DELAWARE, FLORIDA, AND THE NATIONAL CAPITAL
War work in Delaware centers in Wilmington---In first month of war over 1,000 community gardens were planted---Outline of work done by women of national capital-Ladies of the Senate organize to sew for Red Cross-President's wife a contributor---Women set fine example to the Nation---Florida women follow suggestions from National Woman's Committee---Presidents of state organizations form Woman's Committee.
Delaware. In Delaware the Committee on National Defense was started in Wilmington the last of March, when a large group of women organized for work in the city of Wilmington The state being largely agricultural in the two lower counties, and Wilmington containing about one-half the population of the state, the work largely concerned itself with the city of Wilmington.
Organization was perfected by the appointment of Committees on Home Economics, Community Gardens, Public Health and Nursing, Americanization or Friendly Committee, Training for Motor Service and Enrollment for Service.
The Community Gardens, in the first month of war, planted over a thousand gardens and about three hundred and twenty-five back yard gardens. These yielded good results and the Committee on Economics followed the food production work by conducting canning classes in various parts of the state. These classes were conducted mainly by women connected with the Economics Department of Delaware College.
The Governor of the state appointed a Food Conservation Committee in May, 1917, and the first week in July the Woman's Committee of National Defense became a state instead of a city organization and appointed a chairman for each of the three counties of the state. Mrs. S. Harrington Messick, of Bridgeville, Delaware, is chairman for Sussex County, Mrs. L. Irving Handy, Smyrna, for Kent County, and Mrs. Alfred D. Warner, Wilmington, is chairman for New Castle County; while Mrs. Preston Lea, Wilmington, is chairman of the Wilmington Committee, and Mrs. Charles R. Miller is chairman of the State Committee.
The Hoover Pledge Cards were distributed through the Postoffice Department, which was quite a disappointment to the Committee as they had hoped to distribute them through the local committees with the aid of the Police Department, and the members feel that had they been allowed to do so the results would have been immediate and of a more satisfactory nature. The women of Delaware have worked successfully along various lines and have patriotically answered every call.
District of Columbia. While the leaders in the defense work of the District of Columbia are modest in their statement of their accomplishments, it is not unfair to say that the women of the National Capital have set a fine example in the enthusiasm and constancy with which they have set about work in every field. The first ladies of the land, members of the
President's own household, wives of the cabinet members, senators and the official family generally through the long summer months kept faithfully at their tasks. Mrs. Wilson and Miss Helen Bones, niece of the President, have personally contributed numbers of articles made by their own hands to the Red Cross. Mrs. Marshall, wife of the Vice-President, is president of an organization known as "Ladies of the Senate," which is composed of the wives of the cabinet members and senators. These ladies meet every Tuesday morning and work for the Red Cross. Their annual dues provide a nice sum which is devoted to some specific relief work. All social functions, with exception of the formal state affairs given for official visitors, have practically been discontinued, and even the state functions are characterized by extreme simplicity.
In practically all of the government departments employees have been organized for systematic war work. As soon as war was declared Mrs. Franklin K. Lane, wife of the Secretary of the Interior, called together the wives of the bureau chiefs and organized the Interior Department for war work. The growth of the organization has been phenomenal and it now has members not only in Washington but in the field service of the department. Alaska contributed $7,000 and made possible a gift of eight beds, in addition to eight previously given, to the Washington ward of the Neuilly Hospital in France. Indians of the different reservations gave a beautiful collection of baskets the sale of which brought $1,150. Mrs. Lane's Committee is composed of Mrs. Ale T. Vogelsang, wife of First Asst. Secretary of the Interior, Mrs Stephen Mather, wife of Director of Parks; Mrs. E. C. Bradley, wife of Asst. to the Secretary; Mrs. Lathrop Brown, Mrs. Van H. Manning, wife of Director of Bureau of Mines; Mrs. Gaylord M. Saltzgaber, wife of Commissioner of Pensions; Mrs. E. C. Tieman, wife of Asst. Commissioner of Pensions; Mrs. Cato Sells, wife of Commissioner of Indian Affairs; Mrs. Edgar B. Merritt, wife of Asst. Commissioner of Indian Affairs; Mrs. James T. Newton, wife of Commissioner of Patents; Mrs. Philander P. Claxton, wife of Commissioner of Education; Mrs. William R. King, wife of Chief Counsel of Reclamation Service; Mrs. George Otis Smith, wife of Director of Geological Survey; Mrs. Clay Tallmall, wife of Commissioner of General Land Office, Mrs. Morrelle C. Bruce, wife of Assistant Commissioner of the General Land Office.
The District of Columbia Chapter of the Red Cross is a model for the whole nation and a record of its achievements would in itself make an interesting volume.
The principal functions of the Woman's Division of the District of Columbia Council of National Defense since its organization in June have been the promotion of the food conservation campaign in July, assisting in floating the Liberty Loan, in October, and assisting the army of clerks and other employees, who have added a third to Washington's population since April, 1917, to find places to live and eat.
The food conservation campaign was carried on by means of meetings held in the different pubic schools where women were asked to sign the food cards, and in some cases demonstrations were given in domestic economy. Also, canning was carried on all summer in a specially equipped kitchen, the equipment being the gift of Mrs. Charles W. Wetmore, chairman of the Food Conservation and Production Department. This kitchen was located in a central public school and was very popular. Both colored and white canners brought their fruit and vegetables and canned them in the kitchen under the supervision of experts.
This work was carried on in a modified form during the winter in a War Kitchen, located at 1510 K Street, where daily demonstrations are given in the economical preparation of food.
The Liberty Loan campaign was conducted through the organization of the Woman's Division, Mrs. L Ernest Thompson-Seton being the campaign manager. It differed from other Liberty Loan drives in at least one particular. The closing day was "Children's Day" with the slogan, "A Mile of Nickels." The chairman of this day, Mrs. Ellis Logan, invited all the children from public and private schools, orphan asylums, and various institutions, and also the children from patriotic societies, clubs and other organizations to attend in a body at different hours of the day and bring their nickels, which they deposited in a big bank in the form of a Liberty Bell, and their names were inscribed on an honor roll. The money was to purchase Liberty Bonds, which were contributed to the Fund for the Fatherless Children of France, an authorized custodian of which was present during the day. Special features of children in costume, both military and historical, and children of well known parentage whom the public would be interested to see were announced through the Press to be in attendance at specified times.
The demand for living accommodations in Washington during the war regime has so far exceeded the supply, particularly the supply appropriate to the young women who come from comfortable homes and good salaried positions to work for the Government, that the Woman's Division has conducted a canvass among club members, Daughters of the American Revolution, and other societies composed of women who are likely to have certain spare rooms in their houses, in an endeavor to make available this space which ordinarily goes for social entertaining. This work has been expanded and placed on a systematic basis. The President has set aside the sum of $1,000 a month for the purpose of making a survey of housing conditions and providing for the influx of workers.
The officers are: chairman, Mrs. Archibald Hopkins, vice-chairmen, Mrs. Robert Lansing, Mrs. Ernest Thompson-Seton, Liberty Loan; Mrs. Blaine Beale, Mrs. Gibson Fahenstock, Woman's Section, Navy League; Mrs. Charles W. Wetmore, Capital Garden Club; Mrs. Robert S. Chew, Evening Clinic; Miss Mary Gwynn, Washington Diet Kitchen; Mrs. William Hitz, Immigration Bureau; Mrs. G. M, Brumbaugh, D.A.R.; Miss Sarah Lee, Miss Nannie Burroughs, Colored Women; Mrs. F. L. Ransome, Housekeepers' Alliance. Executive Committee: Miss Alma Ruggles, Mrs. J. M. Biddle, Mrs. Garrison McClintock, Mrs. Frederick H. Brooke, Mrs. Walter Bruce Howe, Miss Edna Sheehy, Men's Committee-chairmen: Mrs. Archibald Hopkins, Mrs. Harriet Blaine Beale, Mrs. A. P. Gardner, Mrs. J. W. Wadsworth, Jr.; Mrs. Louis P. Brownlow, Mrs. William Belden Noble, Mrs. George Howard.
Florida.-Mrs. W. S. Jennings, president of the Florida Federation of Women's Clubs, was appointed temporary chairman of the Woman's Committee of the Council of National Defense and immediately called a meeting in Jacksonville to perfect a permanent organization. There were present at this meeting: Mrs. H. H. McCreary, President U.D.C.; Miss Minnie E. Neal, President W.C.T.U.; Mrs. Arthur Gilkes, State Regent of D.A.R.; Miss Agnes Harris,, State Agent of Canning Clubs, and President Teachers' Association; Mrs. Telfair Stockton, President Colonial Dames; Mrs. W. B. Young, State Chairman National League for Woman's Service; Mrs. Bion Barnett, representing Y.W.C.A. and Red Cross and several other prominent women.
Mrs. William Hocker of Ocala, former president of the Florida Federation of Women's Clubs, was elected permanent chairman; Mrs. H. H. McCreary, of Gainesville, vice-president; Mrs. Telfair Stockton, of Jacksonville, secretary-treasurer. These officers together with the other state representatives of women's organizations constitute the Executive Committee.
As there was no provision made for financing the state organization, local committees were asked to contribute one dollar from each organization cooperating.
The first step of the permanent chairman was to appoint a temporary chairman in all towns of more than five hundred inhabitants, and send to them an organization letter. The work was somewhat retarded as so many of the women appointed were out of the state for the summer and had to name substitutes, or await their return. However, in a short time sixty-five units had been established, with permanent chairmen, besides fifteen ward units under Miss Meigs, chairman of the Jacksonville division, and about as many under Mrs. Hugh McFarlane, chairman of Tampa. There were also more than one hundred acting chairmen, many of whom later effected permanent organizations.
Before the Woman's Committee was organized, Mrs. W. S. Jennings, temporary state chairman, managed the first food conservation pledge campaign, through several of the women's state organizations. About twenty-five thousand cards were distributed.
The first work of importance undertaken by the Woman's Committee has been the registration for service requested by the National Committee. This was managed by Mrs. W. B. Young of Jacksonville, treasurer of the General Federation of Women's Clubs. Mrs. Young sent a circular letter to all the units, explaining the purpose and value of registration, and asked them to write for the number of cards desired, basing their estimate on population. Thirty-two thousand cards were distributed, and September 19, 20 and 21 named as registration days. There was very satisfactory response.
Of another part of the work, Mrs. Hocker says:
"Miss Tarbell, for her committee, asked our cooperation in making public and popular the movement for women to carry their own purchases, and enable merchants to release men for service. We sent notice to all the units, suggesting methods of cooperation, to agree on fewer daily deliveries, and reduce these when possible, and to do marketing in person, and not by phone. We also distributed 'stickers' with the slogan 'Women! Cooperate with Merchants. Cut down deliveries.'"
"The Committee was asked to cooperate in the War Library fund, and in the big Food Conservation drive. For this, we marshaled all our forces and joined with the Food Commission, State Council of Defense, and other agencies, in making it thorough and effective.
"Each unit is composed of several organizations. For instance, there were forty-five different organizations represented at the meeting to establish the Jacksonville unit.
"State organizations form the Woman's Committee, and their presidents, or heads, together with our officers, constitute our Executive Board. "The presidents of these organizations are Mrs. W. S. Jennings, Florida Federation of Women's Clubs; Mrs. H. H. McCreary, U.D.S.; Mrs. Telfair Stockton, Colonial Dames; Mrs. W. B. Young, National Service League; Mrs. Frank Stranahan, Suffrage Association; Miss Minnie Neal, W.C.T.U.; Miss Agnes Ellen Harris,, Canning Clubs; Mrs. Bion Barnett, Red Cross, Y.W.C.A.; Miss Elsie Hoyt, Southern Association College Women; Mrs. L .B. Safford, National Federation of Music Clubs; Mrs. Sarah Harris, Eastern Star; Mrs. Arthur Gilkes, D.A.R.; Mrs. C. C. Bagwell, Catholic Alumnae; Mrs. Hattie Bethel, Pythian Sisters; Mrs. Mabel DeRyder, Woman's Relief Corps, G.A.R.; Miss Anna Davids, Florida Nurses' Association; Miss Ella Rorabeck, U. S. Daughters 1812; Mrs. Frank E. Jennings, State Chairman Liberty Loan. Honorary vice-chairmen: Mrs. W. W. Cummer, Mrs. D. U. Fletcher, Mrs. Frank Clark, Mrs. Sidney J. Catts, wife of the Governor; Mrs. D. U. Fletcher, wife of senior U. S. Senator; Mrs. Frank Clark, wife of senior Congressman; Mrs. W. W. Cummer, philanthropist and prominent in women's work.
Chapter XIX. Georgia, Idaho, and Illinois
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