By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Bulloch History by Roger Allen
Bulloch handles flu epidemics
Placeholder Image
    On Oct. 17, 1918, newspapers reported that contrary to rumors circulating, there were only two “flu” deaths in Statesboro so far. One of those, a North Georgia man, had arrived in town already quite sick. The other, from lower Bulloch, had died while at the Statesboro Sanitarium.
    All church services, public schools, and motion picture shows were all closed to prevent the further spread of the disease. On Oct. 24, local Baptist and Methodist preachers announced that they would resume preaching to their congregations.
    At the same time, Judge R.N. Hardeman postponed Bulloch County’s Superior Court trials for an indeterminate period. Likewise, on Nov. 7, Judge Remer Proctor postponed the current term of Statesboro’s City Court indefinitely.
As the situation had greatly improved, the Statesboro Institute announced that it would reopen after a three-week suspension due to flu epidemic. On the first day only 200 pupils attended.
    Other officials were still worried. Superior Court Judge Hardeman and Bulloch County School Commissioner B.R. Olliff, both decided to keep their respective venues closed until March of 1919.
    In the beginning of 1920 the flu once again reared its ugly head. However, by mid-February things seemed to have gotten better. However, a week later the members of the Bulloch County School Board and the Statesboro City Council met again in special session at the urging of local pastors.
    They were convinced to take draconian measures to attempt to stop the resurgence of the flu epidemic, which already sickened at least 140 people in Bulloch County. They ordered that there would be no public gatherings whatsoever and that only disposable cups would be used in businesses.
    Sadly, the newspaper reported on March 4 that Stilson farmer Mr. Lee Mikell, his wife, and young daughter had all died from the flu. By March 8, Statesboro’s City Council was prepared to lift flu ban.
The local Movie House and “Cool Drink” businesses told the paper that they had been nearly put out of business due to ban on public assembly.
    In the last reported “flu epidemic” in early 1929 there had already been more than 100 cases of flu reported. The City Council reacted immediately, banning all public gatherings. Several weeks later they removed flu ban, as the situation improved dramatically.

Roger Allen is a local lover of history. Allen provides a brief look at Bulloch County's historical past. E-mail Roger at roger
Sign up for the Herald's free e-newsletter