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The Souvenir of Western Women/The Woman's Emergency Corps

The Woman's Emergency Corps


HAVING been president of the Emergency Corps and Red Cross Society of Portland, Oregon, during the years that our Oregon men were in active service at the Philippines, I am asked to give something of the story of the work performed by that organization during the exciting days from April 26, 1898, when the first call for help came until all that was left of our men from Oregon came home again to take up the threads of their tangled skein and work them back into straight warp and woof. To turn the demoralized life of a volunteer soldier back to the routine of every-day life calls for all that is best in man.

The task of telling this story is not an easy one. All outward show of appreciation has been given and received, and only the remembrances are left in the minds of these fourteen hundred women of Portland who, with untiring zeal, worked for the soldiers during the Spanish war. The women of this city were tremendously in earnest on that day (the 26th of April), when there was a call through the Oregonian for all loyal and patriotic women to assemble at the Armory, prepared to co-operate with state officials and men of every degree in finding ways and means to help equip our young soldiers for the seat of war. So quick were the flashes of enthusiasm at that meeting that before many of us realized the detail and breadth of the work which was to fall into our hands we were an organization and ready for any work of emergency which might fall to us to do. I think it not too much to say that a better organized body of women were never banded together than these loyal women, who gave their personal efforts, their money, their influence, many of them their whole time and strength to the work of making the life of our new-born soldiers bearable while away from the environment of home and friends and thrown into that uncivilized element in the Philippines. Not a soldier from any state in the Union passed through Portland unnoticed or unfed. Words of encouragement by our enthusiastic workers have brought by correspondence a bountiful return of thankfulness and good will, not only to the women of Oregon, but to the State of Oregon, with its wealth of roses which brightened their stuffy and dismal cars en route to California. After three and a half years the Emergency Corps and Red Cross Society brought its official career to a close in Portland. No undertaking in the cause of humanity ever received greater assurance of the heartfelt gratitude of more men and women than this, and the records bear testimony to its phenomenal success.

Song of the Klootchman


Cold blows the wind on Neah Bay shore,
Yet softly the Klootchman sings;
In its rustic cot the baby sleeps
As the cradle swings and swings.

Does the Klootchman dream of olden days
Does she hope for her baby there
In its swinging nest 'neath the old tree-top—
Does she build it a future fair?

Ah no, methinks on Neah Bay shore
Where the cradle swings and swings,
The Klootchman ends her daily task
When the babe sleeps as she sings.

Souvenir of Western Women 0170 Klootchman.png