History | Spanish Influenza version 6.0  (10 articles & links) | Back
The following article appeared on page 1 of the 17 Oct 1918 issue of The Simcoe Reformer  

The "Flu"

In common with the rest of the world, Simcoe is in the grip of the so-called Spanish Influenza. This (Thursday) morning, at a meeting of the Local Board of Health, it was estimated that there are 400 cases in town -- none of which were at that time described as of a dangerous type.

The town physicians are in desperate straits to keep up with their work, and three of them were themselves stated to be in bed with the malady.

The Board of Health ordered the churches, schools, public library, Lyric Theatre and the pool-rooms closed on Saturday night until otherwise advised.

An emergency hospital is to be established today. The second floor of the Oddfellows' Block on Robinson Street has been commandeered for the purpose. A trained nurse and seven volunteers of the St. John Corps go into service at the start.

The local authorities appear to be acting with commendable energy -- but, of course, the tremendous strain everywhere greatly hampers their work.

A lightly edited partial transcription of a page 1 article in the 17 Oct 1918 Simcoe Reformer

The Reformer is very late this week.

Mr. Morgan, our capable linotype operator, is laid aside by a severe attack of the prevailing malady, and as he has no understudy, that would have entailed our missing publication altogether had not the Canadian Linotype Co. of Toronto, generously come to our assistance with the loan of an machinist.

Considerable time, however, was necessarily loss, and we are late. In addition, have been compelled to hold over until next week the greater portion of our county news.

From pages 1, 5, 6, 7 and 8 of the 17 Oct 1918 Simcoe Reformer newspaper. (10 items)

The first death from the Spanish influenza occurred Sunday, when Chas. Upthegrove, 25, died at Waterford. 

Mr. and Mrs. Rew of Hammond, Ill., formerly of Simcoe, both contracted Spaniish influenza. Mrs. Rew, nee Clara M. Lampkin, died of it a few days later. Remains to Simcoe for burial. Her husband unable to attend.

Michael Matthews, about 24, of Waterford, a returned married soldier, succumbed to the influenza last night.

Miss Norah McCluskey, who has been a sufferer from influenza, was removed to the hospital at Hamilton early this week.
Mrs. Archie Wrightenburg of Bookton is very ill with pneumonia, following an attack of influenza.

Miss May McInally, daughter of Isaac McInally of Grove Street, Simcoe, has returned to her duties at the Eaton store. She reported a large number of Eaton employees off duty with the prevalent influenza.

Doctors in town are among the sufferers of influenza. 
Drs. Toll and F. E. B. McGilvery had it and recovered. 
Dr. Bessie Collver is very ill this week. Drs. Grassett and Bowlby have been incessant visitors to their many patients with little time for necessary rest. Dr. McGilvery has not yet resumed his visits, but secured the assistance of Dr. Watson of London, in looking after patients confined to their homes. A late report puts Dr. Toll back in bed and Dr. Grassett seriously ill.

R. J. Miller, for many years a partner in the firm of Bagley & Miller, died Tue 15 Oct 1918 of Spanish flu. He was a Past Master of Erie, No. 149, A.F. & A.M., and ex-Chairman of the local Board of Education.

J. S. Smith of Port Rowan last week went to Toronto 
to see his daughter, Miss Marie Smith, who was ill with Spanish influenza, and, upon returning home, was taken down with the disease himself. Pneumonia developed, and for several days Mr. Smith was quite dangerously ill.

Vittoria: -- Miss Emma Oakes, Mrs. A. W. Dawson, Misses Marion and Ethel Walsh, Richard Church,
Ernest Church, Windsor Johnstone, Mrs. Arthur Esser, Mrs. Jas. Cowan, Miss Ethel Cowan, and Omer Lloyd, 
are all suffering with Spanish influenza.


The following ad appeared on page 7 of the 17 Oct 1918 issue of The Simcoe Reformer.

Ontario Emergency Volunteer Health Auxiliary
Wanted, Volunteers!

The Provincial Board of Health, with the authority of the Government of Ontario, has organized an "Ontario Volunteer Health Auxiliary" for the purpose of training and supplying nursing help to be utilized wherever needed, in combating the Influenza outbreak. 

A strong executive has been formed in Toronto. It is strongly recommended that each municipal council and local Board of Health, working in co-operation, take immediate steps to form a local branch of this organization. 

The Volunteer Nurses will wear the officially authorized badge "Ontario S.O.S." (Sisters of Service). This "S.O.S." call may be urgent. 

Classes taking lectures are already opened in the Parliament Buildings, Toronto (Private Bills' Committee Room, ground floor), where they will be carried on every day at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. until further notice. 

Young women of education are urged to avail themselves of this unique opportunity to be of real service to the community. If they are not needed, so much the better. If they are needed, we hope to have them ready. 

All towns and cities are urged to organize and prepare in similar manner.

A Syllabus of lectures is being sent to the 
Medical Officer of Health of all cities and towns. 

Further information may be had on application to John W. S. McCullough, M.D., Chairman of Executive, Parliament Buildings, Toronto, Telephone Main 6800.


A lightly edited transcription of a page 8 article in the 24 Oct 1918 Simcoe Reformer

The Emergency Hospital

Within 24 hours of the first harboring of the idea of the necessity for an emergency hospital to treat the numerous sufferers from the influenza, who had no one to care for them, the first patients were comfortably in bed with willing attendants.

This quick work was largely due to the enterprise of Henry Crabb, aided by Mayor Sihler, Chas. McGilvery, 
B. B. Baillie. and Rev. Farney.

The south annex of the Norfolk House was available, 
and even as the volunteer nurses and assistant were organizing, plumber were installing gas and water fittings, the telephone was being placed, cots and 
bedding being put in the rooms.

Some 25 cots were made up, and all of these were on accupied on Sunday. On that day two deaths were recorded, it being impossible to save the lives of 
Frances Kate Media, who died at 4 a.m., and Eric Carter, about 10 o'clock.

Several other patients were very ill, but the treatment given them at the hospital is gradually bringing them around again. By the middle of the week seven or eight had been discharged, but their places were filled again by fresh cases, the most of whom, happily, were not very great sufferers.

The hospital is staffed by graduate nurses and a number of untrained volunteer assistants, some of whom have had St. John's Ambulance courses. Too much praise cannot be given by the people of Simcoe to these volunteer nurses and helpers, particularly the former, for their untiring efforts to succor and relieve the suffering.

One nurse of experience said that never had she seen so many sick people in such a suffering condition at once as there were housed together last Saturday. At first there was little rest for the helpers, but as time went on, others volunteered to aid, but there is even yet need of help.

The institution is now running smoothly, affairs have been systematized and the equipment is wonderfully adequate when the short time the hospital has been in use is considered.

While all members of the charity committee and the Board of Health are responsible, those contributing most to that end are Mr. Crabb, the efficient and unrelaxing chairman of the the committee,  and Rev. Farney. One of the assistants whose words have many time over been corroborated, said "Mr. Crabb is wonderful." Every moment of his spare time is spent at the hospital.

The staff is: 
Supt. -- Miss Margaret Scott
Asst. Supt. -- Mrs. W. N. McKay
Supt. of Housekeeping -- Miss Alice Cruise
Asst. Supts. -- Miss Clara Price and Mrs. Alan Jackson
Orderlies -- Hugh Austin and Harry Nelson.

Volunteer nurses and assistants in kitchen --
Misses Mary Baillie, Clara Lawson, Mary Peachey, 
Olive Madden, Anna Miller, Gladys Ramey, 
Aileen McInally, Mrs. Julian Boyd, Mrs. J. B. Jackson, Miss Margaret McKnight, Miss Clara Hoag, 
Miss Vera Collins, Mrs. Rigg, Miss Vina Lea, 
Mrs. F. Hodgson, Miss Annie Taylor, Mrs. L. T. Atkinson, Miss T. Perry, Mrs. W. R. Cutting, Misses Rowat,
Mrs. John West, Mrs. B. B. Bailee, Mrs. Murdoch, 
Mrs. McGilvery, Mrs. (Dr.) McIntosh, Miss Stella Howick, Miss Holliday, Miss Knowles, Miss Dorothy Perry, 
Miss Marsland, Miss P. Matthews.

Many gifts of broths, custards, treats and such, 
have been sent in to both patients and nurses from sympathizing townspeople, but there are still a great many who are unable to give any but financial aid to 
the hospital who have signified their willingness to 
give money to assist in defraying the heavy charges 
in connection with its maintenance.

For the convenience of any wishing to contribute, 
the board has arranged with Mr. B. B. Bailee, 
secretary-treasurer of the Hospital Board, to 
receive all cash subscriptions.


The following article appeared on page 1 of the 31 Oct 1918 issue of The Simcoe Reformer  

The Influenza

Yesterday in Simcoe, doctors, nurses and Hospital Committee were all pessimistic. New cases of influenza were not developing, but 27 cots in the Emergency Hospital were occupied, and two or three patients were looked upon as next to hopeless.

This morning brought a greatly improved state of affairs. The dangerous cases had all taken a turn for the better and so many had left the hospital that at noon only 12 patients remained. There were no new cases in sight, so the local physicians reported.

At noon today a meeting of the Board of Health was convened to deal with the situation. All the members were present. It was unanimously resolved that the ban on church services and all other gatherings prohibited by the order of the order of the Board of October 1[2]th, be continued until otherwise ordered.

Mayor Sihler, chairman of the Board, requests publication of the following:

"To the Staff and Nurses of the Emergency Hospital: -- 
I wish thus publicly to express, on behalf of the Board, our deep appreciation of the rare courage and spirit of self-sacrifice that has characterised all your services. 
I tender you my grateful thanks and I trust that special recognition will be made you by the Town Council, under whose authority the Emergency Hospital has been organized  and conducted."

The following is a lightly edited transcription of the News of Norfolk column on page 2 of the 
31 Oct 1918 issue of The Simcoe Reformer  


Mr. Roy Gibson of Stratford, who has been relieving some of the staff of the Royal Bank, Springfield, four of whom had the flu at once, spent Sunday with his uncle, R. D. Gibson.

Jack Thistle, who has been in town about a month, relieving the M.C.R. staff, who have in turn been taking their holidays, left on Sunday for Highgate.

Roy Dunbar resumed his duties as baggageman at the M.C.R. on Sunday after an illness of about a week.

Mr. Lamont received a telegram on Sunday announcing the death of his nephew, Victor Lamont of London, from pneumonia, following an attack of influenza. Deceased leaves a sorrowing widow, five small children, and many other near relatives.

Louis Beemer of Detroit spent the past week with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Alphonso Beemer.

The only death in the past week in the village from influenza was that of Pte. George Royal, 22, a Bernardo Home boy, raised by Chas. McAllister.

The following is a lightly edited partial transcription of the Port Dover column on page 2 of the 
31 Oct 1918 issue of The Simcoe Reformer  

Port Dover

These four citizens succumbed to attacks of Spanish Influenza:

In Port Dover, Friday, 18 Oct 1918, Robert, 15, son of 
Mr. and Mrs. Charles Alair.

In Port Dover, Saturday, 20 Oct 1918, Erie Jemima Law, only daughter of Mrs. (Capt.) John Allen.

In Port Dover, Sunday, 20 Oct 1918, Charles Alair, 50.

In Port Dover, Wednesday, 23 Oct 1918, Mrs. F. D. Awde. 

Link: Six more Oct 1918 Influenza deaths/obituaries 

The following article appeared on page 1 of the 7 Nov 1918 issue of The Simcoe Reformer  

The "Flu" is Passing
Simcoe Board of Health lifts
Ban on Meetings

At a meeting of the Board of Health held last evening at the town clerk's office, it was unanimously agreed to repeal the order closing the schools, churches, library, and pool rooms, and forbidding meetings of more than 
25 people.

All the town's physicians agreed that the epidemic had run its course and advised that nothing could be, at present, gained by maintainng the prohibition.

The (Thursday) morning there are seven cases in the Hospital, a gain of two over yesterday. Chairman Crabb of the Charity Committee was anything but sure that the action of the Board of Health was timely. He seemed to fear the possibility of a fresh outbreak.

The facts, however, are that at the moment the town is almost clear and it is desirable to give business a chance to resume. If there is a return of the plague it need only be the work of minutes to re-impose the ban.

Meanwhile it will not be out of place to ask people to exercise ordinary precautions. Families that have recently had visits from the malady should voluntarily absent themselves from church services or other places where them may endanger others. Infected children should be kept from school, and promptly sent home by teachers if they present themselves.

The new order becomes effective Friday at 10 a.m.


Our summary of an article on page 1 of the 27 Feb 1919 issue of the Simcoe Reformer newspaper.

Volunteer Nurses Honored

Last Tuesday, Simcoe honored the volunteer women and girls who served as nurses or kitchen workers at the Emergency Hospital during the influenza outbreak last autumn.

Those honored with a cememorating pin are:

Mrs. T. J. Agar
Mrs. Arthur Anderson
Mrs. L. T. Atkinson
Miss Mary Baillie
Miss Rhea Berry
Mrs. Julian Boyd
Miss Vera Collins
Miss Alice Cruise
Mrs. W. R. Cutting
Miss Annie Gunton
Miss Eva Haddow
Miss Elsie Halliday
Miss Muriel Hicks
Miss Clara Hoag
Mrs. Clara Hodgson
Miss Estelle Howick
Mrs. Alan Jackson
Miss Enid Johnson
Miss Annie Knowles
Mrs. Lawrence
Miss Clara Lawson
Miss Vina Lea
Miss Lulu Leach
Miss Olive Madden
Miss Erie Marsland (Lynedoch)
Miss Pidgie Matthews
Miss Aileen McInally
Mrs. W. N. McKay, assistant
Miss Margaret McKnight
Miss Essie McQueen
Miss Annie Miller
Mrs. Ira Miller
Miss Mary Peachey
Miss Dorothy Perry
Miss T. Perry
Mrs. J. Porter
Miss Amy Pratt
Miss Clara Price
Miss Gladys Ramey
Mrs. Richard Reed
Misses Belle and Mabel Rowat
Miss Margaret Scott, superintendent
Mrs. Fred Sebring
Miss Annie Taylor
Mrs. Gordon Thompson
Miss Marjorie West
Mrs. S. J. West
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