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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Spokane

100 years ago in Spokane: 9-year-old boy holds out as flu ravages family

 (Nathanael Massey / The Spokesman-Review)
(Nathanael Massey / The Spokesman-Review)

A boy, 9, in the Five Mile area was doing his best under dreadful circumstances. Everyone else in his family of six, including his mom and dad, were sick with the Spanish flu and unable to get out of bed.

The 9-year-old was “doing all of the work, including cooking and building the fires and waiting on the five.”

The county physician put out a call for “a woman to volunteer to go out there at once and take care of the family and do the cooking.” If the family was unable to pay, the county would foot the bill.

From the school beat: The Spokane School Board was considering closing down the schools again, because of the worsening flu epidemic.

The schools had been reopened only a few days, and there was some evidence that during that time, more children were catching the flu. The board president said he “was besieged by telephone calls all day yesterday from anxious parents.”

The board was requesting information from the “coast cities” (Seattle, Tacoma, Portland) about their experience with reopening schools.

The board planned to meet with the city health officer later in the day to make a final decision.

From the funeral beat: In another sign of the times, Grace Baptist Church held a joint memorial service for four members of the congregation. They had all died of the flu.

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