This letter, written by my grandmother on November 5, 1918 tells of how the Crandalls, the family Rinda works for, has been hit hard by flu. Arthur, the oldest son of ranch owner George Washington Crandall had just died in Illinois. Another son and his baby survived bouts of the flu. Ella, the owner’s daughter and her children had not yet had it. And the family of Rinda’s sister Gertie had apparently been hit with the influenza too, in Minneapolis. Newspaper accounts from that time show New Rockford and Brantford were losing many people to the disease.
I was able to reach some of the G.W. Crandall’s descendants; they are following this blog. Its been interesting to be able to share family histories.
This is a somber letter, showing the mood of people in the midst of the influenza pandemic, even far out on the prairies of North Dakota.
It was everywhere now.
New Rockford, N.D.
c/o G.W. Crandall
Dear Sister and all,
I never meant to wait to write but just keep putting it off.
Hope you are not awful sic with the flu, only hope you all get along alright.
There have been so many deaths out around here and Sunday (November 3), Mr. Crandall’s oldest son (Arthur Louis) died at Erie, Ill. Left wife and 2 children. He was a large fat man weighing about 200 but took care of the others too long and never gave up until the flu set in.
Mr. Crandall and married son and daughter went there last eve.
The son here had it and nearly lost their baby but Ella hasn’t had it and she has 3 little children. The oldest is not 4 years yet but guess she left them with her man.
Nevermind anything until you are well again. Write if you can.
Harold (Crandall) is going to town so will close.