Pandemic.

The 1918 influenza flu pandemic (January 1918–December 1920) was an unusually deadly outbreak. “Spanish flu” infected 500 million people across the world, including remote Pacific islands and the Arctic, and killed 50 to 100 million of them—3 to 5 percent of the world’s population—making it one of the deadliest natural disasters in human history.

Wilson County did not escape the scourge. October opened with a smattering of flu deaths that quickly swelled to shocking numbers. The beginning of November seemed to spell an end to fatalities, but they surged again mid-month. A survey of death certificates yields insight into the impact of this pandemic on Wilson County’s African-American community.

October

5 — Carrie Horne, 20, Saratoga township.

5 — Sudie Smith, 30, Black Creek township.

6 — infant of Roda and Ed Barnes, 12 days, Saratoga township.

11 — David Mack, 40, Saratoga township.

11 — Florence Pleasant, 39, Black Creek township.

11 — Edward Sims, 8, Wilson town.

11 — Lula Winstead, 11, Wilson.

12 — Leslie Brooks, 37, Black Creek township.

13 — Stella Brooks, 28, Black Creek township.

13 — Cora Lee Howard, 18, Taylors township.

13 — Benjamin Jones, 54, Wilson town.

13 — Georgeanna King, 1, Wilson township.

13 — Arch Morrison, 37, Wilson town.

13 — Abon Neal, 30, Wilson town.

13 — William Henry Williams, 21 Toisnot township.

15 — Dutch Bennett, 65, Wilson town.

15 — Beatrice Edwards, 23, Wilson town.

15 — Bertha Lee Mack, 2, Saratoga township.  [Bertha Lee was the daughter of David Mack, who died on the 11th.]

16 — Fred Barnes, 18, Black Creek township.

16 — Alex McCray, 22, Wilson township.

16 — Laurence Wells, 28, Wilson township.

17 — Zula Leach, 16, Wilson town.

17 — Peter Mack, 4, Saratoga township. [Peter was the son of David Mack, who died on the 11th.]

17 — Ola Lee Rowe, 5, Cross Roads township.

18 — Ed Jones, 13, Saratoga township.

18 — Joseph Sanders, 28, Wilson town.

18 — Elma Stokes, 35, Wilson town.

18 — Theresa Carolina Williams, 4, Wilson town.

19 — Mannie Battle, 38, Wilson town.

19 — Rosevelt Dawes, 8, Toisnot township.

19 — Rosevell Campbell, 13, Gardners township.

20 — Handy Dawes, 1, Toisnot township.

21 — Paul Mercer, 30, Gardners township.

21 — Jim Offie Jr., 1, Wilson town.

21 — Fredrick Douglass Rountree, 1, Wilson township.

22 — Henry Artis, 51, Stantonsburg township.

22 — Martha Batts, 18, Toisnot township.

22 — Daisy Farmer, 37, Toisnot township.

22 — Mary Susan Farmer, 35, Stantonsburg township.

22 — Samuel Jenkins, 35, Wilson town.

22 — Nathanael Rountree, 6, Cross Roads.

22 — Gertie Skipper, 23, Wilson town.

22 — Ulus Ward, 1, Elm City.

23 — Irene Bynum, 26, Wilson town.

23 — Thomas Dawes, 4, Toisnot township.

23 — Sam Ellis, 20, Stantonsburg township.

23 — Jackson Ellis, 17, Stantonsburg township.

24 — Turner Anderson, 48, Toisnot township.

24 — Austin Dawes, 49, Toisnot township. [Austin Dawes was the father of Roosevelt, Thomas and Handy Dawes.]

24 — Earnest Far, 23, Toisnot township.

24 — Will Johnson, 29, Wilson town.

24 — Minnie Knight, 49, Gardners township.

24 — Appie Ann Parker, 1, Wilson township.

25 — Minnie Ellis, 13, Saratoga township.

25 — Louise Edmunson, 6 months, Black Creek township.

25 — Mary Farmer, 32, Wilson town.

25 — Jobie Joyner, 15, Wilson town.

25 — Lizzie Ruffin, 30, Wilson town.

25 — Mary Elizabeth Williams, 19, Wilson township.

26 — Avester Evans, 6, Wilson town.

26 — George Williams, 2, Toisnot township.

27 — Olive Barnes, 20, Wilson town.

28 — Olivia Barnes, 19, Cross Roads township.

28 — Frances R. Batts, 20, Wilson town.

28 — James Batts, 33, Wilson township.

28 — Dora Brazil, 19, Stantonsburg township.

28 — Orran Ellis, 8, Stantonsburg township. [Sam, Jackson and Orran Ellis were sons of Daniel and Celia Lewis Ellis.]

29 — Mary Hines, 18, Wilson town.

29 — John Berthia, 33, Wilson town.

29 — Julia Jones, 29, Wilson town.

29 — Rosa Williamson, 16, Springhill township.

30 — Elvis Alston, 4, Wilson town.

30 — Luburta Bynum, 3, Wilson township.

30 — Martha Bynum, 26, Cross Roads township.

30 — Curley Rozin, 35, Wilson town.

November

1 — Mark Floyd, 28, Wilson town.

1 — Emanul Lundsford, 21, Wilson town.

2 — Floyd Lee Braswell, 16, Toisnot township.

2 — Lula Bullock, 28, Stantonsburg township.

3 — Manboy Anderson, 12, Toisnot township. [Manboy was the son of Turner Anderson, who died October 24.]

3 — Bennie Roberson, 2, Wilson town.

3 — Carrie Williams, 47, Toisnot township.

4 — William Creech, 33, Cross Roads township.

5 — Andrew Barnes, 8, Wilson township.

5 — Hattie Novilla Bynum, 5, Wilson town.

5 — Pearl Pearce, 21, Springhill township.

6 — Josh Winstead, 38, Wilson town.

7 — Isaac Wright, 19, Toisnot township.

16 — Herbert Campbell, 20, Gardners township.

16 — Easter Mitchell, 40, Cross Roads township.

17 — Sarah Haggens, 37, Wilson town.

25 — Savanah Rice, 29, Springhill township.

25 — Alex Williamston, 1, Springhill township.

27 — Willie Chamblis, 36, Wilson.

28 — Lula Bullock, 12, Stantonsburg township.

December

1 — William Barnes, 18, Taylors township.

11 — Floyd Carter, 20, Taylors township.

20 — Mims Edwards, 26, Wilson township.

28 — Lizzie Jenkins, 29, Wilson township.

29 — Ellen Nora Carter, 20, Saratoga township.

29 — Earnest Carter, 3 months, Saratoga township. [He was the son of Ellen Nora Carter.]

Screen Shot 2017-06-03 at 10.26.28 PM

For an in-depth understanding of this pandemic, check out:

great influenza

North Carolina Death Certificates, 1909-1976 [database on-line], http://www.ancestry.com.

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