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The 1918 Influenza Epidemic in Prince George: Learning Resource

A primary source analysis teaching resource about the 1918 Spanish influenza epidemic in the Prince George area

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Coverage of the 1918 Influenza Epidemic in the Prince George Citizen

This page contains every mention of the 1918 "Spanish" influenza in the Prince George Citizen. Between 27 September 1918 and January 1919, the influenza epidemic was mentioned in every issue.

In 1918, the Prince George Citizen was a semi-weekly paper that was published every Tuesday and Friday in a format that varied between 4 and 30 pages. In February 1919, the Citizen changed to a weekly format released on Wednesdays. The newspaper claimed to reach 95% of the district's households. During the Spanish influenza epidemic in the Prince George area, the local newspaper would have been the only source of news for most people.

The digitized Prince George Citizen is accessible at

Awareness of the Flu before it hit Prince George

The first mention of the Spanish influenza in the Prince George Citizen was on 27 Sept. 1918, although the disease had been spreading since early 1918 (see Timeline). Although the Prince George Citizen readers of 1918 would now be aware of the Spanish Influenza concern, the news stream was mainly focused on the developments of World War I, which officially ended on 11 November 1918.

The impact on Prince George was part of the deadly second wave of the epidemic which arrived globally in the fall of 1918. The first wave had resembled typical flu epidemics; those most at risk were the sick and elderly, while younger, healthier people recovered easily. By August, when the second wave began in France and the United States, the virus had mutated to a much deadlier form. October 1918 was the deadliest month of the whole pandemic across the world.

Click the tabs in this box to read every mention of the Spanish flu in the PG Citizen before the disease actually arrived in the city.


Front Page News

Spanish Influenza

Montreal, Sept. 27. - Outbreak of Spanish influenza occurred among school children in Montreal. Provincial health authorities report probably several thousand cases in Quebec, and twelve deaths have occurred

Napes, Sept. 27. - An epidemic of Spanish Influenza, complicated by acute pulmonary conditions in numerous cases, has caused many deaths, estimated at one hundred daily.

Front Page News

During the 24 hours ending at noon yesterday, 6,139 new cases of influenza in the army camps had been reported to office of Surgeon-general of the army. 170 deaths, resulting chiefly from pneumonia following influenza, and 723 new cases of pneumonia also were reported

Local News (Back Page)


The attention of parents and guardians is called to Section 99 of the Health Act, which hereafter will be strictly enforced by the School Medical Health Officer.

Section 99. Whenever a case of smallpox, cholera, scarlatina, diphtheria, whooping cough, measles, mumps, glanders, or other contagious or infectious diseases exists in any house or household belonging to which are persons attending school, the householder shall, within eighteen hours of the time such disease is known to exist, notify the head or other master of such school or schools, and also the Local Board, of the existence of such disease, and no member of such household shall attend school until a certificate has been obtained from the Medical Health Officer that infection no longer exists, and that the sick person, house, clothing, and other effects have been disinfected to his satisfaction: and until such certificate shall have been obtained, it shall be the duty of every member of the household, and of the said master, to use all reasonable efforts to prevent the association of members of the said household with other children.

Dated Prince George, B.C., this 24th day of September, A.D. 1918.



Front Page News


(Special to the Citizen).

BOSTON, Oct. 1. - At least 85,000 persons are ill from Spanish influenza in Massachusetts and the death list is growing hourly. Scores of doctors and nurses have been recruited for the battle against the disease but Commissioner Kelly's message says there is still "a crying need for nurses and doctors, especially doctors"

Front Page News


WASHINGTON, Oct. 4. - Twelve thousand new cases of Spanish influenza were reported in army camps yesterday. The death rate is increasing as the epidemic spreads to many parts of the country. Since September 13th 113,737 new cases have been reported in camps, besides 8575 cases of pneumonia and 2479 deaths.

The United States government yesterday granted a further credit of $9,000,000 to Belgium.

Front Page News


Washington, Oct. 2 - Spanish influenza continues to spread in the army camps. Fourteen thousand new cases have been reported to the office of the surgeon-general ending at noon today.

Local News (Back Page)

The matron of the hospital desires to obtain a fair-sized tent for use at the hospital.

Front Page News

Spanish Infleunza Problem Toronto

(Special to the Citizen).

TORONTO, Oct. 8. - Spanish influenza is proving a serious problem for local military authorities. Serious outbreak in the Royal Air Force has had the effect of overcrowding the local military hospitals. Acting on the advice of the medical authorities Major-General Lepie has ordered the troops moved from Niagara Camp to winter quarters immediately.

Front Page News

Spanish Influenza Spreads In East

TORONTO, Oct. 10. - Reports from all points in Eastern Canada indicate that Spanish influenza is spreading with remarkable rapidity, especially in the larger cities. Encouraging reports that the disease is well in hand come from the various military camps in Ontario. Fewer cases are reported and the death rate is lower.

ST. JOHN, N.B., Oct. 10 - In view of the Spanish influenza situation, the New Brunswick department of health yesterday ordered all schools, theatres and churches in the province closed on or after tomorrow, with all public meetings forbidden.

Local News (Back Page)

The somewhat alarming news of the spread of Spanish influenza in parts of eastern Canada has had a somewhat disquieting effect locally, though no cases are reported in the district. A young man who recently arrived from Edmonton, was at one time suspected of having contracted the malady, but local doctors have pronounced the case as typhoid. The man has been isolated outside the city as an extra precaution, however, and the house in which he lodged ordered fumigated. Mayor Perry this week received authority from the provincial authorities to close all schools, churches, theatres, etc., in the event of any cases of Spanish influenza developing here.

Front Page News

Notwithstanding alarmist reports, no cases of Spanish influenza have yet been reported by the medical men of Prince George. This assurance was given the Citizen at noon today. Early this morning alarming reports gained circulation, some of these to the effect that over half a dozen cases of Spanish "flu" had developed in the city. These reports are without foundation.

October 1918: The Flu Hits Prince George

On 18 October 1918, the influenza epidemic was first reported in the news to hit Prince George. However, the flu most likely arrived at least a week prior to that date. The Prince George Citizen printed the following notice in their 18 October 1918 issue:


Spanish Influenza

Citizens and the public generally are urgently requested to take every precaution against the spreading of the above disease. Medical advice should at once be taken on any suspected case and the civic authorities immediately notified.

By Order of the Health Committee,



Spanish Influenza

The Order-in-Council relative to the cessation of public assemblies in the City of Prince George applies equally to the surrounding district.


Deputy Inspector Provincial Police.

South Fort George, B.C.

Front Page News

Assemblies Forbidden in City; Twenty-Two Cases of Influenza

Up to last evening twenty-two cases of Spanish influenza had been reported to the city health authorities. Several of these cases have come from outside points and are all receiving medical attention. The Connaught hotel has been turned into a temporary hospital and about fifteen patients are domiciled there. A nurses has been engaged by the city and an orderly to assist her went on duty today.

Schools Closed.

As a precautionary measure against the spread of Spanish influenza which has spread so rapidly throughout the United States and Canada during the past few weeks, the Prince George health authorities on Wednesday ordered the closing of the schools, theatres, poolrooms and public meeting places until such time as the danger is considered past. This action was taken at the request of the local medical men and has since been legalized by an order-in-council at Victoria.

Lumber Camps Affected.

From the lumber camps and mills east of the city comes word of a number of supposed Spanish influenza cases.

Three Indians from the reserves west of here were brought in by Constable Manson yesterday for medical attention. They are suffering from the "flu" and the condition of one is said to be serious. No other really serious cases are reported.

Police Chief Dolan and Asst. Fire Chief Graham are among afflicted. Mr. Alex Nash, who was among the first to be stricken, is reported recovering.

A majority of the G.T.P station staff are down with the "flu," including the agent, Mr. Feren. All are reported progressing favorably.

Front Page News


1 - Avoid contact with other people so far as possible. Especially avoid crowds indoors.

2 - Avoid persons suffering from "colds," sore throats and coughs.

3 - Avoid chilling of the body or living in rooms of temperature below 65 degrees or above 72.

4 - Sleep and work in clean fresh air.

5 - Keep your hands clean and keep them out of your mouth.

6 - Avoid expectorating in public places and see that others do likewise.

7 - Avoid visiting the sick.

8 - Eat plain, nourishing food and avoid alcoholic stimulants.

9 - Cover your nose with your handkerchief when you sneeze, your mouth when you cough. Change handkerchiefs frequently. Promptly disinfect soiled handkerchiefs by boiling or washing with soap and water.

10 - Don't worry, and keep the feet warm. Wet feet demand prompt attention. Wet clothes are dangerous and must be removed as soon as possible.


1 - If you get a cold, go to bed in a well-ventilated room. Keep warm.

2 - Keep away from other people. Do not kiss any one.

3 - Use individual basins, and knives, forks, spoons, towels, handkerchiefs, soap; wash plates and cups.

4 - Every case of influenza should go to bed at once under the care of a physician. The patient should stay in bed at least three days after fever has disappeared and until convalescence is well established.

5 - The patient must not cough or sneeze except when a handkerchief or mask is held before the face.

6 - He should be in a warm, well-ventilated room.

7 - There is no specific for the disease. Symptoms should be met as they arise.

8 - The great danger is from pneumonia. Avoid it by staying in bed while actually ill and until convalescence is fully established.

9 - The after effects of influenza are worse than the disease. Take care of yourself.

Front Page News


Edmonton, Oct. 18 - By order of the board of public health, all schools, churches and theatres here will close after today. Public meetings are barred on account of Spanish influenza.

Ninety cases have been reported to the provincial health board from Lethbridge.

Page 3 News


Capetown, Oct. 16. - The worst plague that ever visited South Africa was nothing in comparison with the present epidemic of Spanish influenza, according to medical testimony here. As a result of the epidemic there were more than 140 burials in Maitland cemetery today. At Johannesburg more than 100 new cases were reported Monday, with 11 deaths.

The spread of Spanish influenza is diminishing in the mining districts, where the hospital cases have been reduced from 20,000 since last week. Eight thousand cases have been reported at Durban. Some of the coal mines in Natal have been closed and the local railway service curtailed. Thousands of volunteers are assisting in relief work. Thousands have been inoculated against the disease with good results.

Local News (Back Page)

The local churches are included in the closure notice served by the health authorities.


The Red Cross Society acknowledges with thanks a donation of $1.00 from the Canadian Brotherhood of Railway Employees, per G. Tapping.


The closing of the theatres and poolrooms has left the "tired business man" without a place to spend a social evening. As a final blow to social intercourse that democratic institution, the fire hall, bears a placard, "For members only".

Front Page News

Influenza Epidemic Taxing Resources of Authorities

The great problem of caring for the scores of influenza patients in the city is now taxing the resourcefulness of the city and provincial authorities, and the need is being met with admirable success under prevailing conditions. The scarcity of nurses and others willing to assist in the work is being seriously felt, though a number of public-spirited ladies of the city have abandoned their own homes and families in order that they might render some assistance to those so sorely in need. The influx of patients from the lumber camps to the east has added to the problem of accommodation, but this has been met by the opening of additional temporary hospital premises.

Yesterday Deputy Inspector Parsons, of the provincial police, secured the Union rooming house on Third avenue east and within a few hours the place had been transformed into a neat hospital with accommodation for thirty patients. This place is being opened today.

At present there are over a hundred cases of influenza being treated in the city. Thirty-eight patients are being treated at the Connaught hotel, two small hospitals have their accommodation filled and fully forty more are being attended in their homes.

Owing to the illness of Dr. Lyon the entire work of medical attendance and supervision has fallen upon Dr. Lazier. Himself a convalescent only recently out of a military hospital, he is heroically endeavoring to minister to an increasing number of patients. Dr. Lazier deserves the warmest commendation and support of the public in his self-sacrificing task.

Notwithstanding the numerous influenza cases reported there has yet to occur one death from the malady here. There are a number of serious cases, however, and every possible care is being rendered these until the critical period has passed.


Front Page News


There is an urgent need of volunteer nurses to assist in caring for the influenza patients now in temporary hospitals in the city. Will those willing to assist please leave their names at the Fort George drug store. Their assistance in this work will be thankfully received.

It was reported today that our lady volunteer had been on duty for twenty consecutive hours and no one on hand to relieve her.


Two men volunteers are urgently needed to take charge as clerks in the temporary hospitals.

Front Page News


Toronto, Oct. 19. - Reports from various sections of Ontario received by the provincial board of health indicate that the epidemic of Spanish influenza is spreading.

The Toronto city clerk announces that deaths in the city for the past month totaled 480. Of this number 155 died from pneumonia. Since noon yesterday 66 deaths from Spanish influenza were reported.

London, Ont., Oct. 19. - Three more deaths were recorded today as a result of the Spanish influenza epidemic. Notwithstanding the greatest efforts of doctors and health authorities the disease continues to spread with alarming rapidity. Unless checked within a few days, more drastic action in closing business places will be adopted.

Front Page News


Provincial Health Department Has Issued Bulletin on the New Disease

The provincial health department has printed and circulated in the province official bulletins on the new disease, Spanish influenza. It is headed, "Warning! To be Forewarned is to be Forearmed." It then gives public advices as follows:

"The reports in the daily press give an account of the alarming spread of influenza on this continent. The epidemic began in Europe last year and has crossed the Atlantic. It is very prevalent in the Eastern cities and we may expected in the West.

"People are very much given to underrating the effects of this disease and to regard it more as a common cold. Remember, first, that it is very infectious and you owe it to yourself and your neighbors to do everything to avoid catching it; and secondly, if you catch it, that your duty to your neighbors is to prevent them from catching it from you.

"It begins as a common cold, earache, pains in the muscles, chills, feeling of cold in the head, soreness of throat, fever. Keep warm, send for the doctor, and keep the other members of the family out of the room. If the children complain, keep them at home, and remember, that if care is not taken that the after effects of the disease is the cause of deaths. Isolation of the patient will prevent the spread of the disease.

"The United States troops in camp in the east have suffered severely, and the surgeon-general has issued directions, some of which we copy, and would earnestly bring them to your attention and recommend that you follow them:

"(1) Avoid crowing; influenza is a crowd disease. (2) Smother your coughs and sneezes, others do not want the germs which you would throw away. (3) Your nose, not your mouth, was made to breath through; get the habit. (4) Remember the three Cs: A clean mouth, clean skin and clean clothes. (5) Open the windows always at home at night : at the office when practicable. (6) Your fate may be in your hands; wash your hands before eating. (7) Don't use a napkin, towel, spoon, fork, glass or cup which has been used by another person and not washed."

Page 2 News


The prompt measures taken by the city and provincial authorities in handling the epidemic of influenza in this city and district is worthy of the highest commendation and will have the support of all good citizens. Experience in other sections of the province has shown that the isolation of those affected is the only method of keeping the disease within bounds. For that reason all suspected cases should be at once reported to the authorities.

Fortunately, up to this writing, no deaths have resulted. The prompt action of the authorities in taking charge of affairs, and the care and treatment exercised by the people are no doubt responsible for this happy condition. However, there must be no relaxation of watchfulness until the disease is thoroughly eradicated. We may trust the authorities to do their part; it only remains for the people to assist in every way possible.

[The City of Prince George Spanish Influenza notice was also reissued on Page 2.]

Local News (Back Page)

Miss Hall, of the Royal Bank staff, who has been seriously ill with pneumonia, is reported much better today.


The health authorities ask the Citizen to make it known that a couple of screens are needed for the influenza hospital on Third Avenue. Those willing to loan these articles please leave word with the provincial police or at the drug store.


The infant son of Mr. and Mrs. [?] Ross, of the East End, died Saturday from whooping cough. Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Bird of South Fort George have also lost an infant with the same complaint.


A list of local influenza sufferers would be as lengthy as a German casualty list after an Allied offensive. There is scarcely a home or business place in the city and district that has not one member out of commission. The city staff is hit especially hard in this respect, over half of the force being ill.


As an example of the Christian spirit of Prince George womanhood, a lady with a family and no extra help last night telephoned Inspector Parsons offering to accommodate four influenza patients in her home. Today, she is preparing beds for the sufferers. Tomorrow four cases will be given to her charge. The spirit of Florence Nightingale still lives.


Front Page News


Nurses and Orderlies for City Hospital, Millar Section School. Phone Dr. Lyon, Mayor Perry or H.A. Carney

Page 2 News


Provincial and civic authorities have done and are doing everything in their power to prevent the spread of the influenza plague. As the disease is propagated almost solely by human intercourse, the forbidding of assemblies has done much to curtail its ravages.

It is generally believed that, locally, the high point of the epidemic has passed. There remains, however, the convalescent period of the majority of those affected, and this period is stated by medical authorities to be fraught with the greatest danger. The "after effects" of this particular type of influenza have in many cases been serious and often fatal. It remains, then, for the people to pay particular heed to the warning given by the experience of other sections and resume normal habits and exposures with care. There is no particular ground for serious apprehension if reasonable precautions are taken.

Page 3 News

All passengers travelling in Alberta by any of the railroads must wear masks as a precautionary measure against the spread of Spanish influenza. This order is issued by the provincial board of health. These instructions will be rigorously enforced, and no persons will be allowed to board the trains unless they have a mask in their possession.

Local News (Back Page)

High Stage of Epidemic Believed to Have Passed

The influenza epidemic in this city and district shows little sign of abatement though medical men believe that the peak of the outbreak is past and that a diminution in the number of cases will follow. This, however, does not mean that the danger is past or that the local situation is less serious. On the contrary, the anxious stage of the illness--convalescence--is still before the majority of those affected.

Yesterday three or four patients, inmates of the city hospital, were discharged, and with the exception of one or two cases all those now receiving treatment are rapidly recovering.

At a special meeting of the city council held Wednesday night it was decided to open the school on the Millar Section as a temporary hospital, and Miss Sutherland, a graduate nurse, has been placed in charge. Dr. Lyon was appointed medical health officer for the city.

Several severe cases of influenza are reported from the lumbering districts east of here. At Aleza Lake the little daughter of Postmaster Davidson died yesterday, though it is not stated that the child's death was due to influenza. Another victim was a man named George Hendrickson, employed at one of the mills.

At Giscome, Mrs. Sims, wife of a section foreman, died yesterday. Other cases at Giscome are reported recovering.

A G.T.P. brakeman named Rice, well known here, died yesterday at Hazelton of pneumonia.

A young man named Lockyer, on leave from military training camp, died yesterday at Salmon River, north of the city. He was on a visit to his parents. Other members of the family are reported seriously ill.

An  Austrian who had been brought in from Hutton Mills in a serious condition died in the city on Tuesday night.

Local News (Back Page)

Dr. Lazier has been appointed medical health officer for the Fort George district.


Chester Siems, head of the well known railway contracting firm, died this week at New York of pneumonia.


In the casualty lists of wounded in France are the names of W.D. Henderson, A.B. Cooper, Sergt. Wm. Ferguson and I.W. McLarty, all of Prince George.


A scarcity of clinical thermometers is reported in the city and the health authorities are unable to obtain a sufficient number for present use. Will those having instruments to spare kindly loan them. They may be left at the Connaught hotel or the Union rooms.

Local News (Back Page)


After only a few days illness the death occured last night of Mr. H.S. Roper, a prominent mining engineer, who has made his home at Fort George for more than a year. The deceased and Mrs. Roper had only recently returned from a visit to New York. A week ago both contracted influenza which in the husband's case rapidly developed into pneumonia.

The condition of Mrs. Roper is said today to be serious. She is also a victim of pneumonia and the severity of the attack, together with the shock of her husband's death has added greatly to the seriousness of her condition.

Local News (Back Page)


News of the death yesterday morning of Edward Hoar, a prominent young man of this city, caused a shock to the whole community. Deceased had been ill only a few days and was recovering from an attack of influenza when pneumonia in its most severe form set in and notwithstanding every care and attention he rapidly grew worse until death came.

The deceased young man had been a resident of Prince George from the city's inception. He was of a likable character and had a large circle of friends. With his partner, F.G. Taylor, he conducted a billiard parlor and tobacco store here. He was 37 years of age.

The body will be forwarded to Edmonton Sunday morning on instructions from his brother who resides there.

Local News (Back Page)


Dear Brethren and Friends,--

In the interest of the community our church services as public acts are forbidden, but I feel that we should endeavor to keep up our spiritual acts as far as possible in this time of distress and anxiety, and remember prayerfully, those who are in trouble, sorrow, need, sickness or any other adversity. Until public service is again restored I am celebrating the Holy Communion on  Sunday and Holy Days and I would ask you to bear these in mind so that in your homes you may for a few minutes unite your prayers with the great act of intercession offered at the altar.

Notice of persons requiring vising or help can be phoned to me or the message left at my home personally. Praying God to give us courage and strength to help us bear His Will, I am, yours affectionately,



Front Page News

Believe Influenza Epidemic Is Now On The Decline

While exact figures as to the number of influenza cases in Prince George are unobtainable today, it is the opinion of the city and provincial health authorities that the epidemic is on the wane, and while a number of serious cases are under treatment, a far greater number are in the convalescent stage and a considerable number have fully recovered.

Up to last evening a total of twenty-one dead from influenza and its attendant ills have been taken in charge by the local undertaker. The large majority of these had come from outside points. Deaths in Prince George and its immediate environs do not at present exceed six.

From Hutton and Giscome the report comes that the epidemic has greatly subsided and that the worst is evidently over. At other points, particularly in the Aleza Lake district, there are still a large number of people ill.

In the three temporary hospitals in Prince George there are sixty-two cases of influenza. About ten per cent of these are seriously ill.

Early last evening a young Chinaman named Chew Wing died at his home on Third avenue. He had lived from early childhood in Cariboo and had attended school in Quesnel.

Two more deaths were reported from the epidemic today, one a man named McCabe, who had been brought in from Bednesti in a serious condition, the other a South Fort George resident named Weisener [This death later claimed to be a false report]. Pneumonia had resulted in both instances.

Front Page News


The organization of the Millar school hospital has been brought to a high state of efficiency and reflects great credit on the city officials. Accommodations are provided for thirty influenza patients, and already this is taxed almost to capacity. Willing workers have come forward and under the supervision of Nurse Sutherland are doing a noble work in relieving the afflicted. Meals for the patients are cooked in the building, the culinary department being in charge of Alderman Adams, whose ability as chef is vouched for by the entire list of patients.

Ample light, heat and sunshine make this temporary hospital an ideal spot for the care of those suffering from influenza and its attendant ills.

Front Page News


Edmonton, Oct. 29 - Twelve deaths from influenza are reported in Edmonton during the past 24 hours, making a total since the epidemic started of 30. There are many cases of serious illness from pneumonia and other complications following the influenza and more fatalities are looked for.

Nurse Frederickson is the second nurse to succumb to the epidemic. The number of cases is rapidly increasing and the situation is serious owing to the demand for nurses and doctors.

Front Page News

Death of Dr. Swenerton

Vancouver, Oct. 26 - Having labored strenuously to assist victims of Spanish influenza. Dr. W.C. Swenerton, one of Vancouver's leading physicians and surgeons, himself became a victim, and succumbed to the disease on Thursday night.

His illness was brief, contracted, it is said, because of the interest of his patients he hurried them to hospital in his own automobile rather than have them wait for the health department ambulances which were overworked. He was physically run down prior to the outbreak of the epidemic, and had not sufficient stamina to fight off the attack when it took him.

Dr. Swenerton was 31 years old and had a promising career ahead. He was a graduate of the University of Toronto in 1911, and practiced for three years at Fort George. He also spent a year in army war work in England and was sent to France, returning to Vancouver in 1914.

He is survived by his parents, a brother and his wife, who has also been seriously ill with influenza, and by one child.


Front Page News


Amsterdam, Oct. 29 - Forty-one thousand railway workers in Prussia and Hesse are incapacitated with influenza and passenger traffic is much restricted in consequence, according to the Tageblatt of Berlin.

Local News (Back Page)


Local members of the Victory Loan committee went "over the top" yesterday and although only making a start on the campaign secured $5000 as a nest-egg for the $75,000 expected from this district.

The influenza epidemic is interfering considerably with the progress of organization work, as some of the workers are ill. The work of canvassing will also suffer from the same cause--at least during the preliminary days of the campaign. However, the committee remain strong in the faith that the allotted amount will be exceeded once a systematic canvass is concluded.


The body of Mrs. Hunter, of Prince Rupert, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Bateman, of Giscome, was brought in from the west on Sunday's train. Interment took place in the local cemetery. The deceased lady was a victim of influenza. The husband and three small children are left to mourn.


Death of John P. Murphy

Word has been received of the death of John P. Murphy, of 141 Mile House, Cariboo Road. He was a native son of Cariboo and brother of Mrs. D.F.M. Perkins of this city and of Mr. Justice Murphy of Vancouver. Death was due to pneumonia.


November 1918: The Epidemic Continues in Prince George

By the end of November, the Prince George Citizen had reported 51 deaths due to influenza and its complications. An additional 46 deaths of Indigenous people were reported in the Prince George area.

Click the tabs in this box to read every mention of the Spanish flu in the PG Citizen in November 1918 as the disease continued to ravage the city.

Front Page News

Little Improvement Shown in Local Influenza Situation

Opinion is about evenly divided as to whether the influenza epidemic in Prince George is abating or on the increase. Hospital officials are inclined to the opinion that the outbreak remains about stationary in point of numbers affected, while the death rate for the past two days has been slightly increased. There are a number of serious cases still in hospital and private homes, while a great number have recovered and are now attending to their daily duties.

There are now 72 cases of influenza receiving treatment in the three temporary hospitals. Of these perhaps six or seven are in somewhat serious condition. Of the temporary hospitals the Connaught hotel has 25 patients, the Union Rooms 23, and the Millar School 24. There are perhaps 25 additional cases being treated in private homes.

Up to 9 a.m. today, the total number of deaths since the outbreak of the disease is 30. The majority of these were residents of outside points, particularly the lumber camps east of the city. In practically every fatal case from the surrounding district the patient was in an advanced stage of influenza before being sent here.

Indians Are Stricken

Indian Officer W.F. Manson, who arrived in the city from Vanderhoof yesterday, states that eight deaths have occurred among the Indians of Stony Creek village and that practically every native resident of the village is down with the disease. Father Coccola and the officials are laboring day and night in caring for the sick. The deaths have been almost entirely among those of frail constitution.

Self-Sacrificing Nurses

A roll of honor should be inscribed with the names of the self-sacrificing women of Prince George and vicinity, who are helping to care for the afflicted in the local hospitals. A number of men are also doing a noble part in the work. In the case of the women particular honor is due, as they have laid aside their own household duties to assist in the greater duty of caring for the afflicted ones. The Citizen hopes to secure a list of the names of all who are assisting in this noble work.

A Double Bereavement

The people of the community were shocked yesterday to learn of the death of Mrs. Feren, wife of Mr. J.A. Feren, local station agent. The deceased lady's illness was brief, pneumonia following closely after the birth of a son on Wednesday. Today the affliction of the family was increased by the death of a young son of 17 months. The bereaved husband and five children have the heartfelt sympathy of all. The two bodies will be sent to Port Arthur, Ont., for burial.

Death of Mrs. Guss

The death of Mrs. Guss, of Rose Lake, occurred here this week from influenza. A husband and five small children are left to mourn her demise.

Other Deaths

Other deaths occurring at the local hospitals and in the city during the past two days were Garnett McManus, a native of New Brunswick; a young man named Fisher, who has no relatives so far as known in the district; Paul Hesse, a resident of Hutton; and Percy Hiscock, a young Englishman.

An Explanation

In Tuesday's edition the Citizen published the report of the death of a man named Weisner, of South Fort George. We are happy to state the report was unfounded and though Mr. Weisner was seriously ill he is now rapidly recovering.

Front Page News

Mrs. H.A. Carney and children have returned from a visit to Vancouver. The Citizen is sorry to state that all three are quite ill with influenza.

The "devil" is the sole surviving member of the Citizen staff, all the others having contracted "flu".

Front Page News

Edmonton, Nov. 1 - There were approximately 7000 cases of influenza in this province yesterday as reported to the health authorities. Of these about 2000 were new cases. Deaths reported were 239.

The most serious situation is the town of Drumheller with a population of 5000, of which 4000 are afflicted with the disease. Steps have been taken to see that druggists have adequate supplies of liquor, and the use of alcoholic remedies is being left to the judgment of attending physicians.

The epidemic is spreading rapidly, says the minister of public health.

Front Page News

Influenza Epidemic Rapidly Subsiding

The influenza epidemic may be said to have passed its worst stage in Prince George and vicinity, according to reports from medical men and hospital authorities. While a large number of patients are still in hospital, practically all are convalescent, and most of them, if present progress continues, will be discharged this week. A few new cases continue to arrive from the lumber camps, but there are of a comparatively milder type than the earlier arrivals.

From all parts of the district the report comes that the epidemic is moderating and the affected ones rapidly recovering.

Indians Succumb

The death rate has been particularly heavy among the Indians, several deaths in the local tribe having occurred during the past few days. Among the victims are Louis, chief of the Fort George band, and Joseph Qua, sub-chief, and his son and daughter. Louis has been in poor health for some years and fell an easy victim. The death of the Qua family was particularly sad. The father, son and daughter had left the Indian village to escape the possible contracting of the disease and were camping up the Fraser a few miles from the village. Nothing having been heard of them for some days, a search was instituted and their dead bodies were discovered in the tent.



Toronto, Nov. 4 - The influenza epidemic is lessening in all sections of Eastern Canada and churches, schools and theatres are preparing to reopen.

The epidemic is abating in Montreal.

Front Page News


The death on Saturday evening [of Emma] Mocbus, after a valiant struggle with influenza and pneumonia, is deeply felt in the city and community. The deceased lady had been one of the first to volunteer for nursing service when the outbreak of influenza occurred and when stricken with the disease her strength was not equal to a successful fight with the malady. The case is doubly sad owing to the death about ten days ago of her little daughter and only child aged four years. The death of the little one had been kept from the mother's knowledge until her strength was equal to the blow. Besides her husband, who is overseas with the Canadian forces, the parents, Mr. and Mrs. Otto Kling, of Fort George, are bereaved.

Death of Mrs. Davidson.

The death of Mrs. James A. Davidson, aged 50 years, occurred on Saturday last after a brief illness. Deceased was a victim of pneumonia. Besides the bereaved husband, a daughter, Mrs. C. McNab, of McBride, and a son are left. The death of Mrs. Davidson is keenly felt among a wide circle of friends. Of a gentle, and kindly nature she was greatly loved by all who knew her. In the work of the Presbyterian she gave her whole-hearted support, and her cheery help will be greatly missed by the minister and congregation. The sympathy of all is extended to the bereaved ones.

Death of Thomas Fisher

The death of Thomas Fisher on Thursday last was greatly regretted by a large circle of friends. The young man came to visit his mother at Lockyer's farm, Salmon River, a couple of weeks ago and was taken with influenza. This developed into bronchial pneumonia and he died after an illness of seven days. All through his illness he was attended by his mother and friends with great love and care.


Mrs. T. W. Herne has returned from a visit to friends and relatives at Victoria and Vancouver.


Front Page News


Havana, Nov. 4 - Grieving over the death of her husband who has died of influenza, Mrs. Carman Lavera, aged 34, killed her seven young sons. She then placed the livestock of the farm in a hut and after setting it afire, leaped into the flames. She was rescued in a serious condition by soldiers.

Fresh air, good nursing, and plenty of rest are more efficacious than drugs and medicine in the treatment of influenza and pneumonia, according to the view of the New York State commission recently appointed by Governor Whitman.


The Health Board of Washington, New Jersey, published the following remedy, which is said to be a cure for pneumonia. Take six to ten onions, according to size, and chop fine, put in a large saucepan over a fire, then add the same quantity of rye meal and vinegar, enough to form a thick paste. In the meanwhile, stir it thoroughly, letting it simmer five or ten minutes. Then put in a cotton bag large enough to cover the lungs and apply to chest as hot as patient can bear. In about ten minutes, apply another, and thus continue by reheating the poultices, and in a few hours, the patient will be out of danger. This simple remedy has never failed to cure this too often fatal malady. Usually three or four applications will be sufficient but continue always until the perspiration starts freely from the chest. This remedy was formulated years ago by one of the best physicians New England has ever known, who never lost a patient by the disease, and won his renown by simple remedies.

Local News (Back Page)

Messrs. Dolan, Graham and Freeman of the city staff, who for several days have been wrestling with the "flu" are once more on deck.


In announcing the regrettable death of a son of the Lockyer family the Citizen in error gave his name as William. The deceased young man's name was Jack Lockyer. William, we are pleased to state, is now making good progress towards recovery.


The death is reported today of the little daughter of Mr. and Mrs. N.C. Jorgensen. Others of the family are reported seriously ill.


Back Page


New York, Nov. 2 - A steam shovel was used in one of New York's cemeteries recently to dig a trench in which to inter temporarily the bodies of victims of Spanish influenza. This extraordinary procedure was made necessary by a shortage of grave diggers.

Front Page News


Up to the present a total of forty-six deaths from the influenza epidemic have been recorded in this immediate district. The number of cases reaches will into the hundreds and no exact figures can be obtained. The death rate, therefore, is comparatively small and considering that the majority of fatal cases were brought in from outlying districts in an advanced stage of the disease and before receiving any treatment whatever, the percentage of deaths is very low, and speaks well for the treatment accorded influenza sufferers in this city.

There are today about sixty cases in the temporary hospitals with probably an equal number affected in private homes. The great percentage of these are now in the convalescent stage.

Outlying sections report a continued decrease in the numbers affected, and a gradual recovery from the illness.

Two Deaths Last Night.

Two deaths occurred last night in local hospitals. Daniel Nelson, a man of 63 years, who arrived recently from Edmonton, succumbed to pneumonia. The man had been stopping at a local rooming house and was in an advanced stage of the illness before seeking medical assistance. The other victim was Henry Parson, aged 44, of Kinsley, Sask., who had recently arrived here in search of land.

In Northern Fastnesses.

The fear has been expressed that pre-emptors and trappers living in the remote and untravelled sections of the district may not have wholly escaped the ravages of the plague. Many of these men live miles from the nearest neighbor, and make trips to a store or settlement only once or twice a year.

It is reported also that on the upper reaches of some of the northern rivers there are a number of military draft evaders who went into hiding months ago. The fate of these men, if they remain out of touch with their fellow-men, may never be known.

That the epidemic does not depend upon crowded or populous centres for its dissemination has been proven by the deaths reported from the north. In several cases entire parties of hunters and trappers, who have lived in the woods for weeks, have been taken with the disease and fallen victims.

The provincial police are making every possible inquiry regarding settlers, prospectors and trappers in the isolated regions and may find it necessary to make long trips into the north. The magnitude of such an undertaking will be understood by those having a knowledge of the country and the distances to be traversed in covering the thinly habited districts of northern Cariboo.

Front Page News

Influenza Serious in Edmonton, Reported

Edmonton, Nov. 8 - Twenty-one deaths were reported in the city yesterday as a result of influenza. All stores and offices in Edmonton will remain closed until 12:30 daily except those absolutely essential to enable the clerks to assist in nursing the sick.



Edmonton, Nov. 7 - In an endeavor to stamp out the influenza epidemic the stores and offices in the larger cities in Alberta have been ordered to remain closed every day until one o'clock until November 16th.



Page 2 News


The province of Saskatchewan has repealed one of the clauses in its Prohibition Act, thus permitting the druggists of that province to sell liquor without a doctor's prescription. What a business the drugstores of that country will do as long as the "flu" epidemic lasts!

Local News (Back Page)

Local and Personal

Mayor Perry is confined to his home with an attack of influenza.


There was no meeting of the city council last evening, as quorum not being present.


Mrs. Ed. Hall arrived from the east this week to visit her husband who is an influenza patient at the city hospital.


The "flu" outbreak has increased the labor problem in the lumber camps east of here, and several of them have temporarily suspended operations.


Front Page News


Number of Influenza Patients in Prince George Has Greatly Decreased.

The "flu" epidemic has rapidly abated during the past week and very few new cases are reported. There are still a considerable number of patients in hospital and practically all are reported convalescent.

It is believed by city authorities that the end of this week will see the temporary hospital in the Millar School clear of patients.

The temporary hospital in the Union Rooms which has been conducted by the provincial government authorities, was closed today and the convalescent patients removed to the Connaught Hotel, also in charge of the government. Deputy Inspector Parsons, of the provincial police, and Dr. Lazier, medical health officer, who since the outbreak of the epidemic have labored night and day in ministering to those from outside points, are today finding their work a little less strenuous, though their labors are by no means over.

Front Page News


Deaths in Pennsylvania Alone Are More Than Total Lost in European War.

Seattle, Nov. 11. - The influenza and its resulting maladies is a far more serious affliction for the American nation than war.

According to the most recent summary of American casualties in the war, from the time America entered the conflict until October 24, the total number killed in action included those drowned at sea, who had died of wounds, disease, by accident or other causes, was 17,302.

On the same date it was officially reported that during the first 24 days of October deaths from influenza and pneumonia in the state of Pennsylvania alone had numbered 22,732--or 5430 more than had been killed or had died in the American army in over eighteen months. In other states in the east the death toll of influenza has been proportionately as great as in Pennsylvania and the deaths in the entire nation in October is undoubtedly many times the deaths of Americans in the war.

Front Page News


The death of J. P. Murphy, of 141 Mile House, Cariboo Road, removes a citizen well known in this province and one whose life has measured to a very large extent the progress of the historic Cariboo country. His death at this time cut short the ambition of his career, and that was to build up a great cattle and ranching company that would demonstrate that the land of his childhood and the home of his mature years was the land of milk and honey that he had always claimed it to be. That desire had just been reached when he formed a large company and for a brief year had the management of it, yet in that short time had already blazed the trail to success for the new company.

The name of J.P. Murphy will be remembered by those who have travelled the Cariboo Road as long as the Cariboo is remembered. Possessing a big heart, a broad intellectuality and a love for mankind, he was held in high esteem and beloved by those who knew him. ---Kamloops Sentinel-Standard.

Front Page News


Chicago, Nov. 9 - One million citizens of Illinois have suffered from attacks of influenza and 18,000 have died since the disease began to sweep the state, according to an estimate by Dr. C. St. Clair Drake, state health chief. Fully one-half of the deaths, he said, were of Chicagoans. While conditions in the southern part of the state are still serious, the northern section is having the influenza ban slowly lifted.

Local News (Back Page)

Friends of Miss Hall, of the Royal Bank staff, will be pleased to learn that she is rapidly recovering from her recent severe illness and is now able to be out for short periods.


Miss Morrow, teacher of the public school at South Fort George, is a patient at the city hospital with influenza. Miss Morrow had been one of the most indefatigable volunteer workers in caring for the sick and it is hoped she will have a rapid recovery.


The splendid work being done at the city hospital by the volunteer staff under Nurse Sutherland is the course of much favorable comment both by patients and visitors. In the matter of fitting up and operating an emergency institution of this kind, Prince George has established a record that cannot be surpassed in the most populous centres. Dr. Lyon, city health officer, has done a magnificent part in caring for the afflicted and has had the willing co-operation of the staff.


Alan Lamb, formerly of this city, is dead at Helena, Mont. of influenza, according to information received this week. 

Local News (Back Page)


To our friends in Prince George who extended kind assistance and sympathy in our recent bereavement we extend our heartfelt thanks.

James G. Davidson
Miss Hardy
James Davidson Jr.


Mr. and Mrs. Louis Bontez wish to tender their sincere thanks to all friends for kind sympathy and help in their recent sad bereavement.


Front Page News


The order forbidding the holding of assemblages and all public gatherings in the district has been rescinded by the provincial police. In this immediate vicinity the cancellation of the order will apply to Fort George and South Fort George, but is also applicable to every settlement in the district outside of Prince George. Schools and churches are now permitted to reassemble and other public gatherings are not prohibited.


Front Page News


The Council of the City of Prince George respectfully requests our citizens to attend the church of their faith on Sunday next as a token of Thanksgiving for the cessation of hostilities between the Allies and Central Powers. 

(Signed) H. G. Perry,


Front Page News

There are forty-two influenza patients now receiving treatment in the hospitals here. Nearly all are in a convalescent stage.

Front Page News


Following is a list of those who have assisted in nursing and caring for influenza patients at the temporary hospitals in the city. The list was kindly furnished by superintendents of the respective hospitals.

At the provincial hospitals, Connaught Hotel and the Union Rooms--Mrs. Kenyon, Mrs. J. [?]ain, Mrs. J. Sylvester, Mrs. Otto, Mrs. Pyne, Mrs. [Miss] Ruth Pyne, Mrs. L. Chase, Mrs. Booth, Mrs. Wm. Campbell, Miss Morrow, Mrs. P.E. Wilson, Mrs. Nozey, Mrs. Warner, Miss Milligan, Mrs. [M?]artin, Mr. and Mrs. Berg, and Messrs. A. Welton, J.E. Harts[?], J. Hill, J.W. Clark, E.C. [?]rogan, W. Davis, F. Tapley.

At the City Hospital--Mrs. H. Wilson, Mrs. Pyne, Miss Ruth Pyne, Mrs. Wm. Campbell, Mrs. [?]ooth, Mrs. Johnson, Mrs. (Rev.) Graham, Mrs. Daniell, Miss Morrow, Mrs. Freeborn, Messrs. Geo. Kirkland, G.H. Adams, Patrick [?]rainer, Ed. Grice.

Front Page News


On a professional visit to all railway centres between Edmonton and Prince Rupert, Dr. McLean, G.T.P. Physician, is in the city this week inoculating all railway employees with an anti-influenza serum. The treatment is said to be wonderfully effective in warding off "flu" attacks.

Page 3 News


Vanderhoof, Nov. 13 - Father Coccola now in town from his medical mission among the Indians at Stony Creek reserve, states that 42 deaths had occurred in the native village, and all the Indians were afflicted with the disease. He also stated that he had heard from his associate priests in other towns, and was told 45 deaths had occurred in Anyox, 67 in Prince Rupert, and 46 in Prince George.

Page 7 News

A total of 3700 reported cases of influenza and 330 deaths in Vancouver in the month ended November 5 is the report the medical health officer of that city has made to the provincial health department.

Local News (Back Page)

Local and Personal

The Rex Theatre will reopen shortly with the spectacular feature, "The Kaiser, the Beast of Berlin."


The death of Mrs. Unrun, of this city, from pneumonia occured on Wednesday. Besides the husband, two small children are left.


Otto Gross, a young man recently arrived from Alberta, died last night in the provincial hospital from pneumonia. He was 24 years of age. A younger brother is recovering from influenza at the hospital.

Local News (Back Page)


People from this section of the country are allowed to enter the famous hamlet of Quesnel only after having passed a medical examination by the Quesnel doctor. Neither are Fort Georgeites permitted to cross the river at Quesnel with the prospect of proceeding southward to less inhospitable regions. The Quesnel people evidently blame Fort George for launching the "flu" epidemic and have put up an effective barrage against the north, as the following telegram to Inspector Parsons, of the provincial police, will show:

"Health Board orders that no passengers from Fort George will be allowed to land at Quesnel or cross the Fraser River at this point until medically examined. Please make public."

(Signed) LUNN,

Government Agent.


Front Page News

Prince George and District Goes Well "Over the Top"

Prince George and district has gone splendidly "over the top" in the Victory Loan. While the exact figures are not yet attainable, it is stated today by members of the local committee that the quota of $75,000 has been passed.

The result is a source of great satisfaction to the committee and to the people generally. Despite the heavy handicap of the influenza epidemic and the illness of several members of the canvassing committee, which made a complete canvass of the district impossible, a great finish was made in the last three days of the campaign which, assisted by the great public interest, put the result beyond question.

The district generally is to be heartily congratulated.

Front Page News

J.D. Charleson, of Vanderhoof, is in the city today. He states that the influenza plague has proved particularly deadly among the Indians of that section, over fifty of the Stony Creek tribe and more than forty of the Stuart Lake Indians having fallen victims. As a result of so many deaths among the natives fur dealers believe this winter's catch in the local section will be one of the smallest on record.

Local News (Back Page)

Local and Personal

Mr. Charles Hughes, whose serious illness has caused great concern to his friends, is reported today greatly improved in health.


Mr. Ed. Hall, who was dangerously ill, is now much improved in health.


The poolrooms of the city were reopened yesterday, the ban having been lifted by the authorities.


Friends of Mrs. H.A. Carney will be pleased to learn that she is now convalescent after a severe attack of influenza.


All patients at the city hospital are recovering nicely from influenza, and it is proposed to close the emergency at the end of this week if present favorable conditions continue.


The remains of Mrs. Joseph Westman, of Hutton, were brought to the city yesterday and laid to rest in the local cemetery. Besides the husband two small children are left.


Mr. Middaugh, manager of the Rex Theatre, announce that as soon as the city officials permit he will reopen his theatre. Announcement will be made in Friday's Citizen.


Quesnel is now firmly in the grip of the influenza epidemic, according to the reports of recent arrivals from the south, who say there are forty cases now under treatment there.


Front Page News


The rapid decline of the influenza epidemic was announced by Mayor Perry at last night's meeting of the city council, his worship stating that in all probability the emergency hospital being maintained by the city would be closed within the next few days. It was stated that Dr. Lyon, the medical health officer, had permitted the opening of churches and also the poolrooms, but he believed a general lifting of the ban was not yet advisable.

Page 3 News


Commercial men arriving from Terrace district tell of the splendid work that has been done by our former townsman and alderman, J.R. Campbell, who recently removed to Terrace where he opened a drug store. When the influenza outbreak occurred there was not a doctor within many miles of the town, and the whole duty of attending and prescribing for the constantly increasing number of "flu" patients fell upon Mr. Campbell. At times he had as many as seventy patients under his care, and it is stated that not one fatality resulted. The railway company placed a gasoline speeder at his disposal to facilitate his visits upon and down the line, and for many days our former citizen scarcely took time to visit his home.

Those of us who, after an acquaintance of years, know something of "Johnny" Campbell's capabilities in times of illness can well understand the gratitude the people of the Terrace district feel towards him at this time.


Page 3 News


Vanderhoof, Nov. 21 - The influenza epidemic has dealt severely with the Mennonite immigrants here from the prairie provinces and the United States. Many of them have been living in unsanitary buildings in town, awaiting the opening of the provincial Land Settlement Area, and numerous deaths have occurred among them. In one building about thirty of these prospective setters were housed, almost regardless of sanitary laws, and nearly all of these have been stricken with the disease, some having died.

Page 3 News


Among those who did good work during the suffering and anxiety of the "flu" epidemic is Miss Elsa Wiegand, who is taking Miss Wade's classes in Fort George schools for a few months. The community spirit prevailing in Fort George is an old story, but Miss Wiegand was a stranger here without the ties and traditions that hold the old-timers together, making each his brother's keeper, yet she quietly took up the work in almost the first stricken home and, when no longer needed, passed on to another during the whole epidemic. Fort Georgians are deeply appreciative of Miss Wiegand's unselfishness and feel thankful that she escaped the epidemic.

Local News (Back Page)


Editor Citizen. - In your issue of Nov. 15 a list of those who had assisted in nursing and curing influenza patients at the temporary hospitals in the city was given. This is a creditable list, but the half has not been told because scores of others have done just as noble and unselfish service in private homes where the family was stricken with the epidemic. Many of our citizens, in spite of the danger to themselves, went to the sick and nursed them night and day, and none lacked attention in any way. It is not necessary to mention names, but I am sure that the citizens would like all to feel who have assisted in the crisis that they have done a noble service which was deeply appreciated, and besides made a splendid [witness?] of practical Christianity.

(Signed) Wm. Graham

Fort George Nov. 21, 1918.


Front Page News


Keller--Agnes Ruth, beloved wife of Charles E. Keller (sister of Mrs. W.E. Palmer and Mrs. Thos. R. Lloyd) died of pneumonia at Dewey, B.C., after a short illness of four days, aged 30. Funeral took place from home of Mrs. Thos. R. Lloyd, McBride, B.C., at 10 a.m. on Nov. 24th.

Front Page News


The death occurred at the city hospital last night of Miss Mary Leizinger, of pneumonia. Deceased had been ill for a considerable time and her death was not unexpected owing to a frail constitution.

Front Page News


The Rex Theatre reopens on Monday evening next with the spectacular drama, "The Kaiser, the Beast of Berlin." There should be a large attendance, as this wonderful production has created a great sensation wherever shown. Owing to the length of the performance only one production will be given each evening, Monday and Tuesday.

Local News (Back Page)


Edmour Labire, an influenza patient from Aleza Lake, was brought to the city last evening for treatment. His condition is not serious.

Local News (Back Page)



Friends of the late Miss Sadie Campbell will regret to hear of her death from pneumonia on the 18th inst., at Howell, Sask. Miss Campbell, after completing her studies at the University of Nevada, came to Prince George in 1914 and resided with her brothers, P. Campbell, of the Customs office, and A.D. Campbell, postmaster at South Fort George. Deceased visited Prince George during her holidays last July, and on the opening of school in September resumed her duties as a member of the teaching staff of the Convent school at Howell, where her death took place.

The remains were forwarded to her home at Souris, P.E.I. and accompanied by her brothers, J.J. Campbell, C.E., of Margo, Sask., and D.F. Campbell, C.E., of Alsask, Sask. Other surviving members of the family include her mother, L.I. Campbell and Mrs. J.R. MacDonald, of Souris, P.E.I., Mrs. Wm. Campbell, of Ely, Nevada, Miss M.E. Campbell, Holy Cross Hospital, Salt Lake City, and Miss Mamie Campbell, of the local Royal Bank staff.

December 1918: The Epidemic Subsides in Prince George

In December 1918, an additional 3 deaths from the Spanish influenza occurred in the Prince George area. This count does not include Indigenous deaths, which were not reported frequently (or very likely, accurately) in the newspaper.

On November 15, the ban on the holding of assemblages and all public gatherings in the Prince George district was been rescinded by the provincial police.

On November 12, the Union Rooms temporary hospital operated by the provincial government was closed. It had been open since October 22. It was located on Third avenue east in Prince George.

On December 2, the municipal emergency hospital at the Millar Addition school was closed. It had be open since October 25.

On December 31, the Connaught Hotel temporary hospital in Prince George operated by the provincial government was closed. It had been open since October 17.

Front Page News


Montreal, Dec. 3 - The number of deaths in this city from influenza has reached a total of 3172.

Front Page News

Mr. Selden F. Marvin, of New York, president of the Nechaco Mines Inc., is in the city today and registered at the Alexandra. With Mr. Marvin is Mr. Burdick, an American mining engineer, who will take up the work of the late Mr. Roper, whose untimely death from influenza occurred here a few weeks ago. The company has some promising mining properties at Houston, west of here.

Page 3 News


Vanderhoof, Dec. 2 - There have been no less than seventy deaths among the Indians of the Stuart Lake district, and it is conservatively estimated there will be another twenty-five. The chief and his wife died last week. Whole families have been wiped out. Many who were out trapping have been picked up in the bush dead. Search parties are now out looking for missing natives. The epidemic is still raging and apparently has no mercy for the poor Indian.

Local News (Back Page)

The public school reopened yesterday with a good attendance.


J.P. Enemark is around again after a bout with the "flu".


Nurse Sutherland, who has had charge of the city emergency hospital, left this morning for Hutton. Miss Sutherland may return to reside permanently in Prince George.


A man who appeared partially demented and evidently suffering severely from influenza was picked up by the police this morning and taken to the provincial emergency hospital for treatment. He evidently came in from some of the lumber camps, though he was unable to give little information about himself.


The city emergency hospital which for several weeks has been conducted in the high school building was closed yesterday, the two or three remaining influenza patients having been removed to their homes. This week the building is receiving a thorough fumigation. It is expected the high school classes will be resumed next week.

Local News (Back Page)


Mrs. Roper desires to return her most sincere thanks to the numerous friends who have shown so much kindness and sympathy in her recent sad bereavement, and especially to express her appreciation of the assiduous care of attention which Mrs. Hervey has given to her late husband and herself in their recent severe illnesses.

Fort George, Nov. 30, 1918.

Local News (Back Page)


All accounts due Dr. D.B. Lazier may be paid to him personally within the next few days or left for him at the Fort George Drug Co. store. Dr. Lazier is leaving shortly for the south.


Front Page News

The Health committee reported the case of a destitute man who had received hospital treatment and was later sent to the Hazelton hospital suffering from tuberculosis. Government officials had questioned their responsibility for the expense incurred, notwithstanding the fact that the man was not a resident of the city.

Bylaw No. 79, authorizing the city to borrow $6000 for current expenses for the year 1918, was passed. The city will pay the Royal Bank 8 per cent for the loan, and treasury notes on tax arrears will constitute security for the amount.

The mayor reported that a statement showing the expense in connection with the emergency hospital was now being prepared.

Front Page News


The following resolution was introduced by Aldermen Adams and Porter, and unanimously endorsed, at the last meeting of the city council:

Resolved, that the thanks of the city be given to Mrs. Quinn for her kindness in supplying bread to the Emergency Hospital during the recent influenza epidemic.

That a copy of this resolution be sent to Mrs. Quinn and that it be inserted in the local paper.

Page 6 News

Mortality among the Indians of British Columbia from influenza is set at 714, according to Inspector Ditchburn of the southwestern inspectorate, out of agencies with an Indian population of 21, 567, so far reported. There are thus about 3500 Indians in agencies not yet reported.

[These statistics suggest that 3.3% of the population died during the influenza epidemic]

Page 7 News


Vanderhoof, Dec. 7--....

Fred and Mrs. Borhaven have gone to Edmonton to consult a medical specialist with regard to their infant child.

Rev. H. Hager, of Prince George, minister for the German speaking colonies there, will conduct funeral services of the late Henry Voth tomorrow.

Mrs. Hugh Taylor, Fort Fraser, is somewhat seriously ill, having suffered a relapse.

Local News (Back Page)

There are still a few cases of influenza under treatment in the provincial emergency hospital at the Connaught Hotel. Most of the patients are convalescent, though an occasional new case is brought in from the surrounding district.


Front Page News

Monte Fraser, the well-known trapper, relieved the anxiety of his friends when he arrived in town today. In some way the report had gained currency that he and his family had fallen victims to the "flu".

Page 5 News

Nine deaths and 161 new cases of influenza were reported to the Winnipeg health authorities last Monday.

Page 6 News

All the schools in Victoria have been closed and will not reopen until after the Christmas holidays owing to the fact that an increasing number of new cases of influenza are being reported.

Local News (Back Page)

Owing to the illness of Miss Mutch, the principal, the senior classes of the public school are having an enforced holiday.


Several new cases of influenza are reported in the city this week. The disease, however, appears to be of a much milder type than that of a month ago. There are still about a dozen cases under treatment at the provincial emergency hospital.


Front Page News

Deputy Inspector Parsons, of the provincial police, has returned from a visit to police posts westward as far as Hazelton. He states that the mortality among the Indians in certain sections, due to influenza, has been heavy. On the Fort St. James and Stony Creek reserves there were 117 deaths. Among some of the Indian bands in the Hazelton district practically 25 per cent of the members had succumbed to the plague.

Page 4 News


Eight to Ten Carloads of Whisky Said to Figure in Irregularities of Commissioner

....Very large sales of liquor have been made during the recent influenza epidemic, but there is no suggestion of a shortage of the cash returns for sales, which were made at the rate of many thousands of dollars per day. On the other hand, it is stated that there may be shortage of the liquor which the government supposed it had on hand...

Local News (Back Page)

Mrs. H.S. Roper left Sunday morning for her home in New York. Accompanying her were the remains of her late husband who died here some weeks ago of pneumonia.

Front Page News

Six Million Died of "Flu"

(Special to the Citizen).

London, Dec. 20. - According to a Times medical correspondent six million persons have died in twelve weeks from influenza. It has proved to be the worst plague since the black death.

Front Page News


Calgary, Dec. 19 - The influenza has broken out again, and barbers, dentists and persons handling food have been ordered to wear masks.

Local News (Back Page)


Economy was the prevailing note at last night's session of the city council. The board spent the evening in discussing and checking an accumulation of bills aggregating $3,223.32, many of which were incurred in support of the influenza hospital and the public schools.

Local News (Back Page)


The death occurred yesterday at the home of Mrs. Otto of Mrs. Paul Jackson, aged 23 years. The deceased lady had many friends in this district. She was a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Allan, of Chief Lake, and had lived here since childhood. Besides a bereaved husband and little daughter, the parents, four brothers and one sister, Mrs. Norman Heavenor, of Vancouver, are left to mourn. The bereaved ones have the deep sympathy of all.

Front Page News


One hundred and fifty-four Indians, out of a total of 1400 in this district have to date fallen victims to the influenza plague, according to the statement of Mr. W. J. McAllan, district Indian agent. Many of those who have recovered from the epidemic are in a weak state of health and unless extremely careful of themselves until strength is regained will be liable to further serious complications.

During the epidemic that has raged among the natives Mr. McAllan and the veteran missionary, Father Coccola, have been indefatigable in their efforts to relieve the suffering Indians. Father Coccola is himself a physician of recognized ability, and to the untiring efforts of him and the department officials may be ascribed the recovery of so many of those who were stricken.

Mr. McAllan is paying the local Indians the interest on the trust funds held by the Dominion government. This fund was established from the proceeds of the sale of Reserve No. 1, now the Prince George townsite, to the Grand Trunk Development company.

Page 7 News


London, Dec. 20. - The influenza plague has been five times more deadly than the war, which, it is estimated, killed twenty million persons in four and a quarter years. Influenza has cost London then thousand lives to date.

Never since the Black Death has such a plague swept the world. In India alone, it is estimated there were three million deaths. In Bombay there were fifteen thousand, and in Delhi eight hundred daily. The Punjab lost a quarter of a million people.

In Cape Town two thousand children were left destitute. The natives were swept down as by fire. Eighty per cent of the natives of Samoa were afflicted.

In Spain the plague was terrific. In Barcelona there were ten thousand deaths alone.

In Australia and North America the totals were enormous. No medical authority is certain of any conclusion yet reached, but possibly a still undiscovered organism is involved. Possibly the increased violence of the influenza baccillus is responsible. It was mild when it first started in Spain. It visited England in a mild form, then America, and then returned to England in a severe type. Usually it first appeared in seaports. The figures indicate that the infection was by contact and did not occur through the air.

Local News (Back Page)


Mr. George J. Hammond, who put the old town of Fort George on the map, has recently turned over to the Red Cross Auxiliary of that place all the equipment and furnishings of the old Fort George hospital of which he is the owner. The gift is both generous and timely, and if sold to advantage, should aggregate several hundred dollars. The Red Cross members are deeply appreciative of this means to augment the local fund, especially as the demand for supplies since the armistice has increased rather than diminished.


Front Page News


Calgary, Dec. 31 - A Chinese influenza expert is said to have cured hundreds of cases here.

Local News (Back Page)

The provincial emergency hospital in the Connaught Hotel is being closed today. The few remaining patients are being removed to other quarters.

Local News (Back Page)

In the Goods of Edward William Hoar, Deceased.

Notice is hereby given to the creditors or persons having any claim upon or against the estate of Edward William Hoar, deceased, to send in their claims to the undersigned on or before the 15th day of January, 1919, after which time the undersigned will distribute the said estate, having regard only to those claims filed with him.


Solicitor for Robert Lyle Hoar, administrator of the estate of Edward William Hoar, deceased.


The Aftermath of the Epidemic in Prince George

According to information from a report compiled by the BC Provincial Police and shared in the Prince George Citizen, there were "approximately 1800 known cases in the district between Lucerne on the east and Kitselas on the west" of which "220 succumbed to pneumoniac complications".

These statistics suggest that the mortality rate of the 1918 Spanish influenza epidemic in the area was about 12%. It is difficult to ascertain the accuracy of this 12% mortality rate. If the provincial police's statistics included Indigenous deaths, the mortality rate of 12% has a higher likelihood of accuracy. Indigenous populations in British Columbia were hit very hard during the 1918 Spanish influenza epidemic.

Page 4 News

So many children in the Victoria city schools are suffering from influenza that the medical health officer has decided that the schools will remain closed until conditions warrant opening them again.

Page 5 News


Calgary, Jan. 4 - Rong Chin, the Chinese Influenza specialist from Seattle, has spent some time in Calgary. While here it is said he treated 475 and 500 cases without losing one. Chinese from Regina, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, Moose Jaw and other places came to Calgary for treatment. Those who came all the way from Regina were almost done for when they arrived. A white man who was permitted to be present when the cases were being treated reported that the first treatment destroyed the contagion while the second treatment cured the disease. All that remained was for the patient to rest a few days and eat sufficiently to get up his strength again.

Rong Chin claims he can locate the germ under the skin. Then he punctures the skin at the point or points where the germs are and applies a vegetable powder which kills the germ. The second treatment consists of the removal of the dead germs from the body.

Today, Mr. Hurtubise, one of those who had witnessed the work of Rong Chin, waited upon the city commissioners to request that Rong be given a chance to demonstrate his power to successfully combat the disease and if his claims are proved, be given the right to practice for pay. This commissioners said they had no power to grant and referred the applicant to the provincial minister of health.

Page 5 News

Dr. Daniel Mahoney, assistant superintendent of the Vancouver General hospital, who had fought influenza in behalf of others since the inception of the disease, died of "flu" last Wednesday. He had been ill for ten days, suffering from double pneumonia.

Local News (Back Page)

With the exception of a small portion of the varnishing, the new city hospital is completed. It is expected that the keys will be handed to the hospital board by the contractors during the week.

Page 7 News


Washington, Jan. 8. - The influenza epidemic which swept the country during the latter part of last year, caused 111,688 deaths in the 46 largest cities and increased the combined death rate for these communities in 1918 to 19.6 per thousand, according to statistics made public by the census bureau. Local figures for the country were not available.

Baltimore, with 26.8 per thousand, and Nashville, with 26.4, had the highest rate of registration cities, while at St. Paul, with 13.9 and Minneapolis and Grand Rapids, with 14 each, had the lowest.

There were 442,374 deaths in the 46 cities, the estimated population of 42 of which aggregated 20,514, 520. There was no estimate of population for the other four. Deaths from influenza totalled 69,439, with 42,149 deaths from pneumonia.

Page 5 News


The Citizen is indebted to the provincial police for the following information relating to the late influenza epidemic as it was felt in this district:

The first manifestation of this epidemic was noticed in Prince George on October 15th, 1918. Prior to this its presence had been established at Lucerne, near the eastern provincial boundary. Thereafter outbreaks were reported from centres often widely apart, but invariably in proximity to railway depots, pointing to dissemination by transients and railway employees.

Acting on instructions from government agents, the provincial police alleviated the sufferings of a great many in isolated sections. The officers were frequently called upon to serve both as doctor and nurse, and were active day and night, in many instances contracting the disease they were called upon to fight.

On October 16th, under provincial auspices, the Connaught Hotel, Prince George, was converted into an emergency hospital. Accommodation thus provided being insufficient, further quarters were opened on October 23rd in the Union Rooms.

At their inception these hospitals were staffed by voluntary helpers, but the strain on this assistance becoming great, owing to illness in the homes of many of the volunteers, thereafter salaried workers were employed.

From information obtained from various sources there were approximately 1800 known cases in the district between Lucerne on the east and Kitselas on the west. Of these 220 succumbed to pneumoniac complications. It is noteworthy that those suffering from pulmonary complications were usually men physically robust.

Mortality among Indians was exceedingly heavy and may be attributed to lack of care consequent upon their nomadic tendencies, coupled with a native stoicism when finally prostrated.

Page 5 News

Prince George Hospitals

About sixty beds were provided in the two provincial hospitals in Prince George [the Connaught Hotel and the Union Rooms]. A fortunate government purchase of blankets was particularly opportune owing to a general local shortage. A dearth of essential drugs developed early, and the attorney-general's conditional assent to the seizure of liquor held by the Canadian Express Company was timely.

At both hospitals a superintendent was placed in complete charge with a necessary staff of nurses and orderlies. Mr. W.D. Smith, at the Connaught, and Mr. A. Wright, at the Union--subsequently taken ill and replaced by Mr. F. Tapley--rendered excellent service.

The entire management of the two hospitals was in the hands of Captain (Dr.) Lazier, who worked long hours in connection with the epidemic, besides caring for a large number of outside patients. Dr. Lazier was suffering severely from phlebitis [inflammation of a vein, usually in the legs] during the whole of this period and was able to walk only with the greatest difficulty.

Page 5 News

Stony Creek Indians

The epidemic's course ran with exceptional severity on the Stony Reserve near Vanderhoof, and but for the splendid work of Rev. Father Coccola, many more would have died. Affectionately known throughout the north, Father Coccola has spent the greater part of a long life in this section of the province, and his success in this instance was due to the implicit trust placed in him by the Indians.

Local News (Back Page)

Owing to the recent "flu" epidemic the annual Christmas tree and sale of Fort George Red Cross Auxiliary could not be held in December. Preparations are under way, however, to hold a sale of work, a "tea" and raffle of several exquisite articles on Saturday, April 12th.

Page 3 News

Influenza Affects Moose

From information received, the report states, moose and caribou are being infected with the influenza epidemic. Lungs of a moose, sent in from Rooney, disclosed upon medical examination, signs of pneumonia. Other specimens were not obtained for diagnosis, however, though reports point to a reduction in the number of animals throughout the district.

Local News (Back Page)


Applications for the position of Matron for the Prince George Hospital will be received until February 1st, 1919. Applicants must state salary and qualifications.  P.E. WILSON

Sec.-Treas. Hospital Board.

Dated Jan. 17th, 1919.

Page 6 News

"Flu" has broken out at Swift Creek, a lumbering camp between Lucerne and Kamloops.

Page 6 News

Constable McPhail, of McBride, has recently received news of the death of two brothers, one dying of influenza and the other paying the supreme sacrifice in France.

Front Page News


Winnipeg, Jan. 22. - The epidemic of influenza which has been raging here since early in October last, is fast approaching the vanishing point, there being only 152 new cases and twenty deaths reported to the health authorities in the last week.

Page 3 News


Vancouver, Jan. 22 - The "flu" has continued strongly in this city since October 5, notwithstanding the strenuous efforts to eliminate the epidemic. Since that date the civic health department has been advised of 6000 cases, while medical men claim that the real number of "flu" cases in all forms would easily pass the 10,000 mark, which would mean that one-tenth of the city's total population has been affected. Also there had been 710 deaths officially termed as "flu" deaths at the city hall for the same period, showing that the death rate was over 11 per cent of those who were victims of the disease.

During the past two weeks, since the second epidemic broke out, new cases reported average about fifty a day and there is no present indication of a let-up.


February 5, 1919 - Page 5 News


Fort St. John, Feb. 2. - Chila is dead. To the great world this means nothing, but the Peace River voyageur will remember with a passing regret the story of the lone tepee on the hillside by the Hudson's Bay Company post, where for the past seventeen years the crippled Indian lay, an example of cheerful adversity to the world. Attacked by rheumatism seventeen years ago, following exposure on a hunting trip, this once famous hunter has had since that time for his world a little path of about fifty yards over which he propelled himself with his elbows to a small garden, which he cultivated while lying on his back.

The recent "flu" epidemic also claimed for a victim Montagneuse, the big chief of the Beaver Indians. Several sub-chiefs and several of the best hunters of the tribe have also gone to swell the ranks of the good Indians. The passing of Montagneuse marks practically the end of a regime faithful to the traditions of the Hudson's Bay Company in this section.

February 25, 1919 - Front Page News


In accordance with a resolution passed at Thursday night's council meeting a census of the city by wards was taken this week by the provincial and city officials. The result as announced at the city hall yesterday was as follows:

Ward One.........455

Ward Two.........694

Ward Three......432


February 25, 1919 - Front Page News

The Prince George Ladies' Hospital Auxiliary announce a grand opening of the City Hospital on Saturday next March 1st, at 3 o'clock. Tea will be served at the small cost of twenty-five cents, the proceeds of which will go toward the up-keep of the L.H.A room. Special music will be rendered. Everybody welcome.

February 25, 1919 - Page 2 News


In the new municipally-owned and splendidly-appointed hospital which will be publicly opened on Monday next [March 3, 1919], Prince George has an institution which, from appearance alone, would be a credit to any city in the West. There is no doubt that under the competent management of the matron appointed the Prince George hospital will prove a boon to the residents of this city and district.

Now that the civic hospital is an actuality public interest and support must not be allowed to cease. In carrying out the wishes of the people and in establishing business principles for the conduct of this institution, the Hospital Board will need the encouragement and support of every resident. Local organizations, too, can be of great assistance, both in co-operating with the Board, and--perhaps most important at this particular time--assisting to raise funds for the furnishing and equipping of the building. The women and girls of the district are setting the pace in this regard, and it only remains for the people as a whole to make the Prince George Hospital an institution that every resident will be proud of.

March 5, 2019 - Page 5 News


London, March 1. - In the last four years alone 700,000 of the pick of the British race were lost on the battlefield, declared Dr. Christopher Addison, president of the local government board, in moving in the House of Commons a second reading of the bill to create a ministry of health, and in October, November and December of last year the mortality from influenza in the United Kingdom was as high as the average monthly losses during the war from war causes.

Under the terms of the bill, the minister said the various health and insurance bureaus which are now connected with the local government board, the home office and the ministry of pensions, would be amalgamated.



April 2, 1919 - Front Page News


The body of W.H. Null, a G.T.P. locomotive engineer, who died at McBride on Thursday last of influenza, was brought to the city Saturday and now rests at Corless' undertaking rooms. Deceased was 50 years of age and leaves a widow and four children. Tomorrow, accompanied by the sorrowing family, the body will be taken to St. Paul, Minn., the former home, for burial.

The local lodge of Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers has charge of the funeral arrangements.

April 2, 1919 - Front Page News


London, March 28. - The return epidemic of influenza finds England so short of doctors and nurses that, according to reports from various parts of the country, there are not enough even to give casual attention to patients. The strain on the medical men who are trying to deal with the emergency is so severe that there is danger of many of them breaking down. In the North of England the epidemic is raging with unusual violence.