Capitol Hill and the 1918 Flu Pandemic Part 4: First Deaths

Updated: Oct 20, 2020


Photos of those who died or their relatives, see below.

The following is a memorial to those who are known to have died of the flu within the first few weeks and either lived on Capitol Hill when they died or had a significant connection to the neighborhood. This memorial consists of short bios and photos of those who died. Unfortunately, photos of many of the victims could not be found. In this case, their bio is either accompanied by a photo of an immediate family member or does not have a photo at all.

Ada Abbott, died October 1, 1918

Ada's husband Edson

Ada Abbott was born in New Orleans, Louisiana in September 1867 to Emma F. and Stephen B. Packard. Stephen briefly served as governor of Louisiana during reconstruction that year. The family moved to England in 1879 when Stephen was appointed the consul to Liverpool.

They moved back to the U.S. in 1885 settling on a farm in Marshalltown Iowa. It was here that Ada met and married Edson Gilman Abbott Sr (pictured), the owner of a local grain and livestock shipping business on August 7, 1889. Ada and Edson had their first son Edson Augustus on June 6, 1890. They had their second son Bennett Packard on November 11, 1892. Ada's husband and father-in-law left for Alaska and the Canadian Yukon to start a mining and shipping business during the gold rush.

The family reunited in Seattle in 1900 residing at 517 11th Ave N. By 1910 Ada and her family had moved to the U-district. By this point her husband was working in real estate and her son Bennett was attending Broadway High School. Around 1913 Ada and her husband Edson moved to Port Angeles where Edson took up operation of hotel. That same year Edson also became a film distributor and set up their son Bennett to start a theatre in Sedro Wooley. Ada Caught the flu in September of 1918 and was brought to Seattle General Hospital by her son Bennett where she died on October 1, 1918.

Mary Helen Simmons, died October 4, 1918

Mary Helen Simmons was born in California (possibly San Francisco) o William John and Jannett Green in 1879. Mary married William A. Shumaker at an unknown date. They had a daughter Jannette in California, circa 1904. Mary divorced William in July 1907 and remarried to a motorman named Edward Earl Simmons on April 7, 1908. Their first son Andrey was born in 1911 and their second son Milton in 1912. Edward became a police officer around 1914 and filed for divorce in 1915 claiming that Mary had deserted him. Mary's whereabouts are unknown until her death. Her only connection to Capitol Hill is that she was living at the St. Albans Apartments (923 E John St, since demolished) at the time of her death on October 4, 1918.