Rural Missouri - July 2020 - 49

the girls and soon they wanted more. Then we each ate a
My bed was moved to the end of the long room. Genie
crabapple. We felt better, and breakfast was a hearty meal.
was still up, but now not feeling so pert, so Doc put her
Although he was still very weak, Charles went back into
in with Evelyn. I heard Doc say, "Now Charley, look here.
town. The folks who were not sick wanted access to their
You've got a sick family. Lottie can't take care of herself
money. They didn't seem to care how sick Charles was,
or anyone else. It's up to you to see they get their medithey wanted the bank open.
cine, so snap out of it. I'm the only doctor in this end of
Aunt Hatt didn't get the flu. Neither did Charles' folks.
Bollinger County, so I can't stop. I won't be able to come
But so many people died, and poor Dr. Kirkpatrick's wavy
back here to make sure they have medicine and ... " He
dark brown hair had turned a steel gray by the time that
had dropped his voice low so I couldn't catch the words,
terrible epidemic was over. He told us he often went into
but Charles groaned and said, "Please, Doc, no. What
homes where some were dead. Once he found a little girl
would I do?"
delirious, lying between two dead brothers. The family was
Doc came over to me. "Lottie, I'm sorry I couldn't get to
in a stupor, not even realizing the boys were gone.
you sooner. Don't you be getting up for anything. The chilA severe winter storm stayed on for weeks. The ground
dren will be all right. Charley will give them medicine. I'm
was frozen so deeply that no graves could be dug. At one
bringing water up. When you wake up, drink water first.
home, Doc carried a whole family, five bodies, to a smokeThen take this cough medicine."
Six months later when my son was born,
house. He boarded up the open places so cats and rats
Doc said, "I had seven pregnant women. You
couldn't get in. By this time the flu was so widespread
are the only one who lived. I didn't expect you
he didn't bother to answer calls. He just got in his
to." He had moved my bed so the others would
buggy and traveled from one house to the next.
not see me die.
The only sleep he got was in the wagon between
houses. The roads got so icy that Doc had to
Next morning, Charles' dad called from the
Zalma
go around on horseback. Folks told of how his
foot of the stairs. He replenished the stove and
horse would stop at their gate. They would pull
brought water. He brought soup, but no one
Doc off, let him rest, then wake him and give him
wanted to eat.
something hot to eat and drink. He would check
What an awful time that was. The Lord watched over us,
their sick, leave medicine and advice and go on his way.
I'm sure. When we could sit up, we were all so weak. The
Mrs. Kirkpatrick said she never knew when he left home
soup was still good and I heated it, but our throats were
or when she would see him again. She cared for their own
sore and it caused them to hurt. I thought of the crabapsick family and some of the folks in town. With the help of
ples I'd canned - lovely big yellow ones that had crossed
"The Great Physician," Dr. Kirkpatrick saved our lives. If
with trees in the orchard. I opened a jar and swallowed a
it were not for his care for the folks of Zalma, I am sure I
teaspoon of juice. To my surprise it tasted grand and didn't
would not be putting this in writing today, 59 years later.
hurt. Suddenly, I was very hungry. I gave some syrup to

Left: Lottie James Bollinger survived the 1918 influenza pandemic. She recalled her memories of that time for granddaughter, Deborah Horn, in the
mid-1970s. Above left: Evelyn and Genie pose with a portrait of the two as girls, taken the day Evelyn became sick. Above right: Lottie, her
family and many residents of Bollinger County were struck with but survived Spanish flu thanks to the efforts of local physician Dr. Kirkpatrick.
JULY 2020 | RURALMISSOURI.COOP

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Rural Missouri - July 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - July 2020

Contents
Rural Missouri - July 2020 - Cover1
Rural Missouri - July 2020 - Cover2
Rural Missouri - July 2020 - Contents
Rural Missouri - July 2020 - 4
Rural Missouri - July 2020 - 5
Rural Missouri - July 2020 - 6
Rural Missouri - July 2020 - 7
Rural Missouri - July 2020 - 8
Rural Missouri - July 2020 - 9
Rural Missouri - July 2020 - 10
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Rural Missouri - July 2020 - 50
Rural Missouri - July 2020 - Cover3
Rural Missouri - July 2020 - Cover4
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