Introduction: In this article, Mary Harrell-Sesniak searches old newspapers to find letters children wrote during the 1918 Flu Pandemic to, hopefully, bring a smile to our readers in this tough time. Mary is a genealogist, author and editor with a strong technology background.
Looking back in time is always a joy to a genealogist – and during these tough times, it’s certainly a joy to let you know what children were thinking and doing about 100+ years ago. That’s right.
I’ve found a treasure trove of submissions by children to editors of newspapers. Some mention the influenza or WWI, but most don’t. When there was a contest or prize incentive, children became creative.
I’ve purposely not added comments so that you can read them with a fresh perspective. Enjoy!
Dorothy Orlea Thomas and Mamie Woltmann had their letters published in Council Bluffs, Iowa.
When the editor of the Jackson Citizen Patriot’s comics department asked readers to suggest a name for the Duffs’ new baby, many children responded in Jackson, Michigan.
Henry Kerr trapped some animals and had a swimming adventure in Norwich, Connecticut.
Pauline Buckley and Yvette Ruth Deuberry were published in Omaha, Nebraska.
Ethel Holland’s “Out in a Blow” won a drawing contest in Norwich, Connecticut.
I’d like to finish this article with a cooking tip. After all, aren’t we all madly scouring the Internet for ideas as to what to do with our dwindling food stocks? Inez Orn had a suggestion from Norwich, Connecticut.
Now that you’ve read these, please ask your youngsters to write their own letters. Write them to newspapers, grandparents, friends and neighbors. Then tuck them away for future generations to uncover!
If I’ve found a little gem by your family member, please let me know in the comments section below.