MS 187 - Women's Christian Temperance Union (Amsden, Ohio)
|MS 187 - Women's Christian Temperance Union (Amsden, Ohio)
The records of the Amsden, Ohio, Woman's Christian Temperance Union date from 1907 to 1977. The history of this religious anti-alcohol and tobacco activist group is reflected in one linear foot of minutes, membership and financial records, correspondence, reminiscences, newspaper clippings, workbooks, recipes, songbooks, handbooks, pamphlets, newsletters, programs, and photos.
The records were donated on August 27, 1981 to the Women's Studies Archives Project of the Center for Archival Collections by Gladys Masamer, Fostoria, Ohio. Literary and property rights have been dedicated to the public and duplication is permitted for the purposes of preservation and scholarly research. The register was prepared by Paulette Weiser, graduate assistant for the Women's Studies Archives Project, Center for Archival Collections, in October 1981.
The temperance movement began in Fredonia, New York, led by Dr. Dio Lewis, in December 1873. Dr. Lewis spoke in Hillsboro and Washington Court House, Ohio, later the same month, where the movement took root and Frances Willard first became involved. In February 1874, Columbus hosted the first state convention of the women's temperance movement. The Women's Christian Temperance Union was officially organized at a national convention in Cleveland in November 1874. Ms. Willard was a leader and guiding light of the organization for many years. The group's main principles included belief in God, the Golden Rule, a living wage, eight-hour work days, justice, world peace, personal abstinence form liquor and tobacco, and education of the public about temperance and prohibition. Young people were recruited actively with the White Ribbon Recruits being members from birth to six years of age and older youth belonging to either the Loyal Temperance Legion (6-12) or the Youth Temperance Council (teens and 20s).
The Amsden Union was organized on August 9, 1907. The first officers were Mrs. J. L. Nile, president; Mrs. J. W. McLaughlin, secretary; and Mrs. Plina Trumbo, treasurer. Anna Dye Wyant was elected president on September 19, 1919, and served in that capacity for more than fifty years until ill health forced her to step down in 1972. Only three members organized the Amsden Union, but membership quickly flourished with sixty-four being noted as members at a dinner on September 7, 1909. The Amsden Union seems to have been very active until the 1970s when membership declined. In 1972, the membership consisted of "18 women, 4 men, 10 boys and girls and 10 babies."
Gladys Masamer, the collection's donor, is the daughter of Anna D. Wyant and also has been an active member of the Seneca County WCTU.
|Scope and Content
The records of the Amsden Woman's Christian Temperance Union reflect the history of this active religious, temperance, and social organization, its members, and programs from 1907 to 1971.
The minutes, membership and financial records, correspondence, pamphlets, songbooks, and flyers reveal why and how the group organized and attempted to educate the public and disseminate their philosophy, particularly concerning the use of alcohol. While they also were interested in fair work standards, justice and world peace, the focus of their activities was to discourage, and even outlaw, the use of liquor. The records reflect their religious and family-oriented approach to achieve that goal. The collection reflects to a much lesser extent the group's political activity.
Students of women's history will find, in addition, that woman's suffrage was an early topic of this group. The minutes for April 14, 1909, note discussion of and a vote on the issue of "free suffrage."
Also included is genealogical information on the Caywood-Dye family, Mrs. Wyant's ancestors.
SCRAPBOOKS AND SCRAPBOOK MATERIAL
PAMPHLETS (Workbook: "Two Bottles in a Refrigerator")
PAMPHLETS (Handbooks/In-house pamphlets/newsletters)