Home The Columnists In The Beginning SPANISH FLU, NEW INK, ADDITIONAL WW II



One last item on the Spanish flu, November 7, 1918; “INFLUENZA UNDER CONTROL IN CITY; PUBLIC MEETINGS WILL BE RESUMED.”

“The influenza situation in St. Cloud has so far improved that Dr. J. D. Chunn, county health officer, has issued permission for all public meetings to be resumed, and on Wednesday of this week the first meetings at the local churches within three weeks took place when the customary prayer meetings were held.”

“There have been no deaths in this city because of influenza, and much of la grippe has been overcome, so that there is not believed to be any further danger from the disease – to prevent an epidemic of which, orders were issued for bidding all public gatherings within an indefinite period.”

“Wednesday morning an effort was made to reopen public schools, but not sufficient notice had been given of the intended opening to bring out a full attendance of students. It not being desirable that any of the children should get behind in their studies, the sessions were adjourned until next Monday, when it is hoped the regular attendance of pupils will be on hand. The closing today and Friday is only in order to give notice through the proper channels, so that all students may resume their school work at the same time.”

“Tonight, the first lodge meetings in several months will be held while tomorrow night the Masonic lodge will resume its weekly meetings.”

“On Tuesday of next week, the Odd Fellows will resume their weekly meeting and all other fraternal lodges will take up their work on their former schedules.”

“The Palm Theater will be open again Saturday, according to Manager J. D. Woodbeck, and regular shows will be presented on Thursday and Saturday nights until further notice.”

So, St. Cloud came through the flu epidemic all well and good. Maybe Dr. Chun’s quick work in closing all public meetings paid off. This was not so around the country, according to my son, Bill Fisk. In two small towns of about 600 people each, in Colorado, about 100 miles apart, one suffered about 35% deaths while the other had none. It hit differently for no seeming reason.

I do not know how many people remember the old pen points that you inserted into a pen and you had to dip it into a bottle of ink or ink well in order to write. In the November 11, 1918 issue of the Tribune we find the following;


“Reverend J. L. Jenkins, pastor of the St. Cloud Christian Church, in addition to performing his pastoral duties, has devoted some study to the problem of discovering and making a writing ink that would not corrode pen-points, and only recently he has perfected an ink that he believes will forever eliminate the troubles ensuing when ink left on the pen after using it.”

“This week he prepared some of his writing fluid for general use in St. Cloud, after being convinced, from practical tests made within the past year, that he solved the problems satisfactorily.”

“He proposes to manufacture the fluid for general trade as soon as a supply of bottles can be obtained.”

“The ink writes a pale blue, but soon turns black, and it is adapted to all uses to which writing inks are needed.”

“This new chemical mixture should bring in a neat sum to the owner of the formula, and it may develop an important industry for St. Cloud.”

“Mr. Jenkins has placed the first few bottles prepared at the store of Hatton Tillis, on New York Avenue, where it may be purchased by persons who desire to give it a trial.”

If this were to happen today there would be untold trials, studies on the chemistry, patents, etc. for several years to determine its safety and usefulness.

In the November 14, 1918 issue of the Tribune we find more about the armistice. “ARMISTICE TERMS TOO HARSH, SAYS GERMAN FOREIGN SECRETARY.”

“The German Government has received the conditions of the armistice. We had to accept the conditions, but we feel it our duty to draw the Presidents attention most solemnly and with all earnestness to the fact that enforcement of the conditions must produce among the German people feelings contrary to those upon which alone the reconstruction of a community of nations can rest guaranteeing a just and durable peace.”

“The German people, therefore, at this fateful hour, address themselves again to the President, with the request that he use his influence with the Allied Nations in order to mitigate those fearful conditions.”

“This is what Dr. Solf, German Foreign Secretary, addressed to Secretary of State Lansing in an appeal that President Wilson intervene to mitigate the ‘fearful conditions’ of the armistice and to alleviate the burdens of the German people.”

“Dr. Solf said, further, that he felt it to be his duty to draw the President’s attention to the fact that the enforcement of the conditions of the armistice, especially the surrender of the transports, means the starvation of millions of people in Germany.”

Here we see, as today, the world’s impression that the United States is the leader in world affairs. The Allied Nations fought the Germans, as well and the war was fought on their lands and their people were the ones who suffered, so why did Dr. Solf think that President Wilson could change the terms. Germany did suffer after the war and Adolf Hitler did take advantage of the terms to start W.W.II, and, of course, was beaten, but this time we rebuilt Germany. But that is another story.


“In making an impromptu address before a theater audience in New York on Monday (November 11), James W. Gerard, former ambassador from the United States to Germany, said extradition of former Emperor William from Holland to England for trial for murder, of which charge he has been indicted in English courts recently.”

“There is a treaty between Holland and England,’ declared Mr. Gerard, ‘by which they can extradite the ex-kaiser (who has been indicted in England) and try him before an English court. I guess we all know that the verdict would be. When the hangman drops the trap, he will be doing away with one of the world’s greatest murderers.”

With hindsight, he was second to Hitler and possibly Saddam.

The November 14, 1918 edition of the Tribune contained a letter from Pvt. Robert A. Terry, hometown unknown, from France, dated October 20, 1918 which says in part,

“…I have been on line now continuously since July 25, and conditions seem to make correspondence an increasingly difficult job…”

“…The most interesting to me were the prisoners and captured material. The former included men of all ages, from 16 to 50 years and all nationalities (excepting Turks) who are backing the Kaiser. I saw even Russians and Romanians, who had been forced into Austrian regiments. Needless to say, they didn’t put up much of a fight.”

“Of course, you can’t depend much of what prisoners say, as most of them are anxious to please their captors, but I didn’t see any of them who seemed downhearted over their predicament. Rather they seemed tickled to death to be out of it. None of them with whom we talked seemed to know that America had any men over here. they said they were told the submarines were sinking all American transports, and they asked if we were British or British colonials…”

“…We had lots of peace talk lately, but I guess it’s not time yet, but the Boche is going in the right direction, and I don’t think he will be long this side of his country.”