John Stanbury

Pandemic Influenza Storybook

Storyteller: John Stanbury

Location: North Carolina

Illustration of a family bible

I was born in May of 1915 and accordingly my recollections of the pandemic are hazy and incomplete. Our family was living in Wilson, North Carolina at the time. My father was a Methodist clergyman. However, despite my young age, I recall quite clearly the illness of my mother. She was comatose for several days, but survived. At about the same time my brother, four years my senior, was ill with what was diagnosed as typhoid fever. He too was comatose and delusional, but survived. From the front porch of our house, I watched the hearses roll pass and I was told that they carried the victims of the pandemic. My father, in spite of frequent contacts with the ill as he circulated around town discharging his pastoral duties, was never ill.