Augusta County is situated in the Shenandoah Valley, one hundred and forty miles from Richmond. It is bounded on the east by the Blue Ridge and on the west by the Shenandoah Mountains. The inhabitants are mostly Scotch-Irish Presbyterians, farmers, fairly well educated, industrious and generally solid American citizens. Wheat, hay, corn and apples are the chief crops. Cattle-raising is likewise a popular and profitable business in the county.
Between 1914 and 1917 the price of land, as well as that of farm products, advanced rapidly, and financial prosperity was never so commonplace. The people generally were typical of Virginia in loyalty to President Wilson and to the various relief fund drives for stricken French and Belgian people. A successful effort was made in 1917 and 1918 to raise large crops. The result in volume and value exceeded all previous records.
In 1910 Augusta County had a population of 32,445; in 1920 there were 34,671 residents in the county. Staunton, the county seat, had 10,604 inhabitants in 1910 and 10,623 in 1920. Thus we see that the population was relatively stable during the war years. In Staunton about one hundred of the population were Germans by birth. Prior to the entry of the United States into the war, all of these, with very few exceptions, ,were pro-German in sentiment. After April 6, 1917, it is believed their sympathies remained unchanged, although their influence was negligible.
There were sixteen churches in Staunton: twelve for white people and four for colored people. All denominations Cooperated during the war. Two of the city's pastors chaplains in the army. Another was an overseas Y.M.C.A. secretary. Congregations were active in all patriotic work; Liberty Bonds, War Savings Stamps, food conservation, Red Cross, Y.M.C.A., Salvation Army and Knights of Columbus. Service flags were displayed in all the churches, and they held regular prayer services for the Allied armies.
Generally speaking, the churches of Augusta County gave the same loyal response to war-time calls as did those of the city of Staunton.
The Rocky Spring Presbyterian Church, Rev. T. H. Daffin, pastor, had nine men in the army-C. T. Montgomery, Emory Harrison, George Wiseman, R. E. L. Wiseman, J. C. Montgomery, T. M. McCjentis Montgomery, Fletcher Cole, Jack Clifton and Howard Lockridge. Miss Juliette M. Montgomery was a graduate nurse with the McGuire Unit, Base Hospital No. 43.
The Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church of Waynesboro, Rev. E. L. Ritchie, pastor, had eight men in service, Seven in the army and one in the navy. They were: Army--Ernest M. East, Gerald Myers, Everette R. Moyer, John Hundley, Irving E. Moyer, Paul Davis, Lacy P. Reed; Navy- Garnett Myers.
Bethel Presbyterian Church had fourteen men in service, twelve in the army and two in the navy. They were: Army C. R. Ambler, J. W. Collison, Samuel Halterman, Roy R. Miller, Charles Lee Miller, R. V. McClure, John Larew; navy J. W. Hogshead, J. M. Wright.
Basic Methodist Church had twenty-five members in service, twenty-four in the army and one in the navy. They were: Army--M. V. Griffith, R. B. Padgett, Lacy Yeago, Meredith McCue, Harvey Pleasants, Floyd Wright, Russel Barker, Emmett Adkins, Philip Bean, Walter S. Thomas, J. Robert Swank, J. Roland Myers, LeRoy C. Harman, Cecil Bean, R. M. Miller, W. L. Griffith, Roy Heatwole, Francis Harris, Henry Morris, ClinWon Morris, Aby S. Guyer, Rufus Tillman, Eugene Hensley, Harry A. Sandridge; Navy~Albert McCue.
The Finley Memorial Presbyterian Church, Rev. H. M. Wilson, pastor, had three men in service. Army-Fred F. McLaughlin, J. Brown Hicks; navy-Charlie P. Hodge.
Rev. L. Hammond, pastor of churches at New Hope, Pleasant Grove and Crimora, reported three men in service from New Hope: Robert W. Dickenson, Whitney Bauserman and Russell Bauserman; from Pleasant Grove, Clarence Cleveland, and from Crimora, Dorsey Walters.
Stuart Hall, a school for girls in Staunton, reported the following war work:
1916-1917-Boxes valued at $200.00 sent to Belgium and France. Money for hospital work in France, $110.00.
1917-1918-Student Friendship, war service, $479.00; Red Cross drive, $250.00; Red Cross contribution, $191.79; articles made in Red Cross rooms, 4,784 gauzes, 148 bandages, 56 sweaters, 50 pairs socks, 6 pairs bed socks, 10 pairs wristlets, 1 scarf, 24 helmets, 24 small bags, 1 knitted quilt, 5 surgical shirts.
1918-1919-United War Work campaign, 8958.00; Armenian fund, $135.00.
The Staunton Military Academy reports the following war work:
Y.M.C.A. campaign, $1,150; United War Work campaign, $1,400; Red Cross stamps and contributions, $500; Armenian Relief, $200; French orphans, $150; help to individuals in service, $75; faculty and cadets Liberty Bonds, $30,000; total, $33,475.
There were 456 men in service from the Academy, 199 of whom were commissioned officers. Commissioned graduates numbered 110. The following men received military distinction: Obadiah P. Armstrong, War Cross; Captain Roy Bryant, French Croix de Guerre; Lieutenant-Colonel B. R. Legge, Legion of Honor; Second Lieutenant W. W. Treadway, cited for conspicuous gallantry; John Henry Lott, Distinguished Service Cross; Captain Wilbur M. Phelps, War Cross.
The following sometime students at the Staunton Military Academy were either killed in action or died while in service: Lieutenant Clifford Alexander, Sergeant Charles Adams, Private A. M. C. Berrie, Sergeant Robert S. Burleigh, Captain Phelps Collins, Private Harold Davidson, Lieutenant W. L. Deetjen, Lieutenant John Jacob Fisher, Lieutenant Edwin S. Gard, Boatswain's Mate Alvin F. Hann, Lieutenant John F. Hauser, Private Beaufort Hoen, Private Daniel L. Jones, Private Claude E. Mieusset, Sergeant Robert McGuffin, Lieutenant (Jr. Grade) Jack S. Spaven, Lieutenant W. G. Thomas, Lieutenant W. W. Treadway, Corporal Herbert L. Winslow. Lieutenant Arch Chilton, Lieutenant Llewellyn R. Davies, Private Harold Davidson, Major Oliver F. Spencer, Corporal W. E. Hayne, Jr.
Mary Baldwin Seminary for Girls in Staunton has countributed a full record of war activities as follows:
The Red Cross-In the fall of 1917 a school auxiliary of the American Red Cross was organized under the school committee of Staunton, Virginia, Chapter. Materials were bought for the making of towels, napkins, wash cloths, ambulance pillows, hot-water bag covers and bed socks. Later in the year ten complete layettes were completed, these articles being chosen because the sewing had to be chiefly done by hand. The workers, grouped according to the articles they were making, met Saturday afternoons for two hours in certain classrooms. Members of the faculty cut out and supervised the work. The art studio was transformed into a surgical dressings room. During the session of 1917-1918 the auxiliary raised $212.52. Of this amount $25.00 was spent for surgical gauze, $115.71 for other materials, and the balance, $71.81, was handed over to the Staunton Chapter. The auxiliary was reorganized in the fall of 1918, but no sewing was attempted. Dues to the amount of $94.30 were handed over to the school committee of the Staunton Chapter.
The Franco-Serbian Field Hospital-In April, 1916, Miss Julia T. Sabine, who had been engaged in relief work in Serbia, gave an illustrated lecture on Serbia in the interests of the Franco-Serbian Field Hospital. The girls were interested and raised for that hospital $100.00, their first war contribution of money.
The Fatherless Children of France-In the spring of the school became interested in the fatherless children France, and adopted an orphan, paying $36.50, with $10 additional for a birthday present. A year later this subscription was renewed and a second child was adopted, making tI sum paid in 1919 amount to $83.00.
The Domestic Arts Classes-In November and December, 1914, the domestic arts classes made up in children's garments about one hundred yards of outing flannel. These garments were made in response to the first calls of the Belgian Relief Committee. In November and December, 1917, the domestic arts classes made up five dozen hospital shirts for the local Red Cross committee.
The British War Relief Association-In the spring of 1917 Miss Elsie McKenzie, a Canadian nurse and representantive of the British War Relief Association, gave a lecture describing conditions she had recently seen in England and France. After her lecture the school sent ot the British War Relief Association $108.59, of which $50.00 was used for Armenian and $59.59 for Belgian orphans.
The Y.W.C.A.--The United War Work campaign aroused interested among the students of the Mary Baldwin Seminary. The cause was presented to the entire school by the cabinet of the Y.W.C.A. The sum of $2,100 was raised in less than three weeks. Wide publicity was given through the posters furnished by headquarters and also through those made by some of the art students.
Every student organization gave gladly and liberally. The Cotillion Club gave up one dance in order to devote the funds to this cause. One of the literary societies gave the money set aside for pins in addition to personal subscriptions. The Dramatic Club "exhausted" its treasury. No parties or feasts were given, and many students learned in some measure the meaning of sacrificial giving. Members of the Y.W.C.A. bought two Victory Bonds of $100.00 each.
The Armenian and Syrian Relief Fund-The amount contributed to the Armenian and Syrian Relief Fund in January, 1919, amounted to $500.
The Jewish Relief Fund met with a ready response from the Seminary, $375 being contributed.
The Serbian Hospital-Money was secured for the establishment of a cot in a Serbian hospital in memory of Miss Nannie W. Garrett, a faithful and efficient nurse for over ten years at Mary Baldwin.
Faculty and Alumni-In all these campaigns the members of the faculty made their contributions through the school. Several teachers resigned to take active part in war work. The art teacher, Mrs. Charles G. Sawtelle, entered foreign service; Miss Alice Dean Spalding, the teacher of expression, was connected with the shipbuilding plant at Hog Island; Miss Mildred Reed Peery was useful in Y. W. C. A. work.
According to the "History of Augusta County Chapter, American Red Cross" (p.32 in V. W. H. C. files), the Staunton schools which aided in the Red Cross work were as follows: The Virginia School for the Deaf and Blind, Mary Baldwin Seminary, Stuart Hall, Staunton High School, Staunton Grammar School. The detailed report is as follows:
School for Deaf and Blind-Hospital supplies, 71; gauze dressings, 1,340; bandages, 512; infant's garments, 431; knitted garments, 59.
Mary Baldwin Seminary-Hospital supplies, 124; gauze dressings, 681; infant's garments, 320; knitted garments 1.
Stuart Hall-Hospital supplies, 81; gauze dressings, 4,629; bandages. 163; knitted garments, 98.
Staunton High School--Hospital supplies, 368; bandages 26, infants' garments, 49; knitted garments, 3.
Staunton Grammar School--Hospital supplies, 76; infants' garments, 30; knitted garments, 3.
Total-Hospital supplies, 720; gauze dressings, 6,713; bandages, 701; infants' garments, 830; knitted garments, 164.
Total articles contributed by Staunton schools, 9,128.
Staunton and Augusta County had five companies in the National Guard. Headquarters Company, Supply Company, Company I and Company K, all of the First Virginia Infantry, and a machine-gun company of the Second Virginia Infantry. The Headquarters Company, commanded by Captain Charles M. East, was called July 25,1917, and was mustered into Federal service on August 3, 1917. The Supply Company, commanded by Captain W. E. Tribbett and Second Lieutenant A. B. Carter, was called July 25, 1917, and mustered in August 2, 1917. Company I was called July 25, 1917, and mustered in August 3, 1917. The officers were as follows: Captain H. L. Opie, First Lieutenant R. H. Catlett, Second Lieutenant Charles P. Serrett. Company K was called July 25, 1917, and mustered in August 1, 1917. Its officers were as follows: Captain William V. Smiley, First Lieutenant Elliotte V. Peaco, Second Lieutenant George B. Fretwell. Machine Gun Company was called March 25, 1917, and was mustered in April 2, 1917. Its officers were Captain Joshua P. Ast, First Lieutenant A. A. Grove, Second Lieutenant Ewart Johnston, Second Lieutenant C. B. Board. Captain Joseph P. Ast was the only man in the company from Staunton. The Headquarters, Supply and Machine Gun companies all went on October 4, 1917, into the 116th Infantry Companies I and K were distributed between Company of the 116th Infantry and Company D of the 110th Machine Gun Battalion. Company D of the 110th Machine Gun Battalion later became Comany D of the 112th Machine Gun Battalion.
Staunton organized a Home Guard company in July, 1917. By July 25, 1917, the company numbered thirty-five members, but the following year a company of Virginia Volunteers was mustered in at Staunton and the Home Guards were no longer needed.
Mr. F. H. Sibert, of Fordwick, in Augusta County, made an earnest attempt to organize a Home Guard company but failed. The Virginia Volunteer organization in August County was known as the Valley Riflemen. They were mustered into service by Major LeMasurier on August 26, 1918, after one hundred and fifty-fourt men had signed the application and twenty-three men over the age of forty-five had pledged themselves to become contributing members at $10 a year.
In the draft, 7,879 men registered in Staunton and Augusta County. Of this number 1,025 were drafted and sent to camp. Augusta County was credited with 242 enlistments.
Eleven men from Staunton are included in Virginia's Distinguished Service list: Richard P. Bell Order of University Palms, Arms, City of Lampes; Sergeant Robert A Chermside French Croix de Guerre; Captain Charles J Churchman Silver Star Citation, French Croix de Guerre Colonel Harry N Cootes, Distinguished Service Medal cited by division commander; Captain W. W. Green, cited by commander in chief commended by battalion commander commended by infantry commander, Silver Star Citation Corporal Edward R Kivlighan, French Croix de Guerre, Second Division Citation; Whitten E. Norris, French Croix de Guerre; Major H. L. Opie, Distinguished Service Cross, French Croix de Guerre, French Legion of Honor; Major W. M. Phelps, cited by division commander, French Croix de Guerre with Palm, Silver Star Citation, recommended for Distinguished Service Cross; Second Lieutenant Archibald G. Robertson, Distinguished Service Cross, French Croix de Guerre; Lieutenant-Colonel J. S. Williams, cited by commander-in-chief, Belgian Order of the Crown.
Woodrow Wilson, President of the United States, 1912-1920, [sic] was born in Staunton December 28, 1856, and was, of course, the most distinguished Virginian of the period.
Augusta County, exclusive of Staunton, has seven names on the Distinguished Service list. They are: James M. Bear, cited by commander-in-chief; Edgar A. Bocock, cited by commander-in- chief; Captain J. N. Green, Distinguished Service Cross, commended by commanding officer of sanitary section, French Croix de Guerre; James H. Rowan, French Croix de Guerre; Captain R. P. Rowan, Distinguished Service Cross; Corporal Cecil F. Swats, cited by division commander; James M. Zirkle, Distinguished Service Cross and French Croix de Guerre. The following men from Staunton were killed or died in service: Gordon Argenbright, Charlie W. Brown (colored), Fred L. Brubeck, Carl W. Dudley, George C. Dunlop, Wilham Roy Hevener, Rohert E. L. Michie, J. W. Shaver.
Results of the sale of Liberty Bonds in Augusta County and Staunton were as follows: Second Loan-Quota, $931,000; subscribed, $815,000; number subscribing, 2,274. Third Loan-Quota, $518,300; subscribed, $808,750; number subscribing, 2,754. Fourth Loan-Quota, $1,110,600; subscribed, $1,288,650; number subscribing, 4,156. Victory Loan-Quota, $793,500; subscribed, $1,060,300; number subscribing, 2,423. Total quota, $3,353,400; subscribed, $3,973,250; number subscribing, 11,607
The Boy Scouts of Staunton were active in encouraging the purchase of war securities. After Scoutmaster Rev. W. G. McDowell went to war, Scout activities were directed by Miss Eleanor White and Assistant Scoutmaster James M. Southard, Jr. The Boy Scouts sold $446,650 worth of Liberty Bonds and $5,000 worth of War Savings Stamps; they helped the Red Cross, the United War Work campaign and the War Camp Community Service.
Augusta County is wholly agricultural. When the government called for increase in food production, the farmers of Augusta County responded (1918) with a wheat crop (sown in the fall of 1917) of about two million bushels. This figure may be appreciated when we note that the wheat crop of 1917 was about a quarter of a million bushels. In spite of the increase, other crops were normal. In 1919 the wheat crop was expected to total two and one-half million bushels, but unfavorable weather conditions diminished the potential crop about 25 per cent. During the war period there was also an improvement in the quality of live stock in the county. In addition to farming, the people of Augusta County found time to aid in the work of the Red Cros$4A(e Food Administration, Liberty Loan committees, Y.M.C.A., etc.
During the war the matter of health in Augusta County, and more particularly among the school children of the county, was under the supervision of Miss Clorine Benton, R. N., the Augusta County school nurse. During the time from September 1, 1917, to September 1, 1919, she visited schools and homes in an attempt to improve health conditions and thus better to equip the county for its strenuous war duties.
The work of the Augusta County agricultural agent was also of importance during the war. He visited schools and farms, attended conferences, distributed bulletins and circulars and wrote letters--all in an effort to increase local crops and live stock production. Much work was done through boys' and girls' agricultural clubs.
The first Red Cross work in Augusta County was begun April 6, 1917, under the direction of Dr. Wilbur M. Phelps and Dr. A. L. Tynes, both of Staunton. This first effort resulted in the forming of two classes in first aid. On May 11th a meeting was called and a chapter in the American Red Cross was organized. Officers were as follows: Mrs. Franklin Hanger, chairman; Dr. Kenneth Bradford, vice-chairman; Miss Hallie M. Henkel, secretary; L. G. Strauss, treasurer. The chairman of the executive board was Albert Shultz, and the members were Mrs. Jacob Yost, Mrs. J. A. Alexander, Abe Walters, Mrs. George Sprinkel and Rev. H. B. Cross. Under the supervision of this chapter there were six branches and thirty auxiliaries. The branches had a prescribed jurisdiction and were located as follows: Deerfield Valley, Fordwick, Mt. Solon, Stuarts Draft, Waynesboro and Weyers Cave. The auxiliaries were without a definite jurisdiction and did work only as assigned by the chapter. They were as follows: Art Study Club, Augusta (colored), Beverley Manor Chapter, D. A. R., Burketown, Churchville, Central Methodist Church, Endeavor, Fort Defiance, Greenville, Hebron Church, Justice, Loyal Service, Loyalty, Middle River, Middlebrook, Mt. Zion (colored), Mountain View, Newport, Patriotic Service, Spottswood, United Daughters of the Confederacy, Union, Willing Workers, and War Workers.
All supplies of the Augusta Chapter were handled, all inspection, packing and shipping done, through the workroom in Staunton from June 1, 1917, until November 11, 1918. Workroom officials were as follows: Mrs Franklin Hanger, chairman; Miss Martha V. Bell, workroom secretary; Mrs. Josephine Kyle, Supervisor of surgical dressings; Mrs. Jacob Hevener and Miss Gay Trout, Supervisors of hospital garments; Mrs. Stuart Robertson, supervisor of knitted garments; Mrs. S. D. Gochenour, chairman of purchasing committee.
The following is an account of the work done through the Augusta County Red Cross workroom: Hospital garments and supplies, 8,333; refugee garments, 5,214; knitted garments, 3,854; surgical dressings, 161,841; Christmas parcels, 218; regulation boxes shipped, 99; front line parcel boxes, 25; cash contributions, $1,948.74
The Red Cross work of the schools was treated in the schools section of this sketch.
The Canteen of the Augusta County Red Cross Chapter was organized in August, 1918, with thirty-five members. By September the number had increased to seventy-five. Under the direction of A. E. Miller, Clark Worthington and Abe Walters, a hut was built at the railroad station from which free canteen service was given upon the arrival of regular trains, and all troop trains passing through Staunton between 7 in the morning and 10 at night. Jane Coiston Howard was chairman of the canteen. Mrs. Robert R. Heydenreich was commander, and the following ladies were captains: Mrs. Hume Sprinkle, Mrs. James H. Powell, Mrs. Heiskel Argenbright, Mrs. Herbert McK. Smith; Mrs. Max Mercerrean, Mrs. Henderson Bell, Jr., and Mrs. E. W. Randolph.
The Canteen report from September, 1918, to September, 1919, is as follows: Number of men served, 56,515; coffee, orangeade, ginger ale, sandwiches, cigarettes, chocolate, apples, oranges, candy, cake, pies, peanuts, magazines, postal cards, supplied; special dinners at Christmas; approximate cost of service, $3,100; donations and money earned by Canteen, $1,550.
In two war drives held by the Red Cross-June 18 to 25, 1917, and May 20 to 28, 1918-a total of $17,540.17 was raised. A total membership of 6,650 was recorded on January 1, 1919. Five first aid classes were taught by Doctors Bradford, Tynes, Phelps and Spencer. The chapter collected 11,700 pounds of clothing for the Belgian Relief Commission. Sixteen French orphans were cared for by branches and auxiliaries. The following workers received badges for continuous service of 800 hours: Mrs. Franklin Hanger, Miss Martha V. Bell, Miss Hallie Henkle, Miss Gay Trout.
In addition, the Augusta County Red Cross packed Christmas boxes, financed the local United States Employment Bureau for three months, contributed funds, supplies, and cooperated with two emergency hospitals and other agencies during the influenza epidemic.
The Home Service section of the Augusta County Red Cross was headed by W. H. Hall, chairman, and Miss Fannie Strauss, executive secretary.
At the beginning of the war period the Y.M.C.A. had been organized in Staunton for thirty-five years. Since there was no camp near Staunton, the Y.M.C.A. did not have any particular camp service duties. It invited all service men to use its departments free of charge. The building of the Y.M.C.A. Was always at the disposal of the Red Cross and other war work organizations. The quota for war work for the Staunton Y.M.C.A. was $30,000. Approximately 5,000 subscribers contributed $29,174.78. The following men served on war work campaign committees for the Y.M.C.A.: Hon. J. A. Glasgow, Charles Catlett, J. J. Prufer, S. I. Davis, F. A. Lasley, K. H. Knorr, C. K. Hoge, P. D. Edwards, S. M. Donald, H. B. Sproul, James C. Foster, A. E. Miller, C. W. Brown, P. G Stratton, C. P. Rigler, George Powell, Col. S. B. Allen, H. C. Gibson, W. W. Pratt, Percy Willson, J. H. Bryan, W. W. King, H. B. Handley, R. W. Hammerslough. There were nine men and one woman from Staunton who entered the service of the Y.M.C.A. for war work. S. M. Donald served on the Y.M.C.A. war work recruiting committee, and Rev. W. E. Abrams and Jacob Hevener were among those who went overseas in Y.M.C.A. work.
While Companies I and K of the First Virginia Infantry (afterwards the 116th Infantry) were stationed in Staunton, the Friendship Circle-a club for working girls-invited the soldiers to come to the circle's rooms Monday, Wednesday and Saturday evenings from 7:30 to 11 P. M. Refreshments were served. An average of 30 girls and 50 men attended each evening.
The Beverly Manor Chapter, D. A. R., was organized as a Red Cross auxiliary, subscribed $30.00 to Red Cross hospitals abroad, contributed $5.00 to the Camp Community fund, $50.00 to the purchase of a Liberty Bond, $52.00 to the National Society for the purchase of Liberty Bonds, sponsored lectures on war topics, participated in Victory parade, contributed $150.00 to the Belgian Relief in November, 1914, raised $100.00 towards the erection of a monument to the soldiers, adopted a French war orphan.
The local executive committee of the Staunton War Camp Community Service was composed of the following: Edward Woodward, Abe Walters, Mrs. W. W. King, Mrs. Hume Sprinkle, Mrs. R. R. Heydenreich, Miss Mary Osborne Templeton, Rev. J. J. Gravatt, Jr., J. H. C. Grasty, J. H. Bryan, Michael Kivlighan. Entertainment was under the direction of Miss Templeton; refreshments, Mrs. H. Sprinkle; chaperonage, Mrs. S.D. Timberlake, Jr.; employment, Mrs. Kivlighan; readjustment, Rev. J. J. Gravatt, Jr. Under the direction of the W. C. C. S., James H. Rubush organized an out-of-doors community chorus and held "sings" once a week. The Travelers' Aid and information department was in charge of Mrs. O. W. Robertson and operated in one booth at the station. Four workers were employer in this department.
The Community Welfare League worked in cooperation with all the war work organizations and did considerable service for the citizens of Staunton and Augusta County. The following is an account of various activities in 1917 and 1918: New cases, 1917, 654; 1918, 589; old cases, 1917.470; 1918, 299; visits by visiting nurse, 1917, 1,783; 1918, 2,455; letters to out-of-town inquirers, 1917, 248; 1918, 383; employment secured, 1917, 67; 1918, 39; medical aid, 1917, 30; 1918, 30; legal aid, 1917, 77; 1918, 286; receipts, 1917, $3,355.32; 1918, $3,427.43; disbursements, 1917, $2,769.30; 1918, $2,563.71.
The J. E. B. Stuart Chapter, U. D. C., operated a Red Cross auxiliary after June, 1917. The members sold $147,000 worth of Liberty Bonds and bought $10,000 worth. Mrs. A. M. Howison was assistant commandant to the canteen work, and many members assisted her. The chapter participated in all the patriotic parades.
In November, 1918, in connection with the general campaign for the United War Work fund, the "Victory Boys" campaign resulted in an enrollment of 1,223 members and subscriptions to the amount of $3,930.62.
At the same time (November, 1918) the "Victory Girls" campaign in Staunton and Augusta County, exclusive of Stuart Hall and Mary Baldwin Seminary (of which every student was enrolled as a "Victory Girl"), enrolled 278 girls.
The following war activities were engaged in by the Tuesday Club of Augusta County: Entertainment for benefit of Red Cross at home and abroad, proceeds $165.00; contribution of $20.00 to the United War Work campaign; silver offering taken at each meeting for the Y.M.C.A.; French war orphan adopted and refugee garments made; lectures on patriotic subjects; contribution of $50.00 to the Armenian fund.
Staunton and Augusta Count were asked to contribute $9,153.00 to the Armenian-Syrian Relief fund. Through the efforts of E. C. Harrison, Rev. Murray D. Mitchell and Charles K. Hoge, sufficient publicity was given to the drive to raise $23,787.03. The churches were particularly energetic and generous.
In May, 1919, Dr. Rosalie Morton appealed to the women of Staunton for funds with which to aid in building a hospital in Serbia. About $730.00 was raised: $300.00 from Trinity Church, $200.00 from the First Presbyterian Church, $100.00 from the Second Presbyterian Church, $100.00 from the Emmanuel Church.
Alexander F. Robertson was local representative of the Virginia Commission on Belgian Relief and was appointed November 12, 1914. He estimated that the clothing, flour, apples, canned goods, etc., shipped from Staunton to Norfolk for exportation were worth approximately $2,500. In his report no figures are given for relief work done after December 15, 1914.
Seventy-six French war orphans were adopted (at $36.50 per year each) by various organizations and individuals in Staunton and Augusta County. Staunton cared for fourteen and the remainder were cared for by citizens of the county. Mrs. J. F. F. Cassell was chairman of the committee on the adoption of French orphans.
Staunton experienced no difficulty in receiving the returned soldier. For the service man, the first few months of readjustment were difficult and he did not find employment readily. The city was largely sustained by the rich agricultural county surrounding it. In the few manufacturing plants in Staunton there was only an occasional vacancy. Those soldiers who had been farmers and wished to return to farming, quickly found employment with increased wages. They were the first to get placed and by the summer of 1919 they were settled in permanent jobs and were contented. Many of those who had gone from the city and county had become, through training, skilled mechanics. Some of these found employment in their trades, others with automobile agencies, while a large proportion were lured to distant cities where their skill commanded higher wages. By the winter and spring of 1920 all of Augusta's ex-service men were at work and, for the most part, contented.
The Clemmer-McGiffin Post, No.13, of the American Legion, was organized September 12, 1919, and comfortable quarters were secured.
Staunton was quiet and undisturbed during the period of readiustment. Generally, economic conditions in Staunton were about the same as in other Virginia cities. The city experienced no difficulties comparable to those of the manufacturing centers in eastern Virginia.
According to the 1920 United States census, Staunton had a population of 10,623 and Augusta County 34,671.
Notes Red Cross: