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Community Life - Disasters and accidents - Epidemics - Influenza of 1918

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Charles Huffman to Governor Arthur Capper

Charles Huffman to Governor Arthur Capper
Creator: Huffman, Charles H.
Date: October 23, 1918
In this letter to Governor Capper, Adjutant General Huffman reports his findings from visiting Camp Funston. In response to complaints from family members of men at Funston's hospital, Governor Capper sent Huffman to inspect the Camp. In his report, Huffman is given a thorough inspection with General Wood, detailing that 22 buildings were used as temporary hospitals during the influenza outbreak that spread throughout the U.S., and the world, beginning in the spring of 1918.


Charles Huffman to Governor Arthur Capper

Charles Huffman to Governor Arthur Capper
Creator: Kansas. Governor (1915-1919: Capper)
Date: October 23, 1918
In this letter to Governor Capper, Kansas Adjutant General Charles S. Huffman details the situation at Camp Funston during the influenza outbreak of 1918. Ordered by Capper to investigate conditions at Camp Funston, Huffman informs Capper that conditions throughout the area were more than satisfactory to meet the demands imposed on the staff and facilities at the camp. In fact, Huffman states that "I can assure you that no parent or relative need have any apprehension but what boys in camp are receiving the best of attention and treatment."


Conditions at Camp Funston correspondence

Conditions at Camp Funston correspondence
Creator: Kansas. Governor (1915-1919: Capper)
Date: July 10, 1918-July 19, 1918
This correspondence deals with complaints about the treatment of servicemen at the hospital in Camp Funston. Written during the summer of the Influenza of 1918, these various pieces of correspondence indicate the extreme concern shown for the health of the men being treated at Funston. Particularly interesting is the letter to Governor Capper that was sent to him by "an Anxious Mother." In the letter, the unknown mother of a soldier hospitalized at Camp Funston pleads with Governors Capper to do something about the poor food and sanitary conditions at the facility. A complete transcription is available by clicking "Text Version" below.


Coxwain Paul Cary Carlton, World War I soldier

Coxwain Paul Cary Carlton, World War I soldier
Date: 1916-1919
Around 1919, the Kansas State Historical Society and the American Legion solicited biographical information from returning veterans (primarily members of the 35th and 89th infantry divisions) and the families of those who died in service, notably from the Gold Star Mothers. Each veteran or family member was asked to provide letters, photographs, a biography, and military records. This file contains information on Coxwain Paul Carey Carlton, Navy. Carlton died of influenza November 4, 1918 on the U.S.S. Pittsburgh, at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.


Death by causes: influenza

Death by causes: influenza
Creator: Kansas State Board of Health
Date: 1918
This summary of deaths, compiled by the Division of Vital Statistics of the Kansas State Board of Health, details the total number of deaths that resulted during the Influenza of 1918. Often referred to as the Spanish Flu during the period, the Influenza of 1918 took a significant toll on Kansas with 2,639 recorded deaths. However, the death toll across the globe was much worse, with estimated deaths varying anywhere from 50 million to 100 million people. To view the full, two volume report see unit 220786. In the full volume (UID 220786 ), there is a page for each county, and additional pages for larger cities ? possibly the first class ones. Each page bears a number that corresponds to the number on the page of statistics for this unit. Numbers 1 thru 105 are assigned to the 105 counties in alphabetical order. Numbers 200-400 are assigned to the cities within those counties Examples: 1 = Allen County 201 = Iola, Allen County 105 = Wyandotte County 205 = Kansas City, Wyandotte Co. 305 = Rosedale, Wyandotte Co. (You'll notice that the companion number for County 5 is 405 as to not duplicate 205 and 305.) In the full volume, you can go from county to county quickly by using the Page Selection drop down menu (on the upper left-hand side of the image).


Deaths by counties: Topeka City

Deaths by counties: Topeka City
Creator: Kansas State Board of Health
Date: 1918
This information, gathered for the Kansas State Board of Health's Division of Vital Statistics, details the number of deaths in Topeka from the Influenza of 1918. As indicated by the number 10 which represents influenza deaths, Topeka had 57 people die during the 1918 outbreak.


Dollie Boland to Governor Arthur Capper

Dollie Boland to Governor Arthur Capper
Creator: Kansas. Governor (1915-1919: Capper)
Date: October 22, 1918
In this letter, Dollie Boland of Stafford, Kansas, asks Kansas Governor Arthur Capper to find out why the U.S. Army will not let family members visit their loved ones at the hospital on Camp Funston. Boland wrote her letter to Governor Capper while her brother was being cared for at the Camp Funston hospital during the influenza outbreak of 1918.


Fern C. Sanders, World War I soldier

Fern C. Sanders, World War I soldier
Date: 1918
Around 1919, the Kansas State Historical Society and the American Legion solicited biographical information from returning veterans (primarily members of the 35th and 89th infantry divisions) and the families of those who died in service, notably from the Gold Star Mothers. Each veteran or family member was asked to provide letters, photographs, a biography, and military records. This file contains information on Fern C. Sanders, who died on October 13, 1918 at the base hospital in Ft. Riley, Kansas. A line in his obituary reads, "Under regulations governing the influenza epidemic, the funeral was private, only a few being present."


Flu epidemic monument, Camp Funston, Fort Riley, Kansas

Flu epidemic monument, Camp Funston, Fort Riley, Kansas
Date: Between 1918 and 1920
A photograph showing a monument erected at Engineers Canyon, Camp Funston, Fort Riley, Kansas, memorializing 10th Sanitary Train soldiers who died in the flu epidemic.


Flu epidemic monument, Camp Funston, Fort Riley, Kansas

Flu epidemic monument, Camp Funston, Fort Riley, Kansas
Date: Between 1918 and 1920
A photograph showing a monument erected at Engineers Canyon, Camp Funston, Fort Riley, Kansas, memorializing 10th Sanitary Train soldiers who died in the flu epidemic. Brubaker is photographed with the monument.


Flu epidemic monument, Camp Funston, Fort Riley, Kansas

Flu epidemic monument, Camp Funston, Fort Riley, Kansas
Date: Between 1918 and 1920
A photograph showing a monument erected at Engineers Canyon, Camp Funston, Fort Riley, Kansas, memorializing 10th Sanitary Train soldiers who died in the flu epidemic. Harry A. Hardy, who is in the photograph, designed the monument.


Garfield School, Topeka, Kansas

Garfield School, Topeka, Kansas
Date: Between 1918 and 1919
Three black and white photographs of Garfield School in Topeka, Kansas, serving as an emergency hospital, possibly during the Spanish Influenza epidemic.


General Leonard Wood to Governor Arthur Capper

General Leonard Wood to Governor Arthur Capper
Creator: Wood, Leonard, 1860-1927
Date: October 19, 1918
In this letter to Governor Capper, General Leonard Wood, Commander of Camp Funston, details the situation at Funston during the Influenza of 1918. Arguing that he and his medical staff were doing everything that they could under difficult circumstances, Wood nonetheless admits that "the highest number of deaths in one day was sixty four (64). The number now is running in the thirties."


General Leonard Wood to Governor Arthur Capper

General Leonard Wood to Governor Arthur Capper
Creator: Kansas. Governor (1915-1919: Capper)
Date: October 24, 1918
In this letter to Governor Capper, General Leonard Wood, Commander of Camp Funston, thanks Capper for sending Adjutant General Huffman to Funston to assess the situation during the Influenza of 1918. Reinforcing his belief that he and his staff did everything in their power to keep deaths to a minimum, Wood states that "the Medical and Nursing Staff, here are entitled to the gratitude, and not the criticism of the relatives and friends of the men who are sick."


George Earl McConaughey, World War I soldier

George Earl McConaughey, World War I soldier
Creator: McConaughey, George Earl
Date: 1918-1919
Around 1919, the Kansas State Historical Society and the American Legion solicited biographical information from returning veterans (primarily members of the 35th and 89th infantry divisions) and the families of those who died in service, notably from the Gold Star Mothers. Each veteran or family member was asked to provide letters, photographs, a biography, and military records. This file contains information on George Earl McConaughey, 31st Company, 164th Depot Brigade. McConaughey died from pneumonia on December 1, 1918 at a Ft. Riley, Kansas, hospital. He was from Lakin, Kearny County, Kansas.


Get the anti "flu" habit

Get the anti "flu" habit
Date: Between 1918 and 1919
A cartoon published by the Topeka Health Service of Shawnee County, illustrating precautions to combat and prevent the further spread of the influenza.


Get the anti flu habit

Get the anti flu habit
Date: Between 1920 and 1930
An illustration published by the Topeka Health Service of Shawnee County, showing precautions to combat and prevent the further spread of influenza.


Governor Arthur Capper to Dollie Boland

Governor Arthur Capper to Dollie Boland
Creator: Kansas. Governor (1915-1919: Capper)
Date: October 24, 1918
In this letter, Kansas Governor Arthur Capper responds to an earlier letter from Mrs. Dollie Boland of Stafford, Kansas. Boland had written him to find out about her brother who was in the hospital at Camp Funston. Capper explains that due to the influenza outbreak, the U.S. Army authorities "threw a quarantine around the camp and declined to let anybody in." Dollie's letter to the Governor can be found in Kansas Memory as Unit ID 217170.


Governor Arthur Capper to General Leonard Wood

Governor Arthur Capper to General Leonard Wood
Creator: Kansas. Governor (1915-1919: Capper)
Date: October 19, 1918
In this telegram to General Leonard Wood, Commander of Camp Funston, Governor Capper informs Wood that a group of twelve mothers with sons at Camp Funston, visited his office and requested that he look into conditions at the camp because "they have heard many wild rumors and are greatly alarmed about Influenza epidemic."


Governor Arthur Capper to the Chairman of the Board of County Commissioners

Governor Arthur Capper to the Chairman of the Board of County Commissioners
Creator: Kansas. Governor (1915-1919: Capper)
Date: June 16, 1917
In this letter to the Chairman of the Board of County Commissioners, Leavenworth, Kansas, Governor Capper explains that the State Board of Health and the Federal Government is "making a special effort to keep the military camp at Fort Leavenworth, and the country immediately adjacent thereto, in the best possible sanitary condition to the end that the health of the soldiers in the camp as well as the health of the citizens generally in that community may be protected." This item demonstrates the fact that the state and federal authorities were concerned about health and sanitation well before the outbreak of the Influenza of 1918.


Paul Sylvan Porter, World War I soldier

Paul Sylvan Porter, World War I soldier
Date: 1918-1919
Around 1919, the Kansas State Historical Society and the American Legion solicited biographical information from returning veterans (primarily members of the 35th and 89th infantry divisions) and the families of those who died in service, notably from the Gold Star Mothers. Each veteran or family member was asked to provide letters, photographs, a biography, and military records. This file contains information on Paul Sylvan Porter. Paul died of pneumonia on December 3, 1918 in Winfield, Kansas.


Roy R. Rutledge, World War I soldier

Roy R. Rutledge, World War I soldier
Date: 1919
Around 1919, the Kansas State Historical Society and the American Legion solicited biographical information from returning veterans (primarily members of the 35th and 89th infantry divisions) and the families of those who died in service, notably from the Gold Star Mothers. Each veteran or family member was asked to provide letters, photographs, a biography, and military records. This file contains information on Roy R. Rutledge, 343rd Regiment, 86th Division. According to the note, "In Sept. 1918 he sailed with the 86th Div for France, on the Olympic-the first boat to have the "Flu" on board. Over one-third of the men sailing on it lost their lives from the epidemic."


Samuel Crumbine to Governor Arthur Capper

Samuel Crumbine to Governor Arthur Capper
Creator: Crumbine, S.J.
Date: June 16, 1917
In this letter to Governor Capper, Samuel Crumbine, Secretary of the Kansas State Board of Health, addresses the issue of a sanitation zone around all military installations in the state of Kansas. Crumbine explains that, at the annual meeting of the State Board of Health (June 13-14, 1917), the Board passed resolutions to "sanitate" the zone around military installations per the requests of the Federal Government. One such resolution declared all "outside, unfly proofed toilets a public nuisance and a menace to public health." Such seemingly trivial measures indicate that military installations were important concerns for the public, as well as the Board of Health, well before the outbreak of the Influenza of 1918.


The plague that came out of Fort Riley

The plague that came out of Fort Riley
Creator: Kansas City Star
Date: March 10, 1961
This book review by Arthur F. Duncan, of the Kansas City Star, details the Influenza of 1918, its impact on Fort Riley, and eventually, its rapid spread throughout most of the world. Duncan reports that, according to A.A.Hoehling's book, "The Great Epidemic," the Influenza of 1918 likely started in Fort Riley and Camp Funston before spreading throughout the globe.


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