Spokane and the Nation: The Influenza Epidemic of 1918-1919

Headline: “Prof. E.L. Overman Dies at Pullman”

Source: Spokesman-Review, October 28, 1918, page 5

Subject: many deaths at Washington State College

Synopsis: Professor Elbert Leslie Overman of the English Department of the Washington State College (now Washington State University) has recently died from pneumonia caused by influenza. In addition, the article also talks about others around the area that have died or are infected with influenza – especially students in an army training program.

Notable Quotation:

“Professor Overman was one of the most popular members of the college faculty and was held in high esteem by the students.”

“The total deaths since last Sunday have reached 21, 17 of them being S.A.T.C. men.”

“Prof. E.L. Overman Dies at Pullman”

Succumbs to Pneumonia Following Influenza – Widow Also Ill With Disease.

George Codd Victim

Colfax Soldier-Student Makes 17th on W.S.C. Death Roll – Bury Anderson Today.

            PULLMAN, Wash., Oct. 27. – Professor Elbert Leslie Overman, of the English department of the state college, succumbed at the Northwest sanitarium this morning from pneumonia following Spanish influenza. He was the holder of a B.A. degree from the University of Kansas, where he did a year’s post graduate work following graduation. Prior to coming here in 1915 he was connected with the English department of North Central high school in Spokane.

            Professor Overman was one of the most popular members of the college faculty and was held in high esteem by the students. For three years he had coached the debating teams. He conducted a course of lectures on “War Aims” during the stay of the second contingent of vocational S.A.T.C. [Students’ Army Training Corps] men. Mrs. Overman, formerly Miss Marion Gray of Spokane, is herself stricken with the disease. She graduated from the state college with the class of 1915, receiving her degree in home economics, and soon afterward married Professor Overman.

Infant and Student Die.

            Cuna, the six-months-old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. O.D. Kellogg, residing five miles southwest of Pullman, died at the home of her parents yesterday afternoon from pneumonia, superinduced by influenza. Burial occurred in the I.O.O.F. [Independent Order of Odd Fellows] cemetery here this afternoon.

            George Codd, son of Mr. and Mrs. John Codd of Colfax, died from influenza this afternoon. He was a member of the third vocational group of the S.A.T.C. and had been seriously ill for several days. The total deaths since last Sunday have reached 21, 17 of them being S.A.T.C. men.

College May Reopen Soon.

            The report from the college this afternoon shows only two new cases, while over 60 patients were transferred to the convalescent infirmary as out of danger. With the continuation of improvement for two or three days it is expected that the college will reopen.

            The body of Joseph Anderson of Ritzville, a member of the S.A.T.C., who succumbed to the malady Friday, will be buried here tomorrow. Mr. and Mrs. J.H. Anderson, the parents, operated a small farm two miles south of Pullman for many years, going to Ritzville only a few years ago.