History: Page 2
Christmas Seals

The Christmas Seal Campaign was started in Ohio County in 1925. Part of the money was sent to the state to fund state activities against the spread of Tuberculosis. During this time there was a high mortality rate among those suffering from the disease and many who recovered were never able to work again.

The Point View sanitarium was operated until the late 1920's and was closed due to constant engineering difficulties, and the inaccessibility of the site. The 1928 "Christmas Seal" money was used to help the county commission open a 14 bed, fully equipped sanitarium on the Ohio County farm which was located on Battle Run. This original Battle Run site was operated until 1934, when need for a larger facility and the means to obtain one became available. At this time the building which housed the sanitarium was turned over to the Fresh Air Farm, to be used as a summer camp for poor children and for the children of those suffering with Tuberculosis.

The League funded the Fresh Air Farm until 1934 when it was turned over to the Kiwanis Club of Wheeling, and was operated under the name of Fresh Air Farm Inc.

Financial support continued for many years by purchasing such items as a stove and refrigerator, milk and funds to cover the cost of maintaining the children of Tuberculosis patients for the season.

Sanitorium beds

In September of 1936, a 40-bed sanatorium was opened on the county farm location. The cost of the institution was $188,000. It was financed in part by the Anti-Tuberculosis League, Federal WPA and funds provided by the county. In October of 1942, a fund was started by Mrs. J. D. Merriman in memory of her husband to build a Nurses' Residence at the Roneys Point Sanitarium. The league added $3,010.00 to the project in February 1943, but the project was abandoned in November 1943 due to insufficient funds.

From September 1944 to June 1945 the League supplemented the salaries of persons working at the sanitarium. The supplement was 10 percent of their monthly salaries. If the League had not done this the sanitarium would have closed, as the county did not have the money to give pay raises. The league also subsidized the cost of patients staying at the sanitarium until 1948.

Over the years the League bought and maintained equipment and provided supplies for the sanitarium. Clothing for the patients was provided and milk was purchased to be delivered to the homes of persons suffering from Tuberculosis to help prevent their children from contracting the disease.

Around the world, scientists had been searching for a cure for Tuberculosis. Success came in 1943, when Dr. Selman A. Waksman identified actinomycin. This however proved to be toxic to humans, but did help in identifying streptomyces griuseus, from which streptomycin was made. On November 20, 1944, the antibiotic was administered for the first time to a critically ill Tuberculosis patient. The effect was almost immediately impressive. His advanced disease was visibly arrested, the bacteria disappeared from his sputum, and he made a rapid recovery.