Lowell in World War I: Sept 23 to Oct 14, 1918

Two more weeks of headlines from our Lowell in World War I series:

September 23, 1918 – Monday – French capture fort of Vendeuil. Great British victory over Turks. Border battle. Two killed and two wounded in clash between Americans and Mexicans. Mine guard killed by Mexican, after which Americans kill murderer. Spanish Influenza: Eighty cases of influenza reported in this city since Friday. Deaths here at at Camp Devens. Hospitals closed to visitors. Building government houses here. When the United States Housing corporation begins work, both the Belvidere and Livingston avenue tracts will be worked on at the same time so that there will be no delay in construction. Rev Patrick Meagher dies suddenly. Rev Meagher was born in Ireland but spent his boyhood in Lowell where he attended St Patricks School. Recently he has been the pastor of St Bridget’s church in Maynard.

September 24, 1918 – Tuesday – German allies flee in panic. Serbs harass the Bulgars. 25,000 Turks taken. Grip in Lowell. Number of Spanish Influenza cases in this city to date totals 241. Fear damp weather will tend to spread disease. Schools may close. Murray at rest. The funeral of William F Murray, postmaster and former Congressman was held today in Charlestown. The mass was celebrated by Stephen G Murray, a brother of the deceased, who is a curate at St Margaret’s church in Lowell. Postmaster Murray died Saturday of pneumonia, resulting from an attack of influenza. City council votes to buy land to complete the Bartlett School grounds. Extension of sewer for government houses in Livingston Ave is authorized.

September 25, 1918 – Wednesday – Allies crouch at St Quentin as airman of both sides make battle maps. Private Frank Harrison dies in France. The son of Mr and Mrs S F Harrison of 42 Davis Square, Frank had moved to Tacoma, Washington last year where he was called to the national army. He died of wounds suffered while serving with the 128th Infantry Regiment. Grippe starts fires in school buildings. In order to limit the spread of influenza cases, school janitors were instructed to start fires in school buildings at once and to maintain them to a degree sufficient to remove chill and dampness.

September 26, 1918 – Thursday – State asks US aid in grippe fight. Local board of health orders all schools and theatres closed until Monday. Install gas heaters at City Hall. Owing to the unusually cold weather and the prevalence of influenza, Commissioner Francis Warnock of the public property department made arrangements for the Lowell Gas Light Co to install gas heaters in all the offices at city hall to be used while the unseasonable weather lasts or until the new boilers in the building are installed and ready for lighting.

September 27, 1918 – Friday – Forts standing impregnable for years taken by Allies, who now menace Cambrai. Americans in most spectacular attack of war. United States planes rake Huns just ahead of fleet of Yank tanks. Not much change in grippe epidemic. At total of 80 new cases were reported to the board of health by noon today, compared to 101 reported during the same time yesterday. Four more deaths were reported yesterday, making the total since the epidemic began 19. No decision has been made yet on whether to reopen schools and theatres.

September 30, 1918 – Monday – Bulgaria quits war. Signs armistice accepting the Allies’ terms and will demobilize its army. Two Lowell men and one from Billerica seriously wounded in action. They are Privates Joseph E Daly of 69 Cheever street; Armand E Bazin of 111 Ford street; and Robert Fitzner of North Billerica. More influenza: Big batch of cases reported at board of health office at city hall. Five additional deaths reported. State will furnish doctors and nurses. Schools in Lowell will remain closed until Monday, October 7.

October 1, 1918 – Tuesday – Germans in peril as Allies smash defenses from Verdun to North Sea. Cambrai in flames, Lille, St Quentin and Laon near capture. Turkey soon to quit war. Grippe cases: More than 300 new cases of influenza reported at City Hall today. But health authorities believe that crest of epidemic has been reached. The isolation hospital in Varnum avenue is being prepared to take care of 100 patients if the epidemic continues, and the Chelmsford street hospital is also prepared to take patients. Liberty loan: City’s total well over the half million mark at noon hour today. Women’s committee makes extra effort to bring out the “women’s vote.”

October 2, 1918 – Wednesday – Huns start big retreat as defenses from Cambrai to St Quentin crumble. Allies surge forward on 250-mile front. Damascus, capital of Syria, is captured. Fewer cases of grippe reported today. There were five more deaths today, making 68 in all.

October 3, 1918 – Thursday – Huns flee from Lille salient in attempt to escape giant trap. Great enemy retreat continues. USS Tampa sunk by enemy torpedo while on patrol off English coast. All 118 on board ship perish. Lowell grippe situation still very bad. 233 new cases, schools and theatres still closed. It is expected all pastors in city will announce no services this Sunday. Constantineau dead. The many Lowell friends of Leo “Connie” Constantineau, the popular CMAC pitcher will be grieved to learn of his death at Portsmouth, Virginia, where he was serving with the US Navy. He is survived by his parents, Mr and Mrs Napoleon Constantineau of 26 Livingston street and two sisters. The 24-year old Constantineau was considered the best baseball pitcher this city has produced in years. Last summer he was invited to Chicago by President Commiskey to join the White Sox, but he had already decided to join the Navy and so sacrificed what would have been a great baseball career to serve Uncle Sam.

October 4, 1918 – Friday – British break through into open country. Yanks capture strong points in Champagne. From Lens northward and from Rheims eastward to the Argonne, the allies continue to bend back German flanks in smashing attacks. Grippe abating. Doctors reported 127 cases today as against 233 yesterday. No services Sunday in Protestant Churches. Funeral gatherings discouraged.