Tag Archives: the flu

You Think you Got it Bad? The Russian Influenza of Lanark County



We are so lucky  we didn’t have to deal with La Grippe. The 1889–1890 flu pandemic (October 1889 – December 1890, with recurrences March – June 1891, November 1891 – June 1892, spring 1893 and winter 1893–1894) was a deadly influenza pandemic that killed about 1 million people worldwide. The outbreak was dubbed “Asiatic flu” or “Russian flu”.

At the beginning of the epidemic, many newspapers printed a list of telegrams from all the major European cities. They described both the location to which the influenza had spread as well as statistics on mortality and morbidity. In addition to numerical errors in the reports about the influenza, there was also confusion in the medical field. Doctors were unsure whether to classify the disease as dengue or influenza, often misdiagnosing one for the other. Adding to the confusion, the influenza was also commonly referred to as trancazo, catarrh, and grippe. One thing was clear; a lot of people were getting sick, and a lot were dying.

Many died in Lanark County and the newspapers were full of notices.

Perth Courier, Jan. 17, 1890

It is reported there are over 100 cases of influenza in Lanark County although none as yet have proved fatal.  The highest department of our public school has been closed for a few days on account of Mr. R. Beatty’s illness from La Grippe.

Oso Station—“La Grippe”, also known as “Russian Influenza” is doing its work here and many of our citizens are ill with it.

William Connors passed into the better land on Friday, 10thinst., after a lingering illness.  It is thought that La Grippe set in and killed him.  Mr. Connors was a shoemaker in this village for about 12 years.  The deceased was 80 years of age and born in Ireland.  His remains were interred at his request in Christ’s Church (English) Cemetery on Monday, 13th January.

John Laidley has filled the vacancy of Miss McPherson as school teacher here.  Mr. Laidley is at his home in Mountain Grove ill with “La Grippe”.

MiddlevilleJohn Sommerville, Jr., who intended leaving for the shanty with his sons was delayed by an attack of La Grippe.  He has recovered and left here on Tuesday.  We wish him success.

At the morning services at St. James Church last Sunday the pastor, Rev. R. L. Stephenson, was taken ill and could barely finish the service.  He had to give up entirely in the evening but may be well enough to officiate again next Sunday of the one after.  The reverend gentleman had been laid up with La Grippe and his strength was unequal to the work of pulpit services

The Central Canadian (Carleton Place) this week gives the particulars of the drowning of John Shepherd of Ramsay, a farmer, through his horse running away in that town.  The accident happened on Tuesday there when Mr. Shepherd was going home.  It was dark at that time and the accident was not seen but some boys discovered the horse and cutter in the stream.  They were drawn out and the horse cared for and search was made and they found Mr. Shepherd about 80 yards further down river, drowned.  His body was taken to Mr. Patterson’s until his family was notified.  The deceased had just recovered from “La Grippe” and was too weakened to manage his restive horse or to rescue himself from the cold water when he became engulfed in it.  It was a dreadful occurrence.  He was about 45 years of age.

Both Died from La Grippe- Carleton Place-1891

Murphy—Died, at Carleton Place on the 30th July, Augustine M. Murphy, son of James L. Murphy, aged 5 months and 7 (or 9?) days.

Murphy—Died, at Carleton Place on the 4th August, Francis P. Murphy, son of James L. Murphy, aged 5 months and 12 days.


Carleton Place—That fall disease,  has carried away another estimable lady of Carleton Place, in the person of Mrs. D. McLaren.  The sad event occurred about 2:00 yesterday afternoon as McLaren had been in declining health for some time past.  We sympathize with Mr. McLaren and his family in their hour of trial.

Read the Perth Courier at Archives Lanark