Texas Leper Colony Burns, 1931


“He shall therefore burn that garment, whether warp or woof, in the woolen or in linen, or any thing of skin, wherein the plague is: for it is a fretting leprosy; it shall be burnt in the fire.” Leviticus 13: 52

In 1931, a little-known leper colony in Bexar County, Texas caught fire. The fire was on purpose. Abandoned for several years, the county, the owner of the property, decided to demolish it by flame.

The tiny settlement, tucked away at the county’s poor farm, consisted of a five-room “box” house, a barn, and a hen house –- a self-sufficient community.

The county offered the buildings to anyone who would take them, but people were “afraid to go near them,” thinking they held, deep in their grain, the dreaded disease.

With not takers, the buildings were ripped from their foundations and dragged to a flat area where they were heaped together in a circle.

Doused with gas, a county farm worker set them ablaze, and dashed to his car for cover. Fire did its duty, burning away the flesh-eating scourge.



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Filed under disease, history, leprosy, Old Spanish Trail, Uncategorized

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