Colorado College Tutt Library

Century Chest transcription 47

This being Headquarters of the Department Press Correspondent of the Woman's Relief Corps perhaps our posterity in 2001 would like to know the standing of the Woman's Relief Corps as it is today in this Department and who and what this order may be.

We are a charatable [sic] organization composed of the mothers wives, daughters and all other loyal women also army nurses who gave loving service to our country in her hour of peril.

We are the auxiliary to the Grand Army of the Republic honorable discharged men who fought on land or sea to preserve our union during the war of the Rebellion from 1861-65.

Our order is not founded on mere relationship. Loyalty is the first regursite and no matter how many relatives one may have had in the Civil War if one is not loyal herself she is not eligible to the WRC. Our eligibility clause reads: Women of good moral character and correct department who have not given aid or comfort to the enemies of the Union who would perpetuate the principals [sic] to which this association stands pledged and who have attained the age of 16 years.

Our object is to assist the old soldier and his dependent ones to find homes and employment for their widows and orphans and to perpetuate the sacred observance of Memorial Day.

Our Order is divided into Corps Departments and the National which is our governing head. We were organized as a National organization in Denver Colorado July 25 1883 with 57 charter members and up to 1900 had a membership 42-760 having expended in Relief work since organization $2.024.688.53. The amount in our general fund as reported by our National Treasurer being $16.576.46 with no liabilities.

We have Corps in ever state in the Union except Alabama and many detached Corps. Our department is composed of two states Colorado and Wyoming we were organized as a Department June 26 1884 and now have 43 Corps with a membership of 1733.

Our department is highly honored this year by having the National Officer from its ranks Mary L. Carr of Longmont Colo. serving us as President and Fannie D.W. Cardin of Denver Colorado as Secretary.

We have two Soldier & Sailor Homes in this Department. One at Monte Vista Colo & the other at Cheyenne Wyo. These are maintained by each respective State but the ladies throughout this Department send many comforts in the way of cushions, quilts, bath robes etc. and delicacies in the way of jellies, preserves, turkeys fruit etc.

And all of the Standard literature of the day. Last year each home was presented with a hospital flag gramophone & Mom's chair.

Memorial Day of the WRC is May 30. It is a National Holiday in all states of the Union and was set apart by General John A Logan of Illinois for the purpose of holding Memorial services and decorating the graves of our heroic dead. A memorial & mound is always prepared for those who sleep there or in [?] battle fields in unknown graves or 'neath the ocean's foam.

Our Order sends large contributions to the South each year for flag and flowers to decorate these graves. As a National Organization we maintain a WRC Home at Madison Ohio. This home is large and commodious with every convenience and has good out buildings. Keeping their on conveyances 3 cows chickens and swine and raising a great deal of their own vegetables and fruit.

There is 57 inmates this year.

We are also keeping up the grounds of the Andersonville Prison. Our Order has preserved and erected a canopy over Providence Spring at a cost of $1400.00. They have also fenced the grounds & planted pecan trees. The object is to soon have this place self supporting.

We are also affiliated with the National Council of Women an organization for the advancement and upbuilding of womenkind.

The badge of our Order is the beautiful maltese cross of orange with the DAR medallion suspended from a bar pin bearing the initials F.C & L by a ribbon, red white and blue for floor member. Ble for corps officer, red for Department, yellow for National on an official badge the name is across the bar.

The WRC is one of the foremost Orders of the day. Its good deeds cannot be estimated in dollars & cents. They perform the last sad rites to the dying & dead and oft times are the only mourners.

The beautiful motto of the Order Fraternity Charity & Loyalty being ever exemplified. Fraternity that binds us together as a band of sisters. Loyalty to our country and its flag. Charity that is taught is holy not. That suffereth long & is kind, that envieth not, that vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up that seeketh not its own. And in the many years to come may this labor of love be as harmonious and successful as it has in the past. "The field is white to the harvest let us gather in the sheaves."

Respectfully submitted in F.C & L

Stella A Kyle
Dept. Pres Correspondent WRC
Colo & Wyo
Colorado Springs Colo
Aug. 4 - 1901

Letter 2

In conclusion in case my descendants should want to know my history the writer of this brief one of the WRC I will say my maiden name was Stella Arvilla Vinyard. I was born at Lynville Iowa May.14 - 1872 and came to Colorado in 1890. I was married to William Thomas Kyle at Cripple Creek Colo. Jan. 24- 1894. W.T. Kyle was born in London England March 15, 1867.

I was a charter member of James W. Anderson Corps #23 at Cripple Creek Colo. This Corps was organized July 2 1895 and is now the largest corps in the Department with 125 members. I had the honor of serving then two years as President and this Department one year as Secretary.

My father Thomas J. Vinyard was corporal C. T. 33rd Iowa Infantry Vol. of the Civil War. I had several uncles in the Civil War. A great uncle in the Mexican War and a great great uncle in the Revolutionary War serving from the State of Pennsylvania. My ancestors having settled in Virginia long before the War of 1776. I am thoroughly americanized.

With greetings,

Stella A. Kyle

Letter 3

The following ladies have served us as Department Presidents

Catherine le Kennedy, Denver, Colo
Mary Jewett Telford, Denver, Colo
Augusta B. Henderson, Denver, Colo
America Anderson, Denver, Colo
Climena G. Howard, Greeley, Colo
Mary L. Cain, Longmont, Colo
Laura S. Dodge, Boulder, Colo
Janette L. Todd, Denver, Colo
Anna B. Holliday, Laramie, Wyo
Ella L.C. Dwinell, Colorado Springs, Colo
Fannie D.W. Hardin, Denver, Colo
Lucy M. Campbell, Denver, Colo
Alice M. Seeds, Cripple Creek, Colo
Minnie C. Kingsford, Rawlins, Wyo
Anabella C. Johnson, Ft. Morgan, Colo

The following ladies have kept the records of this Department service as Secretaries:

Caroline L Parker, Golden, Colo
Helen R Eldridge, Denver, Colo
Augusta B Henderson, Denver, Colo
Libbie Kent Daniels, Denver, Colo
Emily R Cohen, Denver, Colo
Sarah F Calvert, Denver, Colo
Josephine A Chuseman, Greeley, Colo
Mary T Brenbarger, Longmont, Colo
Isa C Crosby, Boulder, Colo
Olive C Butler, Denver, Colo
Lida C Fitch, Denver, Colo
Marrion Sutton, Laramie, Wyo
Edna C Hamilton, Denver, Colo
Hester W Hartsell, Denver, Colo
Stella A Kyle, Denver, Colo
Anna D Fishback, Rawlins, Wyo
Kate M Clatworthy, Ft. Morgan, Colo

The following ladies have looked after our financial standing serving as Dept. Treasurers

Mary A Stimson, Denver, Colo
Olive Heogle, Denver, Colo
Mary J Handyside, Denver, Colo
Lettie L Kessler, Golden, Colo
Ida DeLange, Denver, Colo
May S Hotchkiss, Greeley, Colo
Janette L Todd, Denver, Colo
Margelia C Hamilton, Denver, Colo
Sadie M Fisher, Cheyenne, Wyo
Clara Rapp, Denver, Colo
Ida Critchell, Denver, Colo

Letter 4

Colorado Springs, Colo., July 28th 1901

Addressed to the Patriotic and loyal women of Colorado Springs Colorado, in the year of our Lord 2001. We send you greetings across the twentieth century and desire that we may still have a part in the future glory & honor of this our beloved land, and we hope the watch word may still be "One Country, One Language & One Flag." The work of American women for the preservation of the Union was that of Relief. With the disbandment of our armies followed the dissolution of our "Christian & Sanitary Commissions" and the closing of the busy work rooms of our "Aid Societies." Our returned heroes were received with joy and we were ready with them that still remained to enjoy the fruits of our sacrifices. We were confident that with this blood our beloved country was saved and united, and that our children would always hold this unity as a most sacred legacy. A decade passed; a financial crisis was on our country; sickness and old wounds and lack of work began to make cruel ravages in the Veteran's ranks. Where then would the Veteran's turn for help but to the loyal women of America, the women who had so bravely stood by them through the bitter past. The Grand Army of the Republic was organized soon after the close of the Civil War to keep alive the old spirit of comradeship, welded through those four years, and to promote a spirit of Fraternity, Charity & Loyalty; Fraternity among each other, Charity to all, Loyalty to our common country. But alone they were not equal to the task of helping the destitute comrades and their dependent one. Then it was that the Loyal woman of America answered, "Here am I; I helped you once and am still able to help you bear the burden: So as early as 1878 & 1879, societies sprang up under different names in several of the states to assist the Grand Army in its kindly work for their comrades and again it was proven, "she was made a help meet for him." In 1880 & 1881, when comrade J.F. Soverning of Massachusetts was Chaplain-in-Chief G.A.R., he used every endeavor to bring about a National Union of these societies of the several states and through him a resolution was introduced into the fourteenth annual encampment of the G.A.R., in session at Indianapolis, July, 1881, calling attention to the importance of an officially organized Woman's Auxiliary. The Commander-in-Chief approved the following committee, J.F. Soverning, George Brown and B. Craff to report at the next annual encampment. On report of the committee at the fifteenth annual encampment, the following resolutions were presented and unanimously adopted: -

Resolved- That we approve of the project of organizing a National Woman's Relief Corps.
Resolved- That such Woman's Relief Corps may use under such title the word, "Auxiliary to the Grand Army of the Republic."

No more honorable title could have been conferred upon any organization of women.

It was not, however, until 1883, when Paul Van Der Voort was elected commander-in-chief that the Grand Army took measures to put these resolutions into effect.

He travelled extensively during the year of his administration and earnestly enjoined upon all Posts the advantage of having an Auxiliary and the assistance and encouragement to be derived from them. And in a general order refered inquiring friends & comrades to E. Florence Barker of Malden, Mass., and other loyal women for instructions. Realizing the power of the press, he interested the influence of the Nat'l Tribune of Washington D.C., a soldiers paper, circulating in every state and territory, to aid in this National Union. Early in 1883, Miss Kate B Sherwood of Toledo, Ohio, assumed editorial control of the Woman's department of the tribune.

This preliminary interchange of opinions did much to prepare the way for a National Union. When Commander-in-chief Van-Der-Voort, in the spring of 1883, issued his call for the Denver Encampment he invited the Auxiliaries, under whatever name they listed [?], to meet with the G.A.R. at Denver, July 25th & 26th to form a National Association. E Florence Barker was elected chairman & Kate B. Sherwood, Secretary. It having having [sic] first been voted to form a National Union, the votes were taken singly on secrecy and eligibility. The majority voted for secret work and the admission of loyal women of good moral character, irrespective of relationship to the soldier. The names, Ritual, Rules & Regulation and work written and unwritten of the Union Board Woman's Relief corps were adopted. The following officers were elected at Denver, Colorado July 26th 1883.

National President, E. Florence Barker, Malden, Mass., National Senior Vice-President, Kate B. Sherwood, Toledo Ohio, National Junior Vice President, E.K. Stevenson, Denver, Colorado, Secretary, Sara E. Fuller East Boston, Mass., Treasurer, Lizabeth A Turner Boston Mass., Inspector, Emily Gardner Denver, Colorado, Chaplin, Mattie B. Moulton, Lacornice [?] New Hampshire, Conductor P.S. Runyan, Warsaw Indiana, Gerard J.W. Beatson Rockford Illinois, Corosponding [sic] Secretarys [sic] Mary J. Tulford, Denver, Colorado, Ellen Pray Topeka Kansas.

There were about 60 charter members of the National, prominent among them Mary L. Tearr [?] of Longmont, Colorado, the present National President of our 140,000 women of the states and territories, and Louise B. Sherman of Colorado Springs, Colorado, wife of our present Department Commander, Sirrus E. Sherman, Louise B. Sherman, passed to her reward fan, 20th 1901, leaving one daughter, Marrian Sherman. A formal report of the organization of a Woman's Relief Corps, in accordance with the resolutions of the fifteenth annual encampment, was made through Chaplin-in-chief Foster upon whose motion the following resolution was unanimously passed:

Resolved: - That we cordialy [sic] hail the organization of a National Woman's Relief Corps and extend our greeting to them. We return our warmest thanks to the loyal women of the land for their earnest support and encouragement and bid them God speed in their patriotic work.

The newly organized Woman's Relief Corps was received into the encampment and the Officers introduced from the platform. They were cordialy [sic] welcomed by the Officers in command and distinguished comrades among whom was Past Commander-in-chief John A Logan, a friend from first to last of woman's work for the soldier.

The first organized woman's relief corps, was at Portland main in 1869 organized by the Post under the name of "Bosworth Relief Corps No. 1, a society still in existence. The State Relief Corps of Mass., was organized December 8th, 1880, as the state Relief Corps of Mass., and New Hampshire by General Horace Binny Seargant, Department of Mass., so reads in part our. Red Book for 1900, as to the early history of this now greatest woman's organization.

Our relief work for the G.A.R. and his dependent ones during these years has been $2,024,688.53 - as reported at the Chicago Encampment in August 1900. We are a compact organization for the purpose of teaching patriotism and giving all needed relief to the men and their families who so grandly defended our country. We also have special fund for the relief of distress in what ever field needed and among the first to help owing to our organized work.

The local Corps of Colorado Springs was organized in 1883 by Colorado Springs Post number 22, and was named Colorado Springs Corps No. 4, Its first Officers were installed by Comrade L.E. Sherman, Commander of Post. Louise B. Sherman was the first Corps President, she was also the chairman of the convention that organized our Department of Colorado & Wyoming in Denver, June 26th, 1884.

The Colorado Springs Relief Corps, after an existence of about three years, met with a severe loss in the death of its President, Mary A Nevins who was accidentally burned while burning rubbish in yard in the spring of 1887. The Post took charge of the Charter and books of Record and there were no more meetings of the Corps until September 1890, when, with the help of Department President America Anderson, I reorganized the Corps under a new Charter and was elected to President, as nearly all the old members had moved away or died. The city of Colorado Springs was only 4500 population at that date and very uncertain as almost the entire citizenship was made up of those seeking health or pleasure so that all societies were more or less unstable owing to the frequent changes in their membership. As the years have passed our Corps has grown steadily until we now have one hundred and twenty three members. We are the banner Corps in numbers and relief work. Our relief is greater not so much by virtue of ourselves as that Colorado Springs attracts by its beauty and climate the sick and unfortunate and while we do all we can to help our comrades and their families we also try to help them to help themselves which is the true self-respecting charity.

While the women who read this will not have the Grand Army of 1861 to 1865 to assist, there will always be work for loyal women, and we hope that you may not forget to place a flower on the graves of these men on the 30th day of May 2001, called by us Memorial day, a day most sacred to us who bid these men a God speed almost a half century ago.

I hope that one hundred years has added its full share of love and care for humanity to the good woman heart, and that you who open this box may inherit the best of our generation and add to it wisdom and kindly sympathy for all trouble and that charity the greatest of gifts may be yours abundantly, the charity that makes strong men and women, and to charity may you add sympathy and among your best gifts may you add the gift of your personality which so often counts for more than gold.

Yours with our motto of Fraternity, Charity & Loyalty.

Ella L. le Dwinnell

Post Department President of Colorado and Wyoming. & Past President and a member of Colorado Springs Woman's Relief Corps, No. 4, Auxiliary to Colorado Springs Post No. 22,

Aug 4th 1901

Charter members of Corps organized Dec. 3rd, 1883.

Mrs. B.M. Corman, Mrs. A.F. Newton, Mrs. M.A. Cowles, Mrs. N.B. Hodge, "" Hallie Draker, "" M.A. Nevins, "" A.R. Keefer, "" S.A. Gillmore, "" S.B. Farrer, "" M.F. Shields, "" A.M. Loomis, "" M.J. Barnett, "" Sallie Thomas, "" M.E. Everleth, "" A.F. Cozzens, "" A.P. Hagar, "" Anna McDermith, "" R.E. Bartlett, "" M.F. Wiley, "" E. le Shatheck.

The reorganized, corps of September 2d. 1890.

Ella S. le Durinell, Amanda A. Bosworth, Lucy F. Wheeler, Nellie B. Hewitt, Violia Hunter, Elizabeth Farrer, Minnie A. Nevins, Ferrarie Fical, *Laura Farrar, Hallie S. Smally, Sarah E. Baldwin, * Emma Wiley, Susie A. Herron, Sarah E. Riggs, Ella F. Renick, Emma A. Eshinger, Gertrude Collet, Amanda Nest, Emily De La Vergne, Mary A. Older, Mary Wheeler, Martha E. Bell

* Charter members of both

Ella S. le Durinell

Members of Woman's Relief Corps No. 4

Hallie Allen, Clara Adamson, Ella Anderson, Anomie [?] Blanchard, Molina Briggs, Mararet Baldwin, Dora Beale, Lida Batesman, Emma Bickford, Marg Brown, Letta Coppell, Entura Clark, Ella Croprey, Addie Cooper, Polly Corwin, Susie Corrick, Lottie Call, Seda Clark, Lillie Collins, Lulu Carr, Belle Conlter, Mary Curl, Edith Curparan, Elizabeth Cone, Katie Casey, Elizabeth Clelanol, Ella Dwinnell, Fannie Durmington, Irene De Toliver, Ada Duree, Ruth Dona, Hannah Dixon, Mattie Dickey, Elizabeth Dhiel, Gertrude Dogton, Lena Dase, Lyara [?] Ellison, Mary Ellsworth, Laura Fassar, Elizabeth Farrar, Jeannie Fical, Mattie Farrall, Martha Farnworth, Flora Fuller, Emma Guernsey, Thirzy [?] Gondy, Jessie Guthrey, Annie Gibson, Mary Gray, Ellen Holbrook, Marrion Hall, Susie Heron, Nellie Haypradt, Gendora Hewitt, Mary Harlon, Annie Harris, Florence Head, Margaret Hedrick, Jackie Ingersoll, Mary Irwin, Mary Johnson, Lottie Jorlzon, Catherine Johnson, Margaret Kleopfer, Mary Kellogg, Fredricka Longmeger, Mary Lewis, Sarah Landerback, Mannie Largint, Mary Morse, Purmecy Mow [?], Cornelia Manning, Nancy McMillian, Ursula Munson, Mazella [?] McClarin, Florence McReynolds, Loretta Mummok [?], Lucille Munir, Ruth Mozfrew, Rpuda [?] Moore, Abbie Murphy, Hannah Mitchell, Lottie Monroy, Allice McMillan, Margaret Neff, Emma Ornsky, Annie Price, Annie Phillips, Hannah Powers, Flora Puxley, Floretta Peabody, Orvilla Patterson, Hattie Robbins, Hattie Rine, Mary Ronkins, Bell Russell, Ella Runnick, Nancy Sellars, Lulu sinston, Cara Sawyer, Julia Spinney, Mary Scott, Annie Sumption, Annie Snider, Soda St.John, Etta Shields, Ella Smith, Alfretta Smiley, Marrion Sherman, Eliza Thomas, Mary Tripplett, Sarah Tonotzne [?], Mary Vest, Lucy Wheeler, Mary Wark, Maggie Whitcomb, Sarah Worley, Hattie Walker, Emma Welsh, Lizzie Wangh, Agnes Yeates

Irene De Toliver, Corps. Treasurer

Residence 420 W. Kiowa

Letter 4

Colorado Springs, Colo., July 29th 1901

To this record, I will add a word of myself. I was born October, 9th 1842 in Eaton les Michigan on a farm taken up from the government by my father, Rolland Cushing [?], near what is now the city of Charlotte. My full name was Ella Leoline Cushing. My fathers family were settlers in Norfork County, Mass., in 1630, and came from England, Norfork County. Town of Hingham at that date. The family was prominent during the early history of New England and took an active part in the formation period of this country.

One of the family was a member of the Supreme Bench of the United States under Washington, and several have belonged to the Supreme Bench of Mass. My maternal grandfather, Jonathan Searles, was wounded while serving under Comodore [sic] Perry at the Battle of Lake Erie. I was married Oct 20th 1868, to Llewelleyn Eugene Dwinnell who served four years in "Merrills Horse" during the Civil War. his service was most of the time in Western army. We have three living children. Our oldest son, Rolla Curshing Dwinnell, but known in the army as Capt. R. le Day was Capt of Leo L Roosevelt Rough Riders, Spanish-American War. He was wounded at Santiago, Cuba, July 2d 1898. He is now Aide-de-Camp and Brigade Commissary on Gen'l Fredrick Funston's Staff in the Philippine Islands. Where he as served two years. Our other children are Olive Dwinnell and Henry Llewellyn Dwinnell who live in Colorado Springs.

Henry L. Dwinnell was married June 27th 1900 to Mary A. Heoyt and Charles Llewellyn Dwinnell was born June 14th, 1900, "Flag Day" and should he live to be as old as some of his ancestors, he may be able to read his grandmother's letter. I was elected department President of the Woman's Relief Corps of Colorado and Wyoming in April 1896 and am a member of the First Congregational Church of Colorado Springs. Dr. J.B. Gregg, Pastor. My husband L.E. Dwinnell died December 23d, 1899 and was buried at Maple Hill Cemetery Charlotte Michigan by the Masonic order.

Ella L. le Dwinnell
#828 Lincoln Ave
Colorado Springs, Colo.

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