Idaho History Jan 9, 2022

Idaho 1918-1920 Influenza Pandemic

Part 88

Idaho Newspaper Clippings March 19, 1920

Blackfoot School Bus – 1920’s.

SchoolBusBlackfoot1920-aLee Christopherson, bus driver

Photo from: Bingham County Historical Society. (Courtesy Kim Stephens.)

March 19

Cottonwood Chronicle. March 19, 1920, Page 1


Plan Hospital For Community
Matter To Be Taken Up By Commercial Club Monday

Plans for a hospital for Cottonwood have received attention from time to time but it was not until a few weeks ago that the matter was again revived toward the accomplishment of this enterprise. The time is here that Cottonwood needs such an institution. The expense and inconvenience of going to Lewiston or still further for hospital services are double of what they would be if such service could be secured here in Cottonwood.

The many deaths resulting from the Flu epidemic due in many cases to lack of nursing and hospital facilities have brought a new enthusiasm and determination on the part of the people of this community to secure a hospital for Cottonwood. The need of a hospital has long been felt but at no time more than during the present Flu epidemic from which we are just emerging. Doctors found it impossible to get around to make all the calls made for them and sufficient nurses could not be secured to take care of the sick. With a hospital many of the patients could have been taken there and have had better nursing and constant attention from the doctor and at much less expense than under present conditions when a doctor must visit every home afflicted and unless some friends or neighbor is available a separate nurse must be provided, who if the patients were in the hospital could take care of three or four patients. However aside from such epidemics that occasionally sweep the country there are many cases demanding hospital care that now have to be taken to Lewiston, Spokane or Portland whereby a heavy expense of railroad fare and living expenses of some member of the family accompanying the sick person is incurred, which would be eliminated if we had a hospital here. Oftentimes the patient suffers terribly from the trip and again many cases will not permit of the delay incident to traveling such distance and must be taken care of at once and not many homes have the facilities to properly take care of the patient. Cottonwood can secure a hospital if a little effort is put forth as the people almost without exception favor such a project, in fact many farmers have voluntarily offered their help in money and good will to see the thing through. So let us get busy. Everybody put his shoulder to the wheel and we will be surprised how easy it will be. The Commercial Club will have a luncheon next Monday to which everyone is invited at which time the matter will be considered and no doubt plans formulated to immediately proceed with the project.
— —

Visiting Mr. Agnew

Dr. Connor of Oakland, Calif., brother-in-law of Mr. H. T. Agnew, and Mrs. Chrisholm of Fargo, North Dakota and Mrs. James Aspoas of Superior, Wis., sisters of Mr. Agnew arrived Saturday night for a visit with Mr. Agnew and family who have had about two months siege of the Flu. No family in the community has been harder hit by the Flu than the Agnew family, for a time the entire family being down and two nurses were constantly in attendance and sometimes three. Several of the nurses contracted the Flu while nursing there, necessitating several changes of nurses and for a while a change of doctors while Dr. Orr was suffering with the dreaded malady. Mr. Agnew himself seems to have had the worst case of any of the family and is still bed fast although never critically ill seems unable to regain his strength and it is likely to be several weeks before he can get out. The sympathy of the entire community is extended the Agnews, who although residents here for only a short while have made hosts of friends who wish them speedy recovery and are willing to do anything that can be done for them.

source: Cottonwood Chronicle. (Cottonwood, Idaho), 19 March 1920. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
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Cottonwood Chronicle. March 19, 1920, Page 2

County Seat News Items

A. R. Harlan and two daughters, Miss Opal and Mrs. O. T. Lingo, returned on Saturday night’s train from Rochester, Minn., where they went some weeks ago. While away Mrs. Lingo underwent a very successful operation for goiter and while she is still weak is getting along in good shape. Miss Opal did not have the contemplated operation on account of her health. Shortly after arriving she contracted the “flue” [sic] and the Mayo Bros. advised against it.
— —

Just Scales Ill

The district court at Grangeville was adjourned until March 25 because of the illness of Judge Scales. Judge Scales is confined to his home because of a slight indisposition and it was learned he is suffering from a light attack of the influenza.

(ibid, page 2)
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Cottonwood Chronicle. March 19, 1920, Page 6

School Notes

(By Wm. A. Lustie)

Mr. Hannon is still on the sick list.

Miss Sweet has declared April 23 to be Arbor Day for Idaho county.

Why are minors in Cottonwood allowed to frequent pool-rooms and to smoke cigarettes? Do the citizens of Cottonwood think it is alright?

(ibid, page 6)
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Cottonwood Chronicle. March 19, 1920, Page 8

Cottonwood And Vicinity
Personal Mention and Local Happenings of the Week in This Vicinity.

Mr. and Mrs. T. C. Keith returned Tuesday evening from a week’s visit at Yakima. The short vacation has greatly improved his strength and Wednesday morning T. C. again resumed management of the Cottonwood Mercantile Co. after a forced layoff caused by influenza.

Sheriff Eller and wife and Mr. and Mrs. Bert Tefft of Grangeville were in Cottonwood Wednesday to attend the funeral of Mrs. Myrtle Smith, who died at Clarkston last Sunday.

Joe Eller of Greencreek was in the city Wednesday to attend the funeral of Mrs. Myrtle Smith, who as buried here on that date.

If you are not in favor of paving and want to get converted, drive your car up King street somewhere about opposite the Catholic church and from reports we have had about a certain mud hole there, you will be baptized in mud so deep that it will take a team of good horses to pull you out and the conversion to paved streets will be a living faith with you ever after.
— —

Dies At Mt. Angel

Word was received in the city of the death of Mrs. John B. Aichlmayr, wife of John Aichlmayr, former residents of this section of the country.

Mr. Aichlmayr and his wife removed from here to Clarkston some time ago and last fall removed to Mt. Angel, Oregon to make their future home. Mrs. Aichlmayr died of pneumonia and pleurisy brought on by influenza. Mr. Aichlmayr was also afflicted with influenza and according to word received here is still very sick with pneumonia. Mrs. Aichlmayr is a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ben Von Tersch, prominent people of the Ferdinand section.
— —

Died At Clarkston

Mrs. Myrtle A. Smith, wife of W. D. Smith, and a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. W. H. Beasley, died at Clarkston, Sunday afternoon from complications caused from child birth. Mr. and Mrs. Smith and family until last fall were residents of this section, having made their home on a farm 5 miles northwest of Cottonwood.

(ibid, page 8)
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The Kendrick Gazette. March 19, 1920, Page 1


Aletha May Deobald

Aletha May Deobald, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Carl Deobald of Potlatch ridge, passed away last Monday. Her death was caused by a complication of diseases following influenza. She was nearly two years old at the time of her death.

The funeral was held on American ridge, Rev. Anderson having charge of the services.
— —

Big Bear Ridge

The program and Pie social to be given at the Steele school house Saturday evening was postponed on account of rain, to Saturday evening, March 20th at 7:30 p.m. Cake and coffee will also be served. Come for a good time, and to help make this a success.

Miss Delcie White closed a successful term of school at Taney Friday. Miss Claribel Ingie is teaching the remaining two weeks so Miss White could accept a four months term at Baker, Oregon. She departed Saturday and began teaching there Monday.
— —

Southwick Items

Elton McCoy of Canada has been seriously ill with pneumonia, following an attack of the flu. Mrs. Clarence Grant sends word that Elton’s condition has improved considerably.

Mrs. Claud King is so much improved in health that Mrs. Triplett, who has been nurse for her daughter, returned home Monday.

Mrs. J. M. McIver of Canada is recovering from an attack of flu.

Mr. Wm. Hewett who came from Sunnyside recently, was taken sick almost as soon as he arrived here, but is improving again.

Mr. Frank Thompson is home from the Carither’s Hospital at Moscow, where an operation was performed on his foot the latter part of January. Mr. Thompson stood the trip home nicely, last Monday.
— —

Linden Items

Miss Eva Smith went to White Bird Tuesday to attend the closing day exercises of the “New Starr” school where Miss Anna Smith has just closed a successful seven months term.
— —

Word comes from the sheriff’s office that anyone seen running an automobile without a license will be arrested and fined. Notice was given that after March 15, this law would be rigidly enforced. The law is plain the matter and will have to be followed by automobile owners.
— —

19200319KG2Random Shot

I shot an arrow into the air; it fell to earth, I knew not where, till a neighbor said that it killed his calf, and I had to pay him six and a half ($6.50).

I bought some poison to slay some rats, and a neighbor swore that it killed his cats; and, rather than argue across the fence, I paid him four dollars and fifty cents. ($4.50).

One night I set sailing a toy balloon, and hoped it would soar till it reached the moon; but the candle fell out on a farmers straw, and he said I must settle or go to law.

And that is the way with the random shot; it never hits in the proper spot; and the joke you spring, that you think so smart, may leave a wound in some fellow’s heart.

– Ex.

source: The Kendrick Gazette. (Kendrick, Idaho), 19 March 1920. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
— — — —

The Kendrick Gazette. March 19, 1920, Page 2

Leland Items

Dr. Stoneburner returned from Lewiston, Wednesday.

With the good weather prevailing the farmers will begin the spring seeding next week, the plowing having been almost completed last fall.
— —

Teakean and Cavendish

Mrs. Fred Choate, Jr., was taken to Lewiston a short time ago to undergo an operation for abscess.

Rain all last week but the roads in rather bad condition in this vicinity.

Bruce Dancy traded his car for some hogs.

(ibid, page 2)
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The Kendrick Gazette. March 19, 1920, Page 8


Mrs. N. C. Thomas recovered the first of the week from quite a severe siege of illness.

Dr. J. W. Stoneburner of Leland went to Lewiston Tuesday afternoon on professional business.

Dr. Stoneburner returned from Lewiston Wednesday morning. He said that it was found to be necessary to operate on Herman Meyer. A section of one rib was removed and the lung tapped. Dr. Stoneburner believes he will recover as he stood the operation very well.

(ibid, page 8)
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The Idaho Recorder. March 19, 1920, Page 4


Boyle Creek

Mrs. Bowler has been on the sick list the last few days.

Mrs. Wm. Sutter was called to Tendoy Tuesday on account of the illness of her daughter, Miss Hattie Sutter, who has been staying with Mrs. Chas. Carlson the past month.
— —

Long Ride And Walk In Deep Snow, From Interior

Mrs. Werrick, mother of Walter Wade, Three Forks rancher and stockman, rode to Salmon last Tuesday alone. She is more than sixty years of age. This side of Leesburg Mrs. Werrick was met in the way by Ferrill Terry, the stage man, who found her leading her horse. He thought there might be danger for her in the deep snow and when he reached Leesburg he telephoned to Ray Dryer to go up and meet her. The Dryers and Mrs. Werrick were neighbors when the former lived at Three Forks. Accordingly Mr. Dyer hurried up the mountain road. Mrs. Werrick was still trudging along leading her horse, being unable to remount. It was then 9 o’clock. She is now visiting the Dryer home before taking the train on a visit outside. The old lady did not suffer at all in her long ride and walk but expressed her gratitude both to Mr. Terry and to Mr. Dryer for coming to her assistance.

source: The Idaho Recorder. (Salmon City, Idaho), 19 March 1920. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
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The Idaho Recorder. March 19, 1920, Page 5

19200319IR2Pine Creek Victim of Flu

Thomas Hardy, who was among the first of the lower Salmon river persons attacked, died of the flu at the home of his mother, Mrs. Stewart, on Pine creek, on Tuesday, March 16. Pneumonia developed after the patient had shown marked improvement and indeed after he had been pronounced well on the road to recovery. The mother of the young man is the widow of Scotty Stewart and he was born in Scotland about 25 years ago.
— —

Spring Creek

We have had snow, rain, sunshine and other whimsical weather stunts.

(ibid, page 5)
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The Idaho Recorder. March 19, 1920, Page 8

Leadore And Upper Lemhi


Mrs. Maurice Martell has been on the sick list during the past week but is now very much improved.

A baby was born at Junction some fourteen years ago and during all this time has never been able to stand alone till the past two weeks. The youngster is known as the “Baby Joe.” His daddy says it wasn’t tal-a neck but hammer and drill treatments that put Joe on his feet. He knows.

The meadow larks have come, and, not being able to find the meadow, may not stay.

Leadore School Notes

Little Emma Purcell, who had a severe attack of pneumonia, is recovering rapidly. Miss Roberts, a Salmon nurse, is with her.

Ethel Maes is back in school after a two weeks’ illness.
— —

City Water and a Church

About this time some enterprising citizen should get a franchise for a water system. The time is ripe and the city is very much in need. It will help hold the city together. It will be an inducement for outsiders to come here. A few trees, flowers and grass would make our little city beautiful and within two years would pay the promoter a big interest on the capital invested. And a good live church with a resident preacher will appeal to the better class of home-seekers far more than three or four poker joints even though they were open every night. A live church wields a powerful influence against such institutions. Let’s get the church and and make the tinhorn work.
— —

All Kinds of Mud

Mud, deep mud, soft mud, sticky mud – any old kind of mud. We haven’t a word to say against it. There never was mud before that could compare with this mud. We are glad to see the mud; it’s the best mud what is.
— —

Two Crews Were Stalled

Last Sunday the rotary left here about four o’clock a.m. to open the road over the divide to allow passage for the Armstead train and both got stuck in drifts of the “beautiful,” and early Monday morning a crew on an extra engine left with coffee and sandwiches for the passengers and crews of the stalled trains. Sunday’s blizzard was one of the severest of the winter.

Some people are just mean enough to lay the responsibility of Sunday’s blizzard onto the shoulders of Harry Knight. Several old-timers got to figuring things relative and claim that Harry has brought a tie-up every trip. If there were snow whales Harry would stand a pretty good chance of being thrown overboard.

(ibid, page 8)
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Shoshone Journal. March 19, 1920, Page 1


Shoshone Hospital Notes

Fred Riggin and his helpers began the alterations on the hospital building Monday. The plans call for the enclosing of the two large porches on the east side – One of these will be used for the nurse’s sitting room – The west half of the front porch will be enclosed making a room 16×10 which will be used as the office and reception room for visitors. A toilet and lavatory will be built down stairs. In the attic two rooms 14×15 will be finished for nurses sleeping rooms. This will give seven rooms for the working staff of the hospital. For the care of patients, there will be two large wards each of which can accommodate five patients. These rooms are on the first floor. On the second floor will be the operating rooms, bath rooms and five private rooms for patients. The house-keeper is already busy getting the house cleaned and the man in charge of the grounds is on the job. The hospital will have its own cows and hens and raise all its vegetables. The papers for incorporation have gone to Boise.
— —

High School Notes

Pearl Hainsworth is on the sick list this week with the mumps.

The D. S. class wishes to express their gratitude to Miss Smith who so kindly refrained from giving exams last Friday.

St. Patrick’s day was not observed as well as might be as for as COLOR was concerned. Of course the usual number was tardy.

To the great delight of members of the “flunker’s class”, Mr. Werrell announced Monday that the class had been abolished. Those who failed in some subjects were made to stay after school every night until 4:15. The reason the flunkers had been abolished was because the pupils had advanced so well in the subjects.
— —


The well which supplies the town of Richfield with water went dry about ten days ago, and it has become necessary for the water users to haul water in tanks from Little Wood River. It is not known why the well has gone dry unless it is because of the general lack of moisture which is being experienced in this part of the country. It is a great inconvenience and has of course put the village water works entirely out of commission.
— —

Dietrich Precinct Notes

O. E. Borden is confined to the house with illness that may be flu.

J. M. Clark is sufficiently improved in health as to be able to settle down again to railroad work in Dietrich. He and Mrs. Clark now occupy the upper rooms of the depot building and the village is well pleased to have them among us again.

A. M. Smith who has been acting station agent here in Mr. Clark’s absence, and has made many friends in our little community, has returned to his former position at Glenn’s Ferry handling lightening.

Bernard Town has turned his attention towards railroad work and is now assisting Mr. Clark in the work of the station.
— —

Dietrich School Notes

A bunch of the young people went to a St. Patrick’s dance at Richfield on the 17th.
— —

Darrah Community Notes

Mrs. Winigar has been sick with a severe cold.

Mrs. Bert Calhoun has been ill with flu.

The work hands on the middle Darrah ranch experienced a little shock when one of the hands broke out with something resembling small pox.

source: Shoshone Journal. (Shoshone, Idaho), 19 March 1920. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
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Shoshone Journal. March 19, 1920, Page 4

Additional Local News

Mr. and Mrs. E. L. Clinger and daughter, Miss Erma, were all confined to their home last week with an attack of influenza.

County Superintendent, L. M. Burnside, was called to Wendell Friday evening on account of the illness of her daughter, Mrs. Fred W. Chapman and her two children, all of whom are having an attack of the influenza.

Miss Leoma McFall who was attending school at Moscow, has returned home from Hot Lakes where she spent a number of days. Miss McFall states that due to ill health she was unable to finish her freshman year at Moscow.

Several automobile loads of Shoshone people went to Gooding last Friday to attend the aviation show given by Hugh Barker and Jude Furcht. All reported a most interesting exhibit.

(ibid, page 4)
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Shoshone Journal. March 19, 1920, Page 5

Local Items
I can not say what the truth may be, I tell the tale as ’twas told to me.

Mrs. J. W. Lundin is on the sick list this week.

George W. Stoner, has just returned from three months spent at Centerville, Iowa, his old home. He had an attack of the flu while away, but excepting that misfortune, had a good time visiting with his relatives and old friends. This is his first visit to his former home in many years.

Sheriff Clarence Wheeler returned Friday night after an absence of about six weeks most of which time he was in Minneapolis taking treatment in a hospital. He also visited his parents at his old home in Iowa. He has returned much improved in health.

A number of the Shoshone young people attended the box social held at the Grange Hall on Big Wood River Saturday evening.

(ibid, page 5)
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American Falls Press. March 19, 1920, Page 4


Roy and Vicinity

Mr. and Mrs. C. G. Bartlett returned from Washington last week where they had gone for Mrs. Bartlett’s health several weeks ago. We are glad to state that Mrs. Bartlett has returned much improved.

An accident that was very near serious occurred in front of Jim Hartley’s Saturday night when a car driven by Mr. Wixson ran over a dog and turned turtle landing in a ditch. Mrs. Wixson and Mr. and Mrs. Hendricks, the other occupants of the car, were badly shaken and it was thought that Mrs. Wixson and Mr. Hendricks were suffering internal injuries, but from last reports everyone seemed to be getting along nicely.

The graveling of the road between Landing and Roy under the supervision of Marvin Robinson was finished Saturday.
— —

Lower Rock Creek

The Kramer family are all able to be out again since the flu visited their home.

The dance committee of the Eliasen school will give a masquerade at the school house March 26th. J. O. Cotant will furnish the music and P. O. Sheer the masks. The general public is invited to attend. Lunch will be served during the evening by the committee. Put on your mask and jazz shoes. We furnish the rest.
— —


Lidia Walters has been confined to her home the past week with pneumonia.

Several of the farmers began pulverizing their summer fallow last week.

John Deeg is the proud owner of a new Ford car.

source: American Falls Press. (American Falls, Idaho), 19 March 1920. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
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American Falls Press. March 19, 1920, Page 5

Local Briefs

Dr. and Mrs. Danner left the first of the week for Pocatello where the doctor has gone for medical aid.

Arthur Davis will soon move his undertaking establishment to the Schmidt building where accommodations will be more spacious. It is reported that he will also engage in the real estate business as a partner of W. Schmidt.
— —

19200319AFP2Hencley Children Adopted Into Matheopole Family
Children Whose Mother Died of Influenza Find Home With People in American Falls – Made Happy

Mrs. and Mrs. P. Matheopole have been trying for several years to find a little girl or boy or both whom they could take into their home and raise, having no children of their own. A few months ago they were required to give up a bright little girl that they had fathered and mothered. She was not legally adopted and much to their sorrow she was taken from them after a strong bond of affection had been welded. Since then Mr. and Mrs. Matheopole have heard no childish prattle in their home and the home fires have not burned as brightly as formerly.

Their opportunity to satisfy their hopes came, however, upon the death of Mrs. Verner Henseley who succumbed to influenza during the recent epidemic. She left four children, a burden that the father could not easily carry in the circumstances in which the family were left. Mrs. Matheopole liked the two younger children, both girls and she and Mr. Matheopole asked that they be allowed to adopt them. The oldest girl is over three years and the youngest not yet two years of age.

The consent of Mr. Henseley was obtained and the legal aspects settled finally before Judge R. O. Jones Tuesday of this week. The little girls who were formerly Henseley sisters are now Misses Marie and Irene Matheopole.

Mr. and Mrs. Matheopole have lived in American Falls for several years and have many friends. They are known for the many kindnesses they perform among the needy and have the general respect of all. Mr. and Mrs. Matheopole came from Roumania [sic]. Both are good American citizens and wonderfully proud of their two newly adopted daughters.

(ibid, page 5)
— — — —

American Falls Press. March 19, 1920, Page 8

Hospital Notes

Moses Kinear of Rockland is a patient at the hospital, suffering with a broken leg.

A St. Patrick’s party was given Tuesday evening by Mrs. A. A. Whittemore. Cards formed the chief amusement followed by a delightful lunch.

(ibid, page 8)
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Montpelier Examiner. March 19, 1920, Page 1


Louise Cherry Home From The Hospital

The many friends of Miss Louise Cherry, daughter of M. B. Cherry, local manager for the Consolidated Wagon & Machine company, will be pleased to learn that she has sufficiently recovered to be able to return to her home here. Miss Cherry was a victim of the flu some eight weeks ago, and it affected her so that it was necessary for her to be confined in a hospital for more than eight weeks. Mrs. Cherry was at the bedside of her daughter during the greater time of her illness, and accompanied her to her home here the middle of the week. Miss Cherry was making her home in Pocatello at the time she became ill with influenza.
— —

John A. Blake Of St. Charles Laid To Rest

St. Charles, March 18. — Funeral services were held here in the St. Charles church yesterday at 11 a.m. for the late John A. Blade, who died at his residence here March 13th, after a lingering illness of nine weeks. Mr. Blade was born in Stockholm, Sweden, 57 years ago. He came to this place with his mother and two sisters when he was a small boy, and lived here ever since. He held the office of ward clerk for 32 years.

He was justice of the peace and school trustee for a number of terms. Mr. Blade was a quiet and unassuming man; had a pleasant and kind word for every one; a hard working man and a kind neighbor. … Through respect for Mr. Blade, as a member of the board of trustees of the school district, the schools were dismissed during the services.

Mr. Blade married Miss Josephine Jensen and to them have been born four sons and nine daughters. …

source: Montpelier Examiner. (Montpelier, Idaho), 19 March 1920. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
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Montpelier Examiner. March 19, 1920, Page 2


(ibid, page 2)
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Montpelier Examiner. March 19, 1920, Page 8

Why Colds Are Dangerous

It is the serious diseases that colds lead to that makes them dangerous. They prepare the system for the reception and development of the germs of influenza, pneumonia, tuberculosis, diphtheria, scarlet fever, whooping cough and measles. You are much more likely to contract these diseases when you have a cold. For that reason you should get rid of every cold as quickly as possible. Chamberlain’s Cough Remedy will help you. It is widely known as a cure for bad colds.


(ibid, page 8)
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Montpelier Examiner. March 19, 1920, Page 11

Local News

The Montana quarantine against Idaho hay ordered by Governor Stewart on March 10, has been modified and restrictions removed against all counties in the state except eight southern counties, including Bear Lake county.

Traveling Guard Walker of the state penitentiary took William Galbreath to Boise Wednesday to begin serving a sentence of from two and a half to fourteen years in prison for the assault with a deadly weapon committed on his wife in this city. Galbreath has been in jail in Pocatello since his conviction.
— —

Bennington Notes

The health of the community is in perfect condition. We haven’t a single case of sickness of any kind.

Mrs. A. G. Richards was called to Jerome by the severe illness of her sister.

(ibid, page 11)
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Montpelier Examiner. March 19, 1920, Page 14

Local Brevities

Mrs. Joe Turner has been ill during the past week with a severe attack of tonsillitis but is reported much improved today.

Dog taxes for 1920 are past due. The tags are available by calling on Police Chief R. L. Robison. All dog taxes must be paid at once or owners are liable to prosecution.

Easter egg dyes for the kiddies’ fun at Riter Bros. (Adv.)
— —

Probate Court

The case of Mrs. Phelps, an infirm lady of this city, was up before Judge Grimmett of the probate court Tuesday. The court, after examining the aged lady, decided not to send her to any state institution, but to arrange for her care at home.

(ibid, page 14)
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The Caldwell Tribune. March 19, 1920, Page 3


Local And Personal

W. F. Lobbs home is quarantined with scarlet fever.

R. J. Hertig, who has been under medical treatment in the local hospital for five weeks, is rapidly recovering and will soon be able to return to his home.

Simon Crosler died Sunday evening at his home four miles east of this city. The body was brought to the Peckham undertaking parlors and the funeral was held from the chapel of that establishment at 1:30 Tuesday afternoon. The services will be held at the family home. Interment will be held at Kohlerlawn at Nampa.

Ira Wilson who broke his wrist Saturday while placing a belt on a food chopper, was taken to the Caldwell sanitarium after a preliminary examination of his injury was made Saturday and it was found necessary to amputate the hand as the fracture was such that it would have probably been impossible for it to have healed.

Governor D. W. Davis was a visitor in Caldwell Tuesday. He came down from the state capital to attend the annual farm bureau livestock excursion which visited the Idaho experimental farm near Caldwell and other farms of interest to livestock men.

source: The Caldwell Tribune. (Caldwell, Idaho), 19 March 1920. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
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The Caldwell Tribune. March 19, 1920, Page 8

Items of Interest From Surrounding Territory

Pleasant Ridge

Several from Pleasant Ridge attended the funeral Sunday of William Eames who quietly passed away at his home in Caldwell last week.

Mr. Ira Christp purchased a new Ford car last week.

Lake Lowell

Mrs. W. A. Adams was ill the first of the week with tonsillitis.

Mrs. Cecil McAdams had the misfortune to run a crochet needle in her hand which is causing her much pain.

Several from Lake Lowell attended the literary exercises at Huston school house Friday night.

E. E. Gibbens gave a St. Patrick’s dance at their place on Wednesday night.

North Sunny Slope

Roy Horrace returned to school Wednesday after a siege of the mumps.

Fred Caldwell, Mrs. Frandenburg and Mrs. J. K. Horrace are on the sick list this week.

Miss Vinnie McCormick and the pupils of the seventh and eighth grade attended the show “Evangeline” in Caldwell Tuesday afternoon.


Mr. Nichols is still improving slowly.

Word came over from Sunny Slope that Mrs. Anna Spencer was able to sit up a part of the time.

Mr. Jones of Lower Dixie is much better, his asthma has been causing him much trouble all winter. He is under the care of Dr. Kaley.

Notus Items

Mr. and Mrs. Edgar Gipson smashed out a kitchen window last week.

(ibid, page 8)
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The Caldwell Tribune. March 19, 1920, Page 10


Edgar Dilley is recovering from an attack of influenza.

Mr. and Mrs. B. M. Campbell were in Boise several days this week where the former is taking medical treatments.

F. E. Maxin was taken to Boise Monday for medical aid, having suffered severely for a week with hiccups.

The boys of the agriculture class were taken to Nampa, Wednesday for a feeders excursion. There were 12 boys making the trip beside their instructor. W. E. Goodell and E. G. Tuning and A. J. Rockwood who took the class over in their cars.

(ibid, page 10)
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The Caldwell Tribune. March 19, 1920, Page 11

Items of Interest From Surrounding Territory

Midway News

Mrs. H. A. Oeder went to Mercy hospital in Nampa, Monday and Tuesday morning submitted to a serious operation. Mrs. S. W. Rowland is the special nurse in charge.

Doris Oeder is staying with her cousin, Mrs. Earl Campbell of Caldwell while her mother is in the hospital.

As Earl Haines was returning from Nampa Saturday afternoon with a horse and buggy and was near Marks station, a large touring car ran into his rig, injuring the horse so badly, it had to be killed. Mr. Haines escaped unharmed.

Canyon News

W. Ihli is taking his cattle to Owyhee county to pasture.

Arena Valley Items

Clarence and Wilbur Moore are quite ill with mumps.

An all day park meeting will be held here Saturday. All the men who can possibly help should bring teams and fresnos and the ladies will bring a vlenty [sic] to eat.

Rev. Welch will hold regular services here Sunday afternoon.

Wilder Items

Mrs. Dr. Boeck entertained a number of ladies Friday afternoon; Mrs. Dr. Bauer being the honor guest.
— —

19200319CT2For colds, Catarrh or Influenza

Do you feel weak and unequal to the work ahead of you? Do you still cough a little, or does your nose bother you? Are you pale? Is your blood thin and watery? Better put your body into shape. Build strong!

An old reliable blood-maker and herbal tonic made from wild roots and barks, is Dr. Pierce’s Golden Medical Discovery. This “nature remedy” comes in tablet or liquid form. It will build up your body and protect you from disease germs which lurk everywhere. One of the active ingredients of this temperance alternative and tonic is wild cherry bark with stillingia, which is so good for the lungs and for coughs; also Oregon grape root, blood root, sone root, Queen’s root, – all skillfully combined in the Medical Discovery. These roots have a direct action on the stomach, improving digestion and assimilation. These herbal extracts in the “Discovery” aid in blood-making and are best for scrofula. By improving the blood they fortify the body against an attack of grip or colds.

Catarrh should be treated, first, as a blood disease, with this alternative. Then in addition, the nose should be washed daily with Dr. Sage’s Catarrh Remedy.

Send 10c for trial pkg. of Medical Discovery Tablets or Catarrh Tablets to Dr. Pierce’s Invalids’ Hotel, Buffalo, N. Y.


(ibid, page 11)
— — — —

The Caldwell Tribune. March 19, 1920, Page 12

Local And Personal

Dr. Stewart of Boise was in the city Wednesday on duty at the sanitarium where several operations were made.

H. H. Conklin residing west of the city, is now carrying the mail on route two, in place of Wesley Vaugn who resigned.

Thirty autos passed through south Caldwell at 10:30 Wednesday on their way to Deer Flat and Nampa. Stockmen and bankers had a good day for their trip.

Briar Rose

Mr. Shaw was on the sick list first of last week.

The road grader has improved some of the roads in the neighborhood.

Mr. Christopher sold his sheep last week.

(ibid, page 12)
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The Meridian Times., March 19, 1920, Page 2


News Of A Week In Condensed Form
Record Of The Important Events Told In Briefest Manner Possible
Happenings That Are Making History – Information Gathered from All Quarters of the Globe and Given in a Few Lines


Classifying the plight of families in the drought regions of Montana and North Dakota as “amounting to a public disaster,” the American Red Cross as appropriated $50,000 for relief and to meet obligations incurred by local chapters.


The American Legion has received from the Y.M.C.A. $400,000 of the gift of $500,000 promised, representing surplus from operation of Y.M.C.A. canteens and post exchanges in France during the war, it was announced at New York on March 12.

The loss to the government as a result of the supreme court’s decision declaring stock dividends not taxable as income will be nearly half a billion dollars.

Aerial bombs dropped from army planes are being used to break ice jams that menace two Maryland towns on the Susquehanna river.


The bodies of about 50,000 of the American dead in France will be returned to the United States, while between 20,000 and 25,000 will remain permanently interred overseas, Secretary Baker has announced.

More shipping was saved by keeping track of German submarines and routing vessels clear of them than by any other single measure, Rear Admiral Sims told the senate investigating committee.

Vital statistics for the present year compiled by the census bureau show a general increase in births for January and February, as compared with the same months last year. The increase is practically uniform throughout the country.


Joseph Williams, an employee of the American Smelting & Refining company plant at Pedricena, Mexico, is a captive in the hands of Francisco Villa, held for $50,000 ransom.

One hundred and thirty-six miners have not been accounted for in the El Bordo mine at Pachuca, a mining city near Mexico City, in the state of Bidalgo, where fire broke out.

“Not for sale,” is the headline of the London Times editorial Monday on the question of the transfer of the British West Indies to the United States in payment of Great Briton’s war debt.

source: The Meridian Times. (Meridian, Idaho), 19 March 1920. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
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The Meridian Times., March 19, 1920, Page 7

Inland Northwest

The Oregon Short Line is one of three railroads in the United States which maintains a sanitary inspector. This official travels constantly over the line and in every way safeguards the health of the railroad employees.
— —


(ibid, page 7)
— — — —

The Meridian Times., March 19, 1920, Page 8

Meridian News Notes

Floyd Adams who has been at a Boise hospital was able to be moved to his home in Meridian this week. He is still quite a sick boy, but has a splendid nerve and cheerful disposition, and this should help towards his recovery.

Miss Ethel Bales, grade teacher, was absent Wednesday from her school duties on account of illness. Mrs. J. F. Kitching of Boise substituted for her.

At a recent meeting of the rural high school board Mrs. Mayme Hand was re-elected to the position of commercial teacher at the high school, at an increase in salary.

Mrs. Otis Rife returned from Rock Springs, Wyo., Saturday, where she was called by the death of a sister. Mrs. Rife brought home with her the seven-months-old baby boy.

Mrs. C. L. Dutton is slowly improving at St. Alphonsus hospital from an operation for appendicitis.

Mrs. P. L. Tawney is expected home in a few days after a successful operation at a Boise hospital.

James W. Rice, the pharmacist, was in Boise Friday.
— —

Danger Of Making Concentrated Cider

We tremble for the safety of our people, especially in this “apple belt” round Meridian. There is a new cider that is mentioned in a department of agriculture bulletin. A way has been discovered by which five gallons of ordinary apple cider can be converted into one gallon of concentrated cider. All which is lovely enough, as it saves shipping, storage, etc., of so much bulk. If it was confined to the common variety, all right, as it only carries with it the aroma of orchard sunshine. Concentrated sunshine is not dangerous.

But the peril lies in the likelihood that the cider consumers will attempt the same concentration with apple jack, that has been allowed to get hard. Just imagine five gallons of the stuff that makes peaceful citizens went to tear up an oak tree or push a street car off the track, should be concentrated into one gallon. It would be something like concentrated nitroglycerine.

(ibid, page 8)

Further Reading

Open-AirTreatmentInfluenza-aNo citation given

source: The Economist (site requires sign-up)
— — —

The Open-Air Treatment of Pandemic Influenza

Richard A. Hobday, PhD corresponding author and John W. Cason, PhD – October 2009


The H1N1 “Spanish flu” outbreak of 1918–1919 was the most devastating pandemic on record, killing between 50 million and 100 million people. Should the next influenza pandemic prove equally virulent, there could be more than 300 million deaths globally. The conventional view is that little could have been done to prevent the H1N1 virus from spreading or to treat those infected; however, there is evidence to the contrary. Records from an “open-air” hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, suggest that some patients and staff were spared the worst of the outbreak. A combination of fresh air, sunlight, scrupulous standards of hygiene, and reusable face masks appears to have substantially reduced deaths among some patients and infections among medical staff. We argue that temporary hospitals should be a priority in emergency planning. Equally, other measures adopted during the 1918 pandemic merit more attention than they currently receive.

Three influenza pandemics occurred during the last century: in 1918, 1957, and 1968. Each was caused by a novel type A influenza virus of avian origin. The H1N1 influenza pandemic of 1918–1919 is notorious because of the infectivity of the virus and the number of lives it claimed. Although the fatality rate was relatively low, the incidence of infection was so great that the number of deaths was high. No other pandemic in history killed so many in such a short time.

Global mortality from the pandemic is not known, because there are large areas of the world for which there is little information. In the 1920s, it was estimated that the disease had killed 21 million people. In 1991, this figure was revised to between 24.7 million and 39.3 million, and more-recent scholarship suggests 50 million to 100 million people may have died. Morbidity was high, at anywhere from 25% to 90%, and the fatality rate was between 1% to 3%.3 However, some regions reported mortality rates for the entire population as high as 5% to 10%. Most deaths occurred between mid-September and mid-December of 1918. Unusually, many of those who died were young adults, who normally have a low death rate from influenza. Another striking feature was the discoloration of the seriously ill, who often exhibited “heliotrope cyanosis,” which is characterized by a blue-gray tinge to the face and other parts of the body. Many victims died of pneumonia caused by secondary bacterial infections. Others succumbed to a condition similar to acute respiratory distress syndrome that could kill within days or hours. Pleurisy, hemorrhage, edema, inflammation of the middle ear, meningitis, nephritis, and pericarditis were among the many complications reported.

There were 3 waves of infection between 1918 and 1919. The first, in the spring of 1918, spread through parts of the United States, Europe, and Asia. This was a fairly mild form of influenza and caused relatively few fatalities. The second wave, which spread around the world in a few months, was disastrous. In less than a year, 220 000 influenza-related deaths occurred in Britain, and between September 1918 and June 1919 it proved fatal to at least half a million US citizens. Death rates in Africa were comparable to or higher than those in North America and Europe. Figures suggest that China was spared the worst of the pandemic, although this may simply reflect a lack of accurate records. The mortality in India alone has been estimated at 18 million. According to one estimate of the period, 800 of every 1000 people who showed symptoms suffered from uncomplicated influenza. This was more severe than the so-called “three-day fever” of the spring of 1918, but no worse than ordinary influenza. The remaining 200 suffered pulmonary complications; of these, the mortality rate for those developing heliotrope cyanosis was 95%.

With so many infected, and so many dying within a few weeks, the burden on medical staff and the funerary industry were immense, as was the accompanying economic and social disruption. There was much debate about the origins of the illness and whether it was indeed influenza. The symptoms were so severe that there was speculation that it was some other disease such as “trench fever,” dengue, anthrax, cholera, or even plague. Mortality reached alarming levels. The pandemic arrived in Boston, Massachusetts, early in September and by October 19 had claimed 4000 lives out of a total population of less than 800 000. At the peak of the outbreak, more than 25% of patients at an emergency hospital in Philadelphia died each night, many without seeing a nurse or doctor. The bodies of those who succumbed were stored in the cellar of the building, from where they were tossed onto trucks and taken away. Attempts at therapy for those still alive were described as “exercises in futility.”

The demands of wartime meant that many doctors had been called into military service; those not in uniform were caring for the wounded in hospitals at home or inspecting potential recruits at medical boards. The shortage of nurses was even more acute: as they and other medical staff fell ill, patient care rapidly deteriorated. Hospitals were turning patients away; mortuaries were overflowing, some handling 10 times their normal capacity. Gravediggers, many of whom were ill, could not keep up with the demand for burials. Early in October 1918, a delegate from a health department in the US Midwest went east to find out how best to combat the infection. Officials there offered the following advice:

When you get back home, hunt up your wood-workers and cabinet-makers and set them to making coffins. Then take your street laborers and set them to digging graves. If you do this you will not have your dead accumulating faster than you can dispose of them.

This was not meant to cause undue alarm; it was merely a practical solution to a problem that had to be addressed once the pandemic arrived. In an attempt to prevent the infection from spreading, many cities banned public assembly, closed their schools, isolated those infected, and mandated the wearing of surgical face masks. Recent studies suggest that when such measures were introduced quickly — before the pandemic was fully established — and then sustained, death rates were reduced. Yet for those who contracted the disease and went on to develop pneumonia, the prospects were poor. Anyone fortunate enough to gain admission to an “open-air” hospital, however, may have improved their chances of survival.

The Origins Of The Open-Air Regimen

By the time of the 1918–1919 pandemic, it was common practice to put the sick outside in tents or in specially designed open wards. Among the first advocates of what was later to become known as the “open-air method” was the English physician John Coakley Lettsom (1744–1815), who exposed children suffering from tuberculosis to sea air and sunshine at the Royal Sea Bathing Hospital in Kent, England, in 1791. Lettsom’s enthusiasm for fresh air attracted little support at the time, and the next doctor to recommend it met with fierce opposition. George Bodington (1799–1882) was the proprietor of the first institution that could be described as a tuberculosis sanatorium, at Sutton Coldfield near Birmingham, England. He treated pulmonary tuberculosis with a combination of fresh air, gentle exercise in the open, a nutritious, varied diet, and the minimum of medicines.

In 1840, Bodington published the results of his work in An Essay on the Treatment and Cure of Pulmonary Consumption, On Principles Natural, Rational and Successful. Bodington’s essay includes accounts of six cases; one patient died, as he acknowledged, but the others were either cured or greatly improved. This was at a time when, he estimated, one in five people in England were dying of the disease and little was being done to prevent it. Tuberculosis was generally regarded as hereditary, noninfectious, and incurable. Bodington argued otherwise, objecting strongly to the use of blistering, bleeding, and the popular purgative drugs of the day as well as the practice of confining patients in warm, badly ventilated rooms to protect them from the supposedly harmful effects of cold air, “thus forcing them to breathe over and over again the same foul air contaminated with the diseased effluvia of their own persons.”

Bodington had noticed that people who spent their time indoors were susceptible to tuberculosis, whereas those who worked outdoors, such as farmers, shepherds, and plowmen, were usually free of the disease. He reasoned that patients should copy the lifestyles of those who appeared immune to tuberculosis. They should live in well-ventilated houses in the country and spend much of their time outside breathing fresh air. According to Bodington,

The application of cold pure air to the interior surface of the lungs is the most powerful sedative that can be applied, and does more to promote the healing of cavities and ulcers of the lungs than any other means that can be employed.

It is not known when Bodington started treating tuberculosis in this way, but there is evidence that he was doing so by 1833. By 1840, he had taken the tenancy of the “White House” at Maney, Sutton Coldfield, to provide suitable accommodation for his tubercular patients. Bodington’s tenancy of this seminal building was brief — only three to four years. The Lancet published a sarcastic review of his essay and methods, and he abandoned the White House to devote himself to the care of the mentally ill.

George Bodington had anticipated the principles of sanatorium treatment that were to become the main line of defense against the disease. By the 1850s, Florence Nightingale (1820–1910) was writing about the importance of sunlight and copious amounts of fresh air in the recovery of hospital patients, but her ideas were slow to gain acceptance. And so it was in Germany that the open-air regimen reemerged, most notably at the Nordrach-Kolonie in the Black Forest, a sanatorium established in 1888 by Otto Walter (1853–1919). It was so well known that “Nordrach” became the term for open-air sanatoria. By 1908, there were at least 90 of them in Britain, many of which were enthusiastic imitations of Nordrach. An open-air recovery school for tubercular children, founded in 1904 at Charlottenburg, a suburb of Berlin, was the first of its type and, as with Germany’s open-air sanatoria, was widely imitated. In 1884, Edward Livingston Trudeau (1848–1915) opened America’s first sanatorium at Saranac Lake in New York State. The first open-air orthopedic hospital was set up in the Shropshire village of Baschurch in England in 1907. In the two decades before World War I, charitable associations, leagues, and societies dedicated to preventing and eliminating tuberculosis among the poor flourished, as did sanatoria.

The Open-Air Treatment Of The Wounded

There is evidence that the open-air regimen may have improved the health of some tuberculosis patients. Records for the Dreadnought Hospital in Greenwich, one of the first British hospitals in which such methods were adopted, appear to show that there were benefits to this approach. From 1900 to 1905, the overall mortality of consumptive patients in open-air wards was less than half that of those who received the orthodox treatment of the day. An improvement in their state of “well-being” was also reported. Later, during World War I, the use of open-air therapy extended to nontubercular conditions, and on a large scale. Temporary open-air hospitals were built to take casualties from the Western Front.

An early example stood on one of Cambridge University’s best cricket pitches at the King’s and Clare Athletic Ground. The First Eastern General Hospital, which was mobilized in August 1914, was originally designed to provide 520 beds and to be erected in 4 weeks. It proved so popular with the authorities, however, that within 8 weeks its complement of beds more than doubled to 1240. The hospital’s wards were completely open to the south except for some low railings and adjustable sun blinds.

In June 1915, the eminent scientist and Master of Christ’s College, A. E. Shipley (1861–1927), judged the open-air treatment of sick and wounded soldiers at the First Eastern a success, particularly for those with pneumonia. Some 6600 patients had passed through the hospital, with a death rate of 4.6 per 1000. Sixty patients with pneumonia had been treated, and 95% of them recovered. Critics ascribed the low mortality at the hospital to the absence of “bad cases,” but according to Shipley, some convoys arrived from the trenches almost entirely made up of them. In his opinion, the open wards produced much better results than closed ones. Instead of patients losing their bodily health and strength during the period of recovery from infections or wounds, they maintained their vigor and even improved it. The only people who felt the cold at the hospital were apparently the nurses, the patients having comfortable beds with plenty of blankets and hot-water bottles. Nearer the front, the British Army put its casualties in tents. As the military surgeon Lieutenant Colonel Sir Berkeley Moynihan observed in 1916,

In the treatment of all gunshot wounds where the septic processes are raging, and the temperature varies through several degrees, an immense advantage will accrue from placing patients out of doors. While in France I developed a great affection for the tented hospitals. There is great movement of air, warmth and comfort; when a sunny day comes the side of the tent may be lifted and the patient enjoys the advantage of open-air treatment.

Influenza At The Camp Brooks Open-Air Hospital

When the influenza virus pandemic took hold in the United States in 1918, emergency hospitals were started in schools, halls, and large private houses, and open-air hospitals were being “thrown up” all over the country. In the harbor of East Boston, 1200 out of 5100 merchant sailors onboard training ships had contracted influenza. The seriously ill were too numerous for local hospitals to accommodate. The Massachusetts State Guard responded by building the Camp Brooks Open Air Hospital at Corey Hill in Brookline, near Boston. The hospital comprised 13 tents, 12 of which were occupied by one or two patients each and the other by the head nurse. The State Guard took seven hours to erect the tents, make sure the site was properly drained, and provide running water, latrines, and sewerage. Portable buildings were then set up for the medical staff and nurses. From the time the camp opened on September 9, 1918, until its closure a month later on October 12, a total of 351 victims of the pandemic were admitted, one third of whom were diagnosed with pneumonia. In total, 36 of the 351 sailors received at the hospital died.

The treatment at Camp Brooks Hospital took place outdoors, with “a maximum of sunshine and of fresh air day and night.” The medical officer in charge, Major Thomas F. Harrington, had studied the history of his patients and found that the worst cases of pneumonia came from the parts of ships that were most badly ventilated. In good weather, patients were taken out of their tents and put in the open. They were kept warm in their beds at night with hot-water bottles and extra blankets and were fed every few hours throughout the course of the fever. Anyone in contact with them had to wear an improvised facemask, which comprised five layers of gauze on a wire frame covering the nose and mouth. The frame was made out of an ordinary gravy strainer, shaped to fit the face of the wearer and to prevent the gauze filter from touching the nostrils or mouth. Nurses and orderlies were instructed to keep their hands away from the outside of the masks as much as possible. A superintendent made sure the masks were replaced every two hours, were properly sterilized, and contained fresh gauze.

Other measures to prevent infection included the wearing of gloves and gowns, including a head covering. Doctors, nurses, and orderlies had to wash their hands in disinfectant after contact with patients and before eating. The use of common drinking cups, towels, and other items was strictly forbidden. Patients’ dishes and utensils were kept separate and put in boiling water after each use. Pneumonia and meningitis patients used paper plates, drinking cups, and napkins; paper bags with gauze were pinned to pillowcases for sputum. Extensive use was made of mouthwash and gargle, and twice daily, the proprietary silver-based antimicrobial ointment Argyrol was applied to nasal mucous membranes to prevent ear infection.

Of the camp’s medical staff — 15 doctors, 45 nurses and aids, 20 sanitary corps men, and 74 sailors acting as orderlies — only six nurses and two orderlies developed influenza. In five of these cases, exposure to the virus was reported to have taken place outside the camp. A few medicines were used to relieve the patients’ symptoms and aid their recovery, but these were considered less important than were regular meals, warmth, and plenty of fresh air and sunlight.

Ventilation And Sunlight

The curative effects of fresh air were investigated at length by the physiologist Sir Leonard Hill (1866–1952) in the years following World War I. He reported favorably on the effects of sun and air when judiciously applied, particularly for tuberculosis. In 1919, Hill wrote in the British Medical Journal that the best way to combat influenza infection was deep breathing of cool air and sleeping in the open. Whether the patients at Camp Brooks or other temporary hospitals were spared the worst of the influenza pandemic because they slept in the open is uncertain. The apparent success in reducing the number of infections and deaths reported at this open-air hospital may simply have been caused by patients and staff experiencing levels of natural ventilation far higher than in a conventional hospital ward. Significantly, the minimum amount of ventilation needed to prevent the spread of infectious diseases such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and tuberculosis is unknown. Much more fresh air may be needed than is currently specified for hospitals, schools, offices, homes, and isolation rooms.

The patients at Camp Brooks recovered in direct sunlight when available. This may have kept infection rates down, because laboratory experiments have shown that ultraviolet radiation inactivates influenza virus and other viral pathogens and that sunlight kills bacteria. In addition, exposure to the sun’s rays may have aided patients’ recovery, because sunlight is known to promote healing in other conditions such as septic war wounds. There is evidence that heart attack victims stand a better chance of recovery if they are in sunlit wards. Depressed psychiatric patients fare better if they get some sun while hospitalized, as do premature babies with jaundice. In one study, patients in hospital wards exposed to an increased intensity of sunlight experienced less perceived stress and less pain and took 22% less analgesic medication per hour. One advantage of placing patients outside in the sun is that they can synthesize vitamin D in their skin, which they cannot do indoors behind glass. Rickets, the classic childhood disease of vitamin D deficiency, has long been associated with respiratory infections; it has been hypothesized that low levels of vitamin D may increase susceptibility to influenza.

The surgeon general of the Massachusetts State Guard, William A. Brooks, had no doubt that open-air methods were effective at the hospital, despite much opposition to the therapy. Many doctors felt that patients would get the same benefits if the windows of a conventional ward were open or the patients were put in a hospital “sun parlor.” Brooks, however, held that patients did not do as well in an ordinary hospital, no matter how well ventilated, as they did outdoors. Patients in indoor sun parlors were not exposed to direct sunlight all day as they were when outdoors. He reported that in one general hospital with 76 cases, 20 patients died within three days and 17 nurses fell ill. By contrast, according to one estimate, the regimen adopted at the camp reduced the fatality of hospital cases from 40% to about 13%. Brooks wrote that “The efficacy of open air treatment has been absolutely proven, and one has only to try it to discover its value.”

Coincidentally, in 1918 a British soldier, Patrick Collins, reached a similar conclusion. When Collins developed the first signs of influenza, he dragged himself and his tent up a hill away from his regiment. There he sweated, shivered, and was delirious for several days, sustained only by his rum ration. He was one of the few survivors of his regiment.


The seeming success of the medical team who confronted pandemic influenza on Corey Hill in 1918 was in stark contrast to others’ experience of the infection. The high standard of personal and environmental hygiene upheld by staff at the camp may have played a large part in the relatively low rates of infection and mortality there compared with other hospitals. Significantly, the outbreak of SARS in Hong Kong in 2003 showed that basic infection controls, such as those employed at Camp Brooks Hospital, can help to contain the spread of a virulent respiratory infection.

Of the measures introduced to combat pandemic influenza at the hospital, the use of improvised facemasks — including their design and the frequency with which they were changed — is noteworthy.

Another is the fresh air the patients enjoyed. When Major Harrington, the medical officer at Camp Brooks, discovered that sailors from the most poorly ventilated areas of the ships in East Boston also had the worst cases of pneumonia, he put his patients outdoors. Sailors, such as those on board the ships at East Boston, were particularly vulnerable to influenza infection, because the influenza virus is readily transmitted in confined quarters. In 1977, for example, an influenza outbreak on board a commercial airliner with deficient ventilation resulted in an infection rate of 72%. The aircraft was grounded for over four hours with the passengers on board and the ventilation system turned off.

There is still much uncertainty surrounding the transmission and epidemiology of influenza. As yet, the proportion of influenza infections that occur by the airborne route is not known, nor is there any evidence to support the idea that fresh air helps those infected to recover. Given the threat to public health posed by the avian influenza virus, both merit further study. So too does the part played by sunlight in preventing the spread of the virus. Solar radiation may retard its transmission by directly inactivating virions and by increasing immunity to them. A combination of outdoor air and sunlight could also reduce the likelihood of secondary respiratory infections.

The current H5N1 avian influenza virus has high virulence and lethality but as yet is not readily transmitted from person to person. We do not know how virulent the next type A pandemic will be, but should it prove to be as pathogenic as that of 1918, there could be 180 million to 360 million deaths globally. Vaccines, antiviral drugs, and antibiotics may be effective in controlling avian influenza and dealing with secondary infection; however, for much of the world’s population, access to them will be limited. In many countries, the only viable strategy would be to disrupt the transmission of the virus by banning public gatherings, closing schools, isolating infected people, and wearing surgical masks, as was the case during the 1918–1919 pandemic.

Epidemiological studies show that the wearing of masks in public places in Hong Kong and Beijing during the SARS outbreak was associated with a lower incidence of infection. However, no controlled studies have been undertaken to assess the effectiveness of surgical masks in preventing influenza from passing from one host to the next. In addition, it is uncertain whether transmission of the influenza virus from person to person is chiefly by large droplets or aerosols. If droplets are the main mode of transmission, the isolation of patients in private rooms and the use of ordinary surgical face masks may suffice. If airborne transmission is significant, reusable respirators could be pivotal in preventing infection, because surgical masks do not offer reliable protection from aerosols. Also, measures that prevent the influenza virus from spreading through buildings would assume greater importance. Improvements in air-handling equipment, portable filtration units, and the introduction of physical barriers in the form of partitions or doors may offer some protection.

However, more might be gained by introducing high levels of natural ventilation or, indeed, by encouraging the public to spend as much time outdoors as possible. It might also be prudent to stockpile tents and beds, because hospitals in the United Kingdom, the United States, and elsewhere are not prepared for a severe pandemic. Temporary accommodation would be required to deal with the most seriously ill, just as it was in 1918. The Camp Brooks Open Air Hospital might serve as a useful model.

source: NIH (w/references) Articles from American Journal of Public Health are provided here courtesy of American Public Health Association

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Link to Idaho 1920 Influenza Pandemic (Part 79)
Link to Idaho 1920 Influenza Pandemic (Part 80)
Link to Idaho 1920 Influenza Pandemic (Part 81)
Link to Idaho 1920 Influenza Pandemic (Part 82)
Link to Idaho 1920 Influenza Pandemic (Part 83)
Link to Idaho 1920 Influenza Pandemic (Part 84)
Link to Idaho 1920 Influenza Pandemic (Part 85)
Link to Idaho 1920 Influenza Pandemic (Part 86)
Link to Idaho 1920 Influenza Pandemic (Part 87)
Link to Idaho 1920 Influenza Pandemic (Part 88)
Link to Idaho 1920 Influenza Pandemic (Part 89)
Link to Idaho 1920 Influenza Pandemic (Part 90)
Link to Idaho 1920 Influenza Pandemic (Part 91)
Link to Idaho 1920 Influenza Pandemic (Part 92)
Link to Idaho 1920 Influenza Pandemic (Part 93)
Link to Idaho 1920 Influenza Pandemic (Part 94)
Link to Idaho 1920 Influenza Pandemic (Part 95)
Link to Idaho 1920 Influenza Pandemic (Part 96)
Link to Idaho 1920 Influenza Pandemic (Part 97)
Link to Idaho 1920 Influenza Pandemic (Part 98)
Link to Idaho 1920 Influenza Pandemic (Part 99)
Link to Idaho 1918 Influenza Pandemic Ads (Part 100)
Link to Idaho 1919 Influenza Pandemic Ads (Part 101)
Link to Idaho 1920 Influenza Pandemic Ads (Part 102)