Thursday, August 16, 2012

Lansing Prouty, Age 4

I just read an interesting article in the 2004 edition of the Journal of the Washington County Historical Society. If you have never heard of it visit their booth at the Washington County Fair next week & pick up a copy or two, or order online ( There are many fascinating local stories held within the pages, like the one I am going to tell you about.

In 1848, Lansing N. Prouty was a four year old boy living with his brother, George, mother, Sarah (nee Angell), & father, Franklin in Galesville (now Middle Falls), NY.  That summer he came down with diarrhea, fever & cramps. The only doctor in town diagnosed dysentery. By August 26th, Lansing was dead, possibly the victim on E. coli or amebiasis, microorganisms believed to be the common causes of dysentery.

Map of the home of Lansing Prouty & family 1848*
You may be asking why I am mentioning Lansing. Well, history for me is about anything and everything. Yes, I admire people like Susan B. Anthony, or George Washington Carver because of what they accomplished. But, I study history because of all the untold stories; the people & events that have been forgotten. That is what this article represents to me, a reminder of why I am here writing this blog, why I became an historian. Lansing's story was uncovered because of a road. By the discovery of his gravestone during routine, preliminary research before & during road construction, this little boy's story was unearthed & told so that he may live on.


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