Transcriber’s note ( Thanks to historian Christine Spencer): When I first started looking for deaths from the Spanish Influenza in Lanark County, I could not find many. My mother, who is 99 and clearly remembers this horrible epidemic, told me to look instead for deaths from pneumonia. It was not the influenza per se, she said, that killed so many, but the pneumonia that followed. This was really the first time, she said, that the general public was educated about germs and the necessity of washing your hands. From what I could learn via the internet, the Spanish Influenza spread in Canada from east to west via the railroad and returning soldiers from World War I. I found 44 deaths in Lanark County in the Courier clearly marked pneumonia or Spanish Influenza I have copied them below. Some others were also transcribed that may not have been due to the influenza.
Perth Courier, October 11, 1918
Several cases of Spanish Influenza have developed in town but all are receiving careful attention and the possibility of it becoming an epidemic here as in the cases of many towns, is remote. The medical officer of health warns all who have heavy colds to attend to them and thus avoid development of la grippe or influenza.
How To Combat Spanish Influenza:
1.) Avoid all unnecessary crowds. Keep out of doors, walk to work if possible and sleep with the windows open. Make use of all available sunshine.
2.) Keep the feet dry and warm. Use sufficient heat to keep the house dry and comfortable.
3.) Get seven hours sleep and good, clean food
4.) All those coming into contact with the sick should use gauze face masks covering the nose and the mouth with at least four thicknesses of cloth. These should be changed at two hour intervals and either burned or boiled four to five minutes. All persons should wash their hands immediately before heating.
5.) Avoid all sneezing and coughing individuals. If necessary to sneeze or cough, cover the face with a cloth or handkerchief.
6.) Refrain from eating in restaurants where dishes are either imperfectly sterilized or not sterilized. There is grave danger of conveying infection from this source as well as soda fountains. Ask for destructible cups and saucers or be sure all dishes are sterilized by being boiled.
Perth Courier, November 1, 1918
Denzell Howard, the son of James Denzell, Ramsay, died on Sunday, October 20 from pneumonia at the age of 22 years. He was on leave from the Ottawa military camp when taken ill. The funeral took place on Tuesday afternoon to the Methodist Cemetery at Boyd’s.
McGonegal—The death occurred at Carleton Place on Friday, October 18 of Mr. Noble McGonegal, at the age of 32 years at the home of his sister Mrs. T.J. Leskey(?). He was taken ill at Woodroy, Quebec with influenza which developed into pneumonia. Deceased was the son of the lat John McGonegal, Flower Station. The funeral took place from the home of his sister to Calabogie for interment.
King—The death occurred of Albert King on Wednesday of last week following illness from pneumonia. He was in his 24th year. Deceased was in the west for the summer, returning a short time ago. His parents, two brothers, and a sister survive; Archie and Russell at home and Mrs. McDougall of Brightside. The funeral took place Thursday to the Elmwood Cemetery.
Sloan—Pneumonia claimed a prominent citizen of Smith’s Falls in the person of Thomas Sloan, former proprietor of the Arlington Hotel. Since retiring from active business, he has devoted most of his time to a small farm just outside of town called Doneybrow Farm. He was 56 years of age and a former member of the town council there. He is survived by his wife and two daughters.
Currie-Mills—Mrs. (Rev.) Currie-Mills died Saturday afternoon, October 19 at the Methodist parsonage, Sharbot Lake, leaving her husband and three young children to mourn her loss. Deceased was ill but a short time with influenza and pneumonia. Rev. Thomas Brown of Perth was in charge of the funeral service. Deceased had been very zealous in attending those who were ill.
Barker—Sunday afternoon, October 20, Dr. Barker died at Sharbot Lake only being confined to his home a few days from pneumonia. He leaves a wife and young child. Deceased was 33 years of age and previous to being taken ill was very busily engaged attending to the wants of people who were ill, the village having been gripped very severely in the remorseless hand of the prevailing epidemic.
Knox—Mr. J. Clark Knox died at Smith’s Falls on Wednesday morning of last week from pneumonia. For over a year he had been editor of the Smith’s Falls News but gave it up to take a position on the Ottawa Daily. While getting ready to move he and the whole family fell victims to the influenza. Mrs. Knox and six children made good recoveries but his attack was more obdurate. He was born at Carleton Place, the eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. David Knox, being in his 39th (?) year. He was engaged in western Canada in newspaper work for some time. His death is extremely bad, leaving as it does a wife and six young children. Interment was made at Carleton Place on Thursday last.
Cameron—After about only a week’s illness from pneumonia, Miss Catherine D. Cameron died on Friday morning last at the home of her brother Dr. W. A. Cameron. Her death was not unexpected but it caused keen regret among people of all classes in town by whom she was not only intimately known but universally respected. Miss Cameron was active in all matters pertaining to the public. Deceased was born in Drummond Township near Perth and she came when quite young and here she resided until the end. She is survived by three sisters and two brothers Mrs. D.H. Cameron at Ottawa; Mrs. Castiglione of Carbon, Sask.; Mrs. C.J. Bell of Winnipeg; Dr. Cameron, mayor and Mr. J.A. Cameron of this town. The funeral was held on Saturday afternoon in the Arnprior Cemetery and was largely attended. Rev. H.W. Cliff conducted the services at the home and the pallbearers were Messrs. J.S. Gillies, H.A. Jamieson, N.S. Robertson, James MacPherson, Dr. Steele, and J.E. Thompson. Arnprior Chronicle (Deceased was the daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. Ewen Cameron who owned the farm on the 2nd Line Bathurst, now the property of Wellington Best.)
The epidemic is abating in Perth but is still reported to be quite prevalent throughout the country. In town, however, it is on the downgrade and there is cause to believe the worst is over. Last Sunday, the request to the churches to remain closed was lifted and services were held in all the churches with the exception of the Baptist and St. John’s Church. Rev. Father Hogan has been indisposed lately. Sunday school was held, however, and while it is expected that all the churches will be open for both services on Sunday, the Board of Health does not wish that Sunday school be held at any of the churches feeling it is not in the best interest of the community to bring bodies of children together at the present period of sickness.
Perth Courier, Nov. 8, 1918
Palmer—After an illness of ten days from pneumonia, Walter Palmer died on Friday morning last at his home in North Elmsley at the age of 48 years. Deceased was a prosperous farmer and well known in the community. The funeral took place on Sunday afternoon from the deceased’s late home at 1:30 to the Scotch Line cemetery. In religion the deceased was a Presbyterian. A wife and two daughters survive. George Palmer, of town, is a brother of the deceased.
Harper—After an illness of ten days, Ida Lawson Harper of Walhalla, North Dakota, passed away on Monday morning, November 4 at 2:00. Influenza and its complications were the cause of this untimely death. As is the case with the disease no one thought the patient was in such serious condition. Deceased was the youngest daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. W.R. Gibson of Balderson. She was born in Lammermore July 25, 1886. She received her education in the public school there and in the high school at Lanark after which she taught for four years. On October 19, 1910 she married Hugh Harper of Lanark, living in that community for two years. Six years ago she moved to Walhalla, North Dakota with her husband and her little son John. Two more sons, Russell and Wallace were born. Mrs. Harper was a quiet, loving woman, a kind mother and a thoughtful, loving wife. Through a long period of ill health, she was brave and strong, always taking her share of the family responsibility. She is survived by her husband and three children and three brothers–John of Harper, Willie at Lammermore and Herbert who has been overseas for nearly three years. Four sisters—Mrs. Joseph Paul of Poland; Mrs. T.E. Ashcroft of Sinclair, Man.; Clara V. Gibson and Mrs. Jane Gibson of Walhalla, North Dakota also survive. A small funeral conducted by Rev. Mr. Wood was held at the undertaker’s parlor and her body was laid to rest in the cemetery at Walhalla. Mr. and Mrs. Hugh Wilson of Cavalier attended the funeral.
Troy—Miss Josephine Troy daughter of Mrs. Mary Troy of town, died at the Water Street Hospital of Ottawa on Friday last from pneumonia. Deceased had been ill but a short time and was in her 19th year. She was born at Westport. For the past four years she and her mother had lived at Perth. She was employed upwards of a year with the Perth Expositor after which she took a position with the civil service in Ottawa and had only been employed there about three weeks when she contracted influenza which developed into pneumonia. Many regretted to hear of her demise. She leaves to mourn her loss her mother and one brother, Walter, with the Canadian forces in France. Her father, the late Daniel Troy died several years ago. The funeral took place on Saturday afternoon last to St. Bridget’s Church and Cemetery in Stanleyville from her mother’s late residence on North Street.
Devlin—Carleton Place Herald—Last Thursday morning James A. Devlin passed away following that of his wife by a fortnight. The deceased was born in Drummond township and selected as his life work the trade of a blacksmith. For about 35 years he had been a resident of Carleton Place. As a young man he married Eliza Jane Edwards who predeceased him by but a few days both being victims of the prevailing epidemic. Six sons and three daughters survive: Charles, Robert, Wellington, and Hugh of town, the latter just convalescing from the same illness, and Mrs. M. Baker of Ottawa, Mrs. G. McKeown(?) of Dryden, New York and Mrs. G. Deaves of town. One brother survives, Hugh of Bathurst and three sisters Mrs. Kinsworth of Pembroke, Mrs. McLaren and Miss Rachael Devlin of Ottawa. The funeral took place Saturday morning enterment being made in St. James Church.
Watson’s Corners: Church service was held in Zion Church on Sunday after having been dismissed for three weeks due to the flu epidemic.
Franktown: The public school will reopen in the village and the other sections throughout the township on Monday next. They have been closed by the Beckwith Board of Health for the last five weeks.
Park—Died, at North Battleford, Sask., Tuesday, Nov. 5, Mary Ellen Lorimir wife of Lorne E. Park, 37.
Pretty—Died, at Edmonton, Alberta, on Thursday, Oct. 31, Corp. Robert Pretty, son of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Pretty of Hopetown, 28.