1925 November 22: A Tragedy - Botulism Claimed the Lives of all the Collins Children
Notes by Bob Leathers
Death From Botulism Clains Four Children at Hanna
The community of Hanna was shocked and grieved at the sad news of the death of the four children of Mr. and Mrs. Gus Collins, which occurred on Sunday, November 22nd, from Botulism, caused by eating canned deviled ham. The four children and the father partook of a lunch of deviled ham sandwiches about 1:00 P. M. on Saturday, November 21st, with apparently no ill effects until about 1:00 o'clock Sunday morning, November 22nd, when the children complained of feeling ill. Doctors were immediately summoned who did everything in their power, but without avail. Mary, age 15 years, Johnnie, aged 9 years and Anna, aged two and one-half years, passed away with in a few minutes time; Willie, aged 13 years, was taken to the Hanna Hospital, and everything that was possible was done for him but he, too, passed away at 2:30 P. M. on Sunday, November 22nd. Dr. Jeffrey and Coroner Pickett were summoned from Rawlins, and Dr. Anderson, State Health Officer, was summoned from Cheyenne and an autopsy was held, the cause of death being determined as Botulism.
Mr. and Mrs. Collins have made their home here since their marriage, and the departed children, their entire family, were born and reared here, and the heartfelt sympathy of the entire community goes out to the grief stricken parents in their sorrow. Funeral services were held at the Catholic Church on Wednesday, November 25th, at 10:00 A. M., Rev. Father McDonald officiating, and interment was made in the Hanna Cemetery. Many beautiful floral offerings were in evidence, and the love and esteem in which the Parents and departed children were held was evidenced by the large concourse of friends that attended the ceremonies. (Union Pacific Coal Company Employe's Magazine, December 1925)