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Flags of Valor at Art Hill. Photo by Linda Austin.
Cover design by Brad R Cook.
T. W. Fendley
Brad R. Cook
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[In this issue
by Michael Corson
“Inscribed at the entrance to the administrative building were the words: ‘This site was purchased by the City of St. Louis in 1854 for a quarantine station to protect the city against epidemics of cholera, yellow fever and smallpox.”
by Lauren Miller
By Michael Corson
Inscribed at the entrance to the administrative building were the words: “This site was purchased by the City of St. Louis in 1854 for a quarantine station to protect the city against epidemics of cholera, yellow fever and smallpox.”
On June 27, 1854, the City Hospital board purchased fifty-eight acres of land on the shore of the Mississippi River from landowner Augustus Langkopf.
The parcel of land was located a mile and a quarter south of Jefferson Barracks and about twelve miles south of the city of St. Louis. A quarantine station was established on the site to isolate and treat cases of small pox, cholera, yellow fever, leprosy, typhoid and diphtheria. Patients who did not recover from these diseases and died were buried on the property’s cemetery, named Quarantine Cemetery. The Medical Society in those days did not have the resources to treat or prevent devastating epidemics. What they did understand was the spread of the epidemic could be controlled through isolation from the public. Riverboats heading to St. Louis from New Orleans were required to stop at the quarantine station, where all immigrants and passengers, including the crew, were detained and carefully inspected for contagious diseases.
Soldiers detailed from Jefferson Barracks manned a cannon that stood on the grounds of the quarantine station to enforce the order to stop!
River steamboats were required to have clearance papers, issued at the quarantine station, before they were allowed to dock at the city wharves, a necessary precaution due to a devastating epidemic of cholera. St. Louis had lost four percent of its population from Asiatic cholera in the early 1850s. A bacterial infection of the small intestine, cholera generally is found in water contaminated with human feces. Severe diarrhea rapidly leads to dehydration, which in the 1800s led to death within hours. Improvements in sanitation management, along with the treatment of drinking water, has virtually eliminated cholera in the United States. Today, the disease can be treated very effectively with a full recovery, thanks to modern medicine.
In the summer of 1878, an epidemic of yellow fever broke out in New Orleans, rapidly spreading north along the Mississippi River, eventually reaching St. Louis. Patients were loaded onto riverboats by the dozens and taken to the quarantine station. By the early 1900s, through the expansion of public health, many vaccines had been developed which controlled and nearly eliminated many of the highly contagious diseases that led to epidemics.
In 1910, hospital commissioner Dr. John C. Morfit transformed the almost-empty quarantine station into a hospital to treat tuberculosis patients. Dr. Morfit suggested naming it Robert Koch Hospital for Contagious Diseases, in honor of the German scientist who discovered the tuberculosis bacillus. The Koch facility was expanded to include 19 buildings on 160 acres of farmland. At the height of the tuberculosis epidemic, the hospital had 650 beds and still could not keep up with the demands of the infected patients. Waiting lists numbered 230.
Initially, when most of the patients sent to Koch were in the advanced stages of the disease, the emphasis was less on treatment and cure, and more on preventing spread of disease in the crowded wards of the city’s general hospitals. Koch was the only municipal TB hospital in the United States that did not have wards. It provided separate rooms, with two patients per room.
Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease that usually affects a patient’s lungs. The bacteria that cause the infection can be spread from person to person, through coughing and sneezing when in close proximity. Symptoms of active pulmonary tuberculosis included lack of energy, a persistent cough (which could produce blood), and fever.
Overcrowding in the hospital wards was all too common during the epidemic due to the lengthy hospital stays of the infected patients. Before World War II, the average length of hospitalization of a TB patient at Koch was two and one-half years. Koch was referred to as a sanatorium—an old word meaning institution. The only known treatment at the time was a combination of fresh air, sunshine, good nutrition, and bed rest. Patients at Koch were divided into groups that ranged from Class 1—bedridden, no activity whatsoever—to Class 5—those who were almost completely recovered. Full recovery was referred to as an arrested case. Heliotherapy, or sun treatment, was considered the best treatment for TB, especially if the infection had spread to the bones or the glands. Koch was one of the very few institutions in the U.S. to use sun treatment. Heliotherapy increased vitamin D production, which reduced inflammation; treatment was administered by gradually exposing part of the body to direct sunlight, until the entire body was exposed to sun rays for forty-five minutes.
The facility became its own community. Patients published and edited a monthly newsletter Koch Messenger (1925-1950). It had a barber shop, a post office (Koch, MO), a school for the children who were patients, a movie theater, and an entertainment facility. In the early days, staff members resided on the grounds in a dormitory-style structure, while a free-standing residence was built for the hospital superintendent, Dr. George Kettlekamp and his family.
On June 12, 1939, city aldermen approved Ordinance No. 41648, which permitted state funds of $12.50 per week for each charity TB case housed at Koch. The Missouri State Tuberculosis Sanatorium in Mount Vernon, MO, was founded in 1907, becoming the first TB facility west of the Mississippi River. Since Koch was the only city-owned TB hospital in the state at the time, some leaders proposed selling Koch the state, saying TB treatment, like mental health, was the state’s responsibility. Strong opposition came from the City Hospital commissioner and the public employees’ union. Union officials persuaded the aldermen to resist selling of Koch, which employed 467.
During and following World War II, TB research was performed at Koch, where prominent pulmonary surgeons from across the nation studied. The medical community considered it a first-rate institution delivering the highest quality of care.
Antibiotics were developed in the late 1940s, namely streptomycin, which proved to be a very effective TB treatment. This advancement in drug therapy proved highly successful, effectively controlling TB and allowing patients to be discharged much sooner, changing the old system of housing patients. This brought about a decline in patient census similar to the decline experienced by other hospitals throughout the nation. It was apparent the hospital was ready for a new direction.
On October 27, 1959, in an effort to relieve the overcrowding at the Chronic Hospital on Arsenal Street, the city transferred 25 female patients into a building at the Koch facility. An intermediate-care division, with emphasis on rehabilitation, was established at the same time. The division was in high demand due to a large number of patients injured in motor vehicle accidents.
Patients who had suffered a stroke or other disorder of the central nervous system were rehabilitated as well. As the number of TB patients continued to drop, the number of intermediate-care patients began to climb. The facility was only available to city residents. Patients submitted an application form for admittance into Koch, through the City Hospital’s social services office. Each week, a committee reviewed the applications and determined the best level of care for the patient, whether they were sent to Chronic Hospital, referred to the Home Care Program, or admitted to Koch’s intermediate-care division. Since Koch consisted of several stand-alone structures, the facility could accommodate various treatment and rehabilitation divisions. TB patients continued to be treated at Koch, in isolated sections of the hospital. The last TB patient was transferred to a state facility in 1978.
The final two decades that Koch was operating, the facility continued to expand the rehabilitation and long-term-care divisions. But, by 1981, the city found it could no longer afford to provide care for long-term patients. Many patients were eligible for Medicare and Medicaid payments, but were unable to receive federal benefits while infirmed in a municipal facility.
In the spring of 1983, the city began transferring patients to private nursing homes. The city paid for the patients’ care until they became eligible for federal assistance. The last patients were moved and the facility closed in October 1983.
In October 1982, Mayor Vincent Schoemehl authorized the transfer of forty female prisoners to the Koch site to alleviate overcrowding at the City Workhouse. County residents living near the facility protested, prompting the county government to establish a zoning ordinance to restrict the use of the site as a jail. Within two months, the prisoners were removed from the Koch facility. On March 18, 1986, city ordinance 59786 was passed, which allowed the Koch property to be sold. In 1988, the property was sold, and in 1990, all nineteen buildings were demolished.
Michael Corson, a lifelong resident of St. Louis, is currently working on his first book: City EMS, which captures the development and progression of the emergency medical service system in the city of St. Louis. He resides in the Holly Hills neighborhood with his wife Laurie, and their children.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Information in the article you just finished reading was provided by its author; facts have not been verified by the editorial staff of The Scribe.
Workshops for Writers: “Inside the Heart of Darkness: Exploring and Creating the Layered Villain” with David Alan Lucas
By Lauren Miller
David Lucas has spent years studying criminal and clinical psychology in order to understand what makes a compelling, layered villain. Lucas spoke on his findings at the Guild’s September workshop. The first thing is to distinguish the difference between an antagonist and a villain.
“All villains are antagonists, but not all antagonists are villains,” Lucas said. “Your antagonist is an obstacle that your hero (or protagonist) must overcome. The antagonist is blocking the hero, but is not necessarily a villain. A villain attacks with a mind and a plan.”
We can look to pop culture for examples of villains, from the criminally insane masterminds (e.g. Dr. Hannibal Lecter, Moriarty) to the archetypal villains in classic literature (think Dracula) or the colorful, sometimes chaotic figures to be found in comic books and graphic novels (such as The Joker). These are all fairly clear-cut cases of individuals who are villains, who have a plan to attack to hero (or protagonist), and that plan fuels the conflict in their tales.
Conversely, an antagonist doesn’t have to be a physical person, as we see in Jack London’s “To Build a Fire,” where the winter weather is a clear antagonist, or in Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea, where it is the marlin. It behooves authors to recognize that a layered villain can make or break your story, and like Joseph Campbell’s The Hero with a Thousand Faces, Lucas argues, we can turn to psychology to understand and develop a well-thought-out villain.
First, we need to change how we perceive villains; in literature, villains are mirror images of heroes. While he or she may act as a foil to the hero, the villain also emphasizes the darkness inside your protagonist. “Picture what it is like inside the mind of a villain to really create a layered villain,” Lucas said. “The choice between good and evil is not always clear-cut. Inside the heart of a villain is a hero, and inside the heart of a hero, is a villain.”
Next, consider the societal myths that may be influencing how you create a villain, myths like, “they were born bad,” or, “they had bad parents.” Other myths include “they came from a bad neighborhood,” or perhaps from a certain social, ethnic or religious background. They may belong to a certain political party or be engaged in the wrong activities, which influence their behaviors. While any of these may certainly contribute toward the downward spiral that turns an ordinary person into a villain, plenty of stories show ordinary people overcoming extraordinary odds like these to become heroes. Clearly, relying on societal myths isn’t enough; we must consider psychology when developing our characters. Anything less, and you may be left with paper-thin villains who fail to engage the reader.
In the early 20th century, Carl Jung developed a series of archetypes designed to personify personality aspects and patterns of behavior that guide thoughts, words, and actions. These four were Apollo, the Trickster, the Wise Old Man and Wise Old Woman, and the Wounded Healer. Borrowing from Jung, Lucas has developed eight archetypes based on ancient deities and figures in Greek mythology, including Ares, god of War; Hermes, god of travelers and thieves; Zeus, god of the sky; Nemesis, who you could loosely call the goddess of retribution; Cetus, a sea monster; Aphrodite, the goddess of love, beauty and sex; Dionysus, the god of bacchanalian pleasures; and Hecate, the goddess of magic.
As an example, let’s take a closer look at one of archetypes Lucas created, based on Ares, the god of war:
Ares represents physical and untamed violence, is often thrown into a blind rage, is unremorseful about his actions, and erratic in his behaviors. Ares characters like to be in danger because it makes them feel alive. They tend to react emotionally and out of proportion to an offense. Law and order do not apply to them, and the ends always justify the means. The Ares type will desire a valiant death, putting themselves and others at risk, to the point of sacrificing their own lives if it means the destruction of their enemy.
From there, Lucas proceeded to offer an in-depth look at each of the archetypes mentioned previously. The roots of these character flaws—their motivations—are recognizable: fear and desperation, insanity, chaos, apathy, vanity, envy, sloth, guilt, the desire to share one’s agony (remember, misery loves company), pride, wrath, greed, gluttony, and lust.
Lucas concluded the talk with an overview of different types of perpetrators of crimes, based on years of study. These included mass murderers, cult leaders, abusers, stalkers, psychopaths, sexual predators, and people suffering from multiple personality disorders. Let’s look at psychopaths, for example:
Psychopaths are manipulative, knowing right from wrong but dismissing themselves from being bound to it. They are cunning, and display nervous or neurotic tendencies. While they consider whether they’ll get caught for an action, they don’t consider what their actions will do to others. They are incapable of feeling anything like guilt, remorse, or empathy. They are unresponsive in inter-personal relationships, with no capacity to love. Their sexual life is poorly integrated within the rest of their lives, and they are anti-social, untrustworthy, and insincere. Psychopaths show poor judgment and fail to learn from their mistakes. They can display fantastical or uninviting behavior without the presence of stimulants (alcohol) in their systems. They are their own gods.
The workshop ended with a writing exercise where participants took what they learned and created their own villains.
The St. Louis Writers Guild would like to thank David for stepping in on short notice to give this presentation, based on his course, “Inside the Heart of Darkness.” This course will be available online in November 2016. Please check back at , where information will be posted as it becomes available.
For the latest information on poetry events in the St. Louis, MO area, visit the .
Second Friday notes, second Friday of each month, 7 p.m., at Whole Foods Town & Country, Clayton Road just west of Highway 141
RIVER STYX. Third Mondays, 7:30 p.m., Tavern of Fire Arts, 313 Belt Ave. riverstyx.org/events.
POETRY AT THE POINT, 4th Tuesday of the month, at Focal Point, 2720 Sutton Ave. Read their ezine at
Sheila Nolan Whalen Reading Series at SLU, 221 N. Grand Ave., Dubourg 409.
Tuesdays at 4 p.m.
CHANCE OPERATIONS on the last Monday of each month at Tavern of the Arts, 313 Belt Ave., just off Pershing, between Union and DeBaliviere. 7:30 p.m. Open mic follows featured poets.
EVERY WEDNESDAY open mic for poetry and music at Stone Spiral Coffee & Curios, 2500 Sutton in Maplewood (2 blocks N. of Manchester). Great food and beverages. Open mic, 8 until around 11 p.m.
GOODY HOUSE, 7 p.m., fourth Thursdays at Art Marketplace, 2028 S. 12th Street. Featured poets.
R_SPACE. Last Saturday of the month, Lenny Smith and friends at 2 p.m.
ST. LOUIS WRITERS GUILD open mic for prose and poetry, second Tuesday of each month, 7 p.m., Kirkwood Train Station, Argonne Drive, just west of Kirkwood Road. Allow time to find parking.
ADDITIONAL OPEN MICS at The Wolf, (every Tuesday), Legacy Books & Café (every Friday), The Historical Crossings (every other Tuesday), Shameless Grounds (Wednesdays at 7), Venice Café (Mondays at 9)
A Quick Guide to St. Louis Writers Guild Events
It’s as easy as
Workshops for Writers
First Saturday of every month (except holiday weekends)
10 a.m. to Noon at the Kirkwood Community Center
Station Open Mic
Second Tuesday of every month
7-9 p.m. at the Kirkwood Amtrak Station
SLWG Authors Series
Third Thursday of every month
Query for “SLWG Authors Series” on YouTube or check the Members’ Room on our website, .
Brad R. Cook, author of the young adult steampunk series, The Iron Chronicles (Treehouse Publishing Group). A former co-publisher and acquisitions editor for Blank Slate Press, he is a member of SCBWI, and currently serves as Historian of St. Louis Writers Guild after three and half years as President. A founding contributor to , a resource blog for writers, he can be heard weekly as a panelist on Write Pack Radio. A cover designer since 2013, he also creates posters, bookmarks, and other marketing materials. Find more @bradrcook on Twitter, Instagram, and tumblr.
T.W. Fendley is an award-winning author of historical fantasy and science fiction for adults and young adults, including Zero Time (2011) and The Labyrinth of Time (2014). She’s a founding contributor to , a resource blog for writers. Her short stories are available on Kindle and Audible. She currently serves as Vice President for Programming of St. Louis Writers Guild. When she’s not writing, T.W. explores the boundaries of consciousness through and shamanism. twfendley.com
Steven W. Langhorst is a life-long resident of St. Louis with an insatiable hunger for the facts and trivia of St. Louis history. He is a retired elementary school principal who still serves education as a mentor and consultant focusing on leadership. Steven has dabbled in poetry and photography since his youth and still plans to publish a book of poems and photographs as well as a memoir of his years at principal. Besides holding membership in the St. Louis Writers Guild he also proudly holds a membership in the Professional Tour Guides Association of St. Louis. Steven also contributed to the design of the new St. Louis Writers Guild logo.
David Lucas is the President of St. Louis Writers Guild, a published fiction short story author and poet. He has a Master’s Degree in Management from Webster University. For two years, David has been the host and producer of Write Pack Radio (WPR), a podcast with a panel of authors exploring the changing writing industry. In 2016, David decided to take his experience in podcasting and his love for radio dramas and start Winding Trails Media, which will produce podcast audio dramas beginning in the fall of 2016 as well as continuing WPR podcast.
Lauren Miller is the Director of Communications for the St. Louis Writers Guild, and she reviews books quarterly for the Historical Novels Review. She has a fifteen-year background in library science and has over fifty nonfiction reviews and articles in print. Lauren likes to spend her free time discovering new reads, games, period films, and be surrounded by dogs. To read more about Lauren, visit her blog at .
Jennifer Stolzer is an author and illustrator living and working in St. Louis, MO. She graduated from Webster University with a degree in digital media and animation and uses this skill set to create bright and engaging characters. In addition to illustrating books for clients, Jennifer writes and illustrates original work, serves as secretary for the St. Louis Writers Guild, and commentates on the weekly writing podcast Write Pack Radio. See more of Jennifer’s work at , as well as Twitter, tumblr, and Facebook.
For more than a decade, The Scribe has been the mainstay for communicating with members of the St. Louis Writers Guild. It began as a way to showcase the organization and share insights into the publishing world. Back issues give a wonderful record of the Guild. The Scribe is now available to everyone, not just members. It features stories, poems, and essays from our members, as well as information about our events, most of which are open to the public. The September 2016 edition features an article on Koch Hospital by Michael Corson, and a report on the September guild workshop presented by David Alan Lucas, written by Lauren Miller.