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. Read More...

Will Montgomery and the “Sunday Sun”

William F. Montgomery, Editor of the “Sunday Sun” Photo courtesy of Susan Cucchiarella

William F. Montgomery, Editor of the “Sunday Sun”
Photo courtesy of Susan Cucchiarella

           During the late 1880’s Will Momtgomery and the Sunday Sun, provided an alternative newspaper voice to that of the more established Semi-Weekly Pioneer. The spirited newspaper rivalry between the Sun and the Pioneer lasted just four years, but was one of the strangest ever recorded.

           Will Montgomery was born on August 31, 1857 in Kokomo, Indiana—the eldest of four children born to Seymour and Elizabeth Montgomery.  Montgomery’s father was a respected newspaper editor in Mishawaka, Indiana. By age 11, Will had joined his father’s business as a typesetter at the Mishawaka Enterprise. Read More...

Somewhere In France – October 25, 1918

Sgt. Arthur Danielson (right) somewhere in France (1918-1919)

Sgt. Arthur Danielson (right) somewhere in France (1918-1919)

Somewhere in France

Oct. 25th, 1918

Mr. and Mrs. J. N. Danielson

Dearest Bro. and Family—

           Will try to write a few lines to you today and let you know that I am still on earth and very much alive.

           Have been on this front just a month now but it seems a year since we moved up here.

           Have seen what war is like now and I will say like Sherman said “War is hell,” only more so.

           Have seen many prisoners go by, and many wounded but those dough boys never make a whimper as they come by, some walking, others riding in ambulances and big trucks. Read More...