25.31 – Mary Ellen, Lester and Ellen Crossley

Harry Crossley married Mary Ellen Stansfield on 1st June 1882 at Cross Stone, aged 22 and 21 respectively. Harry was a cotton weaver and Mary Ellen was a cotton winder.

Mary Ellen and her daughter Ellen both contracted typhoid in 1898 and died 26 days apart. 15 year old Ellen was sent to the Fielden Hospital, where she ultimately died. The end of the 1890s was rife with typhoid in Todmorden and both large hospitals like the Fielden Hospital (aka Stansfield View) and small dedicated hospitals like Sourhall struggled to keep up with demand and keep patients isolated away from their healthy families (or other vulnerable patients with different illnesses). At the time of the Crossleys’ illnesses, investigations were conducted on the affected residents water supplies. Some were found to be contaminated and suffering from poor and defective drainage. Other cases were more “sporadic” and suspected to be from outside sources such as from eating oysters, mussels and other shell fish.

Harry and Mary Ellen had four other children : Annie, Emily, Irving and Hubert. One of these children (unnamed in the article) was also infected and ultimately recovered.

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