Does anyone know if there was an epidemic of some sort in Maine, occuring in the year 1880?  i have found a family where 6 members died, all children in 1880.

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In what town did the family live?
It could have been Caratunk in Somerset County. A little foggy on the residence details.
The State Board of Health published annual reports in which they often mentioned outbreaks of disease around the state, but those didn't start until 1886. If you have a Ancestry.com subscription, you can check out the 1880 mortality schedules for Caratunk and surrounding towns. They would give the causes of death for anyone who died in the year prior to 1 June 1880.

I did find a report of some diphtheria cases in Piscataquis County in November 1880, and some scarlet fever outbreaks elsewhere in the state.
Thanks, I'll check it out.
I've been told that several members of my family died in the 1880s and early 1900s of diphtheria. The Family was that of Samuel K. Coffin. One infant died and 6 people were sickened and quarantined.
I think the same thing happened to my ancestors too. As far as I can tell, they all died that year and it seemed to be only young children. I am hoping to find some info online to verify it.
Most of the cases circa 1880 where multiple deaths of children within a family occurred was due to Diphtheria. Easily transmitted and fatal to almost half of those who contracted it.

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