Turlock’s Yesteryears by Scott Atherton

Turlock Historian Scott Atherton reminds us of what was going on in 1918 and 1928 around this date.
 

Turlock Journal, Dec. 18, 1918

FLU SITUATION GROWS BETTER
            Although there were seven deaths from influenza Sunday, December 15, Dr. C. E. Pearson, Health Officer, D. J. Walton, superintendent of the Emergency Hospital, and others who are closely in touch with the influenza situation are quite optimistic.  None of the seven deaths, six of which occurred at the Emergency Hospital [on North Broadway], were of people residing in this city, one being taken from Patterson, two from Hughson, one a San Francisco man from the Carolyn Hotel, one a Reno man, and one from Geer’s ranch.  On Friday, December 13, there were twenty-five patients in the hospital, one being a woman.
Saturday and Sunday the hospital staff experienced its most troublous time, as there were then a number of patients who were delirious, and the nurses and attendants were taxed to the utmost to control them.  Since that time the delirious patients have either all died or have recovered sufficiently to remain quiet, and as no new patients have been received the situation is much easier to handle.  Superintendent D. J. Walton, who has devoted his time wholly to the hospital since it was established a week or more ago, has been compelled to go without rest or sleep a great portion of the time, and has made most heroic personal sacrifices in order to insure every possible attention and comfort for the patients and his staff of nurses and attendants.  To him the city owes an unbounded debt of gratitude as there are very few men who would have undertaken and carried out so great and difficult a task.
            The patients in the Emergency Hospital have been well cared for, the most serious cases being removed from the auditorium to the smaller hall.  On Saturday and Sunday the staff was somewhat too small to handle the large number of patients, who were delirious, but at present all the patients are convalescing and there is plenty of help, with Mrs. Bertha Nordvie of Modesto in charge.
            Mrs. Anita Mund, an experienced trained nurse, who was employed some weeks ago when the hospital was located in the Baptist church, was again secured and is again a member of the staff.  Drs. C. E. Pearson, Health Officer, Lester Wilson, Julien, and Johnson have attended the patients, and three attendants have been kept in active service during the daytime, with three more at night.  One night the services of five nurses and attendants were required in caring for the sick.  Two of those who assisted when the hospital first started are still serving.
            Although there are now twenty-two cases in the hospital, the situation is improving in this city, the report of the Health Officer for Monday being as follows:
            December 1 to 11 ……………………………… 87 cases
            December 12, new cases ……………………….……. 13
            December 14 …………………………………………… 19
            December 15 ……………………………………………   8
            December 16 ……………………………………………   8
            Those who died at the Emergency Hospital Sunday and Monday morning were:
            Francisco M. Conceicao, a native of Portugal, aged 22 years, 8 months and 2 days.  Funeral services were held Monday at 10 a.m. from the Sacred Heart Church, Rev. P. Heslin officiating.  Interment was made in the Turlock cemetery.
            Rado Gutich, a native of Serbia, aged about 35 years.  Died Sunday, Dec. 15.  Was employed by the Mineral Products Company of Patterson and was brought to Turlock for treatment.  Remains are being held subject to instructions from relatives in Alameda.
            Ora Mason.  Came to this city ill and was given treatment at Emergency Hospital.  Died Sunday Morning, Dec. 15.  Aged about 25.  No information concerning him obtained.  Remains are being held at R. C. Geckler Undertaking Co.
            George King.  Native of Portugal, aged 38 years.  Died Dec. 15.  Leaves a brother who resides near Hughson.  Came to this city from Reno.
            Fred C. West.  Died Dec. 15, aged 27 years, 7 months and 9 days.  Is survived by wife and one child.  Was formerly a blacksmith at Denair.  Funeral arrangement to be announced later.  Brought to this city from Hughson.
            Herman Gregg.  Died Sunday evening, Dec. 15.  Was brother-in-law of Fred C. West, and formerly connected with him in blacksmith business at Denair.  Remains are being held at parlors of the R. C. Geckler Undertaking Co.
            The seventh fatal illness, which was not treated at the Emergency Hospital, was that of Miss Hilda O. Peterson, her death occurring Sunday, Dec. 15, at the Erickson home, one mile south of this city near the highway.  Deceased was aged 40 years, 7 months and 7 days.  Funeral services will be held Wed., Dec. 18, at 10:30 a.m. in the Swedish Lutheran church, after which the remains will be shipped to Laurens, Iowa, for interment.  She is survived by a brother, A. O. Peterson of Stockton. 
 
Turlock Journal, Dec. 17, 1928
COMMUNITY XMAS TREE DECORATED THIS AFTERNOON
            The natural Christmas tree which grows in the north-east corner of Central Park was decorated this afternoon in keeping with the holiday season.  Scores of multi-colored electrical lights, large quantities of tinsel, and ropes of red paper were strewn through the green boughs under the direction of A. E. Neuman, secretary of the Chamber of Commerce.  The wiring was donated by the P. G. E. Company.
            The community tree was planted in 1920 by C. C. Carlson, then mayor of Turlock.  Since that time it has attained a height of over 40 feet.
            The tree is a gorgeous spectacle at night and has attracted press comment all over the valley.  The passengers in the Southern Pacific trains have admired the tree from Pullman windows for several years.  The decorations will remain on the tree until after the holidays, Neuman stated today.

Today’s articles and pictures are provided by Scott Atherton, general manager of Turlock Memorial Park & Funeral Home.  If you have memories or pictures you’d like to share, he can be reached at 632-9111 or by e-mail at satherton@turlockmemorialpark.com.

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