NORTH DAKOTA AND OHIO
W.C.T.U. and Suffrage Association initiate war work in North Dakota---Eighty towns completely organized ---Stirring letter from State Chairman---Work of women in cities of Ohio---How state defense work is organized---What women have done in Cincinnati, Cleveland and Toledo.
North Dakota. The club women of North Dakota met on April 24, 1917, with representatives of the State Woman's Christian Temperance Union and the State Suffrage Association for the purpose of planning what part the clubs of the state should take in patriotic aid. Feeling that there would be much duplication of effort among the many women's organizations of the state, the presidents of the state W.C.T.U. and the Suffrage league were called to the meeting. The presidents of the three organizations agreed to serve as a central committee and to urge the cooperation of their organizations along three lines of work with a state chairman for each line of work, namely, to work along lines designated by the Red Cross, to increase food products and to eliminate waste, and for certified registration of women. In May a call came to the state from the woman's committee of the Council of National Defense asking Mrs. Frank White of Valley City to serve as temporary chairman and call a meeting of the heads of all women's organizations in the state for organization for work under their direction. This was done June 1. Eight women's organizations were represented and Mrs. Mary D. Weible represented the State Council of Defense. They perfected an organization to be known as the Woman's Committee of the Council of National Defense, North Dakota division, and simply enlarged upon the organization of April 24 by retaining the officers and adding three departments of work with chairmen for each. The name of Mrs. Mary D. Weible was added as vice-president.
The State Federation, the Grand Chapter O. E. S., Daughters of Rebekahs, and Woman's Christian Temperance Union contributed to the support of the work. Within a short time eighty towns reported complete organizations. Especially interesting and successful was the plan followed by Mrs. O. L. Saterton, of Grand Forks, who sent out over two hundred circular letters, over a thousand leaflets of instructions for Red Cross sewing; placed samples in circulation and answered hundreds of inquiries concerning the work at a time when information was hard to get. Many circles began work under her instruction and later formed auxiliaries or chapters.
Mrs. Clark W. Kelley, of Devil's Lake, had charge of food production, and many bulletins were sent out urging the necessity of planting garden seed. The Committee cooperated with the home economics workers of the Agricultural College Extension Department. Mrs. Kelley urged garden club work and encouraged the boys and girls to raise sheep and pigs.
Miss May McDonald, chairman Home Economics in Extension, North Dakota Agricultural College, Fargo, had charge of food conservation, and from May 1 to August 1, 1917, held 296 demonstration with a total attendance of 26,962. She gave out more than 100,000 specially prepared letters, and distributed 3,000 bulletins.
Mrs. J. E:. Featherstone, Valley City, who had charge of registration, was very successful, as was Mrs. J. E. Stevens, Lawton, who had charge of health and welfare of children.
The letters sent by the state chairman, Mrs. Vick, are so ringing in their appeal and seem so vital and impelling, it is no wonder they brought results. Who could resist such a call as this:
There never vas a greater challenge to the womanhood of the country than that made by the President of the United States to women for voluntary enrollment in this league for food conservation. North Dakota women must answer the call. We must use our ingenuity as never before.
Will you call a committee meeting of the heads of all women's organizations in your community and plan a rousing "Food Conservation" meeting. Plan the best program possible. Arrange for an exchange of economy ideas. Have a committee make posters to be distributed for kitchen decoration. Have good speakers or good papers read. If possible, distribute bulletins. Have patriotic music. Make certain that every woman attends, if automobile service is necessary to get her. Establish a nursery to take care of babies and young children so that they may not be an excuse. Overcome every obstacle. When the meeting is over, report it to as many newspapers as possible and lend your ideas and enthusiasm to all who may read. Make certain that every woman signs a Hoover card. I hope every North Dakota home will display a Hoover window tag. The pledge cards may be secured from the office of the County Superintendent of Schools.
Will you please do this at once and report your meeting to Mrs. Clendenning.
Relying on you, I am, etc.
Later Mrs. Vick sent out another letter in which she said:
How shall North Dakota rank with those of other states in this work It depends upon the women of our various communities.
Will local committees already named please meet at once, consult with the mayor of your community or city, and call meeting of all of your people? Will you not organize a "Patriotic Club" consisting of men, women and children? Will you please name departments of work suited to your locality? Will your Secretary please report your organization to Mrs. Clendenning at Wimbledon? Both men and women are receiving directions for work. Would it not be well for all to meet together and correlate all this? Have you somebody in your community who will guide the work of your children? They should have their small gardens, they should be making scrap books, they should be directed in various lines of activity that will instill patriotism and make them feel that they are doing their bit. Arrange for a patriotic meeting of the club at stated times where reports of the various departments of work should be reported. Patriotic speeches should be made. There should be much singing. Children should appear on these programs in patriotic drills. The Chairmen of our state departments of work are ready to aid you. We urge the formation of Red Cross organizations.
Miss McDonald and Miss Newton are doing a wonderful work in the talks and canning demonstrations they are giving.
Is every woman in your community realizing the need of being present at these meetings ?
Please organize at once. Report organization and work planned to Mrs. Clendenning, She will report to me and to the Woman's Committee at Washington, D. C.
The officers are: chairman, Mrs. H. G. Vick, Cavalier; vice chairman Mrs. Elizabeth Preston Anderson, Fargo; vice chairman, Mrs. Mary Darrow Weible, Fargo; secretary, Mrs. Grace Clendenning, Wimbledon; treasurer, Mrs. Maud Stanley, Casselton. Department Chairmen: Registration, Mrs. Frank White, Valley City; Food Production, Mrs. Clark Kelly, Devils Lake; Food Conservation, Miss Mae McDonald, Fargo; Red Cross, Mrs. O. L. Sateren, Grand Forks; Protection of Women Workers, Miss Aldyth Ward, Bismarck; Health and Welfare of Children, Mrs. J. E. Stevens, Lawton.
The spirit of North Dakota is shown by the attitude of Rev. Kenneth J. MacInnes, that state, who offers to visit every family in a parish seventeen miles long and eight miles wide and personally register the women. Pastor MacInnes preaches in the Forest River and Ardoch churches and writes the Woman' Committee of the Council of National Defense that he is too old for the trenches and has no boys, but he "feels a great debt to Uncle Sam-God bless him"- and he offers his services to his country. The women of his parish gave a picnic under the trees of Walsh County, North Dakota, and raised $653 for the Red Cross. I am convinced that nothing will bring larger results in the end, "said Mrs. Joseph Lamar of Georgia, member of the Woman's Committee, "than just such gatherings as these, and they should be encouraged.
The Committee sent 200 pledge cards to the pastor to be distributed along the seventeen-mile road of his parish.
Ohio. While the organization of the women of Ohio under the Woman's Committee may not be as closely knit as that in some other states, it is doubtful if the women in any state have worked harder or accomplished more than have the women of Ohio, especially in the large cities of the state. Ohio is a very strongly organized club state, the Federated Clubs being one of the largest and strongest organizations in the state, and having among its membership a wonderful cohesion. In addition to the Federated Clubs there are many other organizations of various kinds doing constructive patriotic work and hundreds of unorganized women are also enlisting in the Nation's great army of women.
The State Council of Defense of Ohio was organized somewhat differently from that of other states. The Governor appointed a war cabinet of twenty-eight members without legislative action. There is also a very active food commission which is state-wide and which operates through the state university. This commission controls thirty-six farm bureaus, and it is under the commission that Miss Georgia White of the state university has carried on with signal success the educational side of the food conservation program. The Governor has also appointed a food and crop commissioner in each of the eighty-five counties. Notable also is the work of Mr. Croxton of the State Council, who heads the Department of Labor and Industry and through whose efforts twenty-one employment divisions have been established throughout the state with a clearing house and a general director in the state capital. This committee handles all labor, male and female, through its free employment centers, and 27,000 people were placed during the month of July, 1917.
The state chairman, Mrs. Zimmerman, conducts her work through Mr. Croxton and through Mr. Howell Wright, Executive Secretary of the State Council of Defense. Mr. Wright made a survey of county organizations and conditions in order to proceed intelligently with the organization of both men and women for war work. Ohio was not prompt to undertake a complete registration as was undertaken in other states. But the State Council went on record as favoring a compulsory registration of men and women at "some future date." Dr. Hollingshead, head of the Child Hygiene Department under the State Public Health Board, has done some very interesting constructive work. Both Dr. Hollingshead and Miss White have great ability and are full of enthusiasm for their respective departments. They both know conditions at first hand all over the state and their experience is of great value. The State Division is recognized as the Woman's Auxiliary to the State Council. Stationery is provided and Miss White and Dr. Hollingshead and other officials of the Woman's Committee are invited to work under the State Council.
The work in Cincinnati though difficult, has been growing steadily in value and interest. Miss Shillito has been doing a commendable work in connection with the camps. The mayor of Cincinnati has appointed six women on his City Defense Committee and the women of the city have worked effectively in all branches of war service, notably the Red Cross and the Navy League. A splendid work has been done in the schools of Cincinnati where penny luncheons were served and where free extension courses in telegraphy were given to over 300 girls. Miss Strong has organized the home economics work of the city and Miss Edith Campbell trained 12 women as visitors for Red Cross civilian relief.
The women of Cleveland, in forming the unit for the Ohio Division of the Woman's Committee, adopted much of the program for conservation and thrift which had been started by the Suffrage Society, as well as that undertaken by the Consumers' League under Miss Jones for the women in industry. By this wise course none of the good work undertaken was abated, but was merely centralized in the Cleveland unit. The women of Cleveland continued and intensified the excellent work they had been doing along many lines, including investigation into the high cost of milk, consideration of new ordinances for the improvement of markets, the use of volunteers in local charities, classes for training such volunteers, etc. These women formulated very carefully their plans for the training of registrars, so that registration might be done with a maximum of efficiency. Cleveland is wonderfully well organized along lines of charity federation and social welfare. Expert leaders in these fields offered their cooperation most heartily in the newly organized war work.
The work in Toledo under Miss Fannie Harnit is deserving of especial mention. To Miss Harnit belongs the credit of having organized the first great patriotic society of women in the city. As early as March, 1917, she called a meeting of fifteen of the heads of local societies, including the State Federation of Women's Clubs, the D.A.R., and others. Each of these fifteen women was asked to choose ten representative women from her organization to decide on a plan, and from this larger meeting developed a patriotic league for woman's service which later became affiliated with the National League for Woman's Service. This organization perfected as it was in wards and precincts formed the basis for the practical and splendid war work that has since been done by Toledo women. The Patriotic League received the highest indorsement of the men of the community and rendered great assistance to the Red Cross in its various undertakings. A great deal was also accomplished in food conservation in the Liberty Loan campaign and in every other branch of war service for women. So active was this organization and so practical was the work it was doing that it was continued as the Toledo unit of the Woman's Committee, and the constructive work already begun developed in every direction.
One of the most notable contributions the Toledo women have made to war work was their united service with the men in the establishment of 27,000 war gardens in the city. One garden of 17 acres was divided into 110 plots which were worked by 110 individuals.
The officers are chairman, Mrs. George Zimmerman, Fremont; vice-chairman Mrs. Samuel B. Sneath, Tiffin; vice chairman, Mrs. Laurence Maxwell, Cincinnati; vice chairman, Mrs. W. O. Thompson, Columbus; vice chairman, Mrs. Malcolm McBride, Cleveland; secretary, Mrs. Elizabeth Wolf, Dayton; treasurer, Mrs. Clarence E. Mack, Cincinnati. Food Administration: Miss Edna N. White, O. S. University, Columbus; Women in Industry: Miss Myrta Jones, Cleveland; Child Welfare Dr. Frances M. Hollingshead, Ohio State Board of Health, Columbus; Liberty Loan: Mrs. Minerva Kline Brooks, Cleveland.
Chapter XXVI. Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Oregon and Rhode Island
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