Idaho 1918-1920 Influenza Pandemic
Idaho Newspaper Clippings February 5, 1920
Idaho photos courtesy: the Mike Fritz Collection, History of Idaho
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The Filer Record., February 05, 1920, Page 1
Many Cases of Flu Reported In Filer
110 Pupils Absent From Grade School Today
With twelve homes in the community quarantined for influenza, [and] at least two quarantined for small pox the local health situation has become a matter of no small concern.
At the Rural high school a nurse has been employed to examine daily the students, and all pupils found to be ill are cared for and sent to their homes.
Doctors state that while the influenza this season does not appear to be a virulent as in the past, still there should be no lessening of precautionary measures.
The small pox cases in town are few and it is said little fear of its spread is anticipated. However it has been found necessary to close the schools of Hansen on account of the disease.
Over 150 cases of influenza have been reported in the county and every effort is being made to control the spread of the disease. At Twin Falls it is said that a large number of school teachers and pupils are out of school with the “flu.”
A total of 2,488 cases of influenza deaths and 15 pneumonia deaths have been reported to the office of the State Board of Health for the week ending January 31st.
The hopeful note in the situation is to be found in the fact that many of the communities have been able to bring the situation under control. The reports received toward the end of the week having diminished very materially. The virulence of the infection seems to be gradually increasing, the influenza and pneumonia deaths showing a marked increase over the previous week.
The Groundhog Saw His Shadow Monday
Monday was “groundhog day,” and to those who are superstitious, six more weeks of winter are promised. A warming and not unwelcome sun enabled Mr. and Mrs. Groundhog to view their shadows most all day. According to tradition, they once more took up their abode in the ground and shall remain there, waiting the passing of six more weeks of winter. It is fortunate that seasons are not governed by tradition and superstition and that notwithstanding almanacs and weather prognosticators, weather continues to be governed by forces more powerful than signs and “old sayings.”
source: The Filer Record. (Filer, Idaho), 05 Feb. 1920. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
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Payette Enterprise., February 05, 1920, Page 1
Personals And Local Mention
Mr. A. E. Wood who has been confined to his home suffering from an attack of lung fever,* is now able to be at his office.
Ed. Shellworth, head plumber at Lauer Brothers, was away from business this week on account of his family being down with the flu.
Miss Marjorie White who was taken to a Boise hospital suffering from the effects of the flu, is some better but it is feared she will lose the sight of her right eye.
The many friends of Mrs. M. F. Albert will be pleased to learn that she is now slightly improving. Her condition for some time has been quite critical, but unless further complications arise it is believed she will soon recover.
Mr. Smith of this office received a letter this week from his sister at Sioux City, Iowa, stating that diphtheria is quite bad at Sioux City. His sister’s children are down with the disease. The letter contained strong odor of disinfectant. While here in Payette quite a few are down with lagrippe or flu we may be thankful that diphtheria is not among us.
* Lung fever = pneumonia
Clarence Wallace Farlow
Clarence Wallace Farlow died Tuesday evening at the home of his sister, Mrs. Anson Hoyt here in Payette following a relapse of the flu which developed into pneumonia. The body was shipped Wednesday to Norcaster, Kansas, for burial. He was first taken with the flu, complicated with bronchial pneumonia about a month ago. He recovered and was able to be up and assist in the care of his sister and family who were all down with influenza, which may have caused the relapse which resulted in his death. Clarence was a bright young man 20 years of age, and is survived by a father, G. W. Farlow of Lennox, Idaho, who was here and accompanied the body, and a sister, Mrs. Anson Hoyt of Payette.
source: Payette Enterprise. (Payette, Canyon Co., Idaho), 05 Feb. 1920. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
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The Emmett Index. February 05, 1920, Page 1
Red Cross Emergency Hospital
Beds and Nurses Provided in Masonic Temple to Care For Unfortunates
The prevalence of influenza and pneumonia and the scarcity of nurses induced the Red Cross chapter to open an emergency hospital for the care of patients who are unable to secure proper care and attention. The Masonic lodge tendered the use of rooms in its temple for the purpose and on Saturday three beds were installed and Mrs. Turner, a professional nurse from Coeur d’Alene was secured to take charge. So far only one patient has availed himself of the privileges – a Spaniard who is suffering from influenza. Three beds have been set up. Others will be added as necessity requires.
The services will be free to those who are unable to pay for it. To those who are able to pay a small fee will be charged. Patients may bring their own bedding, and are requested to do so if possible.
In providing the community with this assistance and service in combating disease, the Red Cross chapter is living up to its record of unselfish devotion to humanity. The members are giving freely of their time and funds to alleviate suffering and distress, and seek to extend their helpfulness to all who need their services by the institution of this emergency hospital.
Monday was Groundhog Day, and there was such a variety of weather in this part of Idaho that His Porkship doesn’t know whether to go bury himself in his hole for six more weeks or to stay out and take chances of Old Man Flu getting him. Here in the valley there was not even a glimpse of the sun to be had all day, while on Freezeout hill, and from the top of Pickett Corral hill to McCall, Old Sol beamed with full refulgence. If the old Missouri legend still holds good, there will be six weeks more of winter weather on the butte and in the country north and east of Emmett, but here in the Emmett valley “Springtime Has Come, Gentle Annie” right now and will stay. So what’s a poor groundhop [sic] to do, anyway!
source: The Emmett Index. (Emmett, Idaho), 05 Feb. 1920. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
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The Emmett Index. February 05, 1920, Page 4
The Bank of Emmett force is back at work again after a tussle with the flu.
Frank S. Moore, of the forest office, is convalescent from an attack of the grip.
A. O. Sutton, who has been confined to his home for a week, is on the road to recovery.
Frank Wallis is recovering from a severe attack of flu, but his wife and young son are seriously ill and grave concern is felt as to their recovery.
A. P. Peterson, who has been quite ill with the flu, is improving.
G. W. Maxfield, who has been confined at home a week with a threatened attack of pneumonia, is on the mend. Superintendent Goodwin and Mrs. Goodwin have both been quite ill, but they, too, are improving. A more settled condition of weather will be a big aid to convalescents – it be soon.
Word was received here recently of the death from influenza of Blasius Shaull at the home of his brother-in-law, Conrad Pope, near Nampa.
Considerable complaint is being made of the practice of throwing ashes in the alleys. Those who do so are violating the city’s ordinance and officials expect to take action against offenders if the practice is not stopped.
Mr. Robinson of Cedar Edge, Colo., arrived Wednesday of last week for a visit with his sister, Mrs. D. F. Bott and family. While he wanted to stay and look over the country, he was anxious to get home because of the flu epidemic and left today (Wednesday.)
Allan Newell was ill last week, but is in the store this week. He believes he didn’t have the flu, but is taking care of himself nevertheless. He has news that both Mr. and Mrs. Stegner are ill at Fruitland and one of the children and would like to go down, but believes it not wise.
Dr. Polly has been down several times the past week treating Mrs. Pomeroy, Mr. Henderson and R. L. Battan.
Among those who have come down with the prevailing epidemic since last news day are: R. L. Battan, Glenn Kiser and Mrs. Butler, and also the Lew Gordon and Whitely families.
Mr. Munson is doing chores for Glenn Kiser this week.
Mrs. Pomeroy, who has been appointed a member of the executive board of the Red Cross to represent Letha and vicinity, this week had a letter from headquarters at Emmett telling of the establishment of an emergency hospital for flu in the Masonic rooms at Emmett. The Red Cross are prepared to care for those who have no one to look after them. A small amount will be accepted from those wishing to pay, otherwise it will be done free of cost.
Dan Hanson, Irb DeMasters, C. L. Henderson and Bismark Youtaler are out after a tussle with the flu, but they are not looking for work – not yet.
(ibid, page 4)
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The Emmett Index. February 05, 1920, Page 8
News Of Gem County
By The Index’s Correspondents
The young son of Louis Obermeyer is ill this week, threatened with a bad cold.
(Too late for last Week)
The Jay Sanders family, who have been quite sick with flu, are now recovering.
The J. Loe Reed family are on the sick list this week with the flu.
Owing to sickness and bad roads, there will be no meeting of the U. A. Club. The next meeting will be February 12th with Mrs. Ed Francis. It will also be election of officers, so every one come.
(Too late for last Week)
The Frank Nicks family are having a siege of the flu.The Brogan family have had their turn with the flu.
Mr. and Mrs. J. M. Hereth and baby are nicely recovering from the flu.
Edgar Brogan has the influenza.
The Sherwood family are having their turn with the flu.
Mary Heath has the flu.
Elwood Schoening has the chicken pox.
Quite a number of children are absent from school this week on account of sickness. Miss Johnson has the flu and Mr. Teerink is teaching in her place.
(Too late for last Week)
Louise Blaser has been quite sick the past week, being confined to her bed for several days.
The Spoor family, who have been quarantined for influenza, are all recovering nicely.
The ice jam in the river, with its consequent flooding of fields and washing out of bridges, has made the road to Letha impassable, and it is causing much inconvenience to our farmers, who use Letha as a shipping point.
The Mart Smith family have all recovered from their recent sickness and are ready to fumigate as soon as the weather will permit.
This is seven days of dark, foggy weather. We can not remember a time when such has occurred in the last ten years in Idaho. Give us a day of sunshine.
Dr. Reynolds had the misfortune to upset his car while driving in the fog Monday evening. He had crossed the sleigh bridge near the Vanderdasson schoolhouse and as he neared the first culvert beyond, someway in making the turn, the car went over into the ditch. Luckily the car was not damaged to any extent and the doctor was able to proceed on his way.
Mr. and Mrs. Warner Head and Thelma have been confined to their bed with influenza.
(ibid, page 8)
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Fielding Academy, Paris, Idaho (1)
Photo courtesy: the Mike Fritz Collection, History of Idaho
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The Grangeville Globe. February 05, 1920, Page 1
Grim Reaper Leaves Dark Trail; Many Deaths Are Recorded
Dreaded Influenza, While Apparently on Wane, Taking Heavy Toll; Few New Cases Reported; None Desperate.
The outbreak of influenza that has been sweeping over the country for the past few weeks seems to have about reached the maximum and many people are of the opinion that the dreaded disease is now dying down, the precautions that have been taken by the different communities no doubt having a great deal to do with the rapid check of the epidemic.
While there are a great many individual cases in the community all seem to be doing well, a shortage of nurses being the greatest drawback in fighting the disease. A large number of the Red Cross ladies who had experience in the work last year are rendering valuable aid to the patients and likewise to the physicians who are on the go day and night.
The toll taken since our last issue seems unusually heavy, four deaths having been recorded, a pall of gloom has been cast over the entire community.
Mrs. Roy Nail
Mrs. Addie Alice Nail, aged 32 years 8 months and 12 days, wife of our esteemed townsman, Roy Nail, died last Saturday and was laid to rest in Prairie View cemetery at 10 a.m. on Monday, February 2, all that was mortal being followed to the grave by a large number of admiring friends. Funeral services were conducted by Rev. H. S. Randall, of the Federated church, A. J. Maugg directing.
Deceased leaves to mourn her sudden taking away the bereaved husband and young son, Cornelius, her parents, Mr. and Mrs. J. H. Mitchell, and one sister Mrs. Will Huff, all residing in this community.
Addie Alice Mitchell was born in Melrose, Montana, and in 1903 came with her parents to Idaho county and settled near Stites. Three years later on July 2, 1906, she was united in marriage to Roy E. Nail at Stites. For the past five years the family home has been at Grangeville.
Mrs. George Manning
Mrs. George W. Manning, aged 37 years, died at the family residence in this city last Sunday morning after suffering for ten days with an attack of influenza. Funeral services were held in the open air at the home Tuesday morning and interment was made at Prairie View cemetery, Rev. H. S. Randall officiating, and A. J. Maugg directing.
The deceased lady is survived by her husband, George W. Manning, who for the past number of years has been connected with the Inland Abstract company, and three daughters, Pauline, aged 15, Zelma, 2, and Verna, 4 years of age.
Ethel Manning was born November 25, 1882, near Southwest City, Missouri, where she grew to womanhood and where on September 10, 1903, she was united in marriage to George W. Manning of the same place, they having been schoolmates. Immediately afterward they removed to this place where they have since made their home. From early girlhood she had been a member of the Church of Christ always a persistent and tireless worker. When she passed away she was superintendent of the Cradle Roll and teacher of the ladies’ Bible class of the Christian church.
John Grant Howard
A sufferer for a number of years from acute stomach trouble John Grant Howard passed out from this life Monday forenoon, February 2nd, the end being hastened by an attack of the influenza from which pneumonia resulted. Funeral services were conducted at the graveside at 11 o’clock this forenoon (Thursday) by Rev. H. S. Randall of the Federated church and were attended by many friends of the family, the funeral being directed by Undertaker A. J. Maugg.
Deceased is survived by the widow and eight children as follows: Dennis, Leonard, Otis, Gladys, Beulah, Zuwa, Velda and Mary, three brothers and seven sisters also survive.
John Grant Howard was born January 13, 1872, in Stone county, Missouri, where he grew to manhood. He was united in marriage with Miss Minnie Bass, on February 24, 1895. The family removed to this country in 1901, since which time they have been engaged in farming.
George David Stanbery
Geo. D. Stanbery, one of the best known farmers and stockmen of the Winona section, passed away at the family home in this city early Tuesday morning after a short illness from pneumonia which resulted from an attack of influenza, at the age of 49 years.
The deceased is survived by his widow and eight children, four boys and four girls, as follows, Mabel, Elsie, Roy, Martin, Stanley, Ernest, Velda and Minnie. With the exception of Mabel and Elsie, the children were all at home at the time of death. The former is married, and we are informed resides in the Winona district, and Miss Elsie who is attending university at Berkeley, California, is expected to reach home on Friday night’s train.
Funeral services will be held at Mount Zion church, Winona, Saturday afternoon, and interment will be under auspices of Lowe lodge I. O. O. F. of that place of which he was a member. Undertaker E. S. Hancock will direct the funeral.
Mr. Stanbery was one of the big farmers of the Winona country up to last year when he disposed of the greater part of his land interests in that section and moved to Grangeville. Later on he purchased a tract of land near the foothills and spent his time between that place and his town home which he purchased in order to give his family the benefit of our school system. He was born in Stoddard county, Missouri, January 20, 1871. On January 2, 1896, in the same county he was united in marriage to Miss Cornelia Mitchell, and came west to the state of Washington. In October, 1898, the family settled in the Winona country where they have since followed farming and stockraising.
Mrs. Henry Kurthuis
Mrs. Henry Kurthuis, aged 35 years, died at the family home two miles north from Grangeville, Wednesday morning from pneumonia, and is survived by her husband, four sons, Bart, John, Jake and Neil; two sisters, Mrs. A. Doornbas and Mrs. H. Sholteus, Grangeville; also two brothers, M. Vanderwall, Grangeville and John Vanderwall of Conrad Montana.
Deceased was a native of Holland and had resided in the United States for 14 years, coming with her husband from Montana about six years ago.
Funeral services will be held at the home at 11 o’clock Saturday and interment at Prairie View cemetery. It is expected a minister from Sunnyside, Wash., will officiate, with A. J. Maugg in charge of the funeral.
Mrs. Thomas Seay
The remains of Mrs. Thomas Seay, who passed away at the family home at Clarkston Tuesday will reach this city on the evening train and will be laid to rest in Prairie View cemetery Friday, the hour not being set at the time of going to press.
Mrs. and Mrs. Thomas Seay removed to Clarkston from Winona last fall to spend the winter and place their son in school. With the outbreak of influenza the entire family was afflicted. Deceased also leaves a child a few days old.
Reily Seay went down to Clarkston on Wednesdays train to aid the family of his brother in their distress and will accompany the remains to this city.
John Hadorn Is Called
Whitebird Resident, Native of County, Victim of Influenza
After suffering about a week from an attack of influenza which was followed by pneumonia, John Milton Hadorn, aged 33 years, one month and eight days, succumbed to the ravages of the disease, leaving to mourn his untimely departure the widow, two step-children, his mother, Mrs. T. B. Hadorn, one brother and three half-sisters.
Deceased was born at Deer Creek, in Idaho county. After reaching manhood he followed farming and stock raising, but of late had been running a saw mill. About a month ago he sold his ranch and saw mill interests.
Funeral Services, conducted by Rev. Gamble of the local church were held at the cemetery at Whitebird at 2 o’clock p.m. Monday. Undertaker E. S. Hancock had charge of the funeral.
source: The Grangeville Globe. (Grangeville, Idaho), 05 Feb. 1920. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
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The Grangeville Globe. February 05, 1920, Page 8
Fred Miller, is back again at his harness shop, after a week’s suffering with the influenza.
Attorney A. S. Hardy has been confined to his home for the past week with the prevalent disease. At this writing he is much improved and will soon be at his office again.
Jack Hartnett, Pacific telephone trouble shooter at this point, has been released from the Alcorn hospital, where he spent a week suffering from the influenza.
Robert Reilly, formerly telephone man for the Pacific phone company at this place and erstwhile deputy sheriff of Idaho county, came up from Lewiston early this week to look after the company’s work at this point during the illness of Jack Hartnett who has been confined in the Alcorn hospital with the “flu.”
Clarence Nixon is able to be about again after an illness extending over several weeks.
Lance McCready, who has been ill for a week or more, is able to be around again. He has not returned to work in the Day & Abramson barber shop, however.
Geo. M. Robertson, cashier of the First National bank of Cottonwood, was in the city Monday, assisting in arranging for the funeral of his niece, Mrs. Geo. W. Manning, which occurred on Tuesday morning.
Lee Miller was down town for the first time this forenoon for quite a spell. Mr. Miller is well advanced in years and is not as strong on his pins as formerly. He stated he was feeling fairly good, had a good appetite and thus far has escaped “flu.”
Short Handed at P. O.
The postoffice crew is seriously crippled this week with the illness of Acting Postmaster J. A. Peterson and Clerk Frank Reynolds. A. M. Ecker has the morning shift, working from 3:30 to 1 o’clock p.m. and W. T. Williams and Charles Simmons now handle the evening mail alone. It requires a little longer, perhaps, but under the circumstances, all patrons of the office should be very considerate.
Judge Scales Sets Term
Judge Wallace N. Scales this week set the time for holding the adjourned term of district court for Lewis county for March 22nd. The term was slated for February 2nd but on account of the prevalent influenza it was deemed best on conferring with the officers at Nezperce to have the date postponed.
Delay On court Building
Influenza Causing Setback in Completion of Repairs Under Way
Work has been progressing nicely on the remodeling of the old school building which is to be used for a court house to house all the county officials, but the visitation of the influenza. Doc Jesse and Elmer Kennedy were making fine headway with the work until stricken with the disease early last week. Several of the partitions had been removed and new ones placed where needed. Plastering was also going on at the same time.
The new vault constructed by Chester Arnold has been completed and is a very substantial and strong box. So strong, indeed, that Mr. Arnold states that it could not be blown out with dynamite.
When finished, this structure will afford ample room for all the county officers, in fact there will be rooms for every needed purpose about a court house.
No services next Sunday but we hope to be able to resume on the 15th. Persons desiring to get the Sunday school papers may do so by calling at Mrs. Harry Morris’ Residence.
H. S. Randall, Pastor.
(ibid, page 8)
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Idaho County Free Press. February 05, 1920, Page 1
5 Are Dead From Influenza Here In 5 Days; Epidemic Now Is Abating
Few New Cases in Grangeville, but in the Country Many Are Ill with Disease
Doctors Busy Day and Night Ministering to Sick; Shortage of Nurses Keenly Felt
Five deaths from Spanish influenza in Grangeville or vicinity in five successive days is the toll of the disease locally during the last week.
The contagion late last week spread with alarming rapidity over the city and adjoining farming districts. It spread to Cottonwood and to Whitebird, where one death, that of John Haydorn was reported.
The epidemic has reached its crest in Grangeville, according to physicians who have been busy day and night answering hundreds of calls. Fewer new cases were reported in the city during the last few days, and many families have been released from quarantine. In the country districts, however, the disease is spreading, physicians declare. It was much later in breaking out in the rural communities than in town.
Scarcity of nurses to care for influenza patients has resulted in difficulty being experienced in many families, where several members were ill with the malady. Persons who were convalescent having been obliged to leave their beds in order to care for other members of the family who were ill, and thereby have suffered relapses.
Dr. B. Chipman, city health officer who was attending a large number of patients, has been ill for several days, and his work has been taken over by other physicians of the city who already were busy almost twenty-four hours in the day.
Mrs. Addie Alice Nail
The first victim of the present influenza epidemic in Grangeville was Mrs. Addie Alice Nail, wife of Roy E. Nail. Mrs. Nail died Saturday morning in her home, after an illness of but a few days. …
Mrs. Ethel Manning
Influenza claimed another victim at 7:15 Sunday morning when Mrs. Ethel Manning, wife of George W. Manning, died in her home in this city, after an illness of ten days’ duration. She was 37 years old. …
John Grant Howard
John Grant Howard, 48 years old, a well known Camas Prairie rancher, died of influenza-pneumonia, Monday morning in the Alcorn hospital, in Grangeville. Mr. Howard was stricken a week before he died. …
George David Stanbery
George David Stanbery is dead. Big hearted, jovial Dave Stanbery is no more. He has fallen victim to influenza. Death came to him at 2 Tuesday morning in his home in this city, after a brief illness of influenza-pneumonia. …
Mrs. Trientje Kurthuis
Mrs. Trientje Kurthuis, wife of Henry Kurthuis, died early Wednesday morning in her home, two miles north of Grangeville. Death was caused by pneumonia, following influenza. … 35 years old …
John M. Haydorn Of Whitebird Is Dead
John Milston Haydorn, 33 years old, died late Saturday night in his home in Whitebird, of influenza-pneumonia. Mr. Haydorn, who was well-known throughout the Salmon river country, where he had spent his entire life, contracted influenza two weeks before his death. Though a robust man, the disease was aggravated by exposure when Mr. Haydorn walked two miles from his ranch to his home in Whitebird. …
Epidemic On Down Grade At Whitebird
The influenza Epidemic at Whitebird is greatly improved, according to advices received by the Free Press from Whitebird at noon, Thursday. A number of serious cases existed early in the week, but in all the crisis has passed. Only one death, that of John Haydorn, occurred at Whitebird.
Mrs. T. H. Seay Dies In Clarkston; Pneumonia
Mrs. T. H. Seay of Winona died Tuesday of pneumonia in Clarkston, where she was spending the winter. The body was brought to Grangeville Thursday evening, and taken to the Maugg parlors. The funeral will be held, probably Friday, with burial in Prairie View cemetery.
Mrs. W. H. Hill, Nee Ina Adams, Is Dead
Word has just been received in Grangeville of the death recently in Seattle of Mrs. W. H. Hill, formerly Miss Ina Adams, who several years ago resided in Grangeville, and was well known here. Death resulted from pneumonia.
source: Idaho County Free Press. (Grangeville, Idaho), 05 Feb. 1920. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
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Idaho County Free Press. February 05, 1920, Page 2
(From Last Week)
Lloyd Spencer was taken ill a few days ago with influenza. It is the only case reported in this vicinity so far.
(From Last Week)
Carl Kennedy is here taking the census for this district.
Dr. W. A. Foskett has ordered the public school in this district closed because of seriousness of the influenza epidemic.
Mrs. Crooks, while caring for her son and family, who are bedfast with influenza, on their farm near here, was attacked by frequent fainting spells while doing chores. Dr. Foskett attended and pronounced her illness heart trouble.
Following is a list of persons recovering from influenza: Tom Galloway, Mr. and Mrs. Marion Tipton and son, Dale, Mr. and Mrs. Roy Irwin, the Gill and Jilson families.
(From Last Week)
Considerable illness is reported on the hill this week. Mr. and Mrs. McSpadden and son have been confined to their home for several days. Mr. Allison Vaughn is unable to be out. Mary Morgan is not in school on account of illness.
Doumecq farmers are being visited this week by the census enumerator, Charles Sallee.
Roads from Canfield to Boles are almost impassible on account of ice. The road is almost a solid pack of ice and very slanting in places.
(ibid, page 2)
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Idaho County Free Press. February 05, 1920, Page 6
Local News In Brief
Federated Church — No services next Sunday, but we hope to be able to resume on the 15th. Persons desiring to get the Sunday school papers may do so by calling at Mrs. Harry Morris’ home. H. S. Randall, pastor.
Court Postponed — Judge Scales announces that opening of district court in Lewis county has been postponed until March 22, owing to the influenza epidemic.
Dr. Chipman Ill — Dr. B. Chipman was confined to his home the first of the week, suffering from an abscess in the nose.
George M. Robertson, Cottonwood banker, was called to Grangeville Sunday evening, owing to the death of his niece, Mrs. George Manning.
Mrs. A. J. Maugg was called to Cottonwood last Saturday to care for Mr. Maugg’s mother, Mrs. John Maugg, and sister, Miss Agnes Maugg, who were suffering from influenza.
Robert Riley, telephone lineman, formerly of Grangeville, is here from Lewiston on telephone work, to take the place of Jack Hartnett, who has been ill with influenza.
Miss Elsie Stanbery is expected to arrive in Grangeville Friday evening from Berkeley, Cal., where she is a student at the University of California. She was called home owning to the death of her father, G. D. Stanbery.
Miss Leasel Hussman and Miss Beatrice Calhoun, telephone operators, of Cottonwood, were in Grangeville this week, employed on the local Pacific States switchboard, in the absence of Misses O’Kelley, regular operators, who are ill with influenza.
Dr. B. Chipman, announces that he will be able to answer calls in both city and country on and after next Saturday.
(ibid, page 6)
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The Daily Star-Mirror., February 05, 1920, Page 1
Report Influenza Conditions Better
Only Six New Influenza Cases Reported Wednesday – No New Flags Up
No new quarantine flags were put out Wednesday and but six new cases were reported, these being in homes where the disease had already appeared. This is far below the smallest number of new cases reported in one day since the epidemic struck Moscow and is regarded as very encouraging. Despite the fact that there was one death, that of the five-year-old child of James Greer, conditions are regarded today as better than at any time since the epidemic appeared here.
While no record of the number of patients release from quarantine are available it is understood that many times as many were released as the number of new cases reported, and many quarantine flags have been taken down and whole families released from quarantine.
Weather conditions are regarded as unfavorable, the cold, damp, foggy weather being especially adapted to spreading the influenza, but in spite of that there has been a rapid and marked decrease in the number of cases and also in the severity of the cases reported. Taken as a whole Wednesday was regarded as by far the most favorable day in Moscow since the first cases of influenza were discovered here.
Much Better at Lewiston
Lewiston, Idaho — The reports on the influenza situation in Lewiston were again encouraging yesterday, with very few new cases reported and the condition of patients generally improving. The reports of the physicians show there are several very severe cases remaining in the city and the appeal is again made for all citizens to continue all precautions and safeguards.
The reports received yesterday by Dr. J. N. Alley, county health officer, show there are 400 cases in the county outside of Lewiston that are being cared for by licensed physicians, practically every community is affected as cases are reported from Gifford, Lenore, Lapwai, Leland and Spalding. The government tuberculosis sanatorium at Lapwai has 72 cases and there have been several deaths there. It is reported there are a number of very serious cases remaining at the sanitarium.
The reports from prairie points show the entire upper country is stricken. One death was reported last night from Keuterville, and it has become necessary to close the schools at Cottonwood because of the “flu” conditions there. Motion picture theatres and all other public gathers [sic] have been placed under the ban.
Mrs. Englis is Dead
Mrs. Maude Englis, wife of Charles P. Englis of 626 Ninth avenue, died at White’s hospital Tuesday at 12:45 o’clock, noon, death ensuing from pneumonia following an attack of influenza contracted two weeks before. While suffering from influenza Mrs. Englis gave birth to a baby girls one week ago last Sunday, and her weakened condition made her very susceptible to the ravages of the disease resulting in her death.
Nezperce Farmer Dead
Nezperce — Fred Maher, a farmer residing eight miles northeast of Nezperce, died this morning from influenza-pneumonia. He was about 35 years of age and had resided in the prairie country since a child. He is survived by a wife, two daughters, his parents and a sister. His wife and sister are both ill with the disease, but were reported doing nicely this evening.
The general conditions in the Nezperce section are improved and the reports show only a few serious cases remaining. It is believed the schools can be reopened next week in the event the conditions continue to improve.
Death at Keuterville
Cottonwood — Mrs. Charles Mader of Keuterville died at the family home this morning from pneumonia, following influenza. All of the members of the family were stricken and it has been necessary for neighbors to care for them. Mrs. Mader was about 45 years of age and is survived by a husband and four children. The family has resided in the Keuterville section for many years. No funeral arrangement have been made.
Many New Cases at Spokane
Spokane — Three hundred and eight new cases of influenza and one death were reported here today. The total now is 1,561. The cases for the most part are mild and last only a few days.
Spread at Berkeley
Berkeley, Cal. — The Berkeley board of health ordered tonight that all schools, churches, motion picture houses and other places of public gatherings be closed until such time as the decreased number of influenza cases made their reopening advisable. Seven hundred cases have been reported.
Death at Walla Walla
Walla Walla — One death from influenza occurred here today, Harry Lanhart, 10-year-old son of Mrs. and Mrs. George Lanhart, passing away. He became ill at 3 p.m. and died at 7 o’clock.
Another Death at Grangeville
Grangeville — The death of Mrs. Henry Courthouse occurred at an early hour this morning from influenza-pneumonia. Mrs. Courthouse was about 45 years of age and was stricken several days ago. She is survived by her husband. The funeral will be conducted Saturday.
The general situation in Grangeville is improving but there are a number of critical cases remaining. City Health Officer Dr. Chipman has been confined to his home with the disease for the past several days and has turned over the handling of the situation to the other physicians. The reports show that few new cases have developed this week.
Another Death From Influenza
Small Child Victim – Family Has Had Twelve Members Down With The Flu
Johnny L. Greear, aged five years last August, died last night making the third death in Moscow from influenza. The case is a peculiarly sad one. Both parents are very sick with the disease and will not be able to attend the funeral of their child. It is reported that 12 members of the family have had the disease.
The child is a son of Mrs. and Mrs. James Greear, living in the south-easten part of town. He has been sick for three weeks. The entire family has been sick and the grand-parents, Mr. and Mrs. David Greear, of Troy, came to assist in caring for the sick and they were also taken down with the disease.
A sister, Mrs. Fred Gray, went to help and she and her children have had the disease. Several of these are still quite ill and both Mr. and Mrs. Greear are very sick, their condition causing much alarm.
Neighbors have been very kind in assisting to care for the sick folks and are doing all in their power to relieve the suffering and see that the sick lack nothing essential to their comfort or welfare.
The funeral will be held at 10 o’clock tomorrow forenoon. There will be brief services at the cemetery, only.
source: The Daily Star-Mirror. (Moscow, Idaho), 05 Feb. 1920. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
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The Daily Star-Mirror., February 05, 1920, Page 2
School May Open Monday
The present indications are that Moscow schools will open Monday. The board is not prepared to state definitely today that the schools will be opened, but unless conditions grow worse it is stated the schools will be opened Monday morning and a full attendance is desired in all rooms.
Moscow people, who responded so readily to the appeal made last week to use their telephones as little as possible during the influenza epidemic, seem to have forgotten the plea of the operators, or to have reached the conclusion that the central office is not short of help now.
Business has been almost up to normal in the past two days despite the fact that just half of the operators are still away from their desks. Some of them have been very sick and have not recovered from the flu. It may be several days before they are back at their desks and in the mean time the public is urged to use the telephone just as little as possible.
“We ought to get a better service with the increase in rates,” said a Moscow citizen. But he forgot that the telephone operators are not responsible for the increased rates and that they are human. At times there are so many calls in at one time that all cannot be given prompt attention and impatient patrons frequently show their temper and “scold” the girls. The girls do not “talk back” but their feelings are hurt and when they are working overtime and under a nervous, physical and mental strain, it takes very little unkindness to bring tears to their eyes. If people would only realize this they would be more patient and they could make the work of the operators very much easier at this trying time by the exercise of a little more patience and by not using the telephone except when absolutely necessary.
No American Legion Meeting
Owning to the influenza situation the regular meeting of the American Legion will not be held tonight, but an executive meeting will be held at the Moscow hotel at 7:30. There will be no dance Friday night. The Legion is for upholding the officers in all things and was the first to call off its dance in Moscow. Dr. Leitch, city health officer, said: “I want to thank and commend the American Legion and Commander Monahan for the splendid way in which they have cooperated with the authorities in the flu situation.”
(ibid, page 2)
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The Daily Star-Mirror., February 05, 1920, Page 4
W. O. Sholes returned home today from a two weeks visit to the coast. The Sholes home is now out of quarantine, Maxwell Sholes and Dr. Chislett, having recovered from the influenza.
(ibid, page 4)
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The Daily Star-Mirror., February 05, 1920, Page 5
Frank Stevens, who has been ill with influenza and pneumonia is now sufficiently recovered to be up around home.
Grace and Hugh Wallace, children of Dean and Mrs. J. G. Eldridge, are recovering nicely from attacks of the influenza.
The family of A. H. Olson has been ill of influenza but is now much improved. Miss Susan Johns assisted in the nursing.
The C. S. Clarke home is released from quarantine. Miss Jones, high school teacher, who rooms there, has recovered from a serious attack of the “flu.”
Mrs. Anna Colby was called home from Palouse to assist in nursing at the J. H. Whorley home south of Moscow, which was formerly Mrs. Shea’s farm. Mr. and Mrs. Whorley and five children are ill with influenza. Mr. Whorley and two of the children are now seriously ill. Mrs. John King is taking care of the three month’s old baby.
Clyde Hunter, who has been very ill of pneumonia, is reported as improved.
Two Basketball Teams Play At Moscow
Willammette and Whitman, both said this year to possess teams of unusual ability, are on the University of Idaho’s menu for next week, an affray with Willammette having been scheduled for Monday night and games with the Whitman Missionaries having been arrange for Wednesday and Thursday.
Idaho’s prospects have been somewhat dimmed by the illness of Ernest K. Lindley, captain and crack guard, who has been an influenza victim and who may be unable to appear in the first contest scheduled. His position will be filled either by Cobb Cozier or Boyde Cornelison, both Moscow high school products. …
(ibid, page 5)
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The Daily Star-Mirror., February 05, 1920, Page 6
Speed Of Epidemic Varies
Disease travel According to the Modes of Transportation in the Regions Afflicted.
The speed at which an epidemic – whether it be of influenza or any other infectious disease – spreads depends upon the rapidity of the usual means of transportation. In his presidential address at the congress of American Physicians and Surgeons, Dr. Simon Flexner said:
“In eastern Russia and Turkestan influenza spreads with the pace of a caravan, in Europe and America with the speed of an express train, and in the world at large with the rapidity of an ocean liner; and if one project forward the outcome of the means of intercommunication of the near future we may predict that the next pandemic, should one arise, will extend with the swiftness of the airship. Moreover, not only is this rate of spread determined by the nature of the transportation facilities of the region or the era, but towns and villages, mainland and island, are invaded early or late or preserved entirely from attack according as they lie within or without the avenues of approach or are protected by inaccessibility, as in instances of remote mountain settlement and of islands distant from the ocean lanes or frozen in during winter periods.”
(ibid, page 6)
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The Nezperce Herald., February 05, 1920, Page 1
Fred Maher Influenza Victim
Fred Maher died at 7:10 o’clock Tuesday morning at the home of his parents, Mr. and Mrs. James Maher, in the Alpine section northeast of this city. The cause of his death was pneumonia, following influenza. He had been ailing since last December, but did not seem to realize the seriousness of his case until too late.
The funeral was conducted at noon today from the undertaking parlors of the Nezperce Hardware Co. and the remains were interred in the local cemetery. Owing to the nature of the ailment the service was not public.
The deceased was 25 years of age and had grown to manhood with his parents on their homestead farm in the Alpine district.
He was married three years ago last March and two children were born to the union. He is survived by his wife and children, his parents and a sister. The wife and their children and his sister were also ill of the influenza, but have recovered.
His is the first fatality in this community chargeable to the present spread of influenza. The neighbors and friends of this stricken family feel deepest sympathy for them in this sad hour of bereavement.
We take this means of expressing our sincere thanks to our neighbors and friends who so generously assisted us through our recent sad trial.
Mrs. Fred Maher and Mr. and Mrs. Jas Maher
The latest cases of influenza reported in town are, the entire family of Sanford Stapleton, who were stricken yesterday, and Leo Robertson, the druggist, who developed flu symptoms this morning. As we go to press, it appears all cases in town are getting along satisfactorily; that of Lloyd Whiting being the most serious, and his condition shows improvement this afternoon.
Superintendent Moscow Schools Flu Victim
Professor John H. Rich, superintendent of Moscow city schools is dead.
His death occurred at 9 o’clock last Saturday night. He went to a local hospital suffering with influenza just a week before and his case was regarded as serious from the start. Mrs. Rich was also stricken with the disease but recovered and was able to be up and about the hospital when the summons came to her husband.
Professor Rich was serving his sixth year with the Moscow high school. He was principal of the high school three years and was promoted to be city superintendent three years ago last fall and was in the second semester of his third year as superintendent when he was taken ill. His work here was of a remarkably high order. – Star-Mirror
District Court March 22
To further safeguard conditions anent [sic] the influenza situation, Judge W. N. Scales has again ordered the postponement of the Lewis county February term of district court, and has set Monday, March 22, as the date for opening such term.
Teachers’ Conference Postponed
The conference of Lewis county teachers, which was to have been held on February 13, has been indefinitely postponed because of the prevalence of influenza. The new date of this conference will depend upon conditions making the postponement necessary, but it will be as early as practicable.
Home Nursing Care In Influenza
The following instructions, sent broadcast over the lad by the American Red Cross, have, where followed, been a wonderful help in combating the influenza attack in this country. It will pay every family to familiarize itself with them:
1. Fever, chill, sore throat, marked weakness, discharge from the nose, cough, headache, vomiting, disturbance of digestion, shaking of limbs.
Treatment of Patient.
1. Patient should be put to bed in a room alone, with plenty of fresh air and no draughts.
2. Hot tub bath to induce perspiration before going to bed unless patient is weak.
3. Liquid diet – such as eggnog, cocoa, milk soup, milk, lemonade, weak teach and coffee, broth every two hours.
4. Give water freely – one glass every hour.
5. Give cathartic. One tablespoonful castor oil or one or two tablespoonfuls of epsom salts. If bowels do not move well in twelve hours, give an injection or repeat the cathartic.
6. If fever is high, give as much water as patient can stand.
7. Very weak patients should be coaxed to take liquid nourishment every two hours at least.
8. For sore throat, gargle with hot salt solution, one teaspoonful salt to one pint of water.
9. For pain in the chest, rub chest and back twice daily with camphorated oil, with a few drops of turpentine added.
10. For profuse perspiration, rub patient dry with towels and (Continued on last page.) change clothing. Do not expose the patient.
11. For headache apply cold compress or ice bag to head.
12. Patient should not be allowed to sit up more than ten or fifteen minutes the first few times. Increase the time gradually and watch patient for signs of weakness.
13. Patient should not be allowed out of bed for any reason until temperature has been normal for forty eight hours or as doctor orders.
14. For delirious patients, keep ice to the head and watch very carefully.
15. Do not give medicines except the cathartic unless they are ordered by the doctor.
16. Care of the mouth:
Use salt solution – one teaspoonful salt to one pint backing soda or some good antiseptic mouth wash, if able to use tooth brush, patient should cleanse his mouth as often as necessary.
If patient is not able to do so, attendant should use swabs made of toothpicks wound with cotton and cleanse mouth thoroughly. Use vaseline or cold cream on lips for sores or for cracking.
17. Unless patient is very feverish, or perspiring profusely, do not insist upon daily bathing, guard against chilling at all times. Wash face and hands before and after eating.
18. Continue to give liquid diet until temperature is normal. Then give gruels, cooked cereal, milk toast, jellies, soft boiled egg.
19. Keep sick room quiet. Patient should get as much sleep as possible. No visitors.
1. Avoid dust in the sick room. Do not dry sweep.
2. Care of sputum. Fasten paper bag to side of bed. Use toilet paper or paper napkins or newspaper and burn several times a day.
3. Scraps of uneaten food and mouth swabs should be burned immediately.
4. Milk containers should not be taken into patient’s room and should be boiled before returning to the milkman.
5. All handkerchiefs, linen, sheets, masks, towels, should be covered with cold water in the sick room. Boil for twenty minutes. Anyone may safely finish caring for the linen.
6. Where there is no toilet with running water, all mouth washes, bath water, discharges from bowels and bladder and all uneaten liquid foods should be disinfected with solution of chloride of lime before being thrown into the toilet. The toilet should be kept thoroughly scrubbed with hot water and soap.
7. To make chloride of lime solution: Mix thoroughly one half pound chloride of lime with one gallon of water. Use twice as much of this solution as the material to be disinfected. Allow to stand for one hour before emptying.
Care of the Family and Precautions for the Nurse
1. Keep other members of the family out of the room.
2. Keep patient’s dishes separate and boil twenty minutes before putting them into family use.
3. Scrub hands well with hot water and soap after handling the patient or the bed.
4. Keep your hands away from your face.
5. The attendant must be constantly masked, must wear large all-over apron in the sick room, changing it to a different one always, before entering any other part of the house. It is well to keep hair covered with an ordinary dust cap. When the attendant cannot stop to wash her own hands, door knobs, faucets, should be protected by scraps of newspaper which can be destroyed after each using.
6. Protect eyes if caring for a patient. Ordinary ten-cent glasses will do.
7. Families can help doctors, nurses and attendants by having hot water ready for use.
8. When taking care of a patient, the attendant should try to get enough sleep and rest. Take plenty of nourishing food. See the bowels move well every day. If necessary, take a cathartic every other night. Get out of doors every day.
To Avoid Getting the “Flu”
1. Get plenty of sleep and rest.
2. Take nourishing food, but do not over eat.
3. Avoid all crowds.
4. Avoid getting near anyone who is coughing, sneezing, spitting or who seems to have a cold.
5. Avoid using common towels, drinking cups, soap or anything handled by others in public places.
6. Wash hands thoroughly before eating.
7. See that bowels move regularly every day.
8. If you feel sick or “catch cold,” go to bed at once and [call] for the doctor.
source: The Nezperce Herald. (Nezperce, Idaho), 05 Feb. 1920. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
— — — —
The Nezperce Herald., February 05, 1920, Page 2
Nezperce wisely discontinued public gathering when the recent spared of influenza approached its gates. That this was an action of wisdom is substantiated by the fact that thus far no serious results have befallen locally, and though over twenty cases have been reported in the community, the attacks have been more or less mild and the outlook brightens. Communities which have not closed their places of public assembly have not fared so well. In the light of this experience, and the past distressing trial in this town and neighborhood, it is the general opinion that we should continue closed until the malady shows a general subsidence in the Lewiston country.
(ibid, page 2)
— — — —
The Nezperce Herald., February 05, 1920, Page 4
How to Get a Drink
Collector Edwards has announced the rules under which liquor may be procured, for medicinal purposes, under the revised, revamped, and reinforced prohibition amendment. The complete proceeding follows:
1. Patient develops a slight cold.
2. Speaks to wife about it; expresses opinion that hot whiskey might cure it, and suggests hurry call for the doctor.
3. Wife suspects faking, and administers white pine syrup and hot lemonade.
4. Patient develops grippe.
5. Wife becomes alarmed and sends for family physician.
6. Family physician satisfies self that patient is not camouflaging, but calls in nine other physicians, as required by law, to verify his findings and indorse [sic] the prescription for a half-pint.
7. Bertillion expert is called to take finger prints, foot prints, nose prints and breath prints of patient, all of which must be affixed to prescription for purposes of identification.
8. Patient is then required to fill out whiskey prescription questionnaire, giving date of birth, color of father’s hair, number of cousins who where addicted to drink, date on which he took first sip of intoxicating liquors, number of times arrested for drunkenness, complete list of every colds, etc., etc., etc.
9. Patient develops Spanish influenza.
10. Physicians then send finger prints, questionnaire, etc., to Washington to the Senate committee for the investigation of prescriptions for colds in the head and lungs.
11. Committee will summon patient to Washington for a Congressional hearing.
12. Congress will hold two-weeks’ quiz, and then require a two-thirds vote before prescription can be endorsed.
13. Patient will develop diphtheria.
14. Senate and House will finally endorse prescription, but send it to the War Department, Navy Department, Post Office Department, and Committee on Indian Affairs for filing purposes.
15. Patient will then return to home town on a stretcher, and present finger prints, prescription and photographs, questionnaire and Congressional papers to druggist.
16. Druggist will then require eleven good-character witnesses.
17. Druggist will then notify local revenue agents that prescription has been presented, and revenue agents will require carbon copy for card indexing.
18. Patient will develop pneumonia.
19. Druggist will go to cellar to fill prescription and find that his stock is exhausted.
20. Anti-Saloon League will raid drug store.
21. Patient will expire.
— New York Globe.
(ibid, page 4)
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The Nezperce Herald., February 05, 1920, Page 7
Local and Personal News Notes
The local physicians report the flu situation well in hand with some show of abatement in Nezperce and immediate vicinity, though several severe cases are still receiving attention. It is their opinion, however that the ban on public gatherings should be continued at least for another week.
An emergency hospital was opened at Lewiston last Saturday to aid in handling the influenza epidemic at that place and the “splendid organization of citizens and the Red Cross which is handling this was perfected by Miss Stella Booth,” says the Tribune. Miss Boothe only recently finished instructing classes at several points in Lewis county in Red Cross first aid work and hygienic care of the home, the good effect of which is being felt by our people in the present stress.
Miss Esther Smith went to Vollmer Tuesday to nurse Mrs. Wm. Stratton, who is ill of pneumonia. Mrs. Herbert Doggett is filling Miss Smith’s place at the switch board of the local Nezperce Cooperative Telephone exchange.
Geo. Tweedt, of Spokane, who came to Nezperce last week on a business mission, was ill of the flu for several days at the Nezperce Hotel, but is now able to be out.
Wm. Maher, of Lewiston, was called to Nezperce Monday on account of the serious illness of his nephew, Fred Maher, who died Tuesday.
(ibid, page 7)
Do flu outbreaks of past portend the future?
By Geoffrey Fattah Mar 2, 2005 Deseret News
Utah women wear masks to protect against the flu during the 1918 outbreak. Lynne Clark Collection
Jesse Boulton, 93, of Woods Cross remembers the winter of 1918 as a season of sorrow.
As a 7-year-old growing up in Granger, Wyo., she didn’t know why day after day, week after week, people in her town were dying.
“There was a family across the tracks. They buried two children, I believe, just small babies,” Boulton said.
Her mother kept her and her siblings home and away from their friends. When she was older, she learned that she had lived through one of the greatest disease pandemics in modern history.
Utah health statistics estimate that the flu killed one of every 25 Utahns who were infected. The late historian Leonard Arrington put the scope of the pandemic into perspective in his history of the influenza outbreak in Utah, published in the Utah Historical Quarterly.
“Approximately a fifth of the world population endured the fever and aches of influenza,” Arrington wrote, calling the event “the worst humanity has undergone since the Black Death (bubonic plague) of the fourteenth century.”
Today, those who can recall the flu of 1918 are few. Many are in their mid-90s or over 100.
“I remember it was terrible. We couldn’t have school, church or anything,” said 91-year-old Margaret Callister, who spent her childhood in Panguitch and now lives in Delta. “Dead people were all around us, three or four to a family.”
Callister remembers her mother tying lumps of herbs around the necks of her brothers and sisters in an effort to keep them healthy. She does remember that her family was one of the lucky ones. Even with several of her brothers extremely sick, none of them died.
By Oct. 10, hundreds of cases were reported in Salt Lake City and Ogden, and health officials took action, prohibiting public and private gatherings “not held in the open air,” said the Deseret Evening News of Oct. 10.
From church meetings and funerals to private parties and political gatherings, any social event was ordered canceled or restricted. The Deseret Evening News reported that many political party officials were frustrated, wondering how they were going to nominate political candidates if they couldn’t hold caucuses. Even the funeral for LDS Church President Joseph Fielding Smith, who died Nov. 19, was restricted to a small number of family members.
Streets became near empty. Laws were passed, requiring anyone walking in public to wear a gauze mask. Spitting on the sidewalk could get you fined, or worse, jailed.
Police and health officials worked to enforce laws. People sweeping sidewalks had to water it down first to prevent dust. Soda fountains were ordered to use individual drinking cups, and workers at Utah Copper Company were advised by health officials to avoid communal drinking cups.
Although Utah went “dry” in August 1917, health officials allowed doctors to administer “spirits,” which were thought to help prevent the disease. Some took this the wrong way, as newspapers reported a few people were brought before judges for public intoxication.
By early November health officials began to see a reduction in reported infections. But then the war officially ended on Nov. 11, and hundreds took to the streets in Salt Lake City and elsewhere to celebrate. Arrington noted that Salt Lake City Police Chief Parley White decided it was futile to keep the crowds from celebrating.
The outcome was predictable. Several hundred new cases were reported in Ogden and Salt Lake City between Nov. 13 and Nov. 16.
The rural toll
In rural places like southern Idaho, the flu was also taking its toll.
“I remember the epidemic of that time,” said 103-year-old Russell Clark. “I saw the mortality rate around 50 percent. . . . There was a feeling of depression and sadness because neighbors, you see, were passing away.”
Growing up just outside Paris, Idaho, Clark said he remembers when his younger brother fell ill with a high fever.
“He was getting worse instead of better. So at midnight I called my parents out on the ranch,” Clark said, noting he and his brother were boarding in town to attend school. “They got their best team of horses and sleigh.”
Clark recalls his mother, who was a local nurse and midwife, saved his brother’s life by refusing to take him to the hospital.
Having spent many years as a surgeon himself, Clark said looking back, he saw his mother’s wisdom.
“They didn’t die of influenza per se. It was pneumonia because of a lack of nursing care to keep the patients rotated, and my mother was aware of that.”
There were horrifying accounts of patients drowning in their own fluids, even brain swelling brought on by the virus. But Clark said his mother stood vigil, rotating his brother in his bed. “He didn’t come down with pneumonia, and he made an uneventful recovery in two weeks,” he said.
By the start of the new year in 1919, there were an estimated 72,573 reported cases in Utah, with 2,607 deaths. Between 1919 and 1920, there were 19,226 cases and 308 deaths. In 1919 Utah had the second-highest death rate in the country from the pandemic, with 180.2 deaths per 100,000 population, Arrington wrote. Only South Carolina, with 189.3 deaths per 100,000, exceeded that rate.
For all the laws ordering people to wear masks and the partial lift on the alcohol ban, medical experts at the time did not know that the flu was caused by a virus, said Dr. Harry Gibbons, former director of the Salt Lake City/County Health Department. Gibbons, who has more than 40 years of public health experience, said the best thing health officials could have done was to limit public gatherings.
Excerpted from: [a longer and very interesting article.]
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