In October and November of 1918, the deadly flu stalking Brainerd lakes area residents was Spanish influenza, a worldwide killer.
Public schools, movie theaters, businesses and churches closed. Public gatherings from court hearings to funerals were prohibited. People were asked not to gather in stores or on the streets. An emergency hospital to handle flu cases was established in Aitkin. The Crosby Armory was used for overflow influenza cases.
Motley was reported to have the most flu cases and the greatest number of deaths for its size. In Little Falls all stores and saloons, except drug stores and meat markets, closed at 7 p.m. and bowling alleys and pool and billiard rooms were not allowed to have more than 25 people inside.
- Renee Richardson, senior reporter
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