PUNGOTEAGUE QUILT

AMERICAN RED CROSS QUILT

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EASTERN SHORE CHAPTER OF AMERICAN RED CROSS

In April 1917, as the call to arms was sounded across America, the women of the Eastern Shore were taking their own steps to support the American Red Cross; Mrs William H Parker, Mrs J P L Hopkins and Mrs John S Tyler began discussing ways in which they could help. They wrote to the Headquarters of the Red Cross in Washington. In reply they were encouraged to formulate plans.

The Eastern Shore Chapter of the Red Cross, with headquarters at Onancock, was chartered on 1 June 1917 with John S Waples as chairman, Mrs John S Tyler as vice-chairman and Mrs J L P Hopkins as secretary. A committee comprising Mrs William H Parker, Mrs Joseph S Mills, Mrs EOF Custis, Mrs Maude M White, Otho L Parker and Mrs J W Robertson. George H Powell was elected treasurer.

Branches were organised across the county including the towns of Wardtown, Pungoteague, Painter, Harborton, Onley, Parksley, Greenbackville and Wachapreague with a total membership of over 500. Within a year, twenty-three branches had joined the chapter and membership had risen to 3,820.

On 1 February 1918, the School Committee was appointed and a membership drive was organized during the period between Lincoln’s and Washington’s birthdays (12-17 February). Later in 1918, 33 of the 40 schools in Accomack county were enrolled with a junior membership of 3,300.

Drawn from the records of the Red Cross in Washington - Courtesy of the American Red Cross, Archives Section and from
The Times Dispatch,
Richmond, VA - 17 Sep 1917 p5 - Courtesy of Newspapers.com

It is interesting that quilt was made around the time of the membership drive mentioned in the last paragraph above. See the Story of the Quilt.