Stan Deming

Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Hayter, Earl W. (Earl Wiley), 1901-1994||Owens, Kenneth N.

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of History


Hog cholera


Approximately one-hundred and thirty years ago, in 1833 to he exact, a swine disease made its appearance in Ohio; and before many years after this special event it quickly spread across the whole United States. By 1860, this dreaded disease, termed "hog cholera," reached epidemic proportions and continued to reoccur periodically even into the Twentieth Century. The object of this master's thesis is to note the rise of this terrible scourge, its widespread effects, some of its epidemic periods, and the long struggle that it took to overcome its devastating affects. Three epidemic periods, 1856-1861, 1875-1879, and 1883-1887 were investigated in this study, along with some of the epidemic's social affects. The method used in preparing this study consisted of research and analysis of the collected data. Information was derived by examining various farm magazines, certain veterinary and medical journals, books and pamphlets, and a goodly number of government sources. Discrimination of sources as well as the content of the printed material preceded the writing of this paper. The author believed that the advent and event of hog cholera were interwoven with its social affects; and it was within this context that the thesis was written. The conclusion drawn in this investigation was that hog cholera did have definite affects upon the farmer and the agencies closely associated with him. The social affects of cholera on the farmer included certain economic and educational influences as well as being instrumental in causing him to organize into various farm associations. This dreaded disease also had an affect on many of the farm journals and magazines. Journalists gradually became cognizant that a greater clarity about the numerous facets of cholera was imperative if it were to be overcome; but the indiscriminate publishing of the articles written about the disease frequently served to confuse the farmer. One of the major impressions that this affliction left on the veterinary profession was that it keenly emphasized to them the exigency of higher standards of education if they were to subdue cholera and gain the respect of their constituency. While the advent of this plague had important affects on many state governments, it no doubt had a much greater affect on the national government; for it was certainly the most important factor in the creation of the Bureau of Animal Industry, through which hog cholera and several other important animal plagues eventually were brought under control.


Includes bibliographical references.


v, 77 pages




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