This page last updated March 11, 2010

In September of 1918, soldiers at an army base near Boston suddenly began to die. The cause of death was identified as influenza, but it was unlike any strain ever seen. As the killer virus spread across the country, hospitals overfilled, death carts roamed the streets and helpless city officials dug mass graves. It was the worst epidemic in American history, killing over 600,000--until it disappeared as mysteriously as it had begun.

As a child I recall seeing many stones in cemeteries for the year 1918; it wasn't until much later I learned about the epidemic. However, the influenza outbreaks were NOT limited to the year 1918. There were many deaths throughout our counties, influenza was also known as "grippe". The lack of medical supplies (vaccines) contributed to the massive death toll. Anyone can get influenza. Influenza is spread from person to person through the air by coughing and sneezing. It is also spread by direct contact with infected people. Influenza can be a serious disease that causes severe complications such as pneumonia. It can also make heart disease or chronic lung disease worse. Thousands of deaths each year are caused by influenza.

The listings below show: Name/Date/Area/Submitter

Name Date of Death Town/Twp County Submitted by
Ephraim RATTS 12-25-1893 Morgan twp MORGAN Debbie Jennings
Nancy A. RATTS 2-22-1918 Plano MORGAN Debbie Jennings
Chloe WILSON 10-30-1918 unknown OWEN Debbie Jennings
Samuel DEAN 3-11-1858 Taylor Twp OWEN Mike Dean
Robert DEAN 4-19-1858 Taylor Twp OWEN Mike Dean
Isaac DEAN 9-3-1858 Taylor Twp OWEN Mike Dean
Nancy J. (Byrd) BALDWIN 2-24-1919 Taylor Township OWEN Debbie Jennings
Curtis Need 10-9-1918 Wayne Township OWEN Debbie Jennings
Lucy CARPENTER 12-25-1932 Spencer OWEN Debbie Jennings
Ida (Carpenter) WOODS January 1933 Spencer OWEN Debbie Jennings
Mrs. Maggie CARTER April 14, 1892 Freedom OWEN Debbie Jennings


Debbie Jennings