ALABAMA, ARKANSAS, AND ARIZONA
Alabama Women quickly perfect organization in every county---Work financed by voluntary contributions--- First activity was distribution of President's war message to men who enlisted---Governor proclaims Woman's Registration Day---Women's work in Arkansas and Arizona---Alaska furnishes inspiration to her sister states.
In directing the organization of the women throughout the country from its headquarters in Washington, the Woman's Committee of the Council of National Defense has never dictated, but has confined itself to outlining a general plan and making such suggestions as seemed practicable. For this reason the story of women's war work in the various states is filled with interest. The leaders in these states have initiated many novel plans and developed many new and valuable ideas. Emphasis has been placed where it was most needed, and always local conditions have been carefully considered. In the rich agricultural states work in the early months of war was centered on the production and the conservation of food; in the states in which the large industrial plants are located, the problems arising concerning women in industry were given most attention; but in every state the women worked indefatigably in the interest of Mr. Hoover's campaign, the sale of Liberty Bonds and in Registration.
Where reports from some of the states seem meager it does not in any sense mean that the women have not worked bravely, individually and through their organizations. It generally means that local conditions prevented a complete organization in the first month or two of the war. This was especially true in the states where the weather was extremely hot and where many of the women were away from their homes. In the larger cities the organizations were perfected more quickly, but the women of the smaller towns in every state have rendered valuable service.
Alabama. The women of Alabama, under the able chairmanship of Mrs. James Fullerton Hooper, of Selma, within a few months after they were appointed, had perfected organizations in nearly one hundred cities and towns and in ninety-eight counties. This was the more remarkable because the work was inaugurated and carried on through voluntary contributions.
The Alabama branch of the Woman's Committee of the Council of National Defense cooperates with the State Council of Defense through Mrs. Hooper, who was appointed by the Governor as a member of the State Coordination Committee. Alabama furnishes a shining example of coordination.
Mrs. Hooper has worked unceasingly since war was declared, and the story of the work of the women of her state is best told by her. She says: "When the tocsin of war was sounded, all good citizens of Alabama male and female, answered 'Here' to the roll call of patriots. The women both in action and speech testified that the love and devotion, the service and sacrifice, the patience and patriotism of the women of this generation was no whit behind that of the women of the sixties.
"At the request of Dr. Anna Howard Shaw, the state organizations united in forming the Council of National Defense, and since that time every department has been formulating plans to meet successfully the demands of the hour. As an organized body the first activity was the distribution of the President's war message to the men as they enlisted for war service which was done through committees placed at each polling place.
"The second call was from Mr. Hoover for the distribution of the Conservation Pledge Cards. Although our women as club women had signed the Economy Card sent out by the General Federation, as good soldiers they undertook the second campaign with spirit and enthusiasm. In cities, a house to house canvass was made, and in some cities committees stood in the vestibules of the churches on the Sabbath Day in order to reach those whom they failed to find at home: the rural districts were canvassed by the use of automobiles, and in localities where we had no units or clubs the distribution was made through the local postmasters or mistresses, to whom we owe much praise. The campaign was inaugurated by short addresses by prominent men, at picture theaters. Agriculture has been emphasized by lectures, demonstrations, and home gardening. It would do the heart of the national chairman good to know how obedient many have been, even to sacrificing beautiful lawns for luxuriant field peas. The work of agriculture has been carried on in a most systematic way. Home, school and community gardens were encouraged, prizes were offered for the best specimens and collections both in the white and negro schools and hundreds of plants and packages of seeds were distributed among the negroes, who have shown unusual interest and patriotism. The President of the Colored Women's Federation of Clubs has been most helpful in the work and has shown a beautiful spirit of loyalty and cooperation.
"Registration was a unique experience with us, but we boldly attempted it, and considering the fact that women are innately opposed to 'signing up,' we did well. The Governor kindly proclaimed a special day for the registration of women for service, and well trained registrars were in charge of registration places located in different parts of the cities and counties. Already we are realizing results from the work, for our business men make use of these cards to find bookkeepers, stenographers, etc.
"The club women as club women are doing a great work along health lines. Having become auxiliary to the Southern Medical Association they have emphasized the Health Department, and a number of clubs banded together and equipped a Field Hospital in France. A second group immediately began raising the funds necessary to equip another hospital.
"The Council of Defense is composed of all organizations, and the president of each is chairman of a department; while each chairman plans the work that naturally falls to her, all organizations unite to make it a success, for with unity of hearts and unity of hand we are undertaking the great task that is before us. In times of danger and disaster women have never failed, and they will not falter nor fail now, in this their nation's greatest need."
Serving with Mrs. Hooper are the following officers: vice-chairmen, Mrs. Thomas M. Owen, Montgomery; Mrs. Rhett Goode, Mobile; secretary, Mrs. J. B. Parke, Selma; treasurer, Mrs. William Gayle, Montgomery.
Arkansas. "Arkansas women are wide awake and eager to do all that is expected of them," says the honorary state chairman, Mr. Charles H. Brough, Little Rock. "We are going to do our part in winning this war and victory must come." Arkansas is organized through townships and school districts. Organization was perfected soon after the call was received from Washington, and by July 16, fifteen out of the seventy-five counties were fully organized and were hard at work. As there is no state appropriation for defense work the Committee met its financial obligations by voluntary contributions from patriotic individuals and from clubs. The officers of the division meet regularly every Tuesday morning and discuss ways and means of working out the various problems that arise. Mrs. Brough, the honorary state chairman, is also state chairman for the Liberty Loan Committee. The majority of the counties are well organized. Arkansas did splendid work in sale of the Liberty Loan bonds under the chairmanship of Mrs. Brough, Liberty Loan chairmen for the various districts are: Mrs. Harry Williams, Jonesboro; Mrs. Bruce Massingill, Heber Springs ; Mrs. Allen G. Flowers, Fayetteville; Mrs. Seab Holt, Fort Smith; Mrs. J. W. House, Little Rock; Mrs. T. O.
Drennan, Hot Springs; Mrs. Dougald McMillan, Arkadelphia. Officers of the Arkansas Division of the Woman's Committee of the Council of National Defense are: chairman, Mrs. Jo Frauenthal, Conway; vice-chairman, Mrs. J. E. Andrews Harrison, secretary, Mrs. Minnie Rutherford-Fuller, Little Rock; treasurer, Miss Mary Honora McCabe, Little Rock. Heads of departments are: Registration, Mrs. Schoenfeldt, Little Rock; Food Production, Mrs. Byrd Tatum, Morrillton; Child Welfare, Mrs. G. W. Garrison, Little Rock; Maintenance of Existing Social Agencies, Mrs. Frank Peel, Bentonville; Education, Mrs. C. H. Brough, Little Rock; Liberty Loan, Mrs. E. O. Ellington, Little Rock; Health and Recreation, Mrs. Markwell, Little Rock.
Arizona. Although Arizona was one of the states in which local conditions rendered early organization difficult, the women of that state have accomplished much, and the state is organized along very practical lines. The conditions in the mountain districts retarded the work of organization during the first months of war, but through their clubs and individually the women have worked industriously along all lines that have been suggested to them from Washington. The state was organized by townships and school districts. There are twenty-five members of the Woman's Committee which works along the same lines as the Men's Committee. The State Defense Council finances the work of the Woman's Committee and provides for it as a part of its own organization. Mrs. Pauline O'Neill, chairman of the Woman's Committee, is also a member of the Council of Defense and is a member of the executive committee of that body. All of the leading women's organizations of the state are cooperating in the state defense work, coordinating their efforts under the Federated Clubs. These include the W.C.T.U., Mother's Congress, D.A.R., Collegiate Alumnae, Eastern Star, Pythian Sisters, State Federation of Musical Clubs, Council of Jewish Women, Woman's Missionary Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church, Young Ladies' Mutual Improvement Society, etc.
The officers of the Arizona Woman's Committee of the Council of National Defense are: chairman, Mrs. E. B. O'Neill, Phoenix; heads of departments: Child Welfare, Mrs. J. C. Norton, Phoenix; Liberty Loan, Alice Birdsall, Phoenix; Home and Foreign Relief, Mrs. Gordon Tweed, Phoenix; Health and Recreation, Mrs. I. Lachance, Phoenix.
Alaska. It should be very inspiring to the women of the older states to know of the splendid spirit of patriotism evident among the women of Alaska. Immediately following the Declaration of War, and the President's letter to the governors of states, suggesting the enlistment of women in war service, Mrs. J. F. A. Strong, wife of the governor, sent out a call for the organization of an Alaska Woman's Patriotic League. The founders' chapter was established at Juneau, the capital city, with Mrs. Strong as president. Active cooperation was given by the Woman' Christian Temperance Union, and Mrs. Cornelia Templeton Hatcher, territorial president, organized the Patriotic League in all the principal towns. The plan of work included a monthly meeting for the consideration of the food conservation and other problems incident to the war. When the Woman's Committee of the Council of National Defense was created, Mrs. T. J. Donahoe of Valdez, president of the Federated Clubs, was appointed territorial representative of the Committee, and the general outline of work furnished the states from the National Capital was followed in so far as it was applicable. The registration of women for war service was undertaken by the Patriotic League, all the other women's organizations cooperating. The League has also endowed an Alaskan bed in the ward maintained by the Department of the Interior in the American Hospital at Neuilly, France.
The adoption of French war orphans has been the special work of the territorial W.C.T.U., in addition to its usual contributions through the Department of Work among Soldiers and Sailors.
Every town has a Red Cross Chapter or auxiliary and has contributed generously in both funds and supplies.
Mrs. Donohoe pays this tribute to the men and women of her territory:
"There is no state in the Union more loyal to our Government, and no people more ready to sacrifice lives and possessions in its defense. The awakening to the actuality of the war in which we are engaged has come slowly owing to the great distance intervening, but once awake, the call to arms will find a ready response. "
Chapter XVII. California, Colorado, and Connecticut
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