1918 – Influenza Strikes Ashland and the College Hard

Posted on 18. Jan, 2012 by in Events, Randolph-Macon College

While death in battle threatened our soldiers “Over There” during World War I, an outbreak of the influenza in 1918 threatened the lives of those at home. “Boys died like flies,” recalled resident Nancy Shackelford. She remembered that the college doctor depended upon volunteer help to care for the students. “He said that half of those boys owed their lives to the women in Ashland who took their servants [to the college campus] and gave them hot soup and tended to the medication and every¬≠thing.”

Druggist Clyde Barnes remembered the epidemic, too. “They turned Duncan Memorial into a hospital and everything in town was closed, but the doctors and druggists were work¬≠ing overtime. Dr. Ray and Dr. Jorden told me what drugs to put out, and I’d hand them out as the customers came in.”

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