17-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today:
Thursday, April 4, 1912:I heard today of the death of a girlfriend. She died last evening I have not seen her for a long, long time. She was a member of my Sunday School class.
Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:
I wonder what happened. It sounds as if the girl had been ill for awhile since Grandma hadn’t seen her in a long time.
My gut feeling is that the girl had juvenile diabetes. Insulin was not available until the 1920’s, and it was relatively common for youth to die of diabetes in the early 1900s. But it might have been an infection . . . or pneumonia . . . or tuberculosis . . . or . . .
I wish Grandma had included a name–though the girl probably wasn’t previously mentioned in the diary.