The following materials were originally posted on the Kansas-L discussion list in August 1994 by Lyn Swan. We thank Ms Swan for making this account available to the public.
Please note that the appearance of this material on-line does not detract from the author's rights to it. It may be copied and distributed freely, in whole or part, provided full credit is given to the author.
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|Excerpt from the (unpublished) Memoirs of Claude G. Shellhorn:|
The Spanish Flu
The children of Olney and Elizabeth Monroe are, Stanley, who died inthe flu epidemic in Camp Funston (Ft. Riley) Kans. in Oct. 1918, age23. The writer also was in that camp then and very well remembers thatepidemic. Of the twelve men who slept in my squad room, seven were illat one time, altho I never had it. Hundreds, I have no idea how many,died, but I can remember at the railroad station seeing a great numberof coffins stacked up awaiting shipment to their homes.
Camp Funston, named after a famed Kansas soldier of the Spanish-American war of 1898 was rapidly erectly on the Fort Riley cavalry reservation - forinfantry and artillery - on a big U of the Kaw river (near JunctionCity, Kas.) to train W. W. 1 soldiers. It was a beehive of activity with some 60,000 men, a third of them negroes, under Maj-Gen Leonard Wood, who was later an candidate for the Republican nomination for Pres. I was up there in the very hot summer of 1918 and very cold winter to follow, we were rigoursly trained over the hot hills under the eagle eyes of French and English battle veterans of the then going on war in Europe. Most of these veterans were one legged, one arm, with crutches, etc. It was a gruelling experience that I shall not forget.
Today, 1963 the Funston buildings have been removed, and the historicold cavalry port of Ft. Riley is mechanized. Today Ft. Riley has51,100 acres.
One of my good friends of that day Geo. L. Hendricks, who went into thearmy ahead of me by several months then on to France, was killed inbattle over there, and the American Legion Post in Erie was named afterhim. The flu epidemic called Spanish influenza is said to haveoriginated in Spain.
Stanley Monroe is buried in a cemetary near Lyons, where his father andmother are interred.
Lyn Swan's comments23 November 1994
Many of us have heard of the "Spanish Flu" which killed many of ourancestors ca. 1918. This post is one person's recollections of thattime & how it was at Camp Funston, KS. Do others of you have similarrecollections? Might be fun to compare them. Post away!
I hope this interest to Kansas-L'ers. Claude Garvin SHELLHORN (son of Albert Henry SHELLHORN and Hettie GARVIN), married Ruth Alice MONROE (daughter of William Olney MONROE and Elizabeth ZUEL) on 30-Nov-1929. Claude died 1985. Ruth died 19-Nov-1991. Their son Dale SHELLHORN (my second cousin) sent me a copy of Claude's memoirs after his mother's death in 1991. I have info to share re the ancestors, descendents, cousins, etc., of these families. Someday I hope to transcribe Claude's memoirs. They mention many people and are mostly centered in Erie, Neosho, KS where Claude grew up. There are also mentions of Harris, Anderson, KS as he had relatives there.
If any of you have historical corrections to Claude's account pleaselet me know. Thanks!