No Chance to Say Goodbye

Carrie Tillman McCune Baker was about 45 in 1918. Her two husbands had died, and her two sons were fighting in a world war. She was probably very anxious to see them alive and well again. But that wasn’t to be. Suddenly, our Great-Grandmother Carrie died.

The Columbus Daily Enquirer dated 1 Dec 1918 contains her obituary notice, stating that she died Saturday afternoon [30 Nov 1918] at the city hospital, and was survived by a daughter, Rossie, and two sons, Frank and Will McCune, “of the American forces in France.” It also listed her other surviving family members: sister, Mrs. Ludie Hurst, of Acmar, AL; and four brothers, George Tillman of San Antonio, TX; Frank Tillman of Beaumont, TX; Charles Tillman of Corsicana, TX; and T. F. Tillman of Columbus. The funeral was held on 1 Dec 1918 at 2:30 p.m. at Herring and McGehee’s Chapel with interment in Girard Cemetery. [1]

CoughsAndSneezesSpreadDiseases - Spanish flu poster in U.S.
Public Health poster [2]
The year 1918 is remembered not only for World War I but also for a world-wide influenza epidemic. Did Carrie succumb to this along with an estimated 40 million other people between 1918 and 1920, including many soldiers? Only recently did I find a copy of her death certificate at It wasn’t the flu that took her life.


1. Columbus Daily Enquirer, 1 Dec 1918, online image, ( accessed 23 Apr 2015), 8.

2. U.S. Public Health Service, “Coughs and Sneezes Spread Diseases,” 1918 public health poster, digital image, public domain, Wikimedia Commons ( accessed 7 Feb 2016).



Next time — Why did Carrie die so young?


  1. Anna Wilson said:

    You could have told us what happened to her instead of making us wait!

    February 15, 2016
    • Christine Ellington said:

      Anna, I predict you’re going to come back to read more!

      February 16, 2016

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