An American Family History

Joseph Bertrand and Viola Long

Des Moines, Polk County, Iowa
Chariton, Lucas County, Iowa

Frances and Emma

BertrandFamilyMarch 1913.
Standing - Clair Shimp, Blanch Higgins, Dave Higgins, Seated in front, Marie Shimp, Lura Bertrand, Viola Bertrand, and Frances Bertrand.

Bertrand Headstone
Bertrand Headstone
in Chariton Cemetery

Lura, Emma & Frances
Lura, Emma, and Frances

The 1918 influenza pandemic was also called the Spanish flu. It was caused by an unusually deadly strain and most victims were healthy, young adults. The pandemic lasted from March 1918 to June 1920. One third of the world's population, became infected.

Gilles Joseph Bertrand and Viola Belle Long were married on August 25, 1887 in Des Moines, Polk County, Iowa. 

They had eight children, two of whom died in infancy. Their first two daughters were born in Des Moines. Marie Louisa Bertrand Shimp was born in August, 1888 and Emma Ethel Bertrand Smith  was born on March 17, 1890. 

The younger children were all born in Chariton, Lucas County, Iowa. Blanch Pauline Bertrand Higgins was born on September 11, 1893, Frances M. Bertrand Metela Johnson was born in October, 1895,  Lura Bertrand Bechtel Jones was born on December 22, 1897 and Franklin Merl Bertrand was born on January 19, 1899.

The family attended the United Brethren Church in Chariton.

The Bertrands appeared in the 1900 in Chariton City, Lucas County, Iowa.

In 1901 Lura was seriously injured in a fall from the porch onto a foot scraper.

Izetta Fern Bertrand was born in 1902 and died when she was only 11 months old of whooping cough. Merl was also sick with whooping cough at the same time. She is buried with her father, Joseph, in the Bertrand family plot in the Chariton Cemetery.

Izetta's Footstone

In 1903 Frances scaled herself while pouring a cup of coffee for Joseph.

Marie married in 1906 and Emma married in 1909. Joseph died in 1910. 

Emma kept a postcard collection during their Chariton years. The family sent notes and greetings back and forth to each other and received them from friends. These notes and images reveal a great deal about their daily lives.

After his death, the family began to break up. Viola moved to North Dakota to be near her parents. Blanch married in 1911 and in 1913 Merl was living with Emma. Francis married in 1917.

Viola married again in 1918 and died in 1919. 

To Merl from Mamma and the bunch. 
What do U think of the Spooning Card.
In 1920 the Higgins, Metelas, and Bechtels were in North Dakota and the Smiths were in Omaha, Nebraska. The Shimps were in Des Moines and Merl was living with them.  In 1922 Merl married. 
Bertrand Family

Diphtheria is a serious contagious respiratory illness where a membrane attaches to the tonsils, pharynx, or nasal cavity. Diphtheria can lead to loss of motor control and sensation.
Pertussis is also contagious and was known as whooping cough. It starts with a mild respiratory infection and the coughing develops into uncontrollable fits followed by a high-pitched "whoop" sound as the patient struggles to breathe.
Tetanus was also called lockjaw and occurs when wounds are contaminated. As the infection progresses, muscle spasms develop in the jaw as well as other parts of the body.

Chariton is the county seat of Lucas County, Iowa and is in Lincoln Township.

from Frances

Lucas County is in south central Iowa. It was founded in 1846 and the county seat is Chariton.

The 1890 census materials was lost in a 1921 fire.

Bertrand Family
photo courtesy of Anna Beetchenow
Bertrand Family
photo courtesy of Anna Beetchenow


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©Roberta Tuller 2020
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