“Joy Turned to Sorrow”: Stillborns in Howard County, Indiana, 1890–1940

Previously posted at: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0363199019880243?ai=2b4&mi=ehikzz&af=R

Journal of Family History, Ahead of Print.
This examination of north central Indiana between 1890 and 1940 offers a unique insight into the historic response to stillborn and newborn infant deaths. With a remarkable record of those interred, as well as local newspapers from these communities, the records of families who endured these losses allow us to discover their public responses to stillbirths. This examination also considers the broader social and cultural forces that shaped how families and communities responded to stillbirths, including advertisements for the famous patent medicine, Dr. Pierce’s, which promised that women taking their pills would prevent a stillborn baby, and the heavily reported Canadian Great Stork Derby.