August 23, 2019 marked the 100th anniversary of the Great Olive Poisoning, which killed five prominent citizens of Alliance, the Lakeside Club (Canton, Ohio) chef, and waiter and sickened four others attending a celebratory dinner party.
William H. Morgan, the son of Col. Henry Morgan, recounted his story in a letter written to Rodman Public Library Director, Harriet Clem in 1982 as part of the library’s Oral History Project. Over the next few days, we will relay Mr. Morgan’s recollections of that fateful dinner party, one which was to celebrate Col. Charles C. Weybrecht’s return from France at the end of World War I.
The story begins with two brief social column items from The Alliance Review:
Col. Charles C. Weybrecht returned to the United States via the steamer Rotterdam on July 22, 1919 where his wife, Emily and Mrs. L. L. Lamborn had come to meet him. From his landing in New York, he proceeded to Camp Dix to get his discharge.
Next, we will tell the story of who Col. Charles C. Weybrecht was.
Table of Contents
Part 1 – Introduction
Part 2 – Who was Col. Weybrecht?
Part 3 – The party hostess: Helen Sebring Gahris
Part 4 – The dinner guests
Part 5 – The dinner party – August 23, 1919
Part 6 – The first effects of the tainted olives
Part 7 – The similarities in the symptoms become obvious
Part 8 – Other members of the dinner party are contacted
Part 9 – The first information published in The Alliance Review
Part 10 – Jessie Sanford struggles
Part 11 – Funerals are held for the dead
Part 12 – The final victim
Part 13 – Aftermath for the Morgan Family
Part 14 – What happened to the other guests at the Gahris dinner party?