Grover Cleveland: Baby Ruth's Final Illness

diphtheria prophylaxis
Cleveland's 12 year old daughter Ruth developed diphtheria in January 1904. Cleveland and the rest of his family were treated prophylactically with anti-toxin 1a.

There was little that could be done for Ruth, however. Cleveland's diary palpably shows the grief he suffered at her rapid, unexpected death. SEE BELOW Ruth had been a national celebrity since her birth in the White House. The candy bar named after her lives on ("Baby Ruth").

These excerpts from Cleveland's diary, in 1904, tell of Ruth's final illness 1a:
January 2d, Ruth is a little sick with tonsilitis.

January 3rd, Ruth is still sick, but better.

January 6th, Doctor said this morning Ruth had diphtheria ... a trained nurse came at 5:25. Prof. West was here. Dr. treated us all with antitoxin and reported that Ruth was getting on well. Houghton Murray came in the evening and we played cribbage until 12. At 2 o'clock in the night word came ... that Ruth was not so well. Dr. Carnochan came at 2:30 and Dr. Wykoff at 3:30. We had been excluded from Ruth's room, but learned that dear Ruth died before Dr. Wykoff came, probably about 3 o'clock A.M., Jan. 7th.

January 8th, [In a trembling, almost illegible hand] We buried our daughter, Ruth, this morning.

Cited Sources
  1. McElroy, Robert. Grover Cleveland: The Man and the Statesman. New York: Harper & Brothers Publishers, 1923.
    a  pp.327-328

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