Monday, August 3, 2009

The rest of the story

Look closely at these tombstones found at Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church Cemetery in Itawamba County. If you do, you will notice that the both the Rouse couple and the Dulaney couple died in 1922 and 1923. Note also that Edna Rouse was the wife of William J. Dulaney. There is a story here that the tombstones don't fully tell, a story I found recently in the January 4, 1923 edition of the Itawamba County News.

Although the major influenza epidemic that hit the United States and the rest of the world in 1918 and 1919 was undeniably the most deadly of its time, influenza and its secondary infections were prevalent throughout the early part of the 1900s (and earlier, of course). Newspapers in Itawamba County were full of reports of sickness and deaths from these infections. Antibiotics weren't developed and used until the 1930s, and most people - even doctors - did not understand how infections were transmitted. Medical science was just learning about differences between viruses and bacteria. No vaccines existed, and even if they had, there was no system in place to distribute or administer them.

Itawamba County News

January 4, 1923

Influenza followed by pneumonia has resulted in the death of Mrs. W. H. Rouse, five miles north of Fulton, also her daughter Mrs. Wm. Dulaney, who recently returned from Arkansas and who died at the home of her parents. Mr. Rouse and Mr. Dulaney are also very sick there, and there is no one up on the place. Several are sick in the community and the neighbors have had a hard task to render assistance to all. Mrs. Rouse and Mrs. Dulaney were buried first of the week at Mt. Pleasant, it is feared that another death or two may result with the best of attention that can be rendered, however we hope that they will improve and soon be up.

January 11, 1923

Mr. W. H. Rouse and Mr. Wm. Dulaney were buried at Mt. Pleasant last Friday afternoon, making in all five deaths in the two families in less than a week. Four children of Mr. Dulaney survive and they have been moved to their aunt’s home – Mrs. Hood. The many friends of the two families regret very mucyh to hear of the deaths. Mr. Rouse was buried by the Masonic fraternity, he having been a faithful member of the order for many years. Bro. G. W. Gilliland made a very appropriate talk at the church


Don Dulaney said...

Mona, I have walked by these graves many many times and took a picture of WM Dulaney's Tombstone more than once, in piecing the Dulaney's together. You provide a whole new outlook for me on these people. Thank you so much for the post and as far as I go one of your best. Thanks Don

Anonymous said...

So sad to read this the couples are died ,good information........

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