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John Morris

John Laborn Steven Morris
Mr. Morris was born 6-25-1870 in Reading, Pa. The son of John W. Morris and Maria Orth.

Mr. Morris served in the U.S. Army and Marines. He was in the Spanish American War.

He was a volunteer for Dr. Walter Reed for the Yellow Fever vaccine. He was stationed in Quemados, near Havana, Cuba.

In Mr. Morris' own words, "They said that the volunteers who got the fever would be paid $200. If they didn't get it, they'd be paid $100.

Well, I volunteered and stuck my hand through an opening in a canvas bag where they kept the misquotos and it felt like lighted matches. It sure was a funny feeling, and in eight or ten hours I was stretched out like a log. I was a $200 man they told me."

Before being exposed to the misquotoes, he and his colleagues spent 21 miserable, agonizing days in a closed room to test the common theory that yellow fever could be contracted from "fomites"- the soiled bedding and clothing of pervious victims.

They slept on filthy and blood stained sheets and covered their pillows with towels soiled with the blood and vomit of fever victims. At time the stench was enough to drive them out, but always they returned. Not one contracted yellow fever.

Then they were returned to another room, where they were exposed to the misquotoes. It didn't take long for Mr. Morris and most of the other men to come down with the disease.

"I thought I was a goner. Most of the time I'd shake so bad that I could hardly stand it. We couldn't take food when our fever was high, so they kept giving us shots of whiskey."

Of the 17 volenteers to contract the disease, five died within a few days. Mr. Morris lay a month on his hospital cot before responding to the treatments of Dr. Reed and his associates, Drs. Jessie Lazear, James Carroll and Aristides Agramonte.

"Boy, when I got out of that hospital, I sure had a good time with that $200."

Dr. Reed commented:"In my opinion, the courage exhibited by these men has never been surpasses in the annals of the Army of the United States."

On April 16, 1906. Mr. Morris was a Master Sergeant in the Medical Corps. at the Presidio in San Francisco, Ca. He was asleep in his barracks when he heard an ominous rumbling. A closet fell and injured his right arm in the Great Earthquake.

Mr. Morris died on 8-21-1957, leaving his widow, Mary Jane, a daughter, Jennie Buller and a stepson, Lloyd Wagner, and 5 grandchildren, Joan Wagner, Michael Wagner, Jenalee Buller, Janet Buller and Justine Buller.

Parts of this story was taken from an article in the Reading Eagle newspaper. Dated July 26, 1950. Mr. Morris was my grandfather.

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David Heinly
Mr. Heinly was born in Windsor Township, Berks County, Pa., on November 20, 1799. The son of David and Magdalene Dimner.

Mr. Heinly was a tanner until 1836 when he took up farming. He conducted a saw mill and a grist mill.

Mr. Heinly married Rufina Fusselman, the daughter of Jacob Fusselman.

They had 11 children.

James, married Sarah Grim; Charles; Julia; David, married Amanda Levan; Helena; Amelia, married G.W. Reagen; Kate, married C.P. Follweiler; William, married Mary Jane Levan; Jacob, married Mary Hagenbuch; Henry, married Amanda Faust; Mary Magdalene.

Mr. Heinly entered into peace on August 20, 1863. His wife followed in July 1868.

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Dr. Bodo Otto was born in 1709, the son of Christopher Otto and Maria Magdalena Neineken. Dr. Otto Bodo was one of the first skilled physicians and surgeons in the city of Reading, Pa. Dr. Otto was educated as a surgeon under the authority of the government in the University of Gottingen, Germany. He was a member of the College of Surgeons at Lueneberg and had charge of all the prisoners in the Fortress Kalenberg.

Dr. Otto married in 1736 to Elizabeth Sauchen, who died in Germany in 1738. They had one child, a daughter named Mary Elizabeth.

On May 21, 1742, Dr. Otto married Doratha Doehmchen and four children were born. Frederick Christopher, born August 22, 1743, and died November 18, 1795; Doratha Sophia, born February 28, 1745 and died November 16, 1774; Bodo, born September 11, 1748 and died January 20, 1782; John Augustus, born July 20, 1751 and died December 16, 1834.

Dr. Otto in 1776 was one of the delegates to represent Berks County in the Provincial Conference. During the Revolution, he offered his services as a surgeon in the American Army.

Dr. Otto's wife died in 1765 in Philadelphia, Pa. He remarried a third time on December 18, 1768 to Margaret Parish. She died in 1801, they had no children.

Dr. Bodo Otto died June 13, 1787 at 78 years of age. He is buried at the Trinity Lutheran Church in Reading, Pa.

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