The Threat of Influenza – Jonesville, Michigan (1918)

In November of 1918, Ma lived in Jonesville, a village in south-central Michigan.

She mailed a postcard to Roy and Grace; Roy seems to be her son.

Roy and Grace lived in Milan, a village in southeast Michigan.

The postcard bears a “Hand-colored Nature Card” entitled, “Summertime”.

The rustic scene of blossoming trees beside a stone fence is a bit of original postcard art.

Ma’s message is less sunny, however.

Ma is feeling better and “Leon is up and around”. 

Happily, “None of the rest have it”, and Ma expresses a “hope they won’t”.

Because the Fall of 1918 marked the outbreak of the Great Flu Epidemic, I believe that Ma was communicating news of the family’s health to anxious members of the family who were not nearby.

(Milan is 55 miles east of Jonesville.)

Recalling our own recent experience of an epidemic, and the anxious days before a vaccine was available, one can relate to Ma’s desire to share health news with her son.

One hopes that Ma and all the family escaped the ravages of the epidemic that persisted for two years.


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