Beulah Justice McAnnally

Pandemic Influenza Storybook

Storyteller: Elizabeth Clark

Location: Tennessee

Illustration of the inside of a train depot crowded with passengers

In 1918, my mother, Beulah Justice McAnnally, was 21 years old and living in Ooltewah, Tennessee. She commuted to Chattanooga several days a week to attend art school. Many times she went through the terminal station in Chattanooga and saw coffins that contained the remains of soldiers that had died of the flu and were being sent home for burial. Beulah recalled that the coffins “were just every place.”

Beulah lived to be 91 years old and that experience of seeing so many deaths from the flu made a lasting impression on her.