The Spanish Flu Part 1: It begins

Editor's Note:  What began on Monday as an idea for one post has evolved into a much larger project.  Searching through the archives of the Archbold Buckeye and Fulton County Tribune, both accessible online, a story that is easily relatable appeared.  What was, on Monday, one post has evolved into what will be a continuing series of posts about the Spanish Influenza epidemic.  

Note on Format:  In the captions of the photos you will notice the date of the story is a link, that link will take you to the full page that story appeared on.  If a caption does not have a link it can be found on the same page as the previous picture.  I have chosen stories that highlight the spread and response to the outbreak, there are many more articles in these papers pertaining to the Spanish Flu.  I encourage you to take advantage of these great resources provided by the Archbold Community Library and the Library of Congress. 

The Spanish Flu Begins

With all that is currently happening with the COVID-19 epidemic it may seem like we are in uncharted territory, history teaches us otherwise.  In 1918, just as World War I was coming to an end what came to be called the Spanish Influenza created a global health crises.  Searching through Fulton County newspapers from that time a picture of the past appears that does not seem so far removed from us.  The community came together and took actions for the good of the whole, much like what we are experiencing now.

The first mention we find of the Spanish flu is in the October 1st Archbold Buckeye where 2 different stories mention it.  While World War I was raging, it would not end until 11am on November 11th, 1918, the cases of the Spanish flu effected our soldiers first. 

Article from the October 1st, 1918 Archbold Buckeye.

The Oct. 1st Buckeye paper also featured the first report of a Fulton County resident with the flu. 

The Armed forces are the first to respond to the threat but not before spreading the disease to the civil population.  East coast cities are the first effected and respond by closing all "places of unnecessary public assembly". 

The October 4th, 1918 edition of the Fulton County Tribune. 

Picture number 2 is of a "Special camp care for suffers from the epidemic of Spanish influenza which has been prevalent in the army and navy camps."  This story appears alongside the one pictured above in the October 4th Fulton County Tribune.

The Army's actions pertaining the Spanish Flu effected local men who were ready to serve.  October 4th, 1918 edition of the Fulton County Tribune.

Fulton County Women Answer the call.  October 4th Fulton County Tribune

The October 4th edition of the Fulton County Tribune also makes mention of the first death attributed to the disease in Ohio.  Cadwell E. Stroth, a 33 year old coal operator in Southern Ohio.  With the epidemic in full effect out East and a death in Ohio the State Health Department begins to take action.

The State Health Department begins taking action to respond the health threat.  October 4th Fulton County Tribune.

Part 2 coming soon....

Archbold Buckeye Digital Archive,  The Archbold Community Library
Fulton County Tribune Archive, Chronicling American, The Library of Congress


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