Idaho History Apr 18, 2021

Idaho 1918-1919 Influenza Pandemic

Part 53

Idaho Newspaper clippings May 8-12, 1919

Idaho photos courtesy: the Mike Fritz Collection, History of Idaho
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May 8

The Grangeville Globe. May 08, 1919, Page 5


19190508GG2Mrs. Wadsworth Dead
Influenza Claimed Wife of Former Superintendent of Schools

Some time ago word was received here of the death in California of Mrs. George Wadsworth, who as at one time superintendent of the city schools, but nothing definite was known until this week when a letter was received by friends from Professor Wadsworth, who stated that Mrs. Wadsworth, who had been in a hospital in the east where she had undergone an operation, was on her way home during the winter when her train was snowbound for some days. During this time Mrs. Wadsworth contracted influenza and by the time she reached home pneumonia had developed, and after a struggle of two weeks the lady passed away.

Professor Wadsworth also contracted the disease and for a time was very ill. He has had a long struggle in overcoming the ravages of the malady. He has recently been reappointed superintendent of Westside high school at Tracy, California.

Prof. and Mrs. Wadsworth made many warm friends during the time they resided here, who deeply regret the seemingly untimely calling away of one of such lovely character, and they mourn her loss sincerely.

These friends extend to Professor Wadsworth their heartfelt sympathy.

source: The Grangeville Globe. (Grangeville, Idaho), 08 May 1919. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
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The Grangeville Globe. May 08, 1919, Page 8

[Local News]

S. C. McDaniel returned early this week from a three months’ visit at California points. Mc states that while away he suffered nearly all there was in connection with the influenza, but returns to the city enjoying the best of health.

Mrs. Israel Harris returned from Spokane last Sunday where she has been taking treatment for some time past. Mrs. Harris states that she feels 75 percent better than when she left, and certainly looks the part.

Victor Baldwin of Portland, is spending a few days at the J. A. Zuver farm southwest from town. He accompanied the remains of Mrs. Baldwin, who died suddenly at Portland last Friday, here for interment.

(ibid, page 8)
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The Emmett Index. May 08, 1919, Page 4


Emmett News

Mr. and Mrs. Bert Mays are both quite ill with the influenza.

Mrs. G. B. Mains departed Monday for Denver in response to a telegram announcing the serious illness of her sister, Miss Margaret Keenan, with pneumonia. Miss Keenan as spent some time in Emmett and her friends feel gravely concerned for her condition.

W. H. Appel’s aged mother is quite ill.

A man named Anderson was brought in from near Montour this week with a painful rattlesnake bite. Medical aid was given and he is said to be recovering nicely. (But where did they get the remedy?)

source: The Emmett Index. (Emmett, Idaho), 08 May 1919. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
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The Emmett Index. May 08, 1919, Page 8

News Of Gem County
By The Index’s Correspondents

Bissell Creek

Henry Schoening’s and B. Limbaugh’s children have the whooping cough.

Lower Mesa

School will close Friday, after a rather unsatisfactory term due to the influenza ban and irregular attendance after school did start.


Miss Laura Keefer has just closed a very successful term of school at Pearl and has left for her home in Mountain Home, having the best wishes of a host of friends, who hope to see her back again next fall.


A meeting in District 21, to talk further of the school housing problem, found the people about evenly divided as to the site. Nothing was decided upon.

Upper Mesa

Eugene St. John has been sick a few days the past week, missing one day of school.


Mrs. W. I. Kennedy is home from Kansas, where she has been visiting her mother, who has been very ill for some time past.

Emmett News

Mr. Fred VanDeusen is suffering from an attack of rheumatism.

(ibid, page 8)
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The Filer Record., May 08, 1919, Page 4


North Filer News

Mrs. J. G. Fisher is improving after a severe attack of Pneumonia.

Word comes from Emporia, Kansas, that C. A. Bishop is slowing recovering from an attack of the flu.

Mrs. Harold Vining returned home Saturday after a short illness at the Boyd Hospital.

Mabel Graves is reported ill with the mumps this week.

source: The Filer Record. (Filer, Idaho), 08 May 1919. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
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The Filer Record., May 08, 1919, Page 5

Local News Notes

The Record reporter and compositor, Lula Macaw, has been off duty a part of the week on account of illness, and the “boss” has been the whole force a part of the time.

Warner Kirkpatrick left for Hoodriver, Wyoming [sic] Monday to see his mother who is very ill.

The temperature the past week bordered close to the danger line for fruit, but no damage has been reported yet and we are optimistic enough to predict a big fruit yield this year.

(ibid, page 5)
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The Filer Record., May 08, 1919, Page 6

Warning to the Public

A warning to the public is hereby given that violation of the quarantine laws are subject to severe penalties. All parties exposed to contagious diseases will duly observe the law are subject to penalty. Needless exposure of others will not be tolerated. If you have been exposed or are suffering from an infection or contagious disease, notify your local health officer at once.

L. D. Allen, Marshal.
— —

L. Kirkpatric received a telegram from relatives at Hoodriver, Wyoming [sic], Wednesday with the sad news of his wife’s death. He left Wednesday evening for Hoodriver [sic].

(ibid, page 6)
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Main Street, Hailey, Idaho January, 24, 1918


Photo courtesy: the Mike Fritz Collection, History of Idaho
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May 9

The Rathdrum Tribune., May 09, 1919, Page 1


Idaho State News Items

Superintendent Park of Sandpoint has announced a summer school for the benefit of the pupils of the city school, who lost time by reason of the influenza epidemic

A booze laden Oakland car on its way from Montana to Washington was seized at Kootenai and the driver, E. R. Smith, arrested. The car contained five cases of whisky.

source: The Rathdrum Tribune. (Rathdrum, Idaho), 09 May 1919. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
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The Rathdrum Tribune., May 09, 1919, Page 3

Personal Mention

Mrs. Martha Bennett was over from Post Falls last Friday to attend the funeral of her sister, Mrs. Sarah Satchwell.

Mrs. and Mrs. A. T. Gaston’s little daughter is to be taken to Spokane in a few days to receive medical treatment.
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Local Paragraphs

No particular damage has been reported from Rathdrum prairie from the heavy frost of last Friday night, altho [sic] cherry blooms were well advanced. Down the valley toward Spokane, prunes, peaches and some early apples are reported injured.

(ibid, page 3)
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Clearwater Republican. May 09, 1919, Page 1


Sanitary Rules to be Enforced
Commissioner of Public Welfare to Prosecute Violations of State Sanitary Laws

Boise, May 3, 1919.

Excuses arising from war time exigencies having become inacceptable [sic], prosecutions for violations of the state sanitary laws will be based entirely upon conditions as they exist at the time inspections are completed, according to a recent announcement made by J. K. White, commissioner of public welfare.

“It has been brought to my attention,” said Commissioner White Saturday, “that inspectors of this department are making an unusual number of prosecutions based principally upon the maintenance of public nuisances within city and village limits and upon unsanitary conditions in and about places of business which come under our jurisdiction.

“It is not the policy of this department to conduct a campaign of prosecution, but it must be generally understood that these inspectors will take conditions as they find them at the time of the inspection. If conditions are discovered to be in violation of the general principles of decency and the rules of sanitation, legal action necessarily must be taken.

“In the recent past, much was overlooked because of the scarcity of labor, but this is no longer an excuse and inspectors have instructions to accept no excuse what ever for dirty, filthy, unsanitary conditions in public places.

“It is hoped that our city officials and the various newspapers will cause this information to be given to the public that full knowledge may be had of the policy and plan of work of this department that all concerned may protect themselves from prosecutions sure to follow if unsanitary conditions are found by inspectors.”

source: Clearwater Republican. (Orofino, Idaho), 09 May 1919. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
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Clearwater Republican. May 09, 1919, Page 2

Bert S. Varian Named Judge

Bert S. Varian, Weiser attorney, has been appointed by our governor as judge of the Seventh judicial district to succeed the late Issac [sic] N. Smith, who died in Boise from the after effects of Spanish influena. Judge Varian will take up his duties immediately. His appointment is for the remainder of Judge Smith’s term, which expires on the first Monday in January, 1923. Judge Varian has been a practicing attorney of Weiser for 20 years. He is the son of Judge Varian of Salt Lake.

(ibid, page 2)
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Clearwater Republican. May 09, 1919, Page 3

Simplest Remedies Found To Be Best Disinfectants During Severe Epidemics

Years ago Marseilles was visited by a great plague. Rich and poor died in their hundreds, and to rob the former four men invented aromatic vinegar, which, used as a disinfectant, enabled them to rifle the dead without fear of infection. During the great plague of 1665 those who were deputed to bury the dead always carried a phial of aromatic vinegar, and history tells us that whenever Cardinal Wolsey had cause to go among the poorer members of his flock he invariably held to his nose a golden orange filled with the same preventative. Canary wine, too, was used in 1665 as a disinfectant. Doctors carried little cassolettes on the top of their canes, which they sniffed when visiting the stricken, and in the affected houses the smoke of juniper was used.
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Preventive Measures Save Loss of Money and Health

Loss of time, money and health often can be prevented by the use of some simple, inexpensive preventive measures, says Thrift magazine. At all times, especially during these days of influenza, you should never allow yourself to remain in a rundown physical condition. If attacked by disease while your resistance is low you may pay for it with a long illness or possibly with life itself. Most people think a doctor’s [sic] only use it to be sent for in a case of emergency, like a fireman, and be brought running with his pillbox in hand just in the nick of time.

(ibid, page 3)
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Clearwater Republican. May 09, 1919, Page 5

What Your Friends And Neighbors Are Doing

Miss Lillie Simpson returned from Palouse, Wash., Thursday afternoon, where she has been nursing her sister, Mrs. Chas. Hughes, who is rapidly recovering from the influenza.

Miss Alma O’Hara, who has been teaching up the North Fork, returned to Orofino Wednesday, her school having closed for the term.

(ibid, page 5)
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The Kendrick Gazette. May 09, 1919, Page 1


Memorial Service

Memorial services were conducted at American ridge church last Sunday in memory of Father Davidson who died of heart-failure, Oct. 26, 1918, and Mrs. George Davidson who died January 17, 1919, of complications following influenza. At the time of their deaths the ban prohibiting assembling of people was on and only ritualistic services were held. It was decided to hold the memorial service on May 4. The church was taxed to its capacity with neighbors and sympathizing friends. The music was furnished by friends and neighbors of the bereaved family, most of them having known the deceased for many years.

Many beautiful flowers were furnished as tokens of appreciation, but the friends of those who had passed away. Obituaries were read by J. L. Mitcham who had been intimately acquainted with the Davidson family for many years. The address was delivered by J. C. Gregory, the pastor, subject: “Models for earthy lives.”
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Big Bear Ridge

Miss Delcia White closed a very successful term of school at Stele Friday. A program and picnic dinner were greatly enjoyed by a large number Friday afternoon.
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Southwick Items

Thomas Grove is home from France and is now visiting his brother, Homer, who has been quite sick.

Mrs. Vester Whitinger has been very sick. She has undergone an operation at the hospital.

source: The Kendrick Gazette. (Kendrick, Idaho), 09 May 1919. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
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The Kendrick Gazette. May 09, 1919, Page 4

The influenza epidemic has made a lasting impression on school children. The following conversation was overheard in a grammar school in West Philadelphia, where the recent epidemic rather than orthography claimed prominences:

“Say, Bill, this ‘flue’ isn’t anything new. Sir Walter Raleigh died with it.”

“Aw, go on. He did not.”

“Sure he did. I’ll show you. It’s here in the history.” He pointed a grimy finger to the sentence: “Sir Walter Raleigh’s death was due to Spanish influence.”
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Amy Has Released 1,942,391
Total Authorized Discharges Are Over 2,000,000 Men

Washington. – Demobilization of the army has returned 2,942,391 [sic] officers and men to civil life, the war department announced Monday. Of these 103,524 were in the commissioned grades. The total authorized discharge was announced as 2072,000, and of these 789,320 are men returned from overseas.

Volunteer enlistments continue to increase, 23,663 recruits having been recorded. Of the men signifying desire for particular services, 6187 asked to be sent to the army of occupation and 1243 to the Philippines.

(ibid, page 4)
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Main Street, Harrison, Idaho 1905


Photo courtesy: the Mike Fritz Collection, History of Idaho
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The Oakley Herald. May 09, 1919, Page 10


In the Gem State

The state sanitary commission is waging war on all unsanitary public eating and business houses throughout the state and imposing fines on all guilty operators.

Physicians are not entitled to permits to transport liquor into the state, the attorney general’s office has held in an opinion written in answer to a question raised by a north Idaho firm of Lawyers. Only pharmacists are entitled to such permits, under the law, it was held.

source: The Oakley Herald. (Oakley, Idaho), 09 May 1919. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
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Montpelier Examiner. May 09, 1919, Page 1


School Year Will Close Next Friday
Eleven Graduate from the High School – Baccalaureate Address Next Sunday Night

(By Supt. Cummings)

This year the high school commencement exercises will be held in the stake tabernacle, due to the generosity of the Stake Presidency. Heretofore there has been no place large enough to accommodate all those who desired to witness these exercises. This year an invitation is extended to all the patrons and friends of education in the entire valley to attend these exercises. …

Following are the prospective graduates: Fern Welker, Frances E. Stephens, Ella Quayle, Cornelia Mumford, Rulon Pearce, Ruth Perkins, Katheryn Stephens, A. Van Lindsay, Stewart Barkdull, Rosina Schmidt, Ella Murphy.

Besides these students two others, Ross Murphy and Helen Beckstrom, are expecting to do work this summer to complete the requirements for graduation. If this is done they will be given diplomas this fall.

Most of the students have worked diligently during the short time they have been permitted to attend school this year. This is especially true of the two upper classes. When opportunity was granted them to do home work during the quarantine, they took advantage of it and worked faithfully. Many of them have completed a full year’s work in spite of being in actual attendance but half a year, and we feel to commend them for their exceptional diligence.

Some few have an idea that this school year has been a complete failure. This is by no means true. Most of the pupils have received at least one full semester’s work, and we feel that those parents who kept their children out, feeling that it was of no use to send them, have made a decided mistake. Their children could have made at least half a grade the same as those who did come.

The schools have not been entirely lacking in the matter of school activity and school spirit, as some have imagined. On registration day last fall all the schools united in a patriotic parade where they sang songs, waved flags and banners and otherwise demonstrated the fact that they were true American citizens. They have subscribed one hundred per cent membership to the Junior Red Cross in every instance and have done two or more “clean up” days during the year where the pupils have done much toward bettering [the] appearance of the grounds. In the high school the students have indulged somewhat in athletics though this has been quite limited. They have had several class and inter-class debates, put on a very creditable school play, had two very successful dances, several social parties in the school building, furnished the local paper with school notes nearly every week, indulged in several essay and speaking contests and have had several excellent student body programs. In view of these things and many others not mentioned, we feel that criticism along these lines is without foundation. We believe in this respect that we rank favorably with other schools of the same size. Right here let us urge that all the patrons and friends boost for the schools, boost for education in general and especially for education in our own community. Always have a good word for the schools and make it very unpopular for the knocker. You have a right to the best; you have the best and all you need to do it think so and act accordingly.

source: Montpelier Examiner. (Montpelier, Idaho), 09 May 1919. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
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Montpelier Examiner. May 09, 1919, Page 5

Local News

Mother’s Day will be observed Sunday in all the wards of the stake. A special program has been prepared for the Second ward and all mothers and soldiers are invited to attend.

Funeral services were held Wednesday at Bloomington for the three month old baby of Wilford Thornock which died Monday in Ogden.

The infant son of Mr. and Mrs. Andy Evans of Raymond, died last Tuesday, after a short illness. The body was brought to Montpelier Wednesday for burial.

Frank Williams left today for Ogden to attend the Golden Spike celebration. He will bring his new auto hearse when he returns.

Fire almost completely destroyed the home of Mrs. James Laughter on Ninth street last Saturday morning. The roof, second story and kitchen of the home were badly burned and the damage done is estimated at $500. One of Mrs. Laughter’s sons is in the navy, and another has been in the hospital suffering from pneumonia for seven weeks. The citizens of the town are co-operating with the Odd Fellows in making the necessary repairs to the home.

(ibid, page 5)
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Montpelier Examiner. May 09, 1919, Page 8

Hospital Train Passes Through Montpelier

U. S. Hospital train No. 1 passed through Montpelier Monday evening and stopped for twenty minutes. The ladies of the Red Cross met the train and distributed fruit and candy among the patients, and the band played a number of patriotic airs. Almost 1000 people were at the depot to pay homage to the returning wounded heroes. One hundred and sixty-eight wounded Yanks were on board and were from practically every fighting division of the army. All lived in the northwestern states and were being taken to the base hospital at Camp Lewis for discharge.

Troop trains are passing through this city every day now taking returned soldiers from the eastern ports to the western coast, and a number of local people have met acquaintances among the boys.

(ibid, page 8)
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The Idaho Republican. May 09, 1919, Page 1


19190509TIR2Mrs. Amos Taylor Dies After Influenza

Mrs. Ethel May Taylor, who came here with her husband, Amos Taylor, from Grouse, Idaho, two weeks ago for medical attention, died at the Dora France hospital Tuesday, May 6, after three days of unconsciousness. Mrs. Taylor had a severe attack of the influenza before coming to Blackfoot.

A young wife, only twenty-three years and six months of age, she leaves an orphaned baby boy of eighteen months and a bereaved husband. The body was taken to Mackay for interment Wednesday. Mrs. C. S. Beebe, sister of Amos Taylor, accompanied him to Mackay to be present at the funeral services and burial.
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Funeral Services for Wilson Keith Snyder

With impressive ceremonies at home and at the cemetery the body of Wilson Keith Snyder was laid to rest Tuesday afternoon with every show of affection for the man he was and reverence for him dead. Bounteous gifts of flowers were heaped upon the mound that rose over the last tenure of a departed friend….

Mr. Snyder has lived in Blackfoot for twelve years, was a member of the Knigthts of Pythias fraternal organization, and had built up a large and hearty circle of friends. For eight years he served in the post office, always genial and always accommodating in dealing with the public. …

Wilson Keith Snyder died at his home Saturday morning, May 3, following a stubborn attack of influenza at the age of thirty-one years. He leaves a wife and two daughters, Ruth aged five and Dorothy May aged sixteen months.

source: The Idaho Republican. (Blackfoot, Idaho), 09 May 1919. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
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The Idaho Republican. May 09, 1919, Page 3

Upper Presto

Verta and Eugene Stoddard are on the sick list.

J. M. Lee, who is working for R. P. Hansen, received a telegram Tuesday, stating that his brother had died at Butte.
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Men of Many Nations In Graves At Nish
Germans Buried in Cemetery With French, Serbians and Russians

There is a cemetery at Nish in which is epitomized the entire history of the great war in the Orient. In is the various groups of soldiers, prisoners and refugees have their separate plots.

Largest of all is that of the German soldiers and officers. each grave is marked by a permanent heavy, solid cement stone, roughly in the shape of an iron cross. A neighboring factory, formerly devoted to the manufacture of briquets for fuel, was diverted to the manufacture of these tombstones.

Next in size is the Bulgarian, each grave being marked by a heavy wooden cross. These timbers were requisitioned by the Bulgarians from the houses of people of Nish and each cross represents not only the grave of a Bulgarian but the partial demolition of the home of a citizen of Nish. These wooden crosses are so numerous as to almost give the effect of a forest.

The group of Austrian graves is considerably smaller. Separated from these are the plots for the allied soldiers. Here are to be found a much smaller number of graves of the French and the Italians. On the hillside was a large number of new graves, those of the Serbian soldiers who died in the final capture of Nish. The Germans made one of the last stands here and Nish was taken only after five assaults with the bayonet.

Here are three queer-looking plots. One includes the graves of the Russian prisoners of war who were brought here to work by the enemy. They are numerous. Another is that of the Roumanian [sic] prisoners of war, also numerous. Less numerous are those of the Italian prisoners of war.

Nearby are two newer groups of graves. One includes the grave of the Greek refugees who died, many of them from the influenza, as they passed through Nish on their way back to Macedonia. Another is that of Serbian refugees who met a similar fate in the course of their wanderings toward their homes either to the north or south.

(ibid, page 3)
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The Idaho Republican. May 09, 1919, Page 5

Local News

Miss Vada Thompson has been ill this week and unable to attend school. She is getting along nicely, however.

Dr. R. W. Jackson is opening up his offices in the Hopkins building, having shelves built in for medicines and putting in new furniture.

Mrs. S. J. Snyder, Mrs. L. M. Stevens and two daughters left Thursday morning for their home in Ogden. There were here to attend the funeral of their son and brother the late W. Keith Snyder.

(ibid, page 5)
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The Idaho Republican. May 09, 1919, Page 6


Ben Atkins has been very ill the past week with a severe attack of grippe.
— —


Mrs. Hannah Roubidoux was on the sick list last week.

Thelma Farnsworth was unable to attend to school last week on account of sickness.

Barney Olsen was quite sick the first of the week with a very severe spell of tonsillitis.

(ibid, page 6)
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The Idaho Republican. May 09, 1919, Page 7


We understand there will be no more programs given by the school this year. The remainder of the year must be given to hard study in order to complete the work.

The Meade family has been sick with bad colds the last week.

Edith Fraker has the mumps. She was absent from school the latter part of the week.

(ibid, page 7)
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The Idaho Republican. May 09, 1919, Page 8

New Scale of Pay For Teachers
Induces Nearly All of Our Teachers to Remain Next Year
New Standards

That all teachers are underpaid for the class of public service they render is usually conceded and that Blackfoot teachers of grades and high school have been drawing less than they could get in neighboring towns was brought before the school board at its meeting of April 21. A committee was appointed to work out a new schedule of salary with the co-operation of Superintendent W. D. Vincent. The new scale keeps nearly all of this year’s teachers in Blackfoot for at least another year, while failure to act would possibly have lost two thirds of the present teaching force. The committee reported Monday evening this week.

The grade school scale has been $85 base pay. It is now raised to $100 base pay per month, with an increase of $10 per month for the second and third successive years on the job. By attending summer school a teacher can command an extra $2.50 each month for those two years.

At the high school a minimum of $100 has been raised to a minimum of $130, which may be increased by remaining for successive years to $150.

New Standards of Efficiency.

Working together the school board and Superintendent Vincent have drawn up a new set of qualifications for teacher, which from this time on will be followed.

No grade teacher will be engaged by the school board hereafter unless qualified by two years of normal school training and two years of experience.

No married woman will be elected to teach in the Blackfoot schools unless such domestic arrangements are made in her home that she may give her entire time to teaching, and not be called away or kept from her duties to the school by household cares. …

(ibid, page 8)
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Shoshone Journal. May 09, 1919, Page 1


Big Wood River Grange

Mrs. A. S. Viera is on the sick list this week.

The Sunny Slope school on Wood river will close May 9.
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Dietrich – Besslin Notes

Elkanah Crist is sick with an undefined illness that keeps him at home with a high fever.

Mr. and Mrs. J. M. Clark have returned from an extensive outing for Mr. Clark’s illness. Their trip embraced a visit to Salt Lake City and thence to interesting points along the coast. Mr. Clark is by no means well and will spend some more time looking for more vigorous health before assuming his duties for the O.S.L.

Vance Shellman has been confined to his house by sickness for several days, but is better now and will be able to look after the business of the Irrigation company again.

C. F. Bornden went to Twin Falls Sunday to bring home his daughter, Miss Alice, who has been taking treatment there in the Boyd hospital. She returns very much improved and in a fair way for complete recovery.

source: Shoshone Journal. (Shoshone, Idaho), 09 May 1919. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
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Hope, Idaho


Photo courtesy: the Mike Fritz Collection, History of Idaho
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Evening Capital News., May 09, 1919, Page 6


Deaths – Funerals

Moriarity – The body of Kate Moriarity, who died at the Boulder mines near Idaho City Thursday noon, was brought to Boise and is at the undertaking parlors of Schreiber & Sidfenfaden. The cause of death was pneumonia. The decease was 51 years of age and is survived by three brothers, two in Idaho City and one in Ireland. No funeral arrangement have as yet been made.
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19190509ECN2The Blood
(By Lee Herbert Smith, M. D.)
After Influenza and Hard Winter Colds

After an attack of the grip or pneumonia, or even a hard cold, the blood is left thin, watery, and one is said to be anemic. Instead of the blood cells being round, as in diagram “A”, they become irregular, as in “B.” When you feel weak, nervous, or the skin breaks out in pimples, eruptions or boils, and you feel “blue” and without any snap or energy, sometimes hands cold and clammy, there is usually a large decrease in the red or white blood corpuscles and one should build up with some good blood builder and tonic.

You can put iron in your blood and the cells become round and red, losing the irregular shape, by taking a good iron tonic, called “Irontic,” put up by Dr. Pierce and sold by most druggists. This “Irontic” is compounded of a soluble iron, nux and herbal extracts. With this you gain in vim, vigor and vitality. Instead of pale cheeks, tired and worn out before the day is half done, after taking “Irontic” your cheeks will have color, you will feel strong and vigorous and ready for work.

Or if you like a good alternative and herbal tonic, such a one can be obtained at any drug store, favorably known for the past fifty years as Dr. Pierce’s Golden Medical Discovery. This is made from the wild roots and barks of forest trees and without the use of alcohol.


source: Evening Capital News. (Boise, Idaho), 09 May 1919. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
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The Caldwell Tribune. May 09, 1919, Page 1


Lake Lowell

Mrs. G. C. White is able to be around after a few weeks illness.

Lloyd Ross, the 12-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. Ross died Sunday morning of leakage of the heart. Funeral services were held in Caldwell Tuesday afternoon at 2 o’clock. Burial in Canyon cemetery.
— —

Card of Thanks

I wish to thank the many friends and neighbors for their kindness and help during the long illness and death of my husband, Daniel S. Brown, and for the beautiful flowers.

Mrs. Daniel S. Brown.

source: The Caldwell Tribune. (Caldwell, Idaho), 09 May 1919. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
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The Caldwell Tribune. May 09, 1919, Page 5

Items of Interest From Surrounding Territory

Brier Rose

Margaret Shaw is out of school this week on account of illness.

The Postlethwaites have recovered from the mumps and are back in school.

Deer Flat

Carrie and Marguerite Hitson are on the sick list.

The Nelson family have recovered from the flu.

Wesley Dotson’s family are ill with the flu.

Miss Blanch Hanson went to her home near Melba for the weekend and was taken sick and has not been able to return since.

Sunny Slope

Mrs. D. E. Gammon, who has been seriously ill with the flu, is much improved at this writing.

Mrs. H. E. Smith returned from Glenn’s Ferry where she has been nursing her mother who was suffering from a relapse of the flu.

Miss Vera Stephenson is suffering from an attack of the mumps.

The entire community extends its deepest sympathy to the parents of Lloyd Cox in their sad bereavement.
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Horrors of War

“War has upset not only our home life, but the traditions of the business world as well,” remarked Senator Penrose the other day, “so it behooves you to watch your step. If you aren’t careful you’re likely to find yourself in the same fix that Jones was. This Jones had become rich over night on war profits and it was with an exaggerated ideal of his own importance that he stepped into an office one day and demanded to see the manager.

‘What is your business?’ asked the very dainty girl who confronted him.

‘None of yours,’ snapped Jones; ‘I’ve got an important proposition to lay before the firm and I don’t want to talk to any fool woman.’ ‘You would rather talk to a gentleman?’ asked the fool woman sweetly. ‘Certainly,’ growled Jones. ‘So would I,’ retorted the woman promptly, adding, ‘so you might send one to state your business to me, I am the manager.'”

(ibid, page 5)
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The Caldwell Tribune. May 09, 1919, Page 7


The Nordyke family has influenza.


Miss Doris Oeder has been quite sick, threatened with pneumonia, but is somewhat improved.

Mrs. David Strand died Sunday evening at the family home, aged 32 years 6 months and 17 days. The cause of her death was cancer, from which she had suffered many years. She leaves her husband and 10-year-old daughter, besides her parents and several brothers and sisters. The funeral was held Wednesday afternoon at two o’clock, at the home, conducted by Rev. W. W. Deal. Interment was in Kohler lawn cemetery.


Mrs. Graves, who has been on the sick list for several weeks is able to be out again.

Earnest Franks was on the sick list this past week.

Mrs. Dan Cashman is able to be out again after a short illness.

Mrs. Hannan was called to Oregon by the sudden illness of her mother.

S. W. Vail and daughter Blanche left on the noon train Sunday for Colorado Springs, where Blanche expects to spend a few months for her health.

(ibid, page 7)
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The Meridian Times., May 09, 1919, Page 8


Meridian Local News

Mrs. Homer Tolleth is seriously ill at her home.

S. H. Griffith was able to walk down town Thursday for the first time since his recent illness.

Miss Lois Fountain who teaches on Ten Mile, was operated on for appendicitis Thursday.
— —

Death of George Hyde

George Hyde residing four miles southwest of Meridian was stricken with apoplexy Wednesday and died a few hours afterwards. …

source: The Meridian Times. (Meridian, Idaho), 09 May 1919. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
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Main Street, Hill City, Idaho


Photo courtesy: the Mike Fritz Collection, History of Idaho
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May 11

Evening Capital News., May 11, 1919, Page 10


Around Boise Valley Loop


The local schools will close May 23.


The Misses Carrie and Marguerite Hitson have been on the sick list since last week.

The Nelson family has recovered from the “flu” and the W. Dotson family is recovering from the same disease.

Miss Irene Rose is recovering from the mumps.

The primary and intermediate rooms of the school will be out Friday, May 16. Miss Reed’s room will continue one week longer to make up time lost by sickness.

Mothers’ day will be observed at the Huston church Sunday morning. Besides the sermon for mothers, there will be special music. Carnations will be given to the mothers present.

source: Evening Capital News. (Boise, Idaho), 11 May 1919. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
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A Part of Heyburn, Idaho, watch us grow, 1908 (1)


Photo courtesy: the Mike Fritz Collection, History of Idaho
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May 12

Evening Capital News., May 12, 1919, Page 3


Mountain Home

Mrs. Electa G. Rhodes, who has been quite ill with influenza, is rapidly improving.

Mrs. Ernest W. Latimore, who has been quite ill at her home, is improving rapidly.

Mr. and Mrs. Stanton Park took their little daughter Janet to Boise Thursday for medical treatment.
— —

Health Notes

Now that the fly season is here, it is well to understand that the common house or typhoid fly is not only an annoying pest, but a very potent factor in the spread of communicable diseases. It may be said that the number of flies in a community is a fair index of the sanitary condition of that community. Indeed flies and filth are synonymous because flies grow and develop in filth, and it is hardly necessary to say that the absence of flies indicates the absence of filth. To prevent the fly from spreading disease the following is suggested: Destroy the wintering places of flies; screen the house, particularly the kitchen and sleeping room; render privies and privy vaults fly-proof; keep flies away from the sick and their discharges.

To prevent the spread of communicable diseases, it is necessary to exercise careful supervision over the sick, for it is the individual having a communicable disease or harboring the causative organism who is the real danger to the community. He spreads his infection through the fresh discharges from his mouth, nose, throat, intestines, etc., to those with whom he comes in contact.

This is the time of the year when all Idaho should put forth special efforts to bring about better sanitary conditions. Filth and refuse of every kind should be disposed of effectually and special efforts should be put forth to keep clean during warm weather, when the danger of typhoid and summer complaint is greater than at any other time of the year.

Tuberculosis is a communicable, preventable and curable disease. It is spread by others coming in contact with execrations from the bodies of those suffering from it. It should be borne in mind that intimate personal contact with a consumptive, such as kissing, using the same dishes not properly sterilized, sleeping in the same beds, will render one very likely to contract the disease. All discharges from the throat or nose, bowels or kidneys of a consumptive may contain the germs of tuberculosis, therefore such discharges are dangerous.

The number of school children enrolled under the banner of the Modern Health Crusaders in Idaho is increasing very rapidly, it now being about 30,000, and very gratifying results of the crusaders’ activities along health and sanitary lines are being obtained.

The day will come, and it is not far distant, when it will generally be considered as much of a disgrace to have a fly in the house as it is now to have a bedbug in it, and the fly is a thousand times more dangerous than is the bedbug.

One of the saddest things in the world is that over 100,000 children die every year in this country from preventable diseases. To permit this to occur is little less than a crime and authorities and communities should speed up the matter of health conservation and life saving if the boys and girls of today are to be the strong, efficient men and women of tomorrow that they should be, ready and able to do the world’s work.

The importance of instruction in sanitary science and personal hygiene in the public schools cannot be overestimated and I sincerely hope the time will soon come when such instruction will ne require in evry school in the land.

Our national death rate is about 14 per thousand inhabitants each year, while the average rate in Idaho is only about one-half that number, certainly a splendid showing for the “Gem of the Mountains.” Surely, Nature smiled abundantly on this fair state.

Street venders of fruits and other articles of food who neglect to cover their wares and protect them from flies, dust, dirt and other elements are a positive menace to the community in which they operate and should be suppressed or made to comply with the law.
— —

U. S. Hospitals Best For Wounded
Red Cross Advises Relatives Not to urge Those Receiving Treatment to Hurry to Their Homes

The May 10 bulletin of the American Red Cross in a letter to mothers, wives, sisters and sweethearts of boys in the United States hospitals, give assurances that they are being well cared for and that is the best place for them. It also sounds a timely warning that they should not urge their return home. The letter is as follows:

“The United States truly intends to offer its all and best for the wounded and returned men who offered their all for their country. The United States government knows and feels that the work of the war is not finished until the wounded men have been mended and the sick healed. It has instructed its agencies to spare no pains in time or money to heal the hurts of the disabled and put them back again upon the sure path of earning a livelyhood [sic].

“The reconstruction work of the government hospitals is a revelation to those who have observed it. Medical reports show, and investigation gives proof, that the best place in the world for a sick or wounded soldier is a government hospital.

“Mothers, wives, sisters, sweethearts of the boys in the United States hospitals, let us give you this suggestion:

“Stop influencing the boys to get home, much as you want them.

“Do not hurry them out of the hospitals where the government is giving them good food, the finest surgical skill and trained nursing, and the splendid oversight of competent, interested military and scientific care.

“Give the government time to nurse and repair, with the assurance that nothing is being left undone that can be done by human sympathy, skill and attention.”

source: Evening Capital News. (Boise, Idaho), 12 May 1919. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
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The Daily Star-Mirror., May 12, 1919, Page 3


Call New Malady Epidemic Stupor
Disease Misnamed “Sleeping Sickness” is Believed to Be Contagious
Medical Experts Puzzled
Health Authorities Declare Strange Illness Has No Relation to “Sleeping Sickness,” Which Originated in Africa

Washington – “Epidemic stupor” is the name the health authorities have decided to give the new disease, wrongly called sleeping sickness, which sprang up a few weeks ago. It has invaded eighteen American cities and several army camps, has taken several lives and laid hundreds under its spell.

The scientific name of this new malady is lethargic encephalitis. It is not “sleeping sickness” and has nothing to do with the real sleeping sickness. It has been known for only a few years, and its cause and origin are even more mysterious than those of the influenza.

The disease, when it was first discovered in this country, was found to be a form of sleeping sickness common in the interior parts of Africa, but a closer observation of the symptoms proved this belief to be unsound. Sleeping sickness as found in the jungles of Africa, is caused by the bite of a peculiar insect, known as the tsetse fly.

The new disease was first observed in Austria.

The first case noted in England occurred February 11, 1918, and the epidemic, which never attained large proportions, came, at least, temporarily, to and end in June. The medical research committee off England became deeply interested in the new malady and instituted clinical and pathological investigations. The committee found the disease is a general infectious disorder, characterized by manifestations originating in the central nervous system, of which the most frequent and characteristic are progressive lethargy or stupor and an involvement of the nerve centers controlling the eye muscles.

Marked by High Temperature

Although a rise in temperature was not observed in all of the 164 cases of the disease of which notes were obtained, there seemed to be little doubt that there is always a certain amount of fever in an early stage. The fever usually lasts from two to five days, but may continue for ten or even fourteen days. It may fall suddenly or gradually with oscillation. A period of subnormal temperature not infrequently follows.

Usually the first symptom is simple catarrhal conjunctivitis (a mild “pink eye”) or it may be tonsillitis – simple sore throat and cold in the chest. The disease may be ushered in suddenly by a fainting attack of fit. In marked cases the lethargy was accompanied by heaviness of the eyelids, pain in the eyes and blurred vision. Headache is a common symptom, and rigidness was characteristic of the early symptoms of many cases during the epidemic in England.

After the first stages, the symptoms of a general infectious disease become manifest. The patient lies in bed on the back, often unable to make any voluntary movement on account of great muscular weakness; the face is quite expressionless and masklike, and there may be definite double facial paralysis. The patient is in a condition of stupor, although true sleep is often not obtained.

No Specific Treatment

With regard to treatment, no specific method has been devised, and the best that can be done is to put the patient to bed and provide good nursing. Cold sponging is often beneficial during the early stages and tends to diminish the delirium. For the pain, numbness and tingling of the limbs warmth is the best remedy. Constipation is obstinate and often difficult to overcome, except by enemas followed by such drugs as liquid paraffin or pheolphthalein. No hypnotics and no morphine or other preparations of opium should be given. Daily cleansing of the mouth and antiseptic treatment of the nose and mouth should be carried out and respiratory complications systematically looked for. The patient should be given to understand that his convalescence will last at least six months after the beginning of the illness.

Officials of the United States public health service are investigating cases of the disease in several cities. They are especially anxious to keep the malady out of the army camps. The first army camp to be invaded was Camp Lee, Petersburg, Va., where one death was reported out of nine cases. Investigation made at the camp showed that in each case the soldier had been ill with influenza.

source: The Daily Star-Mirror. (Moscow, Idaho), 12 May 1919. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.

Further Reading

What caused the 1918-30 epidemic of encephalitis lethargica?

R R Dourmashkin MD Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine Volume 90 September 1 997

Encephalitis lethargica, often called epidemic encephalitis at the time of the epidemic, was prevalent worldwide during the years 1918-1930. The acute phase, characterized by somnolence and a mask-like facial appearance, was associated with a 20-40% mortality.

Later in the epidemic, almost all those who had had an acute episode of encephalitis lethargica developed sequelae to a greater or lesser degree. In some cases, the symptoms persisted without respite to the chronic state; in others they developed weeks, months or years after the patient was thought to have recovered. The outstanding motor manifestation was the parkinsonian syndrome, present in almost every case. This resembled the picture of Parkinson’s disease (paralysis agitans), except that the ‘pill-rolling’ movement typical of Parkinson’s disease was often absent; the tremor in postencephalitic parkinsonism was usually coarse. The common general features of the latter were rigidity of all the muscles, loss of automatic or synergistic movements, loss of equilibrium, and a running or shuffling gait. Oculogyric crises were an important feature. There were mental changes, especially in children, and respiratory tics were often noted. Sometimes signs of pyramidal tract damage were found.


In the USA, few cases were reported before 1920, the peak period being between 1920 and 1929. The epidemic of influenza burst upon the USA a year before the epidemic of encephalitis lethargica in 1919. There were 3100 cases during 1920-1924 and 1222 cases during 1925-1929. Subsequently, the incidence decreased rapidly. At the outset of the encephalitis epidemic in the USA, 46% of patients with encephalitis gave a history of influenza compared with 30% for the rest of the population. Many patients reported a flu-like illness at the onset with stupor, unconsciousness or fever. These observations led the US Surgeon General’s medical officer to state in 1920 that the aetiology of encephalitis lethargica was the same as that for influenza.

The opinion in Britain as to the aetiology of encephalitis lethargica was varied. The frequent observation within living memory of isolated cases before the great epidemic suggested that this was not a new disease. During the epidemic, the years in which encephalitis lethargica occurred more frequently coincided with a drop in the number of cases of influenza. Other theories as to the cause of the epidemic included botulism and poliomyelitis. Some cases of encephalitis following influenza in young children and infants would be regarded today as post-influenzal encephalitis or Reye’s syndrome. In others the description of encephalitis with a preceding history of influenza was well documented. Of von Economo’s 13 cases of encephalitis lethargica in 1916-1917, none showed signs attributable to influenza. He differentiated the characteristic clinical and pathological signs of encephalitis lethargica from postinfluenzal encephalitis. He found that the earliest cases of encephalitis lethargica in Central Europe preceded the influenza epidemic by three years. The first cases were reported in Romania in 1915. In France, 40 cases of encephalitis lethargica occurring in the winter of 1916-1917 were reported by Cruchet at a military neuropsychiatric centre. These represented 3% of the patients admitted. The French cases closely resembled those that occurred later in England in their presentation and evolution. Hallls found reports of cases of encephalitis in Europe in the years 1903, 1907, 1908, 1910, 1912 and 1913. In northern Italy there was a serious outbreak of what probably was encephalitis lethargica in 1889-1890, called la nona. It followed an epidemic of influenza the year before. Crookshank and von Economo reported other epidemics of encephalitis in the past that might have been encephalitis lethargica dating back to the sixteenth century.

By 1918, the number of sporadic cases of encephalitis lethargica reported in Europe and elsewhere increased rapidly and the condition became epidemic at the same time as the influenza pandemic of 1918. The disease prevalence was greatest in the colder months of the year, as with influenza. Stallybrass, however, found that of over 1000 cases reported in 1923, only 4 had a history of influenza within six months, of which 2 were doubtful. Similar observations were made by others. Conversely, in a very large influenza epidemic at Camp Dix, New Jersey, in 1918, there were 6000 cases of influenza with 800 deaths but no concurrent cases of encephalitis lethargica. While the encephalitis lethargica epidemic was distinct from the epidemic of influenza, there is no doubt that historically the two diseases repeatedly occurred in close proximity of time.

Any study of encephalitis lethargica must take into account the recent characterization of the 1918 influenza virus by Taubenberger et al.. This work established that the virus was a H1N1 influenza A virus of probable swinehuman origin. With parts of the genome sequenced, it is possible to identify, by polymerase chain reaction (PCR), residual influenza virus that may be in archival material of encephalitis lethargica.

Stallybrass noted that the most common age of incidence of encephalitis lethargica was 10-20 years of age. He remarked that this was at variance with the age of incidence of most communicable diseases at the time and it was also the age group in which such diseases were least fatal. The rarity of person-to-person spread was noted in every country and in every outbreak. Exceptionally, local spread of the disease in isolated communities was recorded, with a variable incubation period. In a severe wave of encephalitis lethargica that engulfed certain villages in Lapland in 1921, the morbidity rate varied from 7.1% to 45%; whole families were involved, and side by side with acute typical cases were others in which the disease was mild. In a girls’ home in Derby, 12 cases of encephalitis lethargica occurred in a total community of 22 persons within two weeks, resulting in 5 deaths. In a rural school in Warwickshire in 1922 a child developed encephalitis after a visit to town. Four to five weeks after her return to school 3 other girls in her dormitory fell ill. This suggested an incubation period for the disease of up to four weeks. Infants born to mothers ill with the disease were reported to develop encephalitisls. Parsons estimated that the incubation period ranged from one day to two weeks or more. In 1926, the Scottish Board of Health stated that carriers of the infective agent in the nasopharynx were common, but only a minute fraction of those exposed to the disease acquired it; the factor of lowered resistance was far more potent than the presence of the agent. The outbreaks of encephalitis in Britain were generally local and ran their course over several weeks. High morbidity in the local epidemics suggested a low level of immunity in the population. The manner of spread of encephalitis lethargica suggests an intermediate vector of infection. With this epidemiological background von Economo, Duvoisin and Yahr and others rejected an aetiological relationship to influenza.

More recently, Ravenholt and Foege reviewed the incidence of influenza and encephalitis lethargica in Seattle and Samoa. They found that both these diseases appeared in Western Samoa – influenza in 1918 and encephalitis lethargica in 1919. Outbreaks of these two diseases continued and their peak incidence was always separated by a year.

Contemporary observers in Europe calculated that the incubation period for encephalitis lethargica varied from one day to several weeks (see below). The incidence of encephalitis lethargica in England up to 1924 was as follows: 1919, 541 cases; 1920, 890 cases; 1921, 1470 cases; 1922, 454 cases; 1923, 1025 cases; 1924, 5039 cases; 1925, 2635 cases. A total of 12,054 cases were reported in England and Wales from 1918 to 1925. Yearly totals did not appear in the leading British medical journals thereafter. In addition, there were many mild and abortive cases, including epidemic hiccup, that were widely described but not reported. These patients frequently went on to develop serious post-encephalitic sequelae. By 1927, the acute cases occurring in England were often so mild that the acute phase would pass without much notice; however, the postencephalitic sequelae continued to be devastating. In France there were at least 10,000 cases up to 1920 and 3900 cases in Italy. Subsequently, sporadic cases continued to be reported; recently, Rail et al. described 8 patients whose disease was initiated between 1945 and 1968, one of whom was screened for virus antigen by Elizan (see below). …

Clinical Description

The signs and symptoms of the acute phase of encephalitis lethargica were described in excellent detail by the early observers. The afflicted individuals became ill suddenly with only slight prodromal upper respiratory signs and low-grade fever. In the acute ‘oculo-lethargic’ stage, most common early in the epidemic, the presenting features were: somnolence, at times deep, but from which the patient could be roused; mask-like facies accompanied by mental apathy; tired, expressionless, toneless speech, often thick and slurred; eye signs (e.g. oculogyric crises, diplopia, ptosis, squint, nystagmus, pupil irregularity); convulsive seizures, and stroke. These features differentiated the disorder from other types of encephalitis recognized at that time.

From early in the epidemic, encephalitis lethargica was separated from other clinical entities such as purulent meningitis (cerebrospinal fever as it was then known), postinfectious and postvaccinal encephalomyelitis, poliomyelitis, herpes encephalitis, rabies and Japanese encephalitis. The parkinsonian sequelae of encephalitis lethargica were almost unique. Exceptionally, however, postencephalitic parkinsonism was reported after measles, herpes, Coxsackie virus encephalitis and Japanese encephalitis. Bassoe subdivided encephalitis lethargica into several types according to the patients’ affective behaviour.

In 1923 Stallybrass noted a change in the clinical picture of the disease. He observed that only 45% of cases could be classified as oculo-lethargic. Other forms were found, including myoclonic (14%), choreiform (25%), or psychomotor (16%). These had been described earlier but became more common by 1923. Instead of lethargy Stallybrass observed delirium, excitement, sleeplessness, myoclonus and tachypnoea. A striking observation made in the early work was the frequent appearance of a generalized rash early in the acute illness. The rash was papular, macular, morbilliform or even petechial. One observer reported a ‘glove’ desquamation of the hands and feet akin to that of scarlet fever but clearly different. Such exanthems may have been caused by the same vasculitis that was found in the brain in acute cases coming to necropsy. Curiously, exanthems were not mentioned in the copious reports after 1923. Conceivably mutation of the causal virus changed in the clinical picture over time.

Related, perhaps, to the dermatological signs were reports of a haemorrhagic syndrome, most often in fulminating cases of encephalitis. These presented as purpura, epistaxis, gastrointestinal haemorrhage and meningeal haemorrhage. Gastrointestinal symptoms were often found; at the onset the patients suffered from persistent vomiting, sometimes accompanied by diarrhoea but more often by constipation. In contrast to most observers, Parsons quoting Gardner stated that the illness was heralded by a severe sore throat in which the pharynx was deeply inflamed and the tonsils were covered with a patchy white exudate. The tongue and the throat were very dry and there was difficulty in swallowing. This pointed to an upper respiratory infection as the primary portal of entry. Yates and Barnes suggested that the nasal sinuses were a route of infection. …


The contemporary observers of the encephalitis epidemic of 1916-1930 carefully recorded the clinical and pathological details of the disease. Some observers noted that its onset resembled influenza with severe upper respiratory inflammation. Others found that prodromal signs were very mild. It appeared to follow waves of epidemic influenza. The epidemiology, transmission and progress of the disease, however, were unique and differed greatly from those of influenza. There were outbreaks of what may have been encephalitis lethargica previous to the great epidemic and also after it had receded. Chronic progressive inflammation of the brain resulted in destruction of the basal ganglia over months and years and caused the disastrous syndrome that was aptly named post-encephalitic parkinsonism. The more recent care and treatment of these patients has been described by Sacks, who elicited transient remissions with levodopa.

The early observers studied the epidemiological characteristics of its spread – a baffling mixture of phenomena, in which tens of thousands in Europe, America and worldwide fell ill. The spread of the disease nevertheless was sporadic, without obvious relation to economic class, geography or age group. There were documented outbreaks of person-to-person spread of encephalitis lethargica but these were notable for their rarity. The disasters of the First World War and the starvation and population displacement that followed may have contributed to the epidemics of the period. These conditions are being re-enacted in some parts of Eastern Europe today.

The early virologists developed acceptable evidence for a viral aetiology but the methods available were limited to animal transmission. The technique for long-term preservation of infective virus had not been developed and so little material remains for modern study. In the 1970s attempts were made to relate the aetiology of post-encephalitic parkinsonism to an influenza virus. Conflicting results were obtained by different workers using immunofluorescence of tissue with anti-influenza antibodies. Today, it is possible to examine fixed tissue by electron microscopy and also to rescue virus nucleic acid by PCR, if there are clues to suggest which virus probe to use. The characterization of parts of the genome of the 1918 influenza virus is a great step forward and will be instrumental in this endeavour. Monoclonal antibodies may turn out to be more specific in localizing influenza antigen in preserved tissues than the polyclonal sera previously used. Luck et al. showed that influenza virus antigen could be demonstrated in fixed paraffin-embedded tissue only after trypsin treatment of the sections.

An autoimmune mechanism for the pathogenesis of postencephalitic parkinsonism should be investigated; however, the lack of patient sera for autoantibody examination makes such study difficult. There is only one surviving patient in Britain.

It would be well to understand this disease better, as it has not disappeared entirely. The knowledge retrieved by this historical study will be useful in the molecular and EM investigation of encephalitis lethargica that is in preparation in this laboratory.

excerpted from:
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The Demise of Poskanzer and Schwab’s Influenza Theory on the Pathogenesis of Parkinson’s Disease

by Danny Estupinan, Sunina Nathoo, and Michael S. Okun


In 1961, David C. Poskanzer and Robert S. Schwab presented a paper, “Studies in the epidemiology of Parkinson’s disease predicting its disappearance as a major clinical entity by 1980.” This paper introduced the hypothesis that Parkinson’s disease was derived from a single aetiology, the influenza virus. We review the original Poskanzer and Schwab hypothesis that Parkinson’s disease was based on the association between the 1918-19 influenza epidemic and the later observation of Parkinsonism in some influenza sufferers. We also further explore the prediction that Parkinson’s disease would totally disappear as an entity once original influenza victims were all deceased. Current research has revealed that there are many potential causes and factors important in the occurrence of Parkinson’s disease, postencephalitic Parkinsonism, and encephalitis lethargica. Poskanzer and Schwab presented a novel hypothesis; however, it was proven false by a combination of research and time. …

4.2. Encephalitis Lethargica and Influenza

The PSH was based on the idea that there was a subclinical infection prior to 1920, with EL, a potential cause identified by the authors and perhaps a cause that was more likely than influenza. Therefore, discussion of EL such as its historical context, potential aetiologies, and implications is warranted. Contemporary observers of the EL epidemic maintained that both the EL and the influenza epidemics were not connected, despite the popularity at the time of the idea that the influenza virus was the cause of EL. The medical profession at that time simply viewed EL as a form of influenza. The current prevailing viewpoint is that EL and the 1918 influenza pandemic were not related etiologically. von Economo ultimately concluded that EL was a separate disorder. EL preceded the 1918 influenza pandemic, had a distinct clinical picture and unique pathology. EL was associated with midbrain lesions, while influenza was associated with pulmonary lesions.

Additionally, there was epidemiological evidence that suggested that the 1918 influenza virus originated in USA, and was transported to Europe by American troops in World War I. EL actually spread in the opposite direction from Europe to North America. It is however possible that there was an EL-like syndrome that went unrecognized during the time since public interest was centred on World War I. Interestingly, the years of higher occurrence of EL coincided with a drop in influenza cases, suggesting a weak correlation.

Timelines revealed inconsistencies, as influenza spread in weeks, and EL over months. Historically, EL-like disorders have been reported during previous influenza epidemics, such as the nona pandemic in Italy in the 1890s. On the basis of 1889 influenza being associated with certain nervous manifestations, some authors assumed all nervous symptoms were attributed to influenza. However, no syndrome resembling EL occurred in the two influenza pandemics after 1918 (e.g., 1957 and 1968) suggesting that a unique type of virus was required to produce the array of neurological symptoms associated with EL. Finally, there was a lack of influenza history in two thirds of EL patients, supporting the notion the two were not related.

Due to the temporal association between EL and influenza, it was assumed that influenza must be the cause. It is however possible that EL was actually due to another virus, or due to an infective agent that was concurrently circulating with influenza. If influenza was not the cause of EL, then what was? The aetiology of EL remains a mystery, although there are several theories concerning possible causes. Such theories include viruses — either a neurotropic virus different from influenza (e.g., polio), or activation of a latent virus, bacteria — poststreptococcal-like illness analogous to chorea and rheumatic fever, toxins, dietary issues due to wartime deprivation, miscellaneous, or “rag bag” diagnosis with the actual incidence being inflated by other conditions, or an autoimmune reaction to a virus.

The relationship between EL and influenza has been examined historically and scientifically, with most EL researchers maintaining that influenza is an unlikely cause of EL. Others suggest that the association cannot be ruled out. No gold standard titer testing was available at the time, making diagnosis of EL and influenza subjective and based on clinical findings alone. The supervisor of the vaccine trials for EL and a major contributor to the Matheson commissioned EL literature survey Josephine Neal in 1942 commented “the range of symptomatology in acute EL was so wide that often the diagnosis could be made only with difficulty and occasionally not with certainty”. There were many limitations in the available cases in the literature. Ultimately, most diagnoses in the literature of both EL and PEP were post hoc, recounted a plethora of symptoms, and attributed the symptoms to various aetiologies. Many reported cases of influenza were likely biased by patient recall. The 1918 influenza epidemic frequently resulted in cases where reports of neurological symptoms were identical to EL (i.e., diplopia, ptosis, paralyses, or psychoses), making EL a subjective diagnosis that was difficult to separate from influenza alone. Lethargy could result from either EL or influenza. All of the reports of EL and of influenza were retrospective and unblinded, demonstrating the difficulty of ascertaining which cases were which.

Given the lack of advances in virology during the pandemic, objective diagnosis of influenza was not possible. There is a lack of direct evidence from serological, PCR, or antibodies that link influenza and EL, with all studies limited by the amount of EL material available. Studies that have used PEP tissue, which is more readily available than EL tissue, have not confirmed influenza as more likely occurring in idiopathic Parkinson’s disease. Study of these dated specimens is troublesome due to the lack of temperature control and autolysis due to lack of postmortem refrigeration. Decades later, archived EL brain specimens when carefully examined had not revealed evidence of influenza RNA. Attempts to reproduce EL from postmortem brain extracts have been failures. One study demonstrated direct antibody immunofluorescence for the neurotropic influenza virus A antigen within in the hypothalamus in six human PEP brains. In the same study, there was, however, no antibody reaction in five postmortem human cases of idiopathic Parkinson’s disease. A human postmortem study of substantia nigra depigmentation in young victims of EL suggested that an infectious aetiology may have been responsible for the Parkinsonism symptoms. Basal ganglia autoimmune reactions have been shown in 90% of cohort of 20 postmortem patients known to have suffered from EL. These patients had bradykinesia, rigidity, or resting tremor suggesting the parkinsonian phenotype and an autoimmune mechanism. …


The PSH that Parkinson’s disease would diminish or disappear as a particular cohort died was false. The original hypothesis that Parkinson’s disease was due to subclinical infection due to an exposure prior to 1920 was compelling given the increase in Parkinsonism seen during the 1920s and 1930s. The birth cohort had a mean age similar to that of patients affected with EL, suggesting that these patients were exposed to a similar agent. There were many reasons why during the first half of the twentieth century there was an idea that Parkinsonism could be due to a viral etiology. EL and PEP were assumed to be influenza or influenza related historically, but these relationships were never proven. Today, most people who develop Parkinson’s disease have had no one specific cause identified. Influenza may, however, provide the first “hit” that may lead to the later development of Parkinson’s disease, suggesting a possible mechanism for viral infection in disease manifestation. More importantly, despite discounting Poskanzer and Schwab’s initial hypothesis, the association between virus exposure and Parkinson’s disease is still being actively pursued. Parkinson’s disease has now outlived Poskanzer and Schwab’s postinfluenza eradication theory; therefore new hypotheses to elucidate potential causes are warranted to explain why the incidence has increased, rather than decreased, as previously suggested.

excerpted from:

Link to Idaho 1918-1919 Influenza Pandemic (Part 1)
Link to Idaho 1918-1919 Influenza Pandemic (Part 2)
Link to Idaho 1918-1919 Influenza Pandemic (Part 3)
Link to Idaho 1918-1919 Influenza Pandemic (Part 4)
Link to Idaho 1918-1919 Influenza Pandemic (Part 5)
Link to Idaho 1918-1919 Influenza Pandemic (Part 6)
Link to Idaho 1918-1919 Influenza Pandemic (Part 7)
Link to Idaho 1918-1919 Influenza Pandemic (Part 8)
Link to Idaho 1918-1919 Influenza Pandemic (Part 9)
Link to Idaho 1918-1919 Influenza Pandemic (Part 10)
Link to Idaho 1918-1919 Influenza Pandemic (Part 11)
Link to Idaho 1918-1919 Influenza Pandemic (Part 12)
Link to Idaho 1918-1919 Influenza Pandemic (Part 13)
Link to Idaho 1918-1919 Influenza Pandemic (Part 14)
Link to Idaho 1918-1919 Influenza Pandemic (Part 15)
Link to Idaho 1918-1919 Influenza Pandemic (Part 16)
Link to Idaho 1918-1919 Influenza Pandemic (Part 17)
Link to Idaho 1918-1919 Influenza Pandemic (Part 18)
Link to Idaho 1918-1919 Influenza Pandemic (Part 19)
Link to Idaho 1918-1919 Influenza Pandemic (Part 20)
Link to Idaho 1918-1919 Influenza Pandemic (Part 21)
Link to Idaho 1918-1919 Influenza Pandemic (Part 22)
Link to Idaho 1918-1919 Influenza Pandemic (Part 23)
Link to Idaho 1918-1919 Influenza Pandemic (Part 24)
Link to Idaho 1918-1919 Influenza Pandemic (Part 25)
Link to Idaho 1918-1919 Influenza Pandemic (Part 26)
Link to Idaho 1918-1919 Influenza Pandemic (Part 27)
Link to Idaho 1918-1919 Influenza Pandemic (Part 28)
Link to Idaho 1918-1919 Influenza Pandemic (Part 29)
Link to Idaho 1918-1919 Influenza Pandemic (Part 30)
Link to Idaho 1918-1919 Influenza Pandemic (Part 31)
Link to Idaho 1918-1919 Influenza Pandemic (Part 32)
Link to Idaho 1918-1919 Influenza Pandemic (Part 33)
Link to Idaho 1918-1919 Influenza Pandemic (Part 34)
Link to Idaho 1918-1919 Influenza Pandemic (Part 35)
Link to Idaho 1918-1919 Influenza Pandemic (Part 36)
Link to Idaho 1918-1919 Influenza Pandemic (Part 37)
Link to Idaho 1918-1919 Influenza Pandemic (Part 38)
Link to Idaho 1918-1919 Influenza Pandemic (Part 39)
Link to Idaho 1918-1919 Influenza Pandemic (Part 40)
Link to Idaho 1918-1919 Influenza Pandemic (Part 41)
Link to Idaho 1918-1919 Influenza Pandemic (Part 42)
Link to Idaho 1918-1919 Influenza Pandemic (Part 43)
Link to Idaho 1918-1919 Influenza Pandemic (Part 44)
Link to Idaho 1918-1919 Influenza Pandemic (Part 45)
Link to Idaho 1918-1919 Influenza Pandemic (Part 46)
Link to Idaho 1918-1919 Influenza Pandemic (Part 47)
Link to Idaho 1918-1919 Influenza Pandemic (Part 48)
Link to Idaho 1918-1919 Influenza Pandemic (Part 49)
Link to Idaho 1918-1919 Influenza Pandemic (Part 50)
Link to Idaho 1918-1919 Influenza Pandemic (Part 51)
Link to Idaho 1918-1919 Influenza Pandemic (Part 52)