Skip to Content

The Weekly News Source for Wyoming's Ranchers, Farmers and AgriBusiness Community

Spanish Flu Grabs Headlines

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

Published on April 11, 2020

As history continues to repeat itself, it seems prudent to pass along excerpts from the front page of the Oct. 8, 1918 issue of The Laramie Daily Boomerang.

         Spanish flu dominated most of the coverage, with the rest of the headline news being of World War I, which was also raging throughout Europe.

Order To Close

State of Wyoming, County of Albany, SS.,

        Owing to the fact that the epidemic of influenza has made its appearance in the City of Laramie, it is deemed advisable and necessary that all public gatherings be discontinued and certain institutions and places of business be closed for the time being.

        It is therefore ordered all churches, the University of Wyoming, in all branches thereof except the S.A.T.C., the Laramie High School, all public schools, all public places of amusement, including the Empress theatre and Root’s opera house, all public libraries, all pool halls, card rooms or tables and all saloons be closed.

        It is further ordered that no public gatherings be held indoors from this date until further notice from the undersigned health officer.

        This order will go into effect immediately and continue until revised.

        Dated this 8th day of October, A. D. 1918.

            – E.M. Turner, County Health Officer

Many Cases of Influenza

        The report, from the office of Drs. Hamilton and McCullum, says the majority of cases which these doctors have handled today have been influenza cases.

Influenza in German Armies

Berlin, Oct. 8 – Spanish influenza is spreading with rapidity in Germany and in Budapest. A total of 180,000 new cases were reported in the German army today. There are over 100,000 cases of the disease in Budapest alone. 

        The epidemic seems to have gotten beyond the control of the physicians and people are dying by the thousands every day. In the German army the disease is spreading to such bounds the authorities are alarmed.

Schools Closed Here Due to Spanish Flu

        County Heath Office, Turner, through the prosecuting attorney this morning issued an order closing all the schools in the city, picture houses, pool halls, saloons and ordered the suspension of all public meetings. 

        The S.A.T.C. at the university, being under federal control, will not be affected, the boys continuing to drill out in the open. 

2,500 Influenza Deaths   Disease Still Increases

            Training Camps Report Upward Trend in Both Spanish Flu and Pneumonia Cases During the Day

Washington, Oct. 8 – Nearly 2,500 lives has been the toll exacted in the training camps by Spanish influenza, the office of the surgeon general of the army announced tonight. 

            Between Sept. 13, when the epidemic appeared, and noon today, 2,479 died from pneumonia, almost all of the cases resulting from influenza… 

In an article published on WyoHistory.Org in September 2018, Historian Phil Roberts noted, “From October 1918 through January 1919, 780 people died in Wyoming, victims of the flu epidemic. Of those, 169 died from the flu while the rest were taken by a combination of flu and pneumonia.”

Caption: A woman stands over the grave of Ross V. Howell at Cody’s Riverside Cemetery in this historic photo. Howell was among many local residents claimed by the so-called Spanish flu, succumbing to the disease in November 1918 at the age of 36. He contracted the flu while in Seattle and ‘thought he had thrown it off when he reached Cody,’ but fatally relapsed, according to an account from the Northern Wyoming Herald at the time. From the Powell Tribune April 2, 2020. Photo courtesy Park County Archives, Goldby/Prante/Lowe family collection

  • Posted in Columnists
  • Comments Off on Spanish Flu Grabs Headlines
Back to top