Illinois was not immune. It is estimated that over 8,500 people died just in the City of Chicago. Entire sections of cemeteries are dedicated to Spanish flu victims. Over time I will relate the stories of several of the victims of the Spanish flu, but I will start with the story of one close to home, in Evanston, Illinois:
|+George Craig Stewart|
Bishop Stewart was said to have been one of the greatest preachers ever produced by the Episcopal Church. When I asked my mother (a life-long resident of Evanston) about him, her reply was "Everyone knew Bishop Stewart. It didn't matter whether you were an Episcopalian or not." Katharine's mother's family the Clydes, were an illustrious Scots-American family.
The 1910 US Census shows seven year old Katharine living with her family at 414 Greenleaf Street in Evanston:
|414 Greenleaf Street, Evanston|
Her father listed his occupation as "Rector of a Church." Stewart had been called to be rector of St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Evanston in 1904. In addition to her parents, Katharine had two brothers: John Clyde Stewart (1907-1970) and George Craig Stewart, Jr. (1910-1965).
Katharine started feeling ill on October 7, 1918 and was dead fifteen days later on October 22, 1918. Public assemblies, including wakes and funerals had been forbidden to try to slow the spread of the disease. In fact, Katharine's father was not even in the United States when she died. Bishop Stewart was in Europe ministering the the soldiers at the front. Katharine died at 7:12 PM on Tuesday evening the 22nd and was interred less than two days later on Thursday the 24th. The cause of death for her was "Influenza with Pneumonia," as it was with so many others.
Her obituary in the Chicago Tribune of October 23rd said that the funeral notice would be "later":
|Katharine on the phone - 1915|
|A studious Katharine - 1915|
|Love that grin! Katharine - 1915|