Flu 1918: Greene County, Pennsylvania
The flu epidemic of 1918 impacted Greene County, Pennsylvania families in ways that are hauntingly familiar today as the world fights a similar battle in 2020.The Long and Sad Goodbye: World War I Families Wait to Bury Their Fallen Soldiers
On Memorial Day 1920, most WWI families were still waiting to bring their sons home for burial. Highlighting the circumstances of Greene County, Pennsylvania's fallen soldiers, this is a brief explanation of the reasons for the long delays.The Man Who Brought Football to Waynesburg College
In the fall of 1894, a 20-year-old transfer student arrived on the Waynesburg College campus bringing with him a passion for a new pastime. He raised the $5.25 to buy a football and then began to recruit his classmates.Love Stories in Shades of Greene
Romance genealogy-style, as we share the tales of courtship from a handful of Greene County, Pennsylvania family histories.That's Our Henry!
With a face a descendant is ready to love, Henry Bowler’s photograph prompted a search that added a “peculiar” and remarkable personality to his preserved pose.
Flu 1918: Greene County, Pennsylvaniaby Candice Buchanan on 2023-03-18T16:10:00-04:00 in Tragedy, Health, World War I | 0 Comments
(Originally published 27 March 2020.)
We are living through tough times, but we have been here before. The genealogist’s approach to history is to learn about it from the local level outward. Our ability to relate, empathize, understand, and simply be interested, increases when the history is tangible: places, people, and events that we know personally. Local history reduces our degree of separation from past events, even though we are separated by time.
Knowing that our ancestors experienced similar circumstances and endured, makes it easier for us to do the same. We are here today because they survived their hard days.
Waynesburg Republican, Waynesburg, Pennsylvania, 10 October 1918, page 1, columns 3 and 4.
This is just a small clipping printed from the newspaper microfilm at the Cornerstone Genealogical Society. It is a mere snapshot of a much bigger impact felt by our community a century ago. This particular section was printed for our files because the next column over announced the deaths of three Company K soldiers during World War I. What a trying time.
In his History of Greene County, Pennsylvania, Dr. G. Wayne Smith explains that:
Dr. Smith goes on to say that “there were flu patients in almost every home at Wind Ridge, with seven ill in one home alone.” Hardest to read is that “at least fifty-five died in Greene County due to the epidemic during the winter and spring of 1918-1919, and scores of others were seriously ill.”
In Green Mount Cemetery, near the brick road entrance off of Morris Street in Waynesburg, is the tombstone of James Albert and Katherine Elizabeth (Summersgill) Holder. The young couple died within days of each other in April 1919, leaving behind their little daughters.
All ages were affected from infant to elderly, but this flu was particularly vicious to the young, healthy adults who would normally weather such a storm. Soldiers were hit particularly hard due to their close quarters in training, transportation, and service.
The Holders’ double obituary on the front page of the Waynesburg Republican, 24 April 1919, opens: “Not in this generation, during a single year, has such a heavy weight of sorrow and bereavement been felt by the people of Greene County, as they have been called upon to bear during the past twelve months.”
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