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WELCOME TO ELMORE COUNTY, IDAHO GENWEB PROJECT
THE WAR MOTHERS' ORGANIZATION IN ELMORE COUNTY
 
On September 29, 1917, an organization called American War Mothers, consisting of the mothers who had sons and daughters in the service of the nation in the army and navy fighting for us and world peace, was started by a band of patriotic women headed by Mrs. Alice M. French of Indianapolis.

The object of the association was to affiliate mothers of sons and daughters who served the country in any way in the world war against Germany to help those men win the war, to sympathize with and aid each other in time of distress and anxiety, and at the close of the war to become an honorary body of mothers who gave of their own blood and energy for the country's honor and the world's peace and for service as local needs demand. It is the only organization strictly of mothers in the country and its membership is numbered in the thousands. Most of the states are in the organization. It is incorporated with a national charter. The petition asking congress for a charter limited it to twenty years. Each state is a chapter, with county units, and officered to be in harmony with the national organization.

It is on a firm basis both from the standpoint of organization and service. It has sometimes been confused with an organization which started some time earlier, called the "War Mothers of America," which accepted all relations and which asked for a national charter, and was refused in February, 1919 on the grounds of inconsistency. On March 27, the executive committee met in Toledo, Ohio, and decided to relinquish that name and reorganize at a later date.

Idaho belongs to the American War Mothers and is well organized, having units in most of the counties, which are working as local needs demand. From letters written by Mrs. D. W. Standrod, of Pocatello.

The Elmore County Chapter of American War Mothers was organized at Mountain Home, March 4th, 1919, the national constitution was accepted as that of the local chapter and the following officers were elected: War Mother, Mrs. M. E. Longfellow, Mountain Home; First Vice War Mother, Mrs. Clara Minier, Glenns Ferry, Idaho; Second Vice War Mother, Mrs. Jenny Casey, Mountain Home; Secretary Mrs. Mary Bumgarner, Mountain Home; Treasurer, Mrs. A. Lahtinen, Mountain Home; Historian, Mrs. C. E. Mason, Mountain Home.

The War Mothers early decided to honor the boys who served in this great war by some form of memorial. This magazine giving a very short sketch of each one from a report could be received is a part of the memorial and the funds derived from the sale of the magazine will be used in another form of memorial.

September 20 the War Mothers served dinner and supper at the Standard Opera House to all soldiers of the county and their wives or sweethearts. On this day the boys were presented with certificates of honor from the County Commissioners.

Mrs. M. E. Longfellow attended the first state convention held at Pocatello in June, 1919.

In October, 1919 the following officers were elected:

War Mother........................Mrs. Frank Barrett.

First Vice War Mother.........Mrs. John Black

Second Vice War Mother....Mrs. Josephine Robertson, Glenns Ferry

Secretary...........................Mrs. Amanda Ashby

Treasurer...........................Mrs. A. Lahtinen

Historian............................Mrs. C. E. Mason

Corresponding Secretary...Mrs. H. H. Eaton

On November 11th of the same year the War Mothers celebrated Armistice Day with program and refreshments and assisted with the Memorial Day service on May 30th, 1920.

In October the officers elected were as follows:

War Mother, Mrs. M. E. Longfellow; First Vice War Mother, Mrs. W. S. White; Second Vice War Mother, Mrs. J. Robertson; Secretary, Mrs. Amanda Ashby; Treasurer, Mrs. Anna Lahtinen; Historian, Mrs. C. E. Mason; Corresponding Secretary, Mrs. H. H. Eaton.

November 11th the War Mothers assisted the American Legion in preparing a program for the afternoon and served supper in the evening giving the proceeds to the Legion.

Following is a list of the members of Elmore County War Mothers:

Mrs. Millie E. Longfellow, Mrs. Clara B. Minier, Mrs. J. H. Casey, Mrs. Edward Bumgarner, Mrs. A. Lahtinen, Mrs. Amanda Ashby, Mrs. Frank Englehart, Mrs. Watson Stafford, Mrs. R. Field, Mrs. C. Tyler, Mrs. M. Tobin, Mrs. C. E. Mason, Mrs. William Callaway, Mrs, Thos, Trathen, Mrs. Flora Simmons, Mrs. F. A. Collins, Mrs. G. A. Herder, Mrs. L. Schook, Mrs. Nora Isaacs, Mrs. H. H. Eaton, Mrs. Elizabeth Peake, Mrs. Emily Pence, Mrs. W. S. White. Mrs. J. W Rowett, Mrs. John Black, A. W. James, Mrs. J. Robertson, Mrs. Mary O'Neill, Mrs. A. M. Pierce, Mrs. R. Bennett, Mrs. Riddle, Mrs. Ethel Hering, Mrs. Nancy Price, Mrs. A. A. White, Mrs. B. P. Thompson, Mrs. Lena Hartman, Mrs. Mattie Latty, Mrs. J. H. Hughes, Mrs. G. H. Shrum, Mrs. Anna Hiler, Mrs. Lon Prince, Mrs. Pearl Shock, and Mrs. Maud Still.

The Red Cross Canteen Service at Glenns Ferry

Compiled from Data Furnished by Rev. A Leonard Wood

Early in March 1918, the Northwestern Division of the American Red Cross, with headquarters in Seattle, upon the advice of the chairman of the Elmore county chapter sent their Field representative to Glenns Ferry to consult with the officers of the local auxilliary in regard to the opening of a canteen station.

Rev. A. L. Wood, rector of Grace Episcopal Church, was appointed chairman of the canteen committee and given full power by the chairman of the auxiliary to proceed with the organization and to enlist workers in this branch of the chapter whose headquarters were in Mountain Home.

At this time the work of the Canteen service was in its infancy in this country, and no provision whatever had been made to finance such activities. Through the generosity of the business men and railroad employees, sufficient supplies were donated to serve the first troop train which passed through Glenns Ferry, March 26th, 1918.

Thirty ladies volunteered for this service and were duly enrolled after each application had been recommended by the canteen chairman, endorsed by the chairman of the chapter and finally passed upon by the director of the canteen service at Seattle.

Rev. A. L. Wood was appointed commandant and early in the month of April, the applicants, after taking the canteen oath of allegiance were duly sworn in and given identification cards without which they were not permitted to take part in the work of the canteen service.

In July permission was obtained from the officials at Pocatello and a canteen was erected on the platform of the depot. It was one of the first canteens to open its doors for regular daily passenger trains going east and west, a plan later adopted by all canteens and two ladies were daily on duty, together with one additional worker who assisted the Commandant in the purchase of necessary supplies for daily consumption. Upon notification of the arrival of troop trains all members of the service were called.

The loyalty and devotion to duty and the faithfulness of these ladies is worthy of the highest commendation, they were ready and willing to serve at any hour of the day or night in order that all men in the service of our country passing through Glenns Ferry might receive attention.

In recognition of the splendid work being accomplished by the Glenns Ferry Canteen the commandant Rev. A. L. Wood was appointed Field Director of the Canteen Service in Southern Idaho and Oregon, having under his jurisdiction some 14 canteen stations, including Portland, The Dalles, Salem, Ashland and others, all of which he visited and assisted in getting thoroughly organized. After the armistice was signed many drew their support and it was then that the Elmore County Chapter assumed the greater portion of the financial burden in order that the canteen might remain open and welcome home the soldiers and sailors who had received their discharges.

During the entire period of the canteen service at Glenns Ferry not one cent was charged for any article provided, with the exception of two small contingents when the officers insisted on paying for coffee ordered by wire in advance.

Not one instance was recorded where the canteen was not able to meet all emergencies, even if previous notice of movement of troops had not been given. A large stock was always available and so promptly did the workers answer calls made on them that no one was missed. The largest number of trains served in any one day was number 6, nearly 5,000 men in all, on this occasion the trains were running five minutes apart and as soon as one pulled out another came in but even this did not swamp the little band of workers, never in the history of Glenns Ferry was so much lemonade made and dispensed with in one day and in so short a time.

A rough idea of the amount of things served can be obtained from the following list which is by no means a complete one, the first few days no record was kept, but from them on daily service records were made out by each set of workers, all of which are available: 150,000 sandwiches, 35,000 doughnuts, 175,000 cookies, 15,000 chocolate bars, 300 pounds of candy, 34 crates of bananas, 7,000 oranges, 185,000 cigarettes, 5,000 cans of tobacco, 6,000 boxes of matches, 15,000 cigars, 250,000 magazines and books, 35,000 postal cards, hundreds of gallons of coffee, iced drinks, hundreds of pounds of water melons, apples, enormous quantities of chewing gum, peaches and grapes, 5,000 Red Cross games, 1569 packages of cigarette papers, together with a number of articles like drinking cups, writing material, butter, bread, pencils, ink, postage stamps, handkerchiefs, tooth brushes, drugs, tooth paste, soap, playing cards, shoe strings, overalls, material for dish cloths, telegrams for individuals anxious to meet their relatives enroute, salts and in fact most anything that a boy needed was obtained and given free of charge.

The records show that about 200,000 men were served by this canteen during the period of active service, covering about eighteen months.

Miss Ellie Lahtinen
Enlisted in the Navy as a Trained Nurse and Served Through the War at Mare Island.
Miss Nancy Watts
Miss Watts Worked With the Salvation Army in New York, and in Idaho's Section of The Hall of States.
The Canteen at Glenns Ferry
The Canteen was Organized in April, 1918, and During Two Years Served Lunches and Refreshments to More Than 50,000 Men

 

 
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