Mail Tribune 100, July 30, 1918
The following news items were drawn from the archives of the Mail Tribune 100 years ago.
July 30, 1918
SMALL SCRATCH MAY COST LIFE OF DR. PORTER
Dr. E. H. Porter, for years one of the best known physicians of Medford and who is proprietor and manager of the Medford sanitarium, is in a critical condition at the sanitarium. During the early morning hours and this forenoon his demise was hourly expected, but early this afternoon Dr. Sweeney of Medford and Dr. Jarvis of Ashland, after a consultation decided that he had a fighting chance.
Dr. Porter who after a week’s illness with an infection of the hand, left his bed early Sunday evening apparently recovered, and arose Monday morning and worked hard all day, last night became much worse. He realized his serious condition Tuesday and spent most of the day, as much as his strength would permit, in straightening out business matters and preparing for the worst.
Mrs. Porter and their four children are in Worcester, Mass., her former home, spending the summer visiting relatives and friends. As soon as Dr. Porter’s condition was realized a telegraphic message was sent her. This morning Dr. Porter himself dictated a telegram to her and signed it. Up to early this afternoon his mind was clear. Dr. Porter spent several hours with his attorney, Rawles Moore, this forenoon, and also had discussions with a few intimate friends who were admitted to his room.
Dr. Porter had been in ill health for several months past, and only recently returned from a three weeks motoring and camping vacation trip in California, apparently restored to bodily vigor and strength. Last week Tuesday while doing some pruning work at his ranch, he scratched his right hand, which became infected. That night he was seized with fever and chills and took to his bed at the sanitarium where he remained until Sunday evening when he arose and went out to his ranch for a short visit. He arose yesterday morning feeling good and put in a hard day’s work caring for patients and transacting business.
He was still feeling all right early last night and spent considerable time caring for his patients and entertaining them. He played the Victrola at the sanitarium for his own amusement for a while and then played selections asked for by the patients, himself running up and down stairs asking each for his or her favorite record which he played.
After the impromptu concert he received a young man on who he was to operate this morning and put him to bed. Later Dr. Porter became quite ill, and Dr. Sweeney was summoned, as Dr. Barber, his personal physician was at Crater Lake. Dr. Swedenburg of Ashland was also summoned, as were practically all the physicians of Medford. It seems that the blood poisoning from the infected hand had spread thu his system and had affected the muscles of the heart. Dr. E. R. Riddell, a close friend of Dr. Porter’s also spent the night by his bedside.
For more stories like this, check out “The Archive,” a weekly podcast series at mailtribune.com/podcasts