Ancestor: Jo Wise Henderson
Descendant: Sunny M.
From war bride to stepmom to quarantined worker: at age 18, in 1918, Jo Henderson married Tom Hall, a widower 12 years her senior, becoming a wife to Tom and a mother to his 4-year-old son.
Within three weeks, Tom enlisted in the Great War and Jo had to parent a child alone who was deeply traumatized by the disappearance of two parents and separation from his grandparents. Months later, Jo and her mother went to visit Tom at Camp Funston/Fort Riley, Kansas, now named by many sources as "ground zero" for the Spanish flu outbreak in the United States.
The photo on the right shows Jo with Tom in front of his tent at Camp Funston. The outbreak happened while Jo and her mother were there. The women were quarantined on the base. They helped as best they could, cooking and caring for sick soldiers. Jo's mother got sick, too. Both women survived and were eventually able to come home.
After the war, Tom and Jo had two little girls, one of them my grandmother, who eventually married the son of a teenage survivor of the Johnstown flood in PA. But that's another story.