1923 Mansonville, Quebec, Typhoid Epidemic

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Date: Mar 1923 to Jun 1923
Location: Mansonville, Potton, Brome, Quebec, Canadamap
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Profile of the 1923 Mansonville Typhoid Epidemic

Mansonville Typhoid Epidemic, Sherbrooke Daily Record, 5 May 1923

The above headline, from May 5th, 1923, says it all.[1] It was a devastating few weeks in April and May 1923, where a small community of no more than 500 souls, found themselves with over a third of the citizens ill from typhoid. The cause was soon determined to be a contaminated water supply. In spite of his heroic efforts, the one resident doctor, Dr. Gillanders, could not alone cope with the scale of the sickness, and outside help was required.

Officially, 15 lives were lost from the outbreak, and that doesn't count the one that was probably the first casualty - the death of Frank and Edith Cowan's newborn, Mildred Evelyn Cowan, on 30 March 1923. While the baby had not herself contracted the infection, she was born pre-maturely due to the severe illness of her mother, and they weren't able to save her.

With 205 total cases,[2] there were many of the 190 survivors for whom life did not return quickly to normal, as the recovery period from this affliction was typically long and arduous.[3]

20 April 1923.

The Victims

People who lost their lives:[4][5][6][7][8][9][10]

  1. Mildred Evelyn Cowan
  2. Rev. L. E. Roy (Pastor, Methodist Church)
  3. Mildred Mason, Principal of Mansonville School
  4. Germain Brouillette, Age 12
  5. Therese Seguin, Age 14
  6. Clinton Robinson, Age 13
  7. Maime Aiken, Age 20, daughter of Martin Aiken
  8. Joseph Marcoux, Age 45
  9. Miss Drouin, Age 13
  10. William Nelson Boright, Age 26
  11. Artes Roberge, Age 8
  12. William Robert Oliver, Provincial Member for Brome County
  13. Paul Gagnier, Age 19
  14. Jeanne Fontaine, Age 27
  15. Guy White, Age 56
  16. Mrs. Joseph Mossa
One Third Stricken

People who were seriously ill and recovered:

  1. Edith Aiken
  2. Rupert Phelps
  3. Mrs. H. Larive
  4. Mr. H. S. Hunt
  5. Many more...

People who lost family members:

  1. Edith Aiken (lost her baby)
  2. Martin Aiken (lost a daughter)
  3. Robert Francis Cowan (lost a daughter)

Some of the Heroes

Last but not least, there were many who self-sacrificed in order to care for the sick.

  1. Dr. Edwin Gillanders
  2. Mr. S. Macloughlin (Manager of Canadian Bank of Commerce)
  3. Mrs. Myrtle Macloughlin[11]
Recovery Phase


  1. Sherbrooke Daily Record, Sherbrooke, Que., 5 May 1923, Front Page
  2. Report of the Epidemic of Typhoid Fever at Mansonville, Quebec, by H. E. Gillanders, M.D., The Canadian Medical Association Journal, pp. 666-8
  3. Recovery Phase, Sherbrooke Daily Record, Sherbrooke, Que., 1 June 1923, Page Six
  4. Peak of Epidemic, Eight Deaths, The Gazette, Montreal, Que., 20 April 1923, Page 20
  5. Ninth Victim, Express and Standard, Newport, Vt., 27 Apr 1923, Pg. 1
  6. Express and Standard, Newport, Vt., 4 May 1923, Page 3
  7. Twelfth Death, The Gazette, Montreal, Que., 7 May 1923, Pg. 6
  8. 13th Death, The Gazette, Montreal, Que., 14 May 1923, Pg. 11
  9. 14th Victim, Sherbrooke Daily Record, Sherbrooke, Que., 15 May 1923, Page 5
  10. Mrs. Joseph Mossa, Express and Standard, Newport, Vt., 22 Jun 1923, Page 8
  11. "Expression of Appreciation by Mansonville", Sherbrooke Daily Record, Sherbrooke, Que., June 8, 1923, Pg. 5

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Categories: Canada, Typhoid