It’s just a small part of the transcript. But it’s stuck with Washington State University archivist Mark O’English.

He’s listened to dozens of hours of the tapes. And Helen McGreevy’s short discussion of the 1918 Influenza Pandemic and her beloved George at Washington State College always gives him pause.

“There’s just something in her voice when she talks about him,” he says.

McGreevy was 77 in 1978 when she was interviewed for the Whitman County Historical Society’s oral history project.

She talks about her beau George like this: “One young man that I had gone with quite a bit, the young (Wieber) boy, had the flu and died and he must have contacted it here (at WSC) because he died on the train from here back to Kansas, where he was being transferred. … He was really a fine young man. You wonder why things like that happen sometimes. … if he’d come home from the service, I think probably we would have married. Anyhow, that was our commitment. But he didn’t come home.”

Wieber, born in Uniontown in 1895, died in Kansas City, Missouri, on October 25, 1918. He’s buried at Saint Boniface Catholic Cemetery in Uniontown.

You can read the full transcript here.


Read more stories of the 1918 Pandemic and World War I

Timeline of 1918 pandemic events

Documents referenced in the 1918 pandemic timeline

Full texts of a couple of letters praising the efforts of Home Economics during the pandemic

Story of Ivan Price, one of WSC’s WWI dead

Transcript of a 1986 interview with 89-year-old Walter Thonney, who volunteered to tend to ill cadets during the 1918 Influenza Pandemic at WSC

Audio of Clarence Hix (1886 to 1983), former bursar at WSC, talking in 1980 about the 1918 Influenza Pandemic, his 1918 trip to Fort Worden, and more

Whitman County Historical Society oral histories