The first mention of Spanish flu in the Leader-Courier was the obituary of James F. Connolly, who died in a Great Lakes, IL hospital, published Sept. 26, 1918. Connolly’s parents and brother took the train to be with him, but found the camp under quarantine and they could not see him. Connolly was in training at Great Lakes before he “was attacked with the prevailing disease of Spanish Influenza.”
The next mention was a report in the Oct. 17, 1918 paper with the headline The Flu, or Three Day Fever.
“The disease now spreading over this country is highly catching and may attack you and your family unless you are very careful. Influenza is a crowd disease. Therefore, keep out of crowds as much as possible. If you feel sick and believe that you have ‘Spanish Influenza,’ go to bed and send for a doctor. This is important.”
Further on in the same edition were reports of three local soldiers stationed in Kansas who were all recovering from the flu.
See full story in this week’s Leader-Courier.