Clark County, Ohio

History and Genealogy



Aid Societies


From The History of Clark County, Ohio
Chicago: W.H. Beers & Co., 1881 - Page 99


The people of this county are somewhat noted for the readiness with which they engage in almost any philanthropic work. Reform movements of many sorts have from time to time found advocates among the citizens here, and when the importunate demands of war were made, not only for the best blood of the North, but for lint and bandages to stanch its flow, this feature of the popular character found ample scope for exercising itself.

The first local indication of the coming of this avalanche of benevolence, so far as can be learned now, was the announcement from the pulpit of the High Street Methodist Church, that the "Mite Society" of that congregation would thereafter devote its energies to the pressing needs of the camps and hospitals of the volunteers; this announcement was made on Sunday, October 20, 1861. To be sure there had been blankets and provisions collected before that date, and much other work accomplished, yet the peculiar characteristics of the well-known "Soldiers' Aid Societies" seem to indicate that there was one principal source from which they emanated, viz., the outflowing of the currents of Christian patriotism from those reservoirs of moral force known as the "churches." From this time to the end of the war, these currents became wider and deeper, until, in 1862, the perfectly organized and thoroughly established United States Sanitary and Christian Commissions became one of the grandest combinations for the accomplishment of good to mankind that the world ever saw. To assert that Clark County did more than any other county of the same class would savor the spirit of boasting; to say that less was done would not be true, therefore the record must be examined.

In the autumn of 1863, the project of holding a fair for the benefit of the above commissions was launched by the Cincinnati Daily Gazette (in its issue of November 7), in an editorial entitled: "Who speaks for Cincinnati?" To this came responses from far and near which resulted in an organization of all minor societies into auxiliary subdivisions. This county was set in motion by a "call" from certain prominent workers here for a meeting of ladies, which was held at the house of Mrs. R.D. Harrison, on the 3d of December, 1863. At this meeting, over which Mrs. Maj. William Hunt presided, and of which Miss Mary Clokey was Secretary, the following gentlemen were chosen as committee men, etc., to represent this county at the fair, at Cincinnati.

E.B. Cassily, President Clark County Auxiliary; John W. Baldwin, Vice President; John C. Childs, Treasurer; C.M. Nichols, Secretary.

Executive Committee — William Hunt, John Howell, W.N. Chamberlain, Dr. B. Neff, S.W. Sterrett, Perry Stewart, Israel Stough, W.D. Baker, J.M. Benson, Harmon Spencer, John Snyder, E.S. Weakley, John Minich, H.C. Houston, Washington Ward, K. McLeman, William Warder, A.P.L. Cocgran, James Torbert, John Carpening, A.L. runyan, John Law, George H. Frey, David King, Marsh Steele, R.L. King, William Wright, A.C. Black, Joseph Cathcart, R.D. Harrison, Asa S. Bushnell, G.S. Foos, James A. Bean, John C. Miller.

These gentlemen were to collect and arrange the donations from this county. E.B. Cassily, R.D. Harrison and two or three others were chosen to represent the county at the fair. In addition to all this a score of smaller groups were at work. Here is a sample of one of these:


YOUNG LADIES' SEWING SOCIETY FOR THE GREAT WESTERN SANITARY FAIR
Mrs. J.S. Goode, President. Miss Jennie King, Secretary.
Miss Annie Cumming, Treasurer.
Managers:
Mrs. S.A. Bowman, Mrs. G.W. Benns, Mrs. John Foos, Miss Sarah Baker, Miss Emma Torbert.


For several weeks the good work went on, and, at the close of the fair, the prize was awarded to Clark County as having made the largest donation of any county represented. This prize was a beautiful silken banner, upon which was inscribed, "This banner is awarded to Clark County, whose people contributed $5,580. The Great Western Sanitary Fair paid $234,000 to the Sanitary Commission, Cincinnati, December, 1863."

This banner was given to E.B. Cassily as representative of the county interests. Where it is now is not known, but it is supposed to be in safe keeping, in the absence of any proper place to deposit such articles.

So without boasting, it can be said that our people, as a whole, did excel in the high labor of doing for the needy, during the dark days of civil war.

It should perhaps have been stated that the first record of any work of this nature was the begging and collection of blankets and provisions for the volunteers in Camp Clark. The committee in charge of that duty was composed of John C. Miller, J.W. Baldwin, G.S. Foos, J.H. Littler, J.L. Petticrew, John B. Hagan.

At this late date, the names of the most prominent workers cannot all be obtained; yet, after a period of four months of constant association with the people of to-day, in a search after such truths as my be found fit for use here, the writer feels warranted in recording the following names as being among those who were leaders in this noble work: Mrs. R.D. Harrison, Mrs. Dr. John H. Rogers (deceased), Mrs. N. Kinsman, Mrs. C.M. Nichols, Mrs. P.P. Mast, Mrs. William Hunt, Mrs. Alfred Williams, Mrs. Nimrod Myers, Miss Fannie Rogers, Miss Mary Clokey, Mrs. Peter Schindler, Mrs. Oscar Bancroft, Mrs. William Wright, Miss Belle Montjoy, Mrs. Col. Sanderson.