The Call of October 4, 1918

Schuylkill Haven is in the grip of La Grippe.  The disease manifesting itself here is a most virulent
character and instead of it being under control it is spreading with alarming rapidity.  Each day
innumerable victims and it is one of the most serious epidemics ever experienced here.  The local
physicians have been kept busy day and night all week and while some cases are more serious than
others, there is no telling when it may be checked.  So serious has the situation become that the Haven
Street school building was closed this week and while it was the intention to reopen the building again
on Monday, the spread of the disease may make it necessary to keep this building closed for a portion
of next week.  It may also be necessary to close down several of the other schools.  
Not only has the disease effected children but adults as well and a number of the industries have been
seriously handicapped this week by many employees being ill with the disease.  Inquiry from the
secretary from the local Board of Health as to whether steps would be taken to close the Sunday
Schools for the coming Sunday, elicited information that the board had taken no action on the matter.  
The disease among many persons is styled the Spanish influenza.  Local physicians state regardless of
the term used the disease here is nothing more than a sever attack of the grippe in its most contagious

From a letter received by Mrs. Harry baker from one of the officers of Company C, 103rd Engineers, it is
learned that this company, composed of some seventy Schuylkill Haven boys, is under almost constant
shell fire.  The officer writes in reference to Corporal Paul Baker, who is confined in the base hospital.  
It is explained that Paul is affected with asthma and that the smoke and gas has made it rather difficult
for him to get along.  He was sent to the hospital to recuperate and if his condition is not improved
within a certain period, he will be transferred to another company doing service work back of the front

The employees of the Union Knitting Mill are establishing for themselves quite an enviable reputation in
subscribing and supporting the various campaigns for bonds.  For the Fourth Liberty Loan the amount
subscribed, as reported Friday morning totals $15, 050 and the mill making one hundred percent, that is
each and every one of the 106 employees subscribing for one or more bonds.  War Savings Stamps
have been purchased by the employees to the amount of $2,400 and of former bond issues $6,250 was
subscribed, making a total subscribed by the employees of this mill at $23,700.

The framework for the garage being built at the Baker Ice Plant to house the several auto trucks of this
firm was completed this week.  The finishing touches will be made very shortly and the same can soon
be made use of.

On account of ht prevalence of the Spanish influenza in this section, the Directors of the Schuylkill
County Almshouse at this place are taking the timely precaution to prohibit visitors to this institution.  
On and after October 3, no visitors will be admitted to this institution for an indefinite period.

The Call of October 11, 1918

The influenza epidemic in Schuylkill haven has reached a more serious aspect than many persons wish
to admit.  Local physicians report there being between 800 and 1000 patients in the town and new cases
developing daily.  The three town physicians and a Cressona physician have been working almost day
and night for the past week and are not able to visit all the patients that request and require attention.  
Several of the local industries have been closed on account of the majority of employees being ill and
every one of the other industries are now operating greatly handicapped by employees being ill.  It is
probable all of them will have to close unless the situation clears by the beginning of the week.  The
schools, churches, Sunday schools, saloons, etc., have been closed by order of the state.  Up to this
time there have been but five deaths which can be attributed either directly or indirectly to the disease
but there is a very large number of very serious cases that the physicians are much concerned about.  
There are many instances in the town where the entire family is ill with the disease and is entirely
dependent for assistance upon neighbors.  Several families have been taken to the Pottsville Hospital
and the Armory in Pottsville.
In reference to the emergency hospital erected near the Almshouse, it was stated no nurses or
physicians had been sent here.  As soon as word is received from the state, the hospital would be
opened according to Dr. Rodgers.  It was stated that up to this time the local Board of Health had made
no request either if the state or the county health board representative for aid.  Outside of the
strenuous work the physicians were doing nothing to combat the epidemic.  The Board has done
practically nothing on this matter.  

The school board met in regular monthly session on Monday evening and transacted the usual routine
business.  Probably the most important piece of legislation considered was the break down of the
heating plant at the Haven Street school building.  This was due to the burning out of the starting box at
the large fan that drives the heat through the building.  This breakdown occurred last week and
although efforts have been made to have it repaired, up to Monday they have been unsuccessful.  It
was expected the same would be repaired during the coming week.
The influenza epidemic was discussed at some length as to the effect it would have upon the public
schools, also a probable opening date for the schools.  The matter of opening the schools it was
thought had better not be considered just at this time.  As soon as the situation improved it would then
be time for the opening of the schools.  A motion carried to the effect that the schools remain closed
until further notice.  

he parents of Wilmer Crossley received a letter from him this week starting that he was compelled to
submit to another operation.  He does not state for what reason or cause.  It will be remembered Soldier
Crossley was injured by shrapnel some time ago.  The last operation was performed by Dr. Stratton
Carpenter of Pottsville.  He said he is getting along nicely now and that Billy Mill, who is also a patient in
the hospital, is acting as his attendant.

C. G. Wagner, local undertaker, this week was in charge of the F. J. Hummel undertaking establishment
in Minersville, Mr. Hummel and his entire family being ill with the influenza.  Mr. Wagner reports having
been kept extremely busy embalming bodies of persons dying of the disease and that the matter of
arranging funerals for the victims was also a proposition that required considerable manipulation.  At
one time Mr. Wagner stated there were as high as seventy embalmed bodies at the establishment he
had charge of.

Miss Alida Raudenbush, who for several years conducted a private school on East Main Street, last
week discontinued the same.  Miss Raudenbush will devote her time to obtaining a business and
commercial training and for this purpose left Saturday for Harrisburg, where she will take up several
courses in the school of commerce of the Harrisburg Business College.

The influenza epidemic has so seriously interfered with telegraph operators in this section, that at the
"J" office here brakemen are occupying these positions.  Of course these men are not expected and
make no attempt at telegraphing.  They simply relay orders and messages over the company telephone
from the nearby company officials.

The Call of October 18, 1918

The old empty house on Canal Street near the rolling mill, which for years has been unoccupied and has
been a veritable fire menace, was recently purchased by John Dellago.  Mr. Dellago was busy on the
building this week razing it for the purpose of making use of the lumber therein for firewood.  During
the week some persons appropriated some of the lumber for their own use and a lawsuit was narrowly
averted as a consequence, by the guilty persons admitting the theft.

The influenza-pneumonia epidemic in Schuylkill Haven is not yet under control.  There is as yet no
appreciable abatement in the epidemic although there have not been as many new cases reported
during the last 24 hours as during the fore part of the week.  Conservative estimates of the number of
influenza cases, most of them being a mild form, is given as a thousand.  There are quite a number of
serious cases in different parts of town and a number of serious pneumonia cases.  The death rate has
not been as great during the last few days as the fore part of the week.  The situation can still be
considered serious.
Added to the seriousness of the epidemic itself this week was the scarcity of water, there being little
water in the low parts of town and not any for the high parts.  This was due to several of the pumps at
the water dam not being manned.  The company claimed men could not be procured to do the work.  The
special committee after endeavoring to induce the company to procure men to man the pumps took the
matter up with the county relief Committee.  Orders were issued by the County Health Inspector to the
water company to have the pumps manned 24 hours every day.  This it is understood, is now being done.

The two troops of local Boy Scouts attended the funeral of their late Assistant Scoutmaster, George
Becker, Wednesday afternoon.  The boys in uniform with black bands about their left arm viewed the
body at the home and marched with it to the last resting place on the Union cemetery.  The sight
brought tears to many a bystander along the route and tendered to convey to the public the
seriousness of the situation through which this town is passing.

The Call of October 25, 1918

The influenza epidemic in Schuylkill Haven has been checked and the disease is under control of the
local physicians.  Within the past few days there have been reported a very small number of new cases
and of the sick, the patients are rapidly recovering.  Of course there are quite a number of persons who
are seriously ill with pneumonia and their recovery in some cases is doubtful.  Each day has lessened
the number of new cases and with the emergency aid giving attention and assistance to a number of
families stricken, serious developments of the disease have been prevented.
It is estimated that when the epidemic was at its height, there were about 1300 cases.  Now that the
backbone of the epidemic, as it were has been broken, the public must not become too optimistic in the
matter and forget all about the preventative measures that should continue to be exercised to prevent
the spread f the disease.  It is hardly possible the public schools will be opened for another two weeks.  
The Sunday schools and churches may be opened for Sunday, November 3rd, but hardly before.  As the
closing order for these institutions came from the State Board of Health, the local health authorities
cannot issue orders for the opening of the same even if they choose to do so.  There is nothing definite
as to when the closing order will be modified in any particular.

By tearing out of a partition in the building occupied by Harry Cooper, of Main Street, his store room
space has been increased quite a bit.  The carpenters were busy this week making alterations and
placing new shelves and cabinets to accommodate the stock.  This is the second increase in the size of
the store room made within a comparatively short time.

Miss Catherine Wagner of Cressona sustained a fractured skull when a Ford runabout in which there
were four persons turned over on it side near the residence of Tomas Luckens on East Main Street.  
The accident occurred about eleven o'clock, Friday evening.  The machine was being driven out the
highway when for some unknown reason it became unmanageable and plowed into the fence breaking
off several posts and turning over on one side.  The machine was the property of Rosenthal and Marks
of Minersville and had been loaned for the day to bury a relative of one of the members of the party.  Dr.
Lessig and Lieutenant Davies were summoned.  The girl was taken to the Pottsville Hospital Friday
midnight.  Others in the party were Marion Schroder of Cressona, Thomas Sweeney and Frank Toney,
both of Saint Clair.

Samuel Bensinger of William Street did not allow the many varieties and specimens of bugs, beetles and
worms to interfere with the growth of his cabbage plants this season and as a result, out of 275 plants
put out, all produced a good solid head of cabbage, excepting about ten of them.  He considers the
results of his War Garden indeed worth the time and attention given thereto.