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Warren County Local History by Dallas Bogan

The Historic Ladies Of Lebanon

Dallas Bogan on 18 September 2004
original article by Dallas Bogan
Return to Index to see a list of other articles by Dallas Bogan

The Ralph P. Snook American Legion Post No. 186

The Ralph P. Snook American Legion Post No. 186 was founded in October 1919. Its function was to carry out a peacetime program service to America to which the Legion is dedicated.
Mr. Paul L. Kemper, World War I veteran, was its first Commander. After this war had been won, the men of the armed forces joined with the Legion to advance their service to the country, and to prevent the security and freedom of America from being lost in the peace process.
It only seemed natural that the women of the veterans' families should band together and form some sort of allegiance to them. The result of this project was the formation of the American Legion Auxiliary.
The Women's Auxiliary was established in November 1919, at the first National Convention of the Legion in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Several womens' groups, prior to the Convention, had assembled and asked for recognition through the Legion, with results coming in the form of an Auxiliary.
Their function was to aid the Legion in carrying forward its agenda, and to be charged with conditions of work more suitably performed by women.
The Lebanon Auxiliary was conceived in December 1924, with Mrs. Corrine Blair as it first president.
At its founding one of the main functions of the Auxiliary was the rehabilitation of disabled veterans. Also child welfare was another large program activity. Their motto is: "a square deal for every child."
The Post was named after Ralph P. Snook, who sacrificed his life while in the line of duty during World War I. (The writer inserted an article in the "Sunday Star" on Ralph P. Snook, May 26, 1996.)

The Women's Relief Corps

The mothers, wives, daughters and sisters of Union soldiers, sailors and marines, who certainly aided in suppressing the Rebellion of 1861-65, united to establish a permanent association to be known as the National Women's Relief Corps, an auxiliary to The Grand Army of the Republic. The American women participants in the Civil War provided relief on the battlefronts, working in the hospitals for the wounded and sick, as well as attending the widows and orphans of those who never returned.
Immediately following the war soldier's aid societies were formed all over the country, one result, the formation of the Grand Army of the Republic. Their purpose was to aid their fellow members who required it.
Money was scarce and the organization found their funds lacking in stability. The women were ultimately called upon to lend a helping hand.
Massachusetts and Ohio answered the call, the latter forming an organization known as the "Past Ladies Aid Society." The years were 1878-79.
The name was changed in 1883 to Woman's Relief Corps, which was granted as auxiliary to the Grand Army of the Republic.
Lebanon's Auxiliary was organized December 18, 1902, and was called the Granville Thurston Corps No. 199. The meeting took place in the old G.A.R. hall, later named Memorial Hall.
The American Legion petitioned to have the old G.A.R. Hall remodeled in 1921. Up stepped the Women's Relief Corps. The Corps gave financial aid to the Grand Army Fund to the amount of $1,400.
Fund raising was a must. During each meeting each lady participant was to donate to the Fund, it to be used exclusively for the soldiers.
Dinners were served to the G.A.R., and when the veterans entertained other Posts, the ladies obligated themselves to help.
Cards were sent to sick and bereaved members. One instance of aid was a basket of groceries, cost, 35 cents.
Amelia Longstreth Logan was the first president. Other members were Martha Stockton, Louisa Jenny Wright, Mary Proctor Wilson, Mary Marlatt Starry, Alice Harrison Randall, Jenny M. McMullen, Rosamond Evans Hatfield, Sarah Trovillo Brant.
Charlotte Evans Thompson, Clara Keever Snook, Lily Staley Thompson, Rachel Perrine Morris, Mary Hathaway St. John, Ladora Scoville Owens, Cornelia Hamilton Hatfield, Lucy Tinder Wilson, Elizabeth Hatfield Keelor, Rose Atkinson Wilson, Angeline Hoagland Thompson.

The Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War.

The Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War was organized by five schoolgirls at Massilon, Ohio, May 30, 1885. After watching their fathers and brothers decorate the soldiers' graves, a decision to help was evident.
President William McKinley, then a young lawyer, helped with the legal assistance. Together they organized the first "Tent." It grew to be a national organization with "Tents" in every state of the Union.
Lebanon's "Tent" began in May 1938, with 41 charter members. It was named the "Amanda Stokes Tent No. 141," for Amanda Stokes, a Civil War nurse. (The writer inserted an article in the "Sunday Star" concerning Amanda Stokes on March 31, 1996.)
The purpose of the "Tent" in Warren County was to help soldiers of all wars and their widows and orphans when in need. The association found that there was only one living Civil War veteran, Charles Charlton, and six widows. Each was remembered at Christmas and Easter with flowers and fruit.
This organization did quite a lot of welfare work, sharing their funds when needed. Flowers were sent to all sick members as well as to the immediate family at the death of a member.
The first president was Mrs. Cora Apgar. Placed in order are the other members: Mabel Edwards, Anna Hatfield, Jennie Whitacre, Lura Harrison, Fletah Hill, Edith Greely, Rowena Wolfe, Marjorie Israel, Julia Forkner and Mary E. Shutts. The "Tent" to a school or Scout troop presented a flag during each anniversary. In 1948 a large outside flag was presented to radio station WKRC, in memory of a deceased Civil War veteran.
In October 1949, Lebanon hosted the District Convention, with several large cities attending.
During this Convention, Mrs. Esther M. Schooler, National Sr. Vice President, presented an excellent picture of Abraham Lincoln to the new grade school building. Marjorie Ann Hatfield, granddaughter of the president, Anna Hatfield, accepted the gift and presented it to Mr. Paul, principal. The event was concluded with the singing of the Hall Thomas Choir.

The V.F.W. Women's Auxiliary

The Veterans of Foreign Wars (V.F.W.) Women's Auxiliary was organized in Warren County on July 11, 1947, at Memorial Hall. Its main objective in the community was charity work.
Post No. 6069 began its operations in Lebanon under the direction of Elizabeth Reynolds as president and Wanda Dodd Runyan as secretary.
The organization was backed entirely by funds netted from social games that were held every Friday night at Memorial Hall.
Among their many accomplishments was the adoption of Ward 12 at the Veteran's Hospital in Dayton, where once a month they visited the men in the hospital, bringing comfort and support to those who were unable to lead normal lives.
During the Christmas season, the ladies focused on bringing happiness to young and old alike with their work at the Children's Home and the Warren County Home, and, as a special duty, provided the necessities for the widows and orphans of soldiers and sailors in the County.
And so ends another chapter in the women's cause. They have through time continually labored excessively and have given so much of themselves, regardless of the situation.

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This page created 18 September 2004 and last updated 28 September, 2008
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