The Spanish Influenza of 1918-1919

On December 6, 1918, the third floor of the Cookson-Leroy Hardware building was converted to an emergency hospital to care for those suffering with influenza.

On December 6, 1918, the third floor of the Cookson-Leroy Hardware building was converted to an emergency hospital to care for those suffering with influenza.

           During the fall of 1918 the arrival of “flu season” was closely monitored by public health officials in Schoolcraft County. The so-called Spanish influenza pandemic had begun simultaneously in Europe, Asia and the United States and quickly spread around the globe. An estimated 25 percent of Americans came down with the flu and 675,000 Americans died.

            The Pioneer Tribune reported that the influenza cases experienced here in October and early November of 1918 were relatively few and quite mild.  Meanwhile, the end of the war in Europe on November 11th was cause for a euphoric celebration in Manistique. The factory whistles blew and church and fire bells tolled throughout the city. Mayor William Middlebrook declared a public holiday with businesses and factories closing for the day. Citizens thronged the streets to watch a parade featuring local bands and the Red Cross.

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