Washington DC History Resources

Matthew B. Gilmore

October 15, 1918

Today’s Evening Star see: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045462/1918-10-15/ed-1/

Influenza deaths spiked again–“INFLUENZA DEATHS 78 IN 24 H0URS”.

A new preventive measure–gauze masks–for the entire citizenry–are being readied:

The public health service is prepared to supply the entire population of Washington [well over 400,000–Ed.] with gauze masks. It considers this the best of all preventive measures. It has 25,000 masks ready for distribution now and will obtain more if the demand is created. These masks can be obtained upon application at any of its emergency stations, which are located in the Curtis, Webster, Wilson Normal, and Van Ness schools.

Urgent calls continue to go out for women to help nurse the sick in their homes.


Col. Mustard has relocated to Webster School.

Dr. H. M. Mustard Changes Headquarters. — Telephone, Main 6,000.
The office headquarters of Dr. H. M. Mustard of the public health service, working jointly with Dr. W. C. Fowler, health officer of the District, combating the influenza contagion,
has been moved from the District health department to the central unit of the emergency stations in the Webster School building at 10th and H streets northwest.
This was found necessary owing to the rapid expansion of the work of Dr. Mustard’s office and the limited space available in the office of the health department. He can be reached personally or through an executive officer at that place at all hours of the day or night. Call Main 6000 and ask for the Webster School. Physicians and nurse service can be obtained either through the unit in the several zones or direct by calling the Webster School.


The Star editorializes with “Stop the Clerks From Coming!” asking the Civil Service Commission to establish an embargo on importation of new government clerks.

The influenza hospital with a capacity of 700 patients is opening:

An improvised hospital has been placed at the disposal of the War Industries
Board by the War Department, for use by all the departments for their workers who are afflicted with influenza. The managers of the hospital, however, find themselves
without nurses to take care of the sick. The hospital Is located at 17th and B streets northwest.

This same location is also referred to as 18th St. and Virginia Ave., NW — the building covering the entire triangular block.

Congressman Ladislaus Lazaro of Louisiana, a physician, uttered the first words on the floor of the House about the epidemic, praising the work of the Public Health Commission, coping under the crowded conditions in Washington.

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