The Home Fires of Huntington: Women's Service Organizations in Cabell County, West Virginia, During the First World War by Michael J. McCarthy
by Michael J. McCarthy
22 October 1991
Keep the home fires burning,
While your hearts are yearning,
Though your lads are far away,
They dream of home.
There's a silver lining
Through the dark cloud shining,
Turn the dark cloud inside out,
Till the boys come home.
"Keep the Home Fires Burning," patriotic song in the United States during
World War I. (1)
There is a certain significance, perhaps a
certain indication of the extent to which our
civilization has gone, when a Secretary of
War can say to a conference of women, that
the success of the United States in the
making of this war is just as much in your
hands and in the hands of the women of
America as it is in the hands of the soldiers
of our army.
Newton D. Baker, Secretary of War and Chair, Council of National Defense, at the
Liberty Loan Convention, 1917.(2)
In looking over the mobilization of women in war time one must not forget that great
line of defense, the women who keep the home fires burning. They do not follow the flag
and fife, they have no public honor or applause, but a wonderful mobilization has taken
place, the silent mobilization of the housewife (one may add this does not mean the
mobilization of silent housewives).
Mrs. Nevada Davis Hitchcock,Pennsylvania State Chair, Home Economics, National League
for Women's Service, July 1918.(3)
On 31 January 1917 Count Johann Heinrich von Bernstorff, the German
ambassador to the United States, presented a note to U.S. Secretary of State Robert
Lansing in which he announced Germany's resumption of unrestricted U-boat warfare in the
waters around Great Britain, France, Italy, and in the Eastern Mediterranean. All
ships--military or merchant, enemy or neutral--met in this zone would be sunk. Memories of
the sinking of the Lusitania in 1915 arose inside and outside Washington. Although Woodrow
Wilson's declaration of war would not be delivered to Congress until more than two months
later, many people viewed this resumption of Germany's U-boat policy as the Rubicon to
war. The nation girded for battle.(4)
When the call to arms finally sounded throughout America in early
April 1917, the women of the country responded in force. Existing organizations for war
relief, such as the American Red Cross, and nascent women's organizations, such as the
National League for Women's Service and the Women's Committee of the Council of National
Defense, sought to organize and educate the women of the country so that they, too, could
help America obtain victory. In many cases these organizations also sought to demonstrate
the capabilities of women in a time of national need so that women could obtain the right
The women of Cabell County, West Virginia, were quick to answer this
call for female mobilization. This paper will examine some of the activities and members
of women's organizations in Cabell County. It will seek to show how these women both
shared a common, prewar ideology with women throughout the country and at the same time
sought to expand the limits of that doctrine. Through this examination, one can see that
the First World War provided the women of this community with a means of expressing their
desires--both latent and conscious--to enter the sphere of public and therefore political
IDEOLOGY BEFORE THE WAR
To a large but not complete degree, the local women volunteers
shared a common ideological mindset with other women activists around the country.
Historian Barbara J. Steinson seeks to understand the doctrinal context of women activists
and volunteers prior to the American involvement in World War I. She claims that even
though women as a group often focused their energies on divergent and sometimes
conflicting goals, they habitually invoked the ideology of "nurturant
motherhood" as a justification for their actions. The foundation of this credo was
the notion that women's maternal and reproductive roles made them sexually distinct from
males, not only physically but also in temperament, psychology, and intellect. The
outgrowth of this belief was that woman's main purpose was to give unselfish devotion to
the nurture and protection of life; the female function was sacrifice for and service to
This ideological mindset of nurturant motherhood was so pervasive in
early twentieth century America that one can find evidence of it both in the suffragist
and in the antisuffragist camps. As women began to demonstrate their abilities in the
professional and educational worlds around the turn of the century, those opposed to the
women's vote had to abandon the claim that women were incapable of grappling with
political issues. Instead, the "antis" conceded equality and often argued that
women were morally superior; so superior, in fact, that they could not be allowed to
debase themselves in the world of politics. From this perspective, the "nurturant
mother," much like the "republican mother" of the era immediately after the
American Revolution, had the responsibility of raising and instilling moral virtues in her
offspring. Her obligation, therefore, lay in the home, not in the arena of politics.(7)
The suffragists used this same ideology to counter the contentions
of the antis and to justify their fight for the vote. If politics were base, they argued,
it was because of the lack of a pure influence. The inherent violence of men had created a
society that praised war but ignored the value of human life. Women's duty to protecting
and fostering human existence, then, required that they enter politics to exercise a
positive sway. The expansion of female responsibility beyond the sphere of home and hearth
would infuse the public sector with the virtues that only women possessed. Female
participation in public life would yield a more peaceful and humane world, and it was the
obligations of "nurturant mothers" to strive for that aim.(8)
As the European Continent erupted in war and as the question of
America's proper role in the conflict arose, women on both sides of the military
preparedness issue also adopted the nurturant mother ideology. The Women's Peace Party
(WPP) sought an end to the bloodletting in Europe. The war illustrated the failure of
male-dominated politics, and according to the preamble of the WPP's constitution, women
would no longer "endure without protest the added burden of maimed and invalided men
and poverty- stricken widows and orphans" created by war. Women bore the
responsibility for urging "each generation onward toward a better humanity, "and
therefore the WPP claimed the right of political participation "as human beings and
the mother half of humanity."(9)
Spurred by stories of German atrocities in Belgium and by the
sinking of the Lusitania in 1915, those women who favored military preparedness also
invoked the nurturant mother ideal. Since women had given birth to the very lives that
would be risked in a war, the members of the Women's Section of the Navy League (WSNL)
argued that the female voice, "raised in a cry for preparedness to protect the lives
and homes [that women have been] the chief factor in building up, should be harkened
unto."(10) Thus, although they reached a conclusion
markedly different from that of the WPP, the women of the WSNL employed the same
ideological base for their beliefs. Once the United States entered the war in early April
1917, this same combination of the ideas of the nurturant mother and community involvement
motivated many women volunteers both at the national level and in Cabell County.
IDEOLOGY DURING THE WAR
One of the earliest war-related measures that sought women's
participation was food conservation, an illustration of the nurturant mother ideal. The
magazine World's Work admitted that there would be "war work for women to
do," but assured its readers that it would not involve "putting on trousers or
an unbecoming uniform and trying to do something that a man can do better."(11)
In June 1917 Secretary David Houston of the Department of
Agriculture, for example, did not ask women to take to the farms and fields of America to
help with crop production; such a proposal that early would have been rather threatening
in its departure from the traditional responsibilities of women.
Instead, he suggested they merely cook smaller portions of food: The
housekeepers of the Nation control 80 per cent of the food expenditures of the Nation. In
eliminating waste they may perform a distinct service. All women can serve the Government
in conserving and utilizing to the best advantage existing food supplies. At this
juncture, no service that women can perform is more important or more necessary.(12)
Secretary Houston estimated that annual waste in foodstuffs in the
U.S. "due to bad cooking and to putting too much on the table" was approximately
$700 million. To be fair to Secretary Houston, there was no firm decision in June 1917
that the United States would send to Europe more soldiers than the single token division
that had recently departed for the Continent under the command of General John Pershing(13). Nonetheless, such a refusal to recognize the
possibility of greater participation by women demonstrates a decidedly patronizing
attitude towards women's work and a desire to limit the extent of that work to the walls
of the American household.
Obviously, women's participation in the war effort did not stop with
measuring smaller portions for the dinner table.(14)
Nonetheless, much of the work that occupied the national women's volunteer organizations,
such as the American Red Cross, the National League for Women's Service, and the Women's
Committee of the Council of National Defense, can be seen as non-threatening extensions of
the traditional responsibilities of women within the home. Many of these groups organized
canteen services near military camps for the sake of the troops departing for or returning
from Europe. These canteens served as nurturing stations for the soldiers. According to
Mrs. Nevada Davis Hitchcock, Pennsylvania State Chair of the Home Economics Committee of
the National League for Women's Service: "Many things are accomplished that
supplement the care of the government for our men. The morale of a camp may be improved by
the application of cake and ice-cream oftener than the commanders realize."(15) Although these canteens increased the public profile of
women's efforts, they were still an extension of work that was traditionally considered as
belonging to the female sex. Even if the particular women who participated in these
canteens may have never personally cooked a meal or washed a dish (perhaps due to their
social class), they were still considered to have the obligation to do so in a time of
need merely by virtue of their gender:
The canteen undoubtedly sees more of the new spirit of willingness in women volunteers
than any other division. In it there are women who, before the war, had never washed a
dish or cooked a meal, and today they enjoy cooking hearty meals for hungry sailors and
soldiers and then washing the dishes when the meal is finished.(16)
Other organizations participated in similar extensions of home work. Even though the
work of the Home Service Section of the Red Cross went beyond merely the supply of knitted
goods and surgical dressings and into the area of the collection and dispersal of money,
the primary purpose of this organization was to look after the families of the service
men--to provide assistance in order to maintain the home. Therefore, its mission reflected
the idea of the nurturant mother. The General Federation of Women's Clubs attempted to
establish hostess houses in the South of France for American soldiers on furlough, but
were forced to abandon this plan when General Pershing ruled that no civilian
organizations could enter the field. Undaunted, the General Federation provided 100
volunteers (two from each state) known as "Victory Girls" to assist the Young
Men's Christian Association (YMCA) in France. Thus, it too engaged in activity that, while
perhaps radical in scope, was traditional in substance.(17)
Many of the activities of the women's volunteer groups in West
Virginia, and more specifically in Cabell County, also reflected the nurturant motherhood
ideology. Throughout the state, the various affiliate groups of the West Virginia
Federation of Women's Clubs participated in such organized committees as Food Conservation
and United War Work; the responsibility for feeding American and Allied soldiers and for
raising money for relief organizations fell largely on the shoulders of women.(18) In addition, several of the clubs sponsored war orphans
in Belgium and France, an extension of the traditionally female task of child-rearing.
Four West Virginia women--double the state quota--served as "Victory Girls" and
assisted with war relief in France and Belgium as part of the YMCA.(19)
This nurturant motherhood ideology can be seen on the local level as
well. The Woman's Club of Huntington, for example, engaged in many war-related activities
that fall into the category of extensions of home work. Between the summer of 1917 and the
spring of 1918, for example, the club assisted with many relief efforts both in Huntington
and abroad. The Huntington chapter donated $124.00 to help establish the furlough homes
for the American Expeditionary Forces in France. In an expansion of the traditional female
obligation to feed and clothe the family, the club sent 130 sweaters, at a cost of
$240.00, and 260 glasses of jelly to military training camps, including Camp Lee in
Virginia (now Fort Lee). Those members of the Woman's Club of Huntington involved in the
War Gardens Committee, which at the prompting of Herbert Hoover's Food Administration
encouraged city residents to plant small gardens in their yards, canned over 4,042 quarts
of food stuffs. In addition, the Woman's Club's Urban Kitchen Committee had over 100
The two other Huntington affiliates of the West Virginia Federation
of Women's Clubs also aided the war effort. Members of the Current History Club served in
the canteen located at the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad Station, and the Mother's Club
provided twenty workers for the Urban Kitchen.(21)
The Auxiliary Units of the local American Red Cross made surgical
dressings under the direction of Mrs. C. L. Ritter, produced care packages called
"comfort kits" under the supervision of Mrs. C. P. Donovan, and aided the
families of servicemen through the Home Service Section under the leadership of Mrs. F. J.
Waddell. The canteen, formed on 9 September 1918 and chaired by Mrs. Dan A. Mossman,
served meals to 165,000 soldiers between the armistice and the conclusion of
demobilization. Two fund drives conducted by the Red Cross in June 1917 and May 1918
netted more than $157,000.(22) These activities parallel
the home work that was seen--by both the men and the women of the time--as the
responsibility of women and thus served to augment the nurturant mother ideal.
Although the work of these women's organizations in many ways
embodied the nurturant mother ideology, it occasionally departed from the norm in
significant ways. For example, many of the efforts of these local and state organizations
were aimed at raising money not simply to provide war relief but rather to finance the war
itself. Throughout the state, the organizations affiliated with the West Virginia
Federation of Women's Clubs worked with the Liberty Loan and War Savings committees (the
first War Savings Society in the state was formed at the Woman's Club of Huntington).(23) The Woman's Club's fund-raising drives yielded a total
of $99,452.05, including $74,750 worth of Liberty Bonds and $23,551.75 in War Savings
Stamps sold by club members (Huntington's was the first War Savings Society in the state).(24) In addition, the Current History Club and the Mother's
Club, two other Huntington organizations affiliated with the West Virginia Federation of
Women's Clubs, sold $11,800 and $7,200 worth of Liberty Bonds respectively. These
activities are significant not simply because of the assistance they provided to America's
war effort, but also because they moved beyond the nurturant mother ideal. Although
fund-raising for social and reform causes was not alien to these women's organizations,
there is no activity in the home or in their history analogous to raising money for the
purpose of military policy. Thus, the activities of these women transcended merely
carrying their home work into the public realm. Instead, they created an entirely new
avenue for women to become involved in the public sector.
Another activity of the local women's organizations illustrates that
their work went significantly beyond that traditionally seen as belonging to women. Both
the Woman's Club of Huntington and the Current History Club provided members for the Four
Minute Men, who would give brief, patriotic, and motivational speeches to civic
organizations, churches, theaters, and schools.(25) The
female Four Minute Speakers usually addressed matinee movie audiences (which were
themselves predominately female), but since they based their speeches on the same,
government-published pamphlets as did the males, the contents of these speeches were
Even if their talks were aimed at rousing the patriotic fervor and
thus the voluntarism of women, there is no activity in the home analogous to public
speaking. Some of these women volunteers thus thrust themselves into the public sphere and
engaged in non- traditional activity in a non-traditional context.
An examination of the family-oriented motivations for these local
volunteers also illustrates that their work went beyond the nurturant mother ideal.
Although this ideology allowed women to carry their work into public life, it still had
familial ties and responsibilities as its cornerstone. The antisuffragists of the early
twentieth century argued directly that the woman's obligation was to raise virtuous
children, not to engage in public activities. Even those who favored the women's vote
often incorporated appeals to direct family responsibility in their cries for
suffrage--the positive outcome of female political participation would yield a better life
for their children. In addition, both those women who favored and those women who opposed
U.S. involvement in the war based many of their arguments on the special relationship to
and responsibility for their offspring.(27) If such were
the sole motivator for many of the local volunteers, then one should discover a
correlation between volunteering and having a direct relative (son, husband, or brother)
serving in the military. If no such correlation exists, then one may argue that these
women were motivated by something in addition to a perceived obligation to their sons,
brothers, or husbands. Such an examination lends itself well to a statistical analysis.
An examination of the relationship between having a direct relative
in the military and volunteering for a women's organization, at least in Cabell County,
shows that no correlation can be inferred. The statistical measure of association shows
that the relationship is extremely weak and slightly negative. In addition, the low value
for the measure of significance prevents a relationship from being hypothesized in the
population.(28) The conclusion from this statistical
analysis is that these women were motivated by something other than only a perceived
responsibility for their male kin, and thus something more than merely their ideological
roles as nurturant mothers. IDEOLOGY AFTER THE WAR Although the
activities of these women volunteers during the war in some ways departed from the
ideology of nurturant motherhood, they by no means repudiated this mindset entirely. These
women viewed the war as an aberration, an inconvenient disruption in the work toward their
proper goals. After the war ended, many of these women returned to the activities and
agendas, and therefore the ideology, which had dominated their prewar lives.
Although one might expect to see the involvement with America's war
effort sparking a fundamental change in the nature or activities of the women's
organizations in Huntington, these groups emerged from the war with both their pre-war
goals and type of membership intact. Mrs. L. H. (Grace La Ferre) Cammack, President of the
Woman's Club of Huntington during 1919-1920, wrote:
Our work will be vastly different and more arduous,
perhaps, than that of past years. We must gather up
the stitches that were dropped during the dark and
gloomy days of war-time; we must reckon with broken
hearts, blighted hopes, and discouraged souls; and we
must direct the tear-dimmed eye to that viewpoint from
which may be had a most wonderful vision of the
blessing of opportunity and the glory of service.(29)
Such a desire to "return to normalcy" is discernable on the state level as
well. In the Report of the Civics Department of the West Virginia Federation of Women's
Clubs for the year 1919- 1920, Mrs. O. I. Woodley wrote:
During the period of intensive war work, club women in
a large measure devoted their activities from their
regular lives of endeavor in response to the 'Help to
Win the War' slogan, with patriotic fervor and a true
desire to help humanity in its struggle for free
existence. Now that this need no longer exists, they
are again taking up their civic duties where they laid
them down. . . .(30)
In the report of the Director of the West Virginia Federation of Women's Clubs, Mrs. R.
L. Hutchinson (of the Huntington chapter) wrote of the tasks that lay ahead after the
conclusion of the war:
Inasmuch as the terrible world war which had torn our
hearts and demanded our time and strength was at an end
and our soldiers rapidly returning home, the time and
thought of both Board and Council was given over to
working out plans to aid in reconstructing our national
An examination of the resolutions passed after the war shows, too,
that the conflict had caused little change in the direction of the organization. The
resolutions adopted at the state convention for 1919-1920 included such items as an
endorsement for the Smith-Towner Education Bill's appropriation of $100 million for
education, support for more strict enforcement of prohibition, and a reaffirmation of
backing for suffrage. These were all issues that both mirrored those that the Federation
discussed prior to the war and illustrated the nurturant motherhood ideology with their
emphasis on moral and social standards. The only resolution that mentioned the war at all
was the eleventh one adopted, which sought to honor those soldiers who had fought.(32) At the local level the Huntington women's organizations
attempted to make the temporary coordination of their groups permanent in the form of the
"Council of the Women of Huntington" immediately after the end of the war. No
mention is made of this Council in following years, however, so it seems that interest
quickly waned.(33) In terms of it goals, therefore, the
war did little to cause permanent change within this organization.
The war also caused little change in the type of women who
volunteered, at least on the local level. The membership of these organizations before the
war was clearly elite and white; involvement in wartime activities did little to alter
this makeup. A statistical analysis of the socio-economic class of these women illustrates
Preliminary data have yielded a sketchy picture of the class of
women involved in these organizations both before and after the war. While the prewar
volunteers owned a higher average amount of property than those who volunteered after the
U.S. joined the fighting, the difference between the groups is not statistically
significant.(34) Therefore, the Huntington Woman's Club
seems to have drawn its postwar membership from the same lot as it had prior to April
1917. A second way of determining whether the new volunteers were from
a different class than the prewar volunteers is to compare the proportion of women in each
group who had no deeds granted in their name, and therefore had, as far as can be
determined, no property (at least in Cabell County). Using the preliminary data gathered
to date, the proportion with no real estate is slightly higher for the second group, but
again the difference is not statistically significant.(35)
Therefore, while the ranks of women volunteers swelled during American involvement in the
First World War, these new members were still drawn from the same class as their
predecessors.(36) To the degree that
involvement in the war did little to change the women's organizations in Huntington, such
involvement might be seen as typical of women's efforts in the South. Southern women's
groups often possessed two characteristics. First, the strength of class lines in the
South, especially among women, made it difficult to create a truly representative women's
organization. Since the efforts to mobilize women focused on existing women's groups, and
since these groups in the South were dominated almost exclusively by the middle- and
upper-classes, women of lower classes had little opportunity to become involved in the war
effort in an organized fashion. Evidence suggests that the war did little to erode these
class differences in the Cabell County women's clubs, and thus these groups conformed to
the pattern of most Southern women's organizations during the war.(37)
The second characteristic of these Southern women's groups was an
overall institutional weakness, as illustrated by the quick return to the nurturant
motherhood ideology after the conclusion of the war. At this time, the organizations were
relatively young (the Woman's Club of Huntington being around twenty years old), and thus
were unable yet to overcome the strength of other socializing factors, such as family and
religion, which discouraged the formation of a network of women's groups.(38)
It is unclear, however, whether the weaknesses of the Huntington and West Virginia women's
clubs can be attributed to direct roadblocks erected by men in organizations such as the
Council of National Defense, as was the case in some parts of the South, or to the extent
to which these women internalized and thus seldom questioned the nurturant mother ideal.(39)
From this examination of volunteers in Cabell County, West Virginia,
it seems that the ideology of nurturant motherhood served as an important, but not sole,
motivator for their volunteer work. Many of the activities of these local organizations
were indeed extensions of traditional women's work within the home. Also, since some of
these women had direct relatives in the service, a perceived need to care for their
husbands and sons probably spurred some, but not most, of them to engage in war relief
This nurturant mother ideal, however, is not sufficient to explain
all of the war-related work of such organizations as the Woman's Club of Huntington, the
Buford Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, and the Auxiliary Units of the
Huntington Chapter of the American Red Cross. Some activities--such as the selling of
Liberty Bonds and the participation in the Four Minute Speakers--have no corollary within
the context of traditional home work, and therefore illustrate a significant departure
from merely carrying female family obligations into the public sphere. In addition, there
seems to be no evidence that familial ties served as an important, general motivation for
a woman to join a volunteer organization--at least in Cabell County. Further examinations
of other regions would be necessary for a definite conclusion, but it seems likely that
much of the impetus for the volunteer work performed by women seems to have come from
outside the home and beyond the ideology of nurturant motherhood.(40)
Perhaps these women were motivated by a sense of patriotism, the
opportunity for expanded community involvement, or a shared conception of Wilsonian
democracy; appeals to such values made by the Creel Committee (the Committee on Public
Information) and the leaders of national women's organizations could easily have persuaded
these women to join the war effort. Perhaps there were other motivations; one would
probably find almost as many different reasons for involvement in these organizations as
there were different members. Whatever the incentives for these volunteers, one can see
that both the drive to action and the work performed were founded in a context of
community involvement beyond the family. Working within the home or merely carrying home
work into the community were insufficient both for the success of America's war effort and
for the satiation of these women's desire to help. The involvement of
these women in support of America's war effort did not, however, cause them to abandon the
nurturant motherhood ideal completely. When the task of demobilization was complete and
most of America's soldiers had returned from "over there," these women lost no
time in taking up their prewar work where they had left off. The significant difference,
however, was that these women had tasted the addictive flavor of political power; they
would not forget that they had answered their nation's call in a time of need, and they
would not let those who had sounded the trumpet forget it, either.
Bibliographies and Indices: America: History and Life: A Guide to Periodical
Literature. Santa Barbara, CA: American Bibliographical Center, Clio Press, 1963-.
Nims, Marion R. Women in the War: A Bibliography. Washington, D.C.: Government
Printing Office, 1918.
Schaffer, Ronald, comp. The United States in World War I: A Selected Bibliography.
Santa Barbara, CA: American Bibliographical Center, Clio Press, 1978.
Woodward, David R. and Robert Franklin Maddox, eds. America and World War I: A
Selected Annotated Bibliography of English Language Sources. Wars of the United
States Series, ed. Richard L. Blanco. New York: Garland Publishing, 1985.
Beard, Mary Ritter. Women's Work in Municipalities. National Municipal League
Series. New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1915; reprint, American Women: Images and
Realities Series, ed. Annette K. Baxter and Leon Stein. New York: Arno Press, 1972.
An obvious example of "contribution history." Beard's work provides a clue as
to the mindset of women social service organizations prior to U.S. involvement in the
First World War. A valuable point of comparison to these same organizations during and
after the war. Includes a brief mention of the difficulties in motivating Southern women
to accept community activity beyond the context of the family.
Chamberlain, Mary. "Women and War Work." Survey 38 (19 May 1917):
The author discusses the organization of the Women's Committee, Council of National
Defense, and argues for equal pay for working women who have replaced men in industry.
Clarkson, Grosvenor. "What the Council of National Defense Is and What It Has
Done." Scribner's 62 (August 1917): 182- 91.
The author, the Secretary of the Council of National Defense, describes at length the
organization and activities of the various departments of the CND. His mention of the
Women's Committee, however, totals a mere three column inches out of the entire nine page
Creel, George. Complete Report of the Chairman of the Committee on Public
Information. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1920.
As the title implies, this document is the Creel's report of the work of the Committee
on Public Information (CPI). A significant portion of the book is dedicated to the Four
Minute Men, but its brevity is a bit disproportionate to the size of that division of the
CPI. Nonetheless, this report should be the starting point for any examination of the
Field, Louise Maunsell. "Women and National Defense." Bookman 46
(January 1918): 556-60.
The author describes the work of the Women's Committee, Council of National Defense.
General Federation of Women's Clubs. Fourteenth Biennial Convention, Hot Springs,
Arkansas, 13 April through 8 May, 1918. Woman's Club of Huntington, 1201 Huntington
Avenue, Huntington, West Virginia, 25701.
This report lists the daily schedules of the Fourteenth Biennial Convention.
Glenn, Mary Willcox. "Purpose and Methods of a Home Service Station." Annals
of the American Academy of Political Science and Social Science 79 (September 1918):
The author, Chair of the Home Service Section of the New York and Bronx County
Chapters, American Red Cross, discusses the work of the Home Service Section as distinct
from much of the foreign relief that is normally associated with Red Cross action in the
Hecker, Eugene A. A Short History of Women's Rights: From the Days of Augustus to
the Present Time, with Special Reference to England and the United States, 2nd ed.
New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1914; reprint , Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1971.
Hecker's work is an argument for women's suffrage. Contains information on the legal
status of women in each state of the United States in 1910, including data on age of
consent, property rights, divorce and labor laws, and suffrage. Also addresses and
counters the most popular contemporary arguments against women's suffrage.
Hitchcock, Mrs. Nevada Davis. "The Mobilization of Women." Annals of the
American Academy of Political Science and Social Science 78 (July 1918): 24-31.
The author, Pennsylvania State Chair, Home Economics, National League for Women's
Service, summarizes the work being done by several national women's organizations,
including those of the NLWS and those associated with the Women's Committee, Council of
Huntington Advertiser, April through June 1917.
The society pages of this newspaper provide sometimes detailed accounts of the
activities or memberships of local women's volunteer organizations. The editorials also
make some mention of the local relief activities.
Link, Arthur, ed. The Papers of Woodrow Wilson . Princeton, NJ: Princeton
University Press, 1979-.
This extensive and ongoing project provides not only the full text of the President's
papers, but also valuable entries of other key figures, such as diary excerpts from
Colonel Edward House, the President's intimate friend and advisor.
Ohio State Council of National Defense. A History of the Activities of the Ohio
Branch, Council of National Defense. Columbus, OH: F.J. Heer Printing Co., 1919.
This report examines the activities of the Ohio Branch, CND, including the county and
community organizations, the Women's Committee, industrial relations and employment, food
supply, and postwar activities.
Smith, William Winfred, ed. and comp. Honor Roll of Cabell County West Virginia: An
Illustrated Historical and Biographical Record of Cabell County's Part in the World War.
Chicago, IL: Severinghaus Printing, 1919[?].
This work contains the names, photographs, and brief biographies of each of the over
2,500 soldiers from Cabell County, West Virginia, who served in the armed forces during
World War I. It also contains some brief descriptions of the work of local organizations,
including the Huntington Chapter of the American Red Cross. Located in Cabell County
Library, Local History Room, 5th Avenue and 9th Street, Huntington, WestVirginia, 25701.
Thorne, Florence C. "Women and War Service." New Republic (June
1917): 455-56; reprinted in David F. Trask, ed. World War I at Home: Readings on
American Life, 1914-1920, 124-27. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1970.
Thorne promotes "equal pay for equal work" as an American war aim.
Toksvig, Signe K. "Women Volunteers," New Republic (5 May 1917):
The writer decries the lack of structure of the several national women's service
organizations. Although praising the appointment of Dr. Anna Howard Shaw to the newly
created Women's Committee, Council of National Defense, the author suggests a scheme of
drafting women for training and labor--at a pay rate equal to the men they are
replacing--instead of relying on women volunteers. "Neither can good intentions and
khaki uniforms take the place of a certain amount of training when it comes to the making
Van Kleeck, Mary. "Women's Invasion of Industry and Changes in Protective
Standards." Proceedings of the Academy of Political Science 18 (1918-1920):
Kleeck examines the occupations which opened up for women due to the war effort. She
argues for attention to protective standards for female employees and she promotes the
continuation of these job opportunities after the war.
Van Rensselaer, Mrs. Coffin. "The National League for Women's Service."
Annals of the American Academy of Political Science and Social Science 79 (September
The author, Vice-Chair of the National League for Women's Service, provides a
first-hand account of the relief work performed by that organization.
"War Work for American Women." World's Work 34 (June 1917): 142-44.
This article explains to women "how they can serve their country most
effectively." It discounts the idea of women entering the work force to replace men
entering military service, arguing that "our man-power is so enormous that it is
hardly possible that women will be called upon in great numbers to do industrial work to
which they have not been accustomed and for which they are essentially unfitted."
Instead, it admonishes women not to waste food through poor cooking or "putting too
much on the table."
West Virginia Department of Veterans' Affairs. Revised List of Deceased Soldiers,
World War . Charleston, WV: W.Va., Dept.Veterans' Affairs: 1 January 1922; reprint
October 1961. 8-50.
This listing divides deaths by service (army, navy, and marines), and cause of death
(killed in action, died of disease, died on the homefront). The cause and date of death
are listed for each soldier where known.
West Virginia Federation of Women's Clubs. Annual Reports of activities within the
State of West Virginia, 1914-1920. Woman's Club of Huntington, 1201 Huntington
Avenue, Huntington, West Virginia, 25701.
These annual reports give summaries of the activities of state committees, including
special committees such as the War Work Committee. They also provide membership totals for
the affiliated organizations throughout the State of West Virginia.
Woman's Club of Huntington. Woman's Club of Huntington, West Virginia, 1917-1930 .
Bound copy of annual reports. Huntington, WV: By the author, 1201 Huntington Avenue, 1933.
This collections of annual reports of the Huntington Chapter contains messages from the
individual presidents and rosters of active and associate members.
Berg, Barbara J. The Remembered Gate: Origins of American Feminism: The Woman and
the City, 1800-1860. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1978.
The authors description of the "woman-belle ideal" prevalent in the
nineteenth century provided a valuable point of comparison for the "nurturant
mother" ideology of the early twentieth century.
Breckenridge, Sophonisba P. Women in the Twentieth Century: A Study of Their
Political, Social and Economic Activities. Recent Social Trends Monographs. New York:
McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1933; reprint, American Women: Images and Realities Series, ed.
Annette K. Baxter and Leon Stein. New York: Arno Press, 1972.
In this book done for the President's Research Commission on Social Trends,
Breckenridge depicts the role of clubs, unions, and professional organizations in
advancing women's political participation. Although dated, the work contains valuable
information on the several women's clubs which were part of the Women's Committee of the
Council of National Defense during the war.
Breen, William. "Black Women in the Great War: Mobilization and Reform in the
South." Journal of American History 44 (1978): 421-40.
The author examines the efforts and effects of the Council of National Defense's drives
to create black CND chapters in the Southern states. He relates notonly the observations
of Mrs. Alice Dunbar-Nelson, the black field agent of the national Woman's Committee of
the CND, but also many of the opinions and reactions of the Southerners themselves.
_______-. "Southern Women in the War: The North Carolina Women's Committee,
1917-1919." North Carolina Historical Review 55 (July 1978): 251-83.
Breen illustrates both the difficulties that the North Carolina Woman's Committee faced
(such as the lack of support from the male-dominated CND chapter in North Carolina and the
lack of finances available for proper administration) and the successes that the
organization achieved. He shows that even though most of the women involved in war work
never envisioned involvement beyond the production of comfort kits, a few individuals were
able to raise the overall social awareness and activity of North Carolina women. Their
reform efforts would come to greater fruition in the 1920s.
Cambridge Women's Peace Collective. My Country is the Whole World: An Anthology of
Women's Work on Peace and War. London: Pandora Press, 1984.
This collections contains excerpts from the writings of women who have opposed various
wars. While it provides brief, biographical sketches for many of these women, and while it
presents their arguments against militarism, this book does little to describe the
activities of peace proponents or of those women who, regardless of their opinion of war
itself, worked to support their country's soldiers.
Clarke, Ida Clyde. American Women and the World War. New York: D. Appleton,
Clarke relates the work of the several national coordinating agencies and discusses
that work in a general sense on a state-by-state basis.
Coffman, Edward M. The War to End All Wars: The American Military Experience in
World War I. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press, 1986 .
Originally published in 1968, this work remains the single best military history of the
United States in World War I. Although the author does little to tie the war effort to the
home front apart from a brief description of the draft and of industrial mobilization, his
in depth examination of the military both at the strategic and divisional levels is
Conner, Valerie J. "'The Mothers of the Race' in World War I: The National War
Labor Board and Women in Industry." Labor History 21 (Winter 1979-80):
Conner illustrates how the National War Labor Board (NWLB), although mired in a prewar
legacy and mindset which excluded most women from industrial occupations, managed to adopt
a significant, if short-lived, policy of equal pay for equal work.
Cornebise, Alfred E. War As Advertised: The Four Minute Men and America's Crusade,
1917-1919. Philadelphia, PA: American Philosophical Society, 1984.
The author, a professor of history at the University of Northern Colorado, examines the
various Four Minute Speech campaigns organized by the Creel Committee. Although he relies
heavily on the brochures published by the Committee on Public Information which formed the
basis for the Four Minute Speeches instead of examining how exactly these speakers used or
departed from these brochures, his approach is a valuable contribution to the
understanding of America's propaganda efforts during the war.
Creel, George. How We Advertised America. New York: Harper & Brothers,
This book is the author's popular version of the Report of the Committee on Public
Information and thus covers much of the same material as that official document. This
work, too, should be a starting point for those wishing to examine the American propaganda
Cuff, Robert D. "Herbert Hoover: The Ideology of Voluntarism and War Organization
During the Great War," Journal of American History 64 (1977), 358-72.
Cuff describes how the organization and work of Herbert Hoover's Food Administration
paralleled Hoover's own view of the importance of individual voluntarism over direct,
government involvement in social issues.
Dulles, Foster Rhea. The American Red Cross: A History. New York: Harper &
Although this work was written "under the auspices of the [American Red
Cross]," Dulles states that the book itself and choice of material were entirely his
Ferrell, Robert H. Woodrow Wilson and World War I , 1917-1921. The New
American Nation Series, ed., Henry S. Commager and Richard B. Morris. New York: Harper
& Row, 1985.
Although this book focuses mainly on the political and diplomatic downfall of Woodrow
Wilson as a result of the failure of Senate ratification of the Treaty of Versailles,
Ferrell does give attention to some of the efforts of mobilization for the war.
Friedman, Jean. The Enclosed Garden: Women and Community in the Evangelical South,
1830-1900. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1985.
Friedman examines the pervasive and bonding manifestations of Southern devotion to the
evangelical kin-based ideology. She argues that the lack of organized women's
organizations in the South can be traced to the strength of these religious and kin-based
Greenwald, Maurine Weiner. Women, War and Work: The Impact of World War I on Women
Workers in the United States. Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press, 1980.
Greenwald's examination, a series of case studies of women workers during World War I,
explores the war's direct effects on women wage earners in the context of fundamental
long-term social and economic changes in the nature of work in the U.S. The author
explores the ways in which women reformers sought to use the war situation to promote the
interests of working women and seeks to explain why a watershed event such as the First
World War--which "changed the boundaries of many nations, transformed economies,
disrupted political systems, and severely strained social life"--did not
fundamentally alter the nature or location of women's wage work.
Kennedy, David M. Over Here: The First World War and American Society. New
York: Oxford University, 1980.
Kennedy's wide-ranging, interpretive study seeks to examine how participation in the
Great War formed a turning point in American history. An excellent source for
understanding the home front in the United States.
Kraditor, Aileen S. The Ideas of the Women's Suffrage Movement, 1890-1920.
Garden City, NY: Anchor Books, 1965.
This work provides the ideological context of the pro- and anti-suffrage movement in
the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Although the author shows that there
was no single, official ideology of the feminist movement, there were certain themes that
pervaded the major ideas of the feminists toward home life, religion, and suffrage.
Martelet, Penny. "The Women's Land Army, WWI." In Mabel Deutrich and Virginia
Purdy, eds. Clio Was a Woman: Studies in the History of American Women.
Washington, DC: Howard University, 1980), 136-46.
Martelet's article tells of the work of the Women's Land Army--those women who took to
America's fields to augment agricultural production during the war.
Mock, James R. and Cedric Lawson. Words that Won the War: The Story of the
Committee on Public Information, 1917-1919. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University
Although published nearly twenty years later, this work closely parallels both George
Creel's Report of the Committee on Public Information and his book, How We Advertised
America. This work does, however, provide greater detail in terms of the context of
the Creel Committee's efforts, and therefore is valuable.
O'Neill, William L. Everyone was Brave: The Rise and Fall of Feminism in America.
Chicago: Quadrangle Books, 1969.
Purnell, Idella. "The Women's Land Army." Westways 72 (1980): 38-41, 80.
Purnell briefly relates the activities of the Women's Land Army during World War I.
Steinson, Barbara J. American Women's Activism in World War I . Modern American History
Series, ed. Frank Freidel. New York: Garland Publishing, 1982.
This work gives wide coverage to several aspects of women's activism during the First
World War, including the various women's foreign and domestic peace and relief
organizations. Extensive documentation and bibliographic references.
_____. "'The Mother Half of Humanity': American Women in the Peace and
Preparedness Movements in World War I." In Women, War and Revolution, ed.
Carol R. Berkin and Clara M. Lovett., 259-84. New York: Holmes & Meier Publishers,
Steinson discusses the ideological context of women's activism in the First World
War--one of "nurturant motherhood," an early twentieth century ideal of the
"Republican Mother" as illustrated by Mary Beth Norton. Through her examination
of the Women's Peace Party (WPP) and the Women's Section of the Navy League (WSNL), two
groups with divergent views on preparedness, Steinson shows that this idea of the
nurturant mother was a prime socializing agent for women activists throughout the
political spectrum. Extensive bibliographic essay.
Zeller, Richard A. and Edward G. Carmines. Statistical Analysis of Social Data,
5th ed. Chicago: Rand McNally, 1978.
This work provides detailed explanations for various statistical analyses as well as
appendices with tables of statistical values.
Bivariate Measures of Association and Significance
Phi and Chi Squared
This analysis uses a 2 x 2 table and cross tabulation to discover if a correlation
exists between the two variables of having a direct relative in the service and
volunteering for a women's organization. The nature of historical research, namely the
limited available sources, makes applying such methodology inherently difficult. The
researcher cannot use a completely random sample to gather data, since a list of every
single woman volunteer in Cabell County does not exist; but from the rosters that are
available--those of the Woman's Club, the Buford Chapter of the Daughters of the American
Revolution, and some of the Red Cross Auxiliary Units--one can gather a sufficient number
of names to perform the test. The true question on the validity of the sample is whether
or not there is a chance that the names available would be inherently more or less likely
to have sons or husbands in the service during the time period than those names that would
not be in the sample. Since conscription for the First World War did not allow many of the
exemptions permitted in the Civil War--namely the option of paying someone to take a
draftee's place--there seems to be little chance that the women in our sample were any
more or less likely to have relatives in the service.(41)
Therefore our sample, although hardly random, is probably valid.
The data, as mentioned above, were gathered from the rosters of the Woman's Club of
Huntington between 1916 and 1919 and the society pages of the Huntington Advertiser
between the months of April and July 1917. The Huntington Advertiser listed the names of
those women who volunteered for some of the Red Cross Auxiliary Units that were formed
specifically in response to U.S. involvement in the war. The names of the women volunteers
were cross-referenced with the names of the soldiers from Cabell County to discover who
among the women had a husband or son who served.(42) If
the name of the soldier or the soldier's mother
or father matched the name on the roster of the women's organizations, that soldier was
considered a relative. Since the unmarried volunteers were listed by their own names and
not by the names of male relatives, it was often (but not always) impossible to determine
whether or not they had relatives in the service. To compensate, the significance level
will be lowered from .05 to .20.
Table 1, a 2 X 2 table, shows in vertical columns the numbers of the sample that did
and did not have a relative in the military (x), and in horizontal rows the numbers of
women who were already members of volunteer organizations before the war started (old
volunteers) and the numbers of women who joined after the U.S. entry into the war (new
Relative in Service?
This number includes one member of the Woman's Club who, although joining before the
U.S. declaration of war, did so after her son joined the service in 1916. For the purpose
of this comparison between volunteering and having a relative in the service, she will be
considered a "new" volunteer, since she joined after her son entered the
In this table, = -.052097 and ^2 = 0.429. The critical value for Chi Squared at the .20
significance level with one degree of freedom is 1.642.(43)
Since 0.429 < 1.642, the data in our table do not show a significant relationship,
meaning that they do not show any type of correlation between the x and y variables in the
population. The data here do not even pass the critical value test at the .50 significance
level (0.429 <0.455). The null hypothesis that there is no relationship, therefore,
cannot be rejected, and thus no correlation between having a relative and volunteering for
a women's organization can be found.
Difference of Means (t) Tests
The most difficult aspect of analyzing the makeup of these organizations is
operationalizing class. Again due to the nature of historical research, sources are
limited. A mere examination of wealth over a brief period would be insufficient, since
socio-economic class includes factors such as community status which develop over long
spans of time. For this study, class will be operationalized as the number of property
deeds granted in the name of the woman or her husband between 1808 and 1922.(44) The actual dollar value of these deeds will be ignored,
since such values could fluctuate. The assumption of this measure will be that, on the
whole, the larger number of deeds a person is granted, the higher that person's
socio-economic class. Table 2 below shows the data for each group:
Average Number of Deeds for Women Volunteers
On first glance, the difference between the two means looks rather large (17.308 vs.
3.667). Due to the large standard deviations for each group however (greater even than the
means, indicating a distribution enormously skewed to the right), a difference of means
test is needed in order to compare the groups.
With these data, d.f. (degrees of freedom) = 27.081, which will be considered 27 for
the purpose of this study. The critical value for 27 degrees of freedom in a two-tailed
test at the .05 significance level is 2.052.(45)
With these data, t =1.683. Since 1.683 < 2.052, the difference between the two means
is not significant.(46) Therefore, there is no
statistical difference between the mean amounts of personal property, and therefore
socio-economic class, of each group.
The critical value for a one-tailed test is 1.703, which is still greater than 1.683.
Therefore, the data is not significant with a one-tailed test, either.
Difference of Proportions (z) Test
Another way of determining if the new volunteers came from a significantly different
socio-economic class is to test the proportion of women in each group having no property
in their or their husbands' names. Here, a difference of proportions test is useful. Table
3 below shows the relevant statistics for this test:
Proportion of each group having no deeds
Using the data in Table III, z = -0.466. The probability for a z score of -0.466 using
a two-tailed test is 0.638.(47) Since 0.638 > 0.05
(significance level), these data do not show any significant difference between the
proportions of the two groups, and thus again, there is no statistical difference between
the class of each group.(48)
1. Report of the Fourteenth Biennial Convention, General Federation
of Women's Clubs, Hot Springs, Arkansas, 13 April through 8 May, 1918. The song, of
course, was widespread and not limited solely to the Women's Clubs.
2. Louise Maunsell Field, "Women and National Defense." Bookman
46 (January 1918): 560.
3. Mrs. Nevada Davis Hitchcock, "The Mobilization of
Women," Annals of the American Academy of Political Science and Social Science
78 (July 1918): 30.
4. The text of Bernstorff's memo to Lansing, 31 January 1917, is in
Arthur Link, ed., The Papers of Woodrow Wilson (Princeton, NJ: Princeton
University Press), Vol. 41 (January 24 - April 6, 1917), 74-79.
5. For a detailed account of women's activism, both before and
during the war and both in favor of and opposed to American involvement, see Barbara J.
Steinson, American Women's Activism in World War I. Modern American History
Series, ed. Frank Freidel (New York: Garland Publishing, 1982).
6. Barbara J. Steinson, "'The Mother Half of Humanity:'
American Women in the Peace and Preparedness Movements in World War I," in Women,
War, and Revolution , ed. Carol R. Berkin and Clara M. Lovett (New York: Holmes &
Meier, 1980): 259-60.
7. Aileen S. Kraditor, The Ideas of the Woman Suffrage Movement,
1890-1920 (Garden City, NY: Anchor Books, 1965), 12- 26, 38-45. Eugene A. Hecker, A
Short History of Women's Rights: From the Days of Augustus to the Present Time , 2nd
ed. (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1914), 236-61. Barbara J. Berg, The Remembered
Gate: Origins of American Feminism, The Woman and the City, 1800-1860 , (Oxford:
Oxford University Press, 1978), 75-94.
8. Kraditor, The Ideas of the Women's Suffrage Movement ,
36- 57. Steinson, "'The Mother Half of Humanity,'" 260. Hecker, A Short
History of Women's Rights , 236-261.
9. Steinson, "'The Mother Half of Humanity,'" 262.
Steinson cites: WPP, "Preamble and Platform, 10 January 1915," WPP Papers, Box
10. Ibid., 266. Vylla Poe Wilson, "Women to the
Front," Seven Seas 1 (October 1915): 36.
11. "War Work for American Women," World's Work
34 (June 1917): 142-144.
12. Ibid., 142.
13. Ibid. Michael J. McCarthy, "'Lafayette, We Are Here:'
The Formation of U.S. Military Policy for the First World War, 1917," M.A. Thesis
in progress, Marshall University, Huntington, West Virginia.
14. For a discussion of women's work in industry, see Mary Van
Kleeck, "Women's Invasion of Industry and Changes in Protective Standards," Proceedings
of the Academy of Political Science 18 (1918-1920): 141-146; Valerie J. Conner,
"'The Mothers of the Race' in World War I: The National War Labor Board and Women in
Industry," Labor History 21 (Winter 1979-80): 31-54; Maurine.
15. Hitchcock, "The Mobilization of Women," 27.
16. Mrs. Coffin Van Rensselaer, "The National League for
Women's Service," Annals of the American Academy of Political Science and Social
Science 79 (September 1918), 279. Weiner Greenwald, Women, War, and Work: The
Impact of World War I on Women Workers in the United States (Ithaca, NY: Cornell
University Press, 1990 ). For information on the Women's Land Army, which involved
women in agricultural production, see Penny Martelet, "The Women's Land Army,
WWI," in Mabel Deutrich and Virginia Purdy, eds., Clio Was a Woman: Studies in
the History of American Women (Washington, DC: Howard University, 1980), 136-146; and
Idella Purnell, "The Women's Land Army," Westways 72 (1980): 38-41, 80
17. William L. O'Neill suggests that the government fully endorsed
these women's volunteer activities because of their non- threatening nature: "After
awhile, it became evident that the government viewed the Woman's Committee as a device for
occupying women in harmless activities while men got on with the business of war."
See O'Neill, Everyone was Brave: The Rise and Fall of Feminism in America
(Chicago: Quadrangle Books, 1969), 191. See also David M. Kennedy, Over Here: The
First World War and American Society (New York: Oxford University, 1980), 284-87;
Mary Willcox Glenn, "Purpose and Methods of a Home Service Section," Annals
of the American Academy of Political Science and Social Science 79 (September 1918),
97-105; Hitchcock, "The Mobilization of Women," 29.
18. The Food Conservation Drive was begun by Herbert Hoover,
Director of the Food Administration. It consisted at first of campaigns to persuade women
to sign pledge cards promising to take measures to conserve food. Eventually, Hoover
organized meatless and wheatless days and publicized reminders to both farmers and
consumers that food conservation was necessary to the war effort. See Robert D. Cuff,
"Herbert Hoover: The Ideology of Voluntarism and War Organization During the Great
War," Journal of American History 64 (1977): 358-372; and Robert H. Ferrell,
Woodrow Wilson and World War I, 1917-1921. The New American Nation Series, ed.
Henry S. Commager and Richard B. Morris (New York: Harper & Row, 1985), 91-97.
The United War Work campaign was formed at President Wilson's request in September
1918. Several organizations agreed to cooperate in a fund drive and share in the proceeds:
YMCA 58.65%, YWCA 8.8%, Knights of Columbus (a Catholic fraternal organization) 17.6%,
Jewish Welfare Board 2.05%, War Camp Community Service 8.8%, American Library Association
2.05%, and Salvation Army 2.05%. See Alfred E. Cornebise, War As Advertised
(Philadelphia, PA: American Philosophical Society, 1984), 100.
19. Mrs. A. L. Lehman, "Report of War Work of West Virginia
Federation of Women's Clubs," in the Annual Report of the West Virginia
Federation of Women's Clubs (Huntington, WV: 1201 Huntington Avenue, 1920), 84-90.
20. Annual Reports of the President, Woman's Club of Huntington,
1916-1919, in The Woman's Club of Huntington, West Virginia, 1917-1930
(Huntington, WV: 1201 Huntington Avenue, 1933). Due to Pershing's rejection of the plan
for furlough houses, the $124 raised for that project was instead used to help fund the
"Victory Girls." Ibid.
21. Miss Mary McCulloch, "Report of the Fourth District,"
in Annual Report of the West Virginia Federation of Women's Clubs, 1919-1920
(Huntington, WV: 1201 Huntington Avenue, 1920), 56-59.
22. While these fund drives did not exclusively involve women,
females were important both to its organization and its success. William Winfred Smith,
ed. and comp., Honor Roll of Cabell County, West Virginia: An Illustrated Historical
and Biographical Record of Cabell County's Part in the World War (Chicago, IL:
Severinghaus Printing Co., 1919?), 23-7.
23. The four Liberty Loan drives were designed to persuade
Americans to purchase war bonds to help America fight the war. See Ferrell, Woodrow
Wilson and World War I , 86-90; and Cornebise, War As Advertised , 67-87.
24. Annual Reports of the President, Woman's Club of Huntington,
1916-1919, in The Woman's Club of Huntington, West Virginia, 1917-1930
(Huntington, WV: 1201 Huntington Avenue, 1933). The War Savings Committee organized the
drives to promote War Savings Stamps, certificates used to supplement the money raised by
the Liberty Loan which were priced at a little below five dollars and bore an interest
rate of four percent. Cornebise, War As Advertised , 74.
25. Lehman, "Report of War Work," 86 and McCulloch,
"Report of Fourth District," 57. The Four Minute Speakers formed the largest
division of George Creel's Committee on Public Information. Originally intended to speak
during the brief intermissions in movie theaters, the Four Minute Speakers grew and began
speaking to other crowds concerning topics such as selective service, the Liberty Loan
drives, the American Red Cross, and America's reasons for fighting the war. The Committee
on Public Information estimated at the end of the war that these individuals had delivered
755,190 speeches to 314,454,514 persons (three times the U.S. population). George Creel,
Complete Report of the Chairman of the Committee on Public Information (Washington,
DC: Government Printing Office, 1920), 21-32. See also Creel, How We Advertised
America (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1920); James R. Mock and Cedric Lawson, Words
that Won the War: The Story of the Committee on Public Information, 1917-1919
(Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1939), 113-131; and Cornebise, War As
26. Cornebise, War As Advertised , 55-59.
27. Steinson, "'The Mother Half of Humanity,'" 265-66.
28. See Appendix A for a detailed discussion of these statistical
29. Mrs. L. H. Cammack, "Message from the President,"
1920. Woman's Club of Huntington, West Virginia, 1917-1930 , 3-5.
30. Mrs. O. I. Woodley, "Report of the Civics
1919-1920. Annual Reports of activities within the State of West Virginia, 63.
31. Mrs. R. L. Hutchinson, "Report of the Director of the
WestVirginia Federation of Women's Clubs," Ibid., 41.
32. Ibid., 37-40.
33. "The Year's Work," 1918-1919, Woman's Club of
Huntington, 1917-1930 , and subsequent annual reports.
34. See Appendix B for the statistical analysis of these data. Note
that this analysis is based on preliminary data, so the conclusions are tentative.
35. See Appendix C for the statistical analysis for this
conclusion. This analysis, too, is based on preliminary data, so these conclusions are
36. It is unclear whether or not African Americans made any inroads
into the organized volunteer efforts in Cabell County or even in West Virginia. Although
William Breen discusses the efforts of the Women's Committee of the Council of National
Defense in encouraging state organizations in the South to mobilize minorities in the war
effort, he makes no mention of
West Virginia. See William J. Breen, "Black Women in the Great War: Mobilization
and Reform in the South," Journal of American History 44 (1978): 421-40.
37. William J. Breen, "Southern Women in the War: The North
Carolina Woman's Committee, 1917-1919," North Carolina Historical Review 55
(July 1978): 280. Breen cites one commentator, Frederick Lewis Allen: "In the
Southern states, class lines made a really representative organization difficult." He
offers the following citation: Frederick Lewis Allen, "The Council of Defense System:
A History Submitted to the Director of the Council of National Defense, May 1919,"
typescript (392 pages), in Record Group 62, 17-B.1, National Archives.
38. Jean Friedman, The Enclosed Garden: Women and Community in
the Evangelical South, 1830-1900 (Chapel Hill, NC: Univ. of North Carolina Press,
39. Breen, "Southern Women in the War," 280-81. Breene
examines North Carolina's Woman's Committee of the Council of National Defense and
contrasts its weakness with the strength of the Illinois Woman's Committee. Breen
attributes much of the North Carolina Woman's Committee's weakness to the patronizing
attitude of the men in the state, especially those involved with the Council of National
40. It is not clear from this study alone whether the women of
Cabell County alone marked an aberration of this nurturant mother ideal, or whether this
ideal is insufficient to explain the motivations of women volunteers during the war. If it
can be shown in other examinations that women throughout the country engaged in similar
activities, then perhaps the latter seems the more reasonable conclusion.
41. Edward M. Coffman, The War to End All Wars: The American
Military Experience in World War I (Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin, 1986
42. The names of the soldiers came from two sources: Smith, ed. and
comp, Honor Roll of Cabell County West Virginia , and West Virginia Department of
Veterans' Affairs, Revised List of Deceased Soldiers, World War (Charleston, WV: W.Va.,
Dept. Veterans' Affairs: 1 January 1922; reprint October 1961) 8-50. Since the latter
source only listed those soldiers who died during the war, it was used to verify Smith's
listings when possible.
43. Richard A. Zeller and Edward G. Carmines, Statistical Analysis
of Social Data 5th ed. (Chicago: Rand McNally, 1978), Appendix F, "Table of Chi
Squared Values," 371.
44. The source for these data is the Grantee Index to Deeds No. 1
(1808 - 31 December 1922) (Cabell County, West Virginia), Cabell County Courthouse, 8th
Street and 4th Avenue, Huntington, WV. The time span was obviously chosen because the
index contains deeds for this entire period in one single volume.
45. Zeller and Carmines, Statistical Analysis , Appendix H,
"Values for t," 376.
46. The critical value for a one-tailed test is 1.703, which is
still greater than 1.683. Therefore, the data is not significant with a one-tailed test,
47. Zeller and Carmines, Statistical Analysis , Appendix E,
"Values for z," 370.
48. The probability for a one-tailed test is lower (0.3192), but
still greater than 0.05. Ibid.