In the midst of this current coronavirus epidemic, I wondered if any of my distant Copple kin had suffered from influenza during the 1918 pandemic. I know my great-grandmother’s brother, George Englehart, was a victim of the 1918 flu; his mother was a Copple. But that’s a separate story.
A search on newspapers.com brought up little 8 year old Clifford Copple dying in Nov 1918 in Coos Bay, Oregon. He was my 4th cousin 3 times removed, twice over. Born to William Alonzo and Frances R (Center) Copple, he had two sisters and four brothers. A number of his paternal extended family lived in the area, originally coming to Oregon by way of Washington, Illinois, Missouri and Indiana.
Clifford apparently suffered from influenza in the fall of 1918 — which would have been during the “second wave“. (So it is quite possible — but unknown — if members of his family had it as well.) However, he recovered, and then came down with meningitis, which was fatal to him.
Little Cliff’s death (and possible illness of other family members) probably wreaked havoc on William and Frances’ marriage. As of the 1920 census (on April 1st), Frances was living with her children and her marital status was listed as “widowed” (although William did not die until 1928). By May 1920, Frances had married James Weaver Cole.
Clifford’s great-great grandparents were Jacob [Peter] and Elizabeth (Wright) Copple. Jacob Jr. was the son of Jacob [Peter] Copple and Mary Elizabeth Garren [or Foutz?], who are also my ancestors.
Elizabeth (Wright) Copple was the daughter of Benjamin Wright and Barbara Morgan. Benjamin was the son of Richard Wright and Ann [unknown surname], who are also my ancestors.
“Son of W.M. Copple Dies,” The World (Coos Bay, Oregon), 16 Nov 1918, pg 6, col 1;
Newspapers.com (https://www.newspapers.com : accessed 20 March 2020)