Letter to the Editor

From the autobiography of Martin Oliver Remmen, Dec. 21 1906-March 3, 1997: 

“In 1918 influenza struck. I liked to read the newspaper and read how it was all over the country.  In Butte, they passed a law that not no more than three people could stand on the street corner at one time because they thought that was how it spread.  People started dying by the hundreds and the gravediggers couldn’t keep up with the dying, so they stacked them up like cordwood until they could get them buried.  My old man got it but he went and got a quart of whiskey and would drink some every day and he got over it. That was because he was no alcoholic. The drunks in town tried doing that and they all died. There wasn’t any drunks left after the sickness was over. For two years afterwards they would find whole families dead in out of the way farms, because they couldn’t get to town. In 1919, they were advertising to get gravediggers to come to Chicago to bury people. The influenza was a world wide thing and before it was over it had killed 2,000,000 people.”

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