Monday, March 30, 2020

Church and Community in Days of Pandemic: A Glance Back to 1918

Introduction: The Present Situation, the Present Conversation

As some have said, the last few weeks have certainly been an interesting year! It's seemed as though every day, even every hour, has brought new developments in the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. Around March 7, I myself became quite sick – intensely feverish, dry cough which became quite violent, significant aches, etc. – although I was (understandably) unable to get a coronavirus test. (I'm almost better, save for a few lingering after-effects.) Not too long after that, I had to make the difficult decision to suspend all gatherings and meetings of the two congregations I pastor. Perhaps the most challenging part of the process was, for a time, being too sick to have any real involvement with the congregations. (Immediately after starting to show any symptoms of illness, I entered into self-isolation.) Both churches, as of this time, will suspend all gatherings until the public health situation has improved sufficiently to render it advisable to meet again without the need for appreciable social distancing.

The first COVID-19 case confirmed in the United States was in late January, and the first patient to die did so on February 28. On March 13, the United States president officially declared a state of national emergency – a decision that seems an eternity ago. Two days later, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) advised gatherings be limited to fifty people or fewer, during the upcoming eight weeks. The next day, March 16, the president asked citizens to limit gatherings to ten people or fewer, a more radical suggestion.

In my state of Pennsylvania, the same day as the president's suggestion also saw a move by Gov. Tom Wolf – who had declared the state in a disaster emergency on March 6, a week before the national declaration – to ask “non-essential businesses” anywhere in Pennsylvania to “close for at least 14 days to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19,” while ordering all restaurants and bars to close their dine-in facilities, effective on March 17. By the day after that, as March 18 brought the first Pennsylvanian COVID-19 death, Gov. Wolf was advising Pennsylvanians to “refrain from non-essential travel.” To the extent possible, he added a day later, Pennsylvanians should “stay safe, stay home.”

Later that day – Friday, March 19 – Gov. Wolf issued an executive order requiring the closure of all “non-life-sustaining” businesses in the state: “No person or entity shall operate a place of business in the Commonwealth that is not a life-sustaining business, regardless of whether the business is open to members of the public.” The same executive order warned that enforcement of this order would take place beginning on Saturday, March 21, although it would go into effect the night he issued the order. Over the next several days, the Wolf administration continued to make adjustments to the list of what categories of business do, or do not, constitute a “life-sustaining business.” He also later, in light of substantial public controversy and a high volume of waiver requests, delayed enforcement until Monday, March 23. In each iteration of the business category lists, “religious institutions” such as churches do count as life-sustaining.

On Monday, March 23, Gov. Wolf's Secretary of Health, Dr. Levine, placed seven of Pennsylvania's 67 counties – i.e., Allegheny, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Monroe, Montgomery, and Philadelphia – under a stay-at-home order, that is, a requirement to “stay at home except as needed to access, support, or provide life-sustaining business, emergency, or government services,” with the order to “remain in full force and effect for a period of two weeks, specifically until April 6, 2020.” (One of the seven counties, Philadelphia, had previously placed itself under a stay-at-home order.) The Pennsylvania Department of Education further placed all schools in Pennsylvania under a closure order, also until at least April 6. The next day, March 24, Gov. Wolf and his Secretary of Health added an eighth county (Erie) to the stay-at-home order. On March 25, two more counties (Lehigh and Northumberland) were added to the stay-at-home order. Two days later, on March 27, Gov. Wolf and Dr. Levine revised the order to include yet another nine counties (Berks, Butler, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Luzerne, Pike, Wayne, Westmoreland, and York) – one of which is my own place of residence. The day after that, they once again added another three counties (Beaver, Centre, and Washington) to the order. On March 29, President Trump extended nationwide guidelines on social distancing until April 30. Then, on March 30, Gov. Wolf and Dr. Levine added four more counties (Carbon, Cumberland, Dauphin, and Schuylkill) to their stay-at-home order and extended its duration to April 30 in accordance with the presidential action. Accordingly, President Trump issued a major disaster declaration for Pennsylvania. 

By April 1, Gov. Wolf had issued a statewide stay-at-home order, covering all 67 of Pennsylvania's 67 counties.  Two days later, in a press briefing, Gov. Wolf “recommended that all Pennsylvanians wear a mask any time they leave their homes for life-sustaining reasons,” and the next day, Gov. Wolf's administration updated the stay-at-home guidance to clarify that, while the stay-at-home order should not be construed to prohibit the activities of religious institutions, “religious leaders are encouraged to find alternatives to in-person gatherings,” as “individuals should not gather in religious buildings or homes for services or celebrations until the stay-at-home order is lifted.” 

Gov. Wolf's approach has seen considerable pushback on the part of some angry citizens, including a few local attorneys, who vocally insist that the state government does not have the authority to temporarily close any private businesses. One lawyer, Marc Scaringi of Harrisburg, contends that no disease can be classified as a 'disaster' under the Emergency Management Services Code, and that “business owners have the right to make their own decisions about closure in the face of the coronavirus, and it's the governor's job to protect and not brazenly override that right.” Influenced by this reasoning, several businesses have sought to sue the Wolf administration. Other legal experts have argued that Gov. Wolf does indeed have the authority he has exercised under the present circumstances.  Should any case be adjudicated in the courts, the question will perhaps be settled.  In the meantime, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives voted 107-95 on April 14 to lift the closure of businesses that comply with a coronavirus-mitigation plan, a resolution which was also passed 29-21 by the State Senate on April 15.  However, Gov. Wolf has pledged to veto the bill.  Gov. Wolf has, however, since put forward a Plan for Pennsylvania to “build a new commonwealth” through “relief, reopening, and recovery that will keep Pennsylvanians alive and repair the damage this virus has caused across Pennsylvania.” 

Meanwhile, in Christian discourse in the United States, churches have struggled to discern the best ways to respond to the COVID-19 epidemic. Many (though not all) have made the difficult decision to suspend gatherings and other meetings - overall, perhaps 88% have done so. Most voices in the conversation have supported this approach as a valid option, at least in the short term. Russell Moore, a Southern Baptist leader, having acknowledged that “the corporate worship of the people of God is both a vital and fundamental aspect of the Christian life,” nevertheless praises churches that “are voluntarily restricting their gatherings until the crisis is passed because they care about their members, and non-members in their communities,” while encouraging “maximum recognition of the need for clergy and other religious workers to carry out necessary ministry, in the same category as health care workers.” David French, also an Evangelical, argued that “protecting your parents, your grandparents, and your vulnerable neighbor is your moral duty.”

One loud voice to the contrary, however, has been R. R. Reno, Catholic editor of First Things, in a series of controversial articles. In “Questioning the Shutdown” on March 20, Reno complained that “cancelling services and closing churches underlines the irrelevance of institutional Christianity in our technocratic age. … The docility of religious leaders to the cessation of public worship is stunning. It suggests that they more than half believe that secular proposition.” Caricaturing his perceived opponents as believing “that we should save lives 'at any cost,'” Reno argues that “anyone who believes that our earthly existence is worth preserving 'at any cost' will accept slavery,” and that society should weather epidemics confident in the assurance that “society goes on pretty much as before.”

In a follow-up piece three days later, the March 23 article “Say 'No' to Death's Dominion,” Reno censures “the false god of 'saving lives,'” slurring this goal as “a disastrous sentimentalism” and “an ill-conceived crusade against human finitude and the dolorous reality of death.” Reno warns that “there is a demonic side to the sentimentalism of saving lives at any cost,” that “the mass shutdown of society to fight the spread of COVID-19 creates a perverse, even demonic atmosphere.” He fulminates against “religious leaders … suspending the proclamation of the gospel and the distribution of the Bread of Life” by suspending gatherings of worship, for “they signal by their actions that they, too, accept death's dominion.”

In the days ahead, Reno began publishing a daily 'coronavirus diary,' recording himself spitting in the street in public (March 24), asking God's forgiveness “for my ill-tempered words and actions over the past week, for my hasty judgments and sharp words” (March 25), muses again at the problems of “well-intentioned rhetoric of compassion” (March 26), and urges readers not to be afraid of “causing another's death, being a 'killer' by communicating the virus to someone who is in poor health, old, and vulnerable” (March 27). Reno persists in declaring that the 'shutdown' approach to public health “is metaphysically aligned with death – the very enemy we are committed to resisting” (March 28-29).

Numerous Christian writers have (rightly) offered rebuttals – some quite piercing and stinging – to Reno's demonization of pastors and churches who do not lead according to his vision – in other words, to the “hasty judgments” Reno himself knows he has made. Evangelical writer David French incisively ponders whether participating in a church gathering after potentially becoming a COVID-19 carrier – as Reno would encourage – might be a vainglorious form of “performative recklessness” of the sort Satan encouraged in his second temptation of Christ in the wilderness.

Catholic theologian Timothy O'Malley calls out Reno's writing for “the kind of shadowy hermeneutics that ironically delights more in the terror of darkness than the light,” and points out that Reno has utterly neglected the ways faithful church leadership continues to minister to the faithful laity in “sacrificial love” even amid the shutdown, and the prospect for society to see the Church's “consistent ethic of life grounded in a society committed to gratitude.” Catholic medical oncologist Pedro Gabriel, reviewing Reno's second article, observes that “many of his arguments warp the truth, mixing morally correct statements with bioethical blunders,” with logic that is “inhumane and immoral,” and which “grossly misrepresents Catholic, medical, and bioethical principles.” Dr. Gabriel reminds readers that “every death that is due to a lack of medical resources, which could have been avoided with proper safety measures, is indeed a moral failure,” and that “there is no justice, nor beauty, nor honor in artificially maintaining societal functioning at the expense of the death or suffering of thousands of people.”

The Orthodox columnist Rod Dreher, who considers Reno a personal friend, nevertheless disdains Reno's writing on the present topic as “so bloodless and abstract and pious,” objecting to Reno “passing harsh judgment on priests who are not serving mass to congregations today, accusing them of a lack of faith and of moral courage. This is so, so wrong. Nobody – not those priests, not the faithful – wants to be away from church now. We do it not out of fear, but as a temporary sacrifice to save lives. … While we cannot save everyone, we ought to be prepared to bear a great sacrifice to save as many as we reasonably can.” Dreher adds later that “when Reno faults priests who (at their bishop's order) are not able to go visit the sick, he ignores the biological fact that a priest who is infected but doesn't yet know it can spread the virus to the sick, and kill them. That is a fact that no amount of pious rationality can deny.” In the end, Dreher recognizes, Reno is “ignoring epidemiological facts to serve a 'political, social, and spiritual narrative that he prefers.”

Alongside this, Catholic theologian Joseph E. Capizzi and Lutheran theologian H. David Baer likewise replied together to Reno, highlighting how it is more than a little ironic that a conservative Christian critic of decadent consumerism and liberal individualism like Reno should grow alarmed at the speed with which all those self-absorbed autonomous selves abandoned the comforts of consumerism for the sake of their neighbors.  Capizzi and Baer further stressed that temporary suspension of church services does not entail the surrender of the church to the dominion of death, as Reno thought, since the church remains bound together in the body of Christ even when they are separated and compelled to undergo eucharistic fasting.

Welcoming all these fruitful critiques of Reno, I wish to focus on another point, a more narrow one: Reno's treatment of history. In his core articles, Reno repeatedly appeals to questionable characterizations of an earlier era: the Spanish flu pandemic. In “Questioning the Shutdown,” Reno claimed that “during the Spanish flu pandemic..., churches were open.” In “Say 'No' to Death's Dominion,” Reno claims that, when the Spanish flu pandemic took place, Americans' “reaction was vastly different from ours. They continued to worship, go to musical performances, clash on football fields, and gather with friends.” Continuing, Reno adds that the Spanish Flu generation “bowed their head before the storm of disease and endured its punishing blows, but they otherwise stood firm and continued to work, worship, and play, insisting that fear of death would not govern their societies or their lives.”

This is a historical point. Reno makes a sweeping generation toward two generations (or sets of generations): those active in 1918, and those active in 2020. He claims that, as a matter of historical fact, churches remained open for public worship gatherings in 1918 when the Spanish flu epidemic was at its height, and that people did not allow societal institutions to be disrupted at the time. The following historical treatment will make quite clear, in considerable detail, that Reno is far, far more wrong than he is right.

In spite of significant differences between 'Spanish influenza' and COVID-19 (both in terms of the characteristics of the disease and in terms of the medical knowledge of the healthcare systems forced to confront them), the ways in which communities and churches faced the 'Spanish Flu' can be instructive. What follows is a consideration of six cases: six Pennsylvanian communities, glimpsed in the autumn of 1918:
  1. Mount Carmel, in Northumberland County, east-central Pennsylvania
  2. Lewisburg, in Union County, central Pennsylvania
  3. Harrisburg, in Dauphin County, southeast of central Pennsylvania
  4. New Castle, in Lawrence County, far-western Pennsylvania
  5. Allentown, in Lehigh County, far-eastern Pennsylvania
  6. Lancaster, in Lancaster County, southeastern Pennsylvania
Background: Influenza and the Order

When the disease nicknamed 'Spanish Influenza' actually emerged, and where on the globe it originated, remain contentious issues. (In spite of the inapt name, some Americans preferred to scapegoat Germany, their enemy in the World War then taking place – rumors abounded that “the disease represents one of the fantastic methods of the German war-makers, who are supposed to have developed the menace with weird dreams of prostrated armies laid low and surrounded after the disease had been spread by shells charged with it.”1)

By the latter half of July 1918, Pennsylvanians had begun to wonder whether this 'Spanish Influenza' might spread to the United States Expeditionary Forces or perhaps even their home state – but newspapers assured Pennsylvanians that since “the death rate is very low and the disease lasts only a short period with completely recovery, there is no reason for alarm.”2 Within weeks, as hundreds began dying in England, some Pennsylvanians took a more somber tone, granting that “Spanish 'flu' in its symptoms is much like what the Americans call grippe. But it is more severe and often fatal.”3 Even so, other Pennsylvanians mused aloud “whether Spanish influenza” was “really any worse than hay fever,”4 with the press still carrying claims that Spanish influenza was “short-lived and of practically no permanent serious results.”5 It would take time for the lethal potential of Spanish flu to be more universally appreciated.

By mid-September 1918, confirmed cases of 'Spanish influenza' were on the rise in American metropolitan centers like Boston and New York,6 popularly believed to have “been brought over by persons on returning American transports” from Europe.7 Pittsburgh's department of public health soon announced that they expected the disease's arrival in their city on September 17,8 but it arrived a day ahead of schedule in the person of a 21-year-old sailor named Stewart Eckstein.9 The disease promptly appeared in other Pennsylvanian cities like Lancaster10 and Philadelphia (starting with US Navy facilities).11 September 18 brought the first death from Spanish flu in Philadelphia,12 and within two days the fatality count had reached fifteen there.13 The meeting of the Pennsylvania State Medical Society in Philadelphia in late September 1918 discussed the influenza situation,14 all while cases spread from military camps to Pennsylvanian civilian communities through soldiers permitted to return home on furlough.15 Cases were soon confirmed in more and more places.16 In Philadelphia, “the epidemic has reached such proportions in this locality... that physicians and nurses will be mobilized in a few days, so that they can be used where most needed.”17 Pennsylvanians soon had good reason to take the disease spread seriously: “Influenza is no joke; no newspaper talk. It is a real disease, of a dangerous character, and the excitement incident to its general outbreak is justified.”18

At this time, Pennsylvania's Acting Health Commissioner was one Dr. Benjamin Franklin Royer (1870-1961), an 1899 graduate of Philadelphia's Jefferson Medical College19 who – after becoming chief resident physician at Philadelphia's Municipal Hospital in 1903,20 a state medical inspector in 1908,21 associate chief medical inspector in 1909,22 and chief medical inspector in 1910.23 – was appointed “Acting Health Commissioner, to serve until the Governor appoints a commissioner,” in February 1918 after the death of the prior health commissioner Dr. Samuel Gibson Dixon.24

Faced with the new crisis of Spanish flue, Dr. Royer's initial observation to the media on September 29 was that, although Pennsylvania had numerous confirmed cases, it was merely a resurgence of the same disease outbreak that had troubled the nation in 1889-1890.25 (In fact, the 1889-1890 'Asiatic flu' pandemic is thought to have been type H3N8, whereas the 'Spanish influenza' was type H1N1.26) Dr. Royer's recommendations for the general public were that “this is the time to let sunshine into the houses. I notice many awnings are still up. That is a mistake. Let the sunshine in. Avoid crowded places, entertainments, and churches where there are crowds, and keep in the open air as much as possible. Sunshine is what is needed to keep in good trim.”27 As the disease spread, Dr. Royer closed the month by ordering all district health officers to gather reports of the disease and sent them to the Pennsylvania Department of Health.28

Late in the morning on Thursday, October 3, 1918, Dr. Royer issued an emergency order. Highlighting the evidence that large public gatherings tended to spread disease, he directed each locality that “your board of health is directed to close all public places of entertainment, including theatres, moving picture establishments, saloons, and dance halls, and prohibit all meeting of every description until further notice from this department.”29 However, Dr. Royer shied away from any state-level action regarding two core institutions: schools and churches. This, he left as a decision to be made strictly at the local level: “It will, for the present, and subject to further orders from this department, be left to the judgment of local health authorities as to whether or not public schools, Sunday schools, and churches be closed.”30

Case 1: Mount Carmel, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania

Mount Carmel is a borough in east-central Pennsylvania's Anthracite Coal Region. Although today the population has decreased to about 5,573, at the time of the 'Spanish influenza' outbreak it enjoyed a population over three times that, around 17,500. (It was thus, at the time, more populous than Sunbury, which is presently the county seat, though not quite so populous as Shamokin.) Before the end of September 1918, Mount Carmel had recorded “several dozen cases” of Spanish flu – including local fireman James Latshaw and student Lillian Fisher – and for that reason the local press insisted that “Spanish influenza, which has many victims all over the country and has invaded our midst, should not be treated lightly, but with every effort to avoid it, for it is deadly and is proving fatal to many people.”31 Two residents at the nearby town of Kulpmont died from the Spanish flu on September 28 and 29.32 However, “one doctor said he doesn't see any cause of needless alarm. Many regard the epidemic as nothing more than the usual siege of la grippe that usually holds the people in its power about this time of the year.”33 In nearby Shamokin, meanwhile, there were “dozens of new cases being reported every day,” leading to “several deaths, and the Shamokin health authorities are alarmed over the rapid spread of the disease.”34

Promptly after receiving Dr. Royer's directive, Mount Carmel's borough-level health board – presided over by a local doctor named R. W. Montelius – met and passed a resolution that, effective at midnight on Friday, October 4, not only would theatres and saloons be closed, but so would the community's schools and churches.35 Thus, the newspaper the day after the order went into effect noted that “there will be no services in any of the churches in Mount Carmel borough tomorrow, in obedience to the order issued by the Board of Health, caused by the epidemic of Spanish influenza.”36 Several nearby communities in Northumberland County, such as Sunbury, Shenandoah, Northumberland, Williamsport, Locust Gap, and Mahanoy City were under similar orders; however, a minority of others – such as Ashland and Shamokin – did plan to keep the churches open.37 For Mount Carmel, then, the suspension of church gatherings lasted for several weeks – it applied to Sunday, October 6, as well as the following three Sundays, October 13, 20, and 27.

But around that time, the Mount Carmel health board received an answer from the State Health Department in which Dr. Royer suggested “that, so far as practicable, the resumption of school work should take place about midweek, and of the churches and Sunday schools on the Sunday following,” i.e., on Sunday, November 3.38 As the date drew nearer but without as much reduction in the spread of influenza as had been hoped, the health board approached the matter cautiously, considering the prospect of opening churches for one service per Sunday but keeping the Sunday schools closed.39 As a turning point was reached in which “the plague has almost entirely disappeared in Mount Carmel,” the plan was for churches to hold services limited to one hour in length – though some feared that the time limit would result in the consolidation of services and hence a greater risk from heavy crowding in the churches than if more services were permitted.40 So on the evening of Friday, November 1, the health board directed the full lifting of “the quarantine on stores, churches, and schools.”41 By the following Sunday, November 10, the churches were fully open, with service times announced in the local newspaper the day prior.42

Mount Carmel shows us a functional template for the implementation of public health measures. The local churches had their meetings suspended, by health board order, for four consecutive Sundays, with consideration given to a lesser restriction for a fifth Sunday in the interest of public health.

Case 2: Lewisburg, Union County, Pennsylvania

Even closer to the center of the state than Mount Carmel, the borough of Lewisburg is the seat of Union County and the home of Bucknell University. By 1918, the population was nearly 3,200. Bucknell University, at the time, was functioning as a post for the Student Army Training Corps, with plans to make it a “minor West Point” for seven hundred student-soldiers alongside the civilian students.43 But Spanish influenza beat the student body to Lewisburg. Among the first casualties of the disease was 18-year-old Earl Vincent Sherman, a member of the local United Evangelical church: Having enlisted in the Merchant Marine Service and traveled to Boston at the start of September, he – and a number of other young Lewisburg men – found the barracks there under quarantine due to the Spanish influenza outbreak therein. Sent home, Sherman soon developed symptoms of Spanish flu and the consequent lethal pneumonia: he died on Tuesday, September 24.44

Several days later, on the evening of Saturday, September 28, the town of Lewisburg held a large-scale parade to initiate their fundraising drive for the Liberty Loan program.45 A day later, 27-year-old Blanche Lenhart, living west of Lewisburg but a member of the same United Evangelical church as Sherman, likewise died as he had.46 A somewhat growing awareness was undoubtedly growing locally of “the new disease, Spanish 'flu.'”47 By the time Dr. Royer issued his state-wide quarantine order, “the so-called Spanish 'flu' was rather severe on several of Lewisburg's business places, on account of the working force suffering from attacks. Some stores had their staffs of clerks so depleted that trade with customs was greatly interfered with.”48

In answer to Dr. Royer's order, “the Lewisburg Board of Health has decided all churches shall be closed on Sunday and to continue until further notice,” along with other public places like theaters.49 There were therefore no church gatherings in Lewisburg on Sunday, October 6. In lieu of church gatherings, many residents went hiking to collect chestnuts.50 Two days later, a 28-year-old rural mail carrier, Frank Alleman, also a member of the United Evangelical church, died as yet another victim of the Spanish flu.51

By the close of the week, it was painfully evident no church services would be held on Sunday, October 13, either: “The state-wide quarantine, closing churches, schools, and public amusement places because of the influenza epidemic, has not yet been lifted,” printed The Lewisburg Journal on October 11, “and hence all church services on Sunday are still off. Public announcement of the resumption of such services will be made through the daily and local press, the local Board of Health having promised to notify the pastors as soon as word is received from Harrisburg. The outlook at present is not very encouraging, the crest of the epidemic having hardly been reached in this section of the state, and therefore it is not likely any services will be held next Sabbath or next Wednesday evening.”52 Accordingly, some local churches began preparing to delay any special services such as rally days,53 and the upcoming county fair was canceled.54 The local press urged residents to “take every precaution regarding the spread of the Spanish influenza.”55 However, caution flew out the window in the early hours of Sunday morning, as news of progress toward ending the World War reached town burgess Frank Catherman in the dark morning hours, resulting in fire alarms and church bells calling the slumbering citizens to an impromptu parade through the darkened mists, gathering them in the downtown by the hundreds – until one parader was fatally mowed down by a reckless driver at three o'clock AM.56 Perhaps equally troubling was the potential for disease transmission in the crowded streets.

Over the coming week, as more and more locals were killed by the Spanish flu (including Frank Alleman's widow),57 announcement went out that “the churches of the town will still be closed another Sunday,” October 20.58 The United Evangelical church accordingly delayed their scheduled Joash-Chest Rally.59 One local family lost five members to influenza,60 and in another family eight children were orphaned due to the disease.61 Lewisburg residents were strongly encouraged to fight influenza by “keep[ing] their windows open day and night, allowing all the fresh air possible to circulate freely through every room of the house.”62 With church buildings still closed down on Sunday, October 27, some local pastors began to plan substitutes for church services – for instance, Methodist pastor J. B. Brenneman called on his congregation to “give at least one hour on next Sunday to special scripture reading and prayers in your home, asking our Father's blessing and help upon and for all who are ill and in sorrow for our community, and for blessings upon our nation and all the Allied armies. Your pastor will join you in this from 11am until noon.”63

As Lewisburg health authorities like borough health officer Dr. Thomas C. Thornton were waiting for cues from Harrisburg authorities to lift the quarantine locally (even as the case load in Lewisburg lightened while adjacent rural areas worsened), “it is thought that it will be two weeks before … re-opening of the schools and churches.”64 Shortly after that notice was given, a turning point was reached in Union County,65 and Lewisburg health authorities lifted the local quarantine at noon on Wednesday, November 6.66 This cleared the way for church services to resume on Sunday, November 10, after five consecutive Sundays missed.67 United Evangelical pastor Edgar Crumbling planned to preach that morning on “The Triumph of Christianity Over Death” and that evening on “It Is Time to Seek the Lord,”68 whereas the Lutheran, Presbyterian, Reformed churches of the town did not announce the topics of their morning and evening messages (the Presbyterian church would have no evening services due to illness in the pastor's family).69

Reflecting on the five-week suspension of services, The Lewisburg Journal remarked that “while there may be some financial losses in the closing, yet the modern church has such excellent financial systems that it will not likely be serious, especially if church-members follow the well-given advice the next Sabbath, all give a substantial thank-offering in the loose offering for spared lives and renewed opportunities for service. The Peace News of this week only brings greater cause for worship.”70 By the community Thanksgiving service held in Lewisburg's Lutheran church, there was much rejoicing, and yet “with the influenza pandemic still raging in many places and reappearing in others, there is a sterner call than ever for humiliation and confession before God that any further serious ravages of this dread disease may be stayed.”71

Case 3: Harrisburg, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania

Perhaps few cities in Pennsylvania are as iconic as Harrisburg, not only the county seat of Dauphin County but also the state capital. A significant metropolitan area even then, in 1918 it boasted a population of nearly 75,000 people. In addition to being an industrial center, the city is anchored by the Pennsylvania State Capitol (though most of the surrounding complex has been constructed since 1918), with a dome inspired by St. Peter's Basilica. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg celebrated its golden jubilee (fiftieth anniversary) with a procession just after Spanish influenza made an entrance into the city.72

On Friday, September 20, a local Harrisburg resident, 30-year-old bindery foreman Edward H. Ripper, a member of Harrisburg's Redeemer Lutheran Church, began displaying symptoms. The same became true of a visiting Philadelphian named John Goodman, who on Monday, September 23, was taken to the Harrisburg hospital for treatment. Ripper died early the following Saturday morning, September 28,73 by which time other cases were diagnosed, such as those of Clayton Bausman, Felix Schraedley, and Shannon McCord.74 A few days later, on Monday, September 30, Harrisburg's hospital admitted another Spanish flu patient, a 75-year-old Italian Catholic resident of Middletown named Nicholas Negro, who died later that night.75

The morning after Dr. Royer's order was issued, the city health bureau office was the site of a meeting between local health officials and several prominent Harrisburg pastors to discuss whether the churches would continue their meetings. By noon, the city health board had issued a directive that, in addition to the venues mandated by Dr. Royer's order, also closed churches and Sunday schools until further notice would be given by the health board.76 The local press noted that “doors of all Harrisburg churches will be shut tight tomorrow” on Sunday, October 6, and that “clergymen of the city, when they heard the new ruling, were quick in cancelling all meetings held in their churches on Sunday.”77 That Sunday, the bells of the churches were silent, signifying a lack of meeting “because of the strict quarantine measures which have been adopted by city and state departments of health in an effort to check the spread of the influenza epidemic.”78 By this point, Harrisburg had about two thousand identified cases of the Spanish flu.79 By the following week, liquor sellers were becoming anxious to get back to business. Dr. Royer rejected their appeal to re-open, noting that “the churches, schools, moving picture people, and theatrical people – all greatly inconvenienced – are not complaining.”80 One local church member wrote his prayer in a letter to the editor, asking for God to “free us from the perils which enshroud us in death” and to “be... with all who suffer and give them aid.”81

Church services continued to be suspended, but Harrisburg pastors found ways to encourage their congregants to remain spiritually lively during the hiatus. For instance, local Episcopal priest W. C. Heilman mailed his congregation a letter of encouragement, asking them to hold worship services at home at the same time he did in the otherwise-vacant church building:

It is to be regretted that, during this time of distress, circumstances compel the closing of the churches for the time being. I beg of you, however, that you do not let this fact keep you from your worship, for, though the church doors be locked, your rector will at the regular hours of service be at the altar commemorating, in the service our Master himself gave us, the great sacrifice of the Son of God upon the cross. At the regular hour of service, then, will you not take your prayerbook and go through the service in your own home, remembering that at that moment prayers are being offered on your behalf before the altar of God.82

In the week that followed, rumors – no doubt driven by vain hopes – circulated that the quarantine would soon be lifted; but Dr. Raumick insisted that there was no term limit decided upon, and that “the quarantine orders will be enforced indefinitely” until the public health situation had sufficiently been altered.83 Letters to the editor during this time urged businesses to be more civic-minded rather than profiteering through “their exorbitant prices they charge the afflicted citizens.”84

As the churches in Harrisburg neared their fourth Sunday without meeting, the newspaper presented suggestions from various pastors, including one in an adjacent county who encouraged a program of home-based worship geared toward intercessory prayer.85 By this point, many of the city's pastors had begun to chafe under the closure order, believing that the health department had overstepped its bounds or made a miscalculation, wondering “whether the closing of the houses of prayer was a greater safeguard against influenza than permitting them to remain open and have the members pray for the relief of the community from the scourge.”86 One newspaper interviewed six Harrisburg pastors under condition of anonymity, finding a mixture of submission to scientific wisdom and pain at the loss:
  1. One pastor said: “I have two opinions about the closing order. The health authorities certainly know more about this epidemic than we do, and if from a scientific standpoint they feel justified in closing the churches, we cannot but cooperate. On the other hand, they are losing a big ally. I think meetings should be held under restrictions. The services could be short, with only one a day, devoted entirely to prayer.”
  2. A second pastor said: “It is certainly a great mistake to close the churches. They have a steadying effect on people and would have been of much help at this time. Then, too, to close them together with other places tends to promote a panic among the people.”
  3. A third pastor said: “It was not right to close the churches. I can appreciate the task of the health officials to guard the public, but they should not have been classified on the same level with theaters and saloons. The church stands as an institution to itself. I believe prayer, worship, and devotion would have been a great help in meeting this trouble.”
  4. A fourth pastor said: “While I don't think the churches should be closed, it would have certainly been advisable to curtail the services and have them as short as possible. But we must obey the law and submit to the order. We should pray and have more faith and confidence in God. There are crowds congregating in other ways, as in street cars or markets. It would do no harm to have a brief service, and I am sure every clergyman could arrange to meet such a condition easily.”
  5. A fifth pastor said: “It has been a big problem in my mind. All of us are trying to be loyal now to the hundredth degree. If some folks spread the contagion, it would be exceedingly bad to have the churches open. The other thought is that only under exceptional circumstances should such an action be taken. Will the local situation justify closing the churches? I have not read an accurate report of the epidemic situation in Harrisburg.”
  6. A sixth pastor, quoting another colleague, said: “It would be a great deprivation for the city. I think under any possible circumstances, the churches should remain open. I am observing the closing order, because if the medical authorities think it dangerous to assemble, it would balk their plans to not close. May I voice the opinion of an older colleague of mine who said: 'I should regard my ministry a failure if I thought that the religion of my people would be lost or jeopardized by their abstaining from divine services for a few weeks, especially when such abstinence is necessitated by consideration of the public health.' The sorrows and sufferings that the present scourge visited upon thousands of our people fully warranted the churches to close so that all would cooperate with the health authorities and strive with all their might to relieve our city from the pall of its present epidemic. It is not a question at such a critical time that merely a few affected directly or indirectly gather in their respective houses of worship, but that each and every man, woman, and child turn with eyes heavenward and invoke God in their own homes, upon their own hearths, that he stay the ravages of this dread epidemic. The gatherings together of large groups of people at such a critical time should certainly have been averted, and it was a very wise and safest measure to take under these circumstances.”87
A few days later, health officer Dr. Raunick speculated that, if the disease spread slowed enough, then in just a few days, “the ban on churches, Sunday schools, public and private schools, soda fountains, pool rooms and bowling alleys, and all other public gatherings may be lifted before next Tuesday,” i.e., before November 5.88 However, the following day – Friday, November 1 – Dr. Raunick clarified that the time was not yet right for churches to resume meeting, and “for this reason, ministers are asked not to conduct services of any kind.”89 Churches remained closed on Sunday, November 3, while “all stores and business places except restaurants and drug-stores will close at 6:30 o'clock.”90

The next day, the newspapers reported that noon on Tuesday, November 5, would see the cessation of all quarantine measures in Harrisburg, and Dr. Raunick expressed thanks to the general public for their cooperation. The press noted that “on Saturday evening [November 2], merchants and other businessmen in the city cooperated with the health bureau and closed promptly at 6:30 o'clock. It was the fourth Saturday night that the stores were closed, only druggists and restaurant proprietors being permitted to remain open. Churches and Sunday schools also were not permitted to hold services. They will resume again next Sunday, after being closed for five weeks.”91 Many Harrisburg churches in fact opened on Wednesday, November 6, for midweek prayer services, which in many cases would function as “services of thanksgiving and praise because the influenza epidemic with its attendant dangers has been practically stamped out in Harrisburg.”92 By this point, “religious workers throughout the city have made preparations to undertake their work again with renewed energy after the period of the quarantine. … It is generally expected that the services throughout the city tonight will have large congregations in attendance.”93 By Sunday, November 10, “after more than a month of closed doors, the churches of Harrisburg will be opened today for services. In many churches, there will be special rally meetings and services of thanksgiving.”94 It was “the first Sunday since September that services were held,” which “led to the assembling of audiences larger than ordinarily gather in the city sanctuaries,” so “hundreds of worshippers made their way to the favorite places of prayer.”95 The end of the World War overshadowed all thought of the epidemic and its cessation.

Case 4: New Castle, Lawrence County, Pennsylvania

New Castle, situated about fifty miles north of Pittsburgh, is the county seat of Lawrence County, located at Pennsylvania's western edge, at the border with Ohio. Eight miles southeast is the county-bridging borough of Ellwood City, which extends slightly into Beaver County. In 1918, New Castle's population was about 43,000. In that year, before the epidemic had even reached the city, New Castle's local health officer Dr. William Lewis Steen (1874-1943) had “been studying reports of the disease” and passed along suggestions for the public from Pittsburgh's Dr. Philip Marks:

The best treatment is to go to bed, observe a light diet, and keep the bowels open. The spread of this infection would be materially limited if the public would exercise care to avoid spitting in public places and to invariably cover the mouth and nose with a handkerchief when forced to cough and sneeze. Any member of the family developing a cold should be isolated. Crowded street cars, poorly-ventilated offices, and close rooms at home should be avoided.96

By October 2, Ellwood City was beginning to report “several cases of Spanish influenza.”97 In the wake of Dr. Royer's October 3 order, Dr. Steen promptly issued notice to the “proprietors of all theatres, moving picture houses, saloons, pool rooms, and dance halls to close these places and keep them closed until such time as the quarantine against the spread of the Spanish influenza is lifted by the state authorities,” but more time was taken to deliberate on the question of the local schools and churches.98 As in other locations, the New Castle health board did make the decision to impose a closure on local churches, which prevented services from being held on Sunday, October 6: “The churches will remain dark until orders from the State Health Department at Harrisburg permit the quarantine to be lifted.”99 One local newspaper stressed that “the regulations apply to religious meetings in private homes” as well as in church buildings.100 So on Sunday, October 6, the town's Catholic church held private masses without the presence of the laity, and the Protestant churches also had closed doors.101

On the third Saturday of the quarantine, New Castle's pastors held a morning meeting to develop a plan for the spiritual sustenance of the city's Christians – namely, “to urge their people to join with them spiritually in prayer at the usual hour of morning services on Sunday. According to this plan, each pastor will be in his church at eleven o'clock Sunday morning and will there engage for some time in private devotion while the members of his congregation in their several homes join similar devotion. It is suggested that such devotion be opened with a hymn, if possible, and the reading of a passage of scripture. … Prayers should also be made for the abatement of the epidemic and for the sick and dying.”102 This plan included Roman Catholics, who would “naturally say the mass prayers together with such other devotions as may be thought fitting.”103 The nearby town of New Bedford, however, had still been untouched by the Spanish influenza, and accordingly, in that place, “schools and churches are still holding their regular sessions and, except for the quarantine established by the state, no other measures of quarantine have been put in force.”104 By the following week, just one section of the county – East New Castle – remained influenza-free, but even there, as a precaution, “the schools and churches are closed, and rigorous regulations are being observed.”105

For some people, the quarantine was perceived as a greater menace than the disease itself. This was especially so for one New Castle city councilman, William C. Shanafelt (1880-1950). When the city council met on the morning of Tuesday, October 29, Shanafelt urged that the churches should be allowed to reopen for half-hour church services “for the benefit of the religiously inclined of the city during the quarantine,” since “short meetings in the well-ventilated churches should not be productive of disease-breeding, he said.” Since Dr. Steen was not in attendance at the meeting, the council took no action on Shanafelt's suggestion.106

On Sunday, November 3, nearby Ellwood City – which had likewise suspended meetings of its churches – called on members of one key church there to take the church bell's ring as a cue for families to hold household worship services in their homes, with “a special prayer for the sick [and] for those who minister to them.” The church building itself would be open for people to pick up Sunday school literature and drop off donations, while the pastor would visit the sick upon request.107

During the coming week, the hope formed early that the order closing churches and schools, if not the rest of the quarantine, would be lifted by Friday, November 8.108 Soon, this order was in fact given, that on noon Friday the quarantine would be fully lifted, so that “on Sunday, the churches will all resume their services.”109 The newspaper quipped that “it's funny, but there is more demand for the opening of churches and saloons on account of the flu epidemic than anything else.”110

So went the announcement. Before Friday, however, report of seventy-three new cases in town “caused some apprehension in the city.” Nonetheless, the churches continued to plan for Sunday services, “hoping that the local situation will not necessitate a special ruling to continue the quarantine.”111 No special ruling was given: Dr. Steen assured the New Castle public that the ban was no longer necessary, although “individual precautions should be continued, and people should not become reckless because the public enforcement of rules to stop the spread of the disease has ceased.”112 And so, on Sunday, November 10, “after five weeks' interruption, the churches of the city will resume public services.”113 One local newspaper reviewed the course of the five-week closure and how it was handled:

The closing of the churches, along with other public meetings, was thought necessary by the health authorities to hold in check the epidemic. The comparative lightness of the attack here is due no doubt in no small measure to the promptness and thoroughness with which our health department acted. Any inconvenience that the churches may have suffered is secondary to the health and welfare of the community. This enforced closing of the churches is without precedent, it would seem, in all the history of the city. Previous to this, there never was a Sabbath when the worshiper might not enter the church door and join his brethren in public worship. These opportunities have been afforded with little thought of what it would mean if they were withheld. During this time, many people have said that they did not realize how much the church meant to them till they were deprived of it. If this lesson is remembered, it will be worthwhile to have learned it, even in this way. We trust that the opening of church doors tomorrow morning will be greeted with a hearty response by the people of the community. The churches have not been idle during this time. A concert of prayer has been observed at the 11 o'clock hour on the Lord's day. Sermonettes and other religious literature have been distributed. Many calls have been made by pastors and the church workers. The ministers have been called many times to the homes saddened by death. Many earnest prayers have been offered for the protection of our city, the welfare of our land, and the safety of the men in the camps and far across the sea. Many realize as never before that 'except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain' [Psalm 127:1].114

Although services resumed on November 10 in New Castle, this was not the case in Ellwood City, which did decide to retain certain restrictions.115 It was not until Sunday, November 17, that public worship services resumed in Ellwood City, with the pastors urging everyone to be in attendance.116 Their request was answered, as after four weeks of no church meetings in Ellwood City, the first Sunday back saw “large crowds were present at all the services, and prayers of thanksgiving were offered for the safety of those present and the boys overseas.”117

Whether these moves were advisable may be questioned, as since the lifting of the quarantine, about 37 new cases appeared in New Castle daily,118 while Sunday, November 17, saw twenty-six new cases reported in Ellwood City, though the health board doubted whether the cessation of the quarantine was to blame.119 By November 19, the New Castle city council was already deliberating the prospect of reintroducing quarantine measures to New Castle, but not yet implemented: noteworthily, when asked, acting health officer Dr. J. K. Pollock expressed his belief that asymptomatic carriers could not spread the disease.120 Meanwhile, the Ellwood City council gave similar thought to the prospect of reinstituting quarantine measures.121 As the spread increased in New Castle, the press urged that “this is no time for the people to become frightened, but it is time for the people to take cognization of the situation and utilize the methods of prevention, such as remaining home nights and away from crowds of all kinds and taking every precaution to keep themselves in the best of health.”122

By the morning of Friday, November 22, the State Health Department had directed the New Castle city council to “place a ban on movies, theatres, saloons, and clubs.”123 That night, local district attorney George Muse suggested that the quarantine be extended to schools and churches again, and local United Presbyterian pastor J. Elmer Campbell “stated that the ministers were glad to cooperate and would welcome an order which would close the churches until the curse of the epidemic had passed.”124 On this voluntary basis, public worship services were held in New Castle's churches, therefore, on Sunday, November 24 – and so, the following day's newspaper remarked, “the city is now in virtually the same condition as it was during the other quarantine – no place to go and nothing to do these evenings but read or watch the second hand tick away the dreary minutes.”125

The following Saturday, November 30, acting health officer Dr. Pollock issued a proclamation in which he directed that “all churches, meeting places, public, private, parochial, Sunday and other schools, theatres, opera houses, billiard halls, pool rooms, picture shows, dance halls, saloons, wholesale and retail liquor places, places of amusement, and all gatherings and meetings whatsoever are hereby directed to be closed, and to be kept closed so long as shall be necessary to prevent the spread of Spanish Influenza and until further order of the Council.”126 Hence, the churches did not gather for corporate worship on Sunday, December 1.

By Friday morning, December 6, entertainment and liquor providers were thronging the council's chambers, urging that something be done. Councilman W. C. Shanafelt, as usual, pressed for a prompt lift of the quarantine, to allow the churches to resume meeting (as well as pool rooms, bowling alleys, and all other venues), stressing that he did not believe a partial quarantine was at all effective. New Castle's mayor Archibald D. Newell (1858-1922) voiced his support for a more all-or-nothing approach: either lift the ban, or extend it also to the nickel-and-dime stores.127 The next day, an order went into effect to have stores and banks close by 6:00 PM, and Dr. Pollock noted that “in another week..., it may prove advisable to pry off the lid to the extent of allowing churches and schools to open.”128 The local ministerial association, represented to the council this time by Reformed Presbyterian pastor Edgar A. Crooks, supported the continued ban on church meetings: “the ministers were not clamoring for the lifting of the ban and would be pleased to see it remain on as long as the public health demanded.”129 Nevertheless, for local believers like city councilman W. T. Burns, there was considerable suffering felt in the absence of church services, “as his spiritual growth is as important to him as dollars are to the business people whose places have been closed.”130 Several days later, on Friday, December 13, several motions relating to adjusting the quarantine all failed, and local Presbyterian pastor Robert Little, on behalf of at least some of New Castle's churches, declared that those churches had agreed not to hold services on December 15, regardless what the council decided, as they believed it was still in the interest of public health not to meet.131 Accordingly, that Sunday, Methodist pastor J. Austin Rinker declared that he would be praying in his closed church's pulpit, and encouraged his members in their homes to “engage in scripture reading and prayer at the same hour, reading especially the Psalms 91 and 103. Special prayer is to be offered for the sick, the sorrowing, and the overburdened, the stay of the plague, and that divine wisdom may be given those in authority in the city and in the nation...”132 New Castle's churches opened again for midweek prayer services on Wednesday, December 17, which was “welcome news to churchgoers here.”133

Case 5: Allentown, Lehigh County, Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania's Lehigh County, not far from Philadelphia, is itself dominated by two prominent cities: Allentown (currently the third-largest city in the state), the county seat, and Bethlehem, which – although mostly located in Northampton County – straddles the county line and makes its presence felt in Lehigh County. It is the home of Bethlehem Steel, a significant manufacturing company, which was heavily active in producing munitions for the war effort during the World War. The city of Bethlehem as such was formed in 1917 from the merger of two boroughs, and had a burgeoning population fast approaching 50,000. Allentown, though it had a background in iron production and a long-lasting brick industry, by the World War had become dotted with several dozen silk mills, in addition to being the center of production for Mack Trucks, a prominent contribution to the war effort in its own right. In 1918, Allentown's population hovered around 70,000. Between Bethlehem Steel's munitions and Allentown's trucks, this stretch of the Lehigh Valley had assumed a national important in the war.

Before the Spanish flu ever struck, Allentown had already undergone a recent quarantine procedure – not for Spanish flu, but due to a measles outbreak. By mid-June 1918, the measles epidemic had reached “enormous proportions.”134 In consequence, the prospect of quarantine was soon being discussed in the press,135 and at the outset of July, health officer Dr. J. Treichler Butz “announced a general quarantine for children sixteen years of age and younger. The quarantine was placed indefinitely and closes all churches, theatres, moving picture places, public places, schools, parks, and playgrounds to the children.”136 The following Sunday, July 7, found the local Sunday schools “very badly crippled … as a result of the quarantine for measles. Very few children presented themselves to the schools through ignorance of the regulations which have made it impossible for them to attend any public gathering. Those who did, of course, were promptly turned away.”137 The measles quarantine on children was lifted on the morning of Monday, July 22,138 and thousands of children promptly swarmed the local playgrounds.139 And so life resumed, more or less as usual.

As Spanish flu began spreading throughout the state, it became a matter of key concern in the vicinity of Allentown and Bethlehem before any case appeared, given the area's production of munitions and transports used by Allied forces in the World War. Consequently, on Friday, September 27, Bethlehem mayor Archibald Johnston called a meeting with local health officers and state department representatives to discuss precautionary measures.140 The following day, Allentown's city council presented an ordinance “that action be immediately taken in the matter to prevent its appearance here and to use all precautionary measures to safeguard the public's health. It was also urged that suspicious cases that might border on that disease be immediately reported to the health authorities for investigation.”141

Try as they might, not only did Allentown soon see cases of Spanish flu, but it began losing citizens to it, as in the deaths of 68-year-old John L. Keiser on Sunday, September 29, and of 29-year-old Harvey S. Diehl (who contracted the illness at Camp Dix) on Monday, September 30.142 The next day, Dr. A. J. Lanza of the United States Public Health Service met with the Allentown city council to recommend “an absolute quarantine to be enforced in this city in order to guard against the danger of a Spanish influenza epidemic which the government fears would cripple the industrial centres hereabouts that are turning out war products and thereby hamper the carrying on of the war abroad. Literally, the recommendation and desires of Dr. Lanza, as expressed in a letter from Brigadier General T. C. Dickson in charge of the government work at Bethlehem, would mean the prohibition of all public gatherings in this city, the closing of all schools, theatres, saloons, pool rooms, soda fountains, and churches for an indefinite period or until the epidemic and the danger from it had been gotten under control.”143 While some on the city council such as Robert Wheeler favored the drastic measures given the military importance of the local munition industries, Allentown's mayor Alfred L. Reichenbach demurred, denying that such radical action was required, and the city council opted to defer action until they saw what Bethlehem and Easton would do.144 The local health board did, in the meantime, take out advertising in the local press, calling on residents to “prevent the spreading of grippe (Spanish influenza) by using your handkerchief if you have to sneeze, cough, or spit. Stay at home, go to bed, and call in the doctor if you have Spanish influenza.”145

Where officials like Dickson and Lanza called for drastic measures that included the statewide closing of schools and churches, Dr. Royer insisted this remain a local decision: “He contended that with small supplies of coal on hand in most homes, it is better to have the children attending school than housed in damp homes.”146 Subsequently, however, Dr. Royer did issue his order that “every place of public amusement and every saloon in Pennsylvania was ordered closed forthwith... as a means of preventing further spread of influenza.”147 Applied locally, “while the order was not welcome by any means either to the owners of these places or to the patrons, steps were taken to put the order into operation at once.”148 Or so, at least, the local press claimed.

After receiving Dr. Royer's order, the Allentown City Council met on Friday, October 4, and directed that the quarantine order would become effective after it could be suitably published to the general public.149 (Many in Allentown detested the order, and Mayor Reichenbach blamed Bethlehem for provoking the state action.150) But the city council declared that conditions did not yet warrant closing churches or schools until so advised by the State Health Department.151 Accordingly, unlike in many localities, many churches did hold services on Sunday, October 6.152 The same was true in the neighboring city of Bethlehem, where “several of the clergy made reference to the [quarantine] order from the pulpit... and indicated by their remarks the feeling there is against the ruling.”153 (The populace of Bethlehem reacted “with poor grace in many quarters,” with numerous businesses flouting the order to sell their remaining stock.154) And the nearby borough of Northampton issued an order that would close churches and other venues, but not until after October 6.155

Editorially, The Morning Call granted that the state-wide quarantine was a divisive issue, but encouraged community members to comply so that the quarantine would be done sooner: “It will end quickly if its spirit be obeyed and the results be obtained. Therefore, there ought to be complete cooperation by all, that these results may be attained and the business and social life of the community be speedily restored to its former conditions.”156

Allentown's failure to implement the State Health Department's orders in a timely fashion – it was only placed into real effect at midnight on Saturday, rather than Friday morning as in other places, thus allowing Allentown businesses to do two extra days of commerce – were not received well by the state government, which sent state police to Allentown to investigate. When the order was finally implemented in Allentown on a business day – Monday, October 7 – wholesale liquor distributors still defied the order and did business at first, until local authorities put a stop to it by noon. In the evening, other than a small crowd gathering in the square for a Liberty Loan meeting, “people remained home, for, the theatres being closed, there was little reason to be out.”157 The theater owners, however, insisted that the government treat them as an essential business, given their status as a key source for information about the Liberty Loan program as well as a great support for public morale.158

After the nearby town of Coplay's city council met on the evening of October 7 to issue an order banning all church meetings for the duration of the emergency, Allentown was a bit slower to reach that point.159 Whereas the school board decided on the night of October 8 to close the public schools,160 no action was yet taken on churches. Several churches in the broader area reached the decision before it was forced upon them, such as Fullerton's St. John's Lutheran Church, which independently decided to “discontinue services until after the quarantine.”161 However, Allentown's own ministerium met on October 9 and offered their vote of “confidence in the health authorities of the state and city, and the willingness on the part of every congregation to suspend services, should the health of the community and the judgment of the officials deem it advisable.”162 They further offered the use of church buildings as makeshift hospital space, if Allentown's leadership would find that useful.163

Even so, some citizens began to grumble criticisms of quarantine orders that failed to apply to the community's churches. Yet even “without an order, it is known that a number of clergymen are considering the advisability of closing the churches and Sunday schools on Sunday,” October 13 – for instance, St. Luke's Lutheran Church had already declared it would close, while St. Michael's Lutheran Church had decided to hold services in an outdoor pavilion.164 The afternoon after those voluntary decisions were published, Allentown's city council resolved to suspend all church services and Sunday school classes in the city until further notice, and to notify all churches that they were not to meet.165

In lieu of indoor church meetings, though, the churches of Allentown planned large outdoor meetings, “held outdoors beneath God's open sky because the churches have been closed by the quarantine regulations.”166 On the same page as the notice suspending church services, the city's Catholic churches declared their intention to celebrate outdoor masses,167 while the city's Protestant churches made plans for “a great Community Service on Centre Square for Sunday morning at 11 o'clock in which it is hoped all the religious forces of the city will join. … The purpose of these services is to provide an opportunity for worship during the period of the quarantine.”168

Both Protestant and Catholic events drew large crowds. In front of the Church of the Immaculate Conception, an altar was set up across from the church building at the parochial school, and three morning masses were celebrated while “the people heard the devotions from the pavements on both sides of the streets.” At the Church of the Sacred Heart, an altar was set up on the plaza and masses were said with the congregation “grouped about and standing.” And in Centre Square, the Protestant service “brought out the faithful in numbers exceeding all expectation, and those who were unable to attend their regular indoor church services found a pleasant hour of prayer, music, and sermon.” The pastors involved represented at least five denominations, and an announcement was made that “the service will be continued every Sunday until the quarantine is lifted.”169 During this inaugural outdoor service, however, “there were quite a few thoughtless men who stood in the crowd and smoked and spat upon the pavement or upon those about them,” particularly troublesome not merely for its lack of decorum but because “spitting is one of the ways in which the disease is most easily transmitted. If there be groups of men in the gatherings on the Square at the religious services who smoke and spit, there will be the undoing of the very things for which the quarantine was established and a lowering of the standards of the services themselves.”170

By Monday, October 14, the rate of the epidemic's spread was increasing, bringing the total number of cases over a thousand in the city.171 Day by day, over a hundred new cases would be added,172 and the churches remained closed for services – although at least one pastor did perform several private baptisms.173 Plans were set for a second general outdoor worship service in Centre Square on Sunday, October 20: “Enthusiastic congregational singing will be a strong feature of the service. An inspiring hour of worship is certain, and everybody is invited to join. All ministers are requested to take a place on the platform.”174 In addition to the open-air masses at Allentown's Catholic churches, this Protestant gathering drew an estimated 2,500 people to participate and to hear a sermon on Haggai 2:7-9.175

By this juncture, Allentown's hospitals had become “woefully overcrowded.”176 Over the next several days, the “plague” kept spreading in the city, such that “there is not the slightest hope” for “those who wish to see the epidemic end and the quarantine lifted,” as Allentown's case load soared above two thousand.177 Meanwhile, at least one local church – Grace Lutheran Church – began to plan its own open-air services for the following Sunday, October 27.178 And even as warmer and damper weather worsened the epidemic,179 city-wide public worship services were likewise planned for Centre Square, with United Evangelical bishop William F. Heil selected to preach the sermon: “The hearty cooperation of all members of the community in this hour of prayer and worship is invited.”180 This time, the open-air worship service was attended by three thousand people, with various pastors reading Psalms 46 and 91 and Bishop Heil preaching from Acts 27:23.181

The day prior to the service, Allentown's city council had met and petitioned Dr. Royer “for information as to the probable date when the influenza quarantine ban will be removed, and also asked him for authority to withdraw the ban entirely should any other city in this state be granted the privilege this week. Members of Council said that reports published in newspapers indicate that several cities in Pennsylvania, particularly Philadelphia and Chester, have announced the intention of removing the closing order about the middle of the week.”182 Allentown meanwhile exceeded three thousand cases, with “a big report of cases accumulating over Sunday.”183 Even so, representatives of alcohol sellers and entertainment venues were present at the city council's meeting two days later – on Tuesday, October 29 – and pressed the city council to defy Dr. Royer's orders and revoke the quarantine. “Councilman Allen, who declared that the quarantine is 'only a scheme of the doctors,' introduced a resolution to remove the quarantine and defy the state authorities, but could not get a signer to it. Councilman Kohler, who had been opposed to the quarantine in the beginning” now “refused to take a positive stand in defiance of the state, as did Councilman Wheeler.”184 The following day, the county's district attorney, Warren K. Miller, died from the Spanish flu.185

After receiving permission from Dr. Royer, the city council met on Thursday, October 31, and issued an order that “the quarantine upon this city with respect to theatres, moving picture establishments, dance halls, and all meetings and on the sale of alcoholic beverages will be lifted in this city on Wednesday noon next, November 6,” and that the churches could reopen even sooner, on Sunday, November 3.186 (This over the objections of Councilman Wheeler and also Dr. Thomas H. Weaber.187) Following the order, the executive committee of the Allentown Ministerial League approved of opening churches again on November 3.188 Except for the city's sixth ward, Allentown showed a decrease the numbers of new influenza cases by this time.189 Most churches in Allentown resumed services for November 3,190 and among those that did, “the attendances were large, indicating that the churchgoers welcomed the return of the old order and the opportunity for church worship.”191 A few churches – for instance, St. Luke's Lutheran Church192 and Christ Reformed Church193 – opted to wait until the following Sunday, November 10, before resuming public services.

Case 6: Lancaster, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania

Lancaster County, and its county seat of Lancaster, is an utterly remarkable region of Pennsylvania – but, as a son of its native soil, I'm certainly biased! Having formerly served as the state capital during earlier times, by 1918 Lancaster itself had a population of about 50,000.

The 'Spanish influenza' reached Lancaster in mid-September, and by September 17, “our physicians report quite a good many cases.”194 Lancaster's first Spanish flu fatality was 32-year-old J. H. Herchelroth, a member of Christ Lutheran Church, who died on September 26, and of the hundred or so other cases in the city at the time, one was local barber Abe Bonham, who was thought to have “contracted the germ while shaving visiting soldiers from the training camps.”195 Soon thereafter, numerous families in nearby Quarryville were infected – “scarcely a house in the borough does not contain at least one case of the disease, while many have three or four, and in a number of families every member is suffering from it”196 – and a local Army Medical Corps officer, Lt. Thomas R. Ferguson of Colerain Township, died at the Lancaster General Hospital on October 2, having contracted the Spanish flu in late September.197 In these early stages, Lancaster's board of health speculated that perhaps the disease's early introduction to Lancaster was the result of local residents employed at “the ship-building plants at Hog Island and Chester,” who contracted the disease there and brought it back to the community during weekend visits home.198 (Later, a Lancaster doctor would propose that the influenza germs had been brought back from the battlefield on souvenirs, i.e., German relics.199)

One local doctor sounded the note of warning that “this thing is serious. … If you see anyone in a crowd sneeze, take him by the back of the neck and throw him out. That's putting it strongly, but it is none too strong. The thing is both infectious and contagious. Citizens cannot take enough care of themselves at present.”200 Concern over the spread of the epidemic, however, did not dissuade Lancaster County residents from gathering by the thousands at their annual county fair in the first week of October.201

By that week, cases of Spanish influenza were on the rise in Lancaster city, Quarryville, and southern Lancaster County; and in nearby Columbia, the town's small hospital was placed under quarantine, since three nurses there had caught the disease.202 (One of the other Columbia patients, 30-year-old railroad fireman John Donohue, died there on October 3, the same day that 70-year-old John Shopf died of Spanish flu in the Lancaster General Hospital.203) Lancaster's Reformed Theological Seminary suspended classes on October 1, since nearly fifty percent of its small student body (29 students) had become infected.204 Medical authorities suspected, even at this early stage, that “Lancaster and vicinity will be compelled to endure the disease for five or six weeks yet.”205

After Dr. Royer issued his October 3 order, Lancaster and several other nearby towns began to implement it. On the afternoon of Friday, October 4, the Lancaster Board of Health, presided over by James Shand, met and read Dr. Royer's message.206 The relevance to their community was no mystery: one board member, Dr. Walter Blankenship, was treating four children whose father had brought Spanish flu home to his family from Hog Island. But it was Charles G. Baker, a lay member of the board, who most assertively pressedfor “drastic action,” as he “believed that the schools, churches, and places of amusement should be closed for a short time at least until further action is taken.”207 Baker's uncontested view won the day, and the Lancaster Board of Healh ordered the closure of “all public places of entertainment including theatres, moving picture establishments, saloons, dance halls, and all meetings of every description,” and additionally “all schools, public and private, churches, Sunday-schools, pool rooms, bowling alleys, boxing exhibitions, and all public gatherings.”208 This order, however, did not affect “hotels, dining rooms, stores, and barber shops.”209

By Friday night, after the afternoon's health directive went into effect, “people who were on the streets... looked lonesome, being 'all dressed up and nowhere to go.' The influenza has effectively bottled up everything in the amusement line. … Churches and Sunday-schools of all kinds will close until further notice, as a matter of course.”210 In Quarryville, the story was the same, with “all the hotels, schools, churches, and lodges of Quarryville... closed for an indefinite period.”211 The same was true in the nearby town of Mount Joy, which issued a directive banning public sneezing, coughing, and spitting even before the telegram with the state orders arrived; and once it did, they closed “all saloons, dance halls, moving picture places, or any other place of amusement until the epidemic is checked. It is quite probable that Sunday schools and churches may be closed.”212 In Lititz, “the schools are closed indefinitely on account of the influenza … All the churches were closed on Sunday [October 6], and the town was as quiet as a graveyard. Only the restaurants and the confectionaries were open...”213

Likewise, in Ephrata (my own hometown), the board of health met on the morning of Saturday, October 5, and ordered “the closing of all the churches and Sunday-schools temporarily, also the public schools of the borough for at least one week. The hotels and pool rooms, theatres and other public gathering places in town were closed indefinitely on Friday.”214 The result was “an amusementless Saturday and a churchless Sunday.”215 In New Holland, too, the “rapid spread... of Spanish influenza” resulted in orders given on October 4 to close churches among other venues, which “brought about the most quiet Sunday experienced by the present generation. With very few automobiles allowed to be run so as to conserve gasoline, and with no church bells ringing, no Sunday school or church services to go to, and no other meetings, there were few persons to be seen outdoors, making it truly a day of rest – a day for reading and meditation.”216 Smaller rural communities toward the county's eastern end, such as Goodville, California, Spring Garden, and even Denver, likewise suspended church services.217 Columbia stood out in ordering the closure of “all saloons, clubs, pool rooms, motion picture houses, the opera house, and all other places of amusement and entertainment, including dance halls,” but did not close the churches; however, they did notify all the town's pastors to insist that “members or others suffering from colds must remain away from both church and Sunday-school services.”218 It consequently was one of the few Lancaster County communities whose churches did meet on Sunday, October 6.

In these places, naturally some people questioned whether church closures were really warranted: “To many persons, the restrictions placed on public gatherings, especially the holding of church services and the sessions of Sunday-school tomorrow, may seem most too severe.”219 Others saw it as the sort of extreme measure to which years of war had made them accustomed, and felt that “if the rule is made drastic now and the spread of the epidemic is checked, the lifting of the ban will come that much sooner.”220

By October 7, with over three thousand cases of Spanish flu in Lancaster city, the board of health had decided that “churches must remain closed till Saturday evening; further notice will be given by that time.221 (Lancaster had seen several Spanish flu deaths by then, including 41-year-old railroad engineer William Lindley,222 19-year-old college student Harvey Myers,223 60-year-old doctor John Kinard,224 20-year-old moulder Paul Berkheiser,225 53-year-old cigarmaker James Stark,226 35-year-old motorman Charles Rehm,227 21-year-old watch factory employee Catharine Wilson,228 and others.)

The following afternoon – Tuesday, October 8 – the Lancaster Board of Health met again to discuss the possible need for further strong measures to stem hundreds of newly confirmed Spanish flu cases.229 They urged the population to stem their excessive “shopping, traveling, and visiting more than is absolutely necessary.”230 (This day saw the Spanish-flu-caused death of two Lititz residents, 29-year-old Paul Petry, a member of the local United Evangelical Church, and 31-year-old newspaper associate editor Chester Spickler; the following day, a third victim would fall, 41-year-old electric company superintendent Charles Loercher.231) By October 9, “the schools as well as churches are to remain closed until further notice from the board,”232 but the board expressed confidence that Lancastrians were “cheerfully bearing the measures taken for their protection and have a wide appreciation of the Board's efforts.”233 Meanwhile, with thousands of Spanish flu cases in Lancaster city amid rising fatality rates,234 several other nearby communities had several hundred of their own, such as Ephrata,235 Lititz,236 and Quarryville.237 In Columbia, one resident grumbled that the 'Spanish flu' was really “German influence.”238

By Thursday, October 10, the Lancaster Board of Health had determined to continue “the city quarantine as now existing... over Sunday, at least.”239 The following day, October 11, the health board ruled that “all stores must close tomorrow evening at six o'clock except stores selling foodstuffs,” and asked Lancastrians to “keep off the streets tomorrow evening and Sunday as much as possible.”240 Additionally, county medical inspector Dr. J. L. Mowery issued a county-wide order for “all public gatherings [to be] discontinued, and Sunday-schools and other schools closed for one week, beginning Monday, October 14. This applies to churches as well as to other gatherings.”241 They called it a move for a “Stay at Home Sunday.”242 One Lancaster doctor soon suggested that kissing should be banned for the duration of the epidemic!243 On October 12, when the Lancaster Board of Health met again and expanded their ruling to include ice cream shops, one Catholic priest – Msgr. Anthony F. Kaul, of St. Anthony's Catholic Church in Lancaster – requested permission to enter his church to celebrate Mass privately, on behalf of his parishioners; but the board of health “refused, as there may be no services in any church.”244

Nearby, Ephrata's board of health likewise voted unanimously “to keep the borough public schools, as well as the churches and Sunday-schools, closed for another week at least,” given the still-increasing spread of the Spanish flu.245 Even the smaller town of Akron south of Ephrata ruled that “schools are closed, churches likewise, hotels, post-office, and restaurant have notices posted: 'No loafing.'”246 In some places, local school boards had to function as boards of health and order the “cessation of church services and Sunday schools and public funerals.”247 As trends led to health authorities suspending “even open-air gatherings in many places,” sports – that true American religion – at last began to suffer in Lancaster County.248 By Saturday, October 12, even smaller towns such as New Holland could mention up to forty cases of Spanish flu (though with few or no casualties yet),249 while in the larger city, Lancaster newspapers could list the names of 52 young and middle-aged victims (some residing outside the county) killed by Spanish flu,250 and write:

The sudden and almost terrifying sweep of Spanish influenza, a disease whose name was almost unknown in America a month ago, has covered Lancaster County as well as the rest of the country, almost one might say the world. There are said to be 3600 or more cases in Lancaster city, and every town and hamlet has its quota. Physicians are almost worked to the limit of endurance. … Bar-rooms continue to be shut up. Schools and churches and lodges are adjourned also. Fairs and festivals and spelling bees are postponed; all funerals must be held privately. The death rate is not high. Scarcely one victim in a hundred dies. It is, of course, possible that many, many cases of the influenza are only cases of severe colds. “It's fashionable to have the grip” was said 25 years ago. It is probably just as fashionable to be an influenza victim now.251

The extent of the 'terrifying sweep' of Spanish influenza was plainly laid bare by reports of coffin shortages in Lancaster,252 while both of Lancaster's hospitals were “filled with patients to overflowing.”253 Still, one city newspaper, The Lancaster Examiner, insisted that, more than the disease itself, “it is the near panic which has resulted from the wide spread of the disease which is now dangerous. … It is no use to worry over the situation, which we know is well in hand.”254 Looking toward the prospect of another “Churchless Sunday,” another city newspaper, The Daily New Era, printed a set of suggestions by local Presbyterian pastor John T. Reeve on how the area's Christians might still worship:

Although our Board of Health, in obedience to all wisdom and prudence, felt compelled to close the churches, let us not close our hearts to God. This is no time for a “closed season in religion. With three-fourths of the world writhing in the agonies of war, with one-and-a-half millions of our own boys away from home, some never to return, with our country stricken from end to end with the worst plague that ever afflicted us, with the Fourth Liberty Loan dragging heavily when it ought to be going by leaps and bounds – this is no time for America to forget her God. It would be incredible if, in such an hour, we should “take a day off.” Because our incomparable soldiers and sailors and Allies are pressing on to a glorious victory, we must not think that we do not need to pray. How can we expect the Divine Favor if, in this solemn and fateful hour, it can be said of us, “God is not in all their thoughts”?

So let us set up the family altar. At some appointed hour, say 11 o'clock, let all the family gather together in one room. If you have an instrument and hymn books, sing a hymn. Then, let the father or mother read a chapter from the Bible, or, better still, let each have a Bible and read a verse aloud. Read the Sunday-school lesson about “Abram Helping Lot,” Genesis 13, or Nehemiah 9, or Luke 15, or Hebrews 11.

Then let someone lead in prayer, all kneeling down. May I suggest some of the elements?
  • Remember to thank God for his mercies in Jesus Christ; for the Church and the Bible; for the glorious success he is giving to our arms in France; for the splendid young men in the service.
  • Confession of sin, both national and private, asking God's forgiveness. Prayer for the removal of the dreadful scourge of influenza that is now upon us, and that the many homes bereaved may be comforted.
  • Prayer for our President and his associates, and for the success of the Fourth Liberty Loan, that our country may have money to properly back and protect our boys.
  • Remembrance of the suffering peoples of the earth, that their trials may soon be over, and prayer for a lasting peace founded upon justice, righteousness, and truth.
Then let all join in repeating the Lord's Prayer, and close with another hymn.255

The churches of Lancaster County did not physically gather on Sunday, October 13.256 That afternoon, the Board of Health met and – finding that many doctors were so busy that they didn't even have time to fill out reports on all the Spanish flu patients they found – decided that “the situation demanded more drastic action than the Board had yet adopted in order to safeguard the public health,” namely, “the strictest quarantine measures” – and so the Board of Health “issued an order closing today all commercial and industrial establishments. Today [i.e., Monday, October 14], Lancaster, from a business standpoint, was closed up tight. The food shops, hotels, drug stores, banks, and newspapers are the only places doing business today.”257 They furthermore banned all social home-to-home visiting and threatened violators with legal prosecution.258 (Sunday night, one of the churches I pastor lost its Sunday school teacher, 28-year-old Amy Althea Baxter, after ten days of sickness from the Spanish flu,259 while other members of her family were likewise ill.260)

On October 14, the Lancaster Chamber of Commerce's board of directors assembled to “thoroughly approve the action of the Lancaster Board of Health in closing the mercantile and industrial establishments of the city until such time as the situation is believed to be under control.”261 As of this time, it was the case that “2,000 Lancaster homes are affected by the epidemic, 6,000 persons are stricken, the death list is increasing, and the city is approaching the limit of its resources. Not one cheering note can be heard throughout the city. Everywhere death and illness have usurped everything.”262

That afternoon, pleased with the Chamber of Commerce's cooperation, the Board of Health met again and expressed hope that businesses could reopen on Wednesday after being suitably “fumigated and aired,” provided that things would not worsen.263 Even so, they sent a telegram to Harrisburg asking for advice about a proposal to fully bar travel in and out of the city for 24 hours.264

The local press commended the Board of Health's actions as “fully justified,” saying that “we may all suffer some inconvenience by the orders, but we must bear it with the thought that it is done for the good of the entire citizenship, as well as for the individual.”265 State authorities, meanwhile, warned that Pennsylvanians could expect to be in it for the long haul, as “all reports from afflicted districts indicate that conditions will become worse before they become better. … Citizens of Pennsylvania, the call for immediate personal service is imperative. The only solution of the problem is by free community service, tending the sick, feeding the hungry, and bearing the burdens of the weak. Both men and women are needed and should report for duty to their local health authorities or Red Cross chapter.”266 That night, the president of the Lancaster City and County Medical Society, Dr. W. H. Daniels, died as yet another Spanish flu casualty.267

On Tuesday afternoon, October 15, the Board of Health met and resolved to “lift the ban on commercial and industrial business, and all places will be allowed to be open as usual, beginning Wednesday morning. The ban on public places, amusements, saloons, churches, etc., is still in force.”268 This was so even though “the Lancaster General Hospital is crowded almost to capacity with influenza and pneumonia patients, with no let-up today in the number of cases being received..., nor do indications point to an abatement in short order, as new patients are being received continuously.”269 Meanwhile, the businesses in New Holland had reopened that very morning,270 but Columbia saw enough new cases that “until conditions are greatly improved, the drastic measures adopted by the Department of Health will be enforced.”271 Amid all this, the Lancaster Ministerial Association issued two separate statements through the newspapers – the first, to reassure the people of Lancaster that spiritual help would still be available for the sick and dying:

It has always been the spirit and policy of the ministers of the gospel, of this city, represented by the Lancaster Ministerial Association, to respond willingly and gladly to any form of ministerial service to which they have been called by the people of the community, both in and out of the churches, and both rich and poor, as well as by their Master. At this particular time and in the midst of the present epidemic, when so many of the homes of this city are stricken with sickness and sorrow, the Ministerial Association, in behalf of the ministers of the city, hereby reassures the people of this community that, while gladly complying with the requests and regulations of the Board of Health as to general visitation, the ministers of the city are ready and willing to respond to calls for their services in all emergencies.272

The second statement by the Lancaster Ministerial Association encouraged Lancastrians to turn toward God:

Our city, in common with many other communities, confronts at this time an epidemic of sickness hardly paralleled in the experience of this nation. On every hand, we find homes where sickness and sorrow have made their entrance. The hearts of our people are asking now the everlasting “why” with which our humankind have always faced sickness, sorrow, and death. Our spirits cry out for solace and comfort. In such an hour, there is one supreme place of refuge – “The secret place of the Most High;” one unfailing source of comfort in the words and fellowship of Him who said, “Lo, I am with you always;” one Helper who has said, “My grace is sufficient for thee; for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” We beg all the suffering, sorrowing children of our heavenly Father to turn to His Word for counsel, to His loving heart for comfort, and to His almighty arm for help. And to those men and women in our midst who are strangers to our God and have not learned the blessedness of trust in Christ, we say, with all earnest and love, that this hour of trial and need is calling them, with us, to turn to God with repentance and faith.

If in this time of trial we shall one and all learn the way to the heart of our Father-God and enter into fellowship with His Son, our Saviour and Elder Brother, through the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, then will even these afflictions be turned into blessings. May God in His mercy and love sustain, support, and save us in this hour.273

By Wednesday, although the morning saw the death of Catholic priest Fr. Henry Ludes, chaplain at St. Joseph's Hospital in Lancaster,274 “our streets have lost their Sabbath-like appearance, a condition that was brought about by the Spanish influenza. The enforced idleness of thousands of our people was regarded in anything but a holiday light by them, and there are few who did not return to their interrupted occupations with extreme satisfaction. Absence from work meant loss of income to most of them, as it meant loss to their employers. And yet there are few people who did not approve the closing order of our Board of Health. People are today going about their usual business with a more cheerful air than they have for a week...”275 The mayor, meanwhile, suggested to businesses that they no longer accept returns of sold goods.276

As Lancaster's business sector reopened, the Board of Health was convinced, based on the reports they saw, that the influenza epidemic was slowing down in Lancaster city (in terms of mortality, if not the appearance of new mild cases of the flu), even though it was still rising in the more rural regions of the county.277 The board did nevertheless instruct all pastors “that clergymen conducting religious services in influenza-infected houses must wear the masks provided by the health authorities.”278 In the midst of this, one Lancaster newpaper minimized the severity of the epidemic, editorializing that it was milder than the 1889-1890 pandemic and asserting that “more than one-fourth of the ailing now have been frightened largely into catching the disease.”279 Yet another of Lancaster's newspapers – even while criticizing the closing of businesses for its psychological impact in stoking panic280 – nevertheless editorialized firmly in favor of church closures:

Invariably, any restrictions placed upon public gatherings which include the churches brings forth the plaint that man is running counter to God and interfering with the plans and desires of Jehovah. The order to close the churches was received in this community in a sensible way and obeyed willingly. In fact, most of the local churches, if not all, had arranged to close before the order was issued and when only the suggestion had been made that it would be the wise thing to do. In some other localities, however, overzealous religionists have bitterly protested the order, and, following the example set by the Kaiser, assumed to hold a brief for God. One, Samuel Upjohn, wrote a letter to a Philadelphia paper demanding that the churches be kept open at all costs, and complaining that the Board of Health by its closing order does not allow the people to get near God. Another, S. P. Finner, replying to Mr. Upjohn, said:

May I suggest that Mr. Upjohn's God is a poor creature if He cannot be reached through prayer at any place, regardless of whether it is in a church or not? Does his God dwell only in the churches? If so, what could He do before man built those churches? How could He make the world, the universe, and man himself? Really, this plea is a relic of the dark ages, and quite surprising in these days of presumed enlightenment.

Peter at Caesarea said, “Of a truth, I perceive that God is no respecter of persons” [Acts 10:34], and again Jesus said: “For He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and unjust” [Matthew 5:45].

Neither the roaring flood nor the devouring fire, the rending of the earthquake nor the lightning's bolt show any more mercy to the church building than is given to the saloon or the brothel. Nature, which is the only visible evidence of a God, gives no indication of hesitation when engaged in any one form of its innumerable destructive agencies of venting its anger on the church if the building is in the line of its effort. Mr. Upjohn's plaint that a closed church or a destroyed one prevents the people from getting near to God, if true, would put God through his hand agent of Nature in the position of intentionally keeping a certain portion of mankind at a distance, for at all times, some place or other, church edifices are closed as a result of accidental destruction, or, as the legal fraternity in drawing up a protecting proviso in a contract would say, by an act of Providence.

If it be true that God has a good reason for all that is wrought in the name of nature, then it is obvious that there must be the imminence of a greater evil when the closing of a church building through its destruction is brought about through natural causes.

But as Christ and Peter said, God makes no distinction between the just and unjust. Smallpox and influenza are as contagious or infectious, whichever way the disputing physicians may elect to hold, in the church as they are in any other assemblage of mankind. Disease germs are no respecter of persons. The question of whether their victims are engaged in worshiping God or paying homage to the demon rum never enters into the matter of human lodgment. Closing the churches was the right think to do, as all sensible church people admit. It is only the Upjohns who, if they cannot praise God from the housetops seen by all men, cannot praise Him at all, enter foolish protest.

Gradually but surely, the endeavor of the church as a whole is taking a new trend. Less is heard of the old claim of close association with heaven and an aloofness from earth. The work of the church is here, and more and more its principal function is being directed in the channel of bringing more heaven to earth. Again, in the eyes of the law, the church is a human institution. Its members are free to hold any theological beliefs they may choose, but in the practice of them they cannot trespass on the rights of others, and among these rights of the others is one of governmental protection, as, for instance, the Board of Health order in question. The public will no more submit to a dissemination of a disease, and especially one entailing so large a portion of fatalities as the present epidemic of influenza, by the church than by the brothel. When the point is reached where any organization or association becomes a common peril when it becomes a medium for the transmitting of disease, the purpose of its being must be ignored in the matter of public safety. If God is no respecter of persons, public safety can be no respecter of assemblages.281

By Thursday, October 17, both of Lancaster's regular hospitals had become too full to accommodate any other patients, requiring the opening of an additional emergency hospital in the Moose Home.282 Meanwhile, whereas Lititz and Columbia were still heavily afflicted by influenza,283 Ephrata's board of health planned to meet that evening to consider “the question of the re-opening of the Ephrata public schools and churches,”284 but – the next night – “unanimously decided to keep the public and Sunday-schools and churches closed for another week at least.”285 Meanwhile, three pastors from the town of Paradise submitted the following public message through the press:

In view of the prevalence of the epidemic, the many cases of illness in the homes of our community, and the bereavement by death, as Christian ministers and “servants unto men,” not having the privilege at present of speaking from our pulpits, we desire by the courtesy of the public press to extend to you who are afflicted our sympathy, the assurance of our daily intercessions in your behalf, and our willingness to serve you by day or by night. We also wish to call the attention of all Christian people to the opportunity they now have, in unusual number, of showing forth the spirit of our Lord by acts of kindness and helpfulness to the many who lack the assistance their illness calls for.286

The people of some Lancaster County towns, such as Marietta, were indeed reportedly, “like thousands of others elsewhere, scared and imagine themselves worse than they really are. In the long run, however,” as one newspaper opined, “it is a good thing for some people to be scared, because in no other way can they be prevailed upon to take proper care of themselves.”287 By this time, Lancaster County had perhaps seen ten thousands of its residents infected by 'Spanish influenza,' and “churches and schools... are out of business temporarily.”288 (In the rest of the county, the disease was still on the rise: New Holland had 200 active cases by October 18, though with only one death; still, 30% of silk mill employees and 10% of machine works employees were unable to work due to their degree of illness.289) On Saturday, October 19, businesses once again closed early at 6:00 PM at the order of Lancaster's Board of Health, with most to remain closed on Sunday, October 20.290 At the same time, they received notice from acting health commissioner Dr. B. Franklin Royer that the matter of school closures was no longer a local matter – he ordered “that no schools be opened in Lancaster county until further order.”291

Some Lancaster residents were by this point beginning to tire of “drastic rules” which they believed to be “absolutely unnecessary” and even “nonsense,” particularly in light of the risk of “financial injury or ruin,” and one opinion-writer remarked that “the public is rapidly coming to the conclusion that a police power which places the business and industries of the State at the mercy of one man,” i.e., acting health commissioner Dr. B. Franklin Royer, “is too dangerous to continue unrestricted. … Men are gregarious, and no law or order will prevent them from social gathering.”292 Others, however, granted that the “financial loss to many was unfortunate,” but suggested that “a real good civic lesson has been taught by the circumstance, viz., that power to promote and conserve the general weal, in measure equal to any emergency, always abide with some branch of the civic administration.”293

Since the church buildings were to remain closed for Sunday, October 20, the Lancaster Ministerial Association released yet another open letter to Lancaster residents, providing spiritual reflections:

Again, we, as representatives of the Churches and Christian Ministry of our city, on the eve of another Sunday of abandoned public worship, desire most profoundly to give our people, unitedly, a message of spiritual help and triumph.

The supreme assurance of our holy faith is the message of the cross, that love conquers all things. It is the message of our Master and our Father, the same as of old. God our Father loves us all in life and in death, in sickness and in health; none of these can prevent, all of them ought to help our fellowship with Him. Every experience which may come to us in this mortal life can be made a stepping stone nearer the joy of His life, unquenchable and eternal.

God is our Refuge and Strength, a very present Help in trouble.” This is eternally true for nations and for individuals. Our own dear nation is finding it so; so are countless homes and our soldiers at the front. His voice reassures us in every struggle and trial. His message is our hope. He abides when all else seems to fail. Back of every need in life is our need of Him. None other can answer or satisfy. More than ever before, our hearts cry out to the living God.

The whole world is learning again the blessedness and need of prayer. Let us not pray for ourselves only, but for others, too. Some cities are regularly using the noontide moment for offering up silent but earnest prayer to the Giver of all good, that He will guard and guide our nation, our armies and our allies. Shall not we somehow join in this great river of intercession? God asks us to pray. Sickness and death are not always the punishment for sin, but in sin and in forgetfulness of Him, alone lies their sting. “Whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth,” and yet His love for us is so unutterable that He gave His own Son to die for our sins, to save us from our sins, to win us back to love, the Love that triumphs over all things, and awaits us at the moment of death....

When we or our loved ones recover from our sickness, let us not fail to render thanks for His mercy; when they are taken from us, let us use the words of old, “Father, into Thy hands we commend their spirits,” remembering, too, Him who said, “I go to prepare a place for you, that where I am there ye may be also.”

When the restrictions are removed, let us throng our churches and there, as in our secret closets, lift up holy hands in prayer with contrite hearts and dauntless spirits to plead for mercy on the world. Life is a war, a ceaseless battle, but the victory of good is eternally sure. Let us gladly fight, die if need be, suffer, sorrow, and serve the cause of our transcendent Master who set us the one perfect example. In this spirit, let the Churches of Lancaster, in a new and higher sense, live, work, and pray together, and each member of them feel the joy of true comradeship in the work and service of Christ. So will the lesson of this experience bear good fruit until life eternal.294

Additionally, at least two Lancaster churches – Trinity Lutheran and First Methodist – chimed their church bells in the morning and evening to invite people to participate in household worship services: “It was the beautiful custom of our ancestors, when they could not go to church, to take their Book of Worship and go through the entire service while the congregation were at public worship. The present closing of our churches should lead to the revival of this practice. If such should be the result, the enforced intermission of our Sunday services will not have been in vain.”295 Trinity Lutheran Church, in particular, chimed out the tune to the hymn “Sweet Hour of Prayer.”296 “As the city sits in ashes, so many of her homes made desolate,” one writer remarked, “the sound of the church bells, ringing the old familiar tune in solemn measure, must have stirred up precious memories and filled with comfort and peace the darkened chamber of many a 'prisoner of hope.'”297

At a third church – St. John's Episcopal Church – the rector, Rev. George Israel Browne, celebrated a private eucharistic prayer service in his church with the assistance of two servers, and asked “all the absent ones” to “silently, separately, and secretly join with us in that Supreme Act of Intercession.”298 Rev. Browne added a plea for all Lancaster pastors to realize “that there is nothing either in the letter or spirit of the request of the Board of Health (which we have all loyally obeyed) to prevent us from saying our prayers alone in our churches at any given moment and to invite all our people to join with us at that time and in that Act of Prayer for our City, our Sick, our Nation, our Army, our Allies; for God's Mercy on the World; for a new turning of all our hearts and lives to Him.”299

(This, in spite of the Lancaster Board of Health's denial of permission for Msgr. Kaul to do precisely that on behalf of Lancaster's Roman Catholics!300 Further, the undoubtedly sincere request by pastors to pray for the American cause in the World War cannot be separated from the hounding of Lancaster County pastors accused of insufficient patriotism: Lutheran pastor Paul Schmieder, accused of unpatriotic remarks, was forced to kiss an American flag and surrender nearly five months' salary, and was then directed by police to leave the city, whereupon he resigned his pastorate and fled to Philadelphia;301 Reformed pastor George Seibel had his home defaced and rumors spread that he defended the German cause in his sermons, despite his financial contributions toward the American war effort and the enlistment of his own son in the US Army;302 and Mennonite pastors Joseph and John Boll, living north of Manheim, were threatened with violence and had their homes defaced.303 Some of these acts of mob action were alleged to be connected to the rise of a group, the Li Lo Cos, which various sources compared to “a modern Ku Klux Klan in Lancaster County.”304 The county branch of the Pennsylvania Council of National Defense declared they were “satisfied that no such organization exists,” but admitted that “unthinking citizens, from a misdirected excess of patriotic zeal, have adopted methods for obtaining subscriptions to the Fourth Liberty Loan that cannot be commended.”305)

Monday, October 21, brought the welcome news that the rate of increase in influenza diagnoses had dropped sharply over the weekend, and that both St. Joseph's Hospital and the Lancaster General Hospital were now able to accept a few new patients again.306 The Board of Health debated whether trolley windows should be kept open or closed – the point was so contentious that the mayor walked out of the meeting, after Dr. E. S. Snyder objected to citizens making suggestions at the meetings – but kept them open.307 Quarryville and Ephrata by this time were also seeing some recovery from the epidemic.308 On Tuesday, October 22, the priests of St. Mary's Catholic Church submitted a request to the Board of Health for permission to open a side door to the church, allowing individuals to enter for private worship.309 The Board of Health declined to give permission but promised to pass this request to Dr. Royer.310 The board's discussion turned to the matter of reopening churches and schools, a suggestion strongly opposed by Dr. Snyder. The board delegated one of its members, Charles G. Baker, to speak with Dr. Royer.311 When he did so later in the afternoon, Dr. Royer “congratulated the Lancaster Board on its efficient handling of the epidemic in this city,” but directed that churches “must be kept closed over next Sunday.”312

On Wednesday, October 23, in spite of not having received the Board of Health's blessing, St. Mary's Catholic Church advertised in the morning newspaper that “the first side door of St. Mary's Catholic church will be open to the members of St. Mary's parish for the purpose of short visits to the Blessed Sacrament and to secure the Sunday Visitor and Messenger and monthly envelopes. Door will be open from 7am to 8pm.”313 Noting this defiance of the Board's order, a local health officer went to the church and ordered personnel to comply by locking up the church. The Board, in commenting on the defiant move, “added that if the door was not closed, this violation of a plain health measure would be reported to the State Health, with possible prosecution.”314 Beyond just the local Catholic scene, “school and church authorities are now clamoring for permission to open.”315 The epidemic continued to lighten by this point, such that “most of the factories were running above 75 percent normal” and “the stores are doing more business, showing that the people are beginning to appreciate that the epidemic is under control in this city.”316 (The petition of the Chamber of Commerce's Mercantile Trade Bureau to allow businesses to stay open until nine o'clock in the evening on Saturdays, however, did not win.317)

Thursday, October 24, suggested that perhaps the relaxed restrictions had been premature, as “the 'flu' situation was anything but satisfactory today. Seemingly it has taken a slightly new grip. The city seems to have the epidemic under control very much better than some of the county districts.”318 The Board of Health was convinced that “the influenza epidemic is fast running its course.”319 (Ephrata and Columbia also saw similar improvement,320 though the same was not true for other Lancaster County towns like Terre Hill and Marietta.321 The county's farming communities in particular were by this juncture heavily afflicted by the Spanish flu.322) By Friday, the death rate in Lancaster remained high, and so – after considerable debate – the majority of the Board of Health elected to continue pursuing the same policies as before, regarding Saturday business closures.323 (One lay board member, Henry B. Cochran, argued strongly in favor of letting businesses stay open, and suggested that the doctors were insufficiently attentive to economic realities. He was thoroughly outvoted.324)

On Saturday, October 26, the Board of Health met again and read a message from Dr. Royer, which gave permission for Pennsylvanian schools to reopen on October 30. In light of that deadline, Charles Baker moved that churches be permitted to resume meeting on the same date. “As there is church every day in the Catholic churches and midweek services in all the others, church members are glad that the ban is lifted.”325 Later that night, most businesses in the city closed early at six o'clock.326 By this point, it could already be said that “everybody seems more optimistic and cheerful than for some weeks past.”327 In advance of the coming Sunday, the Lancaster Ministerial Association invited churches to ring their bells, and issued another public letter:

The churches remain closed, but their voice is not silenced, neither is their fellowship broken. The bonds of sympathy and service, of hope and love, are stronger than ever. More than ever before are we conscious of our deep need of the church. Chastened and subdued by affliction and sorrow, our souls long for the courts of the Lord and our hearts cry out unto the living God.

All life has a deeper meaning since Jesus lived and died. By his sorrow we have rest, and through his death abundant life has come to all. Sickness and death have lost their gruesome dread and power, and in the dark and mystic valley shines the light of an ineffable day. His words are our comfort and cheer, and his gracious presence dispels the gloom and loneliness of our broken companionships. “Be of good cheer!” This brief word was thrice spoken by our great Friend. It is a light in a dark place. It is the song of hope in the night. In each of these three records, this word meets the soul in the great moments of life as it stands at the parting of the ways – when the guilt of sin burdens the soul, Matthew 9:2; in afflictions' waves, Matthew 14:27; as the shadows of death gather, John 16:33.

Sin is the great barrier to peace. It is the ultimate cause of all suffering. Until sin is death with, life has no assuring outlook. And so our Lord prepares the foundations of an abiding peace by his word of pardon. The divine method of dealing with sin is to forgive it. But forgiveness of sin is costly. It is no trifling matter. The death of Christ on the cross is the price. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins.” To every honest suppliant who confesses and believes from the heart, he says: “Be of good cheer; thy sins are forgiven.”

But what of our sufferings? Sickness, sorrow, discipline, war, death! “Thy billows are gone over me.” In this unprecedented hour of gloom, is there any word to cheer? Yes. In all suffering, God draws nigh. The love of our heavenly Father is never more real than in the afflictions of his children. “The eternal stars shine out as soon as it is dark enough.” Afflictions often sweep away the false and deceiving and lead us to the surer foundations. In the midst of it all it is He, unchanging and true. The very waves that threaten are the path in which he meets us. “It is I: be not afraid.” Jesus Christ is real, and the message of his evangel is profoundly real. He abides when all else fades. And he gives us peace.

An anxious mother wrote the other day out of her loneliness and sorrow: “Tell me, shall I see my loved one again? If I were quite sure, I should not grieve.” Hundreds of others in our city today know the deep sorrow of that question. Beyond their usual wont, our aching hearts and heavy feet are anxiously pressing the farther shores. Our homes are broken and bereft. Our hearts feel the strange thrill in the mystic arch as loved ones pass out. What does it all mean? Does death end all? Is there a light upon the dark horizon? “If a man die, shall he live again?” Listen! One stands on yonder side of the grave; the crown of a fadeless life is on his brow, and he answers: “Because I live, ye shall live also.” Death does not end all. It is only a bend in the road. Beyond are the Father's home, the loved reunions, and life forevermore. In the deep shadows, Jesus meet us: “Be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”

These three words he speaks to us. They are meaningful and moving words: Pardon, Peace, Power. Take them and make them thine. Back of these words is Jesus. They have meaning through what he did. To each one, he brings a great service. If we too shall be led out of self into service, then shall we walk in his ways and be his disciples indeed. “Be of good cheer.”328

For his part, United Evangelical pastor G. R. Mergenthaler addressed his congregation (Bethany UE Church) in the newspaper as well:

Greetings to Bethany United Evangelical Church, which is scattered but not lost. We hope that this epidemic which has prevented your mutual fellowship and communion has driven you close to God and kindled your enthusiasm in devotion to Him.

In this epoch of the world's life, maintain your faith in God. While the loyal “Sons of Freedom” are turning the tide of barbarism and carrying the evangel of liberty into a benighted land, let us keep our communion with God intact. Pray unceasingly that our hands may not be stained with the bloody deeds of barbarism. We are anxious that you keep in mind our coming communion service. If the quarantine is lifted, we will observe the above service on the 10th of November.329

On Sunday, October 27, Lancaster's churches again did not convene any gatherings. (Nor did churches meet in Mount Joy, Terre Hill, New Holland, or other county towns.330) But, as on the Sunday previous, First Methodist Church rang their chimes at 10:45am, Trinity Lutheran Church rang their chimes at 11:00am,331 and thereafter St. John's Episcopal Church celebrated Holy Communion with its priest and two servers at 11:30am, rang its bells at the time for receiving the sacrament, and invited all its members to “join in spirit with this united intercession and with such prayers in the family circle as they may choose or alone if nothing else may be convenient.”332 The Lutheran Pastoral Association explained the reasoning for the ringing of the chimes: that there may be a unanimity of prayer, praise, and thanksgiving within the homes of the people. It is hoped that, as those who have been unable to attend services have always been accustomed to unite with the congregation each Sunday in the Lord's Prayer at the ringing of the bells, so now one and all may unite in fervent petitions to the throne of grace that soon this awful visitation resting upon our people may cease and that again, by the grace of God, we may assemble in His house for the glory of His name, the furtherance of His kingdom, and the sanctification of our never-dying souls. As the hearts of our people are weighed down with many forms of grief and bereavement, may this coming Lord's Day [i.e., Sunday, October 27] be a call for united prayer that God may also “protect and prosper our beloved country in this time of war, making us, by His grace, a people worthy to be entrusted with victory, and that He may use, direct, and bless our Army and Navy that they may become His chosen instruments in overcoming wrong and establishing liberty, truth, and righteousness in all the earth.”333

As Monday, October 28 arrived, news of Philadelphia's unilateral decision to defy the State Health Department's orders and reopen entertainment venues and bars led to Charles Baker placing a morning telephone call to Dr. Royer to inquire whether this set a precedent they themselves might employ – the answer was a firm no, asserting that local health boards were required to enforce state-wide orders “until you are officially authorized by this office to rescind them.”334 Still, that afternoon, two lawyers representing “the liquor and amusement resort interests” met with the Lancaster Board of Health to petition for the lifting of the ban on their business activities.335 (For weeks, the liquor sellers of the city had been eager to find ways around the restrictions: “a few saloons are selling liquor quietly” from their side doors – and the Board of Health threatened that “saloon-keepers will be held responsible for violating the law.”336 No doubt the liquor sellers had received some encouragement from Judge Charles Landis' repeated expressions of his opinion that “the Board of Health had no right to close the saloons, and that the order was without sanction of the law.”337) This time, the Lancaster Board of Health was inclined to listen, though mostly out of irritation with Dr. Royer's approach, to which they objected in a formal resolution.338 (They believed that it was unfair to let Philadelphia off the hook but not give Lancaster the same consideration.339) Several representatives planned to go petition Dr. Royer to change his mind in person, but Dr. Royer informed them it would be pointless, as his mind would not be changed.340 In consequence, the Lancaster Board of Health met again on Monday evening and issued an order that would lift the quarantine entirely on Wednesday morning.341

The following morning – Tuesday, October 29 – Dr. Royer telephoned Lancaster mayor Harry L. Trout, warning him that if Lancaster did not promise by noon to obey the state health directive, he would have it enforced by police. After conferring with the city's lawyer B. J. Myers, who claimed that Dr. Royer (apart from a meeting of the State Board of Health) had no legal authority to keep Lancaster businesses closed, Mayor Trout sent a reply via telegram, deferring to the Lancaster Board of Health and asserting that he would not permit any Lancaster city police officers to cooperate with Dr. Royer's orders.342 That afternoon, Dr. Royer issued a public statement to the press that “the ban will positively not be lifted in Lancaster tomorrow, and he is prepared to take drastic action if the local authorities make any attempt to defy his authority.”343 In a telephone call with Lancaster theatre manager Charles Howell, Dr. Royer released the information that the ban would officially be lifted, not on October 30, but at noon on November 5.344 And that night, health board president James Shand received a letter from Dr. Royer asserting that he was revoking the portion of the Lancaster Board of Health's resolution “affecting theatres, moving picture establishments, dance halls, public meetings, saloons, and wholesale and retail sale of alcoholic stimulants.”345

The decisive day arrived: Wednesday, October 30, 1918. Lancaster's theatres, hesitant to transgress the state health order, chose voluntarily to remain closed.346 But to ensure the compliance of the saloons and other liquor sellers, ten health officers arrived in town that morning to serve papers to each alcohol seller in Lancaster, notifying them of their legal orders to remain closed. In spite of their efforts, “quite a number of liquor places opened for business this morning, while the proprietors of others considered it the part of wisdom to await further developments.” At noon, the Board of Health met again and chose to stick to their guns, refusing to assist in the enforcement of Dr. Royer's orders, such that “the matter now rests entirely with the State health authorities.”347

In the afternoon, the state health officers sent by Dr. Royer posted placards on any open liquor dealer, proclaiming the venue “Closed by order of the Commissioner of Health of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania,” and his representative Dr. T. H. A. Stites announced that Dr. Royer had consulted the state's attorney general about bringing lawsuits against any sellers not in compliance with state orders.348 That evening, many churches celebrated by holding midweek prayer services, as did First Presbyterian Church, Grace Lutheran Church, Bethany United Evangelical Church, Grace United Evangelical Church, St. John's Reformed Church,349 and the Church of God.350 Also that night, Dr. Royer issued a warning that open liquor sellers in Lancaster the following morning would be risking arrest.351 (Dr. Stites pledged that the same procedure would be followed in Ephrata,352 which was rumored to have followed Lancaster's example in lifting the state restrictions without state authorization,353 though Ephrata's board of health subsequently denied these reports.354) Overall, of seventy places licensed to sell alcohol, only thirty were initially in compliance with Dr. Royer's order, and another eight fell into compliance after being warned, leaving thirty-two open in defiance of the regulations, with some even removing the 'Closed' placards placed there by the state health officers.355

On Thursday, October 31, as the Lancaster Public Library at last reopened,356 the morning found that most of the prior day's defiant liquor dealers had fallen into compliance after being warned that thirty days in prison could be the cost of continued defiance.357 Seventeen saloon-keepers persisted, however – mainly smaller ones outside the business district – and were referred to state lawyer John Coyle for prosecution.358

In the afternoon, the Lancaster Board of Health issued a statement denying Dr. Royer's public accusation that they were beholden to the liquor industry.359 During the course of the day, several additional saloons opened, as their “proprietors mustered courage enough to throw open the doors of their establishments to customers.”360

Ordinarily, a Halloween festival would have been celebrated through the streets of the city, but orders to cancel all Halloween celebrations on account of the Spanish influenza had been given over a week earlier,361 and were still followed even after the Lancaster Board of Health declared other restrictive measures to be lifted.362 The result, by one account, entailed “darkened, almost deserted streets..., strange quiet, the absence of funsters..., even the pumpkin in the window was strangely missing. Doorbells remained unrung, steps were stationary, and confetti, corn, and ticklers were conspicuous by their absence,” which all “brought home... forcibly... the seriousness of the situation to young America. Similar conditions held true in every borough and hamlet in Lancaster county.”363 Others thought things less quiet, griping that beyond the limits of downtown Lancaster, youngsters “were loose, just as usual, smashing doors with cabbage butts and stuffed clubs, ringing doorbells and throwing corn and confetti. And they exercised their lungs pretty well with tin horns. They indulged in pranks usual to kiddies and had a bully time, the police making no attempt to disturb them...”364 There were, however, prayer services at 7:45 PM in the city's Christian and Missionary Alliance church.365 (This was so even though one Lancaster doctor urged the public “to stay away from all public gatherings or assemblies, such as churches, schools, places of amusement, etc., until the present epidemic is practically over.”366) And so October closed, with Lancaster having had 7,550 cases of Spanish flu, leaving 301 residents dead – countywide, over a thousand dead.367

The next day – Friday, November 1 – a few additional saloons chose to re-open, seeing no sign of prosecutions being initiated as of yet. One saloon-keeper was quoted as remarking, “We have called Royer's bluff, and he has backed down.”368 “There is no trouble getting a drink in Lancaster,” one writer quipped. “Indeed, there was little trouble getting liquor any time during the closed (?) period proclaimed on account of the flu. And it is known that the 'stuff' went to other places from Lancaster in actual wholesale quantities.”369 John Coyle refused to take any action in the matter.370 St. Mary's Catholic Church reopened with three masses to mark the Feast of All Saints.371 St. John's Episcopal Church likewise celebrated the eucharist twice that morning and gathered again in the evening,372 and Memorial Presbyterian Church's choir resumed holding rehearsals.373

However, Friday night – with first news arriving before the churches held their evening worship – brought a far greater shock: an order by Dr. Royer imposing a quarantine of the entire city of Lancaster: “Whereas every other available process for securing an observance of the orders of the Commissioner of Health in the City of Lancaster has been exhausted, therefore I, Benjamin Franklin Royer, Acting Commissioner of Health, have... declared the City of Lancaster to be under quarantine and have directed the railway companies, the street railway companies, and other common carriers to discontinue after twelve o'clock midnight this day the carrying of passengers to and from the City of Lancaster except Federal and State officials and representatives on official business … This action is taken for the purpose of protecting the people living outside of the City of Lancaster from any further possible dissemination of influenza due to premature relaxing of restrictions; for the purpose of protecting other municipalities from similar lawlessness under the protection of duly constituted authorities which might result from the precedent which the City of Lancaster would establish; and for the purpose of preserving the dignity and efficiency of the laws which have been adopted by this Commonwealth for the protection of the lives and health of its people.”374

What this meant, given its timing on a Friday night, was extreme: “Farmers coming to the city markets” – for Saturday was to be market day – “will not be allowed to cross the city line. Farmers who entered the city... before midnight will not be allowed to depart for their homes in the county. Iron workers, munition workers, and all other war laborers who are employed in plants outside the city will be prohibited from returning to their homes in the city. Employees of industrial and mercantile establishments located within the city, who reside outside of Lancaster, will not be allowed to enter the city to go to work.”375 This would “mean the loss of thousands of dollars to merchants and farmers and others.”376 To secure the quarantine, the State Department of Health directed that detour signs be placed at all roads leading into the city,377 with guards also stationed there to ensure the full lockdown of Lancaster.378 This would take place for at last three major roads by 2:15 AM on Saturday morning.379

Lancaster was promptly thrown into an uproar, for “the announcement of the quarantine was like a thunderbolt from a clear sky.”380 Late into the night, Lancaster's mayor and assorted business and civic leaders met at the Hamilton Club to discuss the situation in whispered tones, but dispersed at 11:15 PM without comment.381 As Friday faded into the early hours of Saturday, the local train station was still selling tickets by one o'clock AM, as the official text of Dr. Royer's order had not yet reached them.382 At two o'clock in the morning, health board president James Shand fulminated against Dr. Royer: “He cannot close this city. It's all humbug. He does not have the authority.”383 Once the train station did receive Dr. Royer's order and start following it, a riot started there in the early hours, as “several hundred government employees waited for trains to take them to Coatesville and Middletown.” Upon being informed by railroad police what had happened, “the workers made speeches condemning the order and angrily loitered about the station. They finally boarded cars of the Conestoga Traction Company and took the slower and longer routes to their places of employment.” The traction company “apparently regarded the Royer proclamation as a joke, and continued to haul passengers into and out of the city in direct violation of the quarantine ruling.”384 (Shortly after noon, Dr. Royer would give an order exempting all Lancaster munitions workers from the lockdown.385) Furthermore, Franklin & Marshall College president H. H. Apple telephoned Dr. Royer to object to the prohibition against their college football team leaving the city to play an away game against Ursinus College.386

When news reached the farmers' market, there was considerable panic, and many farmers began packing up their produce in hopes of hurrying out of the city before all obstacles were in place, requiring the chief of police to assure them that there would be no problems.387 Throughout the morning, “telephones of Mayor Trout's office and the newspaper offices... were kept busy answering inquiries from all parts of the county,” to which the reply was given not to worry, because “Lancaster is paying no attention to Royer's orders.”388 Later that morning, while the Chamber of Commerce hoped to pressure local saloon-keepers into obeying the closure order so as to appease Dr. Royer,389 the Board of Health met in special session, passing resolutions condemning Dr. Royer's actions as done in “a spirit of vindictiveness,” and so “unwarranted, unfair, and arbitrary and not founded upon the true health conditions” in Lancaster.390 By this point, at least two state troopers had already arrived in Lancaster's Penn Square to assist in enforcing the lockdown,391 while other armed guards arrived to guard the ropes crossing the turnpikes at ten and eleven o'clock.392 (These men were, however, evidently quite happy to give people directions for circumventing the roadblocks and making it in and out of the city.393)

At noon, shortly before Lancaster County's medical inspector Dr. J. L. Mowery would resign his position out of rage at Dr. Royer,394 Mayor Trout gathered the city council, which unanimously voted to sue in court for an injunction against the lockdown order.395 At the meeting, Dr. Snyder of the health board was heard to declare that, since Gov. Martin G. Brumbaugh had first appointed Dr. Royer as Acting Health Commissioner while the state legislature had been in recess, they now regarded Dr. Royer as an “illegal officer” rather than the true head of the State Health Department.396

The mayor and the city's lawyer knew that their case would receive a favorable hearing from Judge Charles I. Landis (whose vocal opinion limiting Dr. Royer's authority was one of the reasons for Dr. Royer's quarantine order in the first place397). However, the judge was temporarily at Millersville, outside the limits of the city. With all major roads blocked off, Trout and Myers had to slip covertly out of town and take the back roads through the countryside. (At least six roads out of the city remained still unblocked.398) Reaching Millersville at three o'clock in the afternoon, they handed him the council's bill of equity and informed him of the roadblocks on all the turnpikes.399 Their request received its expectedly warm reception, and Judge Landis granted the injunction, to no one's surprise.400

Reception of the matter in the press was a bit varied – the Democrat-leaning Lancaster Intelligencer found fault evenly distributed among “the 'lawless' Republican State Machine,” represented by Dr. Royer, “appointee of Governor Brumbaugh, protege first of the Penrose machine and now of the Vare machine,” and “the 'lawless' Republican County 'Machine,'” represented by municipal authorities who months earlier had “turned loose on the community a string of desperate criminals to wreak their vengeance of ravishment and murder” and whose aims aligned with the Li Lo Cos.401 Likewise, The Lancaster Examiner declared that both the local health board and the state health department were afflicted with 'Mars-itis,' war fever – that both were “succumbing to the fighting blood surging through their veins.” They did, however, tend to favor the health board's position as the “exhibition of common sense,” observing that “many citizens of Lancaster have felt from the beginning that certain of the regulations and restrictions were inaugurated and enforced more from a love of exhibition of power than for the sanitary benefits to be derived,” and so “feel resentful against further observance when one set of health officials approves and another condemns.” Comparing Dr. Royer to Kaiser Wilhelm (against whom the United States was at war!) and gripped in “the delirium of supposed autocratic authority,” they granted that the State Health Department did legally have wide police powers but complained that “its powers have been carried to an extent where it has gathered to itself the idea it can do and act without respect to or consideration of either the law or public opinion.”402

But other Lancaster press organizations put the blame even more squarely on Dr. Royer, and him alone. The News-Journal viewed Dr. Royer's actions through the lens of “vindictiveness and petty personal spite,” saying that “like a child with a new whip, he spoiled for an opportunity to apply the lash, and again like a child he timidly overlooked the big offenders, like Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, and made his attack on the little fellow,” i.e., Lancaster.403 Going further, the Republican-leaning Daily New Era slurred Dr. Royer as “a new Dictator,”404 mocked him as “Czar Royer,”405 declared that “it is time for the people to rebel,” and called on Gov. Brumbaugh to either rebuke Royer or remove him from office.406 (Where the Democratic papers saw Dr. Royer as part of a corrupt Republican machine and thus told people that the best way to oppose Royer was to “go to the polls next Tuesday and vote the Democratic ticket,”407 this Republican paper saw Dr. Royer's actions as a political ploy to manipulate the Lancaster Board of Health into angering Anti-Prohibitionists and somehow inciting people to angrily “vote against the Republican ticket” – for which they saw the rightful way to oppose Royer being for Lancastrians to “go to the polls on Tuesday next and vote for the Republican ticket.”408)

Once Judge Landis had given his ruling, the court order was delivered to Lancaster sheriff Christian G. Garber, who sent a copy to Dr. Royer via telegram and communicated to the local railroad companies, being served to the railroad agent at 4:40 PM.409 Thirty minutes later, at the Stevens House, the mayor and his party served the order to state health agent E. O. Zealy and to state police sergeant Ely, while Sheriff Garber's deputies traveled around to serve the same order to the men brought in to guard the roads. All acquiesced promptly; Sgt. Ely in particular expressed relief.410 By six o'clock, the train station had again begun selling tickets. The press opined that the city's lockdown, however brief, had “hurt the business badly on Saturday because so many people throughout the county believed that, if they came into the city, they could not leave it.”411

On Sunday, November 3, as Dr. Royer's local representatives slipped out of the city,412 Lancaster's churches were all able to resume their services, including four Roman Catholic churches (Sacred Heart, St. Joseph's, St. Mary's, and St. Anthony's), two Mennonite churches (East Chestnut Street and East Vine Street), three Methodist churches (First, Broad Street, Lancaster Avenue, and St. Paul's), three Presbyterian churches (First, Memorial, and Bethany), ten Lutheran and Evangelical Lutheran churches (Emmanuel, Advent, Grace, Christ, St. Mark's, St. John's, St. Stephen's, Trinity, Mt. Calvary, and Church of the Redeemer), six Reformed churches (First, Faith, St. Peter's, St. Paul's, St. Andrew's, and St. Stephen's), an Episcopalian church (St. John's), a Baptist church (Olivet), an Evangelical church (Pearl Street), two United Evangelical churches (Bethany and Grace), a Church of the Brethren (Charlotte Street), and a United Brethren church (Laurel Street), as well as Moravian, Church of God, and Church of Christ congregations, plus Unitarian and Spiritualist pseudo-churches.413

Moravian pastor H. A. Gerdsen pledged to preach in the morning on “The Epidemic” and in the evening on “Jesus' Statement Concerning the Departed,” perhaps the most apt selections for the age of influenza.414 Other churches also advertised the sermon titles for November 3: at St. John's Lutheran Church, the pastor would preach on “Gratitude and Thanksgiving for Deliverance From the Pneumonia Epidemic”; at Lancaster Avenue Methodist Church, Rev. Samuel Johnson would preach first on “The Christian's Glorious Hope, or Leaving the Tent and Moving into the Mansion,” and later on “God's Appeal to the Undecided”; at St. James Church, Rev. Twombly would preach first on “The New Death,” and later on “The Epidemic and God's Message to Us”; at Memorial Presbyterian Church, Rev. H. W. Haring would preach first on “The Church in a World of War,” and later on “The Church in a World of Sorrow”; at St. Andrew's Reformed Church, Rev. J. Hunter Watts would preach first on “The Privilege and Duty of the Christian at a Time Like This,” and later on “The Divine Magnet”; at St. Paul's Methodist Episcopal Church, Rev. Joseph L. Gensemer would preach on “What to Do During These Solemn Days”; at First Presbyterian Church, Rev. John T. Reeve would preach first on “When Thou Art in Tribulation,” and later on “The Break-up of a World”; at Trinity Church, the pastor would preach first on “The Place of Providence in World Life,” and later on “The Difficulties That Jesus Met”; at the Church of God, Rev. George R. Hoverter would preach first on “How to Help the Pastor,” and later on “Fishing On the Wrong Side”; at Faith Reformed Church, the pastor would preach first on “The City of God,” and later on “Starving the Soul”; at First Methodist Episcopal Church, the evening sermon was to be on “Out of the Depths”;415 and at Emmanuel Lutheran Church, Rev. P. George Sieger, home on furlough from chaplaincy at Camp Wadsworth, would preach on “The Christian Soldier in Modern Warfare.”416

Some churches, like First Reformed Church, advertised the precautions they would continue to take against the spread of influenza at their churches: requesting the ill to stay at home, brief Sunday school, and windows open during all services for ventilation, “in order to prevent the church services in this church from being an agency for the distribution of the disease of the present epidemic.”417 Meanwhile, Trinity Lutheran pastor J. E. Whittaker published an appeal in advance of the services:

Tomorrow [i.e., Sunday, November 3], the churches of our city will once more open their doors for divine worship. The past month, our people were deprived of the privilege of gathering around the altar of God to offer their prayers and sing their praise. This is a unique experience in the history of the Church in America. It reminds us of those ages in the past when the ban was placed on the churches because of sin and disobedience. The measure was always effective and brought the desired results.

In the present case, back of the Board which closed the churches, is the outward cause of the plague which has desolated so many of our American homes. And back of the plague is that hidden cause which none but the Almighty sees and knows aright. Pain is penalty: the word denotes it. A plague is a stroke: someone delivers it. A scourge is a lash: there must be a hand to wield it. And the primary cause is in the sin which infects our lives. At bottom, the closing of our churches is God's ban upon our people. We have forgotten His love; we have despised His mercies; we have neglected the ordinances of His house; in the midst of our successes, we have not given Him the praise. And since the goodness of God is designed to bring us to repentance, His severity should lead us to confess with the prophet, “We have sinned and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from Thy precepts and from Thy judgments: therefore hath the Lord watched upon the evil, and brought it upon us; for the Lord our God is righteous in all His works which He doeth: for we have not obeyed His voice” [Daniel 9:5,14].

And what shall be the outcome in our case? The half-emptied churches should be filled with worshipping assemblies. The half-hearted worshippers should come with a new purpose of heart, full of penitence and praise. And as the church bells ring their welcome, the soul's response should well up in the words of the psalmist, “I was glad when they said unto me, let us go into the house of the Lord” [Psalm 122:1]. And if the desolation which has swept from coast to coast and wrought sad havoc in our homes, is followed by sincere repentance, ensuring pardon and comfort and peace, the sacrifice will have served its divine purpose as surely as has the sacrifice of life on the battle front in the attainment of the objects which have brought us into this great world conflict. We should settle down to this conviction, “It is the Lord;” and bowing to His will in true submissiveness of spirit, we should say, “Let him do what seemeth Him good” [1 Samuel 3:18]. And so on the morrow, let us, as a Christian people, “Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise” [Psalm 100:4].418

Other county towns also saw the resumption of public worship gatherings in the churches. This was the case in New Holland, where St. Stephen's Reformed Church's new pastor Rev. C. G. Bachman, scheduled to preach his first sermon on October 6, was now able to do so a month later.419 In Columbia, after a month shuttered, the churches reopened, and “the streets presented a lively appearance as hundreds of worshipers emerged from their home to attend the services. All the churches report a good attendance, and a general good feeling seemed to pervade the people as they were again privileged to attend divine service.”420 The same was the case in Mountville, where the local health board permitted churches to open their doors again to hold “their first services in more than a month.”421

During Sunday afternoon, Dr. Royer's stated plans to call a meeting of the State Health Department were foiled, as he could not reach a number of the advisory board members. He did, however, note that he had not been formally served with Judge Landis' injunction, and so regarded the quarantine as still in force. Locally, Lancaster carried on as if nothing had ever happened – the trains had started running again Saturday night, the trolleys had never bothered stopping, and the orders from Judge Landis served to clear obstructions from the roads.422

As Monday, November 4 arrived, it no longer became worthwhile for Dr. Royer to bother Lancaster, since he had already announced the quarantine would end the following day. (Besides which, he was now quite preoccupied fighting the same fight against a larger but equally intransigent city: Pittsburgh.423) He did express his displeasure with Judge Landis' “unwarranted assumption of judicial authority, without legal effect” at least.424 Dr. Royer himself came in for harsh criticism from Lt. Gov. Frank B. McClain, a native Lancastrian, who labeled Royer's handling of the situation as “a disgrace and a stain upon the administration” of Gov. Brumbaugh.425 But Dr. Royer issued a sharp statement of his own, announcing that “were it not for the fact that the health conditions in the city of Lancaster are improving to such an extent that the ban may be safely lifted on Tuesday, I would request the governor to declare the city under martial law and enforce the physical closing of the few (15 out of 75) defiant saloon-keepers, a power which unquestionably exists.”426 That night, the city's four Catholic parishes rallied to fundraise for the war effort.427

Tuesday, November 5 opened with still more Spanish flu deaths in the city – including a nearly-22-year-old Lancaster General Hospital nurse named Violetta Groff, who had been sick for three weeks.428 But the day was largely taken up with the election. The results, as the night bore out, were quite favorable to the Republican Party, giving a strong victory to their gubernatorial candidate William C. Sproul with majorities in nearly every city district.429 The New Era was thrilled: “The result in the State shows that its people place loyalty to the nation and devotion to high principles and ideals above personal support of an individual who demands servile submission to his will above any appeal to base, mercenary, and selfish considerations.”430 The Intelligencer blamed internal dissension among Democrats over “the liquor question” for depression turnout at the same time Republicans' “partisan feeling” was stoked by misinformation.431

Life in Lancaster continued as before: Wednesday morning brought the death of Sister Corina, a 38-year-old nun who had been nursing Spanish flu patients and had contracted it herself.432 The city's young women volunteers in general received considerable praise for their service to the community: “Undismayed and unafraid, these young women went about caring for sick and needy children, delivering broth prepared by the Hamilton Club to the sick in homes and hospitals; taking around in their automobiles the Red Cross investigators, the volunteer nurses, the visiting nurses, and the busy doctors whenever they needed a driver or their cars were disabled. While working so unselfishly, some of the service girls dropped from the ranks, overcome by the dread disease.”433 As for the Board of Health, they had discontinued regular meetings, although new cases of the Spanish influenza continued to be reported by the medical personnel of the city.434 It became a topic of discussion as the Lancaster County Medical Society met that Wednesday afternoon.435

By Saturday, it could be said that “new cases of influenza are comparatively few in this city; here the grip of the plague has been pulled loose,” although “in some of the boroughs, as for instance Marietta and Lititz, the disease still has a firm hold.”436 That night, Elizabethtown's church bells rang out simultaneously at eight o'clock to inform residents that their churches would reopen on Sunday, November 10,437 and the churches reopened that day in Marietta also.438 It would also be – by Gov. Brumbaugh's proclamation – “a day of prayer for the passing of the influenza epidemic.”439 For Lancaster churches, life could at last begin adjusting to a post-epidemic world.440 It was to be celebrated also as a world freed – for a generation – from worldwide war: “now that the way has been opened for a world peace, our hearts go out in a prayer of thanksgiving.”441 (Sunday afternoon, St. Anthony's Catholic Church celebrated a belated All Souls' Day with a prayer service in their cemetery.442) Moments before three o'clock on Monday morning, all the church bells of the city again rang out – announcing the signing of the armistice.443

Three Brief Concluding Thoughts

Several things should be apparent, after the above review of six historical cases. First, Americans then and Americans now are, in certain respects, not so different. Many people now are afraid, but so were many people then. Some people now look to conspiracy theories for answers, such as seeing COVID-19 as a Chinese or North Korean bio-weapon; but so did people then who saw the 'Spanish flu' as a German bio-weapon. Quite a few people now have misgivings about the economic impact of public health orders that restrict business operations; but the same was true then, too. Some people now, even still, wonder if the matter isn't blown out of proportion; but even then, during one of the deadliest pandemics in human history, some people took it lightly even to the bitter end. Some people presently rail against civic authorities whose measures they perceive as excessive; but the same was true then, too. Some people today wrestle with the wisest and most faithful course for churches to take; and those questions were asked and discussed then, too.

Second, Reno is flat wrong about the general behavior of society with regard to worship gatherings in churches. By and large, church buildings in 1918 did not keep their doors open. Public worship assemblies were not held there. In only one of the six cases were there outdoor worship gatherings (and whether this was advisable in light of the public health situation may be readily contested). Note also that, in many of these cases, the decision to suspend public meetings in churches was made by local municipal health authorities, with which the churches readily cooperated (and in some cases volunteered). There appears to have been relatively little discussion about whether the health boards had the authority to make that decision, even when unpopular – no doubt a sad testament to our present state of division and eroded trust as a society.

Third, the churches survived! In every place, the churches continued to live on while temporarily scattered. Ministry kept happening. The people really did worship in their homes, really did read the letters their pastors sent, really did keep praying. They dearly felt the pang that suspended gatherings induced, the loss of something precious. Some pastors publicly expressed hope that the temporary closures, teaching via deprivation, might stimulate wider recognition of the preciousness of gathering 'around the altar of God.' Rather than convincing people that the church (or its physical location) was dispensable, it appeared to have the opposite effect, at least for a season: people surging back to the gatherings, back to the altar. Rather than sidelining the church as irrelevant to society's life, it provided a platform for the churches to join their voices and call on whole communities to repent, believe, worship, pray, love, and serve. (The gospel ministry of God's people is absolutely an essential service, supplying food and drink for the soul of greater objective value than all that the neighborhood grocery store can hold. We are to provide it, however, in ways that show sacrificial love to others rather than being cavalier about their health and life; but to show sacrificial love with wisdom and prudence requires innovative ressourcement in this present season of ours.) Might we not today hope for many churches to survive or even perhaps thrive on the other side of this challenging season? Might we not at least take cues from a past generation, adapting them to the present state of society and technology, and find a productive way forward? 

1E.g., “Spanish Influenza,” Evening Public Ledger [Philadelphia], 16 September 1918, page 12. See also untitled article in The Philadelphia Inquirer, 23 August 1918, page 10: “[Spain] says the thing started in Germany, where all the other plagues come from. We accept Spain's apology, and will chalk up one more black mark against the Hun to be settled along with other matters when the war is over.” Additionally, consider the speculation of Lt. Col. P. S. Doane that “the epidemic [in America] was started by Huns sent ashore by Boche submarine commanders. We know that men have been sent ashore from German submarine boats, and it would be quite easy for these agents to turn loose the germs in theaters and other places where large numbers of people are assembled” – see “Subs May Have Started 'Flu,'” The Evening News [Harrisburg], 19 September 1918, page 5, and “Plague Blamed on Germans,” The Perry County Democrat, 25 September 1918, page 2.

2“Fear New Epidemic May Reach Here,” The Philadelphia Inquirer, 22 July 1918, page 9.

3“Spanish Influenza Quickly Spreading Through Europe,” Wilkes-Barre Times Leader, 5 August 1918, page 2.

4'Socrates,' untitled snippet, The Evening Public Ledger [Philadelphia], 28 August 1918, page 8.

5“Spanish Influenza Is Carried to US,” The Evening Sun [Hanover], 12 September 1918, page 3.

6“Spanish Influenza Is Now in Boston,” Wilkes-Barre Times Leader, 11 September 1918, page 6; “Spanish Influenza Reported At Six Places in America,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 14 September 1918, page 2.

7“Spanish Influenza Is Carried to US,” The Evening Sun [Hanover], 12 September 1918, page 3.

8“Spanish Influenza Due in City Tuesday, Health Bureau Says,” Pittsburgh Sunday Post, 15 September 1918, section 3, page 8.

9“Spanish Influenza Is Brought to Pittsburgh,” The News-Herald [Franklin], 16 September 1918, page 1; “Spanish Influenza Reported,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 17 September 1918, page 8.

10“Spanish Influenza Gets Hold on City,” Lancaster New Era, 17 September 1918, page 1.

11“Spanish Influenza in Philadelphia,” Mount Carmel Item, 18 September 1918, page 1; “Influenza at Navy Yard,” Wilkes-Barre Times Leader, 18 September 1918, page 19.

12“Spanish Influenza Death in Philadelphia,” Reading Times, 19 September 1918, page 3.

13“Spanish Influenza Is German Germ; Only La Grippe,” The Philadelphia Inquirer, 21 September 1918, page 1.

14“Dr. Gingrich at State Medical Society Meet,” Lebanon Daily News, 25 September 1918, page 9; “Physicians on Lookout for Spanish Grip,” Lebanon Daily News, 28 September 1918, page 10.

15E.g., “Case of Spanish Influenza Here,” The Danville Morning News, 26 September 1918, page 1; “Soldier Carries Influenza Germs,” The Philadelphia Inquirer, 26 September 1918, page 4; “Ill With Influenza,” Mount Carmel Item, 1 October 1918, page 2.

16“Spanish 'Flu' Breaks Out in Tyrone, Report,” Altoona Times, 26 September 1918, page 12; “Spanish Influenza Grips York County,” York Daily Record, 30 September 1918, page 6.

17“5 Die, 80 New Cases of Spanish Influenza,” The Philadelphia Inquirer, 27 September 1918, page 2.

18“Editorial Notes,” Altoona Times, 27 September 1918, page 8.

19“Prizes for Young Doctors,” The Philadelphia Times, 16 May 1899, page 4.

20“Dr. Royer Now Chief Resident,” The Philadelphia Inquirer, 2 September 1903, page 16.

21“Appointed Inspector,” Harrisburg Telegraph, 15 December 1908, page 13.

22“With Health Department,” Valley Spirit, 3 February 1909, page 3.

23“Appoints Chief Inspector,” Pittsburgh Daily Post, 3 August 1910, page 3.

24“Dr. Dixon to Be Buried Tomor'ow,” The Evening News [Harrisburg], 28 February 1918, page 7.

25“Old Fashioned Grip,” Harrisburg Telegraph, 30 September 1918, page 9; “Spanish Influenza Old-Fashioned Grip, Says Royer,” York Daily Record, 30 September 1918, page 1.

26Michael Worobey, Guan-Zhu Han, and Andrew Rambaut, “Genesis and Pathogenesis of the 1918 Pandemic H1N1 Influenza A Virus,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, vol. 111, no. 22 (3 June 2014): 8107.

27“Old Fashioned Grip,” Harrisburg Telegraph, 30 September 1918, page 9; “Spanish Influenza Old-Fashioned Grip, Says Royer,” York Daily Record, 30 September 1918, page 1. See discussion of these open-air treatment methods in Richard Hobday and John Cason, “The Open-Air Treatment of Pandemic Influenza,” American Journal of Public Health 99/S2 (September 2009, Supplement 2): S236-S242.

28“Plan to Fight Spanish Plague in This State,” Warren Times Mirror, 1 October 1918, page 2.

29“Dr. Royer's Orders,” dated 11:45am on 3 October 1918, quoted in “The Schools and Churches Closed,” The Danville Morning News, 5 October 1918, pages 1-2.


31“Epidemic of Influenza Serious,” Mount Carmel Item, 28 September 1918, page 2; “Local Fireman Brought Home Seriously Ill,” Mount Carmel Item, 30 September 1918, page 3; “Home from School Ill,” Mount Carmel Item, 30 September 1918, page 4.

32“Two Deaths at Kulpmont,” Mount Carmel Item, 30 September 1918, page 2.

33“Spanish Flew Nothing More Than La Grippe,” Mount Carmel Item, 30 September 1918, page 4.

34“Other Counties,” The Lewisburg Journal, 4 October 1918, page 6.

35“Influenza Spreads and Health Board Order Closes Churches, Schools, Theatres and Saloons,” Mount Carmel Item, 4 October 1918, page 1.

36“Churches Are Closed Tomorrow,” Mount Carmel Item, 5 October 1918, page 1.

37“Quarantine Rules in Different Towns,” Mount Carmel Item, 5 October 1918, page 1.

38“Message Received from State Health Board,” Mount Carmel Item, 26 October 1918, page 1.

39“Little Change in Epidemic,” Mount Carmel Item, 29 October 1918, page 1.

40“Lifting of the Church Quarantine,” Mount Carmel Item, 1 November 1918, page 1.

41“Quarantine to Be Lifted Here Friday,” Mount Carmel Item, 5 November 1918, page 1.

42“Sunday in the Churches,” Mount Carmel Item, 9 November 1918, page 1.

43“Bucknell, Army Training Post, Becomes a Minor West Point Oct. 1st,” The Lewisburg Journal, 13 September 1918, page 1; “700 Young Men Will Take Army Training Courses at Bucknell,” The Lewisburg Journal, 20 September 1918, page 1.

44“Earl Sherman An Early Victim of Pneumonia,” The Lewisburg Journal, 27 September 1918, page 1.

45“Bond Drive Opens With Big Parade Tomorrow Night,” The Lewisburg Journal, 22 September 1918, page 1.

46“Sad Death of Mrs. Weimer Lenhart Sunday,” The Lewisburg Journal, 4 October 1918, page 4.

47“Ira Dunkle Seriously Ill,” The Lewisburg Journal, 27 September 1918, page 5.

48“Observations,” The Lewisburg Journal, 4 October 1918, page 3.

49“Town Schools and Churches Will Close,” The Lewisburg Journal, 4 October 1918, page 1.

50Ibid. See also a later note from the neighboring village of Level Corners, claiming that “quite a number of people passed through our corner en route to the chestnut groves Sunday afternoon [i.e., Sunday, October 6]” – “Level Corners,” The Lewisburg Journal, 11 October 1918, page 8.

51“Rural Mail Carrier A Victim of Influenza,” The Lewisburg Journal, 11 October 1918, page 5.

52“In the Churches,” The Lewisburg Journal, 11 October 1918, page 4.

53Edward C. Crumbling, “United Evangelical Church,” The Lewisburg Journal, 11 October 1918, page 4.

54“Union Co. Fair Called Off,” The Lewisburg Journal, 11 October 1918, page 1.

55“Observations,” The Lewisburg Journal, 11 October 1918, page 3.

56“Local 'Peace' Parade Has Tragic Ending Sunday AM,” The Lewisburg Journal, 18 October 1918, page 1.

57“Mrs. George Martin a Victim of Pneumonia,” The Lewisburg Journal, 18 October 1918, page 1; “John Long Victim Of Influenza Yesterday,” The Lewisburg Journal, 18 October 1918, page 1; “Local Woman Follows Husband to Grave,” The Lewisburg Journal, 18 October 1918, page 4; “Influenza Claims Victim in East Lewisburg,” The Lewisburg Journal, 18 October 1918, page 5; “Ira Ranck Victim of Pneumonia Saturday,” The Lewisburg Journal, 25 October 1918, page 5; “Mrs. Florence Shell Dies,” The Lewisburg Journal, 25 October 1918, page 5; “Mrs. George W. Leiby Passed Away Last Night,” The Lewisburg Journal, 25 October 1918, page 5; “George Martin Follows Wife to the Grave,” The Lewisburg Journal, 25 October 1918, page 5.

58“Sunday Church Services,” The Lewisburg Journal, 18 October 1918, page 8.

59Edward Crumbling, “United Evangelical Church,” The Lewisburg Journal, 11 October 1918, page 4.

60“Influenza Claims Five Victims in Lewisburg Home,” The Lewisburg Journal, 25 October 1918, page 1.

61“Parents of Eight Children Victims,” The Lewisburg Journal, 25 October 1918, page 1.

62“Fresh Air Is Good Cure and Preventative,” The Lewisburg Journal, 25 October 1918, page 3. Again, see Richard Hobday and John Cason, “The Open-Air Treatment of Pandemic Influenza,” American Journal of Public Health 99/S2 (September 2009, Supplement 2): S236-S242.

63“Methodist Church,” The Lewisburg Journal, 25 October 1918, page 1.

64“'Flu' Increasing in Rural Districts,” The Lewisburg Journal, 1 November 1918, page 1.

65“'Flu' Decreases in Union County,” The Lewisburg Journal, 8 November 1918, page 1.

66“Quarantine Lifted, Schools Re-Open,” The Lewisburg Journal, 8 November 1918, page 1.


68“United Evangelical Church,” The Lewisburg Journal, 8 November 1918, page 4.

69“Reformed Church,” The Lewisburg Journal, 8 November 1918, page 4; “Presbyterian Church,” The Lewisburg Journal, 8 November 1918, page 4; “Christ's Lutheran Church,” The Lewisburg Journal, 8 November 1918, page 4.

70“Churches Re-Open After Ban is Lifted,” The Lewisburg Journal, 8 November 1918, page 8.

71“Thanksgiving Service,” The Lewisburg Journal, 22 November 1918, page 4.

72“Hbg. Diocese Is 50 Years Old,” The Courier [Harrisburg], 29 September 1918, page 1.

73“Edward H. Ripper Dies of Spanish Influenza,” The Evening News [Harrisburg], 28 September 1918, page 7; “H. Ed. Ripper, Foreman of Telegraph Bindery, Is Dead of Pneumonia,” Harrisburg Telegraph, 28 September 1918, page 2.; “H. Edward Ripper Influenza Victim,” The Courier [Harrisburg], 29 September 1918, page 1.

74“Influenza Epidemic Spreads,” The Evening News [Harrisburg], 28 September 1918, page 12.

75“Nicholas Negro, 75, Dies From Pneumonia,” Harrisburg Telegraph, 2 October 1918, page 9.

76“Churches and Sunday Schools Included in Closing Order,” Harrisburg Telegraph, 4 October 1918, page 1.

77“Church Doors to Be Closed,” Harrisburg Telegraph, 5 October 1918, page 1.

78“Emergency Hospitals Will Be Established in City and Steelton to Treat Influenza,” The Courier, 6 October 1918, page 1.


80“Dr. Royer Turns Down Appeal of Liquor Interests,” The Evening News [Harrisburg], 15 October 1918, page 3.

81V. Orsini, letter to the editor, in Harrisburg Telegraph, 18 October 1918, page 5.

82Rev. W. C. Heilman, letter to congregants, in “Makes Plea for Prayers,” Harrisburg Telegraph, 19 October 1918, page 8.

83“Improvement in Grip Epidemic Marked in City,” Harrisburg Telegraph, 24 October 1918, page 1.

84H. S. P. Lerch, letter to the editor, in Harrisburg Telegraph, 22 October 1918, page 9.

85“In the Religious World,” Harrisburg Telegraph, 26 October 1918, page 28.

86“Many Ministers Oppose Ban on City Churches,” The Courier, 27 October 1918, page 1.

87“Many Ministers Oppose Ban on City Churches,” The Courier, 27 October 1918, page 8.

88“Council Gives Assent to Lifting of Quarantine,” Harrisburg Telegraph, 31 October 1918, page 12.

89“Ban on Church Services is Not to Be Lifted,” Harrisburg Telegraph, 1 November 1918, page 1.

90“Churches and Schools Remain Under the Ban,” Harrisburg Telegraph, 2 November 1918, page 1.

91“Influenza Ban Lifts Tomorrow After 5 Weeks,” Harrisburg Telegraph, 4 November 1918, page 14.

92“Churches to Reopen with Mid-Week Prayer Services,” Harrisburg Telegraph, 5 November 1918, page 1.

93“Churches to Open with Prayer Services Tonight,” Harrisburg Telegraph, 6 November 1918, page 2.

94“Special Service in Many Churches,” The Courier, 10 November 1918, page 8.

95“Prayers of Thanks Offered in All of City's Churches,” Harrisburg Telegraph, 10 November 1918, page 3.

96“Spanish Influenza Epidemic Soon to Visit New Castle,” New Castle Herald, 16 September 1918, page 2; “Spanish Influenza Epidemic Coming Soon, Says Dr. W. L. Steen,” New Castle News, 16 September 1918, page 1; “Health Bureau Gives Influenza Warning,” Pittsburgh Daily Post, 16 September 1918, page 9.

97“Spanish Influenza Is Reported Here,” New Castle News, 2 October 1918, page 13.

98“Many Places in City Are Closed by State Order,” New Castle News, 4 October 1918, page 1.

99“Churches and Sunday Schools Closed Sunday; Public Schools Cannot Open Until They Get Permission; Strict Quarantine on Here,” New Castle Herald, 5 October 1918, page 1.


101“Request That,” New Castle Herald, 7 October 1918, page 2.

102“Pastors Arrange for Prayer Hour in Homes of City,” New Castle Herald, 19 October 1918, page 2.


104“New Bedford Is Only Community Escaping Flu,” New Castle Herald, 23 October 1918, page 5.

105“East New Castle Has No Influenza,” New Castle Herald, 28 October 1918, page 1.

106“Shanafelt Wants Brief Services in the Churches,” New Castle Herald, 29 October 1918, page 6.

107“Members Will Worship at Home,” New Castle News, 2 November 1918, page 6.

108“Quarantine May Be Lifted Here by Health Department on Friday,” New Castle Herald, 4 November 1918, page 1.

109“Official Word of Opening Is Received Here,” New Castle Herald, 5 November 1918, page 1.

110“Hints and Dints,” New Castle News, 5 November 1918, page 4.

111“49 New Cases of Influenza Here This Morning,” New Castle Herald, 6 November 1918, page 1.

112“No Danger Lurks in Ban Lifting, Dr. Steen Thinks,” New Castle Herald, 9 November 1918, page 2.

113“All Churches Open Sunday,” New Castle News, 11 November 1918, Second Extra, page 6.


115“Ban Will Be Continued,” New Castle News, 7 November 1918, page 10.

116“Ban Raised Friday Noon,” New Castle Herald, 14 November 1918, page 3.

117“Ban Is Lifted; Schools Start; Services Sunday,” New Castle Herald, 18 November 1918, page 3.

118“Seventy-Four New Influenza Cases,” New Castle Herald, 18 November 1918, page 1.

119“Influenza Is On Increase,” New Castle Herald, 18 November 1918, page 3.

120“Ban May Again Be Placed On In City For The Flu,” New Castle Herald, 19 November 1918, page 1.

121“Influenza Now Gaining Here,” New Castle Herald, 19 November 1918, page 2.

122“To Placard Flu Homes Immediately,” New Castle News, 20 November 1918, page 1.

123“Discussing Local Flu Ban,” New Castle News, 22 November 1918, page 1.

124“Order Flu Ban in City,” New Castle News, 23 November 1918, page 10.

125“148 Cases Report for Two Days; Quarantine in Effect in City,” New Castle Herald, 25 November 1918, page 1.

126“Proclamation Issued Today by Dr. Pollock,” New Castle Herald, 30 November 1918, pages 1-2.

127“Action on Ban Lifting to Be Had Saturday,” New Castle Herald, 6 December 1918, page 1.

128“Stores May Be Asked to Shut Tonight,” New Castle Herald, 7 December 1918, page 1.

129“Stores to Remain Open During Day But Must Close in Evening,” New Castle Herald, 9 December 1918, page 1.

130Ibid., page 2.

131“Councilmen Meeting This Afternoon for Influenza Ban Action,” New Castle News, 13 December 1918, pages 1, 5.

132“In Religious and Fraternal Circles,” New Castle News, 14 December 1918, page 3.

133“Services to Resume,” New Castle Herald, 17 December 1918, page 15; see also “Mid-Week Prayer Service,” New Castle Herald, 18 December 1918, page 9.

134“Allentown's Measles Epidemic Assuming Enormous Proportions,” The Morning Call, 18 June 1918, page 5.

135“City Faces Strict Quarantine Again,” The Allentown Democrat, 22 June 1918, page 5.

136“General Quarantine Placed on City in Effort to Stop Spread of Measles,” The Allentown Democrat, 2 July 1918, page 5.

137“Quarantine Hits Sunday Schools Hard,” The Morning Call, 8 July 1918, page 5.

138“Quarantine Veil Lifts from City at 9 AM,” The Morning Call, 22 July 1918, page 7.

139“Children by the Thousands Swarmed the Playgrounds,” The Morning Call, 23 July 1918, page 5.

140“Health Officials Hold Conference,” The Allentown Democrat, 29 September 1918, page 5.

141“Council Takes Heed of Spanish Influenza,” The Allentown Democrat, 30 September 1918, page 5.

142“J. L. Keiser,” The Morning Call, 1 October 1918, page 11; “Harvey S. Diehl Victim of Spanish Influenza,” The Morning Call, 2 October 1918, page 12.

143“May Take Drastic Action to Combat Spanish Influenza,” The Morning Call, 2 October 1918, page 5.

144“Quarantine for City Possibility,” The Allentown Democrat, 2 October 1918, page 5.

145Advertisement in The Morning Call, 2 October 1918, page 6; advertisement in The Allentown Democrat, 2 October 1918, page 12.

146“All Places of Amusement and Saloons Must Be Closed,” The Morning Call, 4 October 1918, page 5.

147“Drastic Health Board Order Closes Places of Amusement and Saloons in Pennsylvania,” The Morning Call, 4 October 1918, page 1.

148“All Places of Amusement and Saloons Must Be Closed,” The Morning Call, 4 October 1918, page 5.

149C. D. Strauss and J. Treichler Butz, order, in The Morning Call, 7 October 1918, page 5.

150“Closing Order Goes into Effect at Midnight Tonight in Allentown,” The Allentown Democrat, 5 October 1918, page 5.

151“Quarantine in Allentown in Effect at Midnight,” The Morning Call, 5 October 1918, page 5.

152“Sunday Services in Churches of City and County,” The Morning Call, 5 October 1918, page 12.

153“State Quarantine on Tight to Guard Against Influenza,” The Morning Call, 7 October 1918, page 5.


155“Northampton Borough's Quarantine Regulations,” The Morning Call, 7 October 1918, page 5.

156“Quarantine Duration Dependent on Community,” The Morning Call, 5 October 1918, page 6.

157“Quarantine Orders in Full Effect in Allentown,” The Morning Call, 8 October 1918, page 5.


159“Strict Enforcement of Closing Order Throughout City and County,” The Allentown Democrat, 8 October 1918, page 5.

160“Schools of City Closed on Account of Influenza Menace,” The Morning Call, 9 October 1918, page 5.

161“Fullerton Church Decides to Close,” The Morning Call, 9 October 1918, page 2.

162“Churches Not to Be Closed as Yet Decided,” The Morning Call, 10 October 1918, page 5.


164“Churches Continue Open; Some Will Be Closed,” The Morning Call, 11 October 1918, page 5.

165“Church and Sunday School Services Dispensed With,” The Morning Call, 12 October 1918, page 5.

166“Rules of Decency for Open Air Services,” The Morning Call, 18 October 1918, page 6.

167“Open Air Catholic Services of Two Local Churches,” The Morning Call, 12 October 1918, page 5.

168“Sunday Community Worship on Centre Square,” The Morning Call, 12 October 1918, page 5.

169“With Churches Closed, Open Air Service Ruled,” The Morning Call, 14 October 1918, page 10.

170“Rules of Decency for Open Air Services,” The Morning Call, 18 October 1918, page 6.

171“No Abatement in Influenza Situation,” The Morning Call, 15 October 1918, page 5.

172“104 Influenza Cases Added Here Yesterday,” The Morning Call, 17 October 1918, page 2.

173“Baptisms by Rev. Sell,” The Morning Call, 17 October 1918, page 7.

174“Sunday Worship on Center Square,” The Morning Call, 19 October 1918, page 5.

175“Splendid Service on Centre Square,” The Morning Call, 21 October 1918, page 5.

176“Allentown Hospital Woefully Overcrowded,” The Morning Call, 21 October 1918, page 5.

177“No Dimunition in Influenza Cases,” The Morning Call, 24 October 1918, page 5.

178“Grace Lutheran Church's Open Air Services,” The Morning Call, 25 October 1918, page 5.

179“Influenza Epidemic Here Worse Than Ever,” The Morning Call, 26 October 1918, page 5.

180“Bishop Heil Will Preach on Centre Square,” The Morning Call, 26 October 1918, page 5.

181“Sermon by Bishop Heil at Community Service,” The Morning Call, 28 October 1918, page 1.

182“Council Favors Removal of Quarantine,” The Morning Call, 28 October 1918, page 2.

183“High Mortality Rate Due to Influenza,” The Morning Call, 29 October 1918, page 5.

184“Quarantine Ban Continues Indefinitely,” The Morning Call, 30 October 1918, page 5.

185“Dist. Attorney W. K. Miller Influenza Victim Yesterday,” The Morning Call, 31 October 1918, page 5.

186“Quarantine Is Lifted, Effective Wednesday,” The Morning Call, 1 November 1918, page 5.


188“Quarantine Is Lifted, Effective Wednesday,” The Morning Call, 1 November 1918, page 18.

189“Influenza Reports Show Improvement,” The Morning Call, 2 November 1918, page 5.

190“Sunday Services in Churches of City and County,” The Morning Call, 2 November 1918, page 9.

191“Services Resumed in Churches Yesterday,” The Morning Call, 4 November 1918, page 5.

192“No Service,” The Morning Call, 2 November 1918, page 5.

193“No Services Tomorrow,” The Morning Call, 2 November 1918, page 5.

194“Spanish Influenza Gets Hold on City,” Lancaster New Era, 17 September 1918, page 1.

195“100 Cases of Spanish Influenza; Man Dies,” The Lancaster Examiner, 28 September 1918, page 3.

196“Borough Physicians Kept Busy,” The Lancaster Examiner, 2 October 1918, page 4.

197“Lieut. Thos. R. Ferguson, of Medical Corps, Victim of the Spanish Influenza,” Lancaster New Era, 2 October 1918, page 1.

198“Ship Building Plants Brought Influenza Here,” Lancaster New Era, 3 October 1918, page 1.

199“War Relics Brought Plague?”, Lancaster Examiner, 19 October 1918, page 7 – quotes an unnamed 'prominent Lancaster physician' as saying: “It was brought to America from European soldiers by returned soldiers, soldiers' mail, and war relics. … Remember when the United States Government war exhibit train was here with relics and souvenirs from the battle front? Did you notice how the crowds flocked to the train? That exhibit was found in every large city in the East. In my opinion, it was one of the carriers of the influenza germ. It was soon after that train was in Lancaster that the first case was discovered here. I have heard from men in my profession in other cities and often they agree with me that the war exhibits and relics are responsible in a large measure for the spread of the disease.”

200“100 Cases of Spanish Influenza; Man Dies,” The Lancaster Examiner, 28 September 1918, page 3.

201“County Fair Filled in All Departments; Kiddies On Hand Today,” Lancaster New Era, 1 October 1918, page 1; “Women's Exhibit Big Feature of County Fair,” Lancaster New Era, 2 October 1918, page 7; “Big Thursday at the County Fair Attracting the Usual Great Crowd,” Lancaster New Era, 3 October 1918, page 1.

202“Columbia Hospital Quarantined,” The Lancaster Examiner, 2 October 1918, page 1.

203“Obituary Notes,” Lancaster Inquirer, 5 October 1918, page 4.

204“Seminary Classes Closed by Epidemic,” Lancaster New Era, 2 October 1918, page 1.

205“Ship Building Plants Brought Influenza Here,” Lancaster New Era, 3 October 1918, page 1.

206“Local Health Board Closes All Places of Public Gathering,” Lancaster New Era, 4 October 1918, page 1.


208“Board of Health Orders Closed All Public Places and Public Gatherings,” Lancaster New Era, 4 October 1918, page 1.

209“Board of Health Acts on 'Flu' Epidemic,” Lancaster Examiner, 5 October 1918, page 1.

210“Health Order Being Strictly Carried Out by Lancaster People,” Lancaster New Era, 5 October 1918, pages 1-2.

211“Everything Closed in Quarryville,” Lancaster New Era, 5 October 1918, page 2; see also “Quarryville Closed Tight by Epidemic,” Lancaster New Era, 7 October 1918, page 2.

212“Mt. Joy Takes Step to Stop Influenza,” The News-Journal [Lancaster], 5 October 1918, page 5.

213“Two Hundred Cases in Lititz Borough,” Lancaster New Era, 8 October 1918, page 2; see also “Lititz Is Hard Struck,” Lititz Record, 10 October 1918, page 1.

214“Ephrata Responds to Spirit of Order,” Lancaster New Era, 5 October 1918, page 2.

215“Ephrata Observes the Health Order,” Lancaster New Era, 7 October 1918, page 8.

216“A Very Quiet Sunday,” New Holland Clarion, 12 October 1918, page 1.

217“Spring Garden,” New Holland Clarion, 12 October 1918, page 2; “Denver,” New Holland Clarion, 12 October 1918, page 3; “Goodville,” New Holland Clarion, 12 October 1918, page 3; “California,” New Holland Clarion, 12 October 1918, page 5.

218“Columbia Borough Rules Against Epidemic,” Lancaster New Era, 5 October 1918, page 2.

219“A War Necessity,” Lancaster New Era, 5 October 1918, page 4.


221“Epidemic Resume,” Lancaster New Era, 7 October 1918, page 1; “3,000 Cases of Spanish 'Flu' Afflict the City,” Lancaster New Era, 7 October 1918, page 1.

222“Death of William Lindley,” Lancaster New Era, 5 October 1918, page 2.

223“A Military Student Dies of Influenza,” Lancaster New Era, 5 October 1918, page 2.

224“Dr. John W. Kinard A Victim of Pneumonia,” Lancaster New Era, 7 October 1918, pages 1-2.

225“Death of Paul L. Berkheiser,” Lancaster New Era, 7 October 1918, page 2.

226“Death of James M. Stark,” Lancaster New Era, 7 October 1918, page 2.

227“Death of Charles Rehm,” Lancaster New Era, 7 October 1918, page 2.

228“Death of Miss Catharine Wilson,” Lancaster New Era, 7 October 1918, page 2.

229“Epidemic of 'Flu' Not Yet at Crest; More Cases Reported,” Lancaster New Era, 8 October 1918, page 1.

230“Epidemic Advice By the Board of Health,” Lancaster New Era, 8 October 1918, page 2.

231“Paul Petry Another Influenza Victim,” Lititz Record, 10 October 1918, page 1; “Chester G. Spickler Dead,” Lititz Record, 10 October 1918, page 1; “Influenza and Pneumonia Takes Charles Loerchler,” Lititz Record, 10 October 1918, page 1.

232“3,000 Cases of 'Flu' Reported in City,” Lancaster Examiner, 9 October 1918, page 3.

233“No Cause for Alarm Over the Influenza, Says Health Board,” Lancaster New Era, 9 October 1918, page 1.

234“891 New Cases of 'Flu' Are Reported in City,” Lancaster Examiner, 9 October 1918, page 1; “3,692 Cases of 'Flu' So Far Reported to Local Health Board,” Lancaster New Era, 10 October 1918, page 1.

235“Estimate of Cases in Ephrata Borough,” Lancaster New Era, 9 October 1918, page 2.

236“Two Hundred Cases in Lititz Borough,” Lancaster New Era, 8 October 1918, page 2; see then also “The Situation in Lititz,” Lancaster New Era, 10 October 1918, page 13.

237“200 Cases Around Quarryville,” Lancaster New Era, 8 October 1918, page 2.

238“The News from Columbia,” Lancaster Examiner, 9 October 1918, page 2.

239“3,692 Cases of 'Flu' So Far Reported to Local Health Board,” Lancaster New Era, 10 October 1918, page 13.

240“All Stores to Close at Six PM Saturday, Says Health Board,” Lancaster New Era, 11 October 1918, page 2; see also “Stores Must Close on Saturday at 6 PM,” Lancaster Examiner, 12 October 1918, page 1.


242“Stay At Home Sunday,” Lancaster New Era, 11 October 1918, page 2.

243“Kissing Spreads 'Flu' Germs,” Lancaster Examiner, 12 October 1918, page 3.

244“Lancaster City to Be Closed Up Tight Tonight and Sunday,” Lancaster New Era, 12 October 1918, page 1; see also “Deaths from 'Flu' on Increase in City,” Lancaster Examiner, 16 October 1918, page 7: “No church in the city will be opened either for public or private services on Sunday. The discrimination was made this afternoon because of a request coming from Monsignor Anthony F. Kaul in behalf of the Catholics of the city. Rev. Kaul argued that the request, which has been defined as an order by the local board in which the State department has asked all churches to be closed, contained nothing against private worship. The board, however, failed to follow Rev. Kaul's thought and refused to grant permission to have any churches for either public or private services.”

245“Ephrata,” Lancaster New Era, 11 October 1918, page 10.

246“Akron,” Lancaster New Era, 11 October 1918, page 14.

247“School Notes,” Lancaster Inquirer, 12 October 1918, page 4.

248“Foot Ball Schedules Disarranged by 'Flu,'” Lancaster New Era, 12 October 1918, page 6. See also “Lititz Lads, Hit by 'Flu,' Call Off Grid. Contest,” Lancaster New Era, 14 October 1918, page 6.

249“Spanish Influenza,” New Holland Clarion, 12 October 1918, page 1.

250“Many Victims,” Lancaster Inquirer, 12 October 1918, pages 1, 8.

251“Spanish Influenza Laid Thousands Low,” Lancaster Inquirer, 12 October 1918, page 1.

252“Coffin Shortage Here,” Lancaster Examiner, 12 October 1918, page 4.

253“New Cases of 'Flu' in City Show Decline,” Lancaster Examiner, 12 October 1918, page 7.


255“Suggestions for a Churchless Sunday,” Lancaster New Era, 12 October 1918, page 12.

256E.g., “Quarryville Borough Feels the Epidemic,” Lancaster New Era, 14 October 1918, page 3; “Situation at Quarryville,” Lancaster Examiner, 16 October 1918, page 5; and “Deaths from 'Flu' on Increase in City,” Lancaster Examiner, 16 October 1918, page 7: “No church in the city will be opened either for public or private services on Sunday.”

257“City Closed Up Tight as a Preventive to Check the Epidemic,” Lancaster New Era, 14 October 1918, page 1.

258“Flu in 2,000 City Homes; 6,000 Persons Ill; Factories and Stores Are Ordered Closed,” Lancaster Examiner, 16 October 1918, page 5.

259“Amy Althea Baxter,” Lancaster Examiner, 16 October 1918, page 2; “Amy Althea Baxter,” New Holland Clarion, 19 October 1918, page 2.

260“Spring Garden,” New Holland Clarion, 19 October 1918, mentions that “Harry and Dwight Baxter, who are sick with influenza, are somewhat improved at this writing.”

261I. H. Weaver, resolution, in “Commerce Body Backs Up Action of Board of Health,” Lancaster New Era, 14 October 1918, page 2; also in “Chamber of Commerce Approves,” Lancaster Examiner, 16 October 1918, page 5.

262“Flu in 2,000 City Homes; 6,000 Persons Ill; Factories and Stores Are Ordered Closed,” Lancaster Examiner, 16 October 1918, page 5.

263“Business Places Can Reopen Wednesday,” Lancaster New Era, 14 October 1918, page 2; “Stores and Factories to Open on Wednesday,” Lancaster Examiner, 16 October 1918, page 5.

264“Health Board Urges Isolation of City,” Lancaster Examiner, 16 October 1918, page 5.

265“Stand by the Health Board,” editorial, Lancaster New Era, 14 October 1918, page 4.

266Gov. Martin G. Brumbaugh, et al., “To the Citizens of Pennsylvania,” in Lancaster New Era, 14 October 1918, page 6.

267“Dr. W. H. Daniels Pneumonia Victim,” Lancaster New Era, 15 October 1918, page 3.

268“Business Resumed Wednesday,” Lancaster New Era, 15 October 1918, page 1.

269“General Hospital Filled to Capacity,” Lancaster New Era, 15 October 1918, page 3.

270“New Holland Stores Closed; Re-Open Today,” Lancaster New Era, 15 October 1918, page 2.

271“Situation Still Acute in Columbia Borough,” Lancaster New Era, 15 October 1918, page 2.

272Lancaster Ministerial Association, statement, in “Ministers of the City Are Doing Their Duty,” Lancaster New Era, 15 October 1918, page 2; also in “Ministers Offer Services,” Lancaster Examiner, 16 October 1918, page 10.

273Lancaster Ministerial Association, statement, in “A Message for the Hour from the Churches,” Lancaster New Era, 15 October 1918, page 3; also in “Message from the Ministers,” Lancaster Examiner, 16 October 1918, page 10.

274“Death of Rev. Father Ludes,” Lancaster Examiner, 16 October 1918, page 3.

275“Influenza Epidemic on Wane, Says Daily Health Board Report,” Lancaster New Era, 16 October 1918, page 2.

276“Wants 'On Approval' Practice Held Up During Epidemic,” Lancaster New Era, 16 October 1918, page 2.

277“Deaths from Influenza on the Decline in City,” Lancaster Examiner, 16 October 1918, pages 1, 6.

278“Influenza Epidemic on Wane, Says Daily Health Board Report,” Lancaster New Era, 16 October 1918, page 2.

279“Pneumonia,” editorial, Lancaster New Era, 16 October 1918, page 4.

280“Don't Get Scared,” editorial, Lancaster Examiner, 16 October 1918, page 4.

281“The Closing of the Churches,” editorial, Lancaster Examiner, 16 October 1918, page 4.

282“Medical Officers Here from Camp Crane to Aid in Influenza,” Lancaster New Era, 17 October 1918, page 2.

283“Epidemic is Still Prevalent in Lititz,” Lancaster New Era, 17 October 1918, page 3; “The Situation in Columbia,” Lancaster New Era, 17 October 1918, page 3.

284“Ephrata Health Board Meeting,” Lancaster New Era, 16 October 1918, page 3.

285“Ephrata Continues the Closing Order,” Lancaster New Era, 18 October 1918, page 7.

286Harold E. Schmaus, Allen G. Nye, and David R. Workman, open letter, in “A Note to Friends from Paradise Pastors,” Lancaster New Era, 18 October 1918, page 9.

287“The Situation in Marietta,” Lancaster New Era, 19 October 1918, page 3.

288“Worse Scourge Ever Known Here,” Lancaster Inquirer, 19 October 1918, page 1.

289“Influenza's Grip Keeps a Firm Hold,” New Holland Clarion, 19 October 1918, page 1.

290“Store Schedule for Saturday and Sunday,” Lancaster Examiner, 19 October 1918, page 1; “Week-End Schedule for the City Stores,” Lancaster New Era, 19 October 1918, page 7.

291“All Schools to Remain Closed,” Lancaster New Era, 19 October 1918, page 2.

292“The Too Autocratic Power,” editorial, Lancaster Examiner, 19 October 1918, page 4.

293Naibeau, “Observations and Reflections,” Lancaster New Era, 19 October 1918, page 4.

294Lancaster Ministerial Association, statement, in “A Message from the Churches to the People of Lancaster,” Lancaster Intelligencer, 19 October 1918, page 6; also in “A Message from the Churches to the People of Lancaster,” Lancaster New Era, 19 October 1918, page 10. See also the comments in response in “The Old God and the New God,” editorial, Lancaster Examiner, 23 October 1918, page 4.

295“Chimes to Ring for Church in the Home,” Lancaster New Era, 19 October 1918, page 2.

296“Sweet Hour of Prayer,” Lancaster New Era, 21 October 1918, page 4.


298George Israel Browne, open letter, in “Rev. Browne to Observe the Sacrament Alone on Sunday Morning,” Lancaster New Era, 19 October 1918, page 10.


300“Deaths from 'Flu' on Increase in City,” Lancaster Examiner, 16 October 1918, page 7.

301“Pro-German Preacher on Rack Today,” Lancaster Intelligencer, 19 October 1918, page 1; “Force Solves Loan Problem for Minister,” Lancaster Examiner, 19 October 1918, pages 1, 6; “Rev. Schmieder Will Live in Philadelphia,” Lancaster Examiner, 23 October 1918, page 3.

302“Placard Informs on Liberty Loan Card Tamperer,” Lancaster Intelligencer, 23 October 1918, page 1; “'Liberty' Stricken from Loan Flag Shown in German Pastor's Windows,” Lancaster Examiner, 23 October 1918, page 1.

303“Mistaken for Slacker,” Lancaster Examiner, 23 October 1918, page 6.

304“Modern Ku Klux Klan Organized to Get Slackers,” Lancaster Intelligencer, 22 October 1918, pages 1-2. But see also the direct activities of Campaign Committees elsewhere, as in Washington County where one threatened to tar and feather anyone who refused to purchase a Liberty Loan – see “Tar and Feathers and Loan,” Lancaster Examiner, 19 October 1918, page 10.

305“War Contributions Must Be Obtained Without Illegal Means,” Lancaster New Era, 23 October 1918, pages 1-2. But then see also “Penna. C of ND Will Have No Ku Klux Klan Here,” Lancaster Intelligencer, 23 October 1918, page 1, and an anonymous letter to the editor, “On Ku Klux Klans,” Lancaster Intelligencer, 24 October 1918, page 4.

306“Influenza Condition Improved Fifty Per Cent,” Lancaster New Era, 21 October 1918, page 2.

307Ibid. See also “Health Doctor Board Peeved by Citizen,” Lancaster Examiner, 23 October 1918, page 8.

308“Health Authorities Visit the Borough of Ephrata,” Lancaster New Era, 21 October 1918, page 3; “Quarryville Recovering from the Influenza,” Lancaster New Era, 21 October 1918, page 8.

309“Influenza Conditions Very Much Improved,” Lancaster New Era, 22 October 1918, page 2.



312“Churches Closed Next Sunday, Says Board,” Lancaster New Era, 23 October 1918, page 2; see also “'Flu' Situation Better But Not in Control,” Lancaster Intelligencer, 23 October 1918, page 1.

313“Notice to Members of St. Mary's Parish,” Lancaster Intelligencer, 23 October 1918, page 2.

314“Churches Closed Next Sunday, Says Board,” Lancaster New Era, 23 October 1918, page 2.

315“Schools and Churches May Be Opened Soon,” Lancaster Examiner, 23 October 1918, page 1.

316“'Flu' Death Rate Drops and the City Seems Safety Zone,” Lancaster Intelligencer, 23 October 1918, page 1.

317“City Merchants Favor 9 to 5:30 as Store Hours,” Lancaster Examiner, 26 October 1918, page 4.

318“'Flu' Situation Anything But Satisfactory in County,” Lancaster Intelligencer, 24 October 1918, page 2.

319“But 64 Influenza Cases Reported Today,” Lancaster New Era, 24 October 1918, page 2.

320“Epidemic Subsiding in Ephrata Borough,” Lancaster New Era, 24 October 1918, page 2; “Influenza is Waning in Columbia Borough,” Lancaster New Era, 24 October 1918, page 3; “Columbia Reports Increase in Numbers of Deaths, But Epidemic Is Subsiding,” Lancaster Intelligencer, 25 October 1918, page 2.

321“Situation at Terre Hill,” Lancaster New Era, 24 October 1918, page 3; “Marietta Suffers from Epidemic,” Lancaster Intelligencer, 25 October 1918, page 2.

322“Farmers Have Felt Influenza Epidemic,” Lancaster New Era, 24 October 1918, page 10.

323“'Flu' Situation Better But Death Rate Belies Report,” Lancaster Intelligencer, 25 October 1918, page 2.

324“Health Board in Very Lively Tilt,” Lancaster New Era, 25 October 1918, page 2.

325“The 'Flu' Situation Improves; Everything As Usual Oct. 30,” Lancaster Intelligencer, 26 October 1918, page 1.

326“Stores Close At 6 PM Saturday,” Lancaster New Era, 25 October 1918, page 1.

327“Influenza Under Control,” New Holland Clarion, 26 October 1918, page 4.

328Lancaster Ministerial Association, statement “Be Of Good Cheer: A Heartening Word from the Church,” in Lancaster New Era, 26 October 1918, page 8, and in Lancaster Intelligencer, 26 October 1918, page 7.

329G. R. Mergenthaler and G. F. Schaum, “A Message to the Bethany UE Members,” Lancaster New Era, 26 October 1918, page 8; “Bethany UE Church,” Lancaster Intelligencer, 26 October 1918, page 7.

330“Mount Joy,” Lancaster New Era, 25 October 1918, page 9; “Terre Hill,” Lancaster New Era, 25 October 1918, page 12; “No Prospects Yet for Reopening,” New Holland Clarion, 26 October 1918, page 7.

331“Church Bells to Call People to a Worship at Home,” Lancaster New Era, 26 October 1918, page 8; “Church Bells to Ring,” Lancaster Intelligencer, 26 October 1918, page 7.

332“St. John's Episcopal Church,” Lancaster Intelligencer, 25 October 1918, page 6; “The Sacrament at St. John's Church,” Lancaster New Era, 26 October 1918, page 8.

333“Call the Lutherans to Home Worship,” Lancaster New Era, 26 October 1918, page 8; “Church Bells to Ring for Services in the Homes,” Lancaster Intelligencer, 26 October 1918, page 7.

334“Protest Attitude of Health Chief Royer on the Local Ban,” Lancaster New Era, 28 October 1918, page 1. On Philadelphia, see “Philadelphia Lifts Ban,” Lancaster Examiner, 26 October 1918, page 1.


336“Little Change in the Flu Epidemic,” Lancaster New Era, 18 October 1918, page 2; see also “Health Board to Sue Dealers for Extortion,” Lancaster Examiner, 19 October 1918, page 1.

337“Judge Landis Says Closing of Saloons Is Without Law,” Lancaster Examiner, 19 October 1918, page 7.

338“Protest Attitude of Health Chief Royer on the Local Ban,” Lancaster New Era, 28 October 1918, page 2.

339“War to a Finish Between Board of Health and Royer,” Lancaster New Era, 29 October 1918, page 2.

340“Health Board to Stand By Its Order Lifting Flu Ban,” Lancaster New Era, 29 October 1918, page 2.

341“Resolution Adopted By Board of Health,” Lancaster New Era, 29 October 1918, page 1.

342“Health Board to Stand By Its Order Lifting Flu Ban,” Lancaster New Era, 29 October 1918, page 2.

343“'Ban Will Not Be Lifted in Lancaster Tomorrow': Royer,” Lancaster Intelligencer, 29 October 1918, page 2.

344“State Health Board Sends Officers Here to Warn Liquor Men,” Lancaster New Era, 30 October 1918, page 1.

345Ibid., page 2.

346“Royer Praises Theatre Men; Scores 'Jelly-Fish' Action of the Board of Health,” Lancaster New Era, 30 October 1918, page 1.

347“State Health Board Sends Officers Here to Warn Liquor Men,” Lancaster New Era, 30 October 1918, page 2.

348“Royer Praises the Local Theatre Men,” Lancaster New Era, 30 October 1918, page 2.

349“Many City Churches to Hold Midweek Service,” Lancaster Intelligencer, 29 October 1918, page 3.

350“Prayer Service Resumed,” Lancaster New Era, 30 October 1918, page 3.

351“'Hotel Men Who Open Saloons Today Will Be Prosecuted,' Royer,” The News-Journal, 31 October 1918, page 1.

352“Influenza,” The News-Journal, 31 October 1918, page 3.

353“Ban at Ephrata Will Be Lifted,” Lancaster New Era, 30 October 1918, page 3.

354F. S. Klinger, letter to editor, in “Says Ephrata Board Did Not Lift Ban,” Lancaster New Era, 31 October 1918, page 3.

355B. Franklin Royer, notice issued 30 October 1918, in “Royer Will Prosecute Local Liquor Dealers Who Keep Doors Open,” Lancaster New Era, 31 October 1918, page 3.

356“Library to Open,” The News-Journal [Lancaster], 31 October 1918, page 12.

357“Royer Will Prosecute Local Liquor Dealers Who Keep Doors Open,” Lancaster New Era, 31 October 1918, page 3.

358“Plans Ready to Prosecute 17 Saloonmen,” Lancaster Intelligencer, 31 October 1918, pages 1-2.

359“Health Board Answers Unjust and Untruthful Criticism of Dr. Royer,” Lancaster New Era, 31 October 1918, pages 1, 9.

360“A Few Saloons Obeyed Order of Dr. Royer,” The News-Journal [Lancaster], 1 November 1918, page 1.

361“No Hallowe'en Carnival,” Lancaster New Era, 23 October 1918, page 3; “War and Flu Kill Hallowe'en,” Lancaster Examiner, 26 October 1918, page 4.

362“No Hallowe'en Carnival,” Lancaster New Era, 31 October 1918, page 2.

363“Hallowe'en Was Strangely Quiet in This City,” The News-Journal [Lancaster], 1 November 1918, page 16.

364“A Quiet Hallowe'en,” Lancaster New Era, 1 November 1918, page 15.

365“Religious,” Lancaster New Era, 31 October 1918, page 2.

366J. M. Shirk, letter to the editor, in “A Physician Advises During Epidemic Season,” Lancaster New Era, 31 October 1918, page 8.

367“Heavy Toll Taken Here by Flu Revealed by Figures,” Lancaster Intelligencer, 5 November 1918, page 1.

368“Royer's Drastic Action Not Carried Out,” Lancaster Examiner, 2 November 1918, page 6.

369“More Barrooms Open,” Lancaster New Era, 1 November 1918, page 2.

370“Now Up to Royer to Bring Action,” Lancaster Intelligencer, 1 November 1918, page 1.

371“St. Mary's Catholic,” Lancaster Intelligencer, 29 October 1918, page 3.

372“All Saints Day in St. John's Episcopal,” Lancaster Intelligencer, 31 October 1918, page 6.

373“Choir Resumes Rehearsals,” Lancaster New Era, 31 October 1918, page 3; “Choir Rehearsal,” Lancaster Intelligencer, 31 October 1918, page 9.

374Benjamin Franklin Royer, “Proclamation of Quarantine on the City of Lancaster,” The News-Journal, 2 November 1918, page 1.

375“People May Neither Enter or Leave City, Says Drastic Order; Confusion Now Reigns Supreme,” The News-Journal, 2 November 1918, page 1.

376“Quarantine,” The News-Journal, 2 November 1918, page 14.


378“Royer's 'Lawless' Launch Counterattack on Him,” Lancaster Intelligencer, 2 November 1918, page 1.

379“Royer's Round-Up Ropes Turnpikes,” Lancaster New Era, 2 November 1918, page 2.

380“Quarantine,” The News-Journal, 2 November 1918, page 14.

381“City Fathers Discuss Order, Without Acting,” The News-Journal, 2 November 1918, page 14.


383James Shand, quoted in “People May Neither Enter or Leave City, Says Drastic Order; Confusion Now Reigns Supreme,” The News-Journal, 2 November 1918, page 1.

384“Royer's 'Lawless,'” Lancaster Intelligencer, 2 November 1918, page 2; see also “Pennsy Station Deserted; Out-of-Town War Workers Can't Get Out of the Town,” Lancaster New Era, 2 November 1918, page 3.

385Benjamin Franklin Royer, order, in “Traction Co. Can Haul War Workers,” Lancaster New Era, 2 November 1918, page 2; see also “Munitions Workers Freed From Ban,” Lancaster New Era, 2 November 1918, page 2.

386“Dr. Apple Protests,” Lancaster Intelligencer, 2 November 1918, page 2. See also “Quarantine Ruling Bans Football Fray,” Lancaster Intelligencer, 2 November 1918, page 8.

387“City Takes Prompt Steps to Upset Royer's Drastic Ban,” Lancaster New Era, 2 November 1918, page 2.


389“Royer's 'Lawless,'” Lancaster Intelligencer, 2 November 1918, page 2.

390Lancaster Board of Health, resolutions, in “Board of Health Replies to Royer with Resolutions,” Lancaster Intelligencer, 2 November 1918, pages 1-2.

391“City Takes Prompt Steps to Upset Royer's Drastic Ban,” Lancaster New Era, 2 November 1918, page 2.

392“Royer's Round-Up Ropes Turnpikes,” Lancaster New Era, 2 November 1918, page 2.

393“Dr. Royer's Ban on Lancaster Lasted But Very Short Time,” Lancaster New Era, 4 November 1918, page 3.

394“Medical Inspector for County Quits Because of Royer,” Lancaster Intelligencer, 2 November 1918, page 1. Dr. Mowery's former assistant medical inspector Dr. C. Howard Witmer was expected to take the position next, but he ultimately refused to serve under Dr. Royer's authority, believing Dr. Royer had some underhanded political motive at play – see Dr. Witmer's message to Dr. Royer, excerpted in “Dr. Witmer Refuses To Take Position of Medical Inspector,” Lancaster New Era, 4 November 1918, page 2. The role would eventually fall to Dr. Royer's own right-hand man Dr. Thomas A. H. Stites – see “Dr. Thomas Stites Medical Inspector,” Lancaster Intelligencer, 6 November 1918, page 1.

395“Court Grants an Injunction on Dr. B. F. Royer,” Lancaster Intelligencer, 2 November 1918, page 1. See also the text of the bill in equity taken out by Mayor Trout and the City Council – “The Bill in Equity,” Lancaster New Era, 2 November 1918, page 2.

396“City Takes Prompt Steps to Upset Royer's Drastic Ban,” Lancaster New Era, 2 November 1918, page 2.

397Benjamin Franklin Royer, “Proclamation of Quarantine on the City of Lancaster,” The News-Journal, 2 November 1918, page 1.

398“Royer's Round-Up Ropes Turnpikes,” Lancaster New Era, 2 November 1918, page 2.

399“City Takes Prompt Steps to Upset Royer's Drastic Ban,” Lancaster New Era, 2 November 1918, page 1.

400“Court Grants an Injunction on Dr. B. F. Royer,” Lancaster Intelligencer, 2 November 1918, page 2.

401“Lawlessness Runs to Seed, Brings Shame on County,” Lancaster Intelligencer, 2 November 1918, page 1. See also their editorials “What To Do About It” and “When Justice is Dead,” both in Lancaster Intelligencer, 2 November 1918, page 4.

402“Marsitis,” editorial, Lancaster Examiner, 2 November 1918, page 4.

403“The One-Day Quarantine,” editorial, The News-Journal, 4 November 1918, page 4.

404“Intended to Show Lancaster What His Authority Is,” Lancaster New Era, 2 November 1918, page 1.

405E.g., in the title given to “Czar Royer's Proclamation,” Lancaster New Era, 2 November 1918, page 2.

406“An Unwarranted Attack,” editorial, Lancaster New Era, 2 November 1918, page 1.

407“What To Do About It,” editorial, Lancaster Intelligencer, 2 November 1918, page 4.

408“Was It Political Conspiracy?”, editorial, Lancaster New Era, 4 November 1918, page 4.

409“Dr. Royer's Ban on Lancaster Lasted But Very Short Time,” Lancaster New Era, 4 November 1918, page 1.

410Ibid., page 3.



413“Go to Church,” Lancaster Intelligencer, 2 November 1918, page 10.

414Untitled snippet, Lancaster New Era, 2 November 1918, page 12.

415Assorted snippets, Lancaster New Era, 2 November 1918, page 12.

416“Rev. Sieger Occupies His Pulpit Sunday,” Lancaster New Era, 2 November 1918, page 12; see also “Two Flags Presented to Emmanuel Church,” Lancaster New Era, 4 November 1918, page 3.

417“First Reformed Will Take All Precautions,” Lancaster Intelligencer, 2 November 1918, page 10; see also “Will Keep Windows of Church Open,” Lancaster New Era, 2 November 1918, page 12.

418J. E. Whittaker, D.D., “An Appeal To Christians,” Lancaster Intelligencer, 2 November 1918, page 10; also printed, without attribution, as “A Pastor's Appeal To A Christian People,” Lancaster New Era, 2 November 1918, page 12.

419“Church Services to Be Resumed,” New Holland Clarion, 2 November 1918, page 1; “First Sermons on Sunday,” New Holland Clarion, 2 November 1918, page 4.

420“Services Resumed in Churches of Columbia as Grip Subsides,” The News-Journal, 4 November 1918, page 5.

421“Mountville Churches Open – Schools Today,” The News Journal, 4 November 1918, page 5.

422“Royer's Ban on City Lifted By Court,” The News-Journal, 4 November 1918, page 1.

423“Royer Decides to Push Order in Pittsburgh,” The News-Journal, 4 November 1918, page 10.

424“Royer Denounces the Action Taken by Judge Landis,” Lancaster New Era, 4 November 1918, page 1; “Dr. Royer Raps Lancaster Officials,” The News-Journal, 5 November 1918, page 1.

425“Royer's Action a Disgrace to the Fair Name of the State,” Lancaster New Era, 4 November 1918, page 2.

426“Dr. Royer Raps Lancaster Officials,” The News-Journal, 5 November 1918, page 14.

427“Catholic Parishes to Aid Big Drive,” Lancaster New Era, 5 November 1918, page 3.

428“General Hospital Nurse Flu Victim,” Lancaster New Era, 5 November 1918, page 1; “Miss Violetta Groff,” Lancaster Intelligencer, 5 November 1918, page 2.

429“County Gave Sproul A Substantial Lead; Griest is Re-Elected,” The News-Journal, 6 November 1918, page 1; “Old Guard Rolls Up Great Majority for Native Son Sproul,” Lancaster New Era, 6 November 1918, page 1; “The Keystone State Will Give Sproul More Than 200,000,” Lancaster New Era, 6 November 1918, page 1; “GOP Victory in State Complete,” Lancaster Intelligencer, 6 November 1918, page 1.

430“The Old Guard Never Surrenders,” editorial, Lancaster New Era, 6 November 1918, page 4.

431“Sincerity in Politics,” editorial, Lancaster Intelligencer, 6 November 1918, page 4.

432“Catholic Sister Epidemic Victim Aiding the Poor,” Lancaster Intelligencer, 6 November 1918, page 1.

433“City Girls Credited for Fighting 'Flu,'” Lancaster Examiner, 6 November 1918, page 3.

434“City Extracts Health Commissioner's Claws,” Lancaster Examiner, 6 November 1918, page 3.

435“Physicians Discuss Influenza Epidemic,” The News-Journal, 7 November 1918, page 14.

436“Influenza's Reign,” Lancaster Inquirer, 9 November 1918, page 4.

437“Church Bells to Tell the Epidemic is Over,” The News-Journal, 9 November 1918, page 10.

438“Memorial Services in Marietta Churches; Celebration Planned,” The News-Journal, 11 November 1918, page 8.

439“Day of Prayer for Passing of Epidemic,” The News-Journal, 9 November 1918, page 14.

440“Go to Church,” Lancaster Intelligencer, 9 November 1918, page 9.

441“Worshippers in City Churches Offer Up Thanks for Peace,” Lancaster New Era, 10 November 1918, 4 O'Clock Extra, page 4.

442“All Souls' Day Observed by St. Anthony's Church,” The News-Journal, 11 November 1918, page 2.

443“Morning of Nov. 11 Historic One for Patriotic Lancaster,” Lancaster New Era, 11 November 1918, page 3.