Wives and Mothers Club

Written & Researched by Ruth Ann Montgomery 

In late January 1942, the wives and mothers of 21 Evansville service men met at the home of Ethel Gibbs at 48 North Second Street.  Their intent was to find ways to comfort and help their husbands and sons who were fighting in World War II and to support each other.     

The women opened their first meeting by saying a prayer and the pledge of allegiance to the United States flag.  They also elected officers, Ethel Gibbs became the first president of the Wives and Mothers Club; Mrs. Gertrude Montgomery was elected vice president; Mrs. John Kennedy, secretary; Mrs. Victor Briggs, treasurer; and Mrs. Victor Wall, program chairman.  For the second meeting of the club, Mrs. Victor Wall, Mrs. A. E. Johnson and Mrs. Robert McCoy were in charge of entertainment.  

For the next few months, the women met in the homes of members. They intended that their meetings would have structure and educate the members with “instructive entertainment.”  

Each meeting opened with a salute to the flag and a prayer.  This was followed by a reading of the minutes of the previous meeting, reports of activities, singing of patriotic songs and a report of messages from the service men, a report of gifts and thank you notes.  

At the second meeting the “instructive entertainment” was provided by the members of the club.  The women read messages from their sons and husbands and several mothers who had visited their sons described the camps.  

The entertainment was followed by readings or music by invited soloists or musical groups.  After a short business meeting, the club’s monthly gathering with a hymn and prayer.  Refreshments were often served.  

The membership increased; as more wives and mothers watched their sons go to war.   At the February 1942 meeting, the group chose the name “Wives and Mothers of Service Men” and reported an increase of nine members. Mrs. Lyle Wells offered to be hostess for the March meeting and Mrs. Robert P. Richardson for the April meeting of the club. 

However, by April, there were so many members that there was not enough room in the homes of the members.  In May the club met in the music room of the school on First Street.  In June 1942, the club moved their meetings to the auditorium of the City Hall.  This room was large enough to accommodate the large crowd of wives and mothers who were interested in working with the organization and for several years, this was the home of the Wives and Mothers of Service Men club. 

The first project of the Wives and Mothers group was to erect an honor roll board on the front lawn of the City Hall.  The board was made of wood sheets, a center post and two large corner posts.  On top of each corner post was an eagle and on top of the middle post was a replica of the White House.  

The Honor Roll board was constructed by workmen at the Laufenberg Lumber Company on East Main Street and transported to the City Hall in June 1942.  “That We May Live” was painted in bold lettering across the top of the Honor Roll.  It was expected that there would be 125 names on the board and for a few months, there was enough space on the board for the names of Evansville citizens serving their country.  

Ethel Gibbs, a talented artist and her assistant, Mrs. Victor Briggs, hand painted each name on the board.  It took nearly a month for the women to complete their work.  By the time of the dedication ceremony in August, the Mrs. Gibbs and Mrs. Briggs had painted 150 names on the City’s Honor Roll.  The list included one nurse, Lois Milbrandt.  

The program committee for the dedication of the Honor Roll board included, Mrs. A. J. Scoville and Mrs. H. B. Durner.  Other members of the committee were Mrs. Carl Hatlen and Mrs. Gertrude Montgomery.  

Mrs. Scoville and Mrs. Durner were the mothers of two men of the 192nd Tank Battalion.  Both men were on the Philippine Islands when it fell to the Japanese.  It was nearly a year after the fall of the Islands before the women received official word that their sons were alive.  

At the dedication of the Honor Roll on August 5, 1942, Ethel Gibbs read a poem she had written especially for the occasion. The high school band played several numbers and the Club members sang a Mother’s Prayer.  Rev. T. C. Nagler, the pastor of the Methodist Church offered a benediction at the end of the program. 

The Club also established a registry of the men and women who were serving in World War II.  Mrs. Ray Hubbard, whose son was also a prisoner on the Philippines, and Mrs. Scoville volunteered to head this activity.  The Red Cross supplied blank cards to be filled out by relatives and friends of soldiers.  The cards were printed with space for the name, address, date of birth, date of marriage, and information about the family.  

The registry served several purposes.  In cases of emergency, the Red Cross used the information to contact family members.  Ethel Gibbs used the list to add names to the Honor Roll and the club also used the information to send letters and greeting cards.  Every Thursday afternoon, Mrs. Hubbard was at the Eager Free Public Library with the registry and blank cards.  The number of names in the registry grew quickly and the information was forwarded to the Red Cross. 

Within a few months, Mrs. Ray Hubbard was writing a regular column for the Evansville Review with the names and address of service men and women.  Mrs. Hubbard updated the address changes as she received them and she also prepared a list of birthdays for each month and published it so that readers could send cards and letters. 

As the war progressed, more and more men and women from Evansville were inducted or enlisted in the United States Armed Forces.  Mrs. Gibbs and Mrs. Briggs continued to add names to the Honor Roll board and Mrs. Hubbard encouraged people to correspond with those in service.  She reported that she had given out 143 names and addresses in one day to people who wanted to correspond with the servicemen.  

“The boys all enjoy letters form their home town.  It is the hope of the club that many local citizens will send cards and letters to Evansville’s servicemen,” Mrs. Hubbard wrote in the September 17, 1942 Review. 

Before the first year of organization was completed, the Wives and Mothers took on two more projects.  The group was asked to contribute furniture and other items to the soldiers’ recreation hall in Madison.  Chairs, tables, desks, and musical instruments were on the list of items needed.  An Army truck was sent to Evansville to collect the materials for the Madison facility. 

The group also held a Women’s Bond sale to encourage the purchase of war bonds and stamps.  This was one way local citizens could add to the United States Treasury for purchase of military equipment and supplies.  The Wives and Mothers Club set up a booth at the Rex Theater and the Grange Store in the last week of November 1942.  Ethel Gibbs reported that the Women’s Bond sale was “satisfactory,” but gave no indication of the amount sold in the news release about the project.    

The Women relaxed their usual work schedule and held a Christmas party to end the organization’s first year of activities.  The nominating committee, Mrs. Burton Wall, Mrs. John W. Golz, Mrs. Verne Worthing and Mrs. A. H. Devine also presented a new slate of candidates for the new officers for 1943.  Because the organization had grown, there were a number of new offices to be filled.  

Mrs. Harold Morrison became the club’s new president; Mrs. Victor Briggs, vice president; and Mrs. Frank Olson, recording secretary.  However, by March, Mrs. Herbert Durner was elected to fill the vacancy because Mrs. Olson turned in her resignation.  Mrs. Olson announced she was moving to Georgia to be closer to her husband who was stationed in an army camp.   

Mrs. Harold Morrison

Gertrude Montgomery was elected treasurer for 1943.  Mrs. John Kennedy was given the post of recording secretary and Ethel Gibbs took a new post, as Honor Roll Board chairman.  

Mrs. Ray Hubbard remained chairman of the soldiers’ registry and she was assisted by Mrs. Russell Losey. The two women had completed a record of the Evansville men in each camp.  

 Mrs. A. J. Scoville, was put in charge of the musical programs for the meetings.  Mrs. A. H. Devine served as the publicity chairman.  

By March 1943, Ethel Gibbs reported to the club that the Honor Roll Board was too small to add the large number of names of Evansville men and women serving in the armed forces.  

Plans were made to add wings to the original board.  In order to do this, the Honor Roll was moved a few feet and an additional board was added to each end of the Honor Roll. 

After less than a year of being installed, the original Honor Roll board on the City Hall lawn was nearly filled with names of Evansville people who were serving at home and abroad.  At the end of April 1943, the Wives and Mothers of Service Men Club arranged for a “bee” to be held at the City Hall. 

The purpose of the “bee” was to move the original Roll of Honor Board a few feet so that there was enough room to add two 8-foot wings.  Mrs. E. J. Gibbs, the chairman of the project, asked for the help of local men. 

The materials for the wings were supplied by the Laufenberg Lumber Yard and financed by the Evansville Booster Club.  Howard Bruce applied several coats of white paint to the boards and Mrs. Gibbs began adding names and retouching the decorations in mid-June.  She painted American flags on the north and south sides of the wings of the Honor Roll. 

Ethel Gibbs had painted 238 names on the original board and 56 names on the south wing by June 17, 1943.  She anticipated painting about 55 on the north wing.  As the war progressed the original portion of the Honor Roll Board and the wings were covered with the names of service men and women serving in the United States and many foreign lands. 

Hattie Hubbard, whose adopted son Robert was a prisoner of the Japanese, continued to maintain the address book.  She was told by those she corresponded with that they would rather receive mail than eat meals.  She encouraged friends and family members to continue to write and to be sure to address the mail properly with the complicated system of numbers and letters. 

The Wives and Mothers club continued to meet monthly in the Evansville City Hall auditorium.  They also participated in celebrations and memorial services for veterans and as the war continued the attendance at these annual events increased.

The club was considered one of Evansville’s Patriotic Organizations and asked to be part of the Memorial Day Services.   In 1943, the women also held a special church service at the Methodist Church on the Sunday before Memorial Day.  The Methodist choir sang and Rev. Henry C. Schadeberg, the Methodist minister gave a sermon honoring those men and women in the armed forces.

Mrs. John Kennedy, the corresponding secretary of the club, was responsible for sending the birthday greetings.  In 1943, pictures of the Honor Roll Board were sent to Evansville service men and women.  Photographs of Lake Leota and Main Street were also sent to remind those far away of their home town.

Ethel Gibbs also designed and painted birthday cards for the local servicemen and women.  The scenes of Leota Park and the lake were to remind the young people of the summers they had spent enjoying a carefree time.  At the July 1943 meeting of the club, Mrs. Gibbs demonstrated how she painted the cards.  

Meetings of the club took a more serious tone.  Whenever possible, they would ask a serviceman on furlough to speak to the group.  The men also showed souvenirs of their travel. 

At one meeting two members of the club, Hattie Hubbard and Blanche Devine, described military information that would benefit the enemy.  The speakers warned the women that facts about ships, the strength of military units and the names and locations of fighting forces were not to be disclosed.  

Hattie Hubbard, Louise Moe, Blanche Devine

This subject proved so interesting that they asked another speaker from Madison to explain the reason for censoring letters to and from service men so that the enemy would not get military information.  C. B. Howard, the speaker from Madison, also showed a film about what the F.B.I. was doing to keep vital military information from the enemy.

At their June 1943 meeting, the women heard the Catholic priest, Father Mehigan speak about the mining strike led by John L. Lewis.  The women had been told that the strike was detrimental to the war effort and after discussion, the women voted to send a letter of protest to Lewis.   

The women were also asked to donate old jewelry that could be sent to soldiers fighting in the South Pacific.  They had received information that women on the islands would dig fox holes for the soldiers, if they were given jewelry.  “The bigger the hunk of glass, the faster she’ll probably dig that hole,” the women were told.  The jewelry was also given as payment for laundry services or carrying wounded from the battlefields. 

The Wives and Mothers’ club collected the old jewelry from members and also placed a box in the Grange store for contributions by local citizens.  A news release about the project said: “No telling what a native woman will do to help the war effort if offered one of those large colored glass rings, whose metal has long ago lost its brightness, or some of those gaudy necklaces worn a few years ago.” 

At the end of each year, the group selected a nominating committee to select candidates for officers.  The nominating committee to select officers for 1944 included Mrs. George Greenway, Mrs. Victor Wall, Mrs. Sever Hatlevig and Mrs. Robert Hubbard.  

In December 1943, the women elected new officers for the Wives and Mothers Club.  Mrs. John Golz was elected vice president; Mrs. B. C. Miller, secretary; Mrs. Edgar Horne, treasurer; and Mrs. John Kennedy continued as corresponding secretary.  Mrs. M. D. Fish was selected as musician, Mrs. Ray Hubbard, registration chairman, Mrs. E. J. Gibbs, honor roll chairman and Mrs. A. H. Devine, publicity chairman.  The president of the club, Ethel Gibbs, was not officially elected until the January 1944 meeting.  

In 1944, the club began to sponsor card parties as a fund raiser for the Red Cross.  Mrs. Hans Norby, Mrs. John F. Golz, Mrs. L. L. Thompson, and Mrs. R. J. Antes served as the arrangement committee for the project.   

The club had also acquired a supply of maps of the world showing the war zones.  The maps were sold to help fund club projects.  The women used the funds to supply boxes of candy and apples for soldiers at Truax Field and also gave money to the Red Cross, Wood Hospital, and the Tank Company Auxiliary in Janesville.  

By 1944, the list of servicemen registered with Hattie Hubbard had grown so large that the club had asked Mrs. Russell Losey to assist her in preparing the weekly Evansville Review servicemen’s news.  The list of addresses and correspondence from the servicemen often took an entire page of the Evansville Review.  

Each Tuesday, Mrs. Hubbard met with other assistants, Louise Moe, Mrs. George Greenway, Mrs. Burton Wall, Mrs. Edgar Horne, and Mrs. Bert (Edna) Miller to update the address book.  The women were tireless in their effort to keep the address book current.  They regularly checked with family members and friends for new locations of servicemen and women.   “We thoroughly enjoy this work for the good we know it has accomplished,” Mrs. Hubbard told readers in her weekly column.  

The women elected a new president for 1945.  Mrs. William Spanton was chosen president; Mrs. Edgar Horne, vice president; Mrs. E. J. Gibbs, recording secretary, Mrs. Frank Olsen, treasurer; and Mrs. Albert Schudda, flag bearer.  

The following officers continued from the previous year, Mrs. Ray Hubbard, chairman of registration; Mrs. E. J. Gibbs, honor roll chairman, and Mrs. John Kennedy, corresponding secretary.  At the January 1945 meeting, Mrs. Hubbard reported 407 names registered with the organization. 

The club adopted a new project of creating scrap books of clippings and pictures.  The scrapbooks were sent to military hospitals as reading material for the patients.    

The year 1945 was one of jubilation for the members of the Wives and Mothers of Servicemen club.  As World War II ended, many of those serving in the armed forces were released to return home to family and friends.  There was also sadness as the deaths of many of the sons and husbands of the club members were confirmed.  

Mrs. John Golz received confirmation that her son, Rudolph “Bill” Schuster, a prisoner of the Japanese since early in 1942, was alive and well.  In his letter, Bill said he had received mail from his mother, Bea, Beth and Brownie.  

In September 1945, Herbert Durner’s family received the good news that he had been liberated from a Japanese prison.  He was the seventh member of the 192nd Tank Battalion imprisoned in the Philippines to be reported safe.  Though his parents had moved to Janesville, “Herbie” Durner’s return home was a day of celebration.  The high school band and hundreds of people greeted Durner the day he returned to Evansville in October 1945.  He was the first of the Bataan prisoners to come home.  

Ralph Knappenberger had been taken prisoner on Corregidor and imprisoned in the Philippines in 1942.  In November 1945, he was the second hero to be welcomed home from his years of confinement in a Japanese prison.

Early in 1946, the members of the Wives and Mothers’ club were called to support each other as the names and condolences for those who would never return from war were sent to parents, wives and other family members.  Beginning in January 1946, the notices of memorial services for those who had died were published weekly in the Evansville Review. 

One of the first was a memorial services held for LeRoy Scoville, a member of the 192nd Tank Company.  Scoville had been a prisoner of the Japanese since 1942 and had died on a ship transporting prisoners from the Philippines to Japan in January 1945, a few months before the war ended.  Nearly 500 people attended this service at the Methodist Church.   His mother, Verena Scoville continued as an active member of the Wives and Mothers’ club. 

A week later another memorial service was held for Robert Hubbard, another prisoner of war from the 192nd Tank Company who died in Mukden, Manchuria in 1943.  His mother, Hattie Hubbard, also remained a member of the club.  Hattie continued her correspondence with men who remained in the service and kept the address book and registration book for Red Cross notification current.  

In February 1946, Ethel Gibbs’ son Cpl. Robert Gibbs, was honored at a memorial service.  He was killed in an air raid over Lintz, Austria in January 1945.  Ethel, who had organized the Wives and Mothers Club in 1942 and served as its president for two years, also continued to be active in the club.  

For these and many other mothers the war was not over.  Although memorial services were held, the bodies were either buried at sea or on foreign soil.  Over the next few years, the United States government tried to return as many of the remains of those buried overseas as possible.  The women of the Club continued to attend memorial and burial services as the men were confirmed dead and the bodies were returned.  

The desire of these women to help other soldiers and memorialize the service of their own sons continued for many years.  The women changed the focus of their work to helping disabled veterans in the hospitals.  At first they made scrapbooks to entertain the wounded.  The scrapbooks were assembled at meetings held just for the purpose in the homes of members. 

Membership started to dwindle.  Immediately after the war, many of the servicemen were discharged and some of the members of the club turned their interest towards their reunited families.  The members of the club tried to recruit new members by sending cards to families of new recruits inviting them to meetings. 

On May 3, 1946, eighteen members of the Wives and Mothers of Servicemen met at the home of Ethel Gibbs.  Although it was very unusual for the minutes of the club to give the names of those in attendance, this meeting was such a significant one, that the names of those present were included.  

Verena Scoville, Lilly M. Barnard, Laura E. Berry, Amy Decker, Pearl McCoy, Grace Tolles, Gertrude Montgomery, Lena Kopp, Anna Hatlevig, Ethel Gibbs, Harriet Hubbard, Ruth Hubbard, Edna Miller, Mabel Janes, Clara Reese, Pearl Spanton, Cora Norby and Helen Graves, the Secretary were recorded as present at the meeting.  The president, Ethel Gibbs told the women that the purpose of the meeting was to decide if the club should continue.  

After much discussion, about whether the wives should form their own club and the mothers of servicemen continue in the old organization, the women voted to continue the club, but to eliminate the wives of servicemen from the organization.  This would allow the wives to form their own organization. 

The newly formed group would be known as “Mothers of Servicemen.”  Helen Graves’ minutes report that the motion carried, but did not state if it was a unanimous decision.  The first order of business was to elect new officers.  Verena Scoville was chosen as president; Clara Reese, vice president; Pearl McCoy, treasurer; and Helen Graves, remained secretary.  

Although she was not present at the meeting, the group suggested that Mrs. Devine continue as press correspondent.  They also voted to transfer all money in the fund to the new club, leaving nothing for the wives who might want to form another group.  Dues were set at $1 per year.  

Hattie Hubbard had contacted the Red Cross to find projects that the club could do for the Veterans’ hospitals and brought the idea to the Mothers’ of Servicemen to make birthday gifts for the men.   A box would be sent each month to one of the Wisconsin Veterans’ hospitals.  Although they did not have a large treasury, the women decided this was a worthwhile way to spend their funds.  Hattie Hubbard was put in charge of finding a simple gift box and filling it with homemade and purchased items, at a cost of 25 cents per month. 

At their May 28th meeting, the women also voted to have the Honor Roll Board refurbished as it was deteriorating.  Ethel Gibbs said she would do the painting on the board if they could get scaffolding for her to work from.  Arthur Huseth and a Mr. Garvoille assembled the scaffolding and at their July 1946 meeting, Ethel Gibbs reported that she had been painting the board. 

The club meetings were held in the City Hall until June 25, 1946 when they were moved to the Women’s Relief Corp rooms on the second floor at 1 West Main Street.  The women paid $2 to rent the hall in the summer and $2.50 to cover additional heat costs in the winter months. 

At the first meeting in their new location, the women heard the State President of the American War Mothers organization talk about the national organization.  Within a few months, the women had decided that they would join this national organization.  

It was not a unanimous decision and at the September 24, 1946 meeting Hattie Hubbard expressed her disapproval of the plan and a month later resigned from her duties as birthday gift box chairman and keeper of the registration of names.  She may have also resigned from the club at this time, as she is not mentioned again in the minutes.

At the October 1946 meeting of the club, the women voted to become affiliated with the American War Mothers and elected the new officers:  Verena Scoville remained president; Mrs. Harold Halbman, vice president, Mrs. Bert Miller, second vice president, Mrs. Walter Erdman, Historian, Helen Graves, secretary, Pearl McCoy, treasurer; Mrs. John Kennedy, corresponding secretary; Mrs. E. Schudda, Sargeant at arms; Mrs. George Greenway, custodian of records; Ethel Gibbs, chaplain and Lillie Barnard, Sunshine treasurer.

The new name did not change the focus of the meetings.  The meetings began with prayer and the pledge of allegiance to the flag following by singing the Star Spangled Banner.  This was followed by reports from the various committees. 

The women continued to send birthday boxes and the various hospitals that were mentioned in the minutes included Wood Veterans hospital near Milwaukee, Tomah Veterans Hospital and Mendota hospital in Madison.  Rather than exchange Christmas gifts, the women brought handkerchiefs and other small items to send to the hospitalized veterans.  The women also made robes for the veterans. 

 Another project that the women did from home was to collect colorful scraps of material and sew carpet rags.  The balls of carpet rags were sent to the veterans hospitalized in Mendota.  The veterans were trained to sew rugs or make rugs on looms. 

 New fund raising efforts included selling carnations in May, just before Mother’s Day.  The women had 1,500 white and red carnations to sell.  The women engaged the services of the local Girl Scouts to help with the sale.  The carnations were sold at 10 cents each.  The Girl Scouts received part of the funds and the rest went into the club’s treasury to support their services to veterans hospitals.  The 1947 sale netted the group $132.54 and they reported that their total funds raised through projects was nearly $300.  They had spent approximately $200 on the service projects. 

In 1947, the women participated in publishing and printing the veterans history book, sponsored by the Veterans of Foreign Wars.  Hattie Hubbard, the former record book keeper for the Wives and Mothers Club was chosen as the general chairman of the project.  

All veterans of World War I and World War II and their families were invited to send a photograph and fill in a questionnaire.  The books were printed by a company in Marceline, Mo.  Community organizations were also included in the book that was printed and sold for $3.  “The history will preserve memories for veterans their buddies, as well as all Evansville Citizens.” 

The “Service Record Book of Men and Women of Evansville, Wisconsin and Community” was published in late 1947.  The work of the Wives and Mothers of Servicemen Club was featured in the book. 

Hattie Hubbard, one of the charter members of the Wives and Mothers club, chaired the committee that put the book together.  She wrote a brief history of the registration and address book that the club had maintained during World War II. 

After the war, Mrs. Hubbard sent questionnaires to the servicemen and women asking them to report their service records.  Those who responded sent photographs of themselves in uniform, photographs of their families, and provided information about themselves. 

The same names had also appeared in the registration forms maintained by the Wives and Mothers Club.  Mrs. Ethel Gibbs and her helpers had written each name on the Honor Roll Board on the City Hall grounds. 

For the new book, Mrs. Hubbard requested information about the veteran’s current address, branch of the armed services, date entered, training camp, date shipped overseas, the Theatre of Operations, date of return to the U.S. and date of discharge, rank, and total months served.  The questionnaire also asked for the present occupation and the names of parents. 

For those servicemen who were deceased, the parents or wives also received a burial form.  This information was used to help veterans organizations place flags and markers on the graves to honor the men who had lost their lives during the war.  

More than 350 men and women who had served in the armed forces during World War II  responded to the questionnaires.  Several newspaper articles appeared in the Evansville Review before the publication of the book, asking for information from local organizations.  The books arrived shortly before Christmas in 1947.  

One section of the book was devoted to the Gold Star Boys of World War I and World War II.  These were the young men who had lost their lives in service to the United States.  Another section included photographs of the men and women and their service records.  A section was devoted to photographs of the wives, children and other family members of the servicemen. 

A history of various organization, churches, schools, the draft board, businesses and City government was also included.  The Wives and Mothers section of the book explained the work of Ethel Gibbs, Hattie Hubbard, and activities of the club during the presidencies of Spanton and Morrison during the war. 

Hattie Hubbard wrote about  keeping the registration and address book for the soldiers.  As the war progressed, the names of the servicemen were divided into war zones.  Those serving on ships were recorded under the name of the ship.  Mrs. Hubbard said that by recording the names in this way parents could keep track of where their sons and daughters were located.  It also helped the servicemen and women to contact each other, if they were in the same area.  

When the City Council established a Veterans’ Service Center in the City Hall several of the women who were members of the Wives and Mothers’ of Servicemen Club were asked to serve on the committee.  The work of the Center was to help returning servicemen to find jobs, explain benefits, re-enroll in colleges to complete their education, and to offer other support.  Hattie Hubbard, Mrs. Russell Losey, Mrs. George Greenway, and Mrs. M. D. Fish from the Wives and Mothers’ served at the Center.  Kathleen Kennedy, the sister of two returning servicemen, also helped with the record keeping at the Center. 

The Wives and Mothers’ club had reorganized as the America War Mothers Club after the war and their meeting minutes to 1950 tell of their work for easing the suffering of the veterans in hospitals.  The women regularly sent gift boxes and received letters from the Veterans’ hospitals in Wisconsin asking for more help.  The women asked for donations of carpet rags, silk and wool materials for projects at the veterans’ hospitals.  

The annual Carnation Sale was held before Mother’s Day and was the chief fund raising activity of the club.  In most years they received around $200 for the sale of 2,000 carnations.  The women also sold cards and received small sums of money to supplement the club’s activities.  Money from dues and donations also helped the women in their work for the veterans.  

Memorial services and burials for servicemen who had died overseas continued through the late 1940s.  In June 1948, full military services were held for Edwin Hatlen and Ted Greenway who had died overseas during the war.  The United States government returned the bodies for burial at Maple Hill Cemetery.  The mothers of these young men were supported by members of the club in this final memorial ceremony.  

For the next 30 years, the women continued to meet, assisting, as they could, with relief to veterans who had served in World War II.  On Memorial Day, the women attended the services at the cemetery, as a group. 

In one of the last announcements of a meeting of the club, the May 20, 1977 Evansville Review reported that “The American War Mothers club met Tuesday afternoon at the home of Mrs. A. J. Scoville with Mrs. Forrest Graves serving as hostess.” 

At the meeting a memorial was held for the deceased members of the club.  The mothers who had sent their sons to foreign lands and supported each other during the long months and years of the war, continued to be friends to the end of their lives.