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On October 12th it seemed that everything stopped in Oshkosh. The city, along with many others in the nation, became a dark, silent, ghost town. All schools, churches, libraries, moving picture houses, and theaters were closed. Public gatherings were prohibited. A curfew ordered all saloons, pool halls, cafes, and restaurants to close by 5:00 p.m. each day. No loitering was permitted in these establishments, or in bowling alleys and cigar stores. The ban would not be lifted until December 3rd. The fear of contagion was intense.

Oshkosh Health officials scurried to contain this highly contagious disease. The horse drawn ambulance was reactivated to transport the influenza patients while the motorized ambulance was used to transport those with other illnesses. Gauze "flu masks" arrived from the Red Cross on October 12th. A house was rented near Harrison Street, 300 yards outside of the city limits, and converted into an Emergency Hospital (sometimes referred to as the "Liberty Hospital") for influenza patients. It was ready for service on October 14th. By this time, reports of Winnebago County soldiers succumbing to Spanish Flu at Camp Taylor, Kentucky, reached Oshkosh. Another report in The Daily Northwestern pictured four Oshkosh Red Cross nurses, Myrtle Chapman, Nellie Folkman, Clara Barnett, and Lydia Zwicky, graduates of the training school at Mercy Hospital. They were involved in emergency work at Camp Custer that included caring for patients suffering from influenza. All four contracted the flu and Nellie Folkman was the only survivor.

At that time, it was not known that the influenza was caused by a virus although scientists and physicians were working hard to find a therapy to treat this malady. Many advertisements appeared in the local press for flu remedies. They included Snake Oil, Laxative Bromo-Quinine, Smoko Tobaccoless Cigarettes, Vick's Vapor Rub, Kondon's Catarrhal Jelly, Horlick's Malted Milk and many others At the same time, pharmacists were filling prescriptions for heroine, morphine, cocaine, and codeine to treat the flu. Whiskey and brandy were also promoted in combating the flu. An article entitled, "Spanish Influenza: What it is and How it Should be Treated," was printed over a half dozen times throughout the course of the epidemic. It advised to "Go to bed and stay quiet, take a laxative, eat plenty of nourishing food. Keep up your strength, nature is the cure. Always call a doctor."

Adolf O. Erickson, a hardware storeowner and Sunday school teacher in Winchester, chronicled the flu in his diary. He wrote that a physician injected eight shots of camphor-oil directly into his brother's legs and arms to treat the raging temperatures caused by the flu. On October 22nd, a vaccine from Mayo Hospital was distributed in Oshkosh. It was supplied "gratis." Three inoculations, a week a part, were recommended over a period of six to nine months to "confer immunity." Many were vaccinated, but it proved ineffective.

By November 2nd, about 1,000 cases of influenza were reported in Oshkosh. It was speculated that the spread of disease was under control and the number of new cases was slowing. The Health Department announced it might even lift the ban soon if the situation continued to improve. Election Day, November 5th, came without a single political rally or campaign dinner.