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WWI Honor Roll
Lancaster Co., Nebraska

Lincoln Women's Motor Corps

Copyright 2011 
Kathie Harrison
Lancaster Co. NEGenWeb Project


Lincoln Woman's Motor Corps, Consisting of Eight Squads Made Splendid Record Achievement During World War.

Top row, left to right -- Miss Ona Huff, Miss Frances Lonsdale, Mrs. R. C. H. Bell, Mrs. S. K. Kier, Mrs. C. E. Matson, Miss Gladys Wilkinson, Miss Marie Reichenbach, Miss Peckam, Miss Maurine Wengert, Mrs. Josephine Burkett Farquhar.

Middle row, left to right -- Miss Bobette Weil, Miss Edna Fitzsimmons, Miss Olive Frey, Miss Leonore Burkett, Mrs. Fred Whitemore, Mrs. E. W. Elwell, Mrs. Leon Crandall, Mrs. Fenton B. Fleming, Mrs. L. D. Geiger.

Bottom row, left to right -- Mrs. Lala Mitchell Young, Miss Georgie Tuttle, Miss Gladys Lord, Miss Olive Wallace, Miss Lorraine Bratt, Miss Helene Mitchell, Mrs. Carl Weil, Mrs. P. H. Cooper, Miss Doris Gratz, Miss Leilabeth Farrell, Mrs. P. C. Weston.

(Reprint from the Lincoln Daily Star, Sunday, March 23, 1919)

EARLY in the spring of 1918, the Motor Corps division of the National League for Woman's Service became fully organized in Lincoln for undertaking the service which it has since been performing. Before that time, under the leadership of Miss Rose Carson, a small group of women, who owned cars, had been driving for the league, and had taken a course in motor mechanics at the State Farm under Professor Seton. When Miss Carson gave up the leadership of this group it was taken over by Miss Helene Mitchell, who was made a captain. 

Many members of the original section remained in the corps and within a few weeks the number was increased to about twenty. These women began to drill under the supervision of, then, Lieut. Daniel B. Miller, in charge of the University S. A. T. C. The number was added to until, at the end of the summer, there were four squads of eight members. Captain Mitchell appointed officers at once, including: First Lieutenant Weil and Second Lieutenants Whitemore and Burkett having charge. 

Later Sergeant Bobette Weil, Corporal Kier, Lorraine Bratt, Marie Reichenbach, Leilabeth Farrell, were named non-commissioned officers. During the first months the work grew rapidly, and increased its service, not only for the league, but for the Red Cross and the United States army. With the work came the formal recognition of the League Corps in every city, by the United States surgeon general. The Motor Corps of the N. L. W. S. were appointed official drivers for the government. 

In July the Lincoln branch went into uniform, which was worn during all active service. This service included the: entire driving for the Red Cross, furnishing of cars for army officers' duty, transportation of S. A. T. C. men, transportation of nurses serving at army hospitals during the influenza epidemic, and allied duties, and the Salvage. Members of the corps furnished their own cars for these purposes, their own gasoline and all expenses. For three weeks, during the autumn, members were on duty

or subject to call for twenty-four hours a day, and served at least nineteen hours. The Red Cross offered the use of its headquarters to the corps, and regular shifts were maintained from that time on at headquarters. Previously the squads were so divided that drivers were on duty during a stated number of days, and subject to any assignment. The records show how faithfully they complied. The total number of miles driven from August to November is approximately 6,000 with 2,000 hours service. These records do not show the work previous to this time, and they" cannot possibly show the effort that was made by each individual member.

Drill continued throughout this time, under the direction of Sergeant Woolrey of the S. A. T. C., after the transfer of Captain Miller. In January the corps was dismissed from active service, but it still retains its organization under the same group of officers, and answers emergency calls. It meets quarterly and will continue indefinitely as an organization. It is now planned to hold a short camp in the late spring, but this plan is not definitely decided upon. Special recognition has been given the Lincoln branch by different officers in charge of the army organization here, of which it is justly proud. 

The total membership consists of the following persons: Captain Helene Mitchell; First Lieutenant Mrs. Carl Weil; Second Lieutenants, Mrs. Whitemore, Lenore Burkett; Sergeant Bobette Weil; Corporals, Mrs. S. K. Kier, Lorraine Bratt, Marie Reichenbach, Leilabeth Farrell ; Privates, Mrs. E. W. Elwell, W. R. C. Bell, Raymond Farquhar, Leon Crandall, P. P. Weston. F. B. Fleming, Nasson Young, Phil Cooper, C. E. Matson, Lon Geiger, Misses Georgia Tuttle, Olive Wallace, Edna Fitzsimmons, Olive Frey, Doris Gratz, Ona Huff, Lonsdale Peckam, Maurine Wengert, Gladys Lord, Gladys Wilkinson, Helen Kearney. Former members of the corps included Mrs. E. C. Folsom, F. C. Beaumont, Thomas Burtch, E. M. Cramb, Burnham Campbell, Miss Eunice Chapin.