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Sunday, November 18, 2012

Get Your Flu Shot!

From the Baylor County Banner - October 24, 1918
However, this was not the end. Influenza continued its deadly campaign into 1919. 

Last year, I looked for information about some soldiers from Baylor County, Texas who died during World War I. Not surprisingly, about half of them died from disease rather than from fighting overseas. By 1918, the influenza had spread around the world. Most families would not make it through the pandemic untouched as it is estimated that at least a quarter of the United States population fell ill and more than 50 million died worldwide before its end in 1920.

My father's Hairston family lost a family member.  Hugh Gresham, of Estelline, Texas, was just 19 years old when he died of influenza in 1919. 

In NYC, my great-great grandmother, Julia Harvey Glynn died of bronchial pneumonia on February 12, 1919. Could influenza have been a contributing cause of the pneumonia?

Schools, church services, lodge meetings, theaters, bars, factories, and even courtrooms were closed to limit the spread of the disease. In Baylor County, Texas, where my grandparents lived, 29 deaths* were reported by the Baylor County Banner on December 19, 1918. In the months ahead, many more in that community and millions worldwide would lose their lives to influenza. 

To learn more about this pandemic, watch Influenza 1918 at the American Experience from PBS. 

* Deaths reported by the Baylor County Banner on December 19, 1918 occurred between October 18 and December 15, 1918. 
  • Ben F. Martin - 1/2 year
  • Mrs. Orval Cox - 19 years
  • Henry E. Lewis - 31 years
  • J. Covington - 30 years
  • Katie Jones - 10 months
  • Grace Lowry - 17 years
  • J. H. Patterson - 68 years
  • Mrs. Rosa Tipps - 23 years
  • Luther Jones - 15 years
  • E. E. Breedlove - 38 years
  • Mrs. W. T. Wheeler - 46 years
  • Infant of Mrs. and Mrs. Tim Nix - 1 month
  • Mrs. H. A. Lowry - 29 years
  • Burnett Bailes - 18 years
  • Mrs J. A. Bailew
  • Annie Lee Caldwell - 14 years
  • D. A. Holman - 84 years
  • Albert Wirz - 22 years
  • Mrs. T. J. Praytor Jr. - 36 years
  • Frida Wirz - 15 years
  • Mrs. C. B. Daniel - 32 years
  • Mrs. H. C. Harrison - 29 years
  • W. H. Strange - 37 years
  • N. B. Williams - 39 years
  • Leonard E. Hill - 32 years
  • J. N. Cassle
  • Claude Clouse - 3 years
  • Mrs. Claude Clouse
  • Mrs. John McCauley


© 2012



John M. Barry, The Great Influenza, The Epic Story of the Deadliest Plague in History (Penguin Books, 2005).

Influenza at Camps. The Baylor County Banner [Seymour, Texas] October 24, 1918.

Harvest of Death. The Baylor County Banner [Seymour, Texas] December 19, 1918.

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