NEW HAMPSHIRE, NEW JERSEY AND NEW MEXICO
New Hampshire follows interesting plan of organization-State Chairman gives her residence as headquarters-New Jersey women initiate many novel forms of patriotic service-Canning centers in every community -Markets opened all over the state-New Mexico furnishes a thrill to Mr. Hoover-Drying food not a "lost art" in that state.
New Hampshire. In New Hampshire the women followed closely the suggestions of the National Woman's Committee and attempted an organization in every city and town in the state. Within a short time the Committee was able to report, "We have only about five or six towns of any considerable size that have not already been organized, and there has been a steady advance along many lines. "
"New Hampshire's plan of organization is interesting. An organization in a town consists of a chairman and several vice chairmen, the number being determined by the needs of the town. Each chairman presides over a certain district of the town, and the territory is divided up closely so that each woman may make an actual house to house canvass whenever needed. There is a very widely representative State Board and each member of a State Board is given a particular part of the state work to do. For instance one member has charge of the grocery deliveries ad works in the interest of that; another has the cooperation with the Red Cross; another the extension of voluntary service, somewhat similar to the V.A.D., in Canada; another the training for war service; an other is librarian; another has child welfare and the education of children along patriotic lines; another has been named, under Mr. Hoover,Mr. Huntley N. Spaulding, Federal Food Commissioner of New Hampshire, as Home Economics Director. The State chairman, Mrs. Mary I. Wood, of Portsmouth, said:
I am glad to bear witness to the splendid cooperation which we have received from the Public Safety Committee and from Mr. Huntley N. Spaulding, the Federal Food Commissioner for the state of New Hampshire. Under Mr. Spaulding, a food campaign was planned which I believe as second to none in the United States. The plan provided for a sufficient number of home economics workers so that every town in the State could be reached with demonstrators on food conservation and food substitution and a housekeepers' exchange. Under each town unit we have a sufficient number of workers so that these women who are not able to attend the demonstrations may be reached by the lessons in a house to house campaign by these sub-chairmen. There is also a system of cooperation with the cities and towns whereby home economics is taught in the public schools so that the curriculum of these schools may allow the release of a teacher for a certain part of a day each week. Our hope is that our sub-chairmen may be willing to take lessons in home economics from these teachers.
We are also in the midst of a series of lessons which have been arranged in such a way that every town unit may send its chairman, sub-chairmen and food committee members to attend this conference and inspirational meetings, returning to their homes without spending the night. At these meetings we have speakers who bring before the people very clearly the fact that America is at war; just why we have entered the war; something of what the war means; the government's plan for the using of the woman power of America; the plans of the Food Administrator and a talk on food Substitution and food conservation. These meetings give great satisfaction and the women respond splendidly. We also tried to get before large groups of people daily, and we were able to feel that from the north to south and from the east to west of our little State we are pretty keenly alive to the war necessity and also to the part which our women are to take in this great crisis.
Of course, no great credit should be given to us because we are a small State and we do not have the many insurmountable obstacles which some states present. We are not beset with labor troubles nor do we have great groups of foreign people who may not clearly understand our message. We are fortunate in the splendid support which we have, and we are especially fortunate in our Federal Food Commissioner. With all of these assets New Hampshire ought to make good.
Mrs. Wood gave her residence in Portsmouth for headquarters of the Woman's Committee until permanent arrangements could be made. Other officers are: vice chairman, Miss Anne Hobbs, Concord; secretary, Mrs. Albertus T. Dudley, Exeter; treasurer, Mrs. Susan C. Bancroft, Concord; Directors: Mrs. Mabel N. Adams, Derry; Mrs. Alpha H. Harriman, Laconia; Mrs. R. W. Husband, Hanover; Mrs. William L. Schofield, Peterborough; Mrs. George D. Towne, Manchester.
New Jersey. If New Jersey does not really lead all the rest in many branches of war work, it is certainly not unfair to say that no state has initiated more creditable and novel forms of patriotic service, nor have the women of any state worked more constantly or to better purpose.
New Jersey housewives have long been noted for their thrift and efficiency, and the community spirit has run high among them for some time before war was declared. There were many splendid organizations doing work along broad and practical lines and it was only necessary for these to turn their power to war work for things to begin to happen. It was in New Jersey that the "community kitchen"-later called the "war kitchen"-idea began to develop, and to attract the attention of national leaders. In Newark and in other cities and towns the experiment was tried with pronounced success. It was also in New Jersey that the women planned a "cafeteria" picking of vegetables and fruits. This plan was suggested soon after news reached Summit that a farmer had plowed under a whole field of peas because he could get no pickers. The Canning Unit of the Woman's Committee of the Council of National Defense asked the farmers not to plow under anything else until the women had been given a chance at the fields.
The practical spirit of the New Jersey women in regard to food conservation is well shown in a letter to the Woman's Committee at Washington from Mrs. Mary Skidmore, in which she says: "Not a woman among us but stands ready to save the crumbs. But we also want to know something about the control of waste at the market source. We want to know some thing about the trainloads of food on our Jersey marshes while we are paying the price they choose to ask. I say there should be control of public waste at the source-meanwhile we do what we can at home. Our canning unit is going to ask that the farmers will not plow under their fields until they give us a chance to pick. I can fancy a cafeteria process, by which one goes into a field, picks what beans one wants, have her basket valued on the way out and pays the price less her labor."
Mrs. Charles W. Stockton, of Ridgewood, chairman of the Woman's Committee of the New Jersey Council of National Defense, says:
I think the New Jersey women are responding to all the calls made upon them. Our farming communities have produced record crops and the women have not only canned and preserved vegetables and fruit, but they have actually assisted largely in the gardening which produced the raw material. I know of several women who took position on farms or to work in gardens. Among these were two teachers who wished to spend their vacation in the open air and took this way of getting a vacation and doing their bit, at the same time. In the cities the back yard gardens have been something astonishing and have been made a matter of systematic care. Mrs. Wm. L. Smith, of East Orange, has done a splendid work along this line.
Canning centers have been started in almost every community, large and small, and, I think, with excellent result, considering that the work was new to everyone and we had to feel our way.
Newark feels that she has started something not for the war but for the future, which is well worth while in an economic way. Miss Alice C. Kirkpatrick, of 47 South Street, Newark, who is chairman of the Newark Unit of theWoman's Committee, an organization that has rendered very valuable service.
Markets have been started all over the state, and have proved an even greater success than anticipated, in most cases. They started out almost always as curb-markets but have grown until shelters have been provided. I think it is the general feeling that this is only a beginning of what will make for an open-air market in almost every community, not for war times only, but as a part of economic living. Successful markets were started at Atlantic City, Perth Amboy, Roselle and a number of other places, which have served as object lessons and inspirations to other places. Mrs. John J. White, Atlantic City; Mrs. Steward Audsley,Perth Amboy and Mrs. Paul Q. Oliver,Westfield, have been prominently identified with this branch of work.
Red Cross work is receiving, if anything, more than its share of attention, and our women are learning how many wonderful, useful garments can be knitted in odd moments. Knitting is more and more in evidence every place all the time.
We have two very large camps for soldiers in New Jersey-Camp Dix, a training camp at Wrightstown, and Camp Merrit at Dumont, an embarkation camp. Our women are taking hold of recreation work for these camps not only with enthusiasm, but with well laid, thoughtful plans for continuing the work which they begin. Miss Margretta Fort of Spring Lake Beach, is in charge of the work at Camp Dix, and Mrs. F. S. Bennett of Englewood, is in charge of work at Camp Merritt.
If the full history of the war work of New Jersey women were written it would fill volumes, and undoubtedly it would recite a story of efficiency in patriotic work that would be valuable to America and to the rest of the world. Each of the twenty-one counties is organized and the majority of the large cities have local units. The Committee on Woman's Service in each town is under the mayor in relation to two duties: first, cooperation with the Red Cross, where a tremendous work has been done; second, making a census of women who might replace men in industry. The headquarters is in the home of the chairman, Mrs. Chas. W. Stockton, Ridgewood. Other officers are: secretary, Mrs. Thomas B. Adams, Summit; treasurer, Mrs. Seymour L. Cromwell, Bernardsville; honorary vice chairman, Mrs. M. Otto Wittpenn, Jersey City.
New Mexico. One of the most interesting things that has happened in Washington since Mr. Hoover became the National Food Administrator was the arrival of a series of pictures sent by the women of New Mexico showing the methods of drying fruits and vegetables practiced by the native population of the state and by the Pueblo Indians. Even in the cliff dwellings there was found evidence that these early settlers practiced the art of conservation-"some time before the advent of Mr. Hoover," as a New Mexico woman has it.
When Farmers' Bulletin No. 841 on Drying Fruits and Vegetables arrived in New Mexico from the Department of Agriculture in Washington, the women laughed in their sleeves. "Even the drying of fruits and vegetables as practiced a few decades ago," the bulletin said, on many farms has become practically a lost art; the present food situation doubtless will cause a marked stimulation of drying as a means of conserving the food supply." The drying of fruits and vegetables was far from a lost art in New Mexico, as any one can testify who has gone through the country and has seen all the fruits and vegetables of the community spread out in the sun to dry. Almost all the food conserved in New Mexico is dried, and it was stated that fully two-thirds of the women in that state practice the "lost art" of drying fruits and vegetables regularly.
Among the pictures sent to Mr. Hoover was a series showing Indian pueblos in harvest time-roof tops spread with grain, houses hung with chili, the plaza spread with meat, squash, corn, beans, alfalfa, and corn shock, making a veritable picture of plenty.
In the campaign of conservation the ranch women of New Mexico proved a distinct asset. They are past masters in the art of conservation, and their hearty cooperation proved an inestimable benefit in the food conservation program.
The civilization of New Mexico is unique among all of the states of the Union; the problems are unique, and therefore she has been able to make a valuable contribution to the national war program, along lines of conservation. "Because the methods employed by the majority of our women are primitive," says the chairman of the Woman's Auxiliary of New Mexico, "is no reason why they should be scorned for they are perhaps the most economical in point of time, energy and material."
The organization of the Woman's Auxiliary of the Council of Defense of New Mexico is slightly different from the organization of other state divisions of the Woman's Committee of the Council of National Defense. The reason for this is that New Mexico was ahead of the schedule on organization and when the
Woman's Committee of the National Council took up the question of a state Division for New Mexico they found the Woman's Auxiliary appointed by the State Council of Defense already organized and active
Instead of having chairmen of various departments for the state, the Auxiliary is composed of county units, each duplicating the state organization, and the county units in turn subdivided into district units, according to the school districts in each county. For a state as sparsely populated and as difficult on the score of transportation this form of organization is much better than the one adopted in eastern states. Each county chairman is responsible to her unit for all departments and there are no separate department heads.
The New Mexico Division is, moreover, a part of the Council of Defense of New Mexico, was created by that body and thus has the benefit of their active cooperation. The Council of Defense appointed women from the various counties of New Mexico as temporary chairmen of those counties, who selected the permanent officers and members of the Woman's Auxiliary.
The expert publicity work done by the Woman's Auxiliary of the New Mexico State Council of Defense would do credit to any "big business," and is undoubtedly responsible in a large degree for the success of the women of the "Sunshine State" in the prosecution of their war work.
One of the earliest tasks the New Mexico women imposed upon themselves was the establishment of open markets in every city and town in the state for the distribution and sale of home grown vegetables and food products. "It does not matter how small a scale you open your market on," the Woman's Auxiliary told their women "the important thing is to begin it, and let it increase in size and scope as the season progresses. "Here is another sound piece of advice given out by these enterprising women: "Do not be discouraged or impatient if things do not go with a rush at first. Remember, that it takes Uncle Sam six months to make a soldier; we can not create a municipal market in a single day, or organize Auntie Sam's army over night. The important thing is to realize that every minute counts, and that every effort, however small, increases the larger effort which we must make in order to insure success. This is not an economic experiment for a nation who may be at war tomorrow; it is a practical necessity for a nation at war today."
In the center of the plaza of Santa Fe there is a monument erected by the legislatures of New Mexico of 1866-7-8 to the heroes who have fallen in the various battles with savage Indians in the territory of New Mexico and to the heroes of the Federal Army who fought and who fell in the battles of Canon del Apache and Pigeons' Rancho, March 28, 1862, and in the battle of Valverde, February 21,1862.
The Patriotic committee of the Santa Fe branch of the Woman's Auxiliary of the Council of Defense of New Mexico placed on this monument a bulletin posting the names of all those men in Santa Fe now in the service of their country and it was suggested by the Woman's Auxiliary of the Council that this plan be adopted by all the towns and villages of the state of New Mexico.
The bulletins are placed in some prominent place where all who pass may see them and recognize daily this honor roll of the living. The men are listed under the branch of service in which they are engaged, and their whereabouts when possible, are stated. In this way the people of town and village or community will have a daily reminder of the heroes of today who are giving their time and their strength and, it may be, their lives, to the cause of democracy. The Honor Roll of the living will be a cause of cherishing pride to the loyal citizens of each community.
In its appeal the Woman's Auxiliary said, "It is earnestly recommended by the Woman's Auxiliary that each district unit post this list of the men of its community in active service in the most prominent place in the town or village as soon as possible. We can not pay too much honor to the men who are defending us. We feel sure that the men in the training camps or in the navy or in the trenches will like to know that, as we pass through the plaza or along the streets, their names will flash upon us each day the instant recognition of their loyal, devoted service, and that we do not have to wait until they have fallen in battle to express our gratitude. "
Officers of the Woman's Auxiliary of New Mexico are: chairman, Mrs. W. F. Lindsey, Santa Fe; 1st vice chairman, Mrs. A. A. Kellam, Albuquerque; 2nd vice chairman, Mrs. H. J. Hammond, secretary, Mrs. F. L. Myers, Las Vegas; assistant secretary, Mrs. Walter M. Danburg, Santa Fe; treasurer, Mrs. R. M. Fergusson, Tyrone; auditor, Mrs. R. Harwell, Estancia; chairman at large, Mrs. A. A. Kellam, Albuquerque; chairman at large, Mrs. R. Harwell, Estancia; chairman at large, Mrs. Walter M. Danburg, Santa Fe; chairman at large, Mrs. F. L. Myers, Las Vegas
Chapter XXIV. New York and North Carolina
Table of Contents