On Nov. 5, 1921, the principal of Rockfield Consolidated School closed the school for a week after two children – 14-year-old Jimmie Dee Jones and 8-year-old Joseph Dotson – died of diphtheria, a serious respiratory bacterial infection.

The Kentucky State Board of Health had announced widespread infection across rural areas of the state and urged that patients be isolated. County Health Officer S.J. Martin said Warren County had very few cases of the infection compared to other areas. Nationwide, 15,520 people died from diphtheria in 1921, most of them children. A vaccine was developed in 1926.

– “Way Back When in Warren County” is compiled by researchers at the Warren County Public Library and appears twice weekly in the Bowling Green Daily News. For more information about the library, visit warrenpl.org.

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