November 7, 1909
John Benson Willets, 3 years old, whose parents live in the Missouri river bottoms north of Kansas City, Kas., died at 10 o'clock last night of hydrophobia caused by the bite of a dog, believed to have been mad, which was inflicted last September.
The father, A. M. Willets, was forced to move last summer by high water in the Missouri river. The family made its home at 2516 North Fifth street, Kansas City, Kas. While the boy and his sister, Grace, 14 years old, were playing, September 9, in front of their home, a dog attacked the boy. The animal's teeth went trough the child's hands. He was also bitten on the forehead. when the dog was beaten off by the sister the boy was badly lacerated.
Dr. T. C. Duncan, who lives in the neighborhood, treated the boy. The wounds healed, leaving only scars. Wednesday the father took the boy to a hay field on his place. That night the child began scratching his face and hands. Mr. Willets thought that it was caused by irritation of scratches the child had received in the hay field. When an attempt was made to wash his face to ease his pain the boy began to foam at the mouth.
Later he exhibited symptoms declared to be the infallible ones in hydrophobia cases. He would stand rigidly on his heels, and, with his body forming a bow, would touch the floor with his head. The boy did not attempt to bite members of the family in the paroxysms of the rabies, but inflicted wounds upon himself with his teeth.