Elinor’s 1918 Diary Pages through Oct. 1918 (also see family tree associated with Georgia Ave household during Spanish Flu, Lorain, Ohio 1918)
This portion of the diary starting Sept. 1. 1918. written into a black leather type small bound notebook note: Elinor left Elbert & Gertie space to add their spouses if/when they married. Neither of them did and Elinor ends up living most of her adult life with Elbert. The first part of this section of the diary is a timeline, history of significant dates in the family.
The homestead boat business requires pulling the boats out of the Black River before winter sets in. In this case Pa & Elbert & Frank (who lives apart from the family) pull out the Had HIs Way; the Not So Bad; Carl 8; and Kaiser’s launches. There are multiple pictures of the boats they worked with.
Nellie is in her third year of teaching (Fairborn School) and Audrey is working at a store, and later for the shipyard (60$/mo). Pa is working “for a colored family, carpenter work.” but soon becomes ill. Elbert and Elinor take “treatments” for the flu from the Chiropractor, Dr. Easton. Gertie falls ill next and has a temperature of 102. There is a doctor making house calls (McGoraney) for the rest of the family. Fred is next to be sick and unable to work. He lives elsewhere. Toward the end of the month Martha’s temperature is 104, Gertie’s is 103 & 104. Elinor is up through the night caring for family.
Although religion has not been a common topic in the diary, here she acknowledges the new minister Rev. Campbell, probably at the Four Square Church. She also starts a ritual of including a prayer with her diary entries.
Elinor continues her correspondence with Dan (who works on a Steamer)
Elinor continues the relentless housework at the homestead including canning 12 qts of what she calls Chow Chow (salsa with cabbage and tomatoes), pickling 5 gallons of pears, & sewing corset covers for the women. . She is buying some things from Sears catelog including new shoes for 3.95.
The war never gets too close to the life at the homestead but there is an apparent celebration in Lorain with bells and whistles at 3 AM because Bulgaria has surrendered.
There is a family friend named Glenn Haught and there are pictures of him with Martha and Ella Jane. But there is an announcement at this point that his father was hit by a train “cutting him all to pieces” and that Pa went to the funeral in Cleveland. Later, Elinor and Ma will go to Cleveland to help Glenn’s mother on her death bed.
Illness takes center stage in 1918. Elinor is traveling by cab to and from Elyria to receive chiropractic care but also is diagnosed with Spanish Flu along with Martha Carlisle, Audrey’s daugther whom Elinor cares for every day. All schools soon shut down due to the epidemic. Elbert is next to come down with the flu
Influenza Epidemic of 1918
A deadly outbreak of Spanish Influenza, which reached epidemic proportions, spread from Europe to the United States and to Ohio in 1918. Approximately 500,000 of those with the disease died from the virus in the United States. The epidemic seemed to be particularly bad in army camps, where the men lived in close proximity to each other. Within only two months, more than 300,000 soldiers had contracted the illness. Approximately twenty thousand troops died of influenza.
In Ohio, Camp Sherman was affected more by the epidemic than any other training camp in the nation. The disease swept through the camp in the late summer and early fall. Almost twelve hundred men died at Camp Sherman before the epidemic ended. Although the nearby community of Chillicothe was quarantined to prevent the spread of the epidemic, some people outside of the camp still became ill and died of the disease.
Communities across Ohio experienced illnesses and deaths from the influenza at this time. During the last week of October 1918, 1,500 Ohioans died. Between October 1918 and January 1919, almost six hundred Dayton residents perished. In an attempt to stop the spread of the disease, many colleges temporarily closed their doors. In some cases, campus buildings were made into makeshift hospitals to treat those who had contracted the illness. Many other parts of the country also experienced tragedy as a result of the influenza epidemic of 1918. (from Ohio History Central)
Audrey & George were-married Oct. 6. 1911
Frank & Ruby were-married July 27. 1911; Elbert-Gertie-Fred & Ethel were married May 26, 1918.
Nellie & John were married June. 28. 1918.
Elinor & Frank were married May 17. 1920.
Sept. 1. Nellie [Bonney] & John [McKinley Harnish] moved home yesterday & John has to go to camp soon.
Sept. 2. Martha [Carlisle] was 6 yrs. old June 3  & will be in the first grade tomorrow.
Sept. 3. Nellie [Harnish nee Bonney] started teaching at Fairborne School today, this will be her third year of teaching [Nellie started teaching Sept. 2016]
[note: Sept.4. through Sept 18 all listed at the left margin but without any narrative or text.]
Sept.19. Fred’s Birthday.
Sept.24. Audrey started to work for Walton & Da
Sept.27. Audrey stayed home & did the house work my cold today is so bad.
Sept.29. Haven’t worked today. Pa & Elbert and Frank pulled out Had His Way & Not So Bad today. Our New Preacher Preached his first sermon this Morn. Rev. Campbell
Sept.30. Well I worked hard today I canned 12 qts of tomatoes & Chow Chow. & did all my house work as usual. [note: Chow Chow is a condiment relish made mostly of vegetables and cabbage and canned]
Oct. 1. I were to ill to work today
Oct.2. I didn’t do much to day Gertie was home with a sore toe.
Oct.3. I worked hard to-day swept and finished my ironing I got a letter from annabell & I wrote three letters tonight.
Oct.4. Well I wish I were well, but, I havent been able to work today.
Sat. Oct.5. Couldn’t work today, very much.
Oct.6. Sun. Pa & the boys pulled out Dr. Fredricks launch today. I helped get dinner. Gertie dressed 4 chickens & I skined 3 more & she dress them out I pealed the potatoes & Audrey made the biscuit I help fry the chicken & make the gravey & this morning at 3 a.m. the whistles & bells and everything that could make a noise did. so They received news that Bulgaria has surrendered, and oh, such a blow out.
Mon. Oct.7. Audrey had to stay home to look after the work today.
Glen Haught phoned yesterday and said his father had been killed on Thurs. Oct.3. and engine struck him, then run over him cutting him all to pieces. Pa went to Cleveland to the funeral today, to be held at the home a 2.p.m. this after noon.
I went to town in a car & back, I took a treatment; cost 1.00 cost 1:00
Tues. Oct.8. Martha is home with a cold. Dr think I have Spanish flue. and I think so myself & I think Martha has it now, poor dear.
Wed. Oct.9. Had to work today but its took all the strength I had, I didn’t feel able to wash the supper dishes so hade to wash them in the morn. as the girls didn’t wash them.
Thurs. Oct.10. I have worked all day I feel a little better, but oh so weak. Elbert and Pa are getting bad colds and Im sorry and my new neighbors are eating my chickens. Gertie did washing tonight and I have to wash tomorrow, if I can, I’m going to try. Mrs Bostinick & her family have moved into their new furnished rooms for the winter. I got my new shoes today 3.95 from Sears Roebuck & Co. & they fit me good. I wahed today. schools all shut down, to much in-flu-enza.
Fri. Oct.11. I have an order coming from Sears.
Sat.Oct.12. Got my shoes they are fine.
Sun . .13. Have felt so bad to day & so have some of the rest, the Dr. thinks I have In-flu-enza, I know something have got me, I’m so weak.
Mon.Oct.14. To tired to do much, but have pickled, 5 gal. of pears, and cut out three corset covers, and got supper & wahed the dishes.
Tue.Oct.15. I have my corset covers all done but finishing, and I’m so tired, Oh, No, one Knows.
Wed. Oct.16. Pa has been working for a colored family, carpenter work Elbert is sick I guess he has the flu he sure looks sick. We/are having quite nice weather now.
Oct.17. Well I have worked only because I felt I had to, I sure do feel bad and Martha isn’t feeling well & I have to look after her nights to. Elbert feels worse.
Oct.18. Elbert feels terrible bad, Pa don’t feel very well, & I didnt feel as if I could work.
Oct.19. I talked Elbert over, & he went to Dr. Easton & took a treatment today, he’s sick.
Oct. 20. Gertie is sick today, We most have a hospital here. gloomy day for all.
Oct.21. Gertie worse fever 102 1/2 had Dr. McGoraney Elbert went to Dr. Easton but don’t seem any better, Pa & Audrey working yet, Martha is Playing around yet. I did white wash & baked 8 loaves of bread Nellie did house work, but don’t feel very well. I went to town with Audrey && Frank, got ride home.Oct.22. Elbert is better, he took treatment to-day, Gertie better fever 101 1/2 today Audrey Pa & Martha don’t seem any better, Nellie sick alnight, better tonight. I did lot of work & finished my wash. Fred is sick.
Oct 22. Ethel’s mother phoned today said Fred was better, all the rest well. Audrey got job in shipyard today $60 per. mo. I came near fainting today, to tired. Pa worked home today I wrote a letter to Dan & Nellie packed box for John.
Oct.23. Gertie’s fever 102. she’s terrible weak. gave her medicine until 12 midnight then pa took care of her untill Audrey got up, then I got up at 8-30. and cared for her untill 3-30.am
Oct 24. Cousin Lucy Scott was her yesterday after noon, & Bell is going to marry a man that is turning out the dollars she is 30 & he 24) Martha was taken worse yesterday fever 104, no beter today. Gertie’s fever 103 1/4 today she’s in bad shape. I set up until 3-30 am. & feel tired out.
Oct.25. Well I got up at 12 to such a day Martha is better but Gertie’s fever 104 1/2 & I’ve done every think I know how to I set up until 4-30.am. and then pa took car of her.
Oct.26. got up 2-30 pm been on the jump most every minute. Gertie’s fever 104 3/4. Martha better.
Oct.27. Gertie is very low her fever still so high. I received a card from Annabel, tell me she has just lost her baby boy, poor girl, she is sure having her troubles. Martha’s back to her regular feed, Fred not working yet, Mrs Noderer call me today. Elbert not working yet, his eyes still bad. Pa & the boys E & Frank pulled out Carl 8. today.
Mon.Oct.28. Well Gertie’s fever is 102 today and she seems better but terrible weak. I don’t feel very good today & have bad sore throat. Nellie feels better Audrey worked in the shipyard today pa bought Gertie new blanket & comfort today.
Oct.29. I am sending and order to Sears today. I thank God for the many blessings he has given me, and pray he will forever Keep me close in His care, and make me what he wants me to be & help me to do & be each minute just as He sees best, and I pray He will make me happy and content in doing and abiding in His Holy Will. I ask in the name of the Father, Son & Holy Ghost, amen.
Oct.30.Wed. went to bed at 5-30 this am. went to sleep after 6 and got up 4.p.m. Gertie’s fever was 101 4/5 today is seems better and rests better at night for the past two nights. received letter from dan today Oct.30.
Oct.31. I have written four letters tonight one to Dan one to Flora Glover one to Iva Comstable & one Annabel Mariner. I went to bed at 5-30 a.m. and slept until noon, then after dinner I washed until supper the ate my supper and washed up the dishes, took care of Gertie & done several odds & ends & then wrote a letter to Mr Emil Quanetrom, 10418ave.H. East Side Sta., Chicago Ill. for Gertie. Nellie is up yet it’s 12-30 p.m. she is expecting to go see John, if he can’t come home, she’s looking for a telegram tomorrow morning. I have got to get up at noon & finish my washing. Gertie’s fever 100