From Here To Over There : Fremont County In The Great War
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Women On The Home Front

Women on the home front during the war did not sit by idly. A local chapter of the Women's Committee of the Council of National Defense was organized in August 1918 with Minnie Harding (seen in the photo) serving as president.

This committee focused on child welfare, educational propaganda, food administration, food production, foreign and allied relief, health and recreation, registration, and women in industry.

Local women between the ages of 18 and 45 were required to register for service by the summer of 1918. The registration was not binding but the women received cards, which specified occupations they were proficient at, should the need ever arise for more women to be employed in war work. Women were also given the chance to register for a service in which they would like to be trained.

A Women's Volunteer Motor Corps was organized with 14 members in October 1918 with Minnie Harding as captain. Every woman in Fremont County who owned or drove a car was eligible for membership. These women helped transport supplies, nurses, and volunteers to posts and moved sick and wounded soldiers to hospitals and homes.

Other work included helping the Red Cross in the "gauze room" rolling bandages and knitting. They also helped raise funds for the Red Cross and the Youth Men's Christian Association (Y.M.C.A.). Women were encouraged to do their part for food rationing with meatless and wheatless days, and tending to war gardens.

Prison War Effort

Local offenders did their fair share to help in the war effort. Female prisoners assisted the Red Cross in making clothing. One report states the women at the local penitentiary made 212 pajamas, 25 chemises, 20 bed spreads, 12 operating gowns, 107 baby booties, 9 nurses' caps, 8 sweaters, and 20 pairs of socks in two months.

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Minnie Harding ca. 1915.Minnie Harding ca. 1915.