Vern Wilber Meakins 1890-1919.


Reading about my children’s great uncle Vern Wilber Meakins who died shortly after army discharge from WW I of influenza in 1919.  Vern’s mother, Cora Jane Meakins, sued the government for a term life insurance settlement, and won when the case was heard by an appellate court.

I don’t have any legal training, but lots of details emerged from the hearing.

— Vern W. was born in 1890, died in 1919, age 29.

— He worked as a teamster and farm hand.

— Drafted into the army in March 1918, discharged in February 1919.

— Married with three children.

— Even in 1919 doctors knew that influenza was primarily a respiratory illness caused by a virus.  At that time influenza cost many lives.  No vaccine was available then.

— The virus caused an encephalitis that killed Vern W.

— The transcript of the appeal is on line if one googles “Cora Jane Meakins vs United States of America.”


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