Forget Bird Flu, This Is Serious

March 7, 1907
Los Angeles

A dreadful disease called acute glanders has been discovered in a horse and veterinarian R.J. Ramage ordered that the animal be destroyed immediately.

In addition to rapidly causing death, acute glanders can be spread from horses to humans and there is no known cure, at least in 1907. Apparently several men in Los Angeles County died of acute glanders in 1893.

Since glanders is often found in horses’ nasal passages, local veterinarians want to ban wooden water troughs from city streets, saying that they are a breeding ground for the disease.

In 1911, Pasadena authorities ordered that 14 horses owned by the Pasadena Ice Co. be shot to death because they had the disease. The county veterinarian also quarantined a stable occupied by a dozen horses and “a number of Chinese” after detecting acute glanders.

“The disease is so infectious that it can be contracted by a horse sneezing in one’s eye,” said county Veterinarian W.B. Rowland.

In 1909, Ramage, of 831 S. Los Angeles St., went on a violent rampage at the Alpine Tavern on Mt. Lowe and it took 11 men to get him under control.

“At the tavern, the man created notice by talking continually to himself and created a disturbance by falling on his knees in the ashes of the fireplace; bowing his head down almost to the embers and offering violent words of prayer,” The Times says.

“Two physicians, formerly of the Southern California Hospital for the Insane at Patton, happened to be present and, taking ropes which were brought, demonstrated that they knew how to handle a crazy man.”

After being taken to Pasadena, Ramage was put in a car for the ride to the county hospital. “All the way to Los Angeles, the unfortunate man screamed and struggled, endeavoring to throw himself from the swiftly moving machine,” The Times says.

Eventually, Ramage recovered and told hospital attendants that he had been suffering from mania for years. “He had only a dim recollection of the trouble he went through there.”

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An Apostle of the Past

Jan. 28, 1907
Los Angeles

William Jennings Bryan stepped from the Owl train to be greeted by a long-waiting crowd.

“In appearance, Mr. Bryan has changed but little since he was last in Los Angeles,” The Times says. “In his manner, also, there has been little, if any, change, and he greeted his friends with the same fervor and showed the same remarkable talent for remembering names.”

From the Arcade Station, Bryan and his wife were transported by auto to the home of Nathan Cole on Pasadena Avenue. They took the Mt. Lowe railway and in the evening, he addressed a capacity audience at Simpson Auditorium in a benefit for the Lark Ellen Home for Boys.

At 47, Bryan was no longer the fiery orator of his youth, The Times says. Instead, he was a gentle idealist who “talked of the thousand little things that had found his favor on five continents, and a packed audience listened with almost breathless attention.”

“They liked the esthetic idealism of this older Bryan,” The Times says of the audience. “All along the many curving rows of seats, there was a leaning forward, as if to catch some word that had been lost, and a whispering sigh of regret.”

“In soft, sweet periods, reminiscent of ‘Gray’s Elegy,’ he lauded the age of belief, the age of dreams. Touchingly, he quoted from John Boyle O’Reilly, ‘For the dreamer lives forever, but the toiler dies in a day.’ ”

“William Jennings Bryan, making a simple discourse of so pretentious a subject as ‘The Old World and Its Ways’ showed himself still, as in the promulgation of strong beliefs that lie near his heart, the apostle of the past.”

The next day, there was a trip to Santa Catalina Island for the Bryans and 100 guests, followed by banquet hosted by local Democrats. Before leaving for Salt Lake City, he addressed the students of Polytechnic High School and attended a reception at the Chamber of Commerce.

Eighteen years later, Bryan and Clarence Darrow met in Dayton, Tenn., for the Scopes Monkey Trial. He died two days after the trial’s conclusion.

E-mail: lmharnisch (AT)