On this page we will look back at life in the city during the war years. Here we will provide the visitor with the stories making the news, what was happening in sports and entertainment, city politics, the social scene and the prominent people at the time. So, check back often for new editions. To share your family or neighborhood stories, please email PhillyWWIyears@gmail.com


There will be clear skies over Philadelphia today with light winds from the west. The high will reach 71° with the low tonight about 52°. The Bureau of Police reported today that 400 policemen are presently sick with Influenza and 18 have died. The Department of Health announced today that there was a substantial drop in the number of reported new cases of influenza. Only 3,357 cases were reported today which is a drop of 656 cases in the last 24 hours. Unfortunately there were 514 deaths in the last 24 hours from influenza and pneumonia.

The Director of the Department of Health, Wilmer Krusen, has permitted the sale of whiskey for medicinal purposes if the purchaser has a prescription from a physician. Doctor Krusen has also asked that the city streets be flushed nightly. He believes that like a clean mouth, clean skin and clean clothes, clean streets will help suppress the spread of the disease.

Also today the Department took over the Phipps Institute for the Study, Treatment and Prevention of Tuberculosis, 7th & Lombard Streets, for use as a temporary hospital. The Department is also considering plans to convert some of the schools in the city into temporary hospitals. Since all public and parochial schools are closed due to the epidemic the thought is the buildings could be put to good use. Additionally, the Department has commandeered inmates from the House of Corrections to dig graves.

Phipps Institute

Archbishop Dennis Joseph Dougherty announced today that the entire Catholic sisterhood of Philadelphia has been offered to the health authorities to serve in whatever capacity is needed. The Sisters of Charity have already opened the Philopatrian Club on Arch Street above Broad as a temporary hospital. Bishop Philip Rhinelander of the Episcopal diocese of Pennsylvania has also offered the assistance of the entire clergy to the Department of Health.

Fourth year medical students from Jefferson Medical College, Temple University Medical School and Hahnemann Hospital have now joined the fight against the disease at various hospitals throughout the city. The doctors and nurses of this city are literally sacrificing their own health and in some cases their lives to care for the sick.

In just the last 24 hours two physicians and 2 nurses have died from influenza. Dr. Carl Stoepler, 36 years old of 2730 Girard Avenue, died overnight after contracting the disease from caring for the sick of the 29th Ward almost around the clock. Also Miss Edna Annstack, 21 years old, a student nurse at Lankenau Hospital died yesterday after contracting the disease from her patients. And Doctor Edwin Smith an intern and Miss Rose Cummings, a student nurse, died last night at St. Joseph’s Hospital.

Dr. Carl Stoepler