She lost her entire family

dallas and mollie pike

Dallas Pike, age 21, died March 31, 1919. His wife Mollie Shepherd Pike, age 22 and their son Dale, age 2, died 5 days later on April 5th.

The only survivor of this young family was their daughter Dulsie, 14 months old. Dallas’ death certificate indicates he died of Pneumonia with Influenza as a contributing factor. The deaths occurred in Summit County Ohio where Dallas was working in a Goodrich Rubber factory. The family was originally from Adair County KY and all are buried in the New Hope Cemetery in that county.

Upon the death of both parents, Dulsie was retrieved and reared by her maternal grandparents. The Pike and Shepherd families apparently lived close enough that Dulsie had some contact with her paternal relatives. She recalled being taken to see her paternal grandfather prior to his death.

After Dulsie married and had two sons, she and her husband moved to Indiana and lived very close to her paternal uncle, Marvin Pike, (my father). They remained very close until his death. Dulsie once told me that over the years, her husband and sons had the flu and tho she cared for them, she never became ill herself.

Dulsie of course only knew what she was told about her parents deaths. One interesting story, at least to me, was that when friends wanted to visit Dallas in the hospital, a Doctor told them to take a strong shot of whiskey both before and after the visit to protect themselves from the flu.

I am not aware of the impact of losing her parents at such a young age had on Dulsie, but I do know she raised two sons who were devoted to her and took very good care of her as she aged.

Story (unedited) and photo credit go to Sara Pike

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