History: Page 1

The organized movement to combat Tuberculosis in Ohio County began shortly after the turn of the century at a time when the disease struck fear in the heart of all people. The movement was organized as the Anti-Tuberculosis League of Ohio County on May 20, 1909, by a group of concerned citizens. The League was composed of dedicated lay and professional persons.

Letter to Doctor Harriet

Dr. Harriet Jones, the first woman to be licensed as a physician in West Virginia and superintendent of the Women's Hospital, was elected president. Henry M. Russell, president of the F. W. Baumer firm and the president of City Hospital, which today is known as Ohio Valley Medical Center, and who served as vice president of Wheeling Dollar Savings & Trust Co., was elected Vice President, and the Rabbi Harry Levy was elected Secretary.

The Anti-Tuberculosis League was incorporated on August 29, 1911 and the official name was changed to Anti-Tuberculosis League of Ohio County, Inc. The League was one of the earliest organizations formed to combat Tuberculosis in West Virginia and was part of the West Virginia Tuberculosis and Health Association whose headquarters were in Charleston.

Prior to the organization of the League, the Tuberculosis Dispensary was opened on May 9, 1909 with a waiting room and two rooms for examination. It was located at 1413 Chapline St. Its' mission was the supervision and guidance of indigent patients suffering from Tuberculosis.

The declared purpose of the League was to establish a sanitarium so persons from Ohio County who suffered from the disease would not have to travel far from home for treatment. After a long struggle to raise funds, the league opened a sanitarium in May of 1912 at View Point on Stone Church Road in Elm Grove.

The following quote from a letter written by Mr. M. N. Cecil, president of Cecil Lumber to Mr. W. A. Wilson, President of the Anti-Tuberculosis League illustrates the struggle and the community support that helped make the opening of the sanitarium possible and the continued support that was needed. The letter is dated January 16, 1916 the quote is as follows, "In checking over the books, we find an account against the View Point Sanitarium of $5.65, feeling this is a worthy cause and knowing the up-hill work you and your committee have had trying to support it, we would be glad to donate this and are consequently inclosing you a receipted bill."

On March 16, 1922, a survey of Tuberculosis in Ohio County began. This survey was a joint venture between numerous organizations whose main goal was combating Tuberculosis. It was conducted under the direction of the WV State Board of Health with the cooperation of the following agencies; United States Public Health Service, West Virginia Tuberculosis Association, Ohio County Medical Society, Wheeling and Ohio County Health Departments, Ohio County Tuberculosis League, Women's Club of Wheeling, and the Wheeling Chamber of Commerce. The plan of the survey was to get in touch with every known case of Tuberculosis and establish clinics for the discovery of more cases. The total number of cases reported during the survey was 1316. Of this number, 240 were found to be active cases, 44 were inactive, 332 were suspect and 30 died. The rest were either negative or surveyors were unable to locate.