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bk
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PostMon Mar 30, 2020 12:12 am 
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Please post notes, memories and musings about the 1918 Flu Pandemic here.

If you've done genealogical stuff and noticed family members that died in late 1917 or 1918 (all the way to 1920?), the flu pandemic of 1918 could have been a big factor...

A great grandfather of mine, age 61, died of it (Dec. 1917). So did one of his daughters, age 28 (a great aunt of mine, who was single w/no kids) in Jan. 1919. Both in western Minnesota area (south of mid-state...on the west side).
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Ski
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PostMon Mar 30, 2020 12:31 am 
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My paternal grandmother, Ora Belle Steck

john-dewitt-kirk&ora-belle-steck-wedding-feb-08-1899
john-dewitt-kirk&ora-belle-steck-wedding-feb-08-1899
Ora Belle Steck memorial card
Ora Belle Steck memorial card
Ora Belle Grave - Children - Smith Family Cemetary Rockport Mo.
Ora Belle Grave - Children - Smith Family Cemetary Rockport Mo.
Ora Belle Grave - Smith Family Cemetary Rockport Mo.
Ora Belle Grave - Smith Family Cemetary Rockport Mo.

(* there are only seven children in the photo because baby Ruth died in infancy. *)
(* there's a spelling error on the photo captions which wasn't noticed until just recently. it's not "Rockport", it's "Rock Port". the GPS coordinates for the Smith Family cemetery, which is up on a small rise surrounded by corn fields, are 40.437524, -95.503083 *)

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"I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. 
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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bk
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PostMon Mar 30, 2020 1:06 am 
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Copied cross-post resources (from COVID-19 main thread).

Good stuff.

zephyr wrote:
Here's an amazing testimonial (2007) from Mrs. Edna R. Boone recounting the 1918 Influenza pandemic that she lived through at 10 years of age in Northern Alabama.  Man, she's a 100 years old and sharp as a tack.  Such an inspirational story and powerful message.  ~z

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Anne Elk wrote:
My sister recalls our grandmother telling her stories about that time.  Anyone interested in the modern take on that historical pandemic might enjoy this U of AZ  lecture by evolutionary biologist Michael Worobey. He discusses the modern and historical genomics of influenzas.  Teaser: even horses are involved!!  The gene sleuthing being done is amazing.

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Jake Robinson wrote:
From Reddit, the front page of the Seattle (Daily) Times October 5, 1918.

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More Cowbell
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PostMon Mar 30, 2020 9:20 am 
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I work for the Musicians' Union in Seattle. We've been in business since 1890. I went through the minutes from the Association during the Spanish Flu peak time a couple of weeks ago to try and find some things to post on our FB page. Lot's of mentions of the dancehalls being closed and various members being sick. I did find this sad quote:

Quote from our association minutes from Nov 19, 1918, peak Spanish Flu times:
Quote:
"Report was made of the death of Bro Chas Rudene, owing to the "Flu" epidemic it was impossible to get out a band but a few boys got together with T.H. Wagner and went to the cemetery and played 'taps" as the Mother seemed anxious to have some music."

TH Wagner was a bandleader who was as famous as Kurt Cobain back then.
If anyone has musical relatives from back then we probably have them in our files. I made a database of almost 20,000 members a couple of years ago. I can look them up from home if you want info. More details would be in our files which are legally open to the public unless the members are still alive.

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“If you want to forget all your other troubles, wear too tight shoes.” - Unknown
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Kascadia
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PostMon Mar 30, 2020 10:24 am 
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Interview last week on KUOW with John Barry, author of The Great Influenza:  The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History.

https://kuow.org/stories/what-the-1918-flu-pandemic-teaches-us-about-the-coronavirus-outbreak

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It is as though I had read a divine text, written into the world itself, not with letters but rather with essential objects, saying:
Man, stretch thy reason hither, so thou mayest comprehend these things. Johannes Kepler
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RichP
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PostMon Mar 30, 2020 11:51 am 
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The video above featuring Mrs Boone is worth a watch. I looked her up and she lived another 4 more years to the ripe old age of 104.

Quote:
Edna Register Boone, a native of Houston County and a former resident of both Madrid and Dothan, went to be with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on Tuesday, November 15, 2011. She was 104.
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Schroder
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PostMon Mar 30, 2020 12:14 pm 
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My great-uncle died in Minnesota from the flu in 1919, leaving behind a wife and 12 children.She then married the widower on the next farm, who's wife also died of the flu and also had 12 children.  When they married they had 2 more kids.
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MtnManic
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PostMon Mar 30, 2020 6:25 pm 
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While doing some genealogy research, expecting nothing on paternal grandparents (dad's dad emigrated from Sweden and grandma was the daughter of Swedish immigrants), found out Grandma was 5 when her mother died in the 1918 flu epidemic.  So I guess Grandpa either didn't know that Grandma's "mom" was her step-mom, or what, since he's the one who provided the initial information.

Sadly, both are long gone, but I found out Grandma's maternal line came over on the Mayflower.  So much for thinking the whole family was pretty much immigrants just a few generations back.

One thing about genealogy, it helps to establish a connection with "history" and historic events on a personal level.

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Brooklynn McClure
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PostSun May 24, 2020 8:12 am 
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Hello, Ski. Thank you so much for posting these photos and this information. John Dewitt Kirk is my great grandfather. After Ora Bell passed away he married my Great Grandmother. About ten years ago I learned of this first wife of his and their nine children. They’ve held a special place in my heart ever since.  I would love to speak with you and exchange more family photos, memories, etc. of the Kirk line. Feel free to email me.
Thank you,
Brooklynn McClure

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Brooklynn
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