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The Spiker Gazette
 
Oxford, WVVolume  14Issue  3March 2020
In this Issue:The Influenza Pandemic
Overview - COVID-19 Timeline
Overview - N1H1 "Spanish Influenza" Timeline
Our Ancestors and the "Spanish Flu"
Transcriptions from the Local Newspapers
Announcements

 

COVID-19 Timeline

     On December 31, 2019, Wuhan Municipal Health Commission, China, reported a cluster of cases of pneumonia in Wuhan, Hubei Province. A novel coronavirus was eventually identified. 

     On January 5, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) published the first Disease Outbreak News on the new virus. 

     On January 10, 2010, WHO issued a comprehensive package of technical guidance with advice to all countries on how to detect, test and manage potential cases, based on what was known about the virus at the time. 

     The first case of this new coronavirus in the United States was reported on January 21, 2010.

     On February 11, 2020, the virus was named "severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)" and the disease it causes was named "coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)" 

     On March 11, 2020, WHO made the assessment that COVID-19 can be characterized as a pandemic.

     The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported that during a 3-week period in late February to early March, the number of U.S. COVID-19 cases increased more than 1000-fold. National, state and local pubic health responses intensified and adapted in an attempt to reduce further spread of the virus and to control the impact on health care capacity.

 

"Spanish Influenza" (H1N1) Timeline

Early on the morning of March 11, 1918, an Army private at Fort Riley, Kansas reported to the camp hospital with flu-like symptoms. By the end of the day, over 100 soldiers reported similar symptoms.

     In May 1918, WWI-neutral Spain was the first to officially report on the virus, hence the misnomer of "Spanish influenza"

     According to the WV Encyclopedia, on October 5, 1918, the WV superintendent of health sent a letter to county health officers ordering that all cases of the disease be reported, all affected persons be quarantined, and all public places be closed. Many people wore face masks when they went out in public and while caring for the sick.

     Between October 15 and November 15, 1918, more than 71,000 West Virginians contracted influenza, and 2,818 were reported to have died — a number that accounted for one-fourth of all deaths reported in the Mountain State in 1918.

     A second peak was seen between February and March of 1919.

     The exact number of the state (and the world's) influenza victims is unknown. Physicians and nurses were overwhelmed. Accurate records were not kept. Many health care providers were not able to file reports, and others inaccurately estimated the numbers of cases in their area. In addition, it is believed that many cases of illness or death were misdiagnosed or misattributed.

     The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has stated, "The majority of deaths during the influenza pandemic of 1918-1919 were not caused by the influenza virus acting alone...Instead, most victims succumbed to bacterial pneumonia following influenza virus infection."

     The 1918 influenza virus has been called the "mother of all pandemics" in that almost all cases of influenza A worldwide have been caused by the descendants of the 1918 virus. None of these viral descendants, however, approaches the pathogenicity of the 1918 parent virus. In the January 2006 article by Taubenberger and Morens, it is stated, "Despite an explosion of data on the 1918 virus during the past decade, we are not much closer to understanding pandemic emergence (now) than we were in understanding the risk of H1N1 'swine flu' emergence in 1976...Understanding influenza pandemics in general requires understanding the 1918 pandemic in all its historical, epidemiologic, and biologic aspects."

 

Our Ancestors and the "Spanish Flu"

Written by:  Bobbi Spiker-Conley

     Two pandemics —100 years apart — have been constantly in the news. While most of us are keeping up with the current headlines, John Jackson has been busy chronicling the headlines from the past.

    John is a Ritchie County, WV native who has spent years researching and writing about his family's history. He supplements the info gained from traditional histories with articles printed in old newspapers — an endeavor that has resulted in two published books (and counting.) As he scrolls through old microfilm and flips through yellowed papers during his research, he comes across a lot of newsy tidbits that he generously shares in several genealogy-related Facebook groups. As he has said, these snippets reveal the events that shaped the lives of our Ritchie County ancestors and, by extension, our own.     

     Corresponding to the pandemic of 1918-1919, the following are a few excerpts of John's transcriptions that appeared in the Ritchie County, West Virginia History and Genealogy Group on Facebook as part of his series, "100 Years Ago This Week." 

     Note — this list is restricted to transcriptions that specifically mention the "Spanish Flu," aka "La Grippe." Many more suffered or died from pneumonia — the secondary bacterial infection that is said to have contributed to most flu-related deaths. Since we cannot distinguish between what was or was not contributory, we have not included those transcriptions in this list.

 

 

  NEWSPAPERDATE          SECTION ARTICLE TRANSCRIPTION
 
Pennsboro NewsOctober 3, 1918News NotesThe latest is the Grippe. About 50 cases in town this week.
 
Pennsboro NewsOctober 10, 1918News Notes Mrs. Genevieve Gabbart is home from Welch, McDowell county where she has been teaching. Her school was closed on account of Spanish Influenz[a].
Pennsboro NewsOctober 10, 1918News Notes John Stoops spent a few days the first of the week with his parents Dr. and Mrs. Stoops. He is in training at Camp Lee and brought the body of Luther Stutler who was in training at the same camp to his home at Salem. Stutler died of Spanish Influenza.
Pennsboro NewsOctober 10, 1918News Notes Miss Mabel Taylor is home from Athens College while her school is closed on account of Influenza.
 
Pennsboro NewsOctober 10, 1918News Notes Miss Rena Jennings stenographer for the Wholesale Grocery is off duty this week on account of Lagrippe.
 
Pennsboro NewsOctober 10, 1918News Notes Mrs. Ida Cahill is staying at Bert Bradford's assisting in nursing the family who are down with Grippe.
 
Pennsboro NewsOctober 10, 1918News Notes Miss Wanda Barnett, of Parkersburg, is here nursing Mrs. L. P. Jones, who has been ill with grippe, but who is now improving nicely.
 
Pennsboro NewsOctober 10, 1918Harrisville Locals Mrs. M. C. Clark was called to Buckhannon Monday, by the illness of her daughter, Mrs. Hubert Thurman, who is reported to have Spanish Influenza.
 
Pennsboro NewsOctober 10, 1918News NotesSchool is closed this week on account of the Lagrippe.
 
Pennsboro NewsOctober 10, 1918News NotesB. & O. Agent Simonton is confined to his room with grippe.
 
Pennsboro NewsOctober 10, 1918News Notes Miss Ethel Heflin is confined to her room this week with Lagrippe.
 
Pennsboro NewsOctober 10, 1918News Notes Mrs. Fred Monroe and little daughter Guinelle both have Lagrippe
 
Pennsboro NewsOctober 17, 1918AuburnSpanish "Flu" is spreading over our community and several cases in town. Mr. and Mrs. Phillips and little daughter are very ill at this writing.
 
Pennsboro NewsOctober 17, 1918Auburn Miss Opal Watson clerk Rymer store is ill of "Flu."
 
Pennsboro NewsOctober 17, 1918Obituary Mrs. W. M. Meredith, Dead

Mrs. Alice Meredith wife of W. M. Meredith, died Saturday evening at 10 o'clock. She took the Spanish Influenza six days prior to her death, and Pneumonia set in which resulted in her death. She was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. C. C. May. Had been married twice. she leaves a husband and five children: Cecil and Denzel, Forester, Gladys, Lucia and Helold Meredith, all samll [sic] and at home; father and mother, and the followind [sic] brothers and sisters: Johnnie, Floyd and Willard, Mrs. Ethel Rice of Sistersville, Mrs. Hazel Long, Pennsboro and Mrs. Goldie May at home. She had been a faithful member of the M. E. church for several years. She was buried near Hebron, her former home on Monday, Oct. 13 1918. 

The News extends its sympathy to the husband children and other relatives and friends.
 
Ritchie GazetteOctober 18, 1918Cairo NewsThe schools are closed here on account of the Spanish Influenza.
 
Ritchie GazetteOctober 18, 1918Cairo News Miss Helen Flesher, who is a student at Muskingum College, Ohio, was a victim of the Influenza, but has completely recovered.
 
Ritchie GazetteOctober 18, 1918Cairo News Miss Lucy Coplin came home from Charleston last Tuesday; the city schools were closed on account of Influenza.
 
Pennsboro NewsOctober 24, 1918News Notes Mrs. Clyde Pickering of Route 3, died Thursday night of Pneumonia. Mr. Pickering is very ill with "Spanish Influenza."
 
Pennsboro NewsOctober 24, 1918News Notes Mr. and Mrs. Lon Clark are both confined to their room with the "Flu."
 
Pennsboro NewsOctober 24, 1918News Notes Denver and Paul Barnes, Dock Snodgrass, Darrell Nutter, Will Shepherd, Brooks Wooddell, all Military students at the State university, Morgantown returned to school Monday, having been home for some time on account of the prevalence of Influenza in that city.
 
Pennsboro NewsOctober 24, 1918News NotesWord was received here Tuesday of the death of Chas. Fahal. He was at Portsmouth, Ohio and took Influenza which developed into Pneumonia, resulting in death. He was in business here for some time, being the Mgr. of the Pennsboro Bargain Store and his death comes as a shock to many people of this city.
 
Pennsboro NewsOctober 24, 1918News Notes Miss Virginia McGrady is home from Parkersburg, while school is closed on account of Influenza.
 
Pennsboro NewsOctober 24, 1918News NotesThe Influenza situation in Cairo is reported to be very serious.
 
Pennsboro NewsOctober 24, 1918News Notes Bert Bradford, Okey Nutter and C. B. Summers are all "Flu" victims this week.
Ritchie GazetteOctober 25, 1918Goffs Harry Rexroad, who is at Burnt House, has the influenza; his mother and sister, May, were visiting him the last of this week.
 
Ritchie GazetteOctober 25, 1918Goffs Miss Ada Goff, who was teaching at Lumberport, is at home on the account of her school being closed from the Influenza.
 
Pennsboro NewsOctober 31, 1918News Notes John Church of Clarksburg, was here this week visiting his daughter Mrs. C. E. Harris. He is just recovering from the "Flu."
 
Pennsboro NewsOctober 31, 1918News Notes G. S. Weiford of Warivick, is here visiting his son J. Weiford, who has been seriously ill with Spanish Influenza, but who is now improving nicely.
 
Pennsboro NewsOctober 31, 1918News Notes Richard Overton, brother of J. E. Overton, of Cairo, died Wednesday of Influenza at Parkersburg. He is well known in Ritchie County and his death will be regretted by many.
 
Pennsboro NewsOctober 31, 1918News Notes Mrs. Bert Sigler is able to be out again after having the "Flu."
 
Pennsboro NewsOctober 31, 1918News Notes Lloyd Brown is confined to his room with the "Flu."
 
Pennsboro NewsOctober 31, 1918News Notes Mrs. Emery Toothman, is a victim of Influenza this week.
 
Pennsboro NewsOctober 31, 1918News Notes L. C. Foster and C. B. Summers, are able to be out again after a siege of "Influenza."
 
Pennsboro NewsOctober 31, 1918News Notes Ben Cottrill, an employee of the Philadelphia Gas Company died in the hospital at Parkersburg, Thursday night. He had "Spanish Influenza" for sever[al] days, and double Pneumonia d[e]veloped which caused his death. His wife died only about two weeks ago. He leaves a little son, three years old.
Pennsboro NewsNovember 7, 1918Pike LocalsAlmost every family in this vicinity has had the influenza and in most every case each member of the family, but we have one thought to console us, it will soon subside for material to work upon.
 
Pennsboro NewsNovember 7, 1918Pike Locals Dr. Boyers of Ellenboro is one of the busiest men in the county. Two weeks ago he attended 312 cases of influenza, and out of that number he has lost only one patient.
 
Pennsboro NewsNovember 7, 1918Pike LocalsIt is with regret that we note the entire family of S. W. Cooper of West Union have been attacked by the influenza and his wife and eldest daughter Gladys died within a week of each other. J. C. Smith and wife, Mrs. D. H. Riggs and Gladys Martin went to West Union Saturday to assist the family in whatever way they could. Mr. Cooper and family used to live in this neighborhood and the sympathy of the entire community goes out to them.
Pennsboro NewsNovember 7, 1918AuburnThe "Flu" is the order of the day
 
Pennsboro NewsNovember 7, 1918Auburn Dr. Eddy has visited over a hundred cases of "Flu".
 
Pennsboro NewsNovember 7, 1918Obituary Lionel Lorimer Lee Dead

Lionel Lee son of Lorimer and Jennie Lee, was born at Toll Gate Jan. 5, 1893 and died of Spanish Influenza, Nov. 2, 1918, age 25 years 9 months and 28 days. He was one of three children, Leland who is in U. S. service somewhere in England and Leslie at home in Newark, West Virginia. He was married to Velma Hayden Oct. 4, 1914, who survives together with the father, mother, brother and sister to mourn their loss. He was converted and joined the Baptist church of Toll Gate, where he resided since his marriage being a blacksmith by trade. He was a good honest, industrious man and will be sadly missed by his friends and neighbors in that community.

Funeral service was held at the Toll Gate Baptist church, also a short services at the Cabin Run church, where interment was made with Jesse R. Jones having charge of the service. Undertaker Osburn of West Union had charge of the burial.

The news sogether [sic] with a host of friends extend to Mrs. Lee and other relatives their deepest sympathy in their sad hour of bereavement.
 
Pennsboro NewsNovember 14, 1918Berea LocalsThe school has been closed here for more than two weeks on account of Influenza. One of the teachers, Miss Wade being a victum [sic] as well as the pupils.
 
Pennsboro NewsNovember 14, 1918Berea Locals Misses Conza and Draxie Weathrell [Meathrell] are both at home due to the schools being closed on account of the flu. 
 
Pennsboro NewsNovember 14, 1918Berea Locals Miss Beulah Collins who has been quite ill of Influenza is able to be about the house again.
 
Pennsboro NewsNovember 14, 1918Berea Locals Orville Richards who has employment at Marietta Ohio, spent a fews [sic] with his parents on Otterslide. He had been a victum [sic] of the Flu for the past three weeks[.]
 
Pennsboro NewsNovember 14, 1918Auburn Bill Zinn and wife have returned to their home at Grove after being down with the Flu here at the Hotel.
 
Pennsboro NewsNovember 14, 1918AuburnThe influenza is slowing [sic] dying out in this community
 
Ritchie GazetteNovember 15, 1918Berea Drs. Lawson and Eddy are doctoring those who have influenza.
 
Ritchie GazetteNovember 15, 1918BereaThe influenza victims are getting better at this time.
 
Ritchie GazetteNovember 15, 1918Harrisville Route 2 H. H. Cox, who has been ill with influenza, is able to be out again.
 
Ritchie GazetteNovember 15, 1918Harrisville Route 2 Mrs. Alice Stanley has just recovered from the influenza.
 
Ritchie GazetteNovember 15, 1918Mole Hill Items Miss Alta Bradford returned to Middlebourne, last Sunday, to take up her High School work again. The Influenza scare is about over there.
 
Ritchie GazetteNovember 15, 1918Mole Hill ItemsThe schools of this place has very good attendance considering the scare of Influenza. Very few cases developed here. No cases are known in the neighborhood at this time. 
 
Pennsboro NewsNovember 21, 1918Harrisville Locals Mrs. Francis Hesmworth [Hemsworth] who has been so seriously ill of influenza is some better.
 
Ritchie GazetteNovember 22, 1918AuburnSchool has opened up again after being closed a few weeks on account of the Flu.
 
Ritchie GazetteNovember 22, 1918Auburn New Husk and Roy Bell, of Oxford, passed thru here Saturday enroute to Sand Fork to see the former's son, who was very ill of influenza, but before they reached the place where he was, he had died.
 
Pennsboro NewsNovember 28, 1918News Notes Mrs. Anderson has the flu.
 
Pennsboro NewsNovember 28, 1918News Notes Bert Cunningham is confined to his home with an attack of flu.
 
Pennsboro NewsNovember 28, 1918News Notes Miss Myrtle MacDannald is able to resume her duties as 3rd grade teacher after an attack of the flu.
 
Pennsboro NewsNovember 28, 1918News Notes Mrs. Brasseur of Salem, was called here last week on account of the illness of her son Victor Brasseur who has influenza.
 
Pennsboro NewsNovember 28, 1918News Notes Mrs. J. E. Cunningham has the flu. Mr. Cunningham has also been confined with the same disease but is now able to be out.
 
Pennsboro NewsNovember 28, 1918News NotesThe Christian Endeavor Union will hold their regular monthly business and social meeting at the M. P. church next Monday evening. This is the first meeting of the Union for some time on account of the prevalence of Influenza, and it is urged upon each member to be present and make the meeting a success.
 
Ritchie GazetteDecember 6, 1918Harrisville Items Will Fleming and wife, of Farmington, who came here last week to visit Mrs. Fleming's parents, I. N. Cokeley and wife, have both been ill with influenza.
 
Pennsboro NewsDecember 12, 1918Obituary Marion Edwin Summers

A shadow of sorrow passed over this city, last Tuesday Dec. 3, 1918 when the news quickly spread that death had claimed Ed Summers. Mr. Summers was born March 5, 1876 and at the time of his death was 42 years, 8 months and 2 days. He was united in marriage to Miss Alma Kirkpatrick, Dec. 23, 1899 and to this union one son was born, who preceeded [sic] him to the Spirit World several years ago. He was stricken with influenza which developed into Pneumonia but was seemingly getting along nicely and his loved ones and friends had great hopes of his recovery and his death came as a shock to the entire community. As stated in the News last week[:] "That he sat up and did some work on his books which caused his relapse" was a mistake and we wish to correct that statement. He was a good christian [sic] man and a faithful worker in the M. E. church and one who will be greatly missed[.] He has resided in this city a number of years and was known to every man, woman and child. For the past two years he had been engaged in the mercantile business. He was kind and generous to his fellow men and leaves that which all men hope to inspire in their friendships, "A pleasing and fragrant memory." It is hard for those who enjoyed his amiable companionship to reconcile themselv[e]s to the fact that whatever is, is for the best. He was called with many of life's tasks unfinished and had gone on the "Beautiful Adventure" and will sleep under the blue canopy of God's Heaven mourned by a community to which his passing means a real loss. 

Funeral service was held Thursday afternoon in the M.E. church in the prescence [sic] of a large congregation, by Rev. Ernest Caldecott, (former pastor of the local church) assisted by Rev. Zumbrunnen. Interment was made in the masonic [sic] cemetery with W. F. Sill undertaker.

The News extends its profound sympathy to the bereaved companion, the aged father and mother and other relatives and friends in this their sad hour of bereavement.
 
Ritchie GazetteDecember 13, 1918Dutchman Run Mrs. J. W. Wince is very ill with flu.
 
Ritchie GazetteDecember 13, 1918Dutchman Run O. F. Wince's family is improving from the flu.
 
Pennsboro NewsJanuary 30, 1919Harrisville LocalsLittle Miss Wilma Arnold is critically ill with the flu. She is the daughter of Will Arnold of Ellenboro and has been staying with her aunt, Mrs. Etta Martin, and going to school.
 
Pennsboro NewsJanuary 30, 1919Harrisville LocalsSchool was closed last Thursday on account of the flu. There are more cases here now than at any time this winter. Churches and Sunday schools are also closed.
Ritchie GazetteJanuary 31, 1919Rutherford Fred Cowan is still improving, having been ill for some time with the influenza.
Ritchie GazetteJanuary 31, 1919Racket E. I. Singleton has been down with the flu.
 
Ritchie GazetteJanuary 31, 1919Racket Most everybody at Racket has had a slight attack of the flu, but all are getting along better now.
 
Ritchie GazetteFebruary 7, 1919GoffsSchool is progressing very nicely, although sickness and the nearness of flu lowers the attendance somewhat.
 
Ritchie GazetteFebruary 7, 1919GoffsThere are no cases of flu in this vicinity but there have been several new cases reported recently in surrounding communities. It will probably be our turn next.
Ritchie GazetteFebruary 14, 1919GoffsSeveral of the young folks attended meeting at Mt. Zion Saturday night and reported a nice time, also that there has been a fine revival at Zion which is certainly good. They were lucky not to have been troubled by the flu.
 
Ritchie GazetteFebruary 14, 1919GoffsA revival meeting began at King Knob, Sunday night, and several of the boys attended. It is to be hoped that the Flu will not bother this meeting.
 
Ritchie GazetteFebruary 14, 1919BeatriceWe are sorry to hear of the flu getting started in the camp on the Crab Run; there have been quite a number of the boys had to go home with the flu.
 
Ritchie GazetteFebruary 14, 1919Beatrice Glen Moyers has had the flue [sic]; took a back set [setback] on it; it is improving slowly[.]
 
Ritchie GazetteFebruary 14, 1919Straightfork NewsThe school has closed again as there are several cases of flu in the neighborhood.
Ritchie GazetteFebruary 14, 1919Straightfork News Dr. E. T. Goff, os [sic] Smithville, was called to A. R. Clayton's to see Mrs. Maude Drake and baby son, who have the flu.
 
Ritchie GazetteFebruary 14, 1919Straightfork News Several of the boys from here who are working on the pipe line at Hartley have taken the flu, and Laco Britton is seriously ill with pneumonia at Smithville.
Ritchie GazetteFebruary 14, 1919Rock Camp Mrs. T. M. Kirkpatrick has had the flu, but is reported a little better at this time.
 
Ritchie GazetteFebruary 14, 1919Rock Camp Mrs. Mary Gainer has been kept quite busy preparing goodies for the flu victims. She says she is afraid of the flu, but she surely is doing her bit.
 
Ritchie GazetteFebruary 21, 1919Hazelgreen Rev. Eurns [Burns?] failed to fill his appointment at Spruce Grove, Sunday, on account of the flu.
 
Ritchie GazetteFebruary 21, 1919Hazelgreen Roosevelt McGill and Harley Martin returned home last Wednesday from Smithville, where they have been down with the flu.
 
Ritchie GazetteFebruary 21, 1919HazelgreenThe flu has visited quite a number of the homes of this vicinity, but we are glad to know they are all getting better.
 
Ritchie GazetteFebruary 28, 1919Bear Run Mrs. G. W. Deem is very ill with with [sic] the flu.
 
Ritchie GazetteFebruary 28, 1919Bear Run E. R. Wilson, who has been ill with the flu, is improving.
 
Ritchie GazetteFebruary 28, 1919Bear RunThe flu is raging at the home of B. F. Jenkins.
 
Pennsboro NewsMarch 20, 1919Buck Run NewsLittle Iva Dotson is a flu victim,
 
Ritchie GazetteMarch 28, 1919BeatriceWe are sorry to hear of the flu spreading again.
 
Ritchie GazetteMarch 28, 1919Beatrice Will Elliott is improving slowly after having the flu[.]
 
Pennsboro NewsApril 17, 1919Harrisville News Miss Jessie Gray of Oxford is seriously ill with influenza. Miss Virgil Cokeley is nursing her.
 
Pennsboro NewsApril 17, 1919Harrisville News Mr. McMillan, Supt. of the stave department of the Standard Oil Company, who has been so seriously ill with the flu at King Knob was in town Tuesday night enroute to his home at Parkersburg. Miss Mary Stevenson, who has been nursing him, accompanied him.

   

 
 

Announcements

 

UPDATE Aug 2020 - In response to this article, cousin Rochelle D. Spiker submitted a story for our Library titled Elderberries - an old Spiker remedy for preventing the flu (and maybe COVID-19)