CCGS: 1918 epidemic devastated county

By Clinton County Genealogical Society

The Clinton County Genealogical met on Sept. 24 at the History Center Meeting Room. President Gene Snyder called the meeting to order. The minutes of the Aug. 27 meeting were approved as read. Treasurer Ron Johnson gave the treasurer’s report.

Seventeen members and two guests attended. We were also joined by Tonya Maus of the Peace Resource Center from Wilmington College with four Japanese guests who were visiting the center for several days.

Susan Henry reported that the Genealogy Library will close for the year on Nov. 16 and will reopen in March. The dates for Saturday hours will be determined later.

The October newsletter will be a hard copy, mailed to members. It will include a forms to renew membership for the next year and to make reservations for the annual banquet on Nov. 26.

Gene reminded the group that the Ohio Genealogical Society will hold its 2019 Conference oMay 1-4 at Great Wolf Lodge in Mason.

The next meeting of the CCGS will be held on Oct. 22 at 7 p.m. in the History Center Meeting Room. Nancy Ottman will present “New Homes, Old Customs, Germans in America.”

Suzanne Madison presented “The Flu Epidemic of 1918 in Clinton County”. She described the progression of the Spanish influenza and its effect on Clinton County as reported in the Wilmington Daily News.

The first article concerning the epidemic appeared on Sept. 23, 1918. Later issues reported the growth of the disease in the city and the county. By Oct. 7, schools and churches were closed. All public meetings were cancelled. Some businesses were closed and basic services such as telephone and mail delivery were curtailed due to the illness of employees.

Eventually, all businesses were closed.

The newspaper included many obituaries.

On Oct. 10, Dr. Peele warned that the epidemic was far from over. The Nov. 4 edition reported that schools could reopen on Nov. 11 with theaters opening on Nov. 8. The ban on public meetings and the closing of businesses were also lifted at this time.

There was a recurrence in late November and the schools were closed again.

The lid was finally lifted on Dec. 17, 1918.

By Clinton County Genealogical Society