Idaho 1918-1920 Influenza Pandemic
Idaho Newspaper Clippings February 20-24, 1920
Idaho photos courtesy: the Mike Fritz Collection, History of Idaho
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February 20 (continued)
American Falls Press. February 20, 1920, Page 1
Flu-Pneumonia Claims Life Of John Schafer
School Attendance Back to Normal After Inroad of Epidemic During Last Two Weeks – Physicians Report Several New Cases
John J. Schafer died Saturday following an attack of influenza that developed into pneumonia. He will be buried today in Odessa, Washington, his former home. Several new cases of the “flu” are reported this week. Middle aged people seem to predominate in catching the germs at the present state of the epidemic. The attendance in the public schools of the city is back to normal following a fifty per cent attendance of ten days ago.
Among those recently afflicted are Mr. and Mrs. Harvey Anderson, Mrs. L. B. Smith, G. W. Austin, Mr. Slagel, his assistant at the Gem State Lumber company, Mrs. E. E. Anderson and Miss Grace Cronkhite. Families who were reported seriously afflicted last week are in nearly every case well on the road to recovery. A serious case still endangers one of the Cazier boys who has pneumonia. Miss Inez Gillette, teacher in the high school is recovering from pneumonia after a long illness. Mrs. Ethel Sennell, daughter of Sam Baugh, is recovering from a severe illness. Children who have recently become ill with the “flu” are Ruth Barton, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. A. H. Barton, Ruth French, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. C. Lee French, two children in the family of Mr. and Mrs. Ted Budge and two children belonging to Mrs. Edwin Brown.
Eighty-three cases were reported last week and local doctors are of the opinion that there are several more cases this week than last. That the worst stage of the epidemic is past is the general feeling among health authorities.
The Red Cross still has great difficulty in procuring nurses for families that are in need. This feature of the problem has been the most difficult to cope with. Proper medical attention demands that many families have one or more nurses. The Red Cross has undertaken to supply the nurses but has not succeeded in obtaining help that was needed in several cases.
Mr. Schafer who died Saturday was the brother-in-law to George Horst of American Falls. He had been here about six months before the pneumonia took him. He leaves his wife and three small children to mourn his loss. The family and Mr. Horst accompanied the casket to Odessa, Washington where burial services were held.
Criminal To Neglect Vaccination Says Noth
Health Officer Scores Those Who Spread Smallpox When Ordinary Precautions Would Eradicate – Several Cases Reported in City
That there should be no quarantine for smallpox and no effort made to curb its spread is the opinion of Dr. R. F. Noth, county health officer, who has been called during the last week to care for several cases of the disease that have developed among the people of American Falls.
“Vaccination is almost a certain preventative for smallpox,” said the doctor yesterday, “and it should be listed as a crime for anyone to catch it. It is positively preventable and there is no excuse for its spread. People who get it and do not report it until the contagion is spread commit a crime against the city. Even those who report cases are fearful lest their friends find out that they made the report. People should know now that smallpox is the filthiest disease we have and most easily prevented. I am not in favor of quarantining cases as the only people who will catch it are those who will not undergo vaccination. If they will not be vaccinated my opinion is that they should have the smallpox and get it over with.”
Several smallpox cards have been placed about the city during the week and Dr. Noth warns all who have not been vaccinated that this is their first obligation to the community.
Fallen Soldiers Will Be Honored Sunday
Certificates Will Be Presented Parents at Legion Exercises
The following men are on the honor roll of Power county as those who fell in the war with Germany:
Roland Evans, son of L. L. Evans, killed in action September 29, 1918 in battle of the Argonne, with the 362nd infantry, 91st division.
Fred Howard, son of Mrs. Georg Howard, Garfield, Washington, died October 28 on the Meuse-Argonne front. He was killed in action. He was with the second engineers.
John Daniels, son of Mrs. Martha Daniels of Pauline died of the influenza at Camp Fremont.
Albert T. Ralphs, son of Ephriam Ralphs of Rockland was killed September 9th, 1918, with the 347th machine gun battalion during the attack on Sedan.
John Fiemer of Prosperity, died from wounds received in action March 5th, 1918. He was with Company “C” of the 343 infantry.
Robert Hutchinson died on board S. S. Corona from pneumonia. He was with motor truck company 543, M.S.J. 427. …
source: American Falls Press. (American Falls, Idaho), 20 Feb. 1920. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
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American Falls Press. February 20, 1920, Page 3
News of Interest From Nearby Towns and Settlements
There is very little sickness in the valley except colds. Mr. Ripley’s family all have the flu except one small boy. They are getting along nicely. No one was seriously ill at latest reports.
Nearly all the snow is gone here leaving considerable mud. Fall grain is looking nice and green. The mail man makes the trip all the way in the car now.
It is impossible to drive a car over the roads since last Saturday.
Many of the farmers are burning weeds, getting ready for spring plowing.
By Alvin Reading
The eighth grade has received the good news that Albert Cazier is recovering from a serious case of flu.
The sickness of Lavere Kelly shifted his place in the high school play upon Boyd Bevan. The play will be given Friday evening at the Auditorium, 25 and 50 cents.
The grades observed valentines day last Friday with valentine boxes in every room.
(ibid, page 3)
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American Falls Press. February 20, 1920, Page 5
Mrs. Lee Warf has been ill the past two weeks.
Miss Nettie Hauk has returned to her work at the Fall Creek [school?] after a two weeks’ absence on account of sickness.
E. J. Twomey took Mrs. Twomey, who is suffering with inflammatory rheumatism, to the Lava Hot Springs Monday.
Sheriff Geo. Hailson returned Wednesday morning from Walla Walla, Washington. He reports the influenza raging in that section.
A. K. Dahlen, who recently visited his old friends in American Falls is back at his work in Nea Bay, Washington. He was ill with the influenza before he left American Falls but was determined to reach home before it got the better of him. He sends regards to all his oldtime friends.
Miss Inez Gilliett has been a patient at the hospital for the past two weeks with pneumonia.
Mrs. Harvey Anderson is confined to the “flu” ward with a light attack of influenza.
Clark Schlagel is recovering from an attack of influenza.
Roy And Vicinity
Vernon Glasscock is on the sick list this week.
Ivan Clark is on the sick list this week.
Three members of the family of S. E. Bingamun are reported ill with the flu.
The Mt. View school has closed for a few days on account of sickness.
Mrs. Jesse Richards is quite ill presumably with the flu. Dr. Logan was called Tuesday.
Harvey Armstrong had to quit the road work Saturday and go home because he was feeling ill and afraid he was taking down with the flu.
Miss Katherine Reitz is on the sick list with a bad cold or the flu.
(ibid, page 5)
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The Idaho Republican. February 20, 1920, Page 4
In a number of influenza cases in Blackfoot and surrounding territory nursing service is needed, and available nurses are asked to list their names with Mrs. George Holbrook at the city hall or with W. B. Goodnough at the Goodnough Cleaning & Tailoring Co. if they desire to volunteer to take cases where help is required.
Mr. and Mrs. Joe Maxwell are both very ill. Mrs. Maxwell being quite seriously ill.
The baby of Mr. and Mrs. White who live near Springfield has been very ill, but is improving now.
The Westley family are ill with the small pox. Several cases of it are reported in the Grandview district.
Mrs. John Herbert has been taken to the hospital.
The baby of Mr. and Mrs. George Andrews, who has been sick for some time has been very low the past week, and is still very seriously ill.
Mrs. George L. Andrews is suffering with a severe attack of neuralgia.
The D. Edwin Nelson family are reported to be ill with the small pox.
source: The Idaho Republican. (Blackfoot, Idaho), 20 Feb. 1920. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
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The Idaho Republican. February 20, 1920, Page 5
E. J. Benson is ill at his home.
Joe Giles is among the sick folks in Blackfoot this week.
Judge J. H. Anderson has recovered from his recent illness and is now back at his office.
John DeHart, son of J. B. DeHart is improving rapidly from his recent attack of the influenza.
H. H. Kanzelmeyer is confined to the hospital, suffering from an attack of the influenza.
W. R. Dolan and son Martin are confined to their homes with influenza. Mr. Dolan is Central school janitor.
Mark Tuohy, who has been confined to the hospital on account of the influenza is reported to be rapidly improving.
Owing to so much illness there will be no ladies aid meetings in February.
The William Murphy family are out after a siege with the influenza.
The William Jolley family are reported on the influenza list.
The baby of William Brewington is recovering from pneumonia.
Miss Emma Brewington is at her duties in the Ramsey Cash store after a short illness.
Mrs. Ed Johnston, who has been seriously ill with influenza is greatly improved at this writing.
Edith Christensen, assistant cashier in the First National Bank is at her duties after an illness of a few days.
Men began work Monday at the local school putting up a merry-go-round. The children are looking forward to many good times as this is the first play ground equipment at the school.
Elmer Dodge Pneumonia Victim
Elmer Dodge, aged twenty-seven years, died at noon Wednesday, Feb. 18, after a short illness with pneumonia. He was employed at DeKay’s cafe since last October. Tuesday morning he was not feeling well and remained at his home instead of going to work and by Wednesday morning was in a very serious condition, from which he was unable to rally.
Mr. Dodge was married last August to Mrs. Crump, who survives him. Funeral arrangements have not been completed and are in charge of E. T. Peck, funeral director.
(ibid, page 5)
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Shoshone Journal. February 20, 1920, Page 1
Shoshone To Have Hospital
The first step has been taken to provide Shoshone with a well equipped hospital under the direction of a competent trained Nurse.
The doctors have all agreed to support such a hospital and Drs. Dill and Jones have purchased the Joe Vernon estate south and west of town which will be used for the site of the new institution. It is proposed to care for the town and county cases at greatly reduced rates and in return the authorities have given assurance that a good road will be made to the building and the water supply assured. The building is well built and with very little alterations will furnish accommodations for ten ward patients and six private cases.
Additional rooms can easily be added. A system of hot water heating will be installed this summer.
The central location of Shoshone and its railway connections with the country to the north, east and west are such as to emphasize this move to open a general hospital. The location selected could not be improved. It is away from the noise and confusion of the business district and street traffic, on high ground away from the dust and dirt of any traveled highway and should appeal to the whole hearted support of every citizen of the town.
Darrah Community Notes
A number of children have been absent from school on account of colds.
Mr. Hasting is able to be about again after a week’s illness with the grippe.
The Penner family on the upper Darrah ranch have sufficiently recovered from the flu to be out driving their new Chevrolet.
Mrs. D. G. Mitchell is detained in Colo. by the illness of her mother, brother and sister who have the flu.
Mrs. C. Sprenger returned home from Jerome where she has been nursing her daughter, Mrs. Burns, through an attack of small pox.
Darrah Community Health Notes
The nursing class met at Mrs. Winegar’s Tuesday, Feb. 17. Miss Sinclair being away attending a convention at Moscow, the lesson for the text was not touched upon.
The time was taken up with the reading and discussion of the instructions being sent out by the County Board of Health to the teachers and trustees of the schools dealing with the necessity of carefully complying with the state laws in regard to contagious diseases.
The members of the class desire to go on record as being grateful to the department of health for such instructions.
They are anxious to see quarantine regulations rigidly enforced and will give any assistance necessary to that end. They strongly urge that the penalty provided by the state laws for failure on the part of individuals to observe or officers to enforce quarantine be imposed if necessary.
Lincoln county can not afford to be so out of date as to fail to inforce [sic] the laws concerning health.
Mrs. J. W. Stoddard, Community Project Leader
Grange Hall Activities
Wednesday afternoon, Feb. 11th, a meeting was held at the grange hall by the ladies of the Gomes, Jones or new district and Peck districts, for the purpose of organizing a home nursing class and fostering the cooperation and community spirit.
Our county nurse and sixteen other ladies were present, all three districts being represented, but we are looking for every woman who is able to do so to meet us Friday, Feb, 20th, at one o’clock. All meetings are to be held in the grange hall until further notice.
Our work is to be educational to all, along some very important and well as badly neglected lines. Not only nursing but preventing sickness, including contagious diseases and their distressing results.
We also hope in addition to our regular classes to meet Miss Wold, the state clothing specialist and learn some valuable facts regarding remodeling, making and cleaning clothing, millinery, etc.
In addition to organizing, and interesting and instructive afternoon was enjoyed and plans laid for a quantity of good work for the near future.
source: Shoshone Journal. (Shoshone, Idaho), 20 Feb. 1920. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
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Shoshone Journal. February 20, 1920, Page 4
Mrs. George W. Leighty, who resided with her husband and family for three or four years on an enlarged homestead entry near Kimama died of pneumonia following influenza, in Pocatello, last Thursday morning. Mrs. Leighty was a sister of Governor D. W. Davis. Mr. and Mrs. Leighty proved up on their homestead about a year ago. They are well known to a number of Shoshone people, and were popular residents of the Kimama neighborhood. The death of Mrs. Leighty is greatly regretted by all who knew her.
(ibid, page 4)
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Shoshone Journal. February 20, 1920, Page 5
I can not say what the truth may be, I tell the tale as ’twas told to me.
Mrs. Theodore Schneider is confined to her home with an attack of the grippe.
Mrs. Keith Ferguson has been ill for a few days but is now recovering.
Mrs. Lucy L. Sims is able to be out again after having been confined to her home several days with a severe cold.
Mrs. Thomas H. Gooding, Jr., is confined to her bed with an attack of influenza. She is getting along nicely and the attack does not seem to be serious.
Miss Helen Stevenson, a trained nurse from Twin Falls, who has been in Shoshone caring for Mrs. A. E. Vredenburgh during her illness, has returned home.
Miss Lydia Sinclair, County Nurse, is in Moscow this week attending a conference meeting called for all of the employees of the University extension Department.
The home nursing class will meet March 4th with Mrs. Yaden. These meetings are very interesting and instructive and all persons interested are welcome to any of the meetings.
Miss Sinclair, county nurse, went to Nampa Monday afternoon with a patient for the state hospital located at that place.
Mrs. Ruby Morton has gone to housekeeping again after spending the winter with her children.
Coal is plentiful in Shoshone at this time. Purdum & Purdum received two cars the first of the week and the other dealers are said to be well supplied also, having a quantity stored in their bins.
(ibid, page 5)
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The Daily Star-Mirror., February 20, 1920, Page 1
Two New Influenza Cases
Dr. F. M. Leitch, city health officer, reports two new cases of influenza in Moscow in two days, one each for Wednesday and Thursday, February 18 and 19. General conditions show marked improvement and the situation is regarded as highly encouraging.
Father And Daughter Were Buried Together
Word has reached Moscow of the death of Bidwell Cairy, February 14, at Weiser, Idaho, of pneumonia following influenza. His 14 year old daughter also died of the same disease and father and daughter were buried at the same time. He leaves a wife and seven children.
Mr. Cairy was a pioneer of the neighborhood south of Moscow, as was also his wife, whose maiden name was Hawks. Mr. Cairy was a brother of Mrs. Ab Haynes and of Mrs. Joe Millsap.
Admiral Peary Is Dead
Washington. — (By A. P.) — Rear Admiral Robert Edwin Peary, retired, Arctic explorer and discoverer of the north pole, died at his home here today of pernicious anemia, with which he had suffered for several years. The funeral arrangements are uncomplete [sic]. He will be buried with full naval honors.
source: The Daily Star-Mirror. (Moscow, Idaho), 20 Feb. 1920. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
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The Daily Star-Mirror., February 20, 1920, Page 3
Doctor Adair has received word that his daughter, Bernadine, who is attending the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, is rapidly recovering from the flu. Miss Jennie, daughter of Claus Peterson, of Moscow, who is with Miss Adair, and who has been a flu victim, is also recovering. This will be most welcome news to their many Moscow friends, who have been greatly worried since word came telling of their illness.
Mrs. W. A. Adair is in Spokane with her daughter, Mrs. O. E. Shromber. Mrs. Shomber is down with the flu, and has been sick for some two weeks.
C. J. McCollister went to his home at Nezperce today on a short business trip. Mrs. McCollister, who has been very ill of influenza, is now thought to be out of danger.
(ibid, page 3)
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Public School, Moscow, Idaho ca. 1916
Photo courtesy: the Mike Fritz Collection, History of Idaho
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The Daily Star-Mirror., February 21, 1920, Page 1
Mrs. Worley Sells Team
Mrs. Jesse Worley, whose husband was a “flu” victim recently, leaving her with five children, the oldest nine years old, sold her team at auction on the streets of Moscow today. The team brought $137.40, which was better than she had expected. It was a small, driving team. A colt, of little value, brought $50. It was bought by a number of persons for $5 each, and put up and sold again. Mrs. Worley sent a card of thanks to the citizens of Moscow for the help they gave her and to the Star-Mirror for advertising the sale. She has not [?] will probably remain in Moscow this summer.
John Gibb Funeral Sunday
The funeral of John Gibb will be held Sunday at 10 o’clock at his ranch five miles east of Genesee, Rev. Crown, minister of the Presbyterian church at Genesee conducting the services. The body will be brought overland to Moscow and interment will be made at 1 o’clock in the Moscow cemetery. His father, W. N. Gibb, arrived Saturday from California and his brother, William of Boise and sister, Alice, of Oregon, are now at the Gibb home.
Moscow Drama Club Will Present Play
“The Truth” To Be Played By Home Talent Here Tuesday, February 24.
The Drama Club will continue its series of plays, which has been discontinued on account of the influenza epidemic, by a production of “The Truth,” by Clyde Fitch, on Tuesday February 24, at the Guild Hall at 8 o’clock.
source: The Daily Star-Mirror. (Moscow, Idaho), 21 Feb. 1920. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
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The Daily Star-Mirror., February 21, 1920, Page 5
A telegram reached Moscow yesterday evening about 4 o’clock, summoning Mrs. George Rowland to Spokane at once, her parents both being very low with the flu. Mr. and Mrs. Rowland left within a few minutes in their Buick for Spokane, via Colfax, where they were to pick up two of Mrs. Rowland’s brothers.
The county commissioners adjourned their session today, to meet again March 8. Commission Columbus Clark went to his home at Juliaetta and John Cone to Princeton.
(ibid, page 5)
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Irving School, Moscow, Idaho
Photo courtesy: the Mike Fritz Collection, History of Idaho
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The Daily Star-Mirror., February 23, 1920, Page 1
Interesting Talk By Dr. Gilchrist
Woman Physician Tells Of Her Experiences On The Battle Fronts
Friday afternoon, Dr. V. M. Gilchrist gave a talk on her work abroad at the Historical Club. She spoke interestingly of the trip across and of her impressions of London and Paris. The children of the refugees and the French children seemed greatly undernourished, many of them being afflicted with rickets and a large percentage suffering from tuberculosis. During an epidemic of influenza the undernourished refugees seemed to escape when the better fed French people succumbed.
Dr. Gilchrist told of the celebration of the signing of the armistice, which lasted for days in France.
The French people are divided in four classes.
Miss Amy Kelly of the home economics department of the University gave an instructive address on the extension work for the women of Idaho. The success of the agriculture of the state depends on good conditions in the home. Agriculture is important for it produces the raw material that is the basis of all other occupations.
The home job is the broadest of all labors for its branches of work covers many departments. One of the reasons that the rural life should be brought to its best development, is that it is the normal place for the rearing of children.
There are 18 women in the extension work of Idaho.
Miss Kelly stated that those who live dearest our great university often fail to appreciate its advantages. How often that is true. People come many miles to attend Farmers’ and Housekeepers’ week, while those within a few miles of Moscow often fail to attend or take any interest in the splendid demonstrations given at their very door.
Plan State Natatorium
Pocatello, Ida. — Final plans for the construction of a mammoth state natatorium at Lava Hot spring, Idaho are being worked out and it is expected the project will be completed by May 15. The last Idaho legislature passed an act providing for the erection of the plunge which will be modern in all respects. The main swimming tank will be 50×150 feet and private pools and dressing rooms also will be provided. Admission to the plunge will be charged, the funds derived going to the state.
Peary is Laid to Rest
Washington — (By A. P.) — The body of Rear Admiral Peary, discoverer of the north pile, was laid to rest in Arlington cemetery today with full military and naval honors, and with high diplomatic and government officials present. The ceremonies were in charge of the navy department.
source: The Daily Star-Mirror. (Moscow, Idaho), 23 Feb. 1920. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
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The Daily Star-Mirror., February 23, 1920, Page 5
Roy Douglas, clerk at the Hotel Moscow, has returned to his work after a wrestle with the “flu.”
Mrs. Albert Vennigerholz has received a telegram stating the serious illness of her sister-in-law, Mrs. Oliver Schurtz, at Seattle. Mrs. Schurtz was a former resident of Moscow and is well known here.
Birthday Not Observed
There was no general observance of Washington’s birthday in Moscow today. The banks remained closed all day and the postoffice was closed with the exception of the general delivery window from 12:30 to 1:30, and there was no delivery of mail either in the city or on rural routes. The schools were going on, with the exception of a few students of the university being out part of the time. A misunderstanding caused the absence of many students during the afternoon. Word had gone out that there would be no school today but this was later corrected. Special assembly was held in the forenoon, when President Lindley, Dean Cockerell and Charles Darling, a senior, addressed the students. Classes were held during the afternoon with a fair attendance. The county offices were open all day as usual.
(ibid, page 5)
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Moscow High School, Moscow, Idaho ca. 1911
Photo courtesy: the Mike Fritz Collection, History of Idaho
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The Caldwell Tribune. February 24, 1920, Page 3
Local And Personal
Mrs. Ed Meeks is recovering from influenza.
Mr. and Mrs. I. Carson’s little daughter is suffering from an attack of tonsillitis.
Funeral services were held Sunday afternoon at the Case Undertaking parlors for Billy Jesse, the three-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. W. H. Jesse, who died last Friday of pneumonia.
A note from J. W. Cupples indicates that his party is enjoying their stay in the Hawaiian Islands,. According to Mr. Cupples, Hawaii is dominated by Hula girls and Republicans.
source: The Caldwell Tribune. (Caldwell, Idaho), 24 Feb. 1920. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
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The Caldwell Tribune. February 24, 1920, Page 7
Items of Interest From Surrounding Territory
Dr. and Mrs. W. W. Bouer, from Milwaukee, Wis., arrived in Wilder last Tuesday. Dr. Bouer will be associated with Dr. A. B. Boeck in the practice of medicine.
Ten Davis News
Miss Cora Orr teacher in the high school was sick three days last week and was unable to be at school. Marvin McLaughlin taught in her place.
Little Frank Smart has had a relapse of the influenza and is quite sick.
Miss Ruth Miller, intermediate teacher here is ill at the W. M. Gahley home with a severe case of pneumonia. She had just got over the influenza and over exertion caused the relapse. Miss Veda Johnes of Caldwell is substituting for her.
Grace Tucker has been sick all this week. She was unable to attend school.
Mrs. L. E. Small received a telegram Friday afternoon from Portland saying that her brother died from pneumonia Thursday. Mr. and Mrs. Small left on the night train Friday for Portland, the funeral will be held Sunday.
Influenza has abated some and the schools have opened with good attendance.
The mumps have made a visit to this vicinity. Some of the sheep men have had it for some time. Wesley Maxwell has had it for about a week. Thelma Hansbrough was taken down with it last Tuesday.
Mr. Sam Stilzel’s family have all had the influenza but are now recovering.
Mrs. Slaybough is suffering from an attack of pneumonia.
Mr. and Mrs. Cover and baby are recovering from the influenza.
Mrs. Tom Jackson has been suffering from an attack of pleurisy caused by a relapse of the influenza.
Now that the spring work opens up there is a tendency to keep the bigger boys home for work off and on. We hope that the parents will remember that we have the first examination in less than three months and every day counts.
(ibid, page 7)
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The Caldwell Tribune. February 24, 1920, Page 8
College of Idaho Dept.
Miss Margaret Rudy visited in Nampa Sunday with Miss Alta Elmer, who is convalescing from a severe illness.
Prof. Smith returned to his classes Monday after a 3 weeks absence.
(ibid, page 8)
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The Idaho Republican. February 24, 1920, Page 3
The Wilson school was closed last week on account of influenza.
Nathan Goodwin and son are suffering with influenza.
Andrew and Arnold Crystal are among those from this city who have influenza.
Mrs. Hans W. Peterson is very sick at the present writing.
source: The Idaho Republican. (Blackfoot, Idaho), 24 Feb. 1920. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
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The Idaho Republican. February 24, 1920, Page 5
The J. J. Quillin family has recovered from the influenza.
Rscoe [sic] Conklin is suffering from an attack of the influenza.
Miss Veda Booker, teacher at Aberdeen, is reported to be very ill with the influenza.
Mark Tuohy and H. Kanzelmeyer, who have been confined to the hospital with the influenza are able to be out again.
Miss Margurite Van Akin, who has been teaching school at Shelley is at home this week, resting and recovering from a siege of the flu.
Mark Tuohy appeared again Monday morning at his place in the Rowles-Mack store after an illness of more than a week. Mark insists that he did not have the flu but a comeback of malaria that got into his blood while serving as a marine in Cuba for two years.
News Notes From The High School
Interesting Items of the Week’s Doings Written by the Pupils
Mr. Kanzelmeyer, science teacher at the high school is very ill with influenza.
Miss Hay, teacher of Spanish and Latin was ill Tuesday and Wednesday, but was able to resume her work Thursday.
Mrs. LeRoy Jones is substituting for Mrs. Garvin, who has been very seriously ill with influenza.
Miss Ridd of Mackay is substituting for Miss Mauzey; Miss Cherrington, who has been teaching at Thomas, for Miss Schroeder; Miss Brose for Miss Vaughn.
Miriam Pearson substituted for Miss Turman, who is ill with influenza. Miss Burgraff is now teaching that class.
Miss Rushfeldt has been substituting for Mrs. Armstrong.
Miss Carlson has been substituting for Mrs. Dygert.
Pluma Pelkey is substituting for Miss Inglested.
Wayne Kinney was injured last week when a well bucket fell on his head.
(ibid, page 5)
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Bonners Ferry Herald. February 24, 1920, Page 4
Mrs. R. H. McCoy has been ill the past week with an attack of the Spanish influenza.
H. L. Shively has been on the sick list with influenza. He is reported as being in better health today.
Miss Margaret Eagan, bookkeeper at Causton Bros. store, was ill the past week with an attack of influenza.
Mr. and Mrs. W. O. Rosebaugh and daughter, have been on the sick list the past ten days with Spanish influenza.
The county commissioners have ordered paraphernalia for a finger print record for Sheriff Dunning. At the recent meeting of the county sheriffs in Boise, it was recommended that all counties install the same system.
source: Bonners Ferry Herald. (Bonners Ferry, Idaho), 24 Feb. 1920. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
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Bonners Ferry Herald. February 24, 1920, Page 5
C. G. Welch is again able to be up and around after a severe attack of pneumonia.
R. H. McCoy, vice president and the general manager of the Bonners Ferry Lumber Company, was confined to his bed several days last week with an attack of influenza.
J. T. Davis has been engaged to teach the remainder of the term for the Curley creek school. Mrs. Jerry Dore resigned as teacher recently on account of ill health.
Laura Mildred, the five year old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Cowell, died on February 13 from influenza. The funeral was held the following day, services being conducted by Rev. Wilbur.
Curley Creek News Items
That was some supper they gave at P. O. Swanson’s birthday party on the 17th.
(ibid, page 5)
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Bonners Ferry Herald. February 24, 1920, Page 8
Round Prairie News Items
A number of the Copeland young people attended the dance held at the Round Prairie hall on Saturday evening.
Tom Ames of Porthill is laid up with a lame shoulder and his mother has the influenza. This prevented them from attending the dance here Saturday evening.
Carl Rudolph returned this week from Walla Walla, Wash., where he has been stopping at Mr. Greenway’s for some time. He was taken sick with influenza shortly after his return home.
Died of Spanish Influenza
Edward Krum, a section man in the employ of the Great Northern Railway company at Yakt, Mont., died last Friday of Spanish influenza. He was buried Sunday at the Lenia cemetery, Rev. E. R. Henderson, of this city, conducting the services at the grave. The deceased is survived by a widow and two small children.
(ibid, page 8)
When The Pandemic Came To Spokane — 102 Years Ago
NWNews – By Nicholas Deshais March 29, 2020
Note: This story is a collaboration between the public media Northwest News Network, Spokane Public Radio, Northwest Public Broadcasting and the Spokesman-Review.
Two weeks before Spokane went on lockdown, the news was the disease wouldn’t come here.
The newspaper told its readers that “there is no reason to be greatly alarmed” because the “imported type” of viral infection was “not available” here.
The city’s public health officer offered soothing words.
“If Spokane people will sneeze in their handkerchiefs and turn their heads the ‘other’ way when they cough, there is but a remote chance that the city will be attacked,” he told the paper.
They were wrong.
The virus arrived, and the city’s theaters, schools, churches, dance halls and every other place where people gathered were ordered closed, as were events like funerals and weddings.
The year was 1918 – the last time a pandemic reached Spokane. A century has passed, and Spokane and the world are once again contending with quarantine and the powerful role public health officials can play in times of outbreak.
It’s a frightening time, with a sedate city anxiously waiting to see how bad it gets. But some look back to see a way forward.
“My reaction about learning about the disease today, about COVID-19, my first reaction as a historian was to try to give it context,” said Logan Camporeale, a local historian. “Based on the newspaper record, what we did in 1918, in October 1918, is much of what we’re dong in March of 2020.”
Dr. Bob Lutz, the health officer for the Spokane Regional Health District, agreed that 1918 is a good analogy to now.
“I think there are a lot of comparisons to 1918,” Lutz said. “So to say that we’ve been here before, yeah, we’ve been here before a century ago, but not in the recent past. Not in the past anyone here can remember.”
The inability to recall how bad things got here has led people to dismiss the threat, Lutz said.
“I think that we have, as a society, become so independent that when I tell you that I require you to do this, there’s a lot of, ‘Well don’t tell me, I don’t believe it,’” he said. …
That brings up another difference between 1918 and 2020.
“Back then, you did not have testing. Now you have testing,” Lutz said. “Back then you – essentially based upon a constellation of symptoms – you said this person had flu and you treated them accordingly. Now we have a constellation of symptoms, which is consistent with COVID-19, and we have a test for COVID-19, but we don’t have the testing materials to provide the evidence.”
In other words, people don’t believe the outbreak is here until there is a test confirming it’s here. And if they don’t believe it’s here, they won’t follow Lutz’s recommendations for social distancing.
“To some degree, until people truly believe that it is here, they are pushing back against a lot of the social distancing recommendations that we are providing,” Lutz said.
As testing proved on March 14 that the novel coronavirus had arrived in Spokane, Lutz urged people to take it seriously.
“We’ve not had anything of this complexity and severity for a century,” he said.
War Brings Flu Home
… The 1918-19 influenza pandemic infected 500 million people worldwide, and killed between 17 and 100 million people – upwards of 5% of the human population.
It didn’t spare the U.S., where more than 500,000 people died. Joseph Waring, a medical historian in South Carolina, called it “the greatest medical holocaust in history.” And Isaac Starr, in the Annals of Internal Medicine, ranked it as “one of the three most destructive human epidemics” along with the Justinian plague in the year 541 and the Black Death in the mid-1300s.
At the same time, the world was seeing the end of what would later be called World War I, referred to at the time as the Great War.
The so-called “War to End All Wars” would result in the deaths of 9 million combatants and 7 million civilians, making it the third deadliest war ever, behind World War II and the Mongol conquests of the 13th century.
It’s no coincidence the war and influenza pandemic struck at the same time.
Though the war began in Europe in 1914, the U.S. didn’t join the Allies until 1917. The draft was extended, and the Army went from having tens of thousands of troops to millions.
While theories compete about the flu’s source, there is no argument that it was ravaging the soldiers in Europe in 1917, where the newly expanded American Army was headed.
During their tours, men from around the world, including Americans, lived in tight, squalid conditions that “favored the transmission of influenza. Men moved between camps frequently and went overseas and back, facilitating the transmission of the disease over even wider areas,” wrote Keirsten Snover in her 2008 master’s degree thesis for Eastern Washington University called “The Spanish Influenza Epidemic of 1918-1919: The Spokane Experience.”
“Because of the war, what might have been a limited epidemic quickly became a pandemic, with troops spreading infection all over the globe,” Snover wrote.
“Fear Of Influenza”
Dr. John Anderson was strolling down Riverside Avenue in downtown Spokane when a man spit on the sidewalk in front of him – a common, if foul, occurrence.
It was also an arrestable offense, as the man would soon find out.
The year was 1918, and Spokane was under something like martial law – but instead of the military giving orders, it was the public health authority.
And Dr. Anderson, Spokane’s chief public health officer, called the shots.
The man wasn’t arrested. Instead, Anderson ordered him to wipe his own spittle off the sidewalk, which he did, with Anderson watching.
The date was Oct. 8, and Anderson could be forgiven for his extreme reaction. He and 17 Spokane physicians had just met to discuss a telegram they’d received from T.D. Tuttle, the state commissioner of health, urging them to ban public gatherings.
Anderson and the doctors agreed. At midnight that day, Oct. 8, all theaters, schools, churches, dance halls and every other place where people gathered were ordered closed, as were events like funerals and weddings.
When Anderson ordered the closure of most of Spokane’s public places, there were few who protested, even if most people didn’t believe or understand the danger of influenza. The city streets were “as sparsely filled as in a blizzard,” The Spokesman-Review reported.
The first day of those quiet streets – Oct. 9, 1918 – Spokane had its first reported flu death.
In an article titled “Epidemic grows, girl succumbs,” the Spokesman reported the death of Vera Wood, 17, the daughter of “pioneers of the Sprague region” who lived near the old Spokane University in Spokane Valley. She was “stricken last Saturday,” and contracted the flu from her brother, Vernon Wood, a Lewis and Clark High School student. He recovered, she didn’t.
It was later reported that James Alphea Howe was the first 1918 influenza death. When he died on Oct. 5, 1918, it was first thought the 79-year-old had succumbed to pneumonia, but later ascribed to influenza.
The cases piled up. By Oct. 10, 1918, there were 220 reported cases of influenza in Spokane and Anderson ordered all doctors in the city to file daily reports with him. The city’s hospitals were at capacity and Anderson saw the situation deteriorating.
Anderson and the local Red Cross formulated a plan to transform one of the city’s hotels into a hospital. Near the corner of Lincoln Street and First Avenue, the Lion Hotel was perfect. It had big and small rooms, and was centrally located near Deaconess Hospital.
On Oct. 16, the city seized the Lion Hotel to convert for people “with severe cases or those who were homeless,” according to the newspaper. The owners objected, and the following day the Spokane Daily Chronicle reported Anderson’s indifference to their concerns.
“We don’t care a rap what the owners of the building think about it or about us,” Anderson said. “We don’t propose to haggle with them over it. This is a very serious emergency and if the owners of the Lion Hotel think they can put a dollar in one side of the scale and a human life in the other and get away with it they are very, very badly mistaken.”
It was just the beginning of Anderson’s increasingly belligerent tone against people who disagreed with his measures to combat the flu. The number of reported cases was growing by 75 each day, and the total stood at 815 when the Lion became an influenza ward.
In the family papers of Robert O’Brien, old newsletters tell the story of Mary Philomena O’Brien, who volunteered to care for WWI soldiers as well as those afflicted with the 1918 flu. She died of the flu after caring for patients. Credit: Jesse Tinsley/The Spokesman-Review
Two days later, on Oct. 18, a total of 15 people had died from the flu, and Anderson put Spokane under an even stricter quarantine: gatherings in private clubs were now banned, and passengers on the city’s streetcars were no longer allowed to stand in the aisle and hang on a strap if the seats were full.
On Oct. 23 – just two weeks after the city’s first death – the city had its worst day yet, with 300 new cases reported. Anderson was furious, blaming lax adherence to his measures, and promised to squelch such activities.
“It has been brought to my attention that some people have disobeyed the order by giving private social affairs at their homes,” he said. “Upon the first information I have that such a thing is being planned, we will appear on the scene and arrest the ringleaders without respect to their prominence or social standing.”
Four days later, Anderson was “shocked” to see 1,500 people gather at the Great Northern Depot, site of the clocktower in Riverfront Park, to see young men go off to war. He banned public send-offs of the troops then and there.
“There is a difference between wholesome fear of influenza and morbid dread of the disease,” Anderson told the Chronicle. “Spokane people, for their own good, must realize the difference.”
If he couldn’t get them to fear the disease, he would rule the city with an iron, health-minded fist. He considered shutting the entire city down, except grocery stores and restaurants, but backed off without explanation. Instead, he outlawed Halloween masks, and ordered police to stop masked trick-or-treaters.
“Small Plants Called Germs”
As a doctor, Anderson was well-versed in his day’s theories of sickness and health.
But he, like everyone else in 1918, didn’t know that influenza was a virus, a fact only revealed in 1933 when the human influenza virus was first isolated from a pig. Since its identity as a virus wasn’t yet known, there was no flu vaccine, and would not be on widely available until 1945.
But Anderson knew about germ theory, and he was happy to explain it to those who balked at his strict measures.
“Spanish influenza is caused by very small plants called germs that come from the mouth or nose of persons suffering from it,” he told the Chronicle. “The person gets the germ into his body by breathing into the nose or mouth the drops or spray that have been sneezed or coughed out into the air by a person sick with influenza or else he gets the germs into his body by putting into his mouth something soiled by the spit of a sick person.”
In a full-page ad in the Spokesman, the city’s health department told people, “Don’t Be Alarmed – Be Careful!” The ad advised people to go to bed if they were feeling sick, keep the windows open, take laxatives and consume milk, eggs and broth every four hours. Nurses were told to wear a mask and wash their hands frequently. Workers were urged to avoid streetcars, walk to work and “eat good, clean food.”
Nowadays, the explanation and remedies seem less than satisfactory, and we have a more nuanced understanding of viruses.
In short, a virus is so small and simple it’s not considered a living thing. Instead, it invades living things, and only once it has infected a life form does it replicate. The only identifiable function of a virus is to reproduce, and it will reproduce until the cell it has invaded bursts, sending its millions of duplicates out to invade more cells.
The 1918 influenza virus went by a few names back then: Influenza, the Spanish flu, la grippe, the grip.
Now, we know it as H1N1, which describes the type of proteins that make up the virus, as well as its shape. It’s also called swine flu. …
When H1N1 struck in 1918, it decimated the usual victims – the very young, and the very old. But it was unusually fatal for healthy adults as well.
In his book “The Great Influenza,” John Barry writes that the immune systems of healthy adults “mounted massive responses to the virus. That immune response filled the lungs with fluid and debris, making it impossible for the exchange of oxygen to take place.”
Instead of saving them, the immune systems drowned their masters.
Despite his odd description of the germ-plants, Anderson showed that he and other medical professionals knew how the virus was spread: through the air and by an exchange of fluids between the healthy and the infected.
War Is Over
As November 1918 began, the war and flu raged on, and things weren’t looking good in Spokane.
It hadn’t even been a month since the first H1N1 death, and the city had tallied 4,000 flu cases and more than 100 dead. There weren’t enough doctors and nurses to staff the city’s many sick wards.
Anderson told the Chronicle the “situation is grave … really serious, more serious than the general public seems to realize.”
On Nov. 4, the state health board issued a new order: Everyone had to wear a mask while out in public, including at stores and restaurants. The masks had to be a certain size – 5 by 6 inches – with six layers of sewn-and-bound gauze.
Two days later, the local Red Cross sold the masks at City Hall. Two types of masks were priced at 5 or 10 cents and all 500 sold out in a half-hour. Hundreds of people were turned away. The Red Cross hastily made 4,000 more masks, but they hung loosely on the face and were unpopular and uncomfortable.
The next day, 800 masks were sold in the first half-hour. The paper tallied the dead at 117.
On Nov. 9, the front-page of the Chronicle screamed in large, bold letters, “Kaiser Quits.” The war was over, at least in Europe. Anderson tried to cool any hearts that may have been warmed by the news.
“Stay home all you can. Order your merchandise over the telephone. Don’t forget to keep your windows open both night and day and keep in the fresh air as much as possible and comply with all rules and regulations,” Anderson said.
He was ignored. With the end of war, celebrations broke out around Spokane on Nov. 11, Armistice Day, including a parade on Riverside Avenue. Thousands of motorists and marchers created a “bedlam of sound” with horns, klaxons, tin cans, streetcar whistles and gongs. The parade, which started at 1 p.m., continued deep into the night. Public parties lasted throughout the day.
More than 4,500 Spokane men had gone to war, and more than 200 had died in the fight. Anderson, fighting to prevent more death, knew he couldn’t stop the celebration, but lamented that the “merrymakers as a rule disregarded the mask rule as a hindrance to their vocal powers.”
The same day, the state health commissioner lifted the mask rule, and news of his ruling reached Spokane that evening and “immediately circulated among a population already in the midst of celebrating the end to the war,” according to the Influenza Encyclopedia, a website with an account of the illness in the city based on newspaper reports of the time.
Anderson, buoyed by peace, said he thought all the restrictions could be lifted soon.
With Anderson – and therefore probably most of the city – believing the flu was on its way out, the Spokesman wrote a fawning profile of the health officer, saying “it is probably fair to say that he has earned the respect and admiration of his fellow citizens in a way no other public official of Spokane has approached.”
Anderson used logic to convince his fellow citizens, the profile said. Failing that, he wielded power.
In the profile, Anderson likens his fight against the flu to the war won in Europe. More to the point, he demanded the power of a general to finally vanquish his “invisible enemy.”
“It is just as necessary to concentrate responsibility and authority in one man here as on the battlefield. Perhaps more so, for the soldier fights a visible foe while the health authorities and the physician are combating an invisible enemy. All we see is results of the foe’s strength,” he said. “It is prompt action which saves the day, and we know it as never before after this epidemic.” …
As December 1918 began, nothing changed. Every day, 200 cases of the flu were reported. Still, Anderson believed the flu was waning, lifted some restrictions and said school would be in session again, after seven weeks of closure. Theaters were allowed to open, but with strict temperature and humidity controls.
At a time before radio and television, the bored people of Spokane rejoiced. Social life would begin again, just in time for the holidays.
It didn’t last. The flu roared, and the city counted 231 dead. Anderson blamed the war celebrations and recent Thanksgiving gatherings.
“Keep away from crowds,” he said. “Influenza is a crowd disease. The present increase should convince the most skeptical that the gatherings of the Thanksgiving week have been dangerous.”
Local businesses affected by the flu ban were gathering signatures to have it lifted. “They might as well save their ink,” said the city’s health officer. Credit: Spokesman-Review Archives
On Dec. 3, 300 new influenza cases were reported and again the city’s schools were ordered shut. Anderson again recommended a full ban on public gatherings, causing a “near-riot” at a city board of health meeting on Dec. 6.
“Hooting, hissing and cat-calling came from the back of the room, and one man had to be cautioned by police Sgt. Daniel to keep quiet or leave the room,” reported the Chronicle.
Facing a would-be mob, Anderson and the board compromised: Churches would be allowed one service each week, but with no singing because it “acts as a releaser of germs during the singing, nearly the same as during coughing, and that would be dangerous.” Theaters could remain open, but would have to “close between the hours of 5 and 7 p.m., to air out the theater building.”
That day, there were 342 new cases of the flu and eight deaths.
Despite the death and disease, business owners were tired of the forced closures, and people were too. The Empress Theater, at Riverside and Browne Street, violated the quarantine. Two health inspectors went to the theater and found “84 people standing in the lobby, in direct violation of the quarantine order,” Anderson said. There also were children under 12 in attendance and the gallery was overcrowded. When the health inspectors ordered the lobby cleared, “management paid no heed.”
If the Empress tried to reopen, Anderson said he’d arrest the manager, the ticket seller, the doorkeeper and every other employee.
Later that week, with deaths tallied at 374, the owner of the Hippodrome on Howard Street said he was closing the theater for good, and blamed the financial losses stemming from the quarantine.
The next day, Dec. 17, a coalition of theater owners said they had collected several thousand signatures asking for the end of the ban on public gatherings.
“Those petitions will have as much effect on me as water on a duck’s back,” Anderson said. “The people circulating and signing the petitions might just as well save their ink.”
He said the partial ban would go on until January and suggested the business people were putting profits ahead of the public good. “A dollar is good, but it is no good to a dead man,” he said.
Around this time, Anderson outlawed Christmas and New Year’s celebrations.
Forget All About The Flu
Over the next few weeks, the situation improved. The worst was over. On Dec. 30, Anderson announced all restrictions would be lifted at noon New Year’s Day, and schools would reopen Jan. 2.
Even Anderson’s rhetoric shifted.
“Forget all about the ‘flu.’ Dismiss it from your mind,” Anderson said, according to the Jan. 4, 1919, paper. “I believe everybody would be better off if they would just forget all about the ‘flu.’ I don’t mean by this that people should mingle with persons who have the disease, but I do mean that people should get away from the idea that if they have a little pain or ache they should think it is the influenza. Just quit thinking about it as much as possible. This is my suggestion.”
On Jan. 13, Anderson closed the Lion Hotel hospital, which “truly signaled the end of Spokane’s epidemic,” according to the Influenza Encyclopedia. Over 89 days, the hospital had treated 617 people and saw 68 deaths.
By the end of the flu’s course through Spokane, some 17,000 Spokanites got the flu, and 1,045 died. The severity of the disease in Spokane led to a higher death rate than in Seattle. And its three “peaks” – two in October and one in December – were more than the typical American city, which saw just two.
The number of cases and deaths would grow outside of this October-to-February window, but Anderson wouldn’t stay in Spokane to see it all the way through. Deaths would continue to mount after February 1919, but at a slower rate.
On April 18, Anderson was given a farewell reception by the employees of the city health office and members of the Rivercrest Contagion Hospital, according to the May 10 edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
He was retiring as the city’s health officer after eight years and had been named the state commissioner of health. …
(also posted Feb 28, 2021)
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