1918 Flu Epidemic

by Beulah
(Seattle, Washington)

In your article about chest congestion and nagging cough, you mention an African American pharmacist from Central Pennsylvanis and the Flu epidemic of 1918. Where can I get more information about this pharmacist and where you got the infromation?

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Sep 13, 2016
Useful text NEW
by: Anonymous


May 26, 2010
Central PA Pharmacist in 1918
by: Grandma

Hello Beulah,

It's so nice to meet you. Like you, I have always found this legend fascinating.

The legend of the Central PA pharmacist was handed down by my dad. He was born in 1912 and he told of this awful flu epidemic that swept around the world when he was a young boy. He wanted my brother and me to always remember this legend because he felt that we would have another epidemic one day and he wanted us to know what to do, he cautioned us to never take any flu vacine offered by the government. He served 6 years in the Army during WWII and seemed to know a lot about things our government might do in the future and cautioned us to think for ourselves.

Like most children I didn't ask enough questions before he died. But I did always remember what he told me about the African American pharmacist that saved thousands of lives by recommending that when the flu epidemic was here they should take a few shots of whisky everyday to kill the virus. He wanted us to remember to do the same thing when the epidemic came again.

I'm sorry, I never found the name of the pharmacist, I even made a few phone calls this morning to see if anyone in our connection knew of his name, but anyone from that generation is gone and I guess nobody really found out more than I did. I do know he was a pharmacist in Tyrone, PA. I grew up in Altoona, and even though it's only about 15 miles away in those days it was pretty far away but the news travelled from town to town an county to county and saved many lives.

Thank you for visiting my website and taking an interest in a legend I'm proud to remember. I hope you'll visit often.


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