Illinois was not immune. It is estimated that over 8,500 people died just in the City of Chicago. Entire sections of cemeteries are dedicated to Spanish flu victims. Over time I will relate the stories of several of the victims of the Spanish flu, but I will start with the story of one close to home, in Evanston, Illinois:
KATHERINE CRAIG STEWART
Katherine Craig Stewart was only 15 years old when she caught the flu in October of 1918. Katherine came from an illustrious family. Her father was George Craig Stewart (1879-1940), the VI Episcopal Bishop of Chicago. Bishop Stewart was said to have been one of the greatest preachers ever produced by the Episcopal Church. When I asked my mother (a life-long resident of Evanston) about him, her reply was "Everyone knew Bishop Stewart. It didn't matter whether you were an Episcopalian or not." Katherine's mother was Mary Gertrude Clyde, from an illustrious Scots-American family.
Katherine started feeling ill on October 7, 1918 and was dead fifteen days later on October 22, 1918. Public assemblies, including wakes and funerals had been forbidden to try to slow the spread of the disease. In fact, Katherine's father was not even in the United States when she died. Bishop Stewart was in Europe ministering the the soldiers at the front. Katherine died at 7:12 PM on Tuesday evening the 22nd and was interred less than two days later on Thursday the 24th. Her obituary in the Chicago Tribune of October 23rd said that the funeral notice would be "later".
A sad story - but just one of thousands in Chicagoland from the scourge of the Spanish influenza. Katherine Craig Stewart is interred in Section A ("the old section") of the Mausoleum in Rosehill Cemetery, Chicago. May Katherine and her dear parents, rest in peace.