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100 Years Ago - School officials were keeping watch on students for signs of influenza

Times-Tribune - 12/18/2018

Dec. 18--Dec. 18, 1918

Students watched

for signs of flu

Scranton School District officials were keeping a watch on students for signs of influenza.

School principals reported to the superintendent's office that attendance was at normal levels except for schools in North Scranton. A doctor was sent to investigate the situation at those schools and found that the absences were unrelated to influenza.

The reason for the concern was that the Scranton Health Department reported 46 new cases of the disease in the city the previous day -- the largest number of cases in a single day for the month. The Health Department feared that the influenza epidemic might be making a comeback in Scranton.

Officials take over failed ostrich farm

Charles Reice, an agent for the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, was commissioned by the state to take charge of the African Ostrich Farm & Feather Co. in Espy, Columbia County.

The condition of the farm was a sad sight. Only a few ostriches of the farm's original 50 exotic birds were still alive. Reice reported seeing a wagon filled with bird carcasses when he arrived. The surviving birds were to be either transported to farms in warmer climates or euthanized.

The operator of the farm, William Hile, abandoned the farm in favor of a new business endeavor near Pittsburgh. Hile found it hard to breed and care for the birds in the region's climate.

Reice also reported that individuals in Lackawanna and Luzerne counties were shareholders in the company.

Fresh fish for sale

Dory haddock was 12 cents per pound; yellowtail flounder was 12 cents per pound; herring was 10 cents per pound; Cape Cod eels were 25 cents per pound; salmon was 25 cents per pound; and a quart of Buzzard Bay oysters was 50 cents.

BRIAN FULTON, library manager, oversees The Times-Tribune's expansive digital and paper archives and is an authority on local history. Contact

Brian at bfulton@timesshamrock.com or 570-348-9140.

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(c)2018 The Times-Tribune (Scranton, Pa.)

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