The introduction of the American Red Cross to Malmo was made and the organization of the branch perfected August 18, 1917, at a meeting held in the city hall, and the following officers were elected:
Mrs. R. Scudder, chairman; Miss Laura Bruce, vice chairman; Miss Clara Holtorf, secretary; Miss Dorothy Walters, treasurer.
The ladies met every Wednesday afternoon in the basement of the Swedish Lutheran church. The work done consisted in making hospital and refugee garments, 925 being made. Mrs. Fred Booth and Mrs. Bergquist attended to the cutting of garments.
On December 5, 1917, a surgical dressing class was started with Miss Alta Hills as chairman. They met every Tuesday evening and Wednesday afternoon, making 3,808 dressings. When there was no surgical work on hand the class worked on hospital garments or whatever was most urgently needed.
Five members of the chapter received the Red Cross medal awarded for 800 hours' service.
The branches and auxiliaries of the American Red Cross were not perfected at the same time all over the county, but as necessity demanded. The American Red Cross was not introduced or perfected in the vicinity of the Marietta Presbyterian church until August 12, 1917. This organization became known as the Marietta Presbyterian Auxiliary.
The organization was not a large one, yet the results were exceptionally good. With a membership of only 31 they made a total of 130 hospital garments all told, and 90 knitted articles. The following officers were elected:
Miss Mary McCord, chairman; Mrs. John Crinklaw, vice chairman; Mrs. Jas. Ellison, secretary; Mrs. Geo. Crinklaw, treasurer.
The following ladies were on a committee to see that the auxiliary was kept supplied with work:
Mrs. M. McCord, Mrs. Geo. Ellison, Mrs. H. Mowers, Miss L. Anderson.
Meetings were held weekly at the home of the members of the auxiliary, the organization being a rural one, and so they were unable to maintain a public workroom. Quotas were always filled and often exceeded, regardless of the kind of article called for, whether for Christmas boxes or for comfort kits. When the membership drive was put thru to secure money for Red Cross, a very large percentage of the ladies took life memberships.
Mrs. Lizzie Willey devoted most of her time to making knitted articles with surprisingly good results in both quality and quantity.
The Ceresco branch of the Red Cross was organized July 30, 1917, at the Turney Hall. The following officers were elected:
Mrs. Geo. Siegrist, chairman; Mrs. L. C. Walker, vice chairman; Miss Mabel Hanson, secretary; Miss Hilma Anderson, treasurer.
Miss Hanson later resigned, and Clara Nelson was elected to fill the vacancy. The executive committee appointed the following officers:
Mrs. D. F. Wright, knitting chairman; Mrs. W. T. Davis, surgical dressing; Hilma Anderson, supply chairman.
Membership Committee:--Dr. F. T. Wright, Hilma Anderson, Mabel Hanson, Eva Newsham.
Meetings were held regularly every Friday afternoon in the basement of the Lutheran church for sewing, and as often for surgical dressing classes as was necessary to fill the quota, sometimes meeting four or five times a week. All the knitting was done in the homes.
A bazaar was held November 1, 1917, at the Turney Hall, at which $80.32 was raised. Part of the money was used to fill Christmas packages for the soldiers, and the remainder was given to the Red Cross.
February 22, 1918, another bazaar was given, $230.37 was raised for the Red Cross. July 3, 1918, an ice cream social was held at the high school grounds, the proceeds amounting to $95.05. A sewing machine was purchased for the workroom, and the remainder given to the Red Cross.
The Presbyterian Aid Society gave $60.00 to the Red Cross, and $37.25 was received from the sale of a rooster. Total money raised was $502.99. Other donations were made from this vicinity, but were sent directly to the county chapter.
The annual meeting of the Ceresco branch was held October 16, 1918, at the Lutheran church. Complete reports were given, and all officers re-elected, with these exceptions: Vice chairman, Mrs. Milo Gross, and secretary, Gertrude Chapman.
The ladies of Ceresco and vicinity worked faithfully until the end of the war and accomplished much, filling their quotas of Red Cross garments, surgical dressings, supplies, knitted articles, and refugee clothing promptly.
All the financial business was transacted at the county chapter, all the money received here was immediately sent to Wahoo, and all orders for expenses were drawn on the county Red Cross treasurer.
The following ladies filled in their questionnaires and received certificates given in recognition of loyal service to the nation thru the Red Cross:
Mrs. Christine Nordgren, Mrs. Albert Lundstrom, Miss Christine Bloomstrom, Dr. F. T. Wright, Mrs. C. A. Anderson, Mrs. F. T. Wright, Mrs. Gertrude Chapman, Mrs. Chas. Nelson, Mrs. Mabel Anderson, Mrs. Nels Nelson, Mrs. Geo. Siegrist.