|Percy Wheatley Johnston|
What follows are 100-year-old news excerpts from the Oct. 23, 1918 edition of The Evergreen Courant newspaper in Conecuh County, Ala.
Within three short weeks, Spanish influenza has developed and spread so widely and rapidly that America’s death roll here at home is greater than that of all her huge armies in Europe. Moreover, the number of prostrations from this disease from day to day in America is probably greater than the combined casualty lists of all the fighting forces engaged in this World War. The number of cases in New York City alone has increased from a total of 47 cases and no deaths reported to and included Sept. 20, 2018 to 4,293 new cases and 393 deaths in a single day.
Four Conecuh Boys Wounded In Action: Yesterday’s casualty list from overseas contained the names of four young men from this county: Perry Tolbert of Old Town, “wounded, degree undetermined,” and Eugene Higdon of Repton; Lewis Pugh of Castleberry; and Geo. H. Salter of Evergreen, “slightly wounded.”
Death of P.W. Johnston Jr. – Percy Wheatley Johnston Jr. died on Saturday at the army camp at Jacksonville, Fla. from bronchial pneumonia, following an attack of influenza. He was a son of Mr. and Mrs. P.W. Johnston of Brooklyn. The funeral and interment occurred at that place on Monday afternoon.
Wheatly Johnston had many warm personal friends who learned of his death with profound sorrow. He was a handsome young fellow, perfect physically and full of life and energy, and it is hard for his family, friends and former associates to realize that he is no more. The grief-stricken family have the sincere sympathy of many friends in this bereavement which has come to them so unexpectedly.
Death of Dr. Claud Dean: Relatives and friends in Evergreen were sorely shocked and deeply grieved on receiving a message on Sunday afternoon announcing the death of Lt. Claud Dean, U.S. Army Medical Corps, Fort Oglethorpe, Ga., following an attack of influenza.
Lt. Dean left Evergreen on Oct. 5 to enter upon his duties for his country. When he bade goodbye to his relatives and friends here he never looked a more perfect specimen of manhood. He had been at his post of duty only a few days when stricken with the dreaded malady that finally resulted in his death.
Relatives of deceased have had trouble in getting in touch with the authorities regarding the shipment of the remains, and it was not until yesterday that they were definitely informed that the body would be shipped today. It is expected to reach here tomorrow. Funeral arrangements have not yet been made. The body will be interred in Evergreen cemetery.
Death of Mrs. Nancy Joyner: Mrs. Nancy Joyner, relict of the late Ashley Joyner, died on Saturday last at the home of her son-in-law, R.T. Shipp of Cedar Creek, after a several week’s illness, aged 79 years. The funeral and interment took place at Owassa Cemetery on Sunday afternoon. Deceased was the mother of Cal Joyner of Flat Rock, who was faithful in nursing his mother during her illness.
Conecuh Baptist Association Postponed: Owing to the prevailing epidemic of influenza, the Conecuh Baptist Association, called to meet Oct. 30 at Jones Chapel, has been indefinitely postponed. – S.P. Lindsey, moderator.