Andrew Fjeld’s daily journal entries during the epidemic

May 14, 2020

Andrew Fjeld’s beautiful handwriting makes his journals a very easy way to learn about Lehi’s history. These pages highlight Jan. 9-14, 1918, and mention his attendance at Irene Wanlass’ funeral.

Andrew Fjeld's beautiful handwriting makes his journals a very easy way to learn about Lehi's history. These pages highlight Jan. 9-14, 1918, and mention his attendance at Irene Wanlass' funeral.

The following are the entries Andrew Fjeld made in his daily journal regarding the Flu Epidemic of 1918. Fjeld lived on the northwest corner of 100 North and 200 East where the new police department is being built. At the time of the outbreak, Fjeld was the bishop of the Lehi First Ward of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He was also the husband of Eliza Ann Broadbent and the father of nine children, three of whom had died before 1918. He was 52 years old in the fall of 1918.

Where funerals are mentioned, Fjeld often listed who sang, who gave prayers, who attended and so forth. If you would like to know more about what he wrote, please contact the Archives.

Italics=Entry is summarized.


Journal Entries

October 12, 1918—… Leona came home from the canning factory sick to day. I suppose it is the Spanish Influenza which is taking the country by storm. This epidemic first started in Spain in May of this year and spread all over Europe and finally came to the United States where people are dieing [sic] by the hundreds. Dr. Merrell of Tremonton died today. Influenza.

October 13—Leona not very sick.

Oct. 16Dr. Vance of P.G. died today. Influenza.

Oct. 17—June took sick with the “flu” Tuesday morning and was put in to [sic] the room with Leona and this morning Velma wilted and was put in the sick room. Many cases in Lehi and the factory very short of men. The sugar is piling up on the floor. Short of men. Home this evening.

Oct. 18—Edna and Allan took the “flu” to day [sic] and were numbered with the sick. Short of men in the factory and sugar room. I am work[ing] very hard trying to keep things going as long as possible. Camping home this evening. I enter the upstairs by way of a ladder now.

Oct. 19—Today is the end of the 4th Liberty Loan drive. Lehi is having quite a time raising her quota of $85,300.00 but the committee expects to get it. Another hard day at the factory short of men.

Oct. 20—Worked stacking sugar all day very hard still getting behind. Our sick folks are doing very well. Leona is out Edna and June are almost well Velma and Allan are still quite sick. June was awarded $5.00 worth of thrift stamps for her exhibit of seeds at the State Fair and also a years [sic] subscription to the daily news. … This was certainly some prize and a great surprise on June as well as the rest of us. …

Oct. 21—The mill running but very short of me. Also short in the sugar room. The men a asking for $5.00 per day for stacking sugar. Home this evening. Sick getting along fairly well. Leona is helping her mother some now.

Oct. 22—The men all but struck to day [sic] on the stacking so Hodge promised $5.00 a day to those who stacked the sugar. … Allan and Velma have been very bad today. …

Oct. 23—I have had a bad cold the last few days and have been just a little afraid that the “flue” [sic] had me but I feel fine to day Velma and Allan are a little better to day [sic]. Have had more help in the sugar room lately so am getting caught up with the stacking. Home this evening.

Oct. 24—Moving slow in the factory short of me Heard that Earl Ashton was dead of influenza in one of the military camps. Home this evening.

Oct. 25—… Our sick children are feeling fine. June is out of the sick room. …

Oct. 26—I felt kind of dizzy headed this morning so I went down to the factory and counted the sugar posted up my reports then came home. Dr. Worlton came to see me told me to take a big dose of phisic [sic] and got to bed. I followed the first part of the directions but skipped most of the other. Done a few odd jobs around the place, went to bed early. Mrs. Pearson died to day [sic] of influenza. Bartle Turner’s third boy, 19 years old, died yesterday.

Oct. 27—… I went up to the cemetery and selected a lot—no. 3 in Block 57 for Mrs. Pearson and helped dig the grave…. While we were up there the funeral service of Bartle Turner’s boy was held…. I was home most of the afternoon while the wife was over to Mrs. Goates helping to make a dress for Mrs. Pearson. Later I was out hunting a man to stay down at Pearsons to night [sic] as he is very sick himself. Gal-Darrow Schow to go down. Our children are all up and feeling fine.

Oct. 28—In the factory working most of the day. Was off three helping to bury Mrs. Pearson. The hearse came from Am. Fork with the body and took it to Pearsons house and let him see it and then to the cemetery. All we could do was dedicate the grave as it was a stormy day and just a few men and Louis Petersons wife and daughter Edith. Home this evening.

Oct. 30—… Bartle Turner and Florence Sandback Goates died today. Mrs. S. L. Wells very low. …

Oct. 31—… Mrs. Sanback Goates still alive today.

Nov. 1—… Mrs. Sanback Goates and Mrs. Wells died to day [sic]. Mr. Pearson is not doing very well.

Nov. 2—… Heard to day that Geo L. Schow and Otto Varney were dead the former at Delta and the latter at West Jordan. …

Nov. 3—Worked this forenoon and at the cemetary [sic] this afternoon helping to lay away Otto Varney and Geo. L. Schow. …I said a few words and dedicated the grave [of Otto Varney]. …Quite a crowd were present. The funerals were held at 1 and 3 o’clock. In a way it is very amusing to see a large number of people together for most of them now wear a mask over nose and mouth to keep from catching the “flue.” In many cases the mask is made like a bag which makes the individual look very funny and if it was not such a very serious condition one would laugh at the ludicrous sights one sees.

Nov. 4—… Mr. Pearson improving again.

Nov. 5—… Election day to day. Utah Democratic but some of the nation did not support Pres. Wilson. …

Nov. 7—At 11:30 this forenoon the news reached us that Germans had surrendered to the Allies and while this was not true, pandemonium broke loose and had it not been for the flue [sic] there would have been a big demonstration. …

Nov. 8—Fine weather bright days and cool nights. …

Nov. 9—Not very much sugar being made these days which makes easy work in the sugar room. Pay day to day [sic] I received $110.65. … Kenneth Schow died to day [sic] in Brigham.

Nov. 10—This evening the wife and I walked down to Janise Schow. They are standing their trouble well. The papers brought the news that Kaizer Wilhelm of Germany had abdicated.

Peace! Monday Nov. 11—Soon after I got up this morning bells began ringing guns firing and a general commotion broke out and when I phoned central as to what was the matter she informed me that the “official” word was received that the Armistice had been signed by the Germans and General Toch and the great European war was at an end. The celebration continued all day, the stores were all closed and all those that had cars formed a long procession and visited the nearby towns while people from the other towns paid Lehi a visit. I worked tell noon then came home and attend Kenneth Schow’s funeral. The funeral started from Mallen’s undertaking parlers in the Racker Building at 2 o’clock this afternoon and at the cemetary [sic] a short service was held. … and I were the speakers.

Nov. 15—… David Home’s wife died this evening.

Nov. 16—… My sister Susan Hanson died to day at Eureka. “Flue.”

Nov. 17—Commencing to freeze at nights now but bright days. …

Nov. 19—… Pres. Joseph F. Smith died to day.

Nov. 27–… I should have attended Wallace Ashers funeral to day but Carl Miller failed to come to relieve me. He died in a Texas training camp of “flue.”

Dec. 1—I was off a couple of hours to day attending Myrtle Royle McCune’s funeral. She died in Knightsville. …

Dec. 4–… I came home at noon and attended Mrs. Wm Asher’s funeral this afternoon. … I spoke a few words and dedicated the grave. I went ack to factory this afternoon.

Dec. 7—… T.J. Powell was buried to day. He died at B___ Kerney. …

Dec. 20—… The quarantine regulations are still in force as there are no public gatherings of any kind at present.

Sunday, Dec. 22—The First Presidency issued a proclamation designating to day as a special fast day to importune the Lord to banish the “flue.” I have been fasting all day and working at the factory as usual. I am glad of the chance to join in a general fast for so worthy an object. …

Dec. 30—First mention of Soldier’s and Sailors’ Building.

Jan. 1, 1919—… The “Flue” is breaking out in Lehi again it is raging in P. Grove and just getting a good start in Am. Fork. We had hoped to start Sunday School and meetings next Sunday but not now.

Jan. 3—Very cold and clear weather. …

Jan. 5—…John Smith did not come to day and I heard this evening that he had the flue. Clarence Knudsen was also home sick but have not heard what is the matter. Quite a number of people have it. The weather is clear and cold with dusty roads.

Jan. 7—At the factory all day. Met my counsellors at the post office and sent out a number of circular letters to members of the ward relative to tithing. Later went down to Freeman Royle’s where we mett Harry Stewart, A.G. Schow, Herbert Taylor and Brother Royle and held a prayer meeting for the benefit of Irene Wanlass, Winnie Evans, Vervene Evans and Zeltha Zimmerman all of whom are sick with the flue.

Jan. 8—Hires typing lessons for children.

Jan. 13—Worked until noon and came up and attended Irene Wanlass’ funeral which left the undertaking parlors at 1 o’clock. Jas Anderson presided, Freeman Royle, B.J. Vance of Alpine and A.B. Anderson were the speakers. I spoke a few words and dedicated the grave. Went back to work again.

Jan. 14—Worked till 9:30 came up and attended the funeral of Mary Ellen Thomas. The body came from Salt Lake City on the 10:20 Orem car and was taken at once to the cemetary [sic]. When we got up there the grave was not near dug although Nephi Slater and John Mitchel started yesterday afternoon as the frost has reached down about three feet. I t was decided to take the body back to the undertaking parlors and come again at 2 o’clock this afternoon. This was done and during this interval the wife and I visited Jacobs as he is fast-nearing the end of this probation. He was 93 years old last month and the last few days has had a sinking spell. At 2 o’clock the friends of Sister Thomas gathered at the undertaking parlors and once more followed her remains to the cemetary [sic]. This time the grave was ready and everything was carried out in find shape. A company of our First Ward girls Leota Taylor, Melba Fox, La Vern Petersen, Hilda Rhoses and Lilian Knudsen assisted by Oscar Malan, Jos. Anderson and Freeman Royle furnished the singing Martin B. Bushman opened with prayer. A.B. Anderson, B.F ___, John Bushman and George Austin were the speakers and Geo A. Smith dedicated the grave. …

Jan. 17—All day in the factory and home this evening. Virgil and Marie came down from Alpine for a while during the “flue” epidemic. They brought their cow with them much to the disgust of our cow. John Jacobs died about 10 o’clock this forenoon one and three quarters hours after his son Andrew arrived. He passed away as peacefully as a child going to sleep. The wife and I went over to Jacobs this evening.

Jan. 18—All day in the factory home this evening revising a biographical sketch of Bro. Jacobs.

Sunday, Jan. 19—In the factory till noon when I came home and attended the funeral of Bro. Jacobs. The funeral service was held at the residence at 1 o’clock. My counsellor Jas. Anderson conducted the exercise, a goodly number of the First Ward choir done the singing. Eli Kendall opened while Isaac Fox closed with prayer Morgan Lott read the biographical sketch while I. Edw. Southwick A.J. Evans and George Austin were the speakers in the order named. Wm Southwick dedicated the grave. A large number of people were present the weather being bright and warm. Services were held on the lawn and a splendid spirit prevailed. Before his death Brother Jacobs had selected his speakers and indicated that the services be short. He was laid away in a beautiful metallic casket which was entirely against his instructions as he had set the limit at $25.00 for a coffin. This evening Morgan S. Lott and I went down to Walter Darling’s and blessed his baby. We also blessed two children for his sister Susie Peterson.

Jan. 20—All day in the Sugar factory. The factory has run 100 days during this campaign. Home this evening.

Monday, Feb. 3—All day at the factory and home this evening. Two High School teachers rented our parlor today. Schools commenced in all the grades to day.

Feb. 8—All of the sugar came out last night and the total is 280,233 bags of 100 lbs. Have been loading cars all day.

Feb. 9—Much against my feelings I had to work to day 12 hours but it is the last day. This evening the wife and I went down to Morgan Lott’s and spent the evening.

Feb. 10—Working loading a car 9 hours to day. All of my campaign men were laid off last night except Agrel Anderson he is still on. …

Feb. 18—… Attended M.I.A. meeting this evening. The first one this winter.

Feb. 19—Loading sugar most of the day. As it was our 29th wedding day to day the whole family went to the Royle theatre this evening. We are glad that we have been able to stick together so long and that it is no worse.

Saturday, Feb. 22—Home all day celebrating doing odd jobs. Home this evening.

Feb. 23—Soldier boys talk in church.

Mar. 1—… The wife, Edna and I attended the show at the remodeled theatre on Main Street, much improved.

Mar. 5—Worked till noon then went home and went with the wife to the old folks doings in the Tabernacle. Had a dandy dinner, concert, moving picture show in the Royle and a dance in Smuin Academy this evening. There had a fine time.

April 4–… Leona went to the “junior prom” dance in Smuin’s and Edna went to the Royle. …

April 6—… Velma, June and the wife are anxiously awaiting for the quarantine to be lifted so they can get out. [This quarantine is due to the scarlet fever.]

April 18—… Two little boys belonging to “Ted” Jones were drowned in the lake to day.

Lehi Timeline of the Flu Epidemic of 1918-1920

Many families lost more than one member

Granddaughter shares recipe of plaster used to influenza in 1918

Andrew Fjeld’s daily journal entries during the epidemic

Newspaper articles give bird’s eye view of epidemic in Lehi and around the state

Return to Main Article


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