis is a viral disease that attacks the nervous system of children and adults. The disease could be mild and temporary or it could cripple, paralyze, and kill. Polio usually spreads person to person. One reason for visiting nurse organizations beginning at the same time as the epidemic was to get into homes to care for children with polio and prevent its spread. Over the years treatments were tried with varying degrees of success.

Polio vaccine was not available until Our most famous person who had polio was President Franklin Roosevelt. He contracted the disease in and was paralyzed from the waist down. He spent his presidency in braces or a wheelchair and went to great lengths to hide his disability. He tried a variety of therapies including hydrotherapy in the mineral springs and treatment pools in Warm Springs Georgia. President Roosevelt first went to Warm Springs in He bought a home there, known later as the Little White House, and died there in In he founded a rehabilitation facility for polio patients, where patients would live, work, and hopefully regain their health together.

In , Dr.


Hildegarde Sinnock had a family of patients who lived just outside of Quincy on a farm on 48th Street. The father, Edgar, recounted a story of his mother needing the doctor. His father drove to 36th and State Streets to the nearest telephone and called their physician, Dr. Melinda Germann. They brought their daughter Iris the next day.

Doctors diagnosed polio and the children were quarantined. After about a week, Dr. Sinnock thought the children should be taken to Warm Springs as she had exhausted the treatments available locally. Though the rehabilitation center in Warm Springs was full, Dr. She asked the president to intervene and get the children admitted. He did. The family needed to decide quickly if they were going to Warm Springs. They agreed to go and as polio improvement could be slow, they rented their farm, sold their equipment and livestock and left for Georgia in a small travel trailer arriving in Warm Springs September 8, Hildegarde, it was you who guided us medically, and followed up with a guidance for these many years.

We owe all of this goodness we find here, becoming better as years go by, to you.


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The family kept a diary in Warm Springs and referred to it when writing to Dr. Sinnock in the late s. Sinnock advised them on their trip to Georgia to drive slowly, keep the children motionless, and what to look for if their condition worsened. When they arrived, the children were added to the patients lining the halls in addition to the 84 patients in wards.

While their children were in treatment through and into , Edgar and his wife helped out in the facility. Mabel worked in the kitchen and Edgar helped build more patient rooms. Mabel did personal laundry for some patients every Saturday because the laundry service was slow and some children did not have enough clothes to wait for their laundry to return.

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Edgar would gather up small change, go to the dime store, and come back with toys for the children. President Roosevelt came to Warm Springs every few months for a two week stay. After his treatments, he would visit the other patients. A boy from New York got a dollar each week from his uncle and had made a list of toys for Edgar to purchase. Roosevelt came into the ward to visit the boys and asked to see the list. Stanley was released in the spring of , but Iris stayed nine more months.

Sinnock advised the family not to return to the harsh climate of Illinois for several years. She suggested they live in Dr. Melinda asked them to do the yard and house maintenance which led to a permanent job for Edgar with a landscaping business.