"The years 1918 and
1919 will long be remembered as the time when the "flu" came to Alaska
on a boat from the States and in less than 2 days, our village was laid low.
The doctor was among the first victims, and at the Jesse Lee Home,
their family of 75 were laid low, all except 2 boys and 1 girl. Out
of a population of 300 in the village proper, 45 died in less than
10 days, but in the orphanage, 1 teacher and 1 girl passed away."
"In the Bristol Bay region,
whole villages were devastated and in one place, every person died
while the ferocious dogs, having finished their ghoulish work, ran
wild. A relief vessel came to that place and the sailors had to
shoot the dogs before they could enter the village, a desolate place
indeed and only half gnawed bones lying about on the ground told the story."
"In another settlement, whole
families were found dead in the houses. In one home, a mother
was found dead upon the bed, while upon her breast was a little
baby that had died from starvation. A woman went in to one house and
found the mother lying on the bed, life was extinct and close beside
her, a little baby still living but emaciated, weak and trying to
get some nourishment from its mother. Dead bodies were pulled out of
houses, rolled in blankets and disposed of."
"In the Eskimo village across
Snake River, about all the adults died and more than 100 little
children were left orphans. In order to protect the dead bodies from
dogs, the bodies were piled up in small rooms until no more could be
"It was the same everywhere,
the pestilence spread from place to place and at last drew
near to the village of Kingegan*.
The flu had appeared in a village some 60 miles away from Kingegan
and many of those people had died. It was cold weather, bitterly
cold with much snow upon the ground. The mail carrier came with
his sled and dogs, left his mail load and then made ready for the
journey to Kingegan."
"The mail sacks were placed
upon the sled and the dogs restlessly awaited the order to
go. Ki-tuk and his companion Tek-tuk were familiar with winter
storms. They did not care about the wind that blew so hard or the
blizzard that might rage and cover up the path. They both knew
no fear and could trust their huskies to carry them through. Ki-tuk
and his companion laughed at the storm, but before long, Ki-tuk
began to feel sick. His head began to ache and he felt dizzy. All
of his bones were aching and he was burning with heat from within,
even though it was cold. All of his strength was fast going and he
could not sit up to guide the dog sled anymore, so he laid down on the
mail sacks in his sled. At the next stopping place, Ki-tuk was dead."
"Tek-tuk was now driving
the dogs faster and faster, anxious to reach the next village
where a short stay would be made. His head was dizzy and his bones
were aching. Chills were going up and down his backbone and he
was burning up with fever and could hardly sit up to guide the sled.
Once Tek-tuk got to the next village, he stepped off of the sled,
staggered to the house, entered it and soon died."
"An Eskimo was found who would
take the mail on to Kingegan. Since Ki-tuk was from Kingegan,
his frozen body was laid on the sled full of mail sacks and the journey
was made in due time. The people of Kingegan were all sick with the
flu. Soon many were dead and among them was Wey-ak-k-new, the mother
of Ad-loo-at. While her son had been an earnest Christian for many
years, she had never turned from her old superstitions; she believed in
evil spirits and had faith in the power of the witch doctor. She
died without knowledge of God's love and saving grace."
"All of Kingegan was
ill with the flu and none were left to care for the sick. Ad-loo-at
was at Shishmareff, teaching school and helping in mission work.
He had left his wife and children well and happy back at Kingegan.
Food had been laid in for them, wood gathered, chopped and stored away
for winters use. Then came a day when he said good-bye and took the trail
for his winters work at Shishmareff."
"One day, a dog sled appeared
in Shishmareff and a young man went hastily to the mission house
where Ad-loo-at lived. The man told him that everybody was sick at
Kingegan and plenty people died. Your wife and all your children are
very sick and there is no one to care for them. Friends told Ad-loo-at
to stay in Shishmareff so he would not get sick, but he went back to
Kingegan to help his family."
"Ad-loo-at found his village
deserted, all was still as death, but his family was spared,
yet very ill. He worked to save them, and little by little they
were getting better. A baby was born, but passed away shortly.
Ad-loo-at prayed to God for his loved ones and believed that all would
come out for the best. He paid the price when the chills, aching bones,
fever, and weakness came upon him."
superintendent of schools at Nome heard of the illness in Kingegan and
sent Mrs. E.W.Tashner, a Christian nurse from the Mission Hospital
to help them. She went to Ad-loo-at's home and cared for his family.
She bathed his fevered brow, spoke words of cheer and comfort, however,
he died. Ad-loo-at had done his best, he gave his life for the ones
*Kingegan is the Inuit name for Wales.