Individual Stories

The influenza pandemic occurred at multiple levels. It was a global event with local inflections. The disease was felt at a household and individual level. The visualization below shows the effect of influenza among local white notables—the only people for whom the Americus Times-Recorder reported the effects of the illness. It provides a picture, albeit imperfect, of influenza in Americus.

Below the map are "un-obituaries"—biographical essays by members of the team—on people who died during the pandemic. The essays seek to individualize and humanize the experiences of those who lost their lives to influenza. Students researched two names, one with an obituary and one without, at random. The student essays either compare and contrast the life experiences of the victims or write about them individually.

John Bradshaw was likely the first person in Americus to succumb to influenza. Read More

The 1918-20 influenza pandemic, arriving near the end of World War I, added to the fear and uncertainty of hundreds of millions of people. Read More

While the "Mrs. E. L. Crawford" would have resonated with readers of the Americus Times-Recorder, it masked her first or middle name. Read More

Midway through the influenza pandemic, Sumter County began keeping death records. Read More

Patience Jackson and Maggie Walker

In one case, the work of individualizing the experience of local victims had already been undertaken. In 2014, Chris Barr, then a park ranger at Andersonville National Historic Site and always a GSW alumnus, recorded a "story in stone" on the life of Bernard Hicks, who died at Souther Field and is buried at Andersonville National Cemetery.