CHAPTER 6: MADAME’S CHILDREN’S LEAGUE : USA : POPPY

1920 – MEMORIAL DAY 1921

It is believed that it was around late November/early December 1918, that the foundations for ‘La Ligue des enfants de France et d’Amérique’ were laid down in Paris – affiliated to the French government. However, the charity did not become officially operational until Anna Guérin had organised her first State and the first monies were received in Paris, in September / October 1919.    In her 1941 Synopsis, Anna Guérin wrote we formed a Committee called : PROTECTION OF THE CHILDREN OF DEVASTATED FRANCE , Mr Millerand – President of France – accepted to be President , Mme Millerand , his wife , being the active President .   And I was choosen to take her place and to come back to the United States to lecture for the Committee …”  

Reported in Montana’s Anaconda Standard (17 June 1920), Anna Guérin was quoted as saying that when she returned to France after the Armistice she had “been with her family just five days, when she was called back to Paris and told she was to have entire supervision of the work in America …” – which could place her going to Paris around 25th November (1918).

Initially, Madame Guérin arrived back in the U.S.A. under the auspices of ‘Fraternal League of the Children of France’. For the U.S.A., Anna Guérin’s branch of ‘La Ligue des enfants de France et d’Amérique’, became Anglicised to the ‘American-Franco Children’s League’ but soon took the name of ‘American and French Children’s League’ but research has found it referred to as: ‘American Star and ‘Inter Allies Children League’. Significantly, and importantly, the organisation took the POPPY as its emblem.

In 1941, Anna Guérin reverently referred to Alexandre Millerand as “President of France” but he was not inaugurated when he took a role in the P.C.D.F.   Other named officers of ‘Protection des Enfants des Régions dévastées’ were Henrietta Poincaré, Hon. President; ex-President Poincare; S.A.S. Prince of Monaco; Minister of the Interior; and M. Leon Bourgeois, president of the Senate.

It was as a result of World War One that the organisation ‘Protection des Enfants des Régions dévastées’ (‘Protection for Children of the Devastated Regions of France’) had been created. It was attached to the Ministry of the Interior.  It had a strong association with ‘La Ligue Fraternelle des Enfants de France’ (Fraternal League of the Children of France).

The ‘Protection for Children of the Devastated Regions of France’ aimed to reach the vulnerable children that existing charities in France were failing to protect and was not connected to the ‘Fatherless Children of France’ organisation, which sought to match French orphans with American “god-parents”.

One of the examples of “régions dévastées” in France. Courtesy of Heather Anne Johnson.

One of the examples of “régions dévastées” in France.
Courtesy of Heather A. Johnson.

‘La Ligue Fraternelle des Enfants de France’ (Fraternal League of the Children of France) was founded in c1896, by one Lucie Faure.  It was an attempt to halt the depopulation of France, by providing for disadvantaged children. In July 1919, it was reported to be an organisation of “23 years old”.

Lucie Faure was Lucie Rose Séraphine Èlise Faure, who was born in 1866 at Amboise.  She was the daughter of Félix Faure President of France from 15 January 1895 until his death on 16 February 1899 and his wife Marie-Mathilde Berthe (née Belluot). Lucie married Georges Goyau on 10 November 1903, at Saint-Honoré-d’Eylau Parish Church in Paris.

Lucie Faure/Goyau died on 22 June 1913 in Paris, aged only 47.  Coincidentally, this was the year Raymond Poincaré became President and it is deduced that his wife, Henrietta Adeline Poincaré (née Benucci), took over the responsibility for ‘La Ligue Fraternelle des Enfants de France’ upon Lucie’s death.  In her role as “First Lady” of France, she became Honorary President and Mlle. Apolline de Gourlet, the educator/author of Paris, became President.

When Anna Guérin gave an interview in 1919 (reported upon in The Detroit Free Press, 18 July 1919), she confirmed her League had its origins in the organisation ‘La Ligue Fraternelle des Enfants de France’ and she named Mme. Raymond Poincaré head of this Ligue.

On 21 September 1919, The Chicago Tribune printed an informative article about the ‘Fraternal League of the Children of France’ in the U.S.A. The national headquarters of its American committee was in Chicago, due to the appointment of Miss Anne Parker Miner (of 100 East Chicago avenue, Chicago) as national chairman of the United States.   It stated that the “Fraternal League of the Children of France” was endorsed by the National Investigation Bureau of New York and Incorporated under the laws of Illinois.

Officers of the American committee, in addition to Miss Miner, were George A. Kelly, general secretary; Mrs. Jessie Ozias Donahue, executive secretary; George Acheson of New York, national treasurer, and Mrs. Frederick W. Masters, executive treasurer for the middle west.  The headquarters address was 434 First National Bank building, 38 South Dearborn street.

Anna Guérin stated that her “American-Franco Children’s League” officially commenced its operations in October 1919 and had been incorporated in Maryland.  Mrs. George Corbin Perine (of Baltimore, [Ione O.] Tyler née Cooke) was the National Vice-Chairman who would, eventually, become the National Chairman. The ‘Protection des Enfants des Régions dévastées’ became the main “Beneficiary Organisation” for the funds the League raised.

All the facts and clues point to the “Fraternal League of the Children of France” having been metamorphosed into the “American-Franco Children’s League” and, in reality, they Chicago, due to the appointment of Miss Anne Parker Miner (of 100 East Chicago avenue, Chicago) as national chairman of the United States.   one of the same but with a change of name and committee members in the U.S.A.

There had been a strong link between France and the United States of America ever since 1776 – when the former supported the latter, during its fight for independence from Great Britain.  It is from a 1921 statement, made by Professor Hartley Burr Alexander (of Lincoln, Nebraska), we have it further confirmed the League was originally called ‘The American-Franco Children’s League’ corresponding to the Paris committee name ‘Ligue Americaine-francaise des enfants’. 

A rare ‘American-Franco Children’s League’ badge, made by ‘Whitehead & Hoag’. Courtesy/© of Heather Anne Johnson.

A rare ‘American-Franco Children’s League’ badge, made by ‘Whitehead & Hoag’.
Courtesy/© of Heather Anne Johnson.

It is a rare badge pin or button that is shown above.  It promotes the ‘American-Franco Children’s League’.  This is what the League was known as in 1919 and, again, in 1921 – it has been suggested that the typeface graphics indicate it is more likely to be 1921, than 1919.

The words “THE WHITEHEAD & HOAG CO., NEWARK, N.J.  BUTTONS, BADGES, NOVELTIES AND SIGNS” appear on the inside of the pin.  The design reinforced the strong link between France and the United States of America, which had existed ever since 1776 – when the former supported the latter, during its fight for independence from Great Britain.

The Bisbee Daily Review, Arizona (29 September 1920) reported, of Anna’s League [sic]: “The first purpose of the league is to render aid to the children of devastated France. Its ultimate purpose is friendship through understanding.   That two great nations that have stood together as have France and America, each in the hour of their greatest need, 1776 and 1917, shall never grow apart.”  

N.B. As an English woman, with no prior knowledge of the subject of French charities of any era, let alone this one, the author is receptive to being corrected and/or enlightened on this particular set of circumstances.

Numerous similarly-named societies were founded during the First World War period, ‘twixt North America and France.  Any individual charity could be referred to by a concoction of names – lost in translation between the French and English languages.  At the time, it may have caused some confusion – it certainly did for this author!

‘La Ligue des enfants de France et d’Amérique’ was created and the question was asked at a very early stage in the research:  “Did Anna Guérin establish and direct the whole League or did she just organise the activities in the USA?”   Certainly, the League’s headed paper (as below) confirms Anna’s position as far as America is concerned:- she is “Director”, under ‘National Officers in the US’; she is prominently listed as “Founder of the League in the United States”; and, additionally, her League’s link to the French Republic is proved.

Edited from Hartley Burr Alexander Papers [RG4028]). Courtesy of Nebraska State Historical Society.

Edited from Hartley Burr Alexander Papers [RG4028]).
Courtesy of Nebraska State Historical Society.

Hartley Burr Alexander of Lincoln, Nebraska (President of US ‘American and French Children’s League’) stated on 8 October 1920 that Madame Guérin was “the founder of the organization, both in the United States and in France” … “At the time of the armistice, Madame Guerin returned to France.  There she was so deeply impressed with the needs of the French child victims of the war that she determined to return to America to continue her work in their behalf; and this she did after having first affected in France the organization of a distributing committee under the chairmanship of Mme. Millerand, wife of the president of France …”

The aforementioned text formed just a small part of an application submitted by Hartley B. Alexander to the Director National Information Bureau – to have the League recognised by that Bureau.

Early research pointed to Anna Guérin having created the whole ‘American and French Children’s League’ but working under the ‘umbrella’ Paris-based Committee – linked to the ‘Protection for Children of the Devastated Regions of France’ organisation.

With new facts being discovered all the time, an interview that Madame Anna Guérin gave on 17 June 1920 (in The Anaconda Standard, Anaconda, Montana) has recently come to light and enlightens further.  Headed MME. GUERIN WORKER FOR FRANCE SINCE WAR STARTED.”, it described how Anna Guérin had come to be in Montana [sic]:

Mme. E. Guerin, who is in Butte to inaugurate a campaign for the children of the devastated parts of France, is in America for the fifth time since the great war began in 1914.  When asked why she came to America at once after the outbreak of the war, she said, “I wanted to help my country.  I wanted to educate your people about France. …

“Was I ever at the front?  Indeed yes.  Every summer I went back to France, and as my two daughters were in school, and my husband was in government service in Africa, I spent all the time in the base hospitals. …”

In another interview, she had said that (when the First World War broke out) she knew she could not be a good nurse and, in continuing with this interview she remarked that she had “offered to do the thing for which she was best fitted and was sent to this country as lecturer. …

“Mme. Guerin spent several months each year in the United States, and when the armistice was at last signed, she returned home and made her report, thinking that her work was at last finished.  She had been with her family just five days, when she was called back to Paris and told she was to have entire supervision of the work in America …”

All that said, we must be open to the fact that Anna Guérin was one of a chosen few who jointly formed the whole League.  Anna Guérin reigned in the U.S.A. and left the financial administration and distribution of monies to the Committee in Paris.

Edited from Hartley Burr Alexander Papers [RG4028]. 1920. Courtesy/© of Nebraska State Historical Society.

Edited from Hartley Burr Alexander Papers [RG4028]. 1920.
Courtesy/© of Nebraska State Historical Society.

As aforementioned, the main Beneficiary Organisation (1) was ‘Protection des Enfants des Régions dévastées’, with its first President being Monsieur Alexandre Millerand.  Alexandre Millerand had been a lawyer before entering politics.

Alexandre Millerand had been the French Ministre de la Guerre (Minister of War) between 14 January 1912 – 12 January 1913 and 26 August 1914 – 29 October 1915.

Alexandre Millerand was appointed Commissioner General de la République March 1919 – 19 January 1920, with the task of reorganising the three former departments of Alsace-Lorraine.

Millerand’s two aforementioned political positions could be the link to how he, and his wife Jeanne, may have become acquainted with Anna and husband Eugène.   Alsation-born Eugène was in law and Anna Guérin had been an official lecturer in a propagandist capacity – for which (it is reported), she received another medal from France.

Alexandre Millerand became the Prime Minister of France on 20 January 1920.  When Alexandre became Président de la République française on 23 Sept. 1920, he relinquished the position of ‘Active President’ of the ‘Protection des Enfants des Régions dévastées’ organisation to one Mlle. Chaptal – and took the title of ‘Honorary President’ instead.

Alexandre Millerand. President, ‘Protection des Enfants des Régions dévastées’ organisation. Courtesy of Heather Anne Johnson.

Alexandre Millerand. President, ‘Protection des Enfants des Régions dévastées’ organisation. Courtesy of Heather Anne Johnson.

The above World War One paper “journee” measures a mere 3.25” x 2.5” – it is believed it was offered for a donation, to raise funds for the French Government’s war effort.  It bears a sketch by the well-known French artist Émile Friant.   Alexandre Millerand was only Minister of War for France (Ministre de la Guerre) from 26 August 1914  to 29 October 1915 – so this is an early piece of French war effort fundraising ephemera.

The second Beneficiary Organisation (2) was the ‘Committee of Assistance for Alsace-Lorraine’ and Madame Poincaré was one of the Honorary Presidents of this.  Of course, Alexandre Millerand had had recent responsibility for Alsace-Lorraine and his wife was now on the ‘La Ligue des enfants de France et d’Amérique’ Committee which directed aid to it, from Paris … all was inter-connected, it appears.          

The third Beneficiary Organisation was ‘Bidart House’ (3), a sanatorium for children, near Biarritz on the south-western French coast.  Initially, it was believed that ‘Bidart House’ was le Château d’Ilbarritz/le Château du Baron Albert de l’Epée, which stands at Bidart (adjacent to Biarritz) – as it is recorded that the Château was a hospital during the First World War.

However, on-going research has proved that it was another property in Bidart which was the ‘Bidart House’  children’s home but the originally posted images and information on the Château was deemed interesting enough not to delete it, so it remains in situ here.

Château d'Ilbarritz/“Bidart House” on the cliff-top, above la Côte Basque. Courtesy/© of Eliane Bidegain. http://www.biarritz.ovh.org/villas/Ilbarritz.html

Château d’Ilbarritz/“Bidart House” on the cliff-top, above la Côte Basque.
Courtesy/© of Eliane Bidegain. http://www.biarritz.ovh.org/villas/Ilbarritz.html

The ‘Château d’Ilbarritz’ had an interesting feature. A Biarritz local historian described le Baron de l’Epée (the Sword Baron), who built the Château, as “an original”.   On the images above and below, an unusual row of “cahutes” (cabins/huts) can be seen running away from the château.   These were built because the Baron wanted to walk down to the beach out of the wind, regardless of whether the wind was on or off shore.  In order to achieve this, 3 kilometres of paths on the west and east sides of the steep terrain were created.

Château d'Ilbarritz/“Bidart House”, showing some pavilions & walkways. Courtesy/© of Eliane Bidegain. http://www.biarritz.ovh.org/villas/Ilbarritz.html

Château d’Ilbarritz/“Bidart House”, showing some pavilions & walkways.
Courtesy/© of Eliane Bidegain. http://www.biarritz.ovh.org/villas/Ilbarritz.html

Thus, he was able to walk every day, whatever the wind direction – come rain or shine. The paths had covered walk-ways, with cahutes (cabins/huts) at ten metre intervals for respite.  14 pavilions stood at various points near the château – one for his dogs.   There was a building on the beach which housed a piano.  On days when great storms blew, the Baron played the piano facing the raging sea.  It would certainly appear that the Baron was, indeed, “an original”.   The Baron sold Château d’Ilbarritz/“Bidart House” in 1910.

However, the real “Bidart House” was ‘Maison Maurice Pierre’, Bidart – as shown below.  It had been instigated by American woman Mrs. Dorothy Canfield Fisher and operated by the French Red Cross for children from war-torn areas of France including, in particular, Lille.  When the armistice was proclaimed the House of Bidart, with all furnishings, was transferred to the Fraternal league.

‘Maison Maurice Pierre’, Bidart, Nr Biarritz. Courtesy of Heather Anne Johnson.

‘Maison Maurice Pierre’, Bidart, Nr Biarritz. Courtesy of Heather Anne Johnson.

In reality, Dorothy was Dorothea Frances Canfield/Mrs. John Fisher who had been born in Lawrence, Kansas, to University Professor father James Hulme Canfield and his artist/writer wife Flavia (nee Camp).   Dorothy’s father, James H. Canfield, was the chancellor of the University of Nebraska when it passed from being a small college to securing the great status of being a state institution of learning.  Thus, Nebraskans knew the Canfield family members well and followed their endeavours.

Dorothea was educated in France, as well as the USA.  She gained a Ph.D. degree in modern languages in 1904.  She married John Redwood Fisher in 1907 and the couple had one daughter and one son.  Prior to WW1, she had visited Rome and witnessed Maria Montessori’s schools for children. She took this teaching method back to the USA.

In 1915, John Fisher joined the American Volunteer Ambulance Corps and went to France to serve with the French army.  A year later, Dorothy followed her husband to France and, for two years, the couple carried out war relief work.   After the war ended, whilst living and bringing up her children in Paris, Dorothy established a Braille press for blinded soldiers.

Dorothy championed racial equality; women’s rights; and education for all.  The latter cause included adult education and, in this regard, Dorothy became known as a reformer of education and oversaw the USA’s first adult education programme.   In many respects, Dorothy and Anna Guérin had similar opinions regarding education and women.   Dorothy was one of many confident women Anna Guérin became associated with.

In a congratulatory letter to Madame Guérin (22 May 1920), from Madame Lebon (American and French Children’s League’s Chairman in France), more is learnt about ‘Bidart House’: “… The 35,000 francs that came from the poppy day of Pueblo will be employed to buy, if possible, the Children’s Hospital at Bidart. …  We have written to the owners and we shall send all the details to the chairman of Pueblo. …”

This is a good place to insert an article, which is completely out of sequence. It appeared a year later, on 11 May 1921, on page 7 of the Pueblo Chieftain (of Pueblo, Colorado) and it offers a conclusion to the ‘Bidart House’ situation [sic]:

POPPIES TO AID BIDART HOUSE PUEBLO’S HOSPITAL ON BISCAY BAY.

On the sunny shores of the Bay of Biscay, along the balmy winds from Spain sweep up from the south, within view of ocean going steamers and near the sea-shores there stands a small white hospital.  “Bidart House” it is called.

Along a white level road to the Spanish boundary Continental travellers pass the pretty grounds around Bidart house.  Inscribed on this white stone archway is the word “Pueblo”.

Money raised by the American and French Children’s league in Pueblo has made possible this hospital.  A fund started in Pueblo purchased and equipped the hospital and funds derived from the sale of poppies each year in Pueblo, along with a fund raised in France makes possible the life of this small hospital and the carrying on of the merciful work done there.

Orphan children of France, maimed thru the atrocities of an brutal enemy, under-nourished an malformed thru conditions caused by an unscrupulous invader, are housed and cared for in this small white building.  Here they are fed and instructed in the rudiments of a common education.

Their lives depend on the care they receive in Bidart House, and the life of Bidart House depends on the support accorded it by Puebloans in this country and villager near the children’s hospital in France.  Money is derived thru the sale of red paper poppies—fashioned by these children in their spare hours at Bidart House.

Madame Guerin, the “Poppy Lady” who was in Pueblo last year at the time of the Poppy day sale, has shipped a large number of the paper poppies to Adjutant Robert Morris of the American legion, thru which the sale will be made this year.

The poppy—the flower of Flanders,–has been officially designated as the “Memory Flower” for members of the American Expeditionary forces who fell on the other side.  On Memorial day these poppies will be strewn on the graves of American soldiers who have been buried in this country.

Governor Shoup has set aside May 28 as Poppy Day this year.  A proclamation has been issued to this effect, it is said.  On that day sale of the poppies, at nominal prices will be made in this city.

All money thus raised will go direct to the trustees of Bidart House who will expend funds in the interest of the Pueblo hospital in France.”

Maison-Maurice-Pierre, Bidart. Courtesy/© Heather Anne Johnson.

Maison-Maurice-Pierre, Bidart. Courtesy/© Heather Anne Johnson.

The link between the American and French Children’s League funding of Dorothy’s ‘Bidart House’ and Madame Anna Guérin is NEBRASKA.

James H. Canfield, Dorothy’s father, was the chancellor under whom the University of Nebraska passed from the status of a small college into that of a great state institution of learning”.  Nebraskans, especially those living in Lincoln, knew the Canfield family members well and followed their endeavours.

Anna Guérin had made many influential friends in Nebraska – particularly in Lincoln.  For instance, Hartley Burr Alexander (Professor of Philosophy at Nebraska University in Lincoln); Miss Mae Pershing & Mrs. D. M. Pershing-Butler (sisters of the U.S. General Pershing) – who all held prominent positions in Anna’s Children’s League in the U.S.A.   General Pershing had, himself, made Lincoln his “home city”.

The following long article gives a descriptive insight into the life at ‘Bidart House’ (or ‘Maison Maurice Pierre’), much being written in Dorothy Canfield Fisher’s own words.  It also tells of how Madame Anna Guérin and Dorothy became acquainted.  The article appeared in Nebraska’s Weekly State Journal’ on 6 October 1920 [sic]:

Nebraska’s Gift to France : Dorothy Canfield Fisher : Poppy Lady Madame Guérin.

Nebraska’s Gift to France : Dorothy Canfield Fisher : Poppy Lady Madame Guérin.

A Home For Little Francais in Which Nebraskans Are Interested.  Nebraska’s Gift to France.  Bidart House and the Work of the American and French Children’s League.

At Bidart, in France down on the edge of the bay of Biscay, is a hospital, a beautiful, comfortable old building and a long stretch of white beach where many a French child is emerging from the blackness of war into the sunshine of happier days.  This home all Americans are interested in, but especially Nebraskans, for it was established by one of them, Dorothy Canfield Fisher, who spent the four years of the war in France in relief work for the refugees, the soldier blind and later the children whose lives had almost been wrecked by the cruelties of war.  Another name which is closely connected with the Bidart house, and also in the minds of Nebraska people with the later days of the struggle, is that of Madame E. Guerin, who valiantly gave her services in the cause of the French children and succeeded in making the American and French children’s league a reality.

Below is a description of the home at Bidart, written by Mrs. Fisher, who is now resting at her Vermont home; also the story what has been done thru her efforts and those of Madame Guerin.

The Children’s Home At Bidart.

“I don’t know when I have ever loved my country more, or felt prouder of America, or closer to the best of her people, than very far away (as miles go) down in a remote sunny corner of France—near the Pyrenees, and on the edge of the Bay of Biscay.  Every day it was a joy to me (in a period of heartache and apprehension at the dark period of the war) to walk along the firm white sand of the beach*, in that soft brilliant sun-light, with the sweet sea-air like wine, and the sea-gulls wheeling over head.  I was going to the children’s home, and smiled beforehand.   

“I push open a gate in the high wall which shuts out the wind from the too-delicate ones, and find myself in an old garden, sunny, sheltered, with big hedges of wild-orange, and all blossoming with little children.  This first group, four or five of them near the wall, in a pool of sunshine, playing in the sand, why are they so immobile? Because four years of war-privations, insufficient food, unheated homes, nervous apprehension, have so retarded their growth that they have never walked, altho some are five and six years old.  Their thin little legs, where the bones have only the strength of little babies’ bone, have twisted pitifully under the weight, light as it is, of the children’s bodies.  There is a little boy whose childish eagerness for activity rises above his weakness.  See how he drags himself along on his hands to reach the flat stone which will make such a fine roof for the home they are building in the sand.  You think, wincing, of a poor little kitten you saw once, whose back had been broken by a stone, dragging itself along in that tragic way.  But the expression on the little boy’s face is as sunny and clear as the blue sky over him.  For he is in paradise, who was in purgatory.  He who had known nothing since the war began (almost the whole of his little life) but one small, cold, dark room, inhabited infrequently, by an anxious, careworn woman, too tired to talk, rushing in after a day’s exhausting work to cook the scanty food which did not nourish her children’s bodies.  And here he is in sunshine and peace, with plenty to eat and such an air about him, that his little lungs fill up like bellows—and he goes to sleep singing, and wakes up smiling.

“And who has done this for the little boy?  Why, who but my old cousin in far away Nebraska, going without things she’d like, devising little economies, saving here, and earning there, and with a divinely imaginative sympathy for the need of others, sending her money to far-away France where it fell upon the sad little boy and put him on a magic carpet and sent him down to paradise to escape the doom which hung over him.

“For he will recover.  With the miraculous capacity for regeneration of human youth, his little body will straighten and strengthen and develop; and some day, not so very far away, three months perhaps, he will stand up on his own feet and take the first steps he has ever known, straight forward into health.  And on that day, I am very sure that my dear old cousin in Nebraska will feel, wherever she is, a sudden warm lightness of heart, and will break out singing, where she stands, perhaps in the pantry, planning how she can make a cake without an egg so that she can go on saving.  And if there is anything in the old talk of pearly gates and golden streets, I’m pretty sure that she will have a happy reunion up there with the little boy whom she never saw, but whom she helped to grow up into a strong, useful citizen of France—which needed him so sorely.

Dinner Time for the orphans at ‘Maison Maurice Pierre’, Bidart. Weekly State Journal’ (Nebraska) 6 October 1920.

Dinner Time for the orphans at ‘Maison Maurice Pierre’, Bidart.
Weekly State Journal’ (Nebraska) 6 October 1920.

“Well, I pass on past that group to another of ten or twelve older girls, from eight to fourteen, who in neat, clean aprons are helping set the tables for lunch out in the clear winter sunshine.  They are chattering like magpies as they step back and forth, of their school (for during their stay at the home they attend the village school) of their play, of the last long walk over the cliffs above the sea—of their work, but most of all of the incredible fact that this lovely spot, this hospitable rambling sunny old home—this glorious blue sea and white breakers, should be all for them, these piles of bread, and places of hot soup should be for them, who have known for the last four years nothing but the fact opposite of all this.  They were all anaemic, scrofulous, pale, listless, silent, when they came—and now look at them.  I stand listening to their light-hearted laughter, and wishing that the group of Club women in the American small town who are keeping them here could hear them too.  Those women must feel a conscious thrill of inexplicable happiness from time to time as an echo of this blithe escape of youth from weakness to strength, from misery to sunshine, reaches from Bidart to Iowa by the wireless waves which carry human emotions around the world.

“I leave them and push open another gate in the wall and find myself on the beach, windswept, clean, sunny.  A bright colored circular ten is set up on the sand, and a crowd of children, shouting and laughing, are playing in the sand with shovels and pails.  Near them, where the splendid breakers come wheeling in from the blue expanse, white and steel blue themselves, casting up a long line of hissing foam on the sand, stands a little girl in a plaster cast which encircles all her thin body and holds her head too heavy for her enfeebled little spine.  She stands there, the little girl, with wide eyes, gazing with a sort of hungry joy out on all that wild, free beauty. The sea breeze lifts her thin hair from her pale cheeks where a little pink begins, ever so faintly to show.  She has only just come from such wretchedness caused by the war, a father returned from the trenches crippled and tubercular, a mother worn and disheartened, a home where, since the war began, there has been not enough food, or fuel, or hope to keep human beings alive.  And ever since she arrived she has done nothing but gaze with an incredulous ecstasy out on the sunlit, tossing sea.

“I see the doctor making his daily round of visits to the children and when he leaves the little ones building their sand forts, I nod towards the new comer and ask him “Any hope for her?”  He nods, “Oh yes, I’ll cure her.  Nothing the matter but undernourishment and nervous tension.  She’ll be as straight  . . . if we can only keep her long enough, if the American help only holds out  . . . she’ll be as straight as anyone, and as strong when she goes back . . . a help to her parents, and saved for herself.”

“I go over and stand close to the little girl, just out of her prison cage with hope instead of death before her, and a mist of tears forms before my eyes, thru which I have a glimpse of that sorrowful American mother who, instead of putting up a costly monument to the memory of her dear, lost son sent an offering to help save another child.  And it seems to me that she is bending over the little crippled girl, and smiling.”

Such is the work, as Mrs. Fisher describes it, of the Bidart home for children, which Nebraska’s gift, thru the American and French children’s league, is helping to maintain today.  How the league cam to be formed and Nebraskans became interested is a story by itself, having to do with another remarkable woman.

Bidart House and Nebraska.

It was upon her return to France, with the close of the war, that Madame Guerin met in Paris Mrs. Dorothy Canfield Fisher, and learned of Bidart house and its needs.  Mrs. Fisher, as most Nebraskans know, is daughter of the late James H. Canfield, the chancellor under whom the University of Nebraska passed from the status of a small college into that of a great state institution of learning: and the resident for many years elsewhere Nebraskans still feel a possessional interest in one who, as a girl, was known to so many of them.  In her own right she has made a name as one of our foremost novelists and writers upon affairs and few readers of our leading periodicals are unfamiliar with her work.  Early in the war, and indeed long ere the United States became active therein, Mrs. Fisher accompanied her husband to France where he became connected with the ambulance service while she entered the relief work in Paris, first with refugees, later, with the men blinded by the war—for whom one of her accomplishments was the securing of Braille-printed literature and the teaching of them to read.  But it was particularly the lot of the refugee children that seized upon her sympathies—the most helpless of the war’s victims.  With meagre funds, partly the contributions of American friends, she undertook to establish a sanitarium for the emaciated, bewildered and often diseased little ones, remote from the seat of trouble.  She found a house by the seaside in southwestern France, the “Maison Maurice Pierre” at Bidart (Basses-Pyrenees), which came to be known as the “Bidart House;” and there for many months parties of children were taken to find restoration and health of body and mind amid surroundings suitable to childhood.  Of all the war charities this has been one of the most healthily and sanely inspirer, unpretentious but of inestimable benefit.

Madame Guerin carried with her to France letters from friends in Lincoln to Mrs. Fisher and when she heard of the work at Bidart, with Madame Lebon and others of the French committee, it was decided at once that this should be one of the institutions to benefit by the funds raised in America.  As a matter of fact, the Nebraska committee of the league made special request that its funds, or such part of them as should be necessary, should go to this institution—for it was felt that Nebraska already had an interest in Bidart.  This has been done with the sums already sent from Nebraska, now amounting to about ninety thousand francs.”

*N.B. It was only about a seven minute walk from the Home to the beach.   In 2017, it houses La société Comité Central Entreprise Banque de France and is still only seven minutes from the beach.

“Bidart House” = Maison Maurice-Pierre. The company Elcé was based in Bordeaux, Gironde. Courtesy/© of Heather Anne Johnson.

“Bidart House” = Maison Maurice-Pierre.
The company Elcé was based in Bordeaux, Gironde.
Courtesy/© of Heather Anne Johnson.

The Bidart sanatorium ‘Maison Maurice Pierre’ (‘Bidart House’) is listed as: “13. For the home at Bidart (Lille)”, within the “AMERICAN STAR” list featured below.

Orphans and staff at ‘Maison Maurice Pierre’, Bidart, nr Biarritz. Reproduced under licence from Nebraska State Historical Society.. RG4028-11.

Orphans and staff at ‘Maison Maurice Pierre’, Bidart, nr Biarritz.
Courtesy of Nebraska State Historical Society©: Agreement No. 20170059.

The photograph shown above is held within the papers of Hartley Burr Alexander, at the Nebraska State Historical Society.  The following French and English text appears hand-written on the back of the photograph shown above [sic]:

“MAISON MAURICE PIERRE BIDART.  Enfants de Lille reprenant de la santé a Bidart on Sea”

“MAISON MAURICE PIERRE BIDART. Children of Lille recovering their health at Bidart by the sea.”

The American & French Children’s League funded many additional needy causes and many will never be known.  A list (shown below), documenting some of the work that the League had carried out 1919-1920 is held in Hartley Burr Alexander’s archive at the Nebraska State Historical Society:

American & French Children’s League funding list, 1919-1920

American & French Children’s League funding list, 1919-1920. Courtesy of Nebraska State Historical Society.

American & French Children’s League, 1919-1920.
Courtesy Nebraska State Historical Society.

The following is the transcription of the list shown above [sic]:

WHAT THE “AMERICAN STAR” (American-French League of children) has done for the children of the Devastated Regions of France 1919-1920

  1. Excess nourishment, Montescourt (Aisne).
  2. Purchase of cows at Verdun.
  3. Founding of an organisation for the distribution of milk at Senones.
  4. Establishment of a lying in hospital at Roye.
  5. Aid for tuberculous children (Aisne).
  6. Treatment of children at the Sea-Side (Merville-Nord).
  7. Purchase of cradles and baby carriages (Saint-Laurent-Blangy).
  8. Purchase of baby outfits at Saint-Quentin (Aisne).
  9. Financial Assistance to Boys-Scouts.
  10. Treatment of children at Sanatorium (Arras).
  11. Purchase of medicines and medical Supplies (Ternier-Nancy).
  12. Purchase of clothing and boots (Fourmies).
  13. For the home at Bidart (Lille).
  14. For the home at Sainte-Pierre-d’Albigny (Lille-Verdun).
  15. Purchase of clothing (Varennes-Meuse).
  16. Purchase of cows at Senones (Vosges).
  17. Founding of preventorium at Sissonne (Aisne).
  18. Treatment of children in the country.
  19. And at the Sea-Side (La Capelle-Pas-de-Calais).
  20. (Lille-Moyenmoutiers).”

Also mentioned within the “AMERICAN STAR” list above, are Moyenmoutier(s) and Senones (both of the Vosges department) thus:

  1. Founding of an organisation for the distribution of milk at Senones.
  2. Purchase of cows at Senones (Vosges).
  3. (Lille-Moyenmoutiers).
French widows and orphans at Moyenmoutier, Vosges. Courtesy of Nebraska State Historical Society©: Agreement No. 20170059.

French widows and orphans at Moyenmoutier, Vosges.
Courtesy of Nebraska State Historical Society©: Agreement No. 20170059.

The widows and orphans pictured above were being cared for by the ‘Union des femmes de France’ (U.F.F.) and it is deduced that they received funds from Madame Guérin’s charity ‘American & French Children’s League’ (initially called ‘American-Franco Children’s League’) because the photograph ended up in Hartley Burr Alexander’s papers.  The following text, in French, is written on the back of the photograph and an English translation and ‘Notes’ follows on from that [sic]: 

“56 Enfants. Moyenmoutier.  2 visites du docteur par mois- fiches établies pour chacun après poids – date des visites, genre d’alimentation, observations y compris la section du Rabodeau. 108 mères de famille – tous secourus. Président Mademoiselle ? [Nicole/Priole], Infirmière Major Union des femmes de France.  Madame Fragassé   Senones Vosges.”

“56 children. Moyenmoutier*  2 visits from the doctor per month – records kept for each – after weighing – date of visits, type of feeding/nutrition, observations including the section of the Rabodeau**.  108 mothers – all rescued.  President Mademoiselle Nicole, Nurse Major ‘Union des femmes de France’***.  Madame Fragassé   Senones Vosges.”

NOTES:

*          Moyenmoutier: Moyenmoutier is a commune in the French Department of Vosges.

**        Rabodeau: Le Rabodeau is a river in the French Department Vosges.

***      Union des femmes de France:

“Fondée en juin 1881 à Paris suite à la scission de l’Association des dames françaises. Union des femmes de France avait pour objet : “la préparation et l’organisation des moyens de secours qui, dans toute localité, peuvent être mis à la disposition des blessés ou malades de l’armée française”. http://data.bnf.fr/12191634/union_des_femmes_de_france/

“Founded in June 1881 in Paris, following the split of the ‘Association des dames françaises’. Union des femmes de France “had as its object:” the preparation and organization of the means of relief which, in any locality, may be made available to the wounded or sick of the French army.”

Société de Secours aux blessés militaires (SSBM) 1864-1940; Comité des Dames de la Société de Secours aux blessés militaires (CDSSBM) 1867-1940; Association des Dames de France (ADF) 1879-1940; Union des Femmes de France (UFF) 1881-1940.  The aforementioned societies became la Croix-Rouge française (CRF) 1940-current [French Red Cross].

11 French orphans, under Sister Marie’s care. 18 December 1920. Courtesy of Nebraska State Historical Society©: Agreement No. 20170059.

11 French orphans, under Sister Marie’s care. 18 December 1920.
Courtesy of Nebraska State Historical Society©: Agreement No. 20170059.

The photograph shown above appears to have been taken at an unknown convent-run orphanage (?).  It is deduced that it also received funds from Madame Guérin’s charity ‘American & French Children’s League’ (initially called ‘American-Franco Children’s League’) because it ended up within Hartley Burr Alexander’s papers, like the other photographs of orphans did.  The following text, in French, is written on the back of the photograph and an English translation follows on from that [sic]: 

“18  Dbre [décembre]1920   Madame   Je viens vous accuser réception du mandat de 150 f [francs] pour pension de M[ademoiselle] Thérèse Morel.  J’aime à croire qu’en son temps, vous avez été prévenue du départ de l’enfant le 3 Dbre [décembre].  Veuillez agréer Mme [Madame] l’expression de mes religieux sentiments.  Sr [Soeur] Marie”

“18 December 1920   Madam   I have to acknowledge the receipt of Miss Thérèse Morel’s 150 francs pension/lodging.  I would like to think that you were notified in time of the child’s departure on December 3rd.  Please accept the expression of my religious sentiments/feelings.  Sister Marie”

The ‘American & French Children’s League’ state structuring is set out by Anna’s own hand (Hartley Burr Alexander papers [RG4028]):-

“In each state organized we have at the Head of our Committee:

The Governor of the State

The State Superintendent of the School

The Commander of the American Legion

The President of the Federation of Women’s Club

And in each town we have as Chairman the Mothers or a relative of an ex-soldier.

And with their help we have for the benefit of these children of devastated France what we call “Poppy Days.” camouflage for tag days – the tags being a Red Poppy of Flanders – the badges of the girls inscribed:

“In flanders fields the poppies grow.”

Edited from New Zealand ‘Quick March’ – 10 April 1923, page 18. © Our boys, our families (29th Sep 2014). Quick March April 1923. http://ourboys.recollect.co.nz/nodes/view/5170#idx13846

Edited from New Zealand ‘Quick March’ – 10 April 1923, page 18. © Our boys, our families (29th Sep 2014). Quick March April 1923. http://ourboys.recollect.co.nz/nodes/view/5170#idx13846

The aims of the ‘American and French Children’s League” were:-

  1. To Remember.
  2. To keep and preserve the link of affection between the two nations.
  3. To help France care for the children of the devastated regions.

The French Committee disburses the money sent by the Committees of the United States and distributes it according to need among the French organizations recognized by the French Government.”

The above extract taken from February 1921 edition of ‘Le Semeur’ (Moina Michael papers).  Courtesy of/permission from Hargrett Library, University of Georgia).

It appears that the American and French Children’s League asked for no membership fees initially. This situation must have been assessed because fees were introduced and they would have brought in valuable cash.  This must have been very welcome for helping with administration costs and expenses.

We learn about the specific fees from The Des Moines Register of Iowa (02 December 1919): “Associated membership in the league costs $1.  Sustaining membership, $5, and foundation membership, which I seek in Iowa most of all, costs $10; life membership, $100.” 

No donated dollar went towards administration; expenses; etc: “… All money received is expended through the aid and help of the French government.  All is expended to relieve the suffering of the little children. …”

1920 4-sided American and French Children's League leaflet (sides 1 & 2). Edited from Hartley Burr Alexander Papers [RG4028]. Courtesy of Nebraska State Historical Society.

1920 4-sided American and French Children’s League leaflet (sides 1 & 2).
Edited from Hartley Burr Alexander Papers [RG4028].
Courtesy of Nebraska State Historical Society.

 

1920 4-sided American and French Children's League leaflet (sides 3 & 4). Edited from Hartley Burr Alexander Papers [RG4028]. Courtesy of Nebraska State Historical Society.

1920 4-sided American and French Children’s League leaflet (sides 3 & 4).
Edited from Hartley Burr Alexander Papers [RG4028].
Courtesy of Nebraska State Historical Society.

Anna chose her ‘American and French Children’s League’ people very carefully and astutely – here are just a few of the high-profile people working with her, and for her, in the USA:-

Hartley Burr Alexander, National President.  Hartley was born on 09 April 1873 in Lincoln, Nebraska – the son of a Methodist preacher George S. Alexander from Rhode Island, who had initially been a Quaker).   His mother Abigail had died when he was three and this set in motion a “sense of abandonment”, which he felt all of his life.   Father George remarried, purchased a newspaper but continued to preach.   Hartley’s new step-mother was musical, artistic and loved speaking French.  It is assumed that Hartley learnt the French language, as a result.

For various reasons, Hartley gradually turned away from the religious environment he had been brought up in. While still in high school, the Wounded Knee massacre of Sioux Indians by US military troops in December 1890, affected him so deeply that he wrote the poems ‘To a Child’s Moccasin’; ‘The Only Good Indian is a Dead Indian’; and ‘Her Robe is Broidered’ – as protests against that action.   In his first year at university, Hartley’s step-mother died and then he lost his father.    His father had suffered from facial cancer.

Hartley Burr Alexander had been Professor of Philosophy at Nebraska University in Lincoln since 1908.  Also in 1908, he had married one Nelly Griggs whom he had known since his days as a student at the University.  In 1909, son Hubert Griggs Alexander was born and a daughter Beatrice was born in 1912, but Beatrice died aged 15 months.  It appears that Hartley and Nelly became great friends of Anna Guérin – perhaps she had made their acquaintance as early as 1918, when she was in Lincoln fundraising for the war effort.

Hartley Burr Alexander. Image RG.PH-2411-65 courtesy/© Nebraska Historical Society. http://www.nebraskahistory.org/index.shtml

Hartley Burr Alexander. Image RG.PH-2411-65.
Courtesy/© Nebraska Historical Society. http://www.nebraskahistory.org/index.shtml

In 1928, he took up a position at Scripps College in California and he held that until his death in 1939.   The Introduction by the late Thomas M. Alexander in the 1998 reprinted book ‘The World’s Rim: Great Mysteries of the North American Indians’ (By Hartley Burr Alexander) is credited here, for the aforementioned information – in turn, he credits Emile Caillet.

Described as a “free speaker”, Hartley has been dubbed “Nebraska’s Renaissance Man”.  His papers (RG4028), held by the Nebraska Historical Society, have proved to be an invaluable source of information about Anna Guérin and her ‘American & French Children’s League.

Nebraska State University. Courtesy of Heather Anne Johnson.

Nebraska State University. Courtesy of Heather Anne Johnson.

The surviving letters from Anna to Hartley Burr Alexander, display a high regard for him and a degree of friendship with him and wife Nelly.  A sense of professionalism and formality is gleaned from Anna’s writings to Hartley, as well as a confidence to trust him with personal views and feelings.   Invariably, Anna starts her letters “My dear, dear Friends …” but either the era or their professional status is still dictating a degree of etiquette when she signs off as “E. Guérin”.  In all the Poppy Day campaign letters discovered, Anna Guérin always had a good, complementary word to say about anyone she wrote about.  There will be more about these letters further on in this chapter.

Robert Henry Tyndall, Treasurer.   Robert lived in Indianapolis.   He was also the National Treasurer for the American Legion, which had its Headquarters in Indianapolis.  Anna settled on Indianapolis for her League Headquarters too – it was a logical move:  “Indianapolis must be the heart of America because the American Legion has found it fit for its headquarters and what is good for the boys must be good for the children.  I consider this my home as much as Paris, since I have spent so much of my time here.”

Initially, monies raised were sent directly to France but as soon as her National Committee was in place, all the money was sent to Robert H. Tyndall.

Image from ‘Indianapolis Men of Affairs, 1923’ by Paul Donald Brown: Page 626. Courtesy/© of IUPUI University Library Center of Digital Scholarship

Image from ‘Indianapolis Men of Affairs, 1923’
by Paul Donald Brown: Page 626.
Courtesy/© of IUPUI University Library Center of Digital Scholarship

Robert Henry Tyndall (bn Indianapolis 1877) was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal; the Croix de guerre; and the Légion d’honneur for his services during WW1.   By October 1921, he had attained the rank of Major General. In 1942, he was elected Indianapolis mayor – he died in 1947.  See more:  http://indiamond6.ulib.iupui.edu/cdm/ref/collection/IndyHist/id/10002

It appears that Robert also kept books for an American Legion fund relating to a ‘French War Orphan Fund’.  It seems (from reading 18 January 1920 New York Times) that it was an organisation that began in March 1918, when the American Expeditionary Force’s newspaper ‘Stars and Stripes’ “opened its campaign with a front page story under the headlines: “Take as your mascot a French War Orphan”.  Immediately the stream of francs began to pour in … Before long the bureau of the Red Cross that had been designated to administer the fund was swamped with work …”   When the aforementioned article was written, the last of AEF men had not long left France – not only had “they left behind their legion of dead” but some 3444 French orphans who had benefited from the AEF “adoption”/sponsorship scheme.

The Junction City Weekly Union publication in Kansas printed a plea that had gone out on behalf of these French orphans (06 May 1920): “The French orphan convention in New York has decided to request all the adopted parents of French orphans here in the United States to keep them for another year.   This is not a command but a request …”   As it had been during the war, the Red Cross bore all administrative costs in order for 100% of money donated could go to the orphans.

Thus, the American Legion; Robert H. Tyndall; and Madame Guérin were all intrinsically bound together by French orphans in the devastated regions of France.

Madame Isabelle Henrietta Mack (nee Adolph), Assistant Treasurer & Secretary:  Madame Mack was Mlle. Isabelle Henrietta Victoria Adolph.   Isabelle was born on 08 October 1873 in Lille, France (although Isabelle’s ‘Declaration of Intent’ for Naturalization states “1878”).  Her parents were German-born Moritz Heinrick/h Adolph & Scottish Fife-born Isabelle Doig Baxter.

Madame Mack’s maternal family had been big cotton producers and weavers in Dundee, Scotland.   Her grandfather Robert Doig Baxter was one of two Scottish Baxter brothers who had been asked by the French government, in 1839, to set up weaving in the north of France.  They chose Lille for producing cotton because of its comparable climate to Dundee.

Madame Isabelle Mack and daughter Enid, Lille 1903. Courtesy/© Victoria Foster.

Madame Isabelle Mack & daughter Enid, Lille 1903.
Courtesy/© Victoria Foster.

Moritz and Isabelle had four children: DORIS CAROLINE ADOLPH: born c1872, Lille, France; married on 30 July 1896 St John the Evangelist, Hammersmith, Greater London, to Lille-born Engineer Henry Ernest Walker (lived in Lille, after marriage); ISABELLE HENRIETTE VICTORIA ADOLPH: born on 08 October 1873 in Lille, France married Englishman Charles Mack (1872-1899) on 15 June1898 in Newcastle-upon-Tyne – emigrated to Seattle, U.S.A. in 1912; JESSIE DRUMMOND ADOLPH: born 1876; married on 18 April 1892 St. Simon, Hammersmith, Greater London, to John Drummond Spence – emigrated to Seattle, U.S.A in 1904; MAURICE HENRI ADOLPH: born 1876; died 30 December 1896.

When Isabelle was only three years old, her mother died of consumption (T.B.).  When her father went off to the U.S.A., her Maternal Aunt Charlotte (Mme. Traill) took charge of bringing up Isabelle and her siblings.  As a young woman, Isabelle studied at the Lycee et Fenelon, University de Lille.

In 1890, Aunt Charlotte took the family to England and set up home at 4 Coulter Road, Hammersmith, London. In 1896, Isabelle’s sister Doris married in June (from that address) but that year, sadly, ‘saw’ “Mercantile Clerk” brother Maurice dying in the December.

From at least 1898, Aunt Charlotte lived at 13 Callerton Place, Newcastle-upon-Tyne.  In the 1901 census, she was at that address with her sister Margaret (Widow Laferre).

The family had become quite poor and Isabelle and her sister Doris became “Mademoiselles Françaises” … Isabelle went to work for Mr. Joseph Cook and his family at North Biddick Hall, Washington; Doris worked for a Milburn family; but sister Jessie reconnected with distant Drummond relatives and soon married one of them, John Drummond Spence.

Isabelle met and married Newcastle-born Auctioneer Charles Mack (born 1872) on 15 June 1898 in Newcastle-upon-Tyne.  Daughter Enid Adolph Mack was born on 21 May 1899 in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England.  Sadly, six months later, husband Charles Mack died on 27 November 1899, of meningitis.

Isabelle, with daughter Enid Adolph Mack, left Liverpool, England on 24 August 1912 – to sail to North America.  Isabelle’s ‘Declaration of Intent’ for US citizenship (dated 26 April 1917 in Seattle, WA) notes she arrived in Sumas, Washington State “on or about” 07 September 1912 (after arriving in Canada on 03 September 1912).  Sister Jessie and her husband John Spence were living in Seattle – Isabelle was going to Seattle to stay with them.

Instead of fulfilling his promise to wife Jessie, that he would take her home to Europe, John Spence had invited Isabelle and daughter Enid over to Seattle.  Enid wrote, in later life, that her mother “was all thrilled up with the idea of going to Colorado and homesteading, which she never did, but the idea was there.”  Enid also wrote that her mother “was a very women’s equality person” – the same characteristic found in Madame Guérin.

After Isabelle made her ‘Declaration of Intent’ to become a U.S. citizen, on 26 April 1917, the question was asked “did she need to?” Her father had become an American citizen before his French-born children had reached the age of 21 but there was still a question mark because he had not noted his French children, only his American-born children.  When it came to entering the U.S.A., there was always a problem … the U.S.A. had entry quotas for every country: should Isabelle come under France, because she was born there; under Gt. Britain because she had married an English-man; or was she a returning U.S. citizen because her father was one.  Sometimes, Isabel felt she was a lady without a country!

Whilst daughter Enid was studying at the Barnard College of Columbia in New York City, N. Y., Isabelle began lecturing and working for Madame Anna Guérin’s ‘American and French Children’s League’.

Enid Adolph Mack. 1915, Broadway High School (Seattle) Yearbook.

Enid Adolph Mack. 1915.
Broadway High School (Seattle) Yearbook.

When the 1921 Children’s League Poppy Days began being organised, Enid Mack was the Chairman of the Barnard Poppy Day Committee.

Isabelle and Anna Guérin’s had much in common, they: were born the same year; were French; had lectured in the benefit of the fatherless children of France; were both advocates of women’s equality; and both personally knew the devastated regions of France – they shared the common goal to help France recover after World War One.  Research shows the two women must have met when Isabelle helped organise Anna’s 1920 Seattle Poppy Day.

Speaking to an audience with Anna, in October 1920, Isabelle was quoted as saying:- “I come from Lille.  My family has run a large mill there with 12,000 employees but since the war we have done nothing.  We have only 200 men, and can use no more because we can’t get the coal.  All our buildings are practically useless too.   Many of them are still standing but the vibrations from the guns has so weakened the walls that if we wish to use heavy machinery we have to have entirely new buildings.  It is a serious question.”

Within American Hartley Burr Alexander’s archived papers (held by the Nebraska State Historical Society) is a letter written by Poppy Lady Madame Guérin (March 1921) mentions Isabelle:  “… Mrs. Mack is too splendid organiser not to be in the field and two or three French ladies advancing their money are coming to the rescue. …”.  With that in mind, Madame Guérin’s sister, Juliette, and daughter, Raymonde, were trained up in order that Isabelle could “be in the field”.

An article on Tuesday 5 April 1921, in the Oakland Tribune (of California) described Poppy Lady Madame Guérin and women’s clubs [sic]:  Federation to Feature Social Welfare Topics. By EDNA B. KINARD. “”The Poppy of Flanders Field” will be worn on Decoration Day in all the countries which sent men into the world war.  The babies of France will receive the benefit from the sale of the significant red silk blossoms made by the widows and daughters of French soldiers.  …  Miss Isobel March* is overseas superintending the making of the millions of scarlet flowers. … …”    [*Miss Isobel March = must be Madame Isobel Mack]

The following is an extract taken from page 13 of a family history document written by Enid, daughter of Isabelle Mack.  It is a contribution made by Isabelle and it is transcribed here with the permission of the family [sic]:-

Reminiscences of the First Poppy Days – by Isabelle Mack.

Having been born in the North of France, in Lille, the ancient capital of “Flanders”, my sister, Jessie E. Spence and I always had a tender heart towards “La Patrie” – France and French causes.  We were in Seattle during the First World War, and active in many Allied and French movements.  We organized the “Union Francaise”, planned the reception for Marchal Joffre, organized Bastille Day (July 14, French Independence Day) celebrations and so forth.

So it was natural that after the Armistice, we were asked to take part in raising money for French relief.  France had she so much blood and lost so many men during the four years carnage, that there were a great many orphans and half orphans in need of financial help.  The particular cause I was asked to help was the relief of the “Fatherless Children of France”.  Mme. Millerand, wife of the President of France was the actual head of this work.  The Poem “In Flanders fields the poppies blow, beyond the crosses row on row” was well known to everyone at that time, so the Poppy became the emblem of our cause.  These first poppies that we sold were made in French Hospitals by disabled French soldiers.  (See bottom of page and Page 13a).

During 1920 and 1921, I travelled all over the United States organizing “Poppy Day Drives”, lecturing in schools and before private and civic organizations on behalf of the “Fatherless Children”, and trying to get “Poppy Clubs” started in every town and to insure that every home knew of the work.  All funds collected were sent by the head of the local sponsors to the receiving bank in New York and hence to France.  I never handled any of the money – and usually did not know how successful or not my work had been financially.

In my travels I met many interesting and well known people.  Senator and Mrs. Warrant Douglas MacArthur and Dr. DuBois of Indianapolis were others I met.”

This page 13 continues as written by Enid, as she understood the events:

“In 1921, Mrs. Isabelle Mack went to Indianapolis, headquarters of the then quite young “American Legion”.  There she transferred the ideas, copyrights and all responsibility for the money raising business to the Legion.  The American Legion now uses the idea and sale of poppies for the benefit of their disabled veterans.  The Veterans of Foreign Wars have adopted the idea also.  The American Legion printed Poppy Legion stamps – samples attached. … ”

Scan of Isabelle Mack’s American Legion stamps. Courtesy/© of Victoria Foster.

B&W scan of Isabelle Mack’s American Legion stamps.
Courtesy/© of Victoria Foster.

After all the 1921 Memorial Day Poppy Days, and after Enid Mack graduated in the summer of 1921, Isabelle and Enid made a trip to England – they stayed with Annie Cook, one of the daughters at North Biddock Hall.

In 1923, daughter Enid married and, after a couple of years travelling back and forth across the Atlantic, Isabelle settled permanently in Fericy, France and did not set foot in the U.S.A. again for another 33 years.  In 1956, Isabelle left her life in France behind and returned to live the last years of her life in Washington State, with her daughter Enid.

When Isabelle returned to the U.S.A., she broke the journey to Seattle by stopping off to visit one of her grand-daughters in Illinois first … and meet half of her eight great-grandchildren.  ‘The Decatur Sunday Herald and Review’ newspaper interviewed her and printed an article on 30 September 1956 [sic]:

Isabelle Mack with youngest great-grandchild, Victoria. 1956. Courtesy/© of Victoria Foster.

Isabelle Mack with youngest great-grandchild, Victoria.
1956.
Courtesy/© of Victoria Foster.

VISITOR FROM FRANCE IS 83.  Former Tutor Visits George Shaws.

By Marguerit Mueller Of The Herald and Review Staff.

Approaching her 83rd birthday, Mrs. Isabel Victoria Henrietta Mack of Fericy, Seine et Marne, France, experienced her first plane trip from Paris to Chicago, via Montreal, Quebec, Can.  This is her visit to the United States in 33 years.  She is enroute to Enumclaw, Wash., near Seattle, to make her home with her only daughter, Mrs. N. W. Pooley.

Arriving in Decatur Wednesday, she greeted for the first time four of her eight great-grandchildren; the youngest one is her namesake, Victoria Shaw. The baby is the fourth child of Mr. and Mrs. George V. Shaw, Rural Route 7, with whom Mrs. Mack is visiting.  Mrs. Shaw is her granddaughter.  A second married granddaughter lives near her mother, Mrs. Pooley, close to Seattle.  When Mrs. Shaw and her sister were young girls, they visited their grandmother, Mrs. Mack in France, and stayed for two years.

The French visitor, a former tutor and lecturer, has made numerous steamship voyages to this country, the last in 1923, when her daughter married.

Born in Lille, France, Mrs. Mack studied at the Lycee et Fenelon, University de Lille as a young woman.  In 1891 she went to England where she later married an Englishman.  He died when their daughter was three.  All through the years, Mrs. Mack has served as a tutor.

A visit to Seattle, Wash. In 1914 altered the course of events for Mrs. Mack and daughter, Enid, who were “stranded” there until 1918, the end of the first world war.

In existence at that time, Mrs. Mack recalls, was a branch of service for young women called the “Telephone Service” which her daughter joined.  She was one of the youngest in the United States service who enlisted.  About to embark for France from Philadelphia, an epidemic of Spanish influenza broke out, and “of course,” Mrs. Mack adds, “the troops couldn’t be sent overseas.

“I encouraged my daughter to finish her education.  So Enid entered Columbia University in New York City, N. Y., and graduated in 1921.

One of Enid’s professors recommended advanced study in mathematics at the University of London in England.  So back to England went mother and daughter.

“And,” Mrs. Mack added, “I enrolled as a student in the London School of Economics.”

Tutoring was again resumed during the war years of 1939-1945, “when I was past the age of active participation of service.”  A great many boarding schools were closed, Mrs. Mack explained, although day schools were open.

Young women who desired to keep up their university courses in physics, chemistry, mathematics and languages engaged private tutors.  Mrs. Mack speaks English, French and German and also taught young girls in Germany for four years.

Mrs. Mack expects to be in Enumclaw by Oct. 8 to celebrate her birthday with her daughter and the many friends she made back in 1914-1918.  Many of them have visited her in France through the years.

Her daughter, Mrs. Poole, had requested her repeatedly to come to Seattle to make her home there.  Since the death of her sister last February, Mrs. Mack broke old ties in France to start a new life almost half way across the world and to greet the other half of her eight great-grandchildren.”  

Isabelle’s other sister, Jessie, joined her in Indianapolis – helping her and Anna Guérin in the 1921 poppy distribution. See below:

Jessie Drummond Spence née Adolph. 1938. Courtesy/© of Victoria Foster.

Jessie Drummond Spence née Adolph. 1938.
Courtesy/© of Victoria Foster.

Jessie Drummond Spence née Adolph was Madame Isabelle Mack’s sister.  Jessie, too, had been born in Lille – in 1876 – and had become a Governess.  Their lives had run parallel until Jessie married on 18 April 1892 at the parish church of St. Simon in Hammersmith, Greater London, to John Drummond Spence.  Jessie and husband John went to the U.S.A. in 1904 – arriving in the port of Boston on 02 September, having departed from Liverpool, England on 24 August.  They had been living in Weston-Super-Mare prior to that departure.

In the 1910 US census, Jessie and husband John were living in Foundry Avenue (Ward 14), 44 Avenue West, King, Seattle.  Neither of them had an occupation noted.

In the 1915 Seattle City Directory, under “SPENCE”, Jessie is named at ‘The Canterbury Tea Shop’ at 7019 Fauntleroy Avenue, Seattle.   Husband John (with “Jessie D”) is named at 2019 Fauntleroy.   Sisters Jessie and Isabella ran this Tea Shop.

In the 1920 US census, Jessie was living at 910 Moriarty Street, King, Seattle.  Her marital status was “Widow” and “Keeper” of a “Lodging House”.

On 10 March 1921, Jessie Spence was found arriving in New York aboard the ship ‘La Touraine’ – she had left from Le Havre, France on 26 February 1921.  Her final destination was given as her sister Isabelle at “238 East, Tenth Str. at Indianapolis, Ind.”  She gave her nearest relative as her “sister Mrs. Walker, 44 Turenne street at Lille (FRANCE)” … this was her and Isabelle Mack’s sister Doris.

On Wednesday 13 April 1921, The Indianapolis Star wrote about Madame Guérin’s poppies:

2,000,000 MORE ‘FLANDERS POPPIES’ REACH AMERICA.

Mme. Spence, Who Was in Charge of Shipment, Arrives in City.  

Two million more imitation Flanders poppies, the flower authorized by the American Legion as the official Decoration day emblem, have been brought to America by Mme. Jessie D. Spence of Lille, France, who arrived in Indianapolis yesterday. …”

The article reported that Jessie had “just returned from a year’s tour of the devastated area in France”: she had obviously visited Lille during that time, to see her sister Doris.  Jessie reported back to Anna Guérin; sister Isabelle; and the members of the public about the present state of the cities; the environs; and France, in general – confirming that the devastated regions of France still needed aid and charity.

Jessie’s name appears on a U.S. Naturalization Record Index dated 21 July 1925 – this was probably concerning a ‘Declaration of Intent’ to become an American citizen.  However, she probably found herself in the same position as her sister Isabelle – inasmuch as she may have been considered a U.S. citizen anyway by way of her father’s citizenship.

Off and on, until 1932, Jessie lived in Seattle – she taught French at the Y.W.C.A. and boarded at a room there.  Then, Jessie returned to France – initially, she stayed with relatives and, later, she got a job as a “helper to the protestant home for retarded children” in the Dordogne.   Jessie died in 1951, in the Dordogne.

The 2019 book ‘Le coeur étrange et l’âme française?: Kaufleute, Händler und Unternehmer in Lille: Eine vergleichende Studie zur britischen, deutschen und schweizerischen Migration nach Nordfrankreich (1789-1914)’ (German) Perfect Paperback – March 1, 2019, by Marius Golgath, {‘The foreign heart and the French soul? Merchants, traders and entrepreneurs in Lille: A comparative study of British, German and Swiss migration to northern France (1789-1914)’} includes a study of Isabelle and Jessie’s Baxter family in Lille and features Isabelle on front.

The question is asked: “where, in France, did Anna Guérin, Isabelle Mack or Jessie Spence go to superintend and/or get the Poppies and where was the fabric sourced?”

Devastated Lille, Nord-Pas-de-Calais: birthplace of Isabelle and Jessie Adolphe. Courtesy of Heather Anne Johnson.

Devastated Lille, Nord-Pas-de-Calais: birthplace of Isabelle and Jessie Adolphe.
Courtesy of Heather Anne Johnson.

An insignia of the/l’UNION DES MUTILES, REFORMES ET VEUVES DU GUERRE DE LILLE ET ENVIRONS” Courtesy/© of Heather Anne Johnson

An insignia of the/l’UNION DES MUTILES, REFORMES
ET VEUVES DU GUERRE DE LILLE ET ENVIRONS”
Courtesy/© of Heather Anne Johnson.

Union des Mutilés,  Réformes et Veuves de Guerre de Lille et Environs

 “Le 1er août 1914, le gouvernement français décrète la mobilisation générale. 3,5 millions d’hommes furent mobilisés mais rapidement les pertes s’élevèrent à plusieurs centaines de milliers de soldats. Où trouver les hommes nécessaires pour compléter les effectifs ? Parmi les catégories pour l’instant non mobilisées.

Un statut particulier :

Les réformés sont les soldats souffrant d’un problème de santé les empêchant de participer au service actif. Les hommes réformés, des suites blessures ou maladie contractées en service (réforme n° 1) ou temporaire des suites de maladies non imputables au service (réforme n° 2) et quel que soit le motif, avant guerre ne sont donc pas mobilisés le 2 août 1914. Cela ne veut pas dire qu’ils ne participèrent pas au conflit. Les pertes importantes des mois d’août et septembre, cette guerre qui va être plus longue que prévue, tout cela va faire que ces hommes jugés initialement comme impropres au service armé vont pouvoir se retrouver au front.

Le cas des réformés et exemptés :

Le décret du 9 septembre 1914 qui fait tout changer : il oblige les réformés et exemptés des classes précédentes à la classe 1915, à passer devant une commission de réforme. Il va alors être jugé si l’homme reste réformé, exempté, ou si, au contraire, il est jugé bon pour le service armé ou auxiliaire. …”    http://combattant.14-18.pagesperso-orange.fr/Pasapas/E403mob3.html

English Transcription of the above:  On August 1, 1914, the French government decreed the general mobilization. 3.5 million men were mobilized but quickly the losses amounted to several hundred thousand soldiers. Where to find the men needed to complete the workforce? Among the categories not mobilized for the moment.

A special status:

The réformes are soldiers suffering from a health problem preventing them from participating in active service.  Reformed men, as a result of injuries or illness contracted in service (réforme no. 1) or temporary consequences of illnesses not attributable to service (réforme no. 2) and whatever the motive, before the war, are therefore not mobilized on 2 August 1914. This does not mean that they did not participate in the conflict. The major losses in August and September, this war that will be longer than expected, all this will make those men initially considered unfit for armed service will be able to end up at the front.

The case of the reformed and exempted:

The decree of September 9, 1914 which makes everything change: it forces the réformes and exempted from previous classes to class 1915, to go before a réforme commission. It will then be judged whether the man remains réforme, exempted, or if, on the contrary, he is judged to be good for the armed or auxiliary service.

____________________________________________________

Mrs. George Corbin Perine, Chairman. (Ione O.) Tyler Cooke was born in Virginia on 15 July 1878 to George “Wesley” Cooke and Josephine S. Rogers.   Tyler was connected to the George Washington family.  George Corbin Perine was an author/art dealer.  They married on 08 June 1904 at St. John’s Protestant Episcopal Church in Washington DC.

Tyler Perine. Ancestry acknowledged.

Tyler Perine. Ancestry acknowledged.

Tyler and George had three children: Washington Corbin Perine bn 1905 Virginia; Anna Washington Perine bn 1909 Baltimore Maryland; and Mary Ball Washington Perine bn 1913 Catonsville, Maryland.  A Washington relative, Mrs. M. B. Washington, was Vice-Chairman.

Mrs. Frederick W. Masters, Business Manager (of Chicago): This is believed to be Margaret (nee Barry) who was born in Canada on 29 April 1866 to Irish father Edward Barry and his Canadian wife Mary VanDell.  Margaret married Frederick William Masters on 23 November 1887, in Chicago.  English-born Frederick’s occupation was Brick Mason. The couple had three children:- Mabel I. bn 1888 Chicago; Charles Edward bn 1892 Chicago; & Harold Frederick bn 1894 Chicago).  Margaret died on 11 June 1945 in Lake Villa, Lake, Illinois.

Mrs. Leonel Ross Campbell Antony O’Bryan (of Denver), National Organizer:  Leonel’s birth name was Leonel Ross Campbell.    She was born on 18 November 1870 in Jackson, Mississippi.  She was a daughter of James McKinney Campbell and his wife Mary Elizabeth.   At the age of 15, whilst at school in St. Louis, she eloped with one George Antony and married him.   She was in Mexico for ten? years “living on wheels”, while George oversaw the building of ‘Mexican Central’ railway.   She helped him entertain railway men, government officials and financiers.

She “gained intimate knowledge of the country and its people and thoroughly mastered the Spanish tongue.“   After the years in Mexico, Leonel became a journalist – working first for the New York World.   She worked for several newspapers – including the Indianapolis Star; Chicago Evening Post; Louisville Herald; & Rocky Mountain News.

With the Denver Post, she was the paper’s first female reporter – she became “Polly Pry”.   She married Philadelphia-born Attorney Harry/Henry J. O’Bryan in 1910 and was widowed a few years later, possibly in 1914.  It was reported that Leonel went to Colorado, initially, for the health of her son.  Eventually, Leonel worked freelance.

Leonel Ross Campbell Antony O’Bryan “Polly Pry” c1918.

Leonel Ross Campbell Antony O’Bryan “Polly Pry” c1918.
U.S. Passport Applications; National Archives; Records Administration; Ancestry acknowledged.

During World War One, she was Commissioner of Publicity for the American Red Cross in the Balkans – travelling to France; Germany; Austria; Russia; Italy; Belgium; Holland; England; Greece; and Serbia during her service up until December 1919.  During the 1922 poppy campaign, she was found described as “regional director and organizer of the Veterans of Foreign Wars”.  Thus, Leonel was another valuable woman for Anna to have on her side, with many influential contacts around the United States of America.   Leonel died on 16 July 1938, at St. Joseph Hospital, Denver – of a heart attack, after a long illness.

An article reporting on her death stated “In her prime Polly Pry was a blond beauty who attracted attention wherever she went and was possessed of a radiant personality and a gift of conversation.”     Anna Guérin described Leonel as “very clever, very shrewd” and “very faithful” in a letter.    The two women had several similar characteristics and life experiences – perhaps, they had a good relationship because of this?

Miss Helen J. Ahern was born on 15 October 1890 in Whitney Point, Buffalo, New York State.  She was described as a society girl and heiress.  Helen worked for the American Red Cross in France; Italy; and Albania up until December 1919.

Helen J. Ahern c1918. U.S. Passport Applications/National Archives/Records Administration/Ancestry acknowledged.

Helen J. Ahern c1918.
U.S. Passport Applications; National Archives; Records Administration; Ancestry acknowledged.

Leonel and Helen worked together in the American Red Cross, the age gap between them was 20 years.   Independently, they have each been described as working for many months supervising 14,000 refugees.   They had both been decorated for their work by the French government.   In February 1920, on their way home from the Balkans, they spent the month in France “travelling over the devastated front” and were “thoroughly informed as to the conditions there.”          

Leonel and Helen were well suited to touring the US on behalf of the American and French Children’s League, arranging “Poppy drives” to raise funds.  They knew what they were talking about, when they described conditions in devastated France. There is more about these two women further into this chapter.

To return to, and properly commence, the year of 1920:-

Madame Guérin has not been discovered within the US 1920 Census but, surely?, she must have been somewhere in the country because she was found in Lincoln, Nebraska on 07 January – for instance, Lincoln’s census was taken on the 03 January 1920.

Anna was in Lincoln to meet with Mrs. Bessie Dredla, in relation to the ‘American and French Children’s League.  Bessie was a prominent woman in the area – she had led local women in war work.

“Bessie” Drasky : Mrs. Anton Dredla. Edited from Omaha World Herald 25 September 1917. Ancestry acknowledged.

“Bessie” Drasky : Mrs. Anton Dredla.
Edited from Omaha World Herald 25 Sept. 1917.
Ancestry acknowledged.

Bessie’s husband Anton ended up being mayor of nearby Crete in Nebraska a total of seven times.   Both Bessie and Anton were born in “Bohemia”/Czechoslovakia and had arrived in the USA in the late 1890’s, with their parents.   There were strong Czech enclaves in that area of Nebraska, in fact Omaha was known as ‘Little Bohemia’.

As briefly touched upon in Chapter 5, Anna Guérin began organising committees in the U.S.A. (state by state) for her ‘American and French Children’s League’, after entering to the country on 31 March 1919 – for the fifth time, from the start of the First World War.  This continued at a fast pace in 1920.

On Monday 5 January 1920, The Argus Leader (of Sioux Falls) listed Madame Guérin’s League Committee members for the State of South Dakota [sic]:

NAME OFFICERS OF NEW LEAGUE. 

American-French Organization Will Care for Thousands of War Orphans. 

South Dakota to Raise $10,000 and Sioux Falls $3,000 for That Purpose.

Officers and a board of directors have been named for a state organization to be known as the American Star—the American and French Children’s league.  Honorary state presidents in the northern division and South Dakota are:

Mrs. E. W. Bachus, Minneapolis; Mrs. C. S. Pillsbury, Minneapolis; Mrs. E. H. Lowry, Minneapolis; Mrs. Amos E. Ayres, Sioux Falls, and Mrs. Grace Reed Porter, Ft. Pierre.

South Dakota state officers are Mrs. T. J. White, state chairman, 517 Nesmith avenue; Mrs. R. D. Springer, vice chairman, 715 South Phillips avenue; Mrs. W. F. Keller, secretary, 123 West Fourteenth street; Claude J. Harris, treasurer, secretary of the American Legion, 212 Boyce-Greeley building; Mrs. Harriet A. Merriam, assistant secretary and treasurer, who was charge of organizing the work throughout the state; and W. L. Baker, president of the Minnehaha National bank, which has been made the depository bank.

Board of Directors.

On the board of directors are: Right Reverend Thomas O’Gorman, Bishop Hugh L. Burleson, Dr. G. G. Cottam, John W. Wadden, Tore Teigen, W. L. Baker, William Ontjes, Dr. George A. Pettigrew and Rev. N. Boe.

There are 1,500,000 orphan children in France who need help.  South Dakota has been asked to raise $10,000.  Of this amount approximately $3,000 will be raised in Sioux Falls.  All of the women’s clubs of the city and the state are cooperating to make the campaign speedy and successful.

Madam Guerin, who is in this country from France and who spoke before the Commercial club a few days ago*, is now working in the interest of the French orphans at Lincoln, Neb.”  [*29 December 1919].

On 05 January 1920, Madame Guérin was in Lincoln to speak to a special meeting in the Temple theatre.  The Nebraska State Journal alerted its readers on 4 January [sic]:

“A special meeting of the Womans’ club has been called for Monday at 2:15 p.m. in the Temple theatre for lowing the board meeting at 1:15 p.m.  Mrs. John Slaker, president of the state federation of woman’s clubs, will speak to the member.  Mrs. Slaker is in Lincoln as the guest of Mr. and Mrs. W. A. Apperson and is on her way to the meeting of the board of the general federation of Women’s clubs which will be held in Omaha on Wednesday.  Madam Guerin will also speak to the members of the club bringing a message from her native country, France.  Mrs. Addison E. Sheldon state federation secretary, will be a guest of honor at the meeting.”

On 07 January 1920, the Evening State Journal printed one sentence about the meeting:  TODAY’S EVENTS.  Mrs. Anton Dredla of Crete, who has been prominent in the state work of the American and French Children’s league, was in the city Wednesday to see Madame E. Guerin, the French representative of the league.”

On Sunday 18 January 1920, The Lincoln Star listed Madame Guérin’s League Committee members for the State of Nebraska [sic]:

State Committee of U.S. and French Children’s League.

A state committee of the American and French Children’s league has been organized in Lincoln by Mme. E. Guerin.  The purpose of the league is to assist the children of both France and the United States.  It is the outgrowth of the American relief work among the French children during the war. 

The officers of the league in Paris are Mme. Millerand, wife of the minister and governor of Alsace-Lorraine; Mme. Lebon and other prominent French citizens.  President Poincare of France, and Clemenceau are prominent in the work.

Mme. Guerin and Prof. F. M. Fling will discuss the work of the league Monday night after Mme. Guerin’s impersonation of Jean of Arc at the First Presbyterian church.

The committee which has been organized consists of Miss Mae Pershing. Mrs. George Holden, Mrs. J. E. Miller, Mrs. T. J. Doyle, Mrs. C. Klose, Governor McKelvie, Mayor Miller, W. E. Hardy, W. S. Whitten, Prof. F. M. Fling, Prof. H. B. Alexander, D. W. Miller, Dr. H. H. Everett, E. B. Chappell , commander of the local post of the American Legion; Dr. F. Bespecher of Omaha; John Allister, Nelson, Neb.; Rev. W. S. Williott, Humboldt, Neb.; Mrs. Anton Dredla, Crete; Mrs. White, Ashland, and Mrs. John Slacker of Hastings.

Mme. Guerin is staying at the home of Prof. and Mrs. H. B. Alexander while in Lincoln.”

On Sunday 18 January 1920, The Nebraska State Journal reminded readers that Mme. Anna Guérin was to perform the next evening [sic]:  Joan of Arc. Mme. E. Guerin, who has appeared repeatedly before collegiate and other audiences in England and America, twice before the royal family of Great Britain as Marie Antoinette and the Maid of Orleans, will give her famous impersonation at First Christian church, Jan. 19, 8 p. m.  She will be presented by Dr. F. M. Fling and assisted by Prof. Alice Howell.  Tickets, Miller & Paine’s.”

18 January 1920, The Nebraska State Journal.
(Second Edition, page 8: Society and Clubs).

Transcription of advertisement above:  18 January 1920, The Nebraska State Journal, Second Edition, page 8 Society & Clubs:  JOAN OF ARC Lecture-Impersonation by MME. E. GUERIN in historic costumes of the period, vividly illustrated.  An interpretation of the history and spirit of France as revealed in her womanhood.  FIRST CHRISTIAN CHURCH January 19, 8 p.m.  Tickets, Millet & Paines.”

On 19 January 1920, Anna gave the first of three consecutive evening performances of her Joan of Arc “impersonation” – at Lincoln’s First Christian Church.   The performance was illustrated with coloured lantern slides.  Alice Howell translated Anna’s French dialogue – Alice was a Professor (French/Languages) at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln.

These performances were a personal arrangement for Anna, because she stepped in to fill the breach when a poet cancelled his engagements.   They would have been opportunities to help her personal finances – as she often spent her own money to pay for expenses.  “Mme. E. Guerin has consented to give her famous dramatic impersonation of Joan of Arc in costume …” (‘The Nebraskan’ 16 January 1920).  This tells us that she was travelling with all her props … just in case.

Anna was introduced by Dr. F. M. Fling.    This was Fred Morrow Fling, a professor who lectured in European History at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln.   He was a somewhat controversial figure inasmuch as he had publicly and strongly objected to the neutral stand taken by USA early in WW1.  Fred was born on 04 November 1860 in Portland, Maine to Charles H. Fling and his wife Cynthia E.  Fred died 08 June 1934 in Lincoln, Nebraska. http://www.nebraskahistory.org/publish/publicat/history/full-text/NH1981FFling.pdf

The Nebraska State Journal on Tuesday 20 January 1920 mentioned the 290 parcels that Anna Guérin had taken to France for Nebraskans; her 400 year old cloak; and reviewed her performance [sic]:

Mme. E. Guerin as Joan of Arc

Mme. E. Guerin, in a costume impersonation of Joan of Arc, gave a leacture depicting the life of the French heroine, at the First Christian church Monday night.  The lecture was under the auspices of the Lincoln Lecture league.  She took the place of Biasco Ibanez, the Spanish poet who was forced to cancel his American engagements.

Prof. H. B. Alexander introduced Madame Guerin, and told of her work for French relief here.  The story of the Maid of Orleans, was thrown on a screen in lantern slides taken from famous paintings.  Prof. Alice Howell of the university explained the pictures.

After the first set of slides had been shown, Madame Guerin appeared as Joan in her native town and told the story in French.  The cloak which she wore for this presentation was one said to have been in her family for the past four hundred years.

The other stages of the heroine’s life were depicted in pictures and by Madame Guerin in costume.  At the close of the presentation, Madame Guerin gave an informal talk in which she told how thankful she was to the people of Lincoln for receiving her so kindly.  She said that over there she had told the boys that she was from Paris and from Lincoln, Neb.

She told of how she had advertised before going overseas that she would deliver packages for Nebraska mothers to their sons in France and that when she arrived in New York she found 290 packages waiting for her.  At present Madame Guerin is representing the American and French children’s league, an organisation for helping the children in devastated France and for promoting friendship between the two nations.”

In her 1941 Synopsis, Anna recalled [sic]: “The Chamber of Commerce of Nebraska had given me their able Secretary ( who is still there ) to plan the campaign in Nebraska to raise the $ 10.000 with the help of the Gold Star Mothers . We made more than the $ 10.000 in Nebraska . By that time I had taken the habit  to speak in each school of the town where we were planning to have the POPPY’S DAY , and each school was sending us girls and boys to tag with the Poppies – We had so many volunteers that it is why those tags days were such a success and ther SYMBOL emploid , “the Flanders’ Popy” was so endearing to the heart of the people that they began to call me every where the POPPY LADY and the Flanders’S Fields’ Poppy was considered everywhere and by every one THE BEST SYMBOL which could be found perpetuating the memory of the HEROES of the WAR .”

On Wednesday 28 January 1920, Madame Guérin was in Cheyenne, Wyoming.   An article mentioning her on the front page of The Casper Star Tribune (of Casper, Wyoming) began by describing the end of the Wyoming senate session [sic]:

SPECIAL SESSION NEAR END.  NO DISSENTING VOTES CAST. 

Congress Urged to Speed Up Legislation to Help Soldiers;

Governor Carey to Sign Suffrage Resolution Today. CHEYENNE, Wym. Jan. 28

The special session of the Fifteenth Wyoming legislature will be adjourned late this afternoon, following adjustment of a few senate amendments to the irrigation district act and the appropriation act, and passage by the house of a senate joint memorial to congress requesting great diligence in the administration of relief legislation for the benefit of disabled soldiers.  All other business has been disposed of and the senate this afternoon is marking time while the house clears its decks for the adjournment.”  Four paragraphs on, it continued:

The house spent the morning marking time and in listening to Madam Guerin of France, who made an appeal for closer relationship between the French and American republics and for American assistance in the rehabilitation of France.  Madam Guerin also addressed the senate. …”

The people of Wyoming appear to have wasted no time, in thinking of ways to raise funds. We know dances helped swell the quota coffers for Casper and Salt Creek.  The amount we get to learn about, depends on how prolific fundraisers were about publicising their deeds.

On 2 February 1920, The Casper Star Tribune (of Casper, Wyoming) alerted readers to a planned dance, under the auspices of the Salto Dancing Club [sic]:

Plans for Tri-Color Ball.

Arrangements are being made for a Tri-Color ball to be given in the very near future under the auspices of the Salto Dancing club.  The dance will be for the benefit of the French-American Children’s League, and will be given in the Masonic temple.  It will not be one of the regular Salto dances but will be managed by the Salto Dancing club committee.”

The dance, of two halves, took place in Casper’s Masonic Temple, on Thursday evening, 26 February – obviously, co-operation had taken place between Salto Dancing Club and the War Mothers & American Legion but the organising factions wanted to raise their own funds, for their own contributions to Casper’s quota. Two articles are found:

1)       24 February 1920, The Casper Star Tribune (of Casper, Wyoming) [sic]:

Benefit Dance for French Orphans Thursday Night.

The War Mothers and the George Vroman post No. 2 of the American Legion will do their bit for the French War Orphans’ fund in Casper, Thursday night thru the weekly dance given in the Masonic temple.  The party will be an open affair, every cent of the money to be given to the fund of the French Orphans. 

This dance is being arranged so as not to conflict with the Tri-Color ball to be given Friday night in the same hall.  It is simply the part these two organizations wish to take in the campaign to secure Casper’s part in the French War Orphan fund.”

2)       25 February 1920, The Casper Star Tribune (of Casper, Wyoming) [sic]:

WAR MOTHERS AND LEGION GIVE DANCE THURSDAY TO SWELL CHILDREN’S FUND.

Preceding the Tri-Color ball Friday night will be the benefit dance Thursday night in the Masonic temple to be given by the War Mothers and the American Legion.  This benefit dance will take the place of the regular Thursday night dancing party given by the War Mothers in conjunction with the Army and Navy club and the American Legion.

The money will be given to swell the funds raised to save the lives of the children of northern France who after spending four years in occupied territory are stunted in growth and so weakened that sooner or later they will fall victims to disease unless special means are taken to save their lives and build up their physical health. 

The primary purpose of the American and French Children’s League, as explained by Mme. E. Gurin while in Casper recently, is to cement the friendship of the two nations.

Money from the dance Thursday night will be given to swell Casper’s portion of this fund being raised thru the direction of the league.”

In Salt Creek, Wyoming, its dance occurred on the 10th March.  On 15th March 1920, The Casper Star Tribune (of Casper, Wyoming) updated readers [sic]:

SALT CREEK DANCE NETS $75 FOR AMERICAN AND FRENCH CHILDREN’S FUND.

A dance given at Salt Creek last Wednesday evening netted $75 for the Natrona County fund for the American and French Children’s League.

The money was turned over to Mrs. P.C. Nicolaysen, who was able to forward $930 from the county for this fund this week. 

The children in all the schools of the country are contributing to the fund, and their money will be forwarded next week.”

On Monday 2 February 1920, The Nebraska State Journal wrote about a benefit ball for Madame Guérin’s Children’s League [sic]:

The American-Franco league is quietly raising funds for the purpose of relieving the pitiable condition of the thousands of homeless and helpless French children.  In return for American assistance the French members of the league propose to send to America the most noted of France’s lecturers who will give free lectures in all of the American communities where funds are raised.  To aid in this commendable work of relieving the suffering of innocent children Lincoln post No. 3 of the American legion will give a benefit ball at the city auditorium on the evening of February 11.”

On Friday 6 February 1920, The Nebraska State Journal reminded readers again about the ball and another event that would benefit Madame Guérin’s Children’s League [sic]:

Benefit Dance.  American Legion to Help French Orphans.

A benefit dance under the auspices of the Lincoln post of the American Legion will be given at the auditorium Wednesday evening, Feb. 11.  The money raised will go to help the children living in the devastated regions of France.  They need help and at once.  France is doing what she can, but France is hugely burdened; and we must aid as we should aid, and aid now—for each passing week sees many a child laid under the poppies, who might have been saved to France.  The martyrs of the war are the children.  But it is a martyrdom that can be stopped.  We can stop it, and we shall know in the future the reward of a noble gratitude.

The Lincoln committee of the American-French Children’s league (the league for saving the French children and for promoting a cordial understanding between the two countries) is also planning to give a dance, “The Tri-Color Ball,” at the Lincoln hotel Tuesday evening, Feb. 17.  It is expected to prove one of the most important events of the Lincoln social season. 

The members of the Lincoln committee of the American-French Children’s league are:  Miss Mae Pershing, Lincoln; Mrs. Geo. H. Holden, Lincoln; Mrs. T. J. Doyle, Lincoln; Mrs. Paul Bartlett, Lincoln; Prof. H. B. Alexander, Lincoln; Donald Miller, Lincoln; Mrs. D. M. Pershing Butler, Lincoln; Mrs. C. Klose, Lincoln; Prof. Louise Pound, Lincoln; Prof. F. M. Fling, Lincoln; W. F. Irons, Lincoln; E. B. Chappell (commander of Lincoln post of the American legion); A. F. Larrivel.—Adv.”

The next State Anna visited was Colorado.  She must have visited Denver first because Madame Celeste Ollivier Dixon and Mademoiselle Lucienne Le Fraper, from Denver, became her delegates in Colorado. They had an endorsement of the American Legion.

On 09 March 1920, Anna made “a magnificent appeal in chapel for aid to help the poor French children, victims of the war” at the Colorado College, Pikes Peak, Colorado Springs.

In Pueblo, which is 74 miles south of Colorado Springs, a Poppy Day also took place during Anna Guérin’s visit to Colorado.  We know this from two sources:

1)     a congratulatory letter to Madame Guérin dated 22 May 1920, from Madame Lebon (American and French Children’s League’s Chairman in France):  “… The 35,000 francs that came from the poppy day of Pueblo will be employed to buy, if possible, the Children’s Hospital at Bidart. …”

2)     a Pueblo Chieftain article already transcribed in the ‘Bidart House’ section above, dated 11 May 1921.  This is the confirmatory text, relevant to Madame Guérin’s visit [sic]: “…Madame Guerin, the “Poppy Lady” who was in Pueblo last year at the time of the Poppy day sale, has shipped a large number of the paper poppies to Adjutant Robert Morris of the American legion, thru which the sale will be made this year. …”

Pikes Peak Nugget, Colorado College, 1920 Volume 21, page229 .

Pikes Peak Nugget, Colorado College, 1920 Volume 21, page 229 .

On Wednesday 10 March 1920, The Daily Sentinel (of Grand Junction, Colorado) described Anna Guérin as “guest of honor” [sic]:

Mme. E. Guerin Visiting in Colorado

Colorado Springs has a guest of honor this week in the person of Mme. E. Guerin, wife of a justice of the French supreme court, who represents the department of public education of France.  She is in this country in the interests of the American and French Children’s League.”

Delegates Mme. Celeste Dixon and Mlle. Lucienne Fraper travelled around Colorado, promoting the American and French Children’s League and organising Poppy Days, for instance:-

Greeley:      On 10 March, Mme. Dixon was there promoting the Children’s League. Exactly a calendar month later, Greeley’s Poppy Day occurred.  Both Celeste and Lucienne were in charge.  Local French and Latin teacher, Mrs. Howard Price, was the poppy girls’ chaperone.  “Today Greeley has been turned into a poppy field.

Fort Collins: its quota was $500 and Mme. Dixon and Mlle. Fraper were there for a week, from the 22nd March  A Poppy Day was held on 27 March.   The Fort Collins Coloradoan newspaper declared there was no doubt the amount would be raised.  A Poppy Day was held on 27 March.  Mlle. Fraper was described as an accomplished singer: on Sunday 28 March, she sang at the First Methodist Church in the morning; in the evening, she sang at the First Presbyterian Church.

On Monday 15 March 1920, a “Special” press release came out of Philadelphia, PA.  It announced that an American Legion post, in Tacoma, Washington State, had proposed the poppy be adopted as the Legion’s memorial flower.  This is just another example of how the Flanders poppy was becoming more and more emblematic across the U.S.A.

Tacoma would join Washington cities such as Seattle and Spokane in having Poppy Days, after Madame Guérin’s visit to the State 2 months later. An identical article has been found duplicated across the U.S.A. in 43 newspapers, under various unique subject headings:

The Buffalo Morning Express and Illustrated Buffalo Express (Buffalo, New York) 15 March 1920; The Lead Daily Call (Lead, South Dakota) 16 March 1920; The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) 16 & 21 March 1920; The Morning News (Wilmington, Delaware) 17 March 1920; The Santa Fe New Mexican (Santa Fe, New Mexico) 17 March 1920; The Gazette (Cedar Rapids, Iowa) 17 March 1920;  The Chattanooga Daily Times (Chattanooga, Tennessee) 17 March 1920; The Chicago Tribune (Chicago, Illinois) 17 March 1920; The Salt Lake Tribune (Salt Lake City, Utah) 17 March 1920;  The Daily Times (Davenport, Iowa) 17 March 1920; The Gibson City Courier (Gibson City, Illinois) 18 March 1920; The Brazil Daily Times (Brazil, Indiana) 18 March 1920; The Dispatch (Moline, Illinois) 18 March 1920; The Gettysburg Times (Gettysburg, Penns.) 18 March 1920; The Tampa Times (Tampa, Florida) 18 March 1920; The Huntingdon Herald (Huntingdon, Indiana) 18 March 1920; The Star-Gazette (Elmira, New York) 19 March 1920; The South Bend Tribune (South Bend, Indiana) 19 March 1920; The Butte Miner (Butte, Montana) 20 March 1920; The Record-Argus (Greenville, Penns.) 20 March 1920; The Advocate Messenger (of Danville, Kentucky) 20 March 1920; The Asheville Citizen-Times (Asheville, North Carolina) 21 March 1920; The Tennessean (Nashville, Tennessee) 21 March 1920; The Daily Republican-Register (Mount Carmel, Illinois) 22 March 1920; The Pioneer (Bemidji, Minnesota) 22 March 1920; The Spokane Chronicle (Spokane, Washington) 22 March 1920; The Emporia Gazette (Emporia, Kansas) 23 March 1920; The Logansport Pharos-Tribune (Logansport, Indiana) 23 March 1920; The Wood County Reporter (Grand Rapids, Wisconsin) 25 March 1920; The Kinmundy Express (Kinmundy, Illinois) 25 March 1920; The Paxton Record (Paxton, Illinois) 25 March 1920; The Headlight (Carmen, Oklahoma) 26 March 1920; The Evening News (Harrisburg, Penns.) 26 March 1920;  The Bureau County Tribune (Princeton, Illinois) 26 March 1920; The Oakland Tribune (Oakland, California) 26 March 1920;  The Iola Daily Register And Evening News (Iola, Kansas) 26 March 1920; The Enid Daily Eagle (Enid, Oklahoma) 26 March 1920; The Evening Report (Lebanon, Penns.) 26 March 1920; The Nebraska State Journal (Lincoln, Nebraska) 28 March 1920;  The Daily Gate City and Constitution-Democrat (Keokuk, Iowa) 29 March 1920; The El Paso Herald (El Paso, Texas) 31 March 1920; and The Daily Free Press (Carbondale, Illinois) 5 April 1920: [sic]:

The Shirley Poppy Proposed As Flower Of American Legion.

Philadelphia, Pa., March 15.—(Special.)—

Franklin D’Olier, National Commander of the American Legion, has received a resolution from the Edward B. Rhodes Post of the American Legion, Tacoma, Washington, favouring the adoption of the Shirley Poppy as the memorial flower of the Legion.  This resolution is as follows:

“Lest we in the day’s work, surrounded by home and happiness, forget our comrades who sleep in France, and here in the arms of the motherland;

“Lest we forget ‘that greater love’ of these American boys who ‘gave their lives for their fellow men,’

“Lest we forget that ‘In Flanders fields the poppies grow, among the crosses, row on row,’ and that nature seems to have raised in these simple flowers the most eloquent monument—a waving scarlet blessing over their graves;

“Be it resolved, That the Edward B. Rhodes post, American Legion, inaugurate a movement to have the Shirley poppy adopted as the Memorial flower of the American Legion.

“That the American Legion take steps to assist and urge that every public park, cemetery, and every private garden, in gratitude to the men who made the supreme sacrifice, do, during the coming spring and summer, and every spring and summer thereafter, rever the memory of our soldier dead by setting aside a plot for continued display of waving red poppies.

“That a red poppy be worn by every member of the American Legion on Memorial day.”

The formal adoption of the Shirley Poppy as proposed would require the action of the American Legion in convention.”

On Sunday 28 March 1920, The Salt Lake Tribune (of Salt Lake City, Utah) announced the arrival “Polly Pry”. This was her arriving ahead of Madame Guérin, to arrange lecture engagements in behalf of the Children’s League and Poppy Days.   [sic]:

POLLY PRY” VISITING SALT LAKE FRIENDS

Mrs. Harry O’Brien, widely known newspaper woman under the name of “Polly Pry,” is a visitor in Salt Lake.  Mrs. O’Brien recently returned from Europe, where she spent two years in the devastated region of France and in the Balkans.  Her home is in Denver, Colo.”

Also on Sunday 28 March 1920, The Butte Miner (of Butte, Montana) described why Americans owed the French [sic]:

WHY AMERICANS OWE SO MUCH TO FRENCH PEOPLE.

By proclamation of Mayor Tom Stodden the week of March 22 was observed in Butte as “America’s Gift to France week.”

And this is the reason for the proclamation:

There’s a little wooden cross at the farther end of the Marne bridge at Meaux.  The ancient village carpenter set it there by the roadside where the poppies grow, six years ago come September.

God, the simple peasants’ tale is, marked the place with His finger in the sand and smiled.

The German drive on Paris was to end there.

Not so long ago after all—that Battle of the Marne—is it? 

Remember?

Your newspaper, the Miner—the headlines screaming in big, red type—“Germans March on Paris.”

Cruel—relentless—crushing everything in the way—on—on—on—to Paris—Liege in ruins—Louvain behind them a smouldering heap of ashes—laughter—rude soldier marching songs of the fatherland—on—on—on—40 miles—30 miles—now 20 miles—now 15—the great gray-green thing—death and desolation behind—Paris—the heart of France—just a little way ahead.

Came they then to the River Marne—there where the cross is now—

And stopped. 

And in all the years of the war no German boot advances a single stride beyond.

“Popa” Joffre—the pitiful handful of French soldiers—the “little” army the Kaiser sneered at—the four days and nights while you and I watched beside with narrowing eyes. 

Remember?

September, nineteen fourteen. 

A good deal of water has passed under the Marne bridge at Meaux since then—all the world has marched.

Now—

Up in the valley and above the bridge French peasants are tilling their humble gardens—the soil of the battle ground is richer than it used to be—the scarred trees on the hillsides will be green again in the spring, they say—the larks have come back and are singing in the fields—but—

Sometimes at sunset the river runs red, again.

We gave much to France in the war—our sons—our might—our blood.

We owed her much.

Could we forget who gave of her strength and her faith when our nation was born.

Could we forget those days at the Marne when France held “The Frontier of Freedom”—and hurled back the German hordes who would have trod the world under foot?

Can we forget?

Nay—some things we remember—always.

And so—

Soon there shall stand, there on that bank of the Marne where the little cross is now—a statue that to our children and to our children’s children shall tell of a battle won and a bond of love between two great nations that will hold until the end of time.

Against the sky, in huge proportion, the statue of a woman—a woman—beautiful—though worn and beaten down by the storm of battle—who rises undaunted—dauntless—and raises high aloft her flag of liberty—the flag for which her sons—and ours—have died.

July 4, 1885, we celebrated the birthday of our liberty.

From all lands came men to join our happiness and joy.

From France—the beloved—came the giant statue—which stands in New York’s harbour—”Liberty Enlightening the World”—A gift from the people of France to the people of America.

From all France came the money for the Statue of Liberty of ours—from rich and poor—from the eager hands of little children—from the palsied hands of old men—the widow gave her mite—

Each gave a share.

So shall our gift to France be made.  Not from the chosen few shall it come—but even as we gave to her our sons—from east—from west and north—from south—from you—from me—

From all America.

School children who worship the names of “Papa” Joffre and Marshal Foch—and their number is legion—are busy forming committees in all sections of America to help raise $250,000 this week (of March 22) for the colossal “America’s Gift to France.”

The school children of France made possible the fund to build the Bartholdi statue.  They gave their centimes joyously, eager to contribute their bit to “the land of the free and the home of the brave.”  So from the farthest New England town to the sun-kissed California coast the 20,000,000 school children of the United States will start raising funds tomorrow for their gift.

Charles H. Sabin, the treasurer, is receiving contributions at 150 Nassau street, New York.  Local committees appointed by governors in each state are co-operating.

Frederick MacMonnies, American sculptor, is at work on the model for the memorial.  A memorial book containing the names of all villages, towns and cities which have subscribed, will be presented to the French government and placed in a war museum in the base of the statue.”

The next day, 29 March 1920, The Salt Lake Herald Republican announced “Polly Pry’s arrival also [sic]:

’POLLY PRY’ HERE—“Polly Pry,” well-known newspaper woman of Denver, arrived in Salt Lake Saturday for a short visit with friends.  “Polly Pry” is Mrs. Harry O’Brien in private life, and won prominence by her stories on the devastated regions of France, recently toured by her.”

By Thursday 1 April 1920, “Polly Pry” had arranged permission for a Poppy Day in Salt Lake City. The Salt Lake Telegram announced [sic]:

GIRLS WILL SELL POSIES FOR FRANCE

For the purpose of getting funds to help rebuild devastated portions of France girls will sell poppies on Salt Lake streets.  Mrs. L. R. O’Brien—“Polly Pry”—the writer of Denver, applied to the city commission for a permit to sell the posies this morning.  The mayor, to whom her request was referred, acquiesced.”

On 03 April 1920, still in Colorado, Anna Guérin was in Denver for “the first big” Poppy Day for the ‘American and French Children’s League’.  Anna, in December 1921, described the weather on this day: “A blizzard, such as you cannot imagine here, spoilt it somewhat – but in spite of snow and ice our dear Poppy girls collected several thousand dollars.”   The month of April ‘saw’ the League fundraising begin in earnest.

Utah was next on the list for Madame Anna Guérin … on 03 April 1920, the Salt Lake Telegram enlightened its readers about her visit [sic]:

AID ASKED FOR ORPHANS IN FRANCE.

Madame E. Guerin of Paris will arrive in Salt Lake Monday to assist in a campaign to raise $10,000 in Utah for the orphaned children in war devastated districts of France.

Madame Guerin will speak at the University of Utah Tuesday morning and at the Assembly hall in the Temple grounds Thursday night.  She will also speak to the students of the L.D.S. university and at a meeting of L’Alliance Francaise.

Mrs. Harry O’Brien, known in literary circles as “Polly Pry,” is in Salt Lake making arrangements for Madam Guerin’s lectures.”

Likewise, on the same day, The Salt Lake Herald Republican enlightened its readers [sic]:

‘CHILDREN OF FRANCE’ DRIVE NEXT WEEK.

Funds must be raised immediately to aid the children of France, who, during the early part of the war, were driven from their homes by the on-rush of the Germans and who since that time have suffered untold privations.

Next week Salt Lake will do its share toward sending aid to the children of the war-stricken republic.  The drive for funds here will be conducted by Madame E. Guerin.  She has enlisted the aid of numerous Salt Lake societies in the project.”

Also on 3 April, The Salt Lake Tribune alerted its readers about Madame Guérin’s arrival and printed a beautiful photograph of her, to accompany the article [sic]:

French Woman Will Lecture. Mission Is Appeal for Orphans.

MADAME E. GUERIN of Paris, lecturer and delegate of the American and French Children’s league, who will speak at a public gathering at the Assembly hall next Thursday night.

Poppy Lady Madame E. Guérin. The Salt Lake Tribune edition 3 April 1920. Photograph taken by the Lewis-Smith Studio, Blackstone Hotel, Chicago.

Poppy Lady Madame E. Guérin. The Salt Lake Tribune edition 3 April 1920.
Photograph taken by the Lewis-Smith Studio, Blackstone Hotel, Chicago.

Fund Asked to Care for French Children Effected by Ravages of War.

TO ASSIST in a campaign to raise $10,000 in Utah to aid the thousands of orphaned children in devastated France, Madame E. Guerin of Paris, noted lecturer and delegate of the American and French Children’s league, will arrive in Salt Lake Monday.   Madame Guerin, who has been decorated twice and who assisted in several of the Liberty Loan campaigns of the United States, will describe conditions in France.

The plan of the league is to organize in each state a committee to secure the contribution, and a special day will be set apart next week for an intensive drive.

Madame Guerin will speak at a public gathering at the Assembly hall Thursday night.  She will address the student body of the University of Utah Tuesday morning at the weekly assembly and will also speak at the high schools, the L. D. S. university, clubs and before the local branch of ‘Alliance Francaise.

The United States is being appealed to because France has such a large war debt she is not able to take care of the children herself.  In every state where the quota is raised each school and each assisting club will receive a certificate entitling the community to free lectures by French lecturers sent annually to America.  The contributions are to be returned by the French when the immediate need is met in the form of a permanent endowment of free French lectureships in America.

Mrs. Harry O’Brien of Denver, known in literary circles as “Polly Pry,” is in Salt Lake to arrange a speaking itinerary for Madame Guerin.  She is staying at the Hotel Utah, where any organization wishing to have the lecturer appear before them may make the necessary arrangements.”

N.B. Many different photographs of Poppy Lady Madame Guérin have appeared in North American papers but the one shown above is, arguably, one of the best reproduced ones!  It was taken at the Lewis-Smith Studio, at The Blackstone Hotel, on Michigan Avenue at Seventh Street, Chicago, Illinois.

On Monday 5 April 1920, The Lincoln Evening Journal reminded readers of Lincoln’s Tri-Color Ball that evening – with the promotional advertisement, as shown below:

American and French Children’s League’s Benefit Tri-Color Ball advertisement. 5 April 1920, The Lincoln Evening Journal.

American and French Children’s League’s Benefit Tri-Color Ball advertisement.
5 April 1920, The Lincoln Evening Journal.

On that same day, 05 April 1920, Madame Guérin arrived in the Mormon city of Salt Lake City.  Mrs. Leonel Ross O’Bryan (“Polly Pry”) had arrived a few days beforehand, making plans ahead of Anna’s arrival.

On Friday 02 April, the Deseret News printed this [sic]:

WILL MAKE PLEA FOR HOMELESS CHILDREN.

For the little children in France, 450,000 in number, not orphans, who were behind the German lines and have returned to their devastated and desolate homes with tuberculosis and brain diseases, arrangements are being completed for the appearance of Madam E. Guerin before a number of organizations here.  “Polly Pry,” famous newspaper woman, in private life, Mrs. Leonel Ross O’Bryan, herself just returned from the Balkans, is in Salt Lake making final plans for Madam Guerin’s appearance here and also for “Poppy Day,” to raise funds for these children.  She has called on Gov. Simon Ramberger, the First Presidency Supt. G. N. Child and local club women and has gained their co-operation in her work.  A local bank will take charge of all funds gathered on “Poppy Day” and will send them direct to France. … No collections will be taken up at these lectures, which are designed merely to arouse the interest of the public.  Mrs. O’Bryan Thursday evening will give a short talk on the Balkans where she has seen two years’ service with the Red Cross.  Prof. J. J. McClellan will give musical numbers.” 

Salt Lake City’s Mormon Tabernacle. Courtesy of Heather Anne Johnson.

Salt Lake City’s Mormon Tabernacle. Courtesy of Heather Anne Johnson.

Leonel had planned the week’s itinerary but it appears to have been flexible – what was first planned, and announced ahead of time, was changed and was reported on after each event.

Newspaper woman Leonel was always ahead of the game, as far as the Press was concerned.  It was probably her who arranged for the following publicity articles to appear on the day Anna arrived in Salt Lake City (5 April) [sic]:

Madam E. Guerin to Speak to L’Alliance Francaise

L’Alliance Francaise has arranged for a special meeting Tuesday night at 8 o’clock on the mezzanine floor of the Hotel Utah, when Madam E. Guerin, sometimes called the Bernhardt of the rostrum, will speak for the children of devastated France.  A general invitation is extended to the public to be present.”  [The Deseret Evening News, 5 April 1920, page 7]

Will Sell Poppies For Relief Of War Waifs. 

Next Saturday Salt Lakers will be wearing bright red poppies patterned after the little flower commonly seen in French meadows.  The little paper emblems will show that they have contributed to the fund being gathered here for children in the war zone who have been in towns behind the German lines.  One hundred pretty girls of the city will be delegated to wage the poppy war for funds. Donations of whatever denomination the buyer wishes to give will be accepted for the flower.  To interest Salt Lakers in the campaign, Madame E. Guerin, noted French lecturer, will arrive in the city today …  The American and French Children’s League is directing the collection of $10,000 in this country for the French youngsters.  The local collection will be placed with a local bank and forwarded direct to General Legrand-Girarde of the Credit Foncier d’Algerie of Tulsie, Paris.”   [Deseret News, 5 April 1920]

DRIVE IN AID OF FRENCH KIDDIES. 

Salt Lake City to Be Canvassed for Sum of Ten Thousand Dollars.

Under the auspices of the American and French Children’s league, a campaign for $10,000 to be canvassed in Salt Lake to aid French kiddies, started yesterday.

Mme. E. Guerin, noted French lecturer, delegated by the French government to tour the United States in behalf of the campaign, will arrive today. She is scheduled to deliver an address Monday afternoon at the University of Utah.  Tuesday evening, Mme. Guerin will speak in French before the “Alliance Francaise” at the Hotel Utah.  Wednesday she will lecture to the high school students. Thursday evening she will speak in the assembly hall before the Mormon church conference.

Following the Thursday talk Prof. J. J. McClellan will render an organ recitial.

The canvass of Salt Lake for money will take place Saturday.  Poppies will be sold then on downtown streets and proceeds of the sales will be turned over to the league treasurer, General Legrand-Girarde. Of the Credit Foncier d’Algerie et Tuisie, Paris, by the local representatives.

More than one hundred of Salt Lake’s prettiest girls will be delegated to wage the poppy war for funds.  Donations will be accepted in whatever amount the buyer of the flower wishes to give.”  [The Salt Lake Herald Republican, 5 April 1920, page 12]

Madame Anna Guérin stayed at the Hotel Utah and, upon her arrival, she was interviewed by the Salt Lake Telegram [sic]:

FRENCH WOMAN TO START DRIVE HERE. 

Madame Guerin Appeals in Behalf of Children. 

Madame E. Guerin, who is speaking in the leading cities of the country in behalf of the French children’s league, arrived in Salt Lake today.  A week’s campaign in Salt Lake will be started tomorrow.  Madame Guerin is an officer of education in France and wears many medals for work done during the war.  She has made nine trips to America in the interests of the Alliance Francaise.

When interviewed at the Hotel Utah the distinguished Frenchwoman said:  “This past war has been more than battles.  It is an epoch in the history of humanity for which we have had the martyrs of the great cause of civilization.  Our Yankee boys are now sleeping in Flanders’ fields where the poppies will ever bloom in springtime.  The poppy day we shall never forget.  We must not forget.  And next Saturday some of the prominent of Salt Lake women will aid our cause by selling these flowers, symbolic of our hero dead.

“It is in April, the day America declared war on the Huns in the splendid cause of humanity.  The days in which American mothers were making in their hearts the supreme sacrifice.  The day on which every boy in this country was prepared to give up everything in the noble cause.  In memory of those boys who were chosen for the sacrifice, the French Children’s league will offer these poppies for sale.”

“The aim of the Alliance Francaise,” continued Madame Guerin, “is to promulgate and encourage the affection and friendship between the two sister republics.  But the immediate aim and purpose of the organization is to aid the 450,000 homeless orphans in the devastated regions of northern France.  And for that cause I have come to Salt Lake.”

Tomorrow Madame Guerin will speak to the students of the University of Utah at 11:30 a.m. and to the students of the East and West High schools in the afternoon.  In the evening she will speak in French at the Hotel Utah and all who speak French are urged to attend.  In the Assembly hall on the Tabernacle grounds, Thursday night, a general meeting will be addressed.”

The next day (06th), Anna Guérin spoke to the students of the University of Utah at 11.30 a.m.

At 8 o’clock in the evening, Anna spoke in French before l’Alliance Française members and a general audience, on the mezzanine floor of the Hotel Utah.   The members agreed to assist Anna in her ‘Poppy Day’ venture.

The Hotel Utah stood on South Temple and Main Streets, which was across the street from ‘Temple Square’ – where the Mormon/Latter Day Saints Church Office Building stood in one direction; and the Mormon Temple and Tabernacle stood in another.  In April 1920, the Hotel Utah was less than 9 years old.  The Mormon Church was a major stockholder in the Hotel. The hotel shut its doors in 1987 and is now known as the ‘Joseph Smith Memorial Building’ – after being converted, it is now a “multi-purpose building” for the Church.  Anna was staying at the Hotel Utah during her visit to Salt Lake City.

Several articles appeared in Salt Lake newspapers on 6 April 1920:

1)     The Salt Lake Telegram [sic]:

FRENCHWOMAN RELATES WAR OUTRAGES. 

Madame Guerin Addresses University Folk in Behalf of Starving Tots;

Tells of Devastation.

Before a large crowd of University of Utah students, Madame E. Guerin, French lecturer and representative of the French government’s organization for the protection of the children of devastated regions, delivered her first lecture in Salt Lake today.

“For four and a half years the little children of my home country have lived in undescribable conditions. Hundreds have died, some have been taken care of by the government, but there are more than a million and a half fatherless and in some cases motherless children living in caves, cellars and dugouts.  Many are paralyzed by rheumatism and scores are victims of tuberculosis.

THOUSANDS OF OUTRAGES.

“To add to the misery and horror of the homeless children, there are no less than 200,000 French girls that have been forced to bear unlawful German children.  Never in the history of the world has such an outrage been forced upon any nation as has been forced upon the people of my country.

“The people of France fully appreciate to the very bottom of their hearts what the Americans have done for them.  If any of you students ever hear the remark of ‘America did not win the war,’ then you can say ‘America might not have won the war, but at any rate she finished it.’  I could never in a lifetime tell you what your boys have done to help upbuild my country.  In one year the Yankees built more factories, hospitals, buildings and promoted industry further and better than my people could have done in an entire generation.

PAY DEBT OF LAFAYETTE.

“America has more than paid the debt she owed to Lafayette, yes paid it with heavy interest.  There is not a person in the entire country that does not look up to the Yankee soldier and to the entire American nation for its help in France’s darkest hour.

 “Surely France will be on her feet much more quickly with help.  We are the last nation to beg.  Now that we have asked for help, we are only asking for help that is needed, and will be appreciated.  Every cent of money that is raised in this country for the starving children of France will be sent direct to the French government to be spent in making the lives of the poor motherless children just a little sweeter.  The people of France cannot do much to help these conditions.  At present 45 per cent of all the properties and earnings of the people are taxed to help remedy conditions.  The aid of American, France’s worshiped friend, has been asked.”

UTAH ASKED FOR $10,000.

Utah has been asked to raise $10,000 to help in the protection of the French fatherless children.

Saturday has been set aside as the campaign day to raise the fund, and young girls of the city, from the university and all of the local high schools, will canvass the business district asking for donations.  If arrangements can be made the girls will also invade Bonneville park during the afternoon.

SMALL AMOUNT FROM EACH.

The amount of money asked from each individual will be very small, the amounts ranging from 25 cents to $1, or whatever the citizens may feel like giving to such a noble cause.

Madame Guerin will address the members of the L’Alliance Francaise this evening on the mezzanine floor of the Hotel Utah.  She will talk in French, and the meeting will start promptly at 8 o’clock.  Tomorrow she will visit the local high schools.  Friday evening she will talk to the citizens in a public meeting to be held in the Assembly hall.  No money will be collected at any of these meetings, but the drive will last all day Saturday.

Either late Saturday evening or early Sunday morning Madame Guerin and her secretary, Mrs. Harry O’Brien, known in literary circles as “Polly Pry,” will leave for Provo, where they will make a drive for funds.  Later they will hold a campaign in Ogden, and then in Logan.

NOTABLE SPONSORS.

All the money collected in Utah will be turned over to W. W. Armstrong, who has been appointed to send the money directly to the French government.  The following committee has also been selected to aid in the drive: Governor and Mrs. Simon Bamberger, Presidents Heber J. Grant, Anthon H. Lund and Charles E. Penrose of the L.D.S. church, Dr. T. b. Beatty, G. N. Child, Mrs. R. C. Gemmell, Mrs. Solomon Stegel, Mrs. G. Y. Wallace, Mrs. James Hogle, Miss Evelyn I. Mayer, Dr. John A, Widisoe, E. F. Colborn and the members of the L’Alliance Francaise.”

2)     The Salt Lake Tribune [sic]:

FRENCH CHILDREN LIVE IN CELLARS. 

Madame E. Guerin, Lecturer, Here to Plead Cause of War Unfortunates.

“If France had received its first war indemnity, the nation would have been proud to take care of its own people, but, not having received it, America is being called upon to assist, especially in helping care for thousands of French “orphans,” said Madame E. Guerin, French lecturer and representative of the French government’s organization for the protection of the children of devasted regions, who arrived in Salt Lake yesterday.

“Surely France will be on her feet much more quickly with help.  The people of America must not judge conditions in France by what they read, for there is suffering.  Although perhaps France made a mistake in not keeping the poor refugees elsewhere, the desire to see their former homes in the devastated regions caused them to return.  With railroad facilities hampered, and with conditions so unsettled, the people are greatly hampered in making their new start in life, and need assistance.”

Madame Guerin is visiting in Utah to ask for immediate relief for the children of the devasted regions.  For four years and a half they have lived in indescribable conditions, she said.  Hundreds have died, some have been taken care of by the government, but 450,000, she said, remain, living in caves, cellars and homes in the ground, paralysed by rheumatism and victims of tuberculosis, Madame Guerin continued.  The $10,000 asked for in the state of Utah is to be used in housing, feeding and giving the children a new lease on life, she said.

Saturday has been set apart as the single campaign day to raise the fund, and young girls of Salt Lake and other cities will be on the streets giving out poppies, symbolizing “Flanders,” to contributors, who are asked to give whatever they can.

Another purpose of Madame Guerin’s visit is to form the American and French children’s league to promote, through mutual understanding, the continuation of friendship.  In every state in which the quota is raised each school, club and organization assisting will receive a certificate that will entitle the community to free lectures by Frenchmen who will be sent annually to America.  When the immediate need of France is met, the plan is to make a permanent endowment of free French lectureships in America.

Madame Guerin will speak today at the University of Utah assembly and tonight, at 8 o’clock, in French to the Salt Lake branch of L’Alliance Francaise at the Hotel Utah.  Wednesday she will address public meeting in the Assembly hall. No collections will be taken at these meetings.

Mrs. Harry O’Brien, known in literary circles as “Poppy Pry,” is assisting Madame Guerin, and will tell of her two years’ work with the Red Cross in the Balkans.

W. W. Armstrong* has been appointed to take care of the money raised in Utah, and the following committee has been named, which includes Governor and Mrs. Simon Bamberger, Presidents Heber J. Grant, Anthon H. Lund and Charles W. Penrose of the L. D. S. church, Dr. T. B. Beatty, G. N. Child, Mrs. R. C. Gernmell, Mrs. Solomon Siegel, Mrs. G. Y. Wallace, Mrs. James Hogle, Miss Evelyn I. Mayer, Dr. John A. Widtsoe, E. F. Colborn and members of L’Alliance Francaise.”   [*William Wright Armstrong (Wisconsin-born): Banker / President, National Co-op Bakeries]

3)     The Deseret Evening News – it printed two articles mentioning Madame Guérin [sic]:

Page 9:French Woman Says America Has Paid Her Debt to France.

Experiences in devastated France were recounted by Madame E. Guerin, of Paris, delegate to the American and French Children’s League, who is making a lecture tour of the country, in an address before the students and faculty members of the University of Utah, this morning.

Madame Guerin declared that there are today more than 1,000,000 disabled men in France, and one and one-half million of fatherless children.  She described the part of France which was under the yoke of the Germans for four and a half years, and said that no human mind could conceive of the destruction and misery left behind by the Germans.  She declared that in this section there occurred the greatest crimes against womanhood that humanity has recorded in all history.

In speaking of the fighting qualities of the American soldiers, she declared that the armistice was possible so soon because of the efforts of the Americans.

“Americans may not have won the war, but they finished it.  The French were lost when the Americans came.  The Americans have paid their debt to France and have earned the gratitude of the French forever.”

Madame Guerin has been in this country during the winters since October, 1914.  In the summers she made visits each year in France, going over the country and aiding in the patriotic work.  She has lectured in every state in the Union and her present tour is extending from coast to coast.”

Page 13:APPEALS FOR FUNDS FOR FRENCH CHILDREN.

“The French government may have made a mistake in allowing its refugees to return to their ruined home villages, but the natural longing for home was the thing which took them back,” said Madam E. Guerin yesterday upon her arrival in Salt Lake to plead the cause of refugee French children.  “And there they have stayed,” she declared, “living in caves, cellars and with homes on the ground, half paralysed, and tubercular.  If France had received its first war indemnity it would not have been necessary to have sought the financial aid in America for caring for 450,000 children, but France will get on her feet much more quickly with help.”

Madam Guerin has not only come here to ask Utah citizens to give $10,000 for the care of these children, but to organize branches of the American and French children’s league to promote mutual understanding and continued friendship between the two nations.  She spoke at the University this morning and will appear before L’Alliance Francaise this evening, besides before other audiences later in the week.

For the money to be raised on Saturday, “Poppy Day,” W. W. Armstrong has been appointed trustee.  He will turn the sum directly over to the French government.  Members of his committee are: Governor and Mrs. Simon Bamberger, Presidents Heber J. Grant, Anthon H. Lund and Charles W. Penrose of the L. D. S. Church, Dr. T. B. Beatty, G. N. Child, Mrs. R. C. Gemmell, Mrs. Solomon Siegel, Mrs. G. Y. Wallace, Mrs. James Hogle, Miss Evelyn I. Mayer, Dr. John A. Widtsoe, E. F. Colborn and members of L’Alliance Francaise.”

On Wednesday 07 April, there was a committee meeting to decide on arrangements for the Poppy Drive.  Anna also spoke at West high school and Roland Hall academy on that day.

Madame Guérin’s Hotel Utah, centre; Assembly Hall, in front of Hotel Utah; Mormon Temple, left of Hotel Utah; Mormon Tabernacle in front of Mormon Temple. Courtesy of Heather Anne Johnson.

Madame Guérin’s Hotel Utah, centre; Assembly Hall, in front of Hotel Utah; Mormon Temple, left of Hotel Utah; Mormon Tabernacle in front of Mormon Temple.
Courtesy of Heather Anne Johnson.

Several newspapers on the 7 April, enlightened their readers:

1)     Salt Lake Telegram [sic]:

POPPIES BADGE IN FRENCH DRIVE

Girls Will Distribute Blooms in the Business District Saturday in Aid of the Orphans.

“A RED poppy for every citizen of Salt Lake,” was the slogan adopted this morning by the committee in charge of the drive which will take place Saturday for the purpose of raising money for the orphan children of France.  Over 200 society girls of the city have volunteered to canvass the business district Saturday and everyone that donates his offering to the cause will receive a red poppy to wear. 

According to plans made this morning the girls will carry sealed cigar boxes, with a slot cut just large enough for a dollar coin.  The citizens will drop their offerings in the box and then at the close of the day the boxes will be opened by the committee and the money sent directly to France by W. W. Armstrong, who has been appointed to handle the matter.

GIVE AS YOU CAN.

Utah has been asked to raise $10,000 for the cause.  No certain amount has been set for the individual to give.  This will be left entirely up to the donator.  Mrs. Harry O’Brien, who is assisting Madame E. Guerin in the campaign throughout the country, stated this morning that a large donation for the individual will not be necessary if everyone that is approached during the day will give something.  In the recent drive for funds in Denver, she stated, it was the smaller donations that the girls raised from school children that brought the sum into large figures. 

Miss Helen Hanchett, with twenty or more University of Utah girls, will invade Bonneville park during the afternoon and will extract the money from the baseball fans.

Madame Guerin visited the West High school and the Roland Hall academy this morning and addressed the members of the student body and faculties of both schools.

SECONDARY PURPOSE.

While Madame Guerin is visiting Utah to ask for immediate relief for the children of the devastated regions of France, she is also here for another purpose—the forming of an American and French children’s league to promote, through mutual understanding, the continuation of national friendship.  In every state in which the quota is raised each school, club and organization assisting will receive a certificate that will entitle the community to free lectures by Frenchmen who will be sent annually to America.  When the immediate need of France is met, the plan is to make a permanent endowment of free French lectureship in America.

Tomorrow evening Madame Guerin will address a public meeting to be held in the Assembly hall.  A large crowd is expected at this meeting, as already a number of church and club leaders are urging their members to attend.  Yesterday, at one of the sessions of conference, President Grant requested that the members of the church who could possibly attend the lecture to do so.

LEGION INTERESTED.

Madame Guerin has a big message for the American people and audiences that she has addressed while her in the city have fully appreciated the great work she is doing.

To wind up the drive Saturday, the American legion will give a French “poppy Dance” and the public will be invited.  The proceeds from the dance will be turned over to the fund.  The place of the dance has not been definitely decided upon, but the state capitol looms up as a probably choice of the committee.”

2)     Salt Lake Tribune’s edition carried two articles on two separate pages:

Page 7 [sic]: “FRENCH LECTURER APPEALS FOR FUND.

Mrs. Jeannette A. Hyde has been appointed chairman of the Salt Lake committee to assist Madame E. Guerin, French lecturer and representative of the French government’s organization for the protection of the children in the devastated regions. Mrs. Hyde will have charge of the city campaign and will be assisted by Salt Lake girls Saturday in the drive for funds.

Madame Guerin spoke at several gatherings yesterday.  At the meeting of the Woman’s Leonard Wood league at the Hotel Utah she said that France for years had been guardian of civilization and wished to go hand in hand with America.  In behalf of the suffering children of France she thanked her hearers for their interest.  At the University of Utah she vividly pictured actual conditions, and declared the people of France fully appreciate what Americans have already done.  Madame Guerin also addressed l’Alliance Francaise last night.”

On page 10, within an article headed “SEVEN NOMINATED TO HEAD ROTARY.” mention was made of Madame Guérin [sic]:

Wesley E. King, B. F. Redman, C. B. Hawley, F. C. Richmond, Dr. A. C. Wherry, W. B. McCarthy and A. D. McMullen were nominated last night for president of the Salt Lake Rotary club … Madame E. Guerin, French lecturer , spoke in behalf of the orphaned children of France. …” 

3)     The Deseret Evening News also printed two articles on its pages 8 and 20 [sic]:

Page 8: “Mrs. Hyde Heads Drive For French Children.

The appointment of Mrs. Janette A. Hyde as chairman of the Salt Lake committee to aid in the protection of French children in the devastated region, has been announced.   Mrs. Hyde will have charge of the city campaign for funds, to be waged Saturday.

Madame E. Guerin spoke before the Leonard Wood league yesterday afternoon.  She vividly pictured conditions in France before students of the U. of U yesterday morning, and also spoke before L’Alliance Francaise last night.”

Page 20:  The article noted business of the Salt Lake Rotary club at a meeting at “Seven Would Serve Rotary President. … Madame E. Guerin, who is touring America in the interest of a French orphan fund, spoke in behalf of the orphans of France.”

On Thursday 08 April 1920, Anna Guérin spoke at the East side high school in the morning and at St. Mary’s academy in the afternoon.  In the evening, she spoke at a public meeting at the Assembly hall – all in Salt Lake City.   On 08 April, again the Deseret News and its evening edition confirmed Anna’s engagements for that Thursday [sic]: “Madame spoke at the East Side high school in the morning; at St. Mary’s academy in the afternoon; and at the Assembly Hall in the evening. Big ball at the State Capitol on Saturday, 10 April – Poppy Day. 

Speaks For French Children.

In behalf of little French children in the war zone, Madame E. Guerin will speak this evening in the Assembly hall.   Madame Guerin is a noted French lecturer and has come here not only to raise funds for these children but also to organize a branch here of the American and French Children’s League.   … 

Mrs. Emmeline B. Wells was yesterday named honorary president of the local branch of the American and French Children’s League, and Pres. Heber J. Grant was asked to serve on the honorary committee.  Mrs. Jeanette A. Hyde, local chairman of the league, announced other officers as follows Miss Lucy Cann Cott, first vice chairman; Mrs. C.H. McMahon, second vice chairman. 

Some 500 U. of U. and high school girls will on Saturday wage the Poppy Day fund campaign in the city.  On Friday a preliminary campaign will be waged when twenty girls, members of “The Passing Show,” will be stationed at Main street corners for twenty minutes at noon to sell the poppies.  Saturday at noon a parade will be held by school girls and Boy Scouts, the Boy Scout band leading the line of march.  The same day 30 girls under the leadership of Helen Hanchett will invade Bonneville park.  … 

This morning plans were made for a big ball at the State Capitol Saturday evening as a wind up affair of “Poppy Day.”  Mayor and Mrs. Bock will lead the grand march.  A French artists will give several recitations and sing the “Marseillaise” to open the affair and Mrs. Bock will also be official chaperone for the occasion.”

The Salt Lake Telegram printed an article too, on the same day [sic]:

BOY SCOUTS WILL AID IN CAMPAIGN. 

Final Arrangements for Drive for French Orphans.

Boy Scouts have been called out to help in the drive for funds for the French orphans of the devastated regions, which will take place here Saturday.  According to present plans made by Jeanette Hyde, chairman of the committee in charge of the drive, the Boy Scouts will open the drive early Saturday morning, when they will parade the downtown streets.

A local box manufacturer has agreed to furnish gratis the 500 boxes that will be used for collecting the donations.

Mrs. Lucy Van Cott, dean of women of the University of Utah, will see that at least a hundred university girls are on hand Saturday to help extract the money from the local citizens.

This evening Madame E. Guerin will address a public meeting in Assembly hall.  No admission will be charged, and no collection taken.  Madame Guerin has been addressing schools and clubs since her arrival Monday.  This morning she visited the East high school, and this afternoon she will make an address at St. Mary’s academy.

It has been decided to hold the dance that will wind up the drive Saturday night at the capitol.  Mrs. E. A. Bock is chairman of the dance committee.  The grand march will be led by the mayor and Mrs. Bock.

An admission charge of 50 cents a couple will be made.”

Madame Anna Guérin spoke at the Salt Lake Assembly Hall on 08 April 1920. Courtesy of Heather Anne Johnson.

Madame Anna Guérin spoke at the Salt Lake Assembly Hall on 08 April 1920. Courtesy of Heather Anne Johnson.

The Salt Lake Herald Republican (8 April 1920) also promoted the Poppy Day – seemingly assuming they would be native yellow poppies and not Madame Guérin’s red ones [sic]:

GOLDEN POPPIES TO START FUND FOR FRENCH KIDDIES. 

Co-ed and School Girls Will Sell Flowers for League.

Golden poppies, as a symbol of sacrifice, will be offered for sale as a means of raising funds for the American and French Childrens’ league.  The Poppy day drive will begin Saturday with 500 University of Utah coeds, under the direction of Dean Lucy Cott, and high school girls under Martha Jennings.  The girls will dispose of the boutonnieres in shops, banks and business houses.

Mme. E. Guerin, who represents the French people, is organizing and lecturing for the American and French Childrens’ league.  Mrs. Emmeline B. Wells and President Heber J. Grant have been asked to serve on the honorary committee for this movement.

Mrs. Jeannette Hyde was yesterday made chairman of the local committee of the league, Mrs. McMahon, second vice-chairman, and Miss Lucy Van Cott, first vice-chairman, The Alliance Francaise will also act.

Friday a preliminary campaign will be made when twenty girls, members of the Passing Show, will be stationed on the corners of Main street for twenty minutes at noon with baskets of poppies.

Saturday a parade of the school girls and Boy Scouts will take place at noon.  The Boy Scout band in a poppy float will lead the parade.

Students and faculty of Rowland Hall and the West Side High school heard Madame Guerin talk of the French children yesterday.

Thirty girls from the University of Utah under the leadership of Helen Hanchett will invade Bonneville park Saturday.”

Not to be out-done on the 8th April 1920, The Salt Lake Tribune printed this article on page 19 [sic]:

MADAME E. GUERIN TO SPEAK TONIGHT.

Madame E. Guerin, French lecturer, will speak at a public meeting in the Assembly hall tonight in behalf of a fund for the French children of devastated regions.  Mrs. Harry O’Brien, newspaper woman, will also made an address.  Professor John J. McClellan will play the organ.

Mrs. Emmeline B. Wells was named yesterday by Mme. Guerin an honorary president of the American and French Children’s league.

The lecturer spoke at the West high school yesterday and will address an assembly at the East high school this morning at 9 o’clock.”

… and this on page 20 [sic]:

WOMEN ORGANIZE WESTERN CLUB.

Intermountain and Coast Federation Is Formed and Officers Elected. 

Delegates Are Luncheon Guest of Manufacturers at Noon Meeting.

Organization of the intermountain and coast federated club women was affected yesterday at the Commercial club and the two days’ conference of representatives of women’s clubs of the intermountain and coast sections to Salt Lake was brought to a close.  Officers were elected and a constitution and by-laws were adopted. … …

The object of the organization, as outlined in the constitution and by-laws, is for the purpose of promoting good fellowship among intermountain club women and to promote whatever may be for the welfare of intermountain and coast states. The annual meeting of the federation will be held in April in some one of the states represented in the federation and will be by invitation.

A conference of presidents of the federated clubs of Utah and chairmen of departments and committees opened a session at the Commercial club yesterday. 

Guests at Luncheon.           

Delegates to the Intermountain and state conference were guests of the Utah Manufacturers’ association at luncheon at the Commercial club at 12:15 o’clock yesterday.  The menu consisted of Utah products as a boost to western consumers’ week. … … …

Brief talks were made by Mrs. J. E. Gayer at Boseman, Mont., who said that instead of the term “new women,” she thought that that of “new men,” woud be more appropriate, since the up-to-date woman was coming into her own through a change in the mental attitude of men, Mrs. M. H. Flynn of Grand Junction, Colorado, also spoke and Madam E. Guerin, who is here in the interest of French orphans, paid a pretty tribute to America’s part in the great world war.”

On 9 April 1920, Madame Guérin gave a lecture at the Bryant school in Salt Lake City.  Also on that day, there was a “preliminary” event to Saturday’s “Poppy Day” – where some girls sold poppies for 20 minutes at noon for the benefit of the Children’s League – so she would have probably been involved with that.  Additionally, it is logical that she would have been making last minute preparations ahead of next day’s full Poppy Day.

On that day (9 April 1920), four articles have been found printed in local newspapers:

1)     Deseret Evening News ran this article [sic]:

FRENCH CHILDREN IN PITIABLE CONDITION AS RESULT OF WAR. 

Madame Guerin says Four Million Lack Homes and Proper Food. 

Picturing the “hope of France” as pitiful little children who have lost their minds, forgotten how to read and write, forgotten how to smile, children with hacking coughs and rheumatic limbs, Madame E. Guerin told of one outcome of the war last evening in the Assembly hall.   She stated that France has 4,000,000 children without homes, without proper food and that 600,000 of these are in a dreadful condition of health.   Forty per cent, she stated tubercular and a large majority have lost their identity, their very names being lost in the chaos of war.  The sight of these pitiful little creatures has broken the hearts of many observers, the speaker declared.   

Mrs. Harry O’Brien, Denver Newspaper woman who has done overseas service in the Balkans, declared that she hoped the people of Utah would appreciate the good that the money that they had contributed to the Red Cross was doing.  She told how children were being picked from the very gutters dying from starvation and disease and were being cared for by the Red Cross.  Prof. J.J. McClellan played the “Marseillaise” preceding the lecture. 

Dr. James E. Talmage introduced the two ladies and A.W. Ivins gave a brief address. 

Campaign for Funds. 

As a preliminary to “Poppy Day” Saturday, girls of the Passing Show began a campaign on the down town streets of the city to gather funds for the French children.  They sold poppies for 20 minutes at noon for the benefit of the fund.  

The following hostesses have been named for the ball to be given Saturday night at the State Capitol: Mrs. Torild Arnoldson, Miss M. Domenge, Mrs. W. Mont Ferry, Mrs. M.C. Jennings, Mrs. Lafayette Hanchett, Mrs. R.C. Gemmell and Mrs. J.A. Hogie, Jnr.  Tickets for the ball may be obtained from the women who are to act as hostesses, Madame Guerin at the Hotel Utah, and will also be sold by the girls who are to sell poppies on Saturday. Fifty cents a couple will be charged.  Refreshments will be served free and a band of 10 pieces will furnish the music.  It is expected that the young people of the university and high school will attend in large numbers.”

2)     The Salt Lake Herald Republican [sic]:

CHILDREN’S LEAGUE IS GIVEN IMPETUS. 

Organize to Succor Youthful War Victims; Plea of Mme. Guerin.

“Children under their ‘teens have lost their minds, children a little older have forgotten how to read and write, how to speak, how to smile and these are ‘the hope of France,’” emphatically snapped Mme. E. Guerin last night to an audience in the Assembly hall.

“Most horrible is the plight of these children.  For four and a half years in cellars and holes; now paralyzed by rheumatism, succumbing by the thousand to tuberculosis, many maimed by wounds, ruined by poisonous gas, and a multitude with tense, unsmiling faces that have broken the hearts of so many observers.” 

The purpose of the spirited talk was not just to raise funds for French children, but to organize a branch here of the American and French Children’s league.  The lecturer told of plans for selling poppies by members of the “Passing Show” today at noon.

Mme. Guerin spoke at the East Side High school and St. Mary’s academy yesterday.  She will address the Bryant school today.

Mrs. Harry O’Brien talked on Red Cross methods of spending money for war sufferers in the company she was with in the Balkan states.  She praised Utah and the middle west states for good work done in raising funds for the Red Cross.

The State Capitol building was chosen for a dance to be given Saturday night to mark the close of “Poppy day.”  Mayor and Mrs. Bock will lead the grand march.  Funds from the dance will swell the French orphans’ fund.”

3)     The Ogden Standard Examiner (page 6) [sic]:

PLAN DRIVE FOR ORPHAN FRENCH. 

Mme. E. Guerin Will Speak in This City Next Week in Children’s Behalf.

On behalf of the suffering children of France, Madam E, Guerin will be in Ogden during the coming week to give lectures to women’s clubs and school children on the conditions of France.  Professor L. Barker of the department of languages at the University of Utah was in Ogden yesterday and gave an address in which he pleaded for the children of that country.  He said that Madame Guerin, who had given a series of lectures at the university, had portrayed the condition of that country vividly in Salt Lake addresses.

Mrs. Philip Warren Knisely of Ogden has been appointed chairman of the arrangement committee to assist Madame Guerin while in Ogden.  Madame Guerin is a representative of the French government and is lecturing throughout the United States.  Mrs. Knisely will be assisted by Miss Eva Erb, chairman of the Ogden committee of the French destitute orphans, Mrs. Royal Eccles and Mrs. James De Vine.

Madame Guerin will speak in Ogden next Tuesday and Wednesday, Tuesday at 10 a. m., at the Ogden high school, later at the Weber Normal college and at the Sacred Heart academy.  Plans are being made for the poppy drive, which will offer an opportunity of raising funds for the American and French children league.  Hundreds of Ogden high school students, Weber Normal college students and Sacred Heart students under the direction of the alumni associations of the school.  For the Ogden high school there will be Mrs. John Spargo, chairman; Mrs. Marriner Browning, Mrs. Hugh M. Rowe, and Mrs. Donald H. Rhivers; for Weber Normal college, there will be Mrs. E. A. Larkin, chairman, Mrs. Louie H. Perry, Mrs. W. L. Paine, Mrs. Joseph Eccles, Mrs. John Franklin Ellis.  The students will dispose of bouttonieres in shops and business houses.

Mayor Frank Francis, Rev. John E. Carver, Superintendent W. Karl Hopkins and President H. A. Dixon have been named on the honorary committee.”

4)     The Salt Lake Tribune (page 2) [sic]:

NEEEDS OF FRENCH CHILDREN TOLD. 

Appeal is Made for Little Ones Suffering in Devastated Regions.

“We have 4,000,000 children without homes and without proper food, and among them there are about 600,000 in a dreadful condition of health, undersized and emaciated,” said Madam E. Guerin is an appeal at the Assembly hall last night in behalf of the suffering childen of the devastated region of France.

“Forty per cent of these children are suffering from tubercolosis and some of them are so destitute that they have even lost their names.”

Mrs. Harry O’Brien, Denver newspaper woman who has seen two years of war work service overseas, spoke of the need of a continuance of Red Cross work in the Balkans.  She said she wished to make the people of Utah realize how much good every cent that they contributed to the Red Cross had done in these devastated countries, where it was no uncommon thing to pick children out of the gutters, dying from starvation and disease.

Professor J. J. McClellan played the “Marseillaise” on the organ proceding the lectures.

The preliminary campaign to raise £10,000 for the child martyrs of France will start today, when twenty girls of the “Passing Show,” playing at the Salt Lake theatre, will be stationed at Main street corners for twenty minutes at noon, to sell poppies.

Saturday 500 girls of the University of Utah and the high schools will do their part is making the “Poppy day” fund a success.

A ball will be given at the capitol Saturday evening, commencing at 8:30 o’clock, under the direction of Madam Guerin.  A band of ten pieces will furnish music.  Refreshments will be free and fifty cents per couple will be charged for admission.  It is hoped by those in charge that the young people of the University of Utah and the high schools will attend in large numbers.  Mayor E. A. Bock and wife will lead the grand march.

The following will act as hostesses: Mrs. Torild Arnoldson, Miss M. Domenge, Mrs. W. Mont Ferry, Mrs. M. C. Jennings, Mrs. M. Lafayette Hanchett, Mrs. R. C. Gemmell and Mrs. J. A. Hogle, Jr.  Tickets for the ball may be obtained from the women who are to act as hostesses, Madam Guerin, at the Hotel Utah, and they will also be sold by the girls who are to sell poppies on Saturday.”

And so … 10 April 1920 arrived … Salt Lake City’s ‘Poppy Day’.

However, the bad weather arrived too (as Anna recounted in her 1921 speech/report in Paris) and that ‘Poppy Day’ collection was cut short – but all was not lost … because Salt Lake City residents were generous and the city would have another.  As usual, newspapers recorded the events of that day – the six found appear below, in no particular order.

1)     The Salt Lake Herald Republican printed one long article over two pages:

Page 9 [sic]: The Salt Lake Herald Republican (pages 9 & 10, 10 April 1920) [sic]:

POPPIES ARE TO BE TRUMPS IN DRIVE TO HELP FRANCE. 

Flaming Flowers Tempt All to Aid Cause of Humanity.  By Phyllis Brown.

THE big drive is on.  An army of charming young girls is going over the top in the Poppy day drive to be launched in Salt Lake today for the benefit of the war orphans of France.  Like scarlet banners of victory the poppies will flame at every street corner from the arms of the fair vendors and the dainty baskets made by the girls under the direction of Mrs. Eleanor Sears.  Poppies and smiles greet Salt Lakers at every turn.  They seem an irresistible combination, for Salt Lakers who are giving to the French league fund with a philanthropic work.

The University of Utah has contributed $126.24 as a result of the Poppy drive on the campus Friday.

Show Girls to Help

Friday the Boy scouts gathered at the Civic center to paste labels over the cash boxes that they might be perfectly sealed.  Today they will assist in displaying a huge poppy as a symbol of Poppy day.

The campaign will begin at 9 o’clock this morning, when 500 school girls and debutantes assemble at the Civic center ready to carry the Poppy day message into the shops and business houses.  A feature of the drive will be street corner speeches by Mme. E. Guerin, representing the French league, who will ride in an automobile truck amid garlands of poppies.

The Marion Morgan dancers from the Orpheum and the “Passing Show” girls from the Salt Lake theatre will assist in the sale during the afternoon.

Girls from the East and West High schools will work under the direction of the following teachers: Misses Gladys Thomas, Minnie L. Cunningham, Florence Morrow, Laberta Dysart, Marion Van Pelt, May Kyle, Persa Higginbothan, Dorothy Day, Matilda Hedquist.

Flower Girls Named.

The high school girls are Dorothy Wilson, Ruth Hanchfield, Leona Smith, Phyliss Reeder, AdelGustin, Lorna Garrett, Grace Winkleman, Jane Hankton, Angela Dunyon, Helen Leggat, Helen Findling, Morell Melton, Margaret McKenzie, Julia Shores, Lucile Parkinson, Kathleen Harms, Josephine Rite, Elizabeth Pler, Laura Wilson, Pearl Bradley, Helen Knight, Isabel Westerdahl, Jane Booth, Louise Covey, Caroline Cannon, Marjorie Billings, Beatrice Lambourne, Golda Butler, Beth McIntosh, Dorothy Anderson, Margaret Fisher, Margaret Dunn.

Eleanor Van Cott, Dorothy Chamberlain, Ina Anson, Angeline Martell, Carolyn Rosenberg, Helen Schwelkart, Maurine Brown, Charlotte Primrose, Fera Peterson, Mary Siddoway, Nanna Wolfe, Dorothy Vogeler, Elsie Gandring, Virginia Reany, Helen Brown, Janet Reid, Virginia Foley, Dahrl Evans, Virginia Hull, Isabel Morgan, Mildred Brown, Elizabeth Johnson, Mary Winder, Leigh Nord, Emilie Sweet, Frances Brown, Theodora Hand, Retha Abrahamson, Elna Taylor, Clara Neibaur, Neva Clegg, Josephine Smith, Laura Wilson, Miriam Lamrs, Grace Derrick, Barbara Bacon, Eleanor Landenberger, Kathryn McGee, Dorothy Gaylord, Katherine Hoppaugh, Ruth Jennings, Grace Sheriff, Barbara Borse, Halleen Ivy, Gladys Griffin, Lois Bacon, June Harwood, Katherine Chandler, Louise Tinge.

Afton Madson, Beatrice Reilly, Josephine Hall, Ora Sharp, Maxine Wilde, Elizabeth Donnell, Helen Oswald, Erina Gibson, Isabel Gates, Audrey Cook, Maurine Worlton, Muriel Gayford, Florence Ray, Mary Cannon, Florence Nelson, Marion Ashton, Nellie Taylor, Thelma Marsh, Margaret French, Elizabeth Lundberg, Annie Abbot, Afton Brown, Louisa Strickley, Eva Clegg, Belvar Geen, Lene Kempe, Anne Merrill, Jean Jones, Leone Fehr, Rhea Parke, Ruth Kirer.

Chairmen Selected.

All who serve today will meet at the Civic center under the direction of Mrs. Jeanette A. Hyde, chairman; Mrs. C. H. McMahon, Mrs. Murray Schick, Mrs. Clara E. Beebe, Mrs. Eleanor Sears and Mrs. Laura Tanner.  The following women will serve at the different places of business: Walker Bros., Women’s Democratic club—Mrs. Gould C. Blakely, Mrs. R. E. L. Collier, Mrs. E. A. Bock, Mrs. E. A. Woolfe, Mrs. George H. Islaub and Mrs. James H. Mays: Keith-O’Brien Women’s Republican club—Mrs. T. B. Lewis, Mrs. George Mueller, Mrs. Genevieve Wright, Mrs. leo Bachle, Mrs. E. A. Rogers, Mrs. Justine R. Davis and Miss Sarah Eddington; Commercial club, Mrs. Eleanor Sears, Mrs. Stanley Keith Sears and Mrs. Albert Daly; Hotel Utah, Mrs. Idell Kuhre, Mrs. Ed Shields, Mrs. Clela Sears, Miss Ruth Sears; Newhouse hotel, Miss Zella Gallacher, Miss Maud Cushing, Miss Eleanor Taylor and Mrs. John E. Douley Jr.; Church offices, Mrs. O. W. Beebe, Miss Ruth Wood, Miss Dorothy Parker, Miss Margaret Beebe, (Continued on Following Page)

Page 10 [sic]:  POPPIES TO BE TRUMPS IN DRIVE FOR FRANCE. (Continued From Preceding Page)

Miss Marion McCune, Miss Louise Sims, Miss Afton Romney, Miss Bessie Scholfield, Miss Lois Cannon, Miss Geraldine Smith, Miss Caroline Rosenberg, Miss Grace Young, Miss Virginia Greenwall and Miss Tressa Tingey; Baseball grounds, Miss Helen Hanchett, Vivian Williams, Frances Hitchcock, Mabel Ekart, Doris Jones, June Slater, Ruth Johnson, Louise Starbuck, Helen Fox, Mena Bithell, Eva Robinson, Marvell Tanner, Pearl Bridge, Garnel Brown, Hazel O’Brien, Louise Maguire, Ethel Whitlock, Lilian Mitchell, La? Von Hammond, Theon Worsencroft, Janet McKinley, Ethel Williams, Leonora Welker, Frances Barton, Harriet McCurdy, Lilian Godbe, Grce Mulloy, Marie Grow, Maybella Davis, Lillian Lutzkn, Gertrude Lutham, Virginia Rives and Pheobe Slater; Auerbach, Mrs. Murray Schick, Miss Ruth Bradley and Miss Jennie Brown; Z. C. M. I., Misses Fulvia Ivans, Anns Widtsoc, Marie Covey, Gelda Hyde, Helen Midgley, Edna Williams, Louise Hill and Victoria Howell.

Mme. E. Guerin and her secretary, Mrs. Harry O’Brien, will leave Sunday morning for Ogden to speak in several of the churches for the benefit of the French war sufferers.  They will return to Salt Lake to speak at the Tabernacle at 2 o’clock.”

2)     Salt Lake Telegram [sic]:

“CITY GIVES FREELY TO SWELL FUND FOR ORPHANS OF FRANCE. 

Poppy Girls Make Canvass of Buildings in Downtown District.

More than a hundred school and society girls went through the business district this morning, carrying red poppies and asking for financial help for French orphans.  As planned by the committee in charge of the drive, every local firm, office, building and store was canvassed by the girls.

Utah has been asked to raise $10,000, and from the way the girls started out this morning it is believed the full quota will be raised.

To wind up the campaign, a dance will be given in the halls of the state capitol this evening. All the local high schools and the university, besides the American legion and several local clubs, have pledge their support to the affair.  The dance will be known as the “Tricolor Ball”.

Mrs. E. A. Book has been acting as chairman of the entertainment committee, and has been assisted by Miss Lucy Van Cott, Mrs. Jeanette Hyde, Mrs. W. Mont Ferry, Mrs. William C. Jennings, Mrs. R. C. Gemmell, Mrs. J. A. Hogle, Mrs. Lafayette Hanchett, Mrs. Torild Arnoldson and Mlle. M. Domenge in making the arrangements.

The Civic Center is the headquarters for the canvassing campaign.  Mrs. Jeanette Hyde has charge of the drive, assisted by a committee.

The local Boy Scouts paraded the downtown streets this morning, carrying a large red poppy.  Yesterday they sealed more than 500 boxes, which carry the contributions today.

Madame Guerin and Mrs. Harry O’Brien will visit Ogden tomorrow morning and will address church congregations there.  During the afternoon they will return to Salt Lake to lecture in the Tabernacle.”

3)     The Salt Lake Herald Republican (page 10) [sic]:

Red Poppies Should Be Popular Today.

Madame E. Guerin, who is the head of the French benefit drive in Utah, spoke at the Bryant Junior High school yesterday on devastated and destitute parts of France.  She expects to go back to France soon, but will return to America in September, she said.  The drive starts today, in which it is expected $10,000 will be raised.  Some 200 society women of this city, several hundred students of the East High school and the Bryant Junior High school will give their services, according to the plans announced at the school.  Madame Guerin said she hoped to see a red poppy indicative of co-operation on every person in Salt Lake before she leaves.”

N.B. “She expects to go back to France soon, but will return to America in September”: Madame Guérin did not return to France as was thought – instead, she continued her Children’s League Poppy Day campaign in the U.S.A. Then, she continued with her ‘Inter-Allied Poppy Day’ idea within the U.S.A., Canada and Great Britain.  She did not return to France until September 1921, after her idea was accepted by Earl Haig and British Legion.

4)     The Salt Lake Tribune page1 [sic]:  Poppy Emblem of Charity to Destitute Tots.

TODAY is Poppy day.  A campaign will be waged all day in the interest of the destitute regions of France.  A list of women and young girls who will assist in the drive has been announced by Mrs. Jeannette A. Hyde, chairman.  The fund gatherers will invade the hotels, department stores, banks, business houses, railroad depots and ball park, and contributors will be given poppies in exchange for whatever sum the purchaser wishes to pay.

Tonight a ball will be given at the Capitol under the direction of Madam E. Guerin.  A band of ten pieces will furnish the music.  Refreshments will be free and fifty cents will be charged for admission. Mayor E. A. Bock and Mrs. Bock will lead the grand march.  Tickets may be obtained at Hotel Utah or from women and girls who will be selling poppies today.”

5)     The Deseret Evening News, page 5 [sic]:

SELL THOUSANDS OF POPPIES FOR BENEFIT OF FRENCH CHILDREN. 

Maids and Matrons of Salt Lake Conduct Drive For War Sufferers.

Pretty maids and matrons of Salt Lake are going about the streets today selling thousands of bright red paper poppies emblematic of France, for the benefit of thousands of little human war wrecks living in the war zone.  The University of Utah began the campaign yesterday by raising the sum of $126.24.  Boy Scouts worked busily all day yesterday at the civic center preparing a huge poppy day banner, which is being displayed about the city today.

Early this morning several hundred girls invaded the down town district, carrying their bags of poppies, and Madame E. Guerin, representing the American and French Children’s league, made street corner speeches to arouse enthusiasm for the campaign.  The services of the Marion Morgan dangers and the girls from the “Passing Show” were enlisted as well as the following young women in addition to those whose names have been previously announced: … [3 paragraphs of names followed]

The drive closes this evening with a grand ball at the state capitol, with prominent local women as patronesses.  Madame E. Guerin and her secretary, Mrs. Harry O’Brien, leave tomorrow for Ogden, where they will speak for the war sufferers in several of the churches.  They will return to speak at the Sunday afternoon service in the tabernacle.”

6)     The Salt Lake Tribune, page 22 [sic]:

SALT LAKE TO AID FRENCH ORPHANS.

Girls to Distribute Poppies to Contributors Today; Plan Dance Tonight.

Salt Lakers will today have an opportunity to repay the debt of gratitude due Lafayette and France, by contributing whatever they can afford to help care for the suffering orphans in the devastated regions of France.  Hundreds of Salt Lake girls, from the schools, universities and clubs, will assist in helping to fill Utah’s quota of $10,000 for the American-French Children’s league.  Every contributor will receive a red poppy, symbolizing the fields of Flanders.

W. W. Armstrong of Salt Lake will act as trustee for the money obtained in Utah. Sherman Armstrong was appointed treasurer of the fund yesterday.

The money raised, Madame E. Guerin, who is in Salt Lake for the drive, says, will be used to assist French children, and send annually French lecturers to tour American cities.  A lectureship system between the United States and France will also be established.

Tonight at the state capitol a “tricolor” ball for the American-French Children’s league will be given, commencing at 8:30 o’clock.  The public is invited. The charge for each couple will be fifty cents for dancing and refreshments.  Mayor and Mrs. E. A. Bock will lead the grand march.  Mrs. Bock will be assisted in the arrangements by Miss Lucy Van Cott, Mrs. Jeannette A. Hyde, Mrs. W. Mont Ferry. Mrs. William C. Jennings, Mrs. R. C. Gemmell, Mrs. J. A. Hogle. Mrs. Lafayette Hanchett, Mrs. Torild Arnoldson, president of the Salt Lake branch of the L’Alliance Francaise, and Mlle M. Demenge.  Madame Jane Benedict, a French artist, who is in Salt Lake, will sing as a solo number “Marseillaise.”  A ten-piece orchestra will play for the dancing.

The Civic Center will be the headquarters for the drive today.  Special features will be given on the streets.  There will be girls’ choruses, speeches by Madame Guerin, and a parade at 9 o’clock of Boy Scouts down Main street bearing a six-foot poppy as an emblem of “Poppy day.”  Last night Boy Scouts sealed the many boxes in which the contributions will be taken.  Tiny paper French baskets, containing 45,000 red poppies will be distributed by the young women of the city on the streets, in the stores, theatres and residence districts.

Madame Guerin and Mrs. Harry O’Brien, newspaper woman who served two years with the Red Cross in France, and the Balkans, will speak at the tabernacle meeting Sunday afternoon, upon invitation of officials of the L. D. S. church.” 

Poppy Lady Madame Guérin’s Salt Lake City Society Belles. The Salt Lake Herald Republican, 11 April 1920.

Poppy Lady Madame Guérin’s Salt Lake City Society Belles, on 10 April 1920.
The Salt Lake Herald Republican, 11 April 1920.

Also, that day (10 April 1920), Madame Guérin attended a Service Star Legion meeting at the Hotel Utah in Salt Lake City, and addressed members – probably in the evening.   The ‘Service Star Legion’ had originally been the ‘War Mothers’ organisation, that had begun supporting Madame Guérin in October 1919.  Three articles reported on the meeting:

The Deseret Evening News (of Salt Lake City) page 3, 11 April 1920 [sic]:

Enjoyable Program at Service Star Meeting.

The completed program for the gathering of the Salt Lake county chapter of the Service Star Legion this afternoon at the Hotel Utah, has been announced.  John E. Holden, state adjutant of the American legion, Mrs. John Q. Cannon, formerly president of the War Mothers, and Madame E. Guerin, will all be speakers.  Symbolical flag ceremonies will be conducted by Mrs. Raynor J. Mackey and Miss Elsie Mackey and a musical program arranged by Mrs. George A. Snow and including a solo by Miss Nan Butterfield, will be given. …”

The Salt Lake Herald Republican page 13, Sunday 11 April 1920 page [sic]:

MEMORIAL PARK IS STAR LEGION PLAN. 

Will Ask City Commission to Dedicate Tract to War Heroes.

Plans to establish a memorial park in honor of Salt Lake’s war heroes were discussed at a meeting of the Salt Lake chapter of the Service Star Legion held at the Hotel Utah Saturday.  A resolution was passed to ask city commissioners for this purpose.  The land, at the mouth of City Creek canyon, is the tract in mind, and if set apart for this purpose, will be planted with hardwood trees of the flowering variety.  The co-operation of the city park and water departments will also be asked.

Mr. John E. Holden, state adjutant of the American Legion, gave a talk on the needs and purposes of the American Legion and the Service Star Legion.  Mrs. Annie Wells Cannon, former president, spoke on the “Proper Respect for the Flag.”

Mme. E. Guerin also addressed the meeting.

Mrs. R. W. Fisher presided and nineteen new members were received.

A musical program under the direction of Mrs. George A. Snow consisted of vocal selections by Miss Nan Butterfield. Miss Anitje Poelman and Harry Lewis.”

Salt Lake Telegram Page 2, Monday 12 April 1920 [sic]:  

PLANTING POSTPONED BY SERVICE STAR.

At a meeting of the Salt Lake county chapter of the Service Star legion at the Hotel Utah Saturday, arrangements were made looking to the planting of a “memory grave” at the mouth of City Creek canyon in honor of the men and women who gave their lives during the world war.  Due to the fact that the city water-works has not completed laying a pipe-line in the canyon and the general inclement weather, it was decided to post-pone the planting of the trees from Arbor day to Memorial day.  Mrs. C. S. Kinney, chairman of the committee on arrangements, said in an address that the commission had promised to contribute enough blue spruce to make a back-ground for the hardwood trees which will compose the grove.

The speakers of the meeting included Mrs. Robert Fisher, who presided; Madame E. Guerin, French Lecturer; John E. Holden, state adjutant for the American Legion; Captain P. Flood of the Salt Lake army recruiting station, and Mrs. Annie Wells Cannon, first president of the association.”

A ‘French Poppy Dance’ had been due to be held in the evening, at the State Capitol building, but had to be postponed.

State Capitol building, Salt Lake City. Courtesy of Heather Anne Johnson.

State Capitol building, Salt Lake City. Courtesy of Heather Anne Johnson.

There had been another Poppy Day held on 10 April 1920 – in Greeley, Colorado.  The Greeley Daily Tribune stated:  “Today Greeley has been turned into a poppy field.  Every citizen wears a scarlet flower, on every street corner Greeley girls are selling poppies for the orphans of France.   Under the direction of Mme Celeste Oliver Dixon and Mlle. Lucienne LeFraper, who are representing the American and French Children’s League today was made poppy day in Greeley.   Mrs. Howard Price, instructor in French and Latin at the Greeley high school has been on the street all day chaperoning the fair poppy sellers.   The poppy sellers will be on the streets until 10 o’clock tonight. …”  It looks as though Anna had left Celeste and Lucienne to make sure all ran smoothly on the day.

Both Celeste and Lucienne were French. Celeste was a widow, born c1879 and living in Denver, in the 1920 US census.  Her late husband had been one Oliver Dixon.

Lucienne Le Frapper was single – her occupation was a teacher, when she arrived in the USA in 1919.  She was born c1895 in Pontivy, Brittany.   “Mrs. Howard Price” was High School Teacher Mrs. Mary M. Price (nee McCutcheon).   She was born 02 September 1879, in Illinois, and died 02 July 1965 in Greeley.

The Daily Tribune (10 April) described how girls in Greeley, were selling poppies [sic]:

GREELEY BUYS POPPIES FOR WAR VICTIMS

Today Greeley citizen wears a scarlet flower, on every street corner Greeley girls are selling poppies for the orphans in France.  Under the direction of Mme. Celeste Oliver Dixon and Mlle. Lucienne LeFraper, who are representing the American and French Children’s league today was made poppy day in Greeley.  Mrs. Howard Price, instructor in French and Latin at the Greeley highschool, has been on the street all day chaperoning the fair poppy sellers.  The poppy sellers will be on the streets until 10 o’clock tonight.

The girls who gave their services today for the cause of the French orphans are from the Teachers college, the Sigma Upsilon sorority girls, Misses Gladys Poole, Alice Clavert, Marguerite Morris, Stella Williams, Dorothy Mraz, Irene Geizer, Velma Meyers, Eleanor Kearnes.  The following girls of Greeley high school were poppy sellers:  Elise Clark, Kathleen Kingsbury, Bessie Schenck, Nona Domks, Ada French, Mildred Dambach, Anna Wood, Fern Campbell, Blanche Schutz, Margaret Peyton, Arline Challgren, Noel Pegus, Elizabeth Jones, Frances Igo, Marion Kindred, Mary M. Brown, Agnes O’Connell, Mary Robb, Elizabeth Brown, Beulah Marks, Martha Garnsey, Mary Sue Claywell, Lucille Early, Ellen McClellan, Gwendolyn Garland, Katherine Kittle, Bertha Palmer, Kathleen Conner, Loreda Sears, Inez Boyd, Laura Lauty, Ethel Campbell, Clara Cox, Mary Dedrick, Viola Otoupalik, Mildred Neill, Sibyl Chestnut, Edith Almgren, Emma Hopkins, Gertrude Shanley, Adeline Fiala, Marjorie Scott, Jessie Hibbard, Esther Behrens.”

The Greeley Daily Tribune updated its readers on 17 April [sic]:

Highschool Raises Children’s Fund.

Twelve dollars and seventy cents [?] has been raised at the Greeley Children’s league.  This was done by the selling of membership tickets to the league by the students, especially in the French classes.

Thru the efforts of Mrs. Howard Price, instructor in French and Latin at the highschool, the work for the orphans is being carried on while the two women, Mme. Celeste Oliver Dixon and Mlle. Lucienne Le Fraper, representatives of the league in Colorado, are working in the other districts.

Together with the $645 raised “poppy day” here and the $12.70 raised at the highschool Greeley has contributed $657.70 toward relieving the suffering of the war orphans in France.”

On Sunday 11 April 1920, The Salt Lake Herald Republican wrote about local woman Miss Lucy Van Cott on page 19 [sic]:

Miss Lucy Van Cott. 11 April 1920. The Salt Lake Herald Republican.

Miss Lucy Van Cott. 11 April 1920.
The Salt Lake Herald Republican.

French Children’s League Offers Local Woman Position.

MISS LUCY VAN COTT, dean of women at the University of Utah, has been offered a position as organizer of cafeterias in the devastated regions of France, following a visit to the University of Utah cafeteria by Mme. E Guerin and her party.  The offer comes from the American and French Children’s league, which plans to establish a string of cafeterias throughout northern France for the benefit of war orphans.  The university cafeteria under the able management of Miss Van Cott has become a paying investment.  The excellent quality of the food, as well as the low prices, excited the wonder and admiration of the visitors.  Miss Van Cott is seriously considering the proposition.  If she accepts she will leave about the 1st of October for France.”

On the same page 19, the following article praised Salt Lake City’s generosity – high praise, considering the Poppy Day was cut short because of the terrible weather [sic]:

Thousands Buy Flowers to Aid Fatherless French Children.

“POPPY DAY” put another star in Salt Lake’s crown yesterday.  Thousands bought poppies from girls on downtown streets and in so doing contributed their mite to aid stricken war orphans of France.

When the tiny cash boxes were emptied and the contents counted last night it was found Salt Lake had contributed $3500, Mrs. Janette Hyde, chairman in charge of the affair, reported last night. Mme. Guerin enthusiastically praised Salt Lake as the most generous city of all.

In spite of the rain, there were few buttonholes without a poppy.

Appeal is General.

The recital of the conditions among the children of France has appealed to the hearts of the public with liberal results.  One cent buys a loaf of bread in France, and since 1 cent of United States coin equals ten in French money, the thousands of dollars will be the means of saving thousands of lives.

The money taken in yesterday has been deposited at the National Copper bank and will be sent to France direct.  W. W. Armstrong is acting as trustee for the money obtained in Utah and Sherman Armstrong has been appointed treasurer.

Dance Postponed Week.

The committee in charge of the drive announces that the girls will continue the drive for a few hours next Saturday, in order to reach the shoppers who, on account of the rain, were not on the streets yesterday.

Due also to the weather, the dance at the Capitol building, which was scheduled for last night, did not take place, but will be given next Saturday evening.  Mayor and Mrs. Bock are scheduled to lead the grand march.

Mme. Guerin and her companion, Mrs. Harry O’Brien, will speak at the Tabernacle meeting this afternoon at the invitation of the L. D. S. church officials.”

[N.B. 3,500 US$ is worth 44,500US$ in 2017 = 445,000 “in French money”]

The Salt Lake Herald Republican followed through on the Lucy Van Cott story:

Sunday 11 April 1920 [sic]: Undecided.  Whether to go to France to organize cafeterias in regions devastated by war or to remain in charge of the University of Utah eating establishment is the question now puzzling Lucy Van Cott, dean of women at the U.  The offer was made (to) Miss Van Cott yesterday.”

… and … Tuesday 13 April 1920 [sic]: “Miss Lucy Van Cott, dean of women at the University of Utah, is said to be in a quandary as to whether to go to France to organize cafeterias in devastated regions or to continue her management of the university eating establishment.  If Miss Van Cott will submit the question to a solemn referendum of the students she will stay at home.”

Also on the 11th April 1920, The Salt Lake Tribune alerted its readers to the tabernacle speakers for that day [sic]:

Madame Guerin Tabernacle Speaker.

Madame E. Guerin, French lecturer, and Mrs. Harry O’Brien, known in newspaper circles as “Polly Pry,” will be among the speakers today at the tabernacle services of the L.D.S. church.  The tabernacle choir, under the direction of Professor Anthony C. Lund, with Professor McClellan at the organ, will give a musical program.”

Again, on 11 April 1920, The Salt Lake Tribune reviewed the Poppy Day on page 19 [sic]:

FRENCH ORPHANS ARE GIVEN $2000. 

Street Canvassers Find a Ready Response Despite Inclement Weather.

Approximately $2000 was raised yesterday by the many school and society girls of Salt Lake, in their canvass for contributions for orphans in the devastated regions of France.  This estimate was given by Mrs. Jeannette A. Hyde, chairman of the committee in charge, who said that considering the inclement weather the drive was successful.  Madame E. Guerin, French lecturer, and Mrs. Harry J. O’Brien, who represent the American-French Children’s league, expressed appreciation of the efforts of the workers.

Owing to the storm, the public ball, which was to have been held last night at the state capitol, was postponed until next Saturday night at 8:30 o’clock.  The tickets sold for last night will be honored at that time.

In a 174 boxes for contributions were taken out yesterday by the young women of the University of Utah, L. D. S. university, East and West high schools, Bryant Junior high school and Irving and Sugar House schools.  The St. Mary’s academy turned in $10, and the East high school $27.

Among the women who assisted Mrs. Hyde yesterday were:  Miss Lucy Van Cott, vice-chairman; Mrs. C. H. McMahon, secretary; Mrs. Eleanore Sears. Mrs. Justin R. Davis, Mrs. Murray Schick, Mrs. Louise P. Arnoldson and Madame Jane Benedict.  Headquarters for the drive were at the Civic Center.

It had been planned to have the girls distribute the little “red poppies of Flanders” at the baseball game, but as the game was postponed on account of rain, the canvass at the ball park will be made next Saturday afternoon, commencing at 2 o’clock.  Fifty girls, under the direction of Miss Helen Hanchett, will be on duty at the baseball grounds, and workers will also seek contributions on the main streets Saturday afternoon.

Two interesting incidents were related by the canvassers.  A foreigner who had just been released from St. Mark’s hospital, came up to one of the workers and said that though he had only a few cents in the world, had no work and had just recovered from a severe illness, he wished to give what he could to aid the French orphans.  The children at the Neighbourhood house sent in a baby bond.  This represented a real sacrifice, as the bond was purchased from pennies donated from time to time.

The Boy Scouts assisted yesterday, acting as errand boys.  They kept the girls supplied with red poppies.

Madame Guerin and Mrs. O’Brien will go to Ogden tonight.  During the week drives will be conducted at Logan and Provo.”

On that Sunday morning (11 April), Madame Anna Guérin spoke at the Third Ward meeting house in Ogden, Utah, “on the condition of French orphaned children” – ahead of a Poppy Day there on 17 April.   She was accompanied by Leonel O’Bryan (“Polly Pry”).

In the afternoon of the 11th, Anna Guérin and Leonel O’Bryan addressed “the regular afternoon meeting” at the Salt Lake City tabernacle.   It is reported that Madame Guérin spoke at Ogden’s Third Ward meeting house in the evening too.

The next day (12 April),  the Deseret News gave an account of the Salt Lake City tabernacle event [sic].  Here are extracts:

1)     PROPHECY FULFILLED IS THEME AT TABERNACLE. Elder Joseph Fielding Smith Discusses Mission of phet—Appeal Made For Children of France.

GOSPEL doctrine and mercy appeals were mingled in the tabernacle services Sunday afternoon.  President Anthon H. Lund presided and the speakers were Elders Joseph Fielding Smith and two visitors who are here in the interest of the homeless children of France, and Mrs. Leonel Ross O’Brien. Best known by her nom de plume “Polly Pry. 

… [There followed five paragraphs documenting the religious service] …

Elder James E. Talmage introduced Madame E. Guerin and Mrs. Leonel Ross O’Bryan representing the American and French Children’s league, for the relief of the unfortunate children in northern France, and the Red Cross.

Mrs. O’Bryan spoke first.  She, it was said, was interested especially in the Red Cross.  She said she had been in Europe and had there heard the fame of Utah, the state that led in the intermountain region of America in contributions to the Red Cross during the war.  She had been in the Balkans and elsewhere and had seen what was done with those contributions.  She had travelled on tramp steamers, torpedo boats, battleships, any way to get from one place to another.  She described the suffering she had seen among the people in devastated Europe, In Bulgaria, she said, the aged and the children were held in detention camps as prisoners of war.  There were scarcely any young men or young women.  The young women had been taken by the soldiers, to do with as they pleased, and the young men had been deported to work in the mines, under taskmasters.  She described various journeys she had made among the sufferers, the hungry and starving. The naked and freezing.  She herself had read the burial service over many who had died of the terrible hardships.  The destitution was so great that it has not been righted even yet.  In America, said Mrs. O’Bryan, peace is being talked of, but in devastated Europe there is no peace, no rest.  The people have gone back to the sites of their homes and they have found only desolation and ruin.  It is for those people who have gone back, she said, and who are struggling against such terrible odds, that the organization she represents is seeking help.  They need bread, they need clothing, they need medicine, they need the care of the peoples of the earth.

Madame E. Guerin.

Madame Guerin said she desired to express the gratitude of her own France to brave America, to the boys, the splendid boys, who came over and turned the tide of war.  When General Pershing said at the tomb of the man who espoused the cause of America: “Lafayette, we have come,” he won for America, if possible, even more of the love of France than it had yet had.  She paid a touching tribute to the American boys who fought, to those who died and to those at home who gave them support.  She paid eloquent tribute to the spirit of America and said America will not abandon its noble principles of right and justice. Even now, she said, France needs the help and support of generous America; the children of France have every confidence that this great country that sent its best and bravest men across the sea to fight for a just cause, will give out of the generosity of the great American heart, the sustenance that will give them life while they struggle to rebuild their homes.  Madame Guerin reated specific instances of suffering among the children of France; of blighted childhood; of the hope in little hearts that the great America will help.  She spoke of the graves of American boys in Flanders fields.  She had been to Chateau Thierry, she had been over the ground where the brave Americans turned the Germans back.  One American boy told her, as he was dying, that if she should go to America, to tell his people the boys over there did their best, and he told her she could depend on American for the right.

Speaking of the drive for funds, Madame Guerin said it is not alms France is asking; France is not begging, France is a proud nation, proud of the part she took to rid the world of a terrible menace; France gave all she had, she could not give more.  The speaker said it is not flattery when she says frankly America is known today as the first nation of the earth and O, how proud! she said, France is of the friendship of America!  She appealed eloquently for the little children and toldwhat $2,000 given by the good citizens of Salt Lake would do over there.

Madame Guerin spoke earnestly, fervently.  He manner of expression was sincere, unfeigned and straight-forward.  Her speech was clear English, phrased with precision, but given with an unmistakable French accent.

President Anthon H. Lund, at the conclusion of the services, said he desired to assure the visitors, in behalf of the people whom they had addressed, that the cause they espoused is heartily indorsed by this people and he recommended an earnest and helpful response to their appeal.” 

2)     The Deseret News reported:

“ANOTHER POPPY DAY HAS BEEN ANNOUNCED FOR NEXT SATURDAY.

Because the weather stopped the street campaign for funds for French children of the war zone Saturday it was stated this morning that the campaign would be taken up again at 2 o’clock next Saturday and a second half of Poppy day will be enacted in this city.  Mme. Guerin stated that banks and business houses would not be visited again, but that an opportunity would be given the passersby usually on the business streets in good weather, to buy a poppy.

She said that after her talk on Sunday afternoon in the tabernacle several persons in the audience offered her donations but she is not authorized by the society which she is representing to receive the money.  She asks the donors kindly to send the amounts to the local committee appointed to receive them with Mrs. Jeanette Hyde, chairman, in the Bishops building.

Up to noon today the sum of $2.760 had been received through the Poppy campaign.  As 25 cents in America money means 3.75 in France the committee are making the plea on local citizens to send in amounts, however small.

They are most hearty in their thanks to matrons, maids and schools of the city who helped in Saturday’s drive and especially mentioned the tiny children from Rowland hall who participated.  These, some of them mere babies, collected $37 in their school and then assisted in the drive down town.  Mrs. Eleanor Sears has been named chairman for the dance to take place at the state capitol next Saturday evening and she announces that tickets can be purchased down-town.”

3)     The Salt Lake Tribune updated its readers along the same lines [sic]:

WORKERS THANKED BY MADAME GUERIN.

“Americans, you answered the call of liberty, and by the greatness of your country you have saved the world,” said Madame E. Guerin, French lecturer, in speaking at the tabernacle services yesterday afternoon.  Madame Guerin said she expressed the gratitude of the thousands in the devastated regions of France for the response to the “Poppy day” drive Saturday.

Mrs. Harry O’Brien, newspaper woman, who served two years with the Red Cross in the Balkans, paid tribute to the Red Cross workers in Utah.

“To the women of Utah,” Mrs. O’Brien said, “much credit is due for winning the war, as they led the states of the union in the percentage of Red Cross work done per capita.  We of the Red Cross on the other side saw how the work in this state helped in alleviating suffering over there.”

James E. Taimage of the council of the twelve introduced the speakers.  Joseph Fielding Smith of the council of the twelve gave spiritual discourse.

President Anthon H. Lund presided.  The tabernacle choir, under the direction of Professor Anthony C. Lund, with Professor Tracy Y. Cannon at the organ, furnished music.  The invocation was offered by Charles H. Hyde and the benediction by President Rudger Clawson.”

Anna reminisced about Salt Lake City, in 1921: “where again the weather was against us”.   Anna’s Synopsis (from 1941) personally enlightens us further: “In Salt Lake City the President of the Mormon delegated one of the President of the Women’s club, Mrs. Marriot of Ogden, to accompagn me in every town , until the $10.000 would be  made … … The Poppies forwarded to us from Chicago were made in papers , and however they were making a touching sight in a town when in the evening every man , woman and child was wearing one of those poppy , as it was very often the case in the small towns.”

In a congratulatory letter to Madame Guérin dated 22 May 1920, from Madame Lebon (American and French Children’s League’s Chairman in France), more is learnt about the money donated during the Salt Lake City Poppy Drive:  “… With the money received from Salt Lake City we are opening a dairy to give milk to the wasted children of Verdun.  The dairy is called Utah. …”

Soon after speaking at the Tabernacle, Anna Guérin left Salt Lake City to travel north to Ogden again. That evening, she spoke at Ogden’s Third Ward meeting house again – as she had done in the morning.   Anna Guérin remained in Ogden for quite a while.

Between the 12th and 20th of April 1920, both the Lincoln Journal Star and the Lincoln Evening Journal printed identical advertisements to promote a Benefit being held on the evenings of the 19th and 20th: “The Isle of Dreams” at The Orpheum in Lincoln:

Benefit for American-French Children’s League. Lincoln Evening Journal, 12 April 1920.

Benefit for American-French Children’s League.
Lincoln Evening Journal, 12 April 1920.

On Monday 12 April 1920, Salt Lake Telegram mentioned Anna Guérin and Leonel O’Bryan giving an address at the Tabernacle [sic]:

FRENCH GRATITUDE EXPRESSED.

In an address given Sunday afternoon at the Tabernacle, Madame Guerin, French lecturer, who is in Salt Lake in the interests of the drive for funds for French war orphans, thanked the people for the generous support they gave the movement conducted Saturday.  Mrs. Harry O’Brien, newspaper woman, who is travelling with Madame Guerin, lauded Utah for the work performed for the Red Cross during the past war.  Mrs. O’Brien served two years with the American Red Cross in the Balkan states.”

Also on Monday 12 April 1920, The Ogden Standard Examiner (page 5) reported on Leonel O’Bryan and Anna Guérin again [sic]:

Open Campaign to Aid French Orphans.

Mrs. Georgiana Marriott presided over a series of meetings of the North Weber stake Relief societies yesterday, held in the meeting house of the Third ward, when at the morning and evening sessions speeches on the condition of French orphaned children were delivered by Madame Guerin and Mrs. Harry O’Brien of Denver, Colo., who are touring the west of the aid of the French and American children’s league.

At the evening meeting the building was crowded and people had to be turned away, and Mrs. O’Brien and Madame Guerin aroused the deepest interest in the case which they represent and a sum of $75 was collected as a first contribution to the needy work.

Mrs. O’Brien is well known as a newspaper writer, who writes over the signature of “Polly Pry,” and who has spent two years in France as a Red Cross worker.

The speakers also addressed the regular afternoon meeting in the Salt Lake tabernacle yesterday.”

The Salt Lake Herald Republican (12 April 1920) wrote more about the event [sic]:

WOMEN SOLICIT AID FOR ORPHANS. 

Appeal for Victims of German Invasion Heard at Tabernacle.

Mrs. Harru O’Brien of Denver, known nationally as “Polly Pry,” and Madame E. Guerin, lecturer of the French and American Children’s league, during the regular services Sunday afternoon in the Tabernacle, appealed to the assembled worshipers for aid in the French war orphan campaign.  Anton H. Lund, first councillor to the residency, was in charge of the services, and Joseph F. Smith delivered the sermon.

As a newspaper correspondent, Mrs. O’Brien spent two years in the war zones of Europe.  To the Tabernacle audience she pictured the deplorable condition of the children n the war-devastated regions of France and the Balkans.

Mme. Guerin emphasized the need for children’s relief.  She thanked America for what has been done to aid France, declaring: “France and her people love American, not because of America’s wealth or strength, but because of American’s heart and ideals.”

In his sermon Apostle Joseph F. Smith traced the prophets and their teachings, from Moses to modern times.

“I rejoice that the same principles which were taught by the Lord and Master and the apostles are now revealed to men as they were in that day,” he said

Opening and closing prayers were offered by Apostle Rudger Clawson and Charles Hyde of the Pioneer stake presidency.”

On 13 April 1920, Madame Guérin spoke at the Ogden High School at 10 a.m.; the Weber Normal College at 11.15 a.m.; and the Sacred Heart Academy in aid of the ‘American and French Children’s League.  She was accompanied by Professor James Barker of the French department of the University of Utah.

Anna Guérin was also recruiting sellers for the Poppy Day, which was to be held on 17 April – they would dispose of poppy “boutonnières” in shops and business houses. Cadets and scouts would also help in the Drive.  

Ogden High School. Courtesy of Heather Anne Johnson.

Ogden High School. Courtesy of Heather Anne Johnson.

In a flashback to Monday 13 April 1920, the edition of 11 April 1988 of The Signpost (of Ogden, Utah) looked back and noted [sic]: Flashback.  As part of the celebration of the WSC Centennial, the Signpost will be highlighting events and notable dates that have occurred on campus throughout the years. … Wednesday, April 13, 1920 Madame Guerin makes a plea for French War orphans.”

On the same day, 13 April 1920, The Salt Lake Telegram printed a short article on page 6.  Some words, down the article’s left hand side, are not visible on the online scan but they have been calculated (accurately, it is believed) [sic]:

POPPY DAY” DRIVE IN OGDEN SATURDAY.

The “Poppy day” scheduled for next Saturday in Ogden, the Utah campaign for the aid of the American and French Children’s league is progressing very successfully according to Mrs. Jeannette A. Hyde, state chairman.  The Relief society at Ogden raised $67.50 Sunday and inter-allied poppy movement was kindled by talks by Madame E. Guerin and Mrs. Leonel Ross O’Bryan at several public gatherings.

Scores of school girls, society girls of the city will sell poppies on the streets of Ogden Saturday under the supervision of Mrs. Georgina Marriott.  Plans for the tricolor ball to be held in the State Capitol, which was postponed on account of the storm Saturday, are being formulated by Mrs. E. A. Bock, chairman of the committee.  Girls will sell tickets for the event at the ball game in Salt Lake and on the streets Saturday.

As a result of the five hours’ drive totalled $1755.99, was cabled to Paris by Sherman Armstrong, treasurer of the state fund.”

The Salt Lake Tribune, also on 13 April 1920, printed the following on page 9 [sic]:

MANY GIVE FOR FRENCH RELIEF.

“Poppy Day” to Be Held in Ogden Saturday; Postponed Ball Arranged.

“Poppy day” will be held in Ogden Saturday, according to announcement made yesterday by Mrs. Jeannette A. Hyde, state chairman of the American and French Children’s league.  Madame E. Guerin and Mrs. Leonel Ross O’Bryan returned from Ogden yesterday, after speaking Sunday morning and evening at Ogden gatherings and meeting with hearty responses.  The Relief society at Ogden in a meeting raised $67.50.  Mrs. Georgina Marriott will have charge of the campaign in Ogden Saturday, assisted by hundreds of school girls, society girls and matrons.

 The “tricolor” ball, postponed on account of the storm Saturday, to be held at the state capitol, is being arranged for by Mrs. E. A. Bock, chairman of the committee.  Tickets can be obtained from Mrs. Eleanor Sears, Room 29, Bishop’s building, and girls also will have them for sale Saturday afternoon at the ball game in Salt Lake and on the streets.

Sherman Armstrong, treasurer of the state fund, cabled to Paris yesterday $1755.99 as the result of the five hours drive held Saturday.  The fund was further enlarged yesterday when $168.26 was turned in by the girls of the Irving Junior High school, who under the direction of Miss W. M. Learned canvassed the Sugarhouse district.  The girls of Rowland hall also turned in $31, representing a personal canvass of their homes and friends.  Miss Imogene Wilhelmsen and Miss Vera Egan of Bountiful also turned in donations.

Madame Guerin said yesterday many had desired to contribute to her personally.  She requests that donations be sent to Mrs. J. Hyde, at the Bishop’s building, who with Mr. Armstrong will have charge of all the finances.  Madame Guerin speaks in the schools of Ogden today, and will go to Logan Wednesday, and Provo Friday.

Mrs. J. A. Hyde announced yesterday the following state committee, whose members will act as officers of the league in Utah: Mrs. Emmeline B. Wells and Mrs. Simon Bamberger, honorary state presidents; Miss Lucy Van Cott, Mrs. C. H. McMahon, Mrs. Eleanor Sears, Mrs. John A. Widtsoe and Mrs. Annie Wells Cannon of Salt Lake, and Mrs. Georgina Marriott of Ogden and Mrs. Inwz Knight Allen of Provo, vice-state chairman; Mrs. Louise P. Arnoldson, state secretary; Sherman Armstrong, state treasurer.

State committee: Governor Bamberger, Secretary of State Harden Bennion, H. N. Child, Dr. T. A. Beatty, Mayor Bock, C. Clarence Neslen of the city commission, Professor James A. Barker, E. F. Colborn and John Groesbeck, and Mrs. R. C. Gemmell, Mrs. Solomon Siegel, Mrs. W. C. Jennings, Mrs. J. A. Hogle, Mrs. Justin R. Davis, Mrs. Gould B. Blakeley, Mrs. T. B. Lewis, Mrs. Clara W. Beebe, Mrs. Melvin J. Ballard, Mlle. M. Domenge, Miss Evelyn S. Mayer and Miss Helen Kirk.”

On Wednesday 14 April 1920, The Ogden Standard Examiner reminded readers about the forthcoming Poppy Day in the city [sic]:

PRETTY GIRLS TO SELL POPPIES. 

Funds for Relief of French Children in Devastated Regions.

Pretty Ogden girls Saturday will sell poppies upon the streets of the city to assist in raising funds for the relief of children in the devastated regions of France.

The poppy sale is to be conducted as one feature of the local drive to raise funds for the American and French Children’s league.

Mme. E. Guerin of Paris, delegate and lecturer for the United States is here in connection with the drive.  Mrs. Georgina Marriott is head of the local committee which is taking up the work.

Governor Bamberger is resident of the state organization and the movement has been indorsed by leading officials generally, including G. N Cihld state superintendent of public instruction, Mayor Frank Francis and Carl W. Hopkins, superintendent of the Ogden public schools.

Madame Guerin addressed the students of the Weber academy and Ogden high school yesterday.  She is addressing the students of other schools today.

The French woman declares the children rescued from the devastated regions of France after the Germans were pushed back were in a pitiable condition.  France, she declares, can look after the children of the other sections of the nation, but there is so much to be done to relieve conditions in the districts which were occupied by the Germans that help from outside sources is invited.

School children are given an opportunity to contribute and certificates will be issued to schools which provide funds.”

The Deseret Evening News (of Salt Lake City, Utah) printed the following on 14 April [sic]:

Poppy Day Saturday.  OGDEN, April 14.—“Poppy day” will be observed in this city next Saturday, when fund will be solicited for the aid of the American and French children’s league.  Madame Guerin spoke in aid of the society at the Weber college and Ogden high school to the students yesterday morning.”

A press release came out of Ogden on 14 April (printed 15 April 1920, The Salt Lake Tribune) [sic]:

GIRLS WILL SELL POPPIES SATURDAY.

OGDEN, April 14.—Poppies will be sold on the streets of Ogden Saturday by a bevy of pretty girls to assist in raising a fund for the relief of children in the devastated regions of France.  The sale is a feature of the drive which is being conducted in Ogden.

Madame E, Guerin of Paris, who is touring the country as the representative of the French government, addressed the students of the various schools today.  Yesterday she addressed the students of the high school, Weber college and Sacred Heart academy.”

On 15 April 1920, Madame Guérin spoke at the City Hall in Ogden, Mrs. Georgina Marriott accompanied her.   The Ogden standard-examiner (16 April) reported [sic], under the heading of Davis Speaks on Gen. Leonard Wood”:                    

Making it perfectly clear that he was not advocating the candidacy of General Leonard Wood as the only Republican possibility as a candidate for the presidency, J.C. Davis gave an interesting biographical address on the military man with presidential ambitions at the meeting of the Weber county women’s Republican committee meeting at the city hall last night. 

Mrs. Georgina Marriott presided over the meeting. 

Madame E. Guerin, representing the American and French Children’s League, spoke on the aims of the society and asked for the support of the women on poppy Day, which is to be celebrated here tomorrow, when the population will be tagged in behalf of the work of the society. 

The meeting went on record as favoring federal laws for maternity insurance and child labor, and amending of the state law so as to provide school teachers with a living wage.  Paul Wheeler gave two violin solos.”

The following article appeared on page 6 in the last edition (4 p.m.) of The Ogden Standard-Examiner, Utah, April 15, 1920 [sic]:

NAME DIRECTORS FOR ‘POPPY DAY’. 

Drive For French Children Relief to be Launched Saturday.

Committees who will assist in the drive to raise funds in Ogden for the relief of children in the devastated regions of France were announced today.

The money is to be raised for the American and French Children’s league.  Charles Barton, cashier of the Ogden Savings bank, is the local treasurer designated here.

The drive will be launched Saturday with 200 pretty girls selling souvenir poppies of France for any amount the citizen desires to pay for them.

Mrs. Georgina Marriott, chairman, says cadets and boy scouts are invited to be present at the headquarters in the city hall Saturday to assist in the drive.

Each of the schools will be represented by girl poppy sellers and by teachers as well.

Mrs. Marriott says the funds collected go directly into the hands of Mr. Barton, who will either send it to state banker of the league or cable it directly to Paris, as he may choose.  Madame Guerin does not herself handle the money.  There are no overhead expenses of offices or salaries in connection with the drive, Mrs. Marriott says.  [Names of committee members followed] …”

On Friday 16 April 1920, the Ogden Standard-Examiner printed an article headed “Three hundred school girls to sell poppies tomorrow for youth of devastated France”.   It noted that “The funds raised by voluntary contributions of any amount desired will be taken in charge by Charles H. Barton, cashier of the Ogden Savings Bank and by him cabled to the Premier Millerand of France, not being handled by visiting representatives of the movement”.   Anna (and  volunteers for the League) did receive a nominal amount for expenses from a League account called the ‘National Expenses Fund’ – it is assumed that monies within this came from League membership fees.

On the same day, The Box Elder News (of Brigham City, Utah) detailed arrangements made regarding Madame Guérin’s meeting the day before [sic]:

“A special assembly was held at the high school, Thursday afternoon in order to hear Madame E. Guerin of France who came to speak in behalf of the French and American children of the French and American Children’s League.  A most interesting address was delivered by Madame Guerin and it was decided that a Poppy Day should be held in Brigham City next Saturday for the purpose of raising funds for the orphans of France.  This money will be used in building orphanages, sanitariums and supplying food and clothing for the children in need. 

The following committee was named to take charge of this campaign Miss Olive Jensen, chairman; Mrs. E. M. Tyson and Mrs. Lydia Forsgren.  The junior and senior girls pledged themselves to assist in the selling of poppies on Saturday.  These poppies will be sold at whatever price the buyer wishes to donate to the cause.  It is especially desired that the children given their pennies.”

On Saturday 17 April 1920, the second half of Salt Lake City’s Poppy Day took place.   The first half had been the morning of the 10th but rain had brought it to a close.  On the 17, poppies began to be distributed at 2 p.m.   The Capitol building in the Salt Lake was due to be the location of the Poppy Ball that evening, having had to be postponed from the 10th too.  The Salt Lake Herald Republican printed a small paragraph the day before [sic]:

POPPY DAY GIRLS MEET

Young girls who worked in the Poppy day drive last Saturday for the benefit of French war orphans will meet in room 28 at the Bishops’ building next  Saturday morning, to sell tickets for the ball in the Capitol on Saturday night.  Mrs. Eleanor Sears, chairman of the committee, is in charge of the affair, and prominent women of the city will be patronesses.”

But the “best laid plans of mice and men often go awry” and the Poppy Ball had to be postponed again – The Salt Lake Herald Republican explained fully in its edition of the 20th [sic]:

 “Storm Changes Plans Made For Poppy Day Ball.

“‘Tis an ill wind, etc.—might be said of the ordinary gale, but when it comes to a cyclone—

Last Saturday’s windstorm, that blew the date for the Poppy Day ball one week farther ahead, whisked away all the plans previously made for the big entertainment at the state capitol, and substituted a brand new set of arrangements.

Instead of the Tricolor ball, it’s to be the Poppy Cyclone ball.

The affair will be given under the direction of the American and French orphan committee, with Mrs. Janette Hyde, Miss Lucy M. Van Cott, dean of women of the University of Utah, and Mrs. C. H. McMahor as high priestesses of the dance.

The Poppy Cyclone ball is to be held in the corridors of the state capitol April 24.  Everybody is invited and a whirlwind of jazz, interpreted in terms of fastest orchestration and gayest dance steps, has been promised.”

The 17th April 1920 was Ogden’s Poppy Day, Ogden Standard-Examiner updated readers:

OGDEN GENEROUS TO PRETTY GIRLS IN POPPY DRIVE. 

With hundreds of pretty girls busy and enthusiastic, the sale of poppies for the children of devastated France went on apace here today.   The general committee reported a generous response from the citizens of Ogden. 

Madame E. Guerin, who is in Ogden as the representative of France for the American an French Children’s league declared she was highly pleased by the enthusuastic manner in which Ogden has responded to the appeal from the needy French children.”

Reportedly, $2000 was raised in that Ogden Poppy Drive.  Anna was reported as being “highly pleased by the enthusiastic manner” in which Ogden responded.   Anna also recalled, in 1921:Ogden did splendidly, as did Binghamton, Provo, Logan and other towns.”

Anna spent most of April 1920 in Utah – she spoke on the aims of the ‘American and French Children’s League; asked for the support of the women and girls; and then set about organising the Poppy Days/Drives in places such as Brigham City; Logan; and Provo. The aforementioned are all found on Highway 15 and Anna ventured off it onto Highway 91, to Park City and over the State border into Idaho to Preston.  Numerous other towns took part in the Drives, apart from those mentioned.

On Sunday 18 April 1920, The Ogden Standard-Examiner reported on the success of the Ogden Poppy Day in a couple of articles.  Transcribing both articles serves to illustrate just how many girls helped and how successful the day was [sic]:

FOR THE CHILDREN OF FRANCE.

Yesterday was a day of love and affection in Ogden.  Children, from early morning until late in the evening, went about with poppies and for each poppy received in return a contribution from the men and women of this city.

When the total offerings were counted, Ogden had yielded up an estimated $2,000. 

This was one of the most pleasing events of the many war services performed by the people of Ogden.  The money was generously, ungrudgingly given in pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters and dollars. The sentiment back of the stream of wealth was the extending of helping hands to the women and children of the devastated regions of France, where, for four years, the inhabitants endured the horrors of a war more terrible than history had ever recorded up to that time.

Ogden’s youngsters have done much for their less fortunate allies across the ocean, but nothing more delightfully satisfying than the poppy drive of Saturday.

The women who guided the children proved to be quite as clever in leadership as the youngsters were tactful in extracting a wealth of small change.”

POPPY DAY IN OGDEN SUCCESS. 

Nearly $2000 Realized in One Day Drive for French Children.

Nearly $2000 was realized in Ogden yesterday by Ogden school children who sold poppies on the streets for the fund that will go toward alleviating the conditions of the children of war-ridden sections of France.

Mme. E. Guerin, who has been lecturing throughout the country in the interest of the drive, spoke at Ogden theatres last night.

Names of additional school children who aided during the drive include:

Committee arranging booths and tables in stores and hotels, Miss Vera Tracy, chairman.  Members of the committee are as follows; Benice Harris, Theresa Pring, Sherma Hendershot, Lottie Baker, Mary Ann Conier, Louise Fisher, Bessier Larkin.

Madison—Erica Berne, Dorothy Matson, Blanche Scowcroft, Marion Ure, Mollie Brett, Margaret Jongsina.

Quincy—Lorna Jones, Grace Poorman, Alice Humsaker, Edytne Ashton, Mariana Ellis, Doris Wilcox, Lois Childs, Mellwyn Emmett, Lucile Stevenson, Dorothy Young.

Central Junior High—Leda Wilson, Joyce Reeder, Leah Welch, Gladys Mumford, Nellie Taylor, Marjorie Perrins, Ruth Goddard, Virginia Green, Loujean McKay, Norma Mattson, Vera Purdie, Madeline Reeder, Marjorie Minnoch, Elva King, Glorus Mortensen, Lea Anderson, Marguerite Dinsdale, Elma Taylor, Katherine Wheelewright, Marguerite Selbold, Illa Willie, Eleanor Shorten, Florella Cramer, Blanch Johnson, Bonita Scowcroft, Luella McCamant, Twila Mason, Dorothy Anderson, Ruth Brewer, Ruth Jensen, Hortense Kirkland, Pauline Sipprelle, Catherine Kelley, Mary Rienks, Sarah Holmes, Ethel Calvin, Lavina Ekins, Myrtle Summerill, Ethel Burnette, Dorothy Hyslop, Dorothy, Carlson, Stella Thomas, Katherine Cahill, Mary DeBry, Lucile Silver, Virginia Bingham, Dorothy Scowcroft, Ireta Taylor, Helen Boyd, Cora Wangagnard.

Sacred Heart Academy—Mrs. Geo. H. Matson, chairman; Mrs. D. L. Boyle, vice-chairman; Hazel Matchinsky, Ethel Thinnes, Agnes Carney, Sarah Miller, Florence Dunn, Monida Brown, Winifred Stillwell, Kathryn Shufflebarger, Helen Conroy, Ethel Always, Marie Clifford, Mary Mack, Madeline Kelliher, Genevive McKenna, Eileen Hanley, Beatrice Bletcher, Virginia Kaplan, Mary Luxen, Dorothy Kaplan, Lillian Davis, Sadie Carr, Phyllis Reed, MDary Louise Maginnis, Lillian De Graeff, Brent Dermody, Barbara Dermody, Mary Clements, Edunes Whitney, Grace Byrne, Gladys Kowski, Geraldine O’Neill, Winifred Carr, Catherine Boyle, Kathryn Krauss, Mary Matson, Genevive McCarty, Madelyn Toy, Margaret Wright, Margaret McCarthy, Agnes Thinnes, Margery Mullen, Catherine Carr, Mae Fife, Loretta McCormick, Eleanor McMullen, Pauline Storey, Marie Glenn, Catherine McCool, Nova Kelliher.”

The Ogden Standard Examiner (on 25 April) enlightened readers about who had brought in the most funds during Ogden’s Poppy Day [sic]: “… The students of the Central Junior High claimed first place, in contributing the largest sum with other schools following Ogden High school, second, and Sacred Heart academy, third.  Lewis Junior High school and North Junior High school were about equal. …”

Referring back to Mormon Heber J. Grant’s Mrs. Marriott, she was Mrs. Georgina B. Moroni Marriott.   She became an “accredited representative of Madame E. Guerin, French director of the movement” – she was sent further along Highway 91, to Caldwell in Idaho.   Numerous other towns took part in the Drives, apart from those mentioned.   Georgina Marriott was the chairman of Anna’s committee that was raised in Ogden. Georgina (or Georgiana) Petrina Geertsen was born in Huntsville, Utah on 29 June 1865, to Danish parents Louis C. and his wife Marie/Mariane Pederson Gjoderum – she married Moroni Stewart Marriott.   The couple had three daughters and one son.

A very short biography about Georgina (‘Women of  the West, 1928) reported that she was a teacher for 15 years; a member of the State Fair Board for 6 years; a member of the Child Culture Club & State Federal Women’s Clubs; and  known for writing articles for newspapers and magazines.  Georgina sounds just the sort of woman that Anna would have sought out to help her in her quest.   She died 07 August 1946.

Mrs. Georgina Marriott. Edited from the Ogden Standard (Utah), 30 November 1916.

Mrs. Georgina Marriott.  Ogden Standard, 30 November 1916.

The Salt Lake Herald Republican (on 18 April 1920), wrote about the Ogden and Brigham City Poppy Days [sic]:

Poppy Drives Over State Are Success.

Poppy drives staged for the benefit of French war orphans at Ogden and Brigham City yesterday were successful.  Poppies were sold at the Salt Lake-Seattle ball game Saturday afternoon with gratifying results.

Girls who have worked in the drive were hostesses at a dancing party in the Capitol last night.  The affair was reported a delightful success.”

Reference the Ogden Poppy Drive, The Weekly Reflex (of Bountiful, Utah} printed on 29 April [sic]:  “The “poppy drive” recently held in Ogden netted $2000 for the fund for the relief of the children of the devastated regions of France.”

Also on 18 April 1920, The Salt Lake Tribune reported [sic]:

Poppy Sale Successful.  Special to The Tribune.  BRIGHAM CITY, April 17.—

Thursday afternoon at the high school auditorium Madame E. Guerin gave a descriptive talk on conditions in France and made an appeal for the French babies.  As a result of the visit today was designated “Poppy” day and the various ladies’ clubs of the city sod poppies on the streets for the benefit of the French baby fund.  The sale was a success.”

Brigham City’s ‘Box Elder News’, on Tuesday 20 April 1920, reported on the city’s Poppy Day [sic]:  “Poppies bloomed brightly in Brigham Saturday in spite of the frigid weather.  Everyone wore them, men, women, and children.  This accounts for the fact that Brigham City went over the top in her Poppy Drive and the war orphans of France will receive a good bit of help from our contributions.

On Monday 19 April 1920, Madame Anna Guérin addressed a meeting in Provo. Lionel O’Bryan accompanied her.  The Salt Lake Herald Republican printed a short paragraph the next day [sic]:

HEAR ADDRESSES ON ‘POPPY’ DRIVE.  Herald Special.

Provo, April 19.—Madam E. Guerin, Mrs. Lionel R. O’Brien, “Polly-Pry,’ and Mrs. Jeanette A. Hyde, state chairman of the American and French Children’s league, addressed a meeting in the First ward chapel last night on the “Poppy Day” drive here Saturday net. Mrs. Hyde will be here Friday and Saturday to assist with the drive.”

Two more articles have been found on the 19th, mentioning Madame Guérin:

1)     The Journal (of Logan, Utah) [sic]:

“Madame E. Gurin will talk in chapel at the Utah Agricultural College tomorrow at 11 o’clock on “The Devastated Regions of France” Madame Guerin is an official representative of the French Government and will give a first hand picture of the French battlefields.  The general public is invited.”

2)     The Salt Lake Tribune [sic]:

OGDEN WOMEN TO HEAR MME. GUERIN.  Special to The Tribune, OGDEN, April 18.—

Madame E. Guerin, representing the French government in the drive for funds for the relief of the children of the devastated regions of France, will address the members of the Service Star Legion tomorrow night at the Elks’ club rooms.

Women of the city, whether members of the legion or not, are urged to be present.”

On Tuesday 20 April 1920, Brigham City’s ‘Box Elder News’ reported on the city’s Poppy Day [sic]:  “Poppies bloomed brightly in Brigham Saturday in spite of the frigid weather.  Everyone wore them, men, women, and children.  This accounts for the fact that Brigham City went over the top in her Poppy Drive and the war orphans of France will receive a good bit of help from our contributions.

The Salt Lake Tribune’s page 11, on 20 April, wrote about one of Salt lake American Legion post arranging a Poppy Day dance [sic]:

“Madame E. Guerin of the American and French Children’s league, with the assistance of Wasatch post No. 16 of the American Legion, is arranging a poppy day dance to be held in the near future in one of the large auditoriums of this city.  The proceeds of this dance will be applied to the ever-increasing fund that is being raised in this country for the benefit of destitute French children.  This fund is also to be applied toward the movement of nationalizing the many French-German children left in France.

Madame Guerin is also laying the foundation for a permanent French-American Legion alliance, and Wasatch post No. 16 is enthusiastically cooperating in this movement.”

On 20 April 1920, Madame Guérin was in Logan, Utah – with Georgina Marriott.  The two women attended a gathering at the Chapel – Madame Guérin addressed an audience of students and a “short story explanation” was given at the end by Georgina Marriott.  An article printed in Logan’s ‘The Student Life’ publication, on 30 April, reviewed it [sic]:

Mme. Guerin Addresses Chapel Gathering. 

Is Touring America in Interests of The French Orphan Children.

An exceptional chapel program took place on April 20, when Madame Guerin of France addressed the students in the interest of Poppy Day in Logan.

The subject of Madam Guerin’s address was America, what she did, what she is, and what she will do.

Although a native Frenchwoman, the speaker exhibited a spirit of sincere American patriotism and appreciation of all that she found here.  Especially did she commend the Yankee fighting men, many of whom she grew to know personally whole doing relief work during the later months of the war.

Even if our country could not be said to have won the war, she said that no one can deny that we ended the war.  The place we hold in commercial power, in peace and prosperity and comparative happiness was explained in contrast to the conditions now existent in Europe.  Our duty as a nation, and as individual Americans was outlined forcefully and directly.

In the beginning, Madam Guerin spoke lightly and humorously, delighting her audience with quaint stories of our boys in France.  Before her conclusion, however, she had touched the deepest tragedy, and her personal reminiscences of French suffering produced one of the really vivid impressions the war has sent to us.

Music by the choir and a short story explanation by Mrs. Marriott of Ogden completed the program.”

The Logan Republican and The Journal (both of Logan, Utah) (22 April) ran a long article about her and the Poppy Day, to be held on 24 April [sic]:

“POPPY DAY” IN LOGAN.                    

Next Saturday all Logan will blossom out with poppies and each poppy will represent a contribution to help the orphan children of France.  Like all things that come from France, Poppy day is a little more distinguished than tag day, the American article, but in reality it is the same thing.   Every one would rather wear a poppy of red silk than an ordinary tag and the object is one that is wakening sympathy and interest all through the state.  This feeling is due largely to the ardent way in which Madame Guerin, a French lecturer from France has been telling us of the needs of French children.  On Tuesday morning she spoke before an interested body of A.C. students and in the evening she addressed a body of Logan people in the high school auditorium, presided over by Mayor Howell and Supt. Henry Peterson.   These two talks, so dramatically given won many friends in Logan for Madame Guerin and the cause for which she is working so nobly.   She made the horrors of the German invasion seem very real to us all.   She was accompanied in her visit to Logan by Mrs. Marriot of Ogden and her tour throughout the state is being admirably managed by Mrs. Jeanette Hyde. 

The plan for Saturday is for the school children to bestow the poppies on everyone and each in return is to make some contribution, no matter how small.   It will be a flowery day for Logan and it is to be hoped that Logan will welcome this opportunity to help the children of France made orphans by the war. 

The committee for the Poppy day are as follows: … …”  [*Agricultural College students]

The Salt Lake Herald Republican (25 April, page 10) mentioned the visit to Logan [sic]: Logan.  Logan, April 24.—… … Madame Guerin of France was Tuesday here in the interest of American and French Children’s league.  Madame Guerin talked at the Utah Agricultural college and at the Logan high school hall on the conditions in France.”

Utah State Agricultural College, Logan. Courtesy of Heather Anne Johnson.

Utah State Agricultural College, Logan. Courtesy of Heather Anne Johnson.

The Logan Republican (22 April 1920) enlightened its readers about Madame Guérin’s visit to Logan and the conditions in France [sic]:

“Mme. E. Guerin of France, accompanied by Georgina G. Marriott, chairman of the “poppy day” in Ogden and Weber county were in Logan this week.  Mme. Guerin is making an appeal to the people of the United States for a little help to feed not the children of France but the devastated sections.  In this section the women and children are living in cellars and caves and mines, in fact any hole that will provide a little shelter.  There are four million people there, but 450,000 of these are children, 250,000 have lost their fathers and mothers by the Germans taking the mothers and older children and scattering them in Germany for work.  They made no record of names of smaller children and they have lost even their names.  There are many of them crippled by rheumatism through sleeping on the ground and many are tubercular through exposure and all are starving.  It is a pitable condition and we must help.  Mme. Guerin is a properly accredited agent of the French government and has the endorsement of the governor of Utah as well as the endorsement of our town.  She does not handle one cent of the money, our own committee does that, so we know the money shall reach the proper destination.”

On both the 21st and 22nd April 1920, The Salt Lake Tribune printed the following [sic]:

TRICOLOR DANCE IS SET FOR SATURDAY.

Governor and Mrs. Bamberger, Secretary of State and Mrs. Harden Bennion, Attorney General and Mrs. Dan B. Shields, Mayor and Mrs. Bock, and members of the city commission and their wives have been named as patrons and patronesses for the “tricolor” ball to be given at the capitol Saturday night by the American and French Children’s league.

The funds raised will be used to help take care of French orphans in the devastated regions of France.

The “Poppy drives” at Provo, Logan, and Preston, Ida., will be held Saturday.  Madame E. Guerin, French lecturer, has made addresses at these cities.”

On Thursday 22 April 1920, Madame Guérin was in Brigham City and Park City.  The Salt Lake Herald Republican (25 April 1920) reported on her activities in the columns for those cities [sic]:

Brigham City.  A special assembly was held at the high school on Thursday afternoon of last week, in order to hear Madame E. Guerin of France, who spoke of the French and American Children’s league.  As a result of the meeting, Saturday was designated as Poppy day in Brigham.  Poppies were sold by the high school girls, the money going to aid the orphans in France.”

The Ogden Standard Examiner (on 25 April, page 22) updated readers on Brigham’s Poppy Day [sic]:

“The Poppy Drive, held in Brigham last Saturday for the benefit of the war orphans of France, was heartily supported and proved a great success.  About twenty young ladies from the High school started on their campaign early in the morning and few people during the day escaped their attack.  A house to house canvass was made, besides a thorough canvass of the business section.  The children especially were enthusiastic and eagerly gave up their spending money and extra pennies for the cause.  All the districts have not yet been heard from, but, it is assured that Box Elder county will go over the top and pass her quota of $350.”

Park City.  Madame E. Guerin, the French lecturer, was in the Park between trains Thursday.  She spoke at the high school on behalf of the French orphans.”

The Park Record (of Park City, Utah) printed an article the next day [sic]:

A Distinguished Visitor.

Madame E. Guerin of Paris, accompanied by Mrs Marriott of Ogden, dropped into Park City yesterday, the former coming direct from the scarred and devastated battle fields of France.  They bore with them all kinds of recommendations and credentials from prominent citizens and public officials from Governor Bamberger down, and their mission was to effect an organization here, as elsewhere is being done, to intensify and promote that spirit of love and friendship that already exists between the peoples of France and America.

Madam Guerin has made nine voyages across the Atlantic in the interest of this cause and is practically spending her life for the salvation of the suffering and homeless people of her country.  She is a splendid public speaker and made an impassioned appeal to the students of the High School for just the pennies they could spare from the luxuries of life, that the orphans of devastated France may know again the pleasure of a full meal.

As a result of the visit of these ladies the Atheneum ladies, a good representation of whom were hurriedly assembled to meet them, took the matter in hand, appointed suitable committees and proceeded, with the aid of the high school girls, to offer to every citizen a small insignia to be worn on the lapel of the coat as an evidence that the suffering of French children have not been forgotten.

This small emblem is in the form of an artificial poppy, the little wild flower of Flanders, that grows everywhere over, between and around the graves of our American heroes over there.

So, when approached tomorrow by these young ladies, accept the little token, contribute whatsoever you can afford to the worthy cause, pin the poppy on your bosom as an evidence that you have not forgotten the sufferings of the people of Lafayette, the people that held the great beast back till our boys could appear to help save the world for democracy.”

Also on 22 April 1920, The Deseret Evening News (of Salt Lake City) printed [sic]:

Poppy Day Announced.  LOGAN, April 21.—

Next Saturday will be Poppy day in Logan as the result of the visit of Madame Guerin of France, who is soliciting aid for French children. The aid of all the school children has been secured and they will distribute the poppies and take collections for the French children.”

On 23 April 1920, Madame Guérin was in Provo – speaking on the Poppy Drive there. The Salt Lake Herald Republican printed a paragraph to that effect on the 25th April [sic]:

POPPY DRIVE NETS $500.  Provo, April 24.—A poppy drive similar to that conducted in other cities to aid children of devastated France was carried on today on downtown streets.  It netted $500, according to a count made at 4 p.m.  Madame Guerin, lecturer in the interests of the fund, spoke to a meeting of the Ladies Municipal council at the Commercial club last night, to emphasize the need of the drive.”

The Daily Herald, of Provo, reviewed the lecture on 26 April [sic]:

WOMANS MUNICIPAL COUNCIL HEAR MADAM GUERIN.

The regular monthly meeting of the Women’s Municipal Council was held Friday evening.

A short business session occupied the first part of the evening.  The constitution of the organization was read and the by-laws voted upon.  The Commercial club rooms were crowded by an unusually large attendance, which gave the speaker of the evening, the most absorbed attention.

The lady proved most eloquent upon the subject of the need of the French children and an informal discussion of the contrasting customs of the two nations, America and France, closed a very interesting evening.

Many new names were added to the roll of membership.

The Poppy drive on the following day was very successful.  Provo ranking well with other cities in the state in the amount collected for the American and French Children’s league,

The next regular meeting of the club will be held the third Thursday in May.”

Also on 23 April 1920, The Journal (of Logan, Utah) wrote Logan’s Poppy Day [sic]:

Logan’s Saturday Blooming.

Logan’s “Poppy Day” which is to be featured Saturday should put a poppy on every person in the city.  The movement as it has been inaugurated by Mme. Guerin is the appeal of the starving children of France.  Thousands of children in the devastated villages of France have never once had all they wanted to eat.  Many of them are so badly emaciated that they cannot move about.  Once instance cited by Mme. Guerin, in her chapel talk at the U. A. C. Tuesday was of a little boy five years of age who has never walked.  He hasn’t tasted milk in his life.  He is only one among hundreds who are in need of America’s assistance.  Young girls have even gone insane because of malnutrition accompanied by the barbarious treatment which many of them received in German prison camps.

The poppy which grows well on Flanders field is the emblem of Flanders and was chosen in remembrance of the poppy covered graves there.  Poppy day is struggling for existence in America and should be supported by every citizen of our country.  Mothers of sons now sleeping in Flanders field can appreciate the need of contributing to the poppy fund in order that their sons lives may not have been spent in vain.  The giving of their lives saved the children of France from bondage to Germany, but it will not save them from starvation.  France must be built up by the children of today.  If the nation is to continue, it must have strong minds to keep up the development.  Since there is not food enough in France to feed her starving population, American must help.  French chidren who have never known what it means to leave the table with their appetites appeased must be brought up to normal condition.  During the four and half years of war children in the north of France merely hibernated, in a sense, as there was not food enough to permit the normal growth. While these children were dying of hunger our children were only asked to sacrifice a little white bread and use the more wholesome grains for a time but none of them were permitted to suffer.  Now it is the privilege of these children to partially repay what France has done for them.  Have your contribution all ready to put in the box when the poppy is pinned on your manly breast or womanly bossom.”

On 24 April 1920, Madame Guérin’s ‘Poppy Drive’s took place in Logan, Brigham City and Park City.

The Park Record, on 30 April, printed a short paragraph about Park City’s Poppy Day [sic]:  “The “poppy drive,” managed by the Woman’s Atheneaum last Saturday, netted the sum of $152.50 for the orphan children of France.  Scores of school girls were out arrayed in pleasant smiles and sashes and were active in their solicitations for the unfortunate children “over there.”  Good work, ladies.”

With reference to Logan’s Poppy Drive, an article appeared in ‘The Student Life’ publication (of Logan) on 30 April [sic]:

POPPY DAY” NETS NEAT SUM.

The results of our “Poppy Day” campaign, Saturday, April 24 must have passed even the expectation of an exacting Logan public.  Aside from the money contributed last Friday by the students of the college which amounted to about one hundred sixty-five dollars, a sum of one thousand sixteen dollars was collected from the townspeople.  Much credit is due the members of the French circle and the carious sororities who took charge of the campaign.  The town was divided into sections and the girls who visited each respective division reported an enthusiastic response.”

It was reported that Anna greeted Democrat Wm. Jennings Bryan (Congressman for Lincoln, Nebraska) when he visited Ogden on the 24th.

In the evening of the 24th, Madame Guérin was at the State Capitol building in Salt Lake City.  After being postponed twice, the ‘French Poppy Dance’ (also referred to as ‘The Tricolor Ball’ and ‘The Poppy Cyclone Ball’) finally took place – finally called ‘The Hurricane Ball’. Local American Legion members organised it but Madame Guérin and Leonel O’Bryan had charge of the entertainment.

The Deseret Evening News (of Salt Lake City) reminded readers of its taking place [sic]:

Hurricane Ball at State Capitol Tonight.

The tricolor ball which has now changed its name to “the hurricane” because of the last Saturday’s storm which caused its second postponement, will take place this evening in the state capitol as a benefit for the American and French children’s league.  Mayor and Mrs. Bock will lead the grand march.

Madam E. Guerin and Mrs. Harry O’Brien, who have been here working in the interest of the lague and who have recently been touring the larger towns of Utah, leave Monday for Seattle.  Madame Guerin says there is no doubt that the $10,000 quota given to Utah will be raised and that even more would have been donated had weather conditions been better for the drive.  Each state is asked to raise a similar sum.  Madame Guerin leaves for France in July and states that she will have much to tell her countrymen in praise of the wonderful America which she has so thoroughly visited.”

The Deseret Evening News (of Salt Lake City) wrote a little about the ball on the 26th [sic]:

Big Crowd Attends “Poppy Cyclone” Ball.

More than 500 people attended the “Poppy Cyclone” Ball given Saturday night in the state capitol, under the auspices of the American and French Children’s league.  A sum of £150 was realized.  The grand march was led by Mayor and Mrs. E. A. Bock.  In charge of the affair were Mrs. Janette A. Hyde, Mrs. C. H. McMahon, Miss Lucy Van Cott, Mme. E, Guerin and Mrs. Harry O’Brien.

The sum of $3,000 was raised in Salt Lake during the Poppy drive, $1,500 in Ogden, $500 in Brigham City and Logan, Preston and Provo were also reported successful in raising big subscriptions.”

On 25 April 1920, The Salt Lake Tribune wrote a little about Provo’s Poppy Drive, [sic]:

POPPY” DRIVE IN PROVO IS SUCCESS.  Special to The Tribune.  PROVO, April 24.—

Nearly $600 was collected in the “poppy day” drive in this city, inaugurated by Mme. E. Guerin for the war orphans of France.  The drive was under the auspices of the Women’s Municipal council, Mrs. C. E. Maw, president, who also acted as chairman of the local committee.

About seventy-five young women acted as collectors, being volunteers from the B. Y. university, the Provo High school and Procter academy.  The activities of the drive centered in the Provo Commercial club.”

On Wednesday 28 April 1920, The Salt Lake Tribune announced [sic]:

“Mrs. Georgina Marriott of Ogden has been appointed to take charge of the drive for funds in Idaho to aid children in the devastated regions of France.  This announcement was made yesterday by Madame E. Guerin, French lecturer, who left yesterday for Portland, Ore., to conduct the drive there.” 

On Thursday 6 May 1920, The News Advocate (of Price, Utah) reminded its readers about the forthcoming Poppy Day in Price [sic]:

POPPY DAY TO AID FRENCH CHILDREN

Saturday, May 8, will be “Poppy Day,” in Price when all citizens will be asked to contribute to the children of the devastated sections of France.  Mrs Georgina Marriot was in Price the first of the week and Mrs J M Whitmore was appointed chairman of the drive.  Miss Ruby Bryner and Miss Jessie Ballinger will have charge of the work and they will have the assistance of fifty girls from the high school who will sell poppy tags Saturday afternoon.  The workers have the co-operation of the schools of the county and of the churches.  The “American Star,” a league composed of American and French children is being formed in Utah and has the endorsement of the state department of education.  Successful poppy drives have been carried out in Salt Lake City, Provo, Ogden, Park City and other towns of the state and Price will do her share willingly.”

Also on 6 May 1919, poppies were planted in U.S. gardens.  The next day, The Semi-Weekly Spokesman Review (of Spokane, Washington State) printed this short piece [sic]:

OBSERVE RED POPPY DAY.  Sons of Veterans Honor Men Who Fell in France.

In commemoration for the American soldiers who gave up their lives in the world’s war. The Sons of Veterans have designated April 6 as “Poppy Planting day.”  All members of the Sons of Veterans planted red poppies in their gardens yesterday.  It is their plan to make April 6 a national poppy planting day and all patriotic and religious societies are to be asked to join with them in the movement.

April 6 was the day chosen because it was the date the United States declared war on Germany.  The red poppy was chosen as the flower because in the poem “Flanders Fields” it was referred to and because the flower is symbolical of the American blood shed on European battlefields.”

On 7 May 1920, Georgina Marriott of Ogden was in Price, Utah, finalising arrangements for a Poppy Day being held the next day.  Whenever Anna could not personally accommodate a location, there always seems to have been women willing to represent her in the poppy quest.  A piece in Ogden’s ‘The Sun’ quoted Georgina [sic]:-

POPPY DAY HERE TOMORROW.  Drive For Funds For the Children of France.

Mrs. G. Marriott of Ogden has been in Price this week arranging for Poppy Day here tomorrow, Saturday, May 8th.  We have helped to free France from the iron fist. We must help to free her from disease and death – desert and devastation.  The lifting of the German veil from the devastated sections of France has revealed a sad plight.  For four years and a half living in cellars and caves has paralyzed the children by rheumatism, thousands are succumbing to tuberculosis each year, many are maimed by shot and shell and poisoned by the German gas.  

There are children under their teens who have lost their minds through the terrible scenes they have been compelled to witness. Children have been separated from their parents and have forgotten their names and can never be reunited with their families. All are starving and must be fed. There is only one hope and that is to appeal to the splendid generosity of the American people. Two million men of the flower of the young manhood of France have been sacrificed.  One million more are blind and maimed. Thousands and thousands of children are living in the devastated sections without father and without homes and are using any kind of a hole for shelter that they can find.”   Anna had obviously briefed Georgina very well, with regards the French orphans’ plight.

Anna Guérin was visiting the States of  Washington and Oregon, whilst Georgina Marriott continued acting as her representative in Idaho and, also, still giving a few lectures in Utah.

On 09 May 1920, the Billings Gazette (Montana) printed a short piece which captures again the empathy for the poppy: Landscape Gardening.” Mrs. Caukins … … urged the planting of more asters because of its being the city flower as established by the Woman’s club, and said “This year let us also have poppies everywhere in memory of our boys who made the supreme sacrifice in France.”  She finished by reading, “In Flanders Field.””

On 10 May 1920, The Seattle Star (of Washington State) alerted its readers about Seattle’s Poppy Day being “May 22nd” [sic]:

POPPY DAY FOR WAR ORPHANS. Ask Aid for Little French Martyrs.

Saturday. May 22nd, will be “Poppy Day” in Seattle.  Mayor Hugh M. Caldwell has granted the permit and issued a proclamation to that effect, and Governor Hart and a group of men and women in Seattle, have taken over the organization and the execution of the work which will be under the supervision of Madame Guerin, who is here from France asking aid for the little martyrs of the devastated regions of her country.

Hundreds of pretty girls wearing the badges of the American and French Children’s league and carrying baskets of flaming poppies, will smilingly hold their money-boxes out to you and you are asked to do the rest.”

It was reported that a “Poppy Day” was held on the 22nd May, conducted by the Service Star Legion. The Spokesman Review (of Spokane, Washington) printed a couple of sentences, on Friday 28th May [sic]: “Proceeds of the Poppy day campaign Saturday were $153. The sale was conducted by the Service Star legion.”  

In the letter written in Boise later in the month, Anna wrote “… Mrs. Buckmaster came again to help me in Seattle.   We had $4700 not half enough girls …”.   

On Monday 17 May 1920, in Idaho, Georgina Marriott spoke in Caldwell.  On its front page, the next day, The Caldwell Tribune wrote of Caldwell’s Poppy Day [sic]:

WILL HOLD POPPY DAY IN CALDWELL SATURDAY.

One hundred fifty high school girls will put on a tag day Saturday for the benefit of French children in the devastated sections of France, according to an announcement made Saturday by Mrs. G. B. Marriott, accredited representative of Madam E. Guerin, French director of the movement.  The day is officially designated as “Poppy Day.”

Caldwell is assigned no quota.  What ever funds are raised that day will go to alleviate suffering and provide for needs of French children residing in the war stricken areas.  Mrs. Amelia Anderson has charge of the campaign here.

Mrs. Marriot spoke Monday morning on her work at the local high school.  She was assured hearty co-operation in putting on the drive here.  Tags to be sold are in the form of a poppy.”

On Tuesday 18 May 1920, The Seattle Star printed an article at the top of its “Society” column, about the Seattle Poppy Day.  This is the first mention of Madame/Mrs. Isabella Mack … who would become one of Anna Guérin’s stalwart supporters [sic]:

POPPY SALE FOR DESTITUTE CHILDREN OF FRANCE BY BEULAH MITCHELL COUTTS Society Editor of The Star.

ON SATURDAY THE STREETS OF SEATTLE will assume the provincial atmosphere of France, with gaily dressed mademoiselles canvassing thoroughly the business districts, in the efforts to raise funds for the children of bleeding France.  The L’Alliance Francaise and L’Alliance Alsace Lorraine, under the direction of Mme. Isabella Mack, have planned an artistic parade, which, with the addition of the petite French war brides, will present vividly the brave spirit of these wonderful people, and enlist our aid for the infants of their country.  Fifteen hundred girls, wearing caps and streamers, will remind us that “In Flanders fields the poppies grow,” and gratefully receive our donations.  Mrs. E. Guerin, at the Washington Annex, will be glad to answer inquiries regarding the sale and all war brides who will assist are asked to telephone Mrs. Mack, North 1795.”  

The Hotel Washington Annex, Seattle, Washington – where Madame E. Guérin stayed. Courtesy/© of Heather Anne Johnson.

The Hotel Washington Annex, Seattle, Washington – where Madame E. Guérin stayed.
Courtesy/© of Heather Anne Johnson.

On Wednesday 19 May 1920, The Seattle Star wrote about the city’s Poppy Day “Saturday” [sic]:

Seattle Will Bloom With Red Poppies.

Symbolical of the flowering fields of Flanders, thousands of bright red poppies will bloom on the streets of Seattle Saturday.

But, unlike the modest prairie flower, they will bloom not only to be seen but to be sold, as well.
For Saturday is “Poppy Day.”

Under the direction of Mme. Guerin, representative here of the Franco-American Children’s Relief society, the flowers will be sold to all who will buy for the relief of the war-robbed little folks of France.

Come on, mister, buy a poppy for Pierre.” 

On 22 May 1920, a Poppy Day was held in Caldwell, Idaho.  Georgina Marriott addressed an audience there on 15 May – and recruited the girls.   The Caldwell Tribune (18 May) printed this article [sic]:

“WILL HOLD POPPY DAY IN CALDWELL SATURDAY. 

One hundred fifty high school girls will put on a tag day Saturday for the benefit of French children in the devastated sections of France, according to an announcement made Saturday by Mrs. G. B. Marrio Marriott, accredited representative of Madam E. Guerin, French director of the movement. The day is officially designated as “Poppy Day.”

Caldwell is assigned no quota. Whatever funds are raised that day will go to alleviate suffering and provide for needs of French children residing in the war stricken areas. Mrs. Amelia Anderson has charge of the campaign here.

Mrs. Marriot spoke Monday morning on her work at the local high school. She was assured hearty cooperation in putting on the drive here. Tags to he sold are in the form of a poppy.”

On that very same day (a Saturday), Anna and Georgina Marriott were in Preston, Idaho.   The Ogden Standard Examiner Wednesday edition (26 May), reported that the two ladies had just returned to Ogden from Preston – after a “Poppy Day campaign” for “destitute children in France”.

On 23 May 1920, Madame Guérin was in Spokane, Washington State.  She gave a lecture at the Central Methodist Episcopal church in Spokane.

The Spokane Chronicle (of Spokane, Washington) alerted its readers the day before [sic]:  Lecture on France.  A lecture on the children of France will be given by Madame Guerin at the Central Methodist Episcopal church tomorrow evening.  In the morning the Rev.  J. M. Walters will take as his subject, “A Day of Remembrance.”  Special music will be given at both services.”

On 24 May 1920, a “Poppy Week” in Milwaukee commenced – 24-31 May.  It has been suggested the event was at the suggestion of Mary Hanecy (ref 06 June 1919).  She was a member of the Milwaukee American Legion Post 1 Auxiliary & President of the 32nd Division Women’s Corp.  http://www.legionpost1.org/history/  – it was the Milwaukee American Legion Post No. 1 who organised the Poppy Drive and it led up to Memorial Day.

The Daily Tribune, of Wisconsin Rapids in Wisconsin, alerted readers of Milwaukee’s forthcoming Poppy Week (run by the American Legion) in its edition of 21 May [sic]:

DEDICATE WEEK TO HONOR DEAD LEFT IN FRANCE.  ASK EVERYONE TO WEAR POPPIES NEXT WEEK IN MEMORY OF VETERANS WHO FELL ABROAD

The week of May 24th to 31st has been designated as Poppy Week, and in Milwaukee, thru the efforts of the Legion and the Auxiliary, May 31st has been set as tag day for the poppy movement.  The Milwaukee Journal says the following of the plans which will be carried out there:

“In Flanders fields the poppies blow

Between the crosses, row on row,

That mark our place; and in the sky

The larks, still bravely singing, fly,

Scarce heard amidst the guns below,

We are the dead.  Short days ago

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,

Loved and were loved, and now we lie

In Flanders fields.—Lieut. John D. McCrae.

“Poppies and Flanders fields!  Regardless of past associations, the World war has crowned that flower with a sanctity all its own, and from now on, thanks to the efforts of the Sergt. Arthur Kroepfel Post. No. 1, American legion, and the girls’ unit, Red Arrow division, the red poppy will be known as the “memory” flower and the official flower of the A. E. F.

No doubt it was Lieut. John D. McCrae’s tribute poem, In Flanders Fields, that gave the poppy its new significance.  Lieut. McCrae, a doctor from Montreal, Canada, wrote the poem during the second battle of Ypres April, 1915.  Today Lieut. McCrae is also “sleeping in the poppy fields,” that he immortalized in his poem, having been killed in action in Flanders, Jan. 28, 1918. 

Poppy Day May 31

“If ye break faith with those who die,  We shall not sleep though poppies grow

In Flanders fields.” Says the second verse of the poem and it is to remind us of this faith of our dead heroes that Monday, May 31, this year, has officially been set aside in Milwaukee as Poppy day.

This day will be heralded by what will be known as Poppy week beginning May 24.  Hundreds of girls from the Red Arrow division and the Sergt. Arthur Kroepfel post No. 1, dressed in white and carrying ornate baskets filled with the flowers, will make the city theirs that week, and pin a poppy on everyone in silent token of those boys who have gone “west.” To announce Poppy week, a poppy parade will be held in the afternoon of Saturday, May 22. The Elks’ band will serenade all business houses and Milwaukee newspaper offices where magnificent poppy decorations will be on display. 

Stores Asked to Aid.

A drive will be made on all the retail stores of the city asking them to arrange for poppy decorations during poppy week, and urging manufacturers to buy poppies and give them to their employes.  Poppy headquarters have been established in room 210, Plankinton arcade, with a force in charge to take care of the poppy orders.”

Staying with early Poppy Days where the American Legion were involved, again in Wisconsin, an American Legion Post distributed poppies on Memorial Day.  On Saturday 5 June 1920, The Tampa Times (of Florida) printed a sentence about it [sic]: Poppies for Vets on Memorial Day.  Superior, Wis., June 5.—Members of the woman’s auxiliary, America Legion, here distributed poppy boutonnieres to veterans in the parade on Memorial day.”

Around the time that Anna Guérin’s Washington State Poppy Days (22 & 29 May 1920), the Spokane American Legion Auxiliary held a Poppy Day on 25 May, to benefit veteran soldiers.  The Day raised “more than $2000” which was not as much, it has to be noted, as Anna Guérin’s in the city four days later.  It appears that Mary Hanecy’s Poppy Drive was not thefirst”, nor only, American Legion-run Poppy Drive organised then.

On an unknown date in late May, Madame Guérin spoke before the Portland Parent-Teacher Council. The Oregon Daily Journal of Portland (6 June 1920) mentioned her [sic]

Parent-Teacher Council Holds Final Meeting. The Portland Parent-Teacher council held its first meeting for the season afternoon at Central library with a large and enthusiastic attendance.  The annual reports of associations were continued, the following giving a resume of the excellent work done during the past year: … … Madame Garin spoke on behalf of the French-American Children’s league. … …”

1920 – MEMORIAL DAY 1921

It is believed that it was around late November/early December 1918, that the foundations for ‘La Ligue des enfants de France et d’Amérique’ were laid down in Paris – affiliated to the French government. However, the charity did not become officially operational until Anna Guérin had organised her first State and the first monies were received in Paris, in September / October 1919.    In her 1941 Synopsis, Anna Guérin wrote we formed a Committee called : PROTECTION OF THE CHILDREN OF DEVASTATED FRANCE , Mr Millerand – President of France – accepted to be President , Mme Millerand , his wife , being the active President .   And I was choosen to take her place and to come back to the United States to lecture for the Committee …”  

Reported in Montana’s Anaconda Standard (17 June 1920), Anna Guérin was quoted as saying that when she returned to France after the Armistice she had “been with her family just five days, when she was called back to Paris and told she was to have entire supervision of the work in America …” – which could place her going to Paris around 25th November (1918).

Initially, Madame Guérin arrived back in the U.S.A. under the auspices of ‘Fraternal League of the Children of France’. For the U.S.A., Anna Guérin’s branch of ‘La Ligue des enfants de France et d’Amérique’, became Anglicised to the ‘American-Franco Children’s League’ but soon took the name of ‘American and French Children’s League’ but research has found it referred to as: ‘American Star and ‘Inter Allies Children League’. Significantly, and importantly, the organisation took the POPPY as its emblem.

In 1941, Anna Guérin reverently referred to Alexandre Millerand as “President of France” but he was not inaugurated when he took a role in the P.C.D.F.   Other named officers of ‘Protection des Enfants des Régions dévastées’ were Henrietta Poincaré, Hon. President; ex-President Poincare; S.A.S. Prince of Monaco; Minister of the Interior; and M. Leon Bourgeois, president of the Senate.

It was as a result of World War One that the organisation ‘Protection des Enfants des Régions dévastées’ (‘Protection for Children of the Devastated Regions of France’) had been created. It was attached to the Ministry of the Interior.  It had a strong association with ‘La Ligue Fraternelle des Enfants de France’ (Fraternal League of the Children of France).

The ‘Protection for Children of the Devastated Regions of France’ aimed to reach the vulnerable children that existing charities in France were failing to protect and was not connected to the ‘Fatherless Children of France’ organisation, which sought to match French orphans with American “god-parents”.

One of the examples of “régions dévastées” in France. Courtesy of Heather Anne Johnson.

One of the examples of “régions dévastées” in France.
Courtesy of Heather A. Johnson.

‘La Ligue Fraternelle des Enfants de France’ (Fraternal League of the Children of France) was founded in c1896, by one Lucie Faure.  It was an attempt to halt the depopulation of France, by providing for disadvantaged children. In July 1919, it was reported to be an organisation of “23 years old”.

Lucie Faure was Lucie Rose Séraphine Èlise Faure, who was born in 1866 at Amboise.  She was the daughter of Félix Faure President of France from 15 January 1895 until his death on 16 February 1899 and his wife Marie-Mathilde Berthe (née Belluot). Lucie married Georges Goyau on 10 November 1903, at Saint-Honoré-d’Eylau Parish Church in Paris.

Lucie Faure/Goyau died on 22 June 1913 in Paris, aged only 47.  Coincidentally, this was the year Raymond Poincaré became President and it is deduced that his wife, Henrietta Adeline Poincaré (née Benucci), took over the responsibility for ‘La Ligue Fraternelle des Enfants de France’ upon Lucie’s death.  In her role as “First Lady” of France, she became Honorary President and Mlle. Apolline de Gourlet, the educator/author of Paris, became President.

When Anna Guérin gave an interview in 1919 (reported upon in The Detroit Free Press, 18 July 1919), she confirmed her League had its origins in the organisation ‘La Ligue Fraternelle des Enfants de France’ and she named Mme. Raymond Poincaré head of this Ligue.

On 21 September 1919, The Chicago Tribune printed an informative article about the ‘Fraternal League of the Children of France’ in the U.S.A. The national headquarters of its American committee was in Chicago, due to the appointment of Miss Anne Parker Miner (of 100 East Chicago avenue, Chicago) as national chairman of the United States.   It stated that the “Fraternal League of the Children of France” was endorsed by the National Investigation Bureau of New York and Incorporated under the laws of Illinois.

Officers of the American committee, in addition to Miss Miner, were George A. Kelly, general secretary; Mrs. Jessie Ozias Donahue, executive secretary; George Acheson of New York, national treasurer, and Mrs. Frederick W. Masters, executive treasurer for the middle west.  The headquarters address was 434 First National Bank building, 38 South Dearborn street.

Anna Guérin stated that her “American-Franco Children’s League” officially commenced its operations in October 1919 and had been incorporated in Maryland.  Mrs. George Corbin Perine (of Baltimore, [Ione O.] Tyler née Cooke) was the National Vice-Chairman who would, eventually, become the National Chairman. The ‘Protection des Enfants des Régions dévastées’ became the main “Beneficiary Organisation” for the funds the League raised.

All the facts and clues point to the “Fraternal League of the Children of France” having been metamorphosed into the “American-Franco Children’s League” and, in reality, they Chicago, due to the appointment of Miss Anne Parker Miner (of 100 East Chicago avenue, Chicago) as national chairman of the United States.   one of the same but with a change of name and committee members in the U.S.A.

There had been a strong link between France and the United States of America ever since 1776 – when the former supported the latter, during its fight for independence from Great Britain.  It is from a 1921 statement, made by Professor Hartley Burr Alexander (of Lincoln, Nebraska), we have it further confirmed the League was originally called ‘The American-Franco Children’s League’ corresponding to the Paris committee name ‘Ligue Americaine-francaise des enfants’. 

A rare ‘American-Franco Children’s League’ badge, made by ‘Whitehead & Hoag’. Courtesy/© of Heather Anne Johnson.

A rare ‘American-Franco Children’s League’ badge, made by ‘Whitehead & Hoag’.
Courtesy/© of Heather Anne Johnson.

It is a rare badge pin or button that is shown above.  It promotes the ‘American-Franco Children’s League’.  This is what the League was known as in 1919 and, again, in 1921 – it has been suggested that the typeface graphics indicate it is more likely to be 1921, than 1919.

The words “THE WHITEHEAD & HOAG CO., NEWARK, N.J.  BUTTONS, BADGES, NOVELTIES AND SIGNS” appear on the inside of the pin.  The design reinforced the strong link between France and the United States of America, which had existed ever since 1776 – when the former supported the latter, during its fight for independence from Great Britain.

The Bisbee Daily Review, Arizona (29 September 1920) reported, of Anna’s League [sic]: “The first purpose of the league is to render aid to the children of devastated France. Its ultimate purpose is friendship through understanding.   That two great nations that have stood together as have France and America, each in the hour of their greatest need, 1776 and 1917, shall never grow apart.”  

N.B. As an English woman, with no prior knowledge of the subject of French charities of any era, let alone this one, the author is receptive to being corrected and/or enlightened on this particular set of circumstances.

Numerous similarly-named societies were founded during the First World War period, ‘twixt North America and France.  Any individual charity could be referred to by a concoction of names – lost in translation between the French and English languages.  At the time, it may have caused some confusion – it certainly did for this author!

‘La Ligue des enfants de France et d’Amérique’ was created and the question was asked at a very early stage in the research:  “Did Anna Guérin establish and direct the whole League or did she just organise the activities in the USA?”   Certainly, the League’s headed paper (as below) confirms Anna’s position as far as America is concerned:- she is “Director”, under ‘National Officers in the US’; she is prominently listed as “Founder of the League in the United States”; and, additionally, her League’s link to the French Republic is proved.

Edited from Hartley Burr Alexander Papers [RG4028]). Courtesy of Nebraska State Historical Society.

Edited from Hartley Burr Alexander Papers [RG4028]).
Courtesy of Nebraska State Historical Society.

Hartley Burr Alexander of Lincoln, Nebraska (President of US ‘American and French Children’s League’) stated on 8 October 1920 that Madame Guérin was “the founder of the organization, both in the United States and in France” … “At the time of the armistice, Madame Guerin returned to France.  There she was so deeply impressed with the needs of the French child victims of the war that she determined to return to America to continue her work in their behalf; and this she did after having first affected in France the organization of a distributing committee under the chairmanship of Mme. Millerand, wife of the president of France …”

The aforementioned text formed just a small part of an application submitted by Hartley B. Alexander to the Director National Information Bureau – to have the League recognised by that Bureau.

Early research pointed to Anna Guérin having created the whole ‘American and French Children’s League’ but working under the ‘umbrella’ Paris-based Committee – linked to the ‘Protection for Children of the Devastated Regions of France’ organisation.

With new facts being discovered all the time, an interview that Madame Anna Guérin gave on 17 June 1920 (in The Anaconda Standard, Anaconda, Montana) has recently come to light and enlightens further.  Headed MME. GUERIN WORKER FOR FRANCE SINCE WAR STARTED.”, it described how Anna Guérin had come to be in Montana [sic]:

Mme. E. Guerin, who is in Butte to inaugurate a campaign for the children of the devastated parts of France, is in America for the fifth time since the great war began in 1914.  When asked why she came to America at once after the outbreak of the war, she said, “I wanted to help my country.  I wanted to educate your people about France. …

“Was I ever at the front?  Indeed yes.  Every summer I went back to France, and as my two daughters were in school, and my husband was in government service in Africa, I spent all the time in the base hospitals. …”

In another interview, she had said that (when the First World War broke out) she knew she could not be a good nurse and, in continuing with this interview she remarked that she had “offered to do the thing for which she was best fitted and was sent to this country as lecturer. …

“Mme. Guerin spent several months each year in the United States, and when the armistice was at last signed, she returned home and made her report, thinking that her work was at last finished.  She had been with her family just five days, when she was called back to Paris and told she was to have entire supervision of the work in America …”

All that said, we must be open to the fact that Anna Guérin was one of a chosen few who jointly formed the whole League.  Anna Guérin reigned in the U.S.A. and left the financial administration and distribution of monies to the Committee in Paris.

Edited from Hartley Burr Alexander Papers [RG4028]. 1920. Courtesy/© of Nebraska State Historical Society.

Edited from Hartley Burr Alexander Papers [RG4028]. 1920.
Courtesy/© of Nebraska State Historical Society.

As aforementioned, the main Beneficiary Organisation (1) was ‘Protection des Enfants des Régions dévastées’, with its first President being Monsieur Alexandre Millerand.  Alexandre Millerand had been a lawyer before entering politics.

Alexandre Millerand had been the French Ministre de la Guerre (Minister of War) between 14 January 1912 – 12 January 1913 and 26 August 1914 – 29 October 1915.

Alexandre Millerand was appointed Commissioner General de la République March 1919 – 19 January 1920, with the task of reorganising the three former departments of Alsace-Lorraine.

Millerand’s two aforementioned political positions could be the link to how he, and his wife Jeanne, may have become acquainted with Anna and husband Eugène.   Alsation-born Eugène was in law and Anna Guérin had been an official lecturer in a propagandist capacity – for which (it is reported), she received another medal from France.

Alexandre Millerand became the Prime Minister of France on 20 January 1920.  When Alexandre became Président de la République française on 23 Sept. 1920, he relinquished the position of ‘Active President’ of the ‘Protection des Enfants des Régions dévastées’ organisation to one Mlle. Chaptal – and took the title of ‘Honorary President’ instead.

Alexandre Millerand. President, ‘Protection des Enfants des Régions dévastées’ organisation. Courtesy of Heather Anne Johnson.

Alexandre Millerand. Ministre de la Guerre.
Courtesy of Heather Anne Johnson.

The above World War One paper “journee” measures a mere 3.25” x 2.5” – it is believed it was offered for a donation, to raise funds for the French Government’s war effort.  It bears a sketch by the well-known French artist Émile Friant.   Alexandre Millerand was only Minister of War for France (Ministre de la Guerre) from 26 August 1914  to 29 October 1915 – so this is an early piece of French war effort fundraising ephemera.

The second Beneficiary Organisation (2) was the ‘Committee of Assistance for Alsace-Lorraine’ and Madame Poincaré was one of the Honorary Presidents of this.  Of course, Alexandre Millerand had had recent responsibility for Alsace-Lorraine and his wife was now on the ‘La Ligue des enfants de France et d’Amérique’ Committee which directed aid to it, from Paris … all was inter-connected, it appears.          

The third Beneficiary Organisation was ‘Bidart House’ (3), a sanatorium for children, near Biarritz on the south-western French coast.  Initially, it was believed that ‘Bidart House’ was le Château d’Ilbarritz/le Château du Baron Albert de l’Epée, which stands at Bidart (adjacent to Biarritz) – as it is recorded that the Château was a hospital during the First World War.

However, on-going research has proved that it was another property in Bidart which was the ‘Bidart House’  children’s home but the originally posted images and information on the Château was deemed interesting enough not to delete it, so it remains in situ here.

Château d'Ilbarritz/“Bidart House” on the cliff-top, above la Côte Basque. Courtesy/© of Eliane Bidegain. http://www.biarritz.ovh.org/villas/Ilbarritz.html

Château d’Ilbarritz/“Bidart House” on the cliff-top, above la Côte Basque.
Courtesy/© of Eliane Bidegain. http://www.biarritz.ovh.org/villas/Ilbarritz.html

The ‘Château d’Ilbarritz’ had an interesting feature. A Biarritz local historian described le Baron de l’Epée (the Sword Baron), who built the Château, as “an original”.   On the images above and below, an unusual row of “cahutes” (cabins/huts) can be seen running away from the château.   These were built because the Baron wanted to walk down to the beach out of the wind, regardless of whether the wind was on or off shore.  In order to achieve this, 3 kilometres of paths on the west and east sides of the steep terrain were created.

Château d'Ilbarritz/“Bidart House”, showing some pavilions & walkways. Courtesy/© of Eliane Bidegain. http://www.biarritz.ovh.org/villas/Ilbarritz.html

Château d’Ilbarritz/“Bidart House”, showing some pavilions & walkways. Courtesy/© of Eliane Bidegain. http://www.biarritz.ovh.org/villas/Ilbarritz.html

Thus, he was able to walk every day, whatever the wind direction – come rain or shine. The paths had covered walk-ways, with cahutes (cabins/huts) at ten metre intervals for respite.  14 pavilions stood at various points near the château – one for his dogs.   There was a building on the beach which housed a piano.  On days when great storms blew, the Baron played the piano facing the raging sea.  It would certainly appear that the Baron was, indeed, “an original”.   The Baron sold Château d’Ilbarritz/“Bidart House” in 1910.

However, the real “Bidart House” was ‘Maison Maurice Pierre’, Bidart – as shown below.  It had been instigated by American woman Mrs. Dorothy Canfield Fisher and operated by the French Red Cross for children from war-torn areas of France including, in particular, Lille.  When the armistice was proclaimed the House of Bidart, with all furnishings, was transferred to the Fraternal league.

‘Maison Maurice Pierre’, Bidart, Nr Biarritz. Courtesy of Heather Anne Johnson.

‘Maison Maurice Pierre’, Bidart, Nr Biarritz. Courtesy of Heather Anne Johnson.

In reality, Dorothy was Dorothea Frances Canfield/Mrs. John Fisher who had been born in Lawrence, Kansas, to University Professor father James Hulme Canfield and his artist/writer wife Flavia (nee Camp).   Dorothy’s father, James H. Canfield, was the chancellor of the University of Nebraska when it passed from being a small college to securing the great status of being a state institution of learning.  Thus, Nebraskans knew the Canfield family members well and followed their endeavours.

Dorothea was educated in France, as well as the USA.  She gained a Ph.D. degree in modern languages in 1904.  She married John Redwood Fisher in 1907 and the couple had one daughter and one son.  Prior to WW1, she had visited Rome and witnessed Maria Montessori’s schools for children. She took this teaching method back to the USA.

In 1915, John Fisher joined the American Volunteer Ambulance Corps and went to France to serve with the French army.  A year later, Dorothy followed her husband to France and, for two years, the couple carried out war relief work.   After the war ended, whilst living and bringing up her children in Paris, Dorothy established a Braille press for blinded soldiers.

Dorothy championed racial equality; women’s rights; and education for all.  The latter cause included adult education and, in this regard, Dorothy became known as a reformer of education and oversaw the USA’s first adult education programme.   In many respects, Dorothy and Anna Guérin had similar opinions regarding education and women.   Dorothy was one of many confident women Anna Guérin became associated with.

In a congratulatory letter to Madame Guérin (22 May 1920), from Madame Lebon (American and French Children’s League’s Chairman in France), more is learnt about ‘Bidart House’: “… The 35,000 francs that came from the poppy day of Pueblo will be employed to buy, if possible, the Children’s Hospital at Bidart. …  We have written to the owners and we shall send all the details to the chairman of Pueblo. …”

This is a good place to insert an article, which is completely out of sequence. It appeared a year later, on 11 May 1921, on page 7 of the Pueblo Chieftain (of Pueblo, Colorado) and it offers a conclusion to the ‘Bidart House’ situation [sic]:

POPPIES TO AID BIDART HOUSE PUEBLO’S HOSPITAL ON BISCAY BAY.

On the sunny shores of the Bay of Biscay, along the balmy winds from Spain sweep up from the south, within view of ocean going steamers and near the sea-shores there stands a small white hospital.  “Bidart House” it is called.

Along a white level road to the Spanish boundary Continental travellers pass the pretty grounds around Bidart house.  Inscribed on this white stone archway is the word “Pueblo”.

Money raised by the American and French Children’s league in Pueblo has made possible this hospital.  A fund started in Pueblo purchased and equipped the hospital and funds derived from the sale of poppies each year in Pueblo, along with a fund raised in France makes possible the life of this small hospital and the carrying on of the merciful work done there.

Orphan children of France, maimed thru the atrocities of an brutal enemy, under-nourished an malformed thru conditions caused by an unscrupulous invader, are housed and cared for in this small white building.  Here they are fed and instructed in the rudiments of a common education.

Their lives depend on the care they receive in Bidart House, and the life of Bidart House depends on the support accorded it by Puebloans in this country and villager near the children’s hospital in France.  Money is derived thru the sale of red paper poppies—fashioned by these children in their spare hours at Bidart House.

Madame Guerin, the “Poppy Lady” who was in Pueblo last year at the time of the Poppy day sale, has shipped a large number of the paper poppies to Adjutant Robert Morris of the American legion, thru which the sale will be made this year.

The poppy—the flower of Flanders,–has been officially designated as the “Memory Flower” for members of the American Expeditionary forces who fell on the other side.  On Memorial day these poppies will be strewn on the graves of American soldiers who have been buried in this country.

Governor Shoup has set aside May 28 as Poppy Day this year.  A proclamation has been issued to this effect, it is said.  On that day sale of the poppies, at nominal prices will be made in this city.

All money thus raised will go direct to the trustees of Bidart House who will expend funds in the interest of the Pueblo hospital in France.”

Maison-Maurice-Pierre, Bidart. Courtesy/© Heather Anne Johnson.

Maison-Maurice-Pierre, Bidart. Courtesy/© Heather Anne Johnson.

The link between the American and French Children’s League funding of Dorothy’s ‘Bidart House’ and Madame Anna Guérin is NEBRASKA.

James H. Canfield, Dorothy’s father, was the chancellor under whom the University of Nebraska passed from the status of a small college into that of a great state institution of learning”.  Nebraskans, especially those living in Lincoln, knew the Canfield family members well and followed their endeavours.

Anna Guérin had made many influential friends in Nebraska – particularly in Lincoln.  For instance, Hartley Burr Alexander (Professor of Philosophy at Nebraska University in Lincoln); Miss Mae Pershing & Mrs. D. M. Pershing-Butler (sisters of the U.S. General Pershing) – who all held prominent positions in Anna’s Children’s League in the U.S.A.   General Pershing had, himself, made Lincoln his “home city”.

The following long article gives a descriptive insight into the life at ‘Bidart House’ (or ‘Maison Maurice Pierre’), much being written in Dorothy Canfield Fisher’s own words.  It also tells of how Madame Anna Guérin and Dorothy became acquainted.  The article appeared in Nebraska’s Weekly State Journal’ on 6 October 1920 [sic]:

Nebraska’s Gift to France : Dorothy Canfield Fisher : Poppy Lady Madame Guérin.

Nebraska’s Gift to France : Dorothy Canfield Fisher : Poppy Lady Madame Guérin.

A Home For Little Francais in Which Nebraskans Are Interested.  Nebraska’s Gift to France.  Bidart House and the Work of the American and French Children’s League.

At Bidart, in France down on the edge of the bay of Biscay, is a hospital, a beautiful, comfortable old building and a long stretch of white beach where many a French child is emerging from the blackness of war into the sunshine of happier days.  This home all Americans are interested in, but especially Nebraskans, for it was established by one of them, Dorothy Canfield Fisher, who spent the four years of the war in France in relief work for the refugees, the soldier blind and later the children whose lives had almost been wrecked by the cruelties of war.  Another name which is closely connected with the Bidart house, and also in the minds of Nebraska people with the later days of the struggle, is that of Madame E. Guerin, who valiantly gave her services in the cause of the French children and succeeded in making the American and French children’s league a reality.

Below is a description of the home at Bidart, written by Mrs. Fisher, who is now resting at her Vermont home; also the story what has been done thru her efforts and those of Madame Guerin.

The Children’s Home At Bidart.

“I don’t know when I have ever loved my country more, or felt prouder of America, or closer to the best of her people, than very far away (as miles go) down in a remote sunny corner of France—near the Pyrenees, and on the edge of the Bay of Biscay.  Every day it was a joy to me (in a period of heartache and apprehension at the dark period of the war) to walk along the firm white sand of the beach*, in that soft brilliant sun-light, with the sweet sea-air like wine, and the sea-gulls wheeling over head.  I was going to the children’s home, and smiled beforehand.   

“I push open a gate in the high wall which shuts out the wind from the too-delicate ones, and find myself in an old garden, sunny, sheltered, with big hedges of wild-orange, and all blossoming with little children.  This first group, four or five of them near the wall, in a pool of sunshine, playing in the sand, why are they so immobile? Because four years of war-privations, insufficient food, unheated homes, nervous apprehension, have so retarded their growth that they have never walked, altho some are five and six years old.  Their thin little legs, where the bones have only the strength of little babies’ bone, have twisted pitifully under the weight, light as it is, of the children’s bodies.  There is a little boy whose childish eagerness for activity rises above his weakness.  See how he drags himself along on his hands to reach the flat stone which will make such a fine roof for the home they are building in the sand.  You think, wincing, of a poor little kitten you saw once, whose back had been broken by a stone, dragging itself along in that tragic way.  But the expression on the little boy’s face is as sunny and clear as the blue sky over him.  For he is in paradise, who was in purgatory.  He who had known nothing since the war began (almost the whole of his little life) but one small, cold, dark room, inhabited infrequently, by an anxious, careworn woman, too tired to talk, rushing in after a day’s exhausting work to cook the scanty food which did not nourish her children’s bodies.  And here he is in sunshine and peace, with plenty to eat and such an air about him, that his little lungs fill up like bellows—and he goes to sleep singing, and wakes up smiling.

“And who has done this for the little boy?  Why, who but my old cousin in far away Nebraska, going without things she’d like, devising little economies, saving here, and earning there, and with a divinely imaginative sympathy for the need of others, sending her money to far-away France where it fell upon the sad little boy and put him on a magic carpet and sent him down to paradise to escape the doom which hung over him.

“For he will recover.  With the miraculous capacity for regeneration of human youth, his little body will straighten and strengthen and develop; and some day, not so very far away, three months perhaps, he will stand up on his own feet and take the first steps he has ever known, straight forward into health.  And on that day, I am very sure that my dear old cousin in Nebraska will feel, wherever she is, a sudden warm lightness of heart, and will break out singing, where she stands, perhaps in the pantry, planning how she can make a cake without an egg so that she can go on saving.  And if there is anything in the old talk of pearly gates and golden streets, I’m pretty sure that she will have a happy reunion up there with the little boy whom she never saw, but whom she helped to grow up into a strong, useful citizen of France—which needed him so sorely.

Dinner Time for the orphans at ‘Maison Maurice Pierre’, Bidart. Weekly State Journal’ (Nebraska) 6 October 1920.

Dinner Time for the orphans at ‘Maison Maurice Pierre’, Bidart.
Weekly State Journal’ (Nebraska) 6 October 1920.

“Well, I pass on past that group to another of ten or twelve older girls, from eight to fourteen, who in neat, clean aprons are helping set the tables for lunch out in the clear winter sunshine.  They are chattering like magpies as they step back and forth, of their school (for during their stay at the home they attend the village school) of their play, of the last long walk over the cliffs above the sea—of their work, but most of all of the incredible fact that this lovely spot, this hospitable rambling sunny old home—this glorious blue sea and white breakers, should be all for them, these piles of bread, and places of hot soup should be for them, who have known for the last four years nothing but the fact opposite of all this.  They were all anaemic, scrofulous, pale, listless, silent, when they came—and now look at them.  I stand listening to their light-hearted laughter, and wishing that the group of Club women in the American small town who are keeping them here could hear them too.  Those women must feel a conscious thrill of inexplicable happiness from time to time as an echo of this blithe escape of youth from weakness to strength, from misery to sunshine, reaches from Bidart to Iowa by the wireless waves which carry human emotions around the world.

“I leave them and push open another gate in the wall and find myself on the beach, windswept, clean, sunny.  A bright colored circular ten is set up on the sand, and a crowd of children, shouting and laughing, are playing in the sand with shovels and pails.  Near them, where the splendid breakers come wheeling in from the blue expanse, white and steel blue themselves, casting up a long line of hissing foam on the sand, stands a little girl in a plaster cast which encircles all her thin body and holds her head too heavy for her enfeebled little spine.  She stands there, the little girl, with wide eyes, gazing with a sort of hungry joy out on all that wild, free beauty. The sea breeze lifts her thin hair from her pale cheeks where a little pink begins, ever so faintly to show.  She has only just come from such wretchedness caused by the war, a father returned from the trenches crippled and tubercular, a mother worn and disheartened, a home where, since the war began, there has been not enough food, or fuel, or hope to keep human beings alive.  And ever since she arrived she has done nothing but gaze with an incredulous ecstasy out on the sunlit, tossing sea.

“I see the doctor making his daily round of visits to the children and when he leaves the little ones building their sand forts, I nod towards the new comer and ask him “Any hope for her?”  He nods, “Oh yes, I’ll cure her.  Nothing the matter but undernourishment and nervous tension.  She’ll be as straight  . . . if we can only keep her long enough, if the American help only holds out  . . . she’ll be as straight as anyone, and as strong when she goes back . . . a help to her parents, and saved for herself.”

“I go over and stand close to the little girl, just out of her prison cage with hope instead of death before her, and a mist of tears forms before my eyes, thru which I have a glimpse of that sorrowful American mother who, instead of putting up a costly monument to the memory of her dear, lost son sent an offering to help save another child.  And it seems to me that she is bending over the little crippled girl, and smiling.”

Such is the work, as Mrs. Fisher describes it, of the Bidart home for children, which Nebraska’s gift, thru the American and French children’s league, is helping to maintain today.  How the league cam to be formed and Nebraskans became interested is a story by itself, having to do with another remarkable woman.

Bidart House and Nebraska.

It was upon her return to France, with the close of the war, that Madame Guerin met in Paris Mrs. Dorothy Canfield Fisher, and learned of Bidart house and its needs.  Mrs. Fisher, as most Nebraskans know, is daughter of the late James H. Canfield, the chancellor under whom the University of Nebraska passed from the status of a small college into that of a great state institution of learning: and the resident for many years elsewhere Nebraskans still feel a possessional interest in one who, as a girl, was known to so many of them.  In her own right she has made a name as one of our foremost novelists and writers upon affairs and few readers of our leading periodicals are unfamiliar with her work.  Early in the war, and indeed long ere the United States became active therein, Mrs. Fisher accompanied her husband to France where he became connected with the ambulance service while she entered the relief work in Paris, first with refugees, later, with the men blinded by the war—for whom one of her accomplishments was the securing of Braille-printed literature and the teaching of them to read.  But it was particularly the lot of the refugee children that seized upon her sympathies—the most helpless of the war’s victims.  With meagre funds, partly the contributions of American friends, she undertook to establish a sanitarium for the emaciated, bewildered and often diseased little ones, remote from the seat of trouble.  She found a house by the seaside in southwestern France, the “Maison Maurice Pierre” at Bidart (Basses-Pyrenees), which came to be known as the “Bidart House;” and there for many months parties of children were taken to find restoration and health of body and mind amid surroundings suitable to childhood.  Of all the war charities this has been one of the most healthily and sanely inspirer, unpretentious but of inestimable benefit.

Madame Guerin carried with her to France letters from friends in Lincoln to Mrs. Fisher and when she heard of the work at Bidart, with Madame Lebon and others of the French committee, it was decided at once that this should be one of the institutions to benefit by the funds raised in America.  As a matter of fact, the Nebraska committee of the league made special request that its funds, or such part of them as should be necessary, should go to this institution—for it was felt that Nebraska already had an interest in Bidart.  This has been done with the sums already sent from Nebraska, now amounting to about ninety thousand francs.”

*N.B. It was only about a seven minute walk from the Home to the beach.   In 2017, it houses La société Comité Central Entreprise Banque de France and is still only seven minutes from the beach.

“Bidart House” = Maison Maurice-Pierre. The company Elcé was based in Bordeaux, Gironde. Courtesy/© of Heather Anne Johnson.

“Bidart House” = Maison Maurice-Pierre.
The company Elcé was based in Bordeaux, Gironde.
Courtesy/© of Heather Anne Johnson.

The Bidart sanatorium ‘Maison Maurice Pierre’ (‘Bidart House’) is listed as: “13. For the home at Bidart (Lille)”, within the “AMERICAN STAR” list featured below.

Orphans and staff at ‘Maison Maurice Pierre’, Bidart, nr Biarritz. Reproduced under licence from Nebraska State Historical Society.. RG4028-11.

Orphans and staff at ‘Maison Maurice Pierre’, Bidart, nr Biarritz.
Courtesy of Nebraska State Historical Society©: Agreement No. 20170059.

The photograph shown above is held within the papers of Hartley Burr Alexander, at the Nebraska State Historical Society.  The following French and English text appears hand-written on the back of the photograph shown above [sic]:

“MAISON MAURICE PIERRE BIDART.  Enfants de Lille reprenant de la santé a Bidart on Sea”

“MAISON MAURICE PIERRE BIDART. Children of Lille recovering their health at Bidart by the sea.”

The American & French Children’s League funded many additional needy causes and many will never be known.  A list (shown below), documenting some of the work that the League had carried out 1919-1920 is held in Hartley Burr Alexander’s archive at the Nebraska State Historical Society:

American & French Children’s League funding list, 1919-1920

American & French Children’s League funding list, 1919-1920. Courtesy of Nebraska State Historical Society.

American & French Children’s League, 1919-1920.
Courtesy Nebraska State Historical Society.

The following is the transcription of the list shown above [sic]:

“WHAT THE “AMERICAN STAR” (American-French League of children) has done for the children of the Devastated Regions of France 1919-1920

  1. Excess nourishment, Montescourt (Aisne).
  2. Purchase of cows at Verdun.
  3. Founding of an organisation for the distribution of milk at Senones.
  4. Establishment of a lying in hospital at Roye.
  5. Aid for tuberculous children (Aisne).
  6. Treatment of children at the Sea-Side (Merville-Nord).
  7. Purchase of cradles and baby carriages (Saint-Laurent-Blangy).
  8. Purchase of baby outfits at Saint-Quentin (Aisne).
  9. Financial Assistance to Boys-Scouts.
  10. Treatment of children at Sanatorium (Arras).
  11. Purchase of medicines and medical Supplies (Ternier-Nancy).
  12. Purchase of clothing and boots (Fourmies).
  13. For the home at Bidart (Lille).
  14. For the home at Sainte-Pierre-d’Albigny (Lille-Verdun).
  15. Purchase of clothing (Varennes-Meuse).
  16. Purchase of cows at Senones (Vosges).
  17. Founding of preventorium at Sissonne (Aisne).
  18. Treatment of children in the country.
  19. And at the Sea-Side (La Capelle-Pas-de-Calais).
  20. (Lille-Moyenmoutiers).”

Also mentioned within the “AMERICAN STAR” list above, are Moyenmoutier(s) and Senones (both of the Vosges department) thus:

  1. Founding of an organisation for the distribution of milk at Senones.
  2. Purchase of cows at Senones (Vosges).
  3. (Lille-Moyenmoutiers).
French widows and orphans at Moyenmoutier, Vosges. Courtesy of Nebraska State Historical Society©: Agreement No. 20170059.

French widows and orphans at Moyenmoutier, Vosges.
Courtesy of Nebraska State Historical Society©: Agreement No. 20170059.

The widows and orphans pictured above were being cared for by the ‘Union des femmes de France’ (U.F.F.) and it is deduced that they received funds from Madame Guérin’s charity ‘American & French Children’s League’ (initially called ‘American-Franco Children’s League’) because the photograph ended up in Hartley Burr Alexander’s papers.  The following text, in French, is written on the back of the photograph and an English translation and ‘Notes’ follows on from that [sic]: 

“56 Enfants. Moyenmoutier.  2 visites du docteur par mois- fiches établies pour chacun après poids – date des visites, genre d’alimentation, observations y compris la section du Rabodeau. 108 mères de famille – tous secourus. Président Mademoiselle ? [Nicole/Priole], Infirmière Major Union des femmes de France.  Madame Fragassé   Senones Vosges.”

“56 children. Moyenmoutier*  2 visits from the doctor per month – records kept for each – after weighing – date of visits, type of feeding/nutrition, observations including the section of the Rabodeau**.  108 mothers – all rescued.  President Mademoiselle Nicole, Nurse Major ‘Union des femmes de France’***.  Madame Fragassé   Senones Vosges.”

NOTES:

*          Moyenmoutier: Moyenmoutier is a commune in the French Department of Vosges.

**        Rabodeau: Le Rabodeau is a river in the French Department Vosges.

***      Union des femmes de France:

“Fondée en juin 1881 à Paris suite à la scission de l’Association des dames françaises. Union des femmes de France avait pour objet : “la préparation et l’organisation des moyens de secours qui, dans toute localité, peuvent être mis à la disposition des blessés ou malades de l’armée française”. http://data.bnf.fr/12191634/union_des_femmes_de_france/

“Founded in June 1881 in Paris, following the split of the ‘Association des dames françaises’. Union des femmes de France “had as its object:” the preparation and organization of the means of relief which, in any locality, may be made available to the wounded or sick of the French army.”

Société de Secours aux blessés militaires (SSBM) 1864-1940; Comité des Dames de la Société de Secours aux blessés militaires (CDSSBM) 1867-1940; Association des Dames de France (ADF) 1879-1940; Union des Femmes de France (UFF) 1881-1940.  The aforementioned societies became la Croix-Rouge française (CRF) 1940-current [French Red Cross].

11 French orphans, under Sister Marie’s care. 18 December 1920. Courtesy of Nebraska State Historical Society©: Agreement No. 20170059.

11 French orphans, under Sister Marie’s care. 18 December 1920.
Courtesy of Nebraska State Historical Society©: Agreement No. 20170059.

The photograph shown above appears to have been taken at an unknown convent-run orphanage (?).  It is deduced that it also received funds from Madame Guérin’s charity ‘American & French Children’s League’ (initially called ‘American-Franco Children’s League’) because it ended up within Hartley Burr Alexander’s papers, like the other photographs of orphans did.  The following text, in French, is written on the back of the photograph and an English translation follows on from that [sic]: 

“18  Dbre [décembre]1920   Madame   Je viens vous accuser réception du mandat de 150 f [francs] pour pension de M[ademoiselle] Thérèse Morel.  J’aime à croire qu’en son temps, vous avez été prévenue du départ de l’enfant le 3 Dbre [décembre].  Veuillez agréer Mme [Madame] l’expression de mes religieux sentiments.  Sr [Soeur] Marie”

“18 December 1920   Madam   I have to acknowledge the receipt of Miss Thérèse Morel’s 150 francs pension/lodging.  I would like to think that you were notified in time of the child’s departure on December 3rd.  Please accept the expression of my religious sentiments/feelings.  Sister Marie”

The ‘American & French Children’s League’ state structuring is set out by Anna’s own hand (Hartley Burr Alexander papers [RG4028]):-

“In each state organized we have at the Head of our Committee:

The Governor of the State

The State Superintendent of the School

The Commander of the American Legion

The President of the Federation of Women’s Club

And in each town we have as Chairman the Mothers or a relative of an ex-soldier.

And with their help we have for the benefit of these children of devastated France what we call “Poppy Days.” camouflage for tag days – the tags being a Red Poppy of Flanders – the badges of the girls inscribed:

“In flanders fields the poppies grow.”

Edited from New Zealand ‘Quick March’ – 10 April 1923, page 18. © Our boys, our families (29th Sep 2014). Quick March April 1923. http://ourboys.recollect.co.nz/nodes/view/5170#idx13846

Edited from New Zealand ‘Quick March’ – 10 April 1923, page 18,
© Our boys, our families (29th Sep 2014). Quick March April 1923. http://ourboys.recollect.co.nz/nodes/view/5170#idx13846

The aims of the ‘American and French Children’s League” were:-

  1. To Remember.
  2. To keep and preserve the link of affection between the two nations.
  3. To help France care for the children of the devastated regions.

The French Committee disburses the money sent by the Committees of the United States and distributes it according to need among the French organizations recognized by the French Government.”

The above extract taken from February 1921 edition of ‘Le Semeur’ (Moina Michael papers).  Courtesy of/permission from Hargrett Library, University of Georgia).

It appears that the American and French Children’s League asked for no membership fees initially. This situation must have been assessed because fees were introduced and they would have brought in valuable cash.  This must have been very welcome for helping with administration costs and expenses.

We learn about the specific fees from The Des Moines Register of Iowa (02 December 1919): “Associated membership in the league costs $1.  Sustaining membership, $5, and foundation membership, which I seek in Iowa most of all, costs $10; life membership, $100.” 

No donated dollar went towards administration; expenses; etc: “… All money received is expended through the aid and help of the French government.  All is expended to relieve the suffering of the little children. …”

1920 4-sided American and French Children's League leaflet (sides 1 & 2). Edited from Hartley Burr Alexander Papers [RG4028]. Courtesy of Nebraska State Historical Society.

1920 4-sided American and French Children’s League leaflet (sides 1 & 2).
Edited from Hartley Burr Alexander Papers [RG4028],
Courtesy of Nebraska State Historical Society.

 

1920 4-sided American and French Children's League leaflet (sides 3 & 4). Edited from Hartley Burr Alexander Papers [RG4028]. Courtesy of Nebraska State Historical Society.

1920 4-sided American and French Children’s League leaflet (sides 3 & 4).
Edited from Hartley Burr Alexander Papers [RG4028].
Courtesy of Nebraska State Historical Society.

Anna chose her ‘American and French Children’s League’ people very carefully and astutely – here are just a few of the high-profile people working with her, and for her, in the USA:-

Hartley Burr Alexander, National President.  Hartley was born on 09 April 1873 in Lincoln, Nebraska – the son of a Methodist preacher George S. Alexander from Rhode Island, who had initially been a Quaker).   His mother Abigail had died when he was three and this set in motion a “sense of abandonment”, which he felt all of his life.   Father George remarried, purchased a newspaper but continued to preach.   Hartley’s new step-mother was musical, artistic and loved speaking French.  It is assumed that Hartley learnt the French language, as a result.

For various reasons, Hartley gradually turned away from the religious environment he had been brought up in. While still in high school, the Wounded Knee massacre of Sioux Indians by US military troops in December 1890, affected him so deeply that he wrote the poems ‘To a Child’s Moccasin’; ‘The Only Good Indian is a Dead Indian’; and ‘Her Robe is Broidered’ – as protests against that action.   In his first year at university, Hartley’s step-mother died and then he lost his father.    His father had suffered from facial cancer.

Hartley Burr Alexander had been Professor of Philosophy at Nebraska University in Lincoln since 1908.  Also in 1908, he had married one Nelly Griggs whom he had known since his days as a student at the University.  In 1909, son Hubert Griggs Alexander was born and a daughter Beatrice was born in 1912, but Beatrice died aged 15 months.  It appears that Hartley and Nelly became great friends of Anna Guérin – perhaps she had made their acquaintance as early as 1918, when she was in Lincoln fundraising for the war effort.

Hartley Burr Alexander. Image RG.PH-2411-65 courtesy/© Nebraska Historical Society. http://www.nebraskahistory.org/index.shtml

Hartley Burr Alexander. Image RG.PH-2411-65.
Courtesy/© Nebraska Historical Society. http://www.nebraskahistory.org/index.shtml

In 1928, he took up a position at Scripps College in California and he held that until his death in 1939.   The Introduction by the late Thomas M. Alexander in the 1998 reprinted book ‘The World’s Rim: Great Mysteries of the North American Indians’ (By Hartley Burr Alexander) is credited here, for the aforementioned information – in turn, he credits Emile Caillet.

Described as a “free speaker”, Hartley has been dubbed “Nebraska’s Renaissance Man”.  His papers (RG4028), held by the Nebraska Historical Society, have proved to be an invaluable source of information about Anna Guérin and her ‘American & French Children’s League.

Nebraska State University. Courtesy of Heather Anne Johnson.

Nebraska State University. Courtesy of Heather Anne Johnson.

The surviving letters from Anna to Hartley Burr Alexander, display a high regard for him and a degree of friendship with him and wife Nelly.  A sense of professionalism and formality is gleaned from Anna’s writings to Hartley, as well as a confidence to trust him with personal views and feelings.   Invariably, Anna starts her letters “My dear, dear Friends …” but either the era or their professional status is still dictating a degree of etiquette when she signs off as “E. Guérin”.  In all the Poppy Day campaign letters discovered, Anna Guérin always had a good, complementary word to say about anyone she wrote about.  There will be more about these letters further on in this chapter.

Robert Henry Tyndall, Treasurer.   Robert lived in Indianapolis.   He was also the National Treasurer for the American Legion, which had its Headquarters in Indianapolis.  Anna settled on Indianapolis for her League Headquarters too – it was a logical move:  “Indianapolis must be the heart of America because the American Legion has found it fit for its headquarters and what is good for the boys must be good for the children.  I consider this my home as much as Paris, since I have spent so much of my time here.”

Initially, monies raised were sent directly to France but as soon as her National Committee was in place, all the money was sent to Robert H. Tyndall.

Image from ‘Indianapolis Men of Affairs, 1923’ by Paul Donald Brown: Page 626. Courtesy/© of IUPUI University Library Center of Digital Scholarship

Image from ‘Indianapolis Men of Affairs, 1923’
by Paul Donald Brown: Page 626.
Courtesy/© of IUPUI University Library Center of Digital Scholarship

Robert Henry Tyndall (bn Indianapolis 1877) was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal; the Croix de guerre; and the Légion d’honneur for his services during WW1.   By October 1921, he had attained the rank of Major General. In 1942, he was elected Indianapolis mayor – he died in 1947.  See more:  http://indiamond6.ulib.iupui.edu/cdm/ref/collection/IndyHist/id/10002

It appears that Robert also kept books for an American Legion fund relating to a ‘French War Orphan Fund’.  It seems (from reading 18 January 1920 New York Times) that it was an organisation that began in March 1918, when the American Expeditionary Force’s newspaper ‘Stars and Stripes’ “opened its campaign with a front page story under the headlines: “Take as your mascot a French War Orphan”.  Immediately the stream of francs began to pour in … Before long the bureau of the Red Cross that had been designated to administer the fund was swamped with work …”   When the aforementioned article was written, the last of AEF men had not long left France – not only had “they left behind their legion of dead” but some 3444 French orphans who had benefited from the AEF “adoption”/sponsorship scheme.

The Junction City Weekly Union publication in Kansas printed a plea that had gone out on behalf of these French orphans (06 May 1920): “The French orphan convention in New York has decided to request all the adopted parents of French orphans here in the United States to keep them for another year.   This is not a command but a request …”   As it had been during the war, the Red Cross bore all administrative costs in order for 100% of money donated could go to the orphans.

Thus, the American Legion; Robert H. Tyndall; and Madame Guérin were all intrinsically bound together by French orphans in the devastated regions of France.

Madame Isabelle Henrietta Mack (nee Adolph), Assistant Treasurer & Secretary:  Madame Mack was Mlle. Isabelle Henrietta Victoria Adolph.   Isabelle was born on 08 October 1873 in Lille, France (although Isabelle’s ‘Declaration of Intent’ for Naturalization states “1878”).  Her parents were German-born Moritz Heinrick/h Adolph & Scottish Fife-born Isabelle Doig Baxter.

Madame Mack’s maternal family had been big cotton producers and weavers in Dundee, Scotland.   Her grandfather Robert Doig Baxter was one of two Scottish Baxter brothers who had been asked by the French government, in 1839, to set up weaving in the north of France.  They chose Lille for producing cotton because of its comparable climate to Dundee.

Madame Isabelle Mack and daughter Enid, Lille 1903. Courtesy/© Victoria Foster.

Madame Isabelle Mack and daughter Enid, Lille 1903.
Courtesy/© Victoria Foster.

Moritz and Isabelle had four children: DORIS CAROLINE ADOLPH: born c1872, Lille, France; married on 30 July 1896 St John the Evangelist, Hammersmith, Greater London, to Lille-born Engineer Henry Ernest Walker (lived in Lille, after marriage); ISABELLE HENRIETTE VICTORIA ADOLPH: born on 08 October 1873 in Lille, France married Englishman Charles Mack (1872-1899) on 15 June1898 in Newcastle-upon-Tyne – emigrated to Seattle, U.S.A. in 1912; JESSIE DRUMMOND ADOLPH: born 1876; married on 18 April 1892 St. Simon, Hammersmith, Greater London, to John Drummond Spence – emigrated to Seattle, U.S.A in 1904; MAURICE HENRI ADOLPH: born 1876; died 30 December 1896.

When Isabelle was only three years old, her mother died of consumption (T.B.).  When her father went off to the U.S.A., her Maternal Aunt Charlotte (Mme. Traill) took charge of bringing up Isabelle and her siblings.  As a young woman, Isabelle studied at the Lycee et Fenelon, University de Lille.

In 1890, Aunt Charlotte took the family to England and set up home at 4 Coulter Road, Hammersmith, London. In 1896, Isabelle’s sister Doris married in June (from that address) but that year, sadly, ‘saw’ “Mercantile Clerk” brother Maurice dying in the December.

From at least 1898, Aunt Charlotte lived at 13 Callerton Place, Newcastle-upon-Tyne.  In the 1901 census, she was at that address with her sister Margaret (Widow Laferre).

The family had become quite poor and Isabelle and her sister Doris became “Mademoiselles Françaises” … Isabelle went to work for Mr. Joseph Cook and his family at North Biddick Hall, Washington; Doris worked for a Milburn family; but sister Jessie reconnected with distant Drummond relatives and soon married one of them, John Drummond Spence.

Isabelle met and married Newcastle-born Auctioneer Charles Mack (born 1872) on 15 June 1898 in Newcastle-upon-Tyne.  Daughter Enid Adolph Mack was born on 21 May 1899 in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England.  Sadly, six months later, husband Charles Mack died on 27 November 1899, of meningitis.

Isabelle, with daughter Enid Adolph Mack, left Liverpool, England on 24 August 1912 – to sail to North America.  Isabelle’s ‘Declaration of Intent’ for US citizenship (dated 26 April 1917 in Seattle, WA) notes she arrived in Sumas, Washington State “on or about” 07 September 1912 (after arriving in Canada on 03 September 1912).  Sister Jessie and her husband John Spence were living in Seattle – Isabelle was going to Seattle to stay with them.

Instead of fulfilling his promise to wife Jessie, that he would take her home to Europe, John Spence had invited Isabelle and daughter Enid over to Seattle.  Enid wrote, in later life, that her mother “was all thrilled up with the idea of going to Colorado and homesteading, which she never did, but the idea was there.”  Enid also wrote that her mother “was a very women’s equality person” – the same characteristic found in Madame Guérin.

After Isabelle made her ‘Declaration of Intent’ to become a U.S. citizen, on 26 April 1917, the question was asked “did she need to?” Her father had become an American citizen before his French-born children had reached the age of 21 but there was still a question mark because he had not noted his French children, only his American-born children.  When it came to entering the U.S.A., there was always a problem … the U.S.A. had entry quotas for every country: should Isabelle come under France, because she was born there; under Gt. Britain because she had married an English-man; or was she a returning U.S. citizen because her father was one.  Sometimes, Isabel felt she was a lady without a country!

Whilst daughter Enid was studying at the Barnard College of Columbia in New York City, N. Y., Isabelle began lecturing and working for Madame Anna Guérin’s ‘American and French Children’s League’.

Enid Adolph Mack. 1915, Broadway High School (Seattle) Yearbook.

Enid Adolph Mack. 1915.
Broadway High School (Seattle) Yearbook.

When the 1921 Children’s League Poppy Days began being organised, Enid Mack was the Chairman of the Barnard Poppy Day Committee.

Isabelle and Anna Guérin’s had much in common, they: were born the same year; were French; had lectured in the benefit of the fatherless children of France; were both advocates of women’s equality; and both personally knew the devastated regions of France – they shared the common goal to help France recover after World War One.  Research shows the two women must have met when Isabelle helped organise Anna’s 1920 Seattle Poppy Day.

Speaking to an audience with Anna, in October 1920, Isabelle was quoted as saying:- “I come from Lille.  My family has run a large mill there with 12,000 employees but since the war we have done nothing.  We have only 200 men, and can use no more because we can’t get the coal.  All our buildings are practically useless too.   Many of them are still standing but the vibrations from the guns has so weakened the walls that if we wish to use heavy machinery we have to have entirely new buildings.  It is a serious question.”

Within American Hartley Burr Alexander’s archived papers (held by the Nebraska State Historical Society) is a letter written by Poppy Lady Madame Guérin (March 1921) mentions Isabelle:  “… Mrs. Mack is too splendid organiser not to be in the field and two or three French ladies advancing their money are coming to the rescue. …”.  With that in mind, Madame Guérin’s sister, Juliette, and daughter, Raymonde, were trained up in order that Isabelle could “be in the field”.

An article on Tuesday 5 April 1921, in the Oakland Tribune (of California) described Poppy Lady Madame Guérin and women’s clubs [sic]:  Federation to Feature Social Welfare Topics. By EDNA B. KINARD. “”The Poppy of Flanders Field” will be worn on Decoration Day in all the countries which sent men into the world war.  The babies of France will receive the benefit from the sale of the significant red silk blossoms made by the widows and daughters of French soldiers.  …  Miss Isobel March* is overseas superintending the making of the millions of scarlet flowers. … …”    [*Miss Isobel March = must be Madame Isobel Mack]

The following is an extract taken from page 13 of a family history document written by Enid, daughter of Isabelle Mack.  It is a contribution made by Isabelle and it is transcribed here with the permission of the family [sic]:-

Reminiscences of the First Poppy Days – by Isabelle Mack.

Having been born in the North of France, in Lille, the ancient capital of “Flanders”, my sister, Jessie E. Spence and I always had a tender heart towards “La Patrie” – France and French causes.  We were in Seattle during the First World War, and active in many Allied and French movements.  We organized the “Union Francaise”, planned the reception for Marchal Joffre, organized Bastille Day (July 14, French Independence Day) celebrations and so forth.

So it was natural that after the Armistice, we were asked to take part in raising money for French relief.  France had she so much blood and lost so many men during the four years carnage, that there were a great many orphans and half orphans in need of financial help.  The particular cause I was asked to help was the relief of the “Fatherless Children of France”.  Mme. Millerand, wife of the President of France was the actual head of this work.  The Poem “In Flanders fields the poppies blow, beyond the crosses row on row” was well known to everyone at that time, so the Poppy became the emblem of our cause.  These first poppies that we sold were made in French Hospitals by disabled French soldiers.  (See bottom of page and Page 13a).

During 1920 and 1921, I travelled all over the United States organizing “Poppy Day Drives”, lecturing in schools and before private and civic organizations on behalf of the “Fatherless Children”, and trying to get “Poppy Clubs” started in every town and to insure that every home knew of the work.  All funds collected were sent by the head of the local sponsors to the receiving bank in New York and hence to France.  I never handled any of the money – and usually did not know how successful or not my work had been financially.

In my travels I met many interesting and well known people.  Senator and Mrs. Warrant Douglas MacArthur and Dr. DuBois of Indianapolis were others I met.”

This page 13 continues as written by Enid, as she understood the events:

“In 1921, Mrs. Isabelle Mack went to Indianapolis, headquarters of the then quite young “American Legion”.  There she transferred the ideas, copyrights and all responsibility for the money raising business to the Legion.  The American Legion now uses the idea and sale of poppies for the benefit of their disabled veterans.  The Veterans of Foreign Wars have adopted the idea also.  The American Legion printed Poppy Legion stamps – samples attached. … ”

Scan of Isabelle Mack’s American Legion stamps. Courtesy/© of Victoria Foster.

B&W scan of Isabelle Mack’s American Legion stamps.
Courtesy/© of Victoria Foster.

After all the 1921 Memorial Day Poppy Days, and after Enid Mack graduated in the summer of 1921, Isabelle and Enid made a trip to England – they stayed with Annie Cook, one of the daughters at North Biddock Hall.

In 1923, daughter Enid married and, after a couple of years travelling back and forth across the Atlantic, Isabelle settled permanently in Fericy, France and did not set foot in the U.S.A. again for another 33 years.  In 1956, Isabelle left her life in France behind and returned to live the last years of her life in Washington State, with her daughter Enid.

When Isabelle returned to the U.S.A., she broke the journey to Seattle by stopping off to visit one of her grand-daughters in Illinois first … and meet half of her eight great-grandchildren.  ‘The Decatur Sunday Herald and Review’ newspaper interviewed her and printed an article on 30 September 1956 [sic]:

Isabelle Mack with her youngest great-grandchild, Victoria. 1956. Courtesy/© of Victoria Foster.

Isabelle Mack with her youngest great-grandchild, Victoria.
1956. Courtesy/© of Victoria Foster.

VISITOR FROM FRANCE IS 83.  Former Tutor Visits George Shaws.

By Marguerit Mueller Of The Herald and Review Staff.

Approaching her 83rd birthday, Mrs. Isabel Victoria Henrietta Mack of Fericy, Seine et Marne, France, experienced her first plane trip from Paris to Chicago, via Montreal, Quebec, Can.  This is her visit to the United States in 33 years.  She is enroute to Enumclaw, Wash., near Seattle, to make her home with her only daughter, Mrs. N. W. Pooley.

Arriving in Decatur Wednesday, she greeted for the first time four of her eight great-grandchildren; the youngest one is her namesake, Victoria Shaw. The baby is the fourth child of Mr. and Mrs. George V. Shaw, Rural Route 7, with whom Mrs. Mack is visiting.  Mrs. Shaw is her granddaughter.  A second married granddaughter lives near her mother, Mrs. Pooley, close to Seattle.  When Mrs. Shaw and her sister were young girls, they visited their grandmother, Mrs. Mack in France, and stayed for two years.

The French visitor, a former tutor and lecturer, has made numerous steamship voyages to this country, the last in 1923, when her daughter married.

Born in Lille, France, Mrs. Mack studied at the Lycee et Fenelon, University de Lille as a young woman.  In 1891 she went to England where she later married an Englishman.  He died when their daughter was three.  All through the years, Mrs. Mack has served as a tutor.

A visit to Seattle, Wash. In 1914 altered the course of events for Mrs. Mack and daughter, Enid, who were “stranded” there until 1918, the end of the first world war.

In existence at that time, Mrs. Mack recalls, was a branch of service for young women called the “Telephone Service” which her daughter joined.  She was one of the youngest in the United States service who enlisted.  About to embark for France from Philadelphia, an epidemic of Spanish influenza broke out, and “of course,” Mrs. Mack adds, “the troops couldn’t be sent overseas.

“I encouraged my daughter to finish her education.  So Enid entered Columbia University in New York City, N. Y., and graduated in 1921.

One of Enid’s professors recommended advanced study in mathematics at the University of London in England.  So back to England went mother and daughter.

“And,” Mrs. Mack added, “I enrolled as a student in the London School of Economics.”

Tutoring was again resumed during the war years of 1939-1945, “when I was past the age of active participation of service.”  A great many boarding schools were closed, Mrs. Mack explained, although day schools were open.

Young women who desired to keep up their university courses in physics, chemistry, mathematics and languages engaged private tutors.  Mrs. Mack speaks English, French and German and also taught young girls in Germany for four years.

Mrs. Mack expects to be in Enumclaw by Oct. 8 to celebrate her birthday with her daughter and the many friends she made back in 1914-1918.  Many of them have visited her in France through the years.

Her daughter, Mrs. Poole, had requested her repeatedly to come to Seattle to make her home there.  Since the death of her sister last February, Mrs. Mack broke old ties in France to start a new life almost half way across the world and to greet the other half of her eight great-grandchildren.”  

Isabelle’s other sister, Jessie, joined her in Indianapolis – helping her and Anna Guérin in the 1921 poppy distribution. See below:

Jessie Drummond Spence née Adolph. 1938. Courtesy/© of Victoria Foster.

Jessie Drummond Spence née Adolph. 1938.
Courtesy/© of Victoria Foster.

Jessie Drummond Spence née Adolph was Madame Isabelle Mack’s sister.  Jessie, too, had been born in Lille – in 1876 – and had become a Governess.  Their lives had run parallel until Jessie married on 18 April 1892 at the parish church of St. Simon in Hammersmith, Greater London, to John Drummond Spence.  Jessie and husband John went to the U.S.A. in 1904 – arriving in the port of Boston on 02 September, having departed from Liverpool, England on 24 August.  They had been living in Weston-Super-Mare prior to that departure.

In the 1910 US census, Jessie and husband John were living in Foundry Avenue (Ward 14), 44 Avenue West, King, Seattle.  Neither of them had an occupation noted.

In the 1915 Seattle City Directory, under “SPENCE”, Jessie is named at ‘The Canterbury Tea Shop’ at 7019 Fauntleroy Avenue, Seattle.   Husband John (with “Jessie D”) is named at 2019 Fauntleroy.   Sisters Jessie and Isabella ran this Tea Shop.

In the 1920 US census, Jessie was living at 910 Moriarty Street, King, Seattle.  Her marital status was “Widow” and “Keeper” of a “Lodging House”.

On 10 March 1921, Jessie Spence was found arriving in New York aboard the ship ‘La Touraine’ – she had left from Le Havre, France on 26 February 1921.  Her final destination was given as her sister Isabelle at “238 East, Tenth Str. at Indianapolis, Ind.”  She gave her nearest relative as her “sister Mrs. Walker, 44 Turenne street at Lille (FRANCE)” … this was her and Isabelle Mack’s sister Doris.

On Wednesday 13 April 1921, The Indianapolis Star wrote about Madame Guérin’s poppies:

2,000,000 MORE ‘FLANDERS POPPIES’ REACH AMERICA.

Mme. Spence, Who Was in Charge of Shipment, Arrives in City.  

Two million more imitation Flanders poppies, the flower authorized by the American Legion as the official Decoration day emblem, have been brought to America by Mme. Jessie D. Spence of Lille, France, who arrived in Indianapolis yesterday. …”

The article reported that Jessie had “just returned from a year’s tour of the devastated area in France”: she had obviously visited Lille during that time, to see her sister Doris.  Jessie reported back to Anna Guérin; sister Isabelle; and the members of the public about the present state of the cities; the environs; and France, in general – confirming that the devastated regions of France still needed aid and charity.

Jessie’s name appears on a U.S. Naturalization Record Index dated 21 July 1925 – this was probably concerning a ‘Declaration of Intent’ to become an American citizen.  However, she probably found herself in the same position as her sister Isabelle – inasmuch as she may have been considered a U.S. citizen anyway by way of her father’s citizenship.

Off and on, until 1932, Jessie lived in Seattle – she taught French at the Y.W.C.A. and boarded at a room there.  Then, Jessie returned to France – initially, she stayed with relatives and, later, she got a job as a “helper to the protestant home for retarded children” in the Dordogne.   Jessie died in 1951, in the Dordogne.

The 2019 book ‘Le coeur étrange et l’âme française?: Kaufleute, Händler und Unternehmer in Lille: Eine vergleichende Studie zur britischen, deutschen und schweizerischen Migration nach Nordfrankreich (1789-1914)’ (German) Perfect Paperback – March 1, 2019, by Marius Golgath, {‘The foreign heart and the French soul? Merchants, traders and entrepreneurs in Lille: A comparative study of British, German and Swiss migration to northern France (1789-1914)’} includes a study of Isabelle and Jessie’s Baxter family in Lille and features Isabelle on front.

The question is asked: “where, in France, did Anna Guérin, Isabelle Mack or Jessie Spence go to superintend and/or get the Poppies and where was the fabric sourced?”

Devastated Lille, Nord-Pas-de-Calais: birthplace of Isabelle and Jessie Adolphe. Courtesy of Heather Anne Johnson.

Devastated Lille, Nord-Pas-de-Calais: birthplace of Isabelle and Jessie Adolphe.
Courtesy of Heather Anne Johnson.

An insignia of the/l’UNION DES MUTILES, REFORMES ET VEUVES DU GUERRE DE LILLE ET ENVIRONS” Courtesy/© of Heather Anne Johnson

An insignia of the/l’UNION DES MUTILES, REFORMES
ET VEUVES DU GUERRE DE LILLE ET ENVIRONS”
Courtesy/© of Heather Anne Johnson.

Union des Mutilés,  Réformes et Veuves de Guerre de Lille et Environs

“Le 1er août 1914, le gouvernement français décrète la mobilisation générale. 3,5 millions d’hommes furent mobilisés mais rapidement les pertes s’élevèrent à plusieurs centaines de milliers de soldats. Où trouver les hommes nécessaires pour compléter les effectifs ? Parmi les catégories pour l’instant non mobilisées.

Un statut particulier :

Les réformés sont les soldats souffrant d’un problème de santé les empêchant de participer au service actif. Les hommes réformés, des suites blessures ou maladie contractées en service (réforme n° 1) ou temporaire des suites de maladies non imputables au service (réforme n° 2) et quel que soit le motif, avant guerre ne sont donc pas mobilisés le 2 août 1914. Cela ne veut pas dire qu’ils ne participèrent pas au conflit. Les pertes importantes des mois d’août et septembre, cette guerre qui va être plus longue que prévue, tout cela va faire que ces hommes jugés initialement comme impropres au service armé vont pouvoir se retrouver au front.

Le cas des réformés et exemptés :

Le décret du 9 septembre 1914 qui fait tout changer : il oblige les réformés et exemptés des classes précédentes à la classe 1915, à passer devant une commission de réforme. Il va alors être jugé si l’homme reste réformé, exempté, ou si, au contraire, il est jugé bon pour le service armé ou auxiliaire. …”    http://combattant.14-18.pagesperso-orange.fr/Pasapas/E403mob3.html

English Transcription of the above:  On August 1, 1914, the French government decreed the general mobilization. 3.5 million men were mobilized but quickly the losses amounted to several hundred thousand soldiers. Where to find the men needed to complete the workforce? Among the categories not mobilized for the moment.

A special status:

The réformes are soldiers suffering from a health problem preventing them from participating in active service.  Reformed men, as a result of injuries or illness contracted in service (réforme no. 1) or temporary consequences of illnesses not attributable to service (réforme no. 2) and whatever the motive, before the war, are therefore not mobilized on 2 August 1914. This does not mean that they did not participate in the conflict. The major losses in August and September, this war that will be longer than expected, all this will make those men initially considered unfit for armed service will be able to end up at the front.

The case of the reformed and exempted:

The decree of September 9, 1914 which makes everything change: it forces the réformes and exempted from previous classes to class 1915, to go before a réforme commission. It will then be judged whether the man remains réforme, exempted, or if, on the contrary, he is judged to be good for the armed or auxiliary service.

____________________________________________________

Mrs. George Corbin Perine, Chairman. (Ione O.) Tyler Cooke was born in Virginia on 15 July 1878 to George “Wesley” Cooke and Josephine S. Rogers.   Tyler was connected to the George Washington family.  George Corbin Perine was an author/art dealer.  They married on 08 June 1904 at St. John’s Protestant Episcopal Church in Washington DC.

Tyler Perine. Ancestry acknowledged.

Tyler Perine. Ancestry acknowledged.

Tyler and George had three children: Washington Corbin Perine bn 1905 Virginia; Anna Washington Perine bn 1909 Baltimore Maryland; and Mary Ball Washington Perine bn 1913 Catonsville, Maryland.  A Washington relative, Mrs. M. B. Washington, was Vice-Chairman.

Mrs. Frederick W. Masters, Business Manager (of Chicago): This is believed to be Margaret (nee Barry) who was born in Canada on 29 April 1866 to Irish father Edward Barry and his Canadian wife Mary VanDell.  Margaret married Frederick William Masters on 23 November 1887, in Chicago.  English-born Frederick’s occupation was Brick Mason. The couple had three children:- Mabel I. bn 1888 Chicago; Charles Edward bn 1892 Chicago; & Harold Frederick bn 1894 Chicago).  Margaret died on 11 June 1945 in Lake Villa, Lake, Illinois.

Mrs. Leonel Ross Campbell Antony O’Bryan (of Denver), National Organizer:  Leonel’s birth name was Leonel Ross Campbell.    She was born on 18 November 1870 in Jackson, Mississippi.  She was a daughter of James McKinney Campbell and his wife Mary Elizabeth.   At the age of 15, whilst at school in St. Louis, she eloped with one George Antony and married him.   She was in Mexico for ten? years “living on wheels”, while George oversaw the building of ‘Mexican Central’ railway.   She helped him entertain railway men, government officials and financiers.

She “gained intimate knowledge of the country and its people and thoroughly mastered the Spanish tongue.“   After the years in Mexico, Leonel became a journalist – working first for the New York World.   She worked for several newspapers – including the Indianapolis Star; Chicago Evening Post; Louisville Herald; & Rocky Mountain News.

With the Denver Post, she was the paper’s first female reporter – she became “Polly Pry”.   She married Philadelphia-born Attorney Harry/Henry J. O’Bryan in 1910 and was widowed a few years later, possibly in 1914.  It was reported that Leonel went to Colorado, initially, for the health of her son.  Eventually, Leonel worked freelance.

Leonel Ross Campbell Antony O’Bryan “Polly Pry” c1918.

Leonel Ross Campbell Antony O’Bryan “Polly Pry” c1918.  U.S. Passport Applications; National Archives; Records Administration; Ancestry acknowledged.

During World War One, she was Commissioner of Publicity for the American Red Cross in the Balkans – travelling to France; Germany; Austria; Russia; Italy; Belgium; Holland; England; Greece; and Serbia during her service up until December 1919.  During the 1922 poppy campaign, she was found described as “regional director and organizer of the Veterans of Foreign Wars”.  Thus, Leonel was another valuable woman for Anna to have on her side, with many influential contacts around the United States of America.   Leonel died on 16 July 1938, at St. Joseph Hospital, Denver – of a heart attack, after a long illness.

An article reporting on her death stated “In her prime Polly Pry was a blond beauty who attracted attention wherever she went and was possessed of a radiant personality and a gift of conversation.”     Anna Guérin described Leonel as “very clever, very shrewd” and “very faithful” in a letter.    The two women had several similar characteristics and life experiences – perhaps, they had a good relationship because of this?

Miss Helen J. Ahern was born on 15 October 1890 in Whitney Point, Buffalo, New York State.  She was described as a society girl and heiress.  Helen worked for the American Red Cross in France; Italy; and Albania up until December 1919.

Helen J. Ahern c1918. U.S. Passport Applications/National Archives/Records Administration/Ancestry acknowledged.

Helen J. Ahern c1918.  U.S. Passport Applications; National Archives; Records Administration; Ancestry acknowledged.

Leonel and Helen worked together in the American Red Cross, the age gap between them was 20 years.   Independently, they have each been described as working for many months supervising 14,000 refugees.   They had both been decorated for their work by the French government.   In February 1920, on their way home from the Balkans, they spent the month in France “travelling over the devastated front” and were “thoroughly informed as to the conditions there.”          

Leonel and Helen were well suited to touring the US on behalf of the American and French Children’s League, arranging “Poppy drives” to raise funds.  They knew what they were talking about, when they described conditions in devastated France. There is more about these two women further into this chapter.

To return to, and properly commence, the year of 1920:-

Madame Guérin has not been discovered within the US 1920 Census but, surely?, she must have been somewhere in the country because she was found in Lincoln, Nebraska on 07 January – for instance, Lincoln’s census was taken on the 03 January 1920.

Anna was in Lincoln to meet with Mrs. Bessie Dredla, in relation to the ‘American and French Children’s League.  Bessie was a prominent woman in the area – she had led local women in war work.

“Bessie” Drasky : Mrs. Anton Dredla. Edited from Omaha World Herald 25 September 1917. Ancestry acknowledged.

“Bessie” Drasky : Mrs. Anton Dredla. Edited from Omaha World Herald 25 Sept. 1917. Ancestry acknowledged.

Bessie’s husband Anton ended up being mayor of nearby Crete in Nebraska a total of seven times.   Both Bessie and Anton were born in “Bohemia”/Czechoslovakia and had arrived in the USA in the late 1890’s, with their parents.   There were strong Czech enclaves in that area of Nebraska, in fact Omaha was known as ‘Little Bohemia’.

As briefly touched upon in Chapter 5, Anna Guérin began organising committees in the U.S.A. (state by state) for her ‘American and French Children’s League’, after entering to the country on 31 March 1919 – for the fifth time, from the start of the First World War.  This continued at a fast pace in 1920.

On Monday 5 January 1920, The Argus Leader (of Sioux Falls) listed Madame Guérin’s League Committee members for the State of South Dakota [sic]:

NAME OFFICERS OF NEW LEAGUE. 

American-French Organization Will Care for Thousands of War Orphans. 

South Dakota to Raise $10,000 and Sioux Falls $3,000 for That Purpose.

Officers and a board of directors have been named for a state organization to be known as the American Star—the American and French Children’s league.  Honorary state presidents in the northern division and South Dakota are:

Mrs. E. W. Bachus, Minneapolis; Mrs. C. S. Pillsbury, Minneapolis; Mrs. E. H. Lowry, Minneapolis; Mrs. Amos E. Ayres, Sioux Falls, and Mrs. Grace Reed Porter, Ft. Pierre.

South Dakota state officers are Mrs. T. J. White, state chairman, 517 Nesmith avenue; Mrs. R. D. Springer, vice chairman, 715 South Phillips avenue; Mrs. W. F. Keller, secretary, 123 West Fourteenth street; Claude J. Harris, treasurer, secretary of the American Legion, 212 Boyce-Greeley building; Mrs. Harriet A. Merriam, assistant secretary and treasurer, who was charge of organizing the work throughout the state; and W. L. Baker, president of the Minnehaha National bank, which has been made the depository bank.

Board of Directors.

On the board of directors are: Right Reverend Thomas O’Gorman, Bishop Hugh L. Burleson, Dr. G. G. Cottam, John W. Wadden, Tore Teigen, W. L. Baker, William Ontjes, Dr. George A. Pettigrew and Rev. N. Boe.

There are 1,500,000 orphan children in France who need help.  South Dakota has been asked to raise $10,000.  Of this amount approximately $3,000 will be raised in Sioux Falls.  All of the women’s clubs of the city and the state are cooperating to make the campaign speedy and successful.

Madam Guerin, who is in this country from France and who spoke before the Commercial club a few days ago*, is now working in the interest of the French orphans at Lincoln, Neb.”  [*29 December 1919].

On 05 January 1920, Madame Guérin was in Lincoln to speak to a special meeting in the Temple theatre.  The Nebraska State Journal alerted its readers on 4 January [sic]:

“A special meeting of the Womans’ club has been called for Monday at 2:15 p.m. in the Temple theatre for lowing the board meeting at 1:15 p.m.  Mrs. John Slaker, president of the state federation of woman’s clubs, will speak to the member.  Mrs. Slaker is in Lincoln as the guest of Mr. and Mrs. W. A. Apperson and is on her way to the meeting of the board of the general federation of Women’s clubs which will be held in Omaha on Wednesday.  Madam Guerin will also speak to the members of the club bringing a message from her native country, France.  Mrs. Addison E. Sheldon state federation secretary, will be a guest of honor at the meeting.”

On 07 January 1920, the Evening State Journal printed one sentence about the meeting:  TODAY’S EVENTS.  Mrs. Anton Dredla of Crete, who has been prominent in the state work of the American and French Children’s league, was in the city Wednesday to see Madame E. Guerin, the French representative of the league.”

On Sunday 18 January 1920, The Lincoln Star listed Madame Guérin’s League Committee members for the State of Nebraska [sic]:

State Committee of U.S. and French Children’s League.

A state committee of the American and French Children’s league has been organized in Lincoln by Mme. E. Guerin.  The purpose of the league is to assist the children of both France and the United States.  It is the outgrowth of the American relief work among the French children during the war. 

The officers of the league in Paris are Mme. Millerand, wife of the minister and governor of Alsace-Lorraine; Mme. Lebon and other prominent French citizens.  President Poincare of France, and Clemenceau are prominent in the work.

Mme. Guerin and Prof. F. M. Fling will discuss the work of the league Monday night after Mme. Guerin’s impersonation of Jean of Arc at the First Presbyterian church.

The committee which has been organized consists of Miss Mae Pershing. Mrs. George Holden, Mrs. J. E. Miller, Mrs. T. J. Doyle, Mrs. C. Klose, Governor McKelvie, Mayor Miller, W. E. Hardy, W. S. Whitten, Prof. F. M. Fling, Prof. H. B. Alexander, D. W. Miller, Dr. H. H. Everett, E. B. Chappell , commander of the local post of the American Legion; Dr. F. Bespecher of Omaha; John Allister, Nelson, Neb.; Rev. W. S. Williott, Humboldt, Neb.; Mrs. Anton Dredla, Crete; Mrs. White, Ashland, and Mrs. John Slacker of Hastings.

Mme. Guerin is staying at the home of Prof. and Mrs. H. B. Alexander while in Lincoln.”

On Sunday 18 January 1920, The Nebraska State Journal reminded readers that Mme. Anna Guérin was to perform the next evening [sic]:  Joan of Arc. Mme. E. Guerin, who has appeared repeatedly before collegiate and other audiences in England and America, twice before the royal family of Great Britain as Marie Antoinette and the Maid of Orleans, will give her famous impersonation at First Christian church, Jan. 19, 8 p. m.  She will be presented by Dr. F. M. Fling and assisted by Prof. Alice Howell.  Tickets, Miller & Paine’s.”

18 January 1920, The Nebraska State Journal.
(Second Edition, page 8: Society and Clubs).

Transcription of advertisement above:  18 January 1920, The Nebraska State Journal, Second Edition, page 8 Society & Clubs:  JOAN OF ARC Lecture-Impersonation by MME. E. GUERIN in historic costumes of the period, vividly illustrated.  An interpretation of the history and spirit of France as revealed in her womanhood.  FIRST CHRISTIAN CHURCH January 19, 8 p.m.  Tickets, Millet & Paines.”

On 19 January 1920, Anna gave the first of three consecutive evening performances of her Joan of Arc “impersonation” – at Lincoln’s First Christian Church.   The performance was illustrated with coloured lantern slides.  Alice Howell translated Anna’s French dialogue – Alice was a Professor (French/Languages) at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln.

These performances were a personal arrangement for Anna, because she stepped in to fill the breach when a poet cancelled his engagements.   They would have been opportunities to help her personal finances – as she often spent her own money to pay for expenses.  “Mme. E. Guerin has consented to give her famous dramatic impersonation of Joan of Arc in costume …” (‘The Nebraskan’ 16 January 1920).  This tells us that she was travelling with all her props … just in case.

Anna was introduced by Dr. F. M. Fling.    This was Fred Morrow Fling, a professor who lectured in European History at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln.   He was a somewhat controversial figure inasmuch as he had publicly and strongly objected to the neutral stand taken by USA early in WW1.  Fred was born on 04 November 1860 in Portland, Maine to Charles H. Fling and his wife Cynthia E.  Fred died 08 June 1934 in Lincoln, Nebraska. http://www.nebraskahistory.org/publish/publicat/history/full-text/NH1981FFling.pdf

The Nebraska State Journal on Tuesday 20 January 1920 mentioned the 290 parcels that Anna Guérin had taken to France for Nebraskans; her 400 year old cloak; and reviewed her performance [sic]:

Mme. E. Guerin as Joan of Arc

Mme. E. Guerin, in a costume impersonation of Joan of Arc, gave a leacture depicting the life of the French heroine, at the First Christian church Monday night.  The lecture was under the auspices of the Lincoln Lecture league.  She took the place of Biasco Ibanez, the Spanish poet who was forced to cancel his American engagements.

Prof. H. B. Alexander introduced Madame Guerin, and told of her work for French relief here.  The story of the Maid of Orleans, was thrown on a screen in lantern slides taken from famous paintings.  Prof. Alice Howell of the university explained the pictures.

After the first set of slides had been shown, Madame Guerin appeared as Joan in her native town and told the story in French.  The cloak which she wore for this presentation was one said to have been in her family for the past four hundred years.

The other stages of the heroine’s life were depicted in pictures and by Madame Guerin in costume.  At the close of the presentation, Madame Guerin gave an informal talk in which she told how thankful she was to the people of Lincoln for receiving her so kindly.  She said that over there she had told the boys that she was from Paris and from Lincoln, Neb.

She told of how she had advertised before going overseas that she would deliver packages for Nebraska mothers to their sons in France and that when she arrived in New York she found 290 packages waiting for her.  At present Madame Guerin is representing the American and French children’s league, an organisation for helping the children in devastated France and for promoting friendship between the two nations.”

In her 1941 Synopsis, Anna recalled [sic]: “The Chamber of Commerce of Nebraska had given me their able Secretary ( who is still there ) to plan the campaign in Nebraska to raise the $ 10.000 with the help of the Gold Star Mothers . We made more than the $ 10.000 in Nebraska . By that time I had taken the habit  to speak in each school of the town where we were planning to have the POPPY’S DAY , and each school was sending us girls and boys to tag with the Poppies – We had so many volunteers that it is why those tags days were such a success and ther SYMBOL emploid , “the Flanders’ Popy” was so endearing to the heart of the people that they began to call me every where the POPPY LADY and the Flanders’S Fields’ Poppy was considered everywhere and by every one THE BEST SYMBOL which could be found perpetuating the memory of the HEROES of the WAR .”

On Wednesday 28 January 1920, Madame Guérin was in Cheyenne, Wyoming.   An article mentioning her on the front page of The Casper Star Tribune (of Casper, Wyoming) began by describing the end of the Wyoming senate session [sic]:

SPECIAL SESSION NEAR END.  NO DISSENTING VOTES CAST. 

Congress Urged to Speed Up Legislation to Help Soldiers;

Governor Carey to Sign Suffrage Resolution Today. CHEYENNE, Wym. Jan. 28

The special session of the Fifteenth Wyoming legislature will be adjourned late this afternoon, following adjustment of a few senate amendments to the irrigation district act and the appropriation act, and passage by the house of a senate joint memorial to congress requesting great diligence in the administration of relief legislation for the benefit of disabled soldiers.  All other business has been disposed of and the senate this afternoon is marking time while the house clears its decks for the adjournment.”  Four paragraphs on, it continued:

The house spent the morning marking time and in listening to Madam Guerin of France, who made an appeal for closer relationship between the French and American republics and for American assistance in the rehabilitation of France.  Madam Guerin also addressed the senate. …”

The people of Wyoming appear to have wasted no time, in thinking of ways to raise funds. We know dances helped swell the quota coffers for Casper and Salt Creek.  The amount we get to learn about, depends on how prolific fundraisers were about publicising their deeds.

On 2 February 1920, The Casper Star Tribune (of Casper, Wyoming) alerted readers to a planned dance, under the auspices of the Salto Dancing Club [sic]:

Plans for Tri-Color Ball.

Arrangements are being made for a Tri-Color ball to be given in the very near future under the auspices of the Salto Dancing club.  The dance will be for the benefit of the French-American Children’s League, and will be given in the Masonic temple.  It will not be one of the regular Salto dances but will be managed by the Salto Dancing club committee.”

The dance, of two halves, took place in Casper’s Masonic Temple, on Thursday evening, 26 February – obviously, co-operation had taken place between Salto Dancing Club and the War Mothers & American Legion but the organising factions wanted to raise their own funds, for their own contributions to Casper’s quota. Two articles are found:

1)       24 February 1920, The Casper Star Tribune (of Casper, Wyoming) [sic]:

Benefit Dance for French Orphans Thursday Night.

The War Mothers and the George Vroman post No. 2 of the American Legion will do their bit for the French War Orphans’ fund in Casper, Thursday night thru the weekly dance given in the Masonic temple.  The party will be an open affair, every cent of the money to be given to the fund of the French Orphans. 

This dance is being arranged so as not to conflict with the Tri-Color ball to be given Friday night in the same hall.  It is simply the part these two organizations wish to take in the campaign to secure Casper’s part in the French War Orphan fund.”

2)       25 February 1920, The Casper Star Tribune (of Casper, Wyoming) [sic]:

WAR MOTHERS AND LEGION GIVE DANCE THURSDAY TO SWELL CHILDREN’S FUND.

Preceding the Tri-Color ball Friday night will be the benefit dance Thursday night in the Masonic temple to be given by the War Mothers and the American Legion.  This benefit dance will take the place of the regular Thursday night dancing party given by the War Mothers in conjunction with the Army and Navy club and the American Legion.

The money will be given to swell the funds raised to save the lives of the children of northern France who after spending four years in occupied territory are stunted in growth and so weakened that sooner or later they will fall victims to disease unless special means are taken to save their lives and build up their physical health. 

The primary purpose of the American and French Children’s League, as explained by Mme. E. Gurin while in Casper recently, is to cement the friendship of the two nations.

Money from the dance Thursday night will be given to swell Casper’s portion of this fund being raised thru the direction of the league.”

In Salt Creek, Wyoming, its dance occurred on the 10th March.  On 15th March 1920, The Casper Star Tribune (of Casper, Wyoming) updated readers [sic]:

SALT CREEK DANCE NETS $75 FOR AMERICAN AND FRENCH CHILDREN’S FUND.

A dance given at Salt Creek last Wednesday evening netted $75 for the Natrona County fund for the American and French Children’s League.

The money was turned over to Mrs. P.C. Nicolaysen, who was able to forward $930 from the county for this fund this week. 

The children in all the schools of the country are contributing to the fund, and their money will be forwarded next week.”

On Monday 2 February 1920, The Nebraska State Journal wrote about a benefit ball for Madame Guérin’s Children’s League [sic]:

The American-Franco league is quietly raising funds for the purpose of relieving the pitiable condition of the thousands of homeless and helpless French children.  In return for American assistance the French members of the league propose to send to America the most noted of France’s lecturers who will give free lectures in all of the American communities where funds are raised.  To aid in this commendable work of relieving the suffering of innocent children Lincoln post No. 3 of the American legion will give a benefit ball at the city auditorium on the evening of February 11.”

On Friday 6 February 1920, The Nebraska State Journal reminded readers again about the ball and another event that would benefit Madame Guérin’s Children’s League [sic]:

Benefit Dance.  American Legion to Help French Orphans.

A benefit dance under the auspices of the Lincoln post of the American Legion will be given at the auditorium Wednesday evening, Feb. 11.  The money raised will go to help the children living in the devastated regions of France.  They need help and at once.  France is doing what she can, but France is hugely burdened; and we must aid as we should aid, and aid now—for each passing week sees many a child laid under the poppies, who might have been saved to France.  The martyrs of the war are the children.  But it is a martyrdom that can be stopped.  We can stop it, and we shall know in the future the reward of a noble gratitude.

The Lincoln committee of the American-French Children’s league (the league for saving the French children and for promoting a cordial understanding between the two countries) is also planning to give a dance, “The Tri-Color Ball,” at the Lincoln hotel Tuesday evening, Feb. 17.  It is expected to prove one of the most important events of the Lincoln social season. 

The members of the Lincoln committee of the American-French Children’s league are:  Miss Mae Pershing, Lincoln; Mrs. Geo. H. Holden, Lincoln; Mrs. T. J. Doyle, Lincoln; Mrs. Paul Bartlett, Lincoln; Prof. H. B. Alexander, Lincoln; Donald Miller, Lincoln; Mrs. D. M. Pershing Butler, Lincoln; Mrs. C. Klose, Lincoln; Prof. Louise Pound, Lincoln; Prof. F. M. Fling, Lincoln; W. F. Irons, Lincoln; E. B. Chappell (commander of Lincoln post of the American legion); A. F. Larrivel.—Adv.”

On 09 March 1920, Anna made “a magnificent appeal in chapel for aid to help the poor French children, victims of the war” at the Colorado College, Pikes Peak, Colorado Springs.

In Pueblo, which is 74 miles south of Colorado Springs, a Poppy Day also took place during Anna Guérin’s visit to Colorado.  We know this from two sources:

1)     a congratulatory letter to Madame Guérin dated 22 May 1920, from Madame Lebon (American and French Children’s League’s Chairman in France):  “… The 35,000 francs that came from the poppy day of Pueblo will be employed to buy, if possible, the Children’s Hospital at Bidart. …”

2)     a Pueblo Chieftain article already transcribed in the ‘Bidart House’ section above, dated 11 May 1921.  This is the confirmatory text, relevant to Madame Guérin’s visit [sic]: “…Madame Guerin, the “Poppy Lady” who was in Pueblo last year at the time of the Poppy day sale, has shipped a large number of the paper poppies to Adjutant Robert Morris of the American legion, thru which the sale will be made this year. …”

Pikes Peak Nugget, Colorado College, 1920 Volume 21, page229 .

Pikes Peak Nugget, Colorado College, 1920 Volume 21, page 229 .

On Wednesday 10 March 1920, The Daily Sentinel (of Grand Junction, Colorado) described Anna Guérin as “guest of honor” [sic]:

Mme. E. Guerin Visiting in Colorado.  Colorado Springs has a guest of honor this week in the person of Mme. E. Guerin, wife of a justice of the French supreme court, who represents the department of public education of France.  She is in this country in the interests of the American and French Children’s League.”

On Monday 15 March 1920, a “Special” press release came out of Philadelphia, PA.  It announced that an American Legion post, in Tacoma, Washington State, had proposed the poppy be adopted as the Legion’s memorial flower.  This is just another example of how the Flanders poppy was becoming more and more emblematic across the U.S.A.

Tacoma would join Washington cities such as Seattle and Spokane in having Poppy Days, after Madame Guérin’s visit to the State 2 months later. An identical article has been found duplicated across the U.S.A. in 43 newspapers, under various unique subject headings:

The Buffalo Morning Express and Illustrated Buffalo Express (Buffalo, New York) 15 March 1920; The Lead Daily Call (Lead, South Dakota) 16 March 1920; The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) 16 & 21 March 1920; The Morning News (Wilmington, Delaware) 17 March 1920; The Santa Fe New Mexican (Santa Fe, New Mexico) 17 March 1920; The Gazette (Cedar Rapids, Iowa) 17 March 1920;  The Chattanooga Daily Times (Chattanooga, Tennessee) 17 March 1920; The Chicago Tribune (Chicago, Illinois) 17 March 1920; The Salt Lake Tribune (Salt Lake City, Utah) 17 March 1920;  The Daily Times (Davenport, Iowa) 17 March 1920; The Gibson City Courier (Gibson City, Illinois) 18 March 1920; The Brazil Daily Times (Brazil, Indiana) 18 March 1920; The Dispatch (Moline, Illinois) 18 March 1920; The Gettysburg Times (Gettysburg, Penns.) 18 March 1920; The Tampa Times (Tampa, Florida) 18 March 1920; The Huntingdon Herald (Huntingdon, Indiana) 18 March 1920; The Star-Gazette (Elmira, New York) 19 March 1920; The South Bend Tribune (South Bend, Indiana) 19 March 1920; The Butte Miner (Butte, Montana) 20 March 1920; The Record-Argus (Greenville, Penns.) 20 March 1920; The Advocate Messenger (of Danville, Kentucky) 20 March 1920; The Asheville Citizen-Times (Asheville, North Carolina) 21 March 1920; The Tennessean (Nashville, Tennessee) 21 March 1920; The Daily Republican-Register (Mount Carmel, Illinois) 22 March 1920; The Pioneer (Bemidji, Minnesota) 22 March 1920; The Spokane Chronicle (Spokane, Washington) 22 March 1920; The Emporia Gazette (Emporia, Kansas) 23 March 1920; The Logansport Pharos-Tribune (Logansport, Indiana) 23 March 1920; The Wood County Reporter (Grand Rapids, Wisconsin) 25 March 1920; The Kinmundy Express (Kinmundy, Illinois) 25 March 1920; The Paxton Record (Paxton, Illinois) 25 March 1920; The Headlight (Carmen, Oklahoma) 26 March 1920; The Evening News (Harrisburg, Penns.) 26 March 1920;  The Bureau County Tribune (Princeton, Illinois) 26 March 1920; The Oakland Tribune (Oakland, California) 26 March 1920;  The Iola Daily Register And Evening News (Iola, Kansas) 26 March 1920; The Enid Daily Eagle (Enid, Oklahoma) 26 March 1920; The Evening Report (Lebanon, Penns.) 26 March 1920; The Nebraska State Journal (Lincoln, Nebraska) 28 March 1920;  The Daily Gate City and Constitution-Democrat (Keokuk, Iowa) 29 March 1920; The El Paso Herald (El Paso, Texas) 31 March 1920; and The Daily Free Press (Carbondale, Illinois) 5 April 1920: [sic]:

The Shirley Poppy Proposed As Flower Of American Legion.

Philadelphia, Pa., March 15.—(Special.)—

Franklin D’Olier, National Commander of the American Legion, has received a resolution from the Edward B. Rhodes Post of the American Legion, Tacoma, Washington, favouring the adoption of the Shirley Poppy as the memorial flower of the Legion.  This resolution is as follows:

“Lest we in the day’s work, surrounded by home and happiness, forget our comrades who sleep in France, and here in the arms of the motherland;

“Lest we forget ‘that greater love’ of these American boys who ‘gave their lives for their fellow men,’

“Lest we forget that ‘In Flanders fields the poppies grow, among the crosses, row on row,’ and that nature seems to have raised in these simple flowers the most eloquent monument—a waving scarlet blessing over their graves;

“Be it resolved, That the Edward B. Rhodes post, American Legion, inaugurate a movement to have the Shirley poppy adopted as the Memorial flower of the American Legion.

“That the American Legion take steps to assist and urge that every public park, cemetery, and every private garden, in gratitude to the men who made the supreme sacrifice, do, during the coming spring and summer, and every spring and summer thereafter, rever the memory of our soldier dead by setting aside a plot for continued display of waving red poppies.

“That a red poppy be worn by every member of the American Legion on Memorial day.”

The formal adoption of the Shirley Poppy as proposed would require the action of the American Legion in convention.”

On Sunday 28 March 1920, The Salt Lake Tribune (of Salt Lake City, Utah) announced the arrival “Polly Pry”. This was her arriving ahead of Madame Guérin, to arrange lecture engagements in behalf of the Children’s League and Poppy Days.   [sic]:

POLLY PRY” VISITING SALT LAKE FRIENDS

Mrs. Harry O’Brien, widely known newspaper woman under the name of “Polly Pry,” is a visitor in Salt Lake.  Mrs. O’Brien recently returned from Europe, where she spent two years in the devastated region of France and in the Balkans.  Her home is in Denver, Colo.”

Also on Sunday 28 March 1920, The Butte Miner (of Butte, Montana) described why Americans owed the French [sic]:

WHY AMERICANS OWE SO MUCH TO FRENCH PEOPLE.

By proclamation of Mayor Tom Stodden the week of March 22 was observed in Butte as “America’s Gift to France week.”

And this is the reason for the proclamation:

There’s a little wooden cross at the farther end of the Marne bridge at Meaux.  The ancient village carpenter set it there by the roadside where the poppies grow, six years ago come September.

God, the simple peasants’ tale is, marked the place with His finger in the sand and smiled.

The German drive on Paris was to end there.

Not so long ago after all—that Battle of the Marne—is it? 

Remember?

Your newspaper, the Miner—the headlines screaming in big, red type—“Germans March on Paris.”

Cruel—relentless—crushing everything in the way—on—on—on—to Paris—Liege in ruins—Louvain behind them a smouldering heap of ashes—laughter—rude soldier marching songs of the fatherland—on—on—on—40 miles—30 miles—now 20 miles—now 15—the great gray-green thing—death and desolation behind—Paris—the heart of France—just a little way ahead.

Came they then to the River Marne—there where the cross is now—

And stopped. 

And in all the years of the war no German boot advances a single stride beyond.

“Popa” Joffre—the pitiful handful of French soldiers—the “little” army the Kaiser sneered at—the four days and nights while you and I watched beside with narrowing eyes. 

Remember?

September, nineteen fourteen. 

A good deal of water has passed under the Marne bridge at Meaux since then—all the world has marched.

Now—

Up in the valley and above the bridge French peasants are tilling their humble gardens—the soil of the battle ground is richer than it used to be—the scarred trees on the hillsides will be green again in the spring, they say—the larks have come back and are singing in the fields—but—

Sometimes at sunset the river runs red, again.

We gave much to France in the war—our sons—our might—our blood.

We owed her much.

Could we forget who gave of her strength and her faith when our nation was born.

Could we forget those days at the Marne when France held “The Frontier of Freedom”—and hurled back the German hordes who would have trod the world under foot?

Can we forget?

Nay—some things we remember—always.

And so—

Soon there shall stand, there on that bank of the Marne where the little cross is now—a statue that to our children and to our children’s children shall tell of a battle won and a bond of love between two great nations that will hold until the end of time.

Against the sky, in huge proportion, the statue of a woman—a woman—beautiful—though worn and beaten down by the storm of battle—who rises undaunted—dauntless—and raises high aloft her flag of liberty—the flag for which her sons—and ours—have died.

July 4, 1885, we celebrated the birthday of our liberty.

From all lands came men to join our happiness and joy.

From France—the beloved—came the giant statue—which stands in New York’s harbour—”Liberty Enlightening the World”—A gift from the people of France to the people of America.

From all France came the money for the Statue of Liberty of ours—from rich and poor—from the eager hands of little children—from the palsied hands of old men—the widow gave her mite—

Each gave a share.

So shall our gift to France be made.  Not from the chosen few shall it come—but even as we gave to her our sons—from east—from west and north—from south—from you—from me—

From all America.

School children who worship the names of “Papa” Joffre and Marshal Foch—and their number is legion—are busy forming committees in all sections of America to help raise $250,000 this week (of March 22) for the colossal “America’s Gift to France.”

The school children of France made possible the fund to build the Bartholdi statue.  They gave their centimes joyously, eager to contribute their bit to “the land of the free and the home of the brave.”  So from the farthest New England town to the sun-kissed California coast the 20,000,000 school children of the United States will start raising funds tomorrow for their gift.

Charles H. Sabin, the treasurer, is receiving contributions at 150 Nassau street, New York.  Local committees appointed by governors in each state are co-operating.

Frederick MacMonnies, American sculptor, is at work on the model for the memorial.  A memorial book containing the names of all villages, towns and cities which have subscribed, will be presented to the French government and placed in a war museum in the base of the statue.”

The next day, 29 March 1920, The Salt Lake Herald Republican announced “Polly Pry’s arrival also [sic]:

’POLLY PRY’ HERE—“Polly Pry,” well-known newspaper woman of Denver, arrived in Salt Lake Saturday for a short visit with friends.  “Polly Pry” is Mrs. Harry O’Brien in private life, and won prominence by her stories on the devastated regions of France, recently toured by her.”

By Thursday 1 April 1920, “Polly Pry” had arranged permission for a Poppy Day in Salt Lake City. The Salt Lake Telegram announced [sic]:

GIRLS WILL SELL POSIES FOR FRANCE

For the purpose of getting funds to help rebuild devastated portions of France girls will sell poppies on Salt Lake streets.  Mrs. L. R. O’Brien—“Polly Pry”—the writer of Denver, applied to the city commission for a permit to sell the posies this morning.  The mayor, to whom her request was referred, acquiesced.”

On 03 April 1920, still in Colorado, Anna Guérin was in Denver for “the first big” Poppy Day for the ‘American and French Children’s League’.  Anna, in December 1921, described the weather on this day: “A blizzard, such as you cannot imagine here, spoilt it somewhat – but in spite of snow and ice our dear Poppy girls collected several thousand dollars.”   The month of April ‘saw’ the League fundraising begin in earnest.

Utah was next on the list for Madame Anna Guérin … on 03 April 1920, the Salt Lake Telegram enlightened its readers about her visit [sic]:

AID ASKED FOR ORPHANS IN FRANCE.

Madame E. Guerin of Paris will arrive in Salt Lake Monday to assist in a campaign to raise $10,000 in Utah for the orphaned children in war devastated districts of France.

Madame Guerin will speak at the University of Utah Tuesday morning and at the Assembly hall in the Temple grounds Thursday night.  She will also speak to the students of the L.D.S. university and at a meeting of L’Alliance Francaise.

Mrs. Harry O’Brien, known in literary circles as “Polly Pry,” is in Salt Lake making arrangements for Madam Guerin’s lectures.”

Likewise, on the same day, The Salt Lake Herald Republican enlightened its readers [sic]:

‘CHILDREN OF FRANCE’ DRIVE NEXT WEEK.

Funds must be raised immediately to aid the children of France, who, during the early part of the war, were driven from their homes by the on-rush of the Germans and who since that time have suffered untold privations.

Next week Salt Lake will do its share toward sending aid to the children of the war-stricken republic.  The drive for funds here will be conducted by Madame E. Guerin.  She has enlisted the aid of numerous Salt Lake societies in the project.”

Also on 3 April, The Salt Lake Tribune alerted its readers about Madame Guérin’s arrival and printed a beautiful photograph of her, to accompany the article [sic]:

French Woman Will Lecture. Mission Is Appeal for Orphans.

MADAME E. GUERIN of Paris, lecturer and delegate of the American and French Children’s league, who will speak at a public gathering at the Assembly hall next Thursday night.

Poppy Lady Madame E. Guérin. The Salt Lake Tribune edition 3 April 1920. Photograph taken by the Lewis-Smith Studio, Blackstone Hotel, Chicago.

Poppy Lady Madame E. Guérin. The Salt Lake Tribune edition 3 April 1920.
Photograph taken by the Lewis-Smith Studio, Blackstone Hotel, Chicago.

Fund Asked to Care for French Children Effected by Ravages of War.

TO ASSIST in a campaign to raise $10,000 in Utah to aid the thousands of orphaned children in devastated France, Madame E. Guerin of Paris, noted lecturer and delegate of the American and French Children’s league, will arrive in Salt Lake Monday.   Madame Guerin, who has been decorated twice and who assisted in several of the Liberty Loan campaigns of the United States, will describe conditions in France.

The plan of the league is to organize in each state a committee to secure the contribution, and a special day will be set apart next week for an intensive drive.

Madame Guerin will speak at a public gathering at the Assembly hall Thursday night.  She will address the student body of the University of Utah Tuesday morning at the weekly assembly and will also speak at the high schools, the L. D. S. university, clubs and before the local branch of ‘Alliance Francaise.

The United States is being appealed to because France has such a large war debt she is not able to take care of the children herself.  In every state where the quota is raised each school and each assisting club will receive a certificate entitling the community to free lectures by French lecturers sent annually to America.  The contributions are to be returned by the French when the immediate need is met in the form of a permanent endowment of free French lectureships in America.

Mrs. Harry O’Brien of Denver, known in literary circles as “Polly Pry,” is in Salt Lake to arrange a speaking itinerary for Madame Guerin.  She is staying at the Hotel Utah, where any organization wishing to have the lecturer appear before them may make the necessary arrangements.”

N.B. Many different photographs of Poppy Lady Madame Guérin have appeared in North American papers but the one shown above is, arguably, one of the best reproduced ones!  It was taken at the Lewis-Smith Studio, at The Blackstone Hotel, on Michigan Avenue at Seventh Street, Chicago, Illinois.

On Monday 5 April 1920, The Lincoln Evening Journal reminded readers of Lincoln’s Tri-Color Ball that evening – with the promotional advertisement, as shown below:

American and French Children’s League’s Benefit Tri-Color Ball advertisement. 5 April 1920, The Lincoln Evening Journal.

American and French Children’s League’s Benefit Tri-Color Ball advertisement.
5 April 1920, The Lincoln Evening Journal.

On that same day, 05 April 1920, Madame Guérin arrived in the Mormon city of Salt Lake City.  Mrs. Leonel Ross O’Bryan (“Polly Pry”) had arrived a few days beforehand, making plans ahead of Anna’s arrival.

On Friday 02 April, the Deseret News printed this [sic]:

WILL MAKE PLEA FOR HOMELESS CHILDREN.

For the little children in France, 450,000 in number, not orphans, who were behind the German lines and have returned to their devastated and desolate homes with tuberculosis and brain diseases, arrangements are being completed for the appearance of Madam E. Guerin before a number of organizations here.  “Polly Pry,” famous newspaper woman, in private life, Mrs. Leonel Ross O’Bryan, herself just returned from the Balkans, is in Salt Lake making final plans for Madam Guerin’s appearance here and also for “Poppy Day,” to raise funds for these children.  She has called on Gov. Simon Ramberger, the First Presidency Supt. G. N. Child and local club women and has gained their co-operation in her work.  A local bank will take charge of all funds gathered on “Poppy Day” and will send them direct to France. … No collections will be taken up at these lectures, which are designed merely to arouse the interest of the public.  Mrs. O’Bryan Thursday evening will give a short talk on the Balkans where she has seen two years’ service with the Red Cross.  Prof. J. J. McClellan will give musical numbers.” 

Salt Lake City’s Mormon Tabernacle. Courtesy of Heather Anne Johnson.

Salt Lake City’s Mormon Tabernacle. Courtesy of Heather Anne Johnson.

Leonel had planned the week’s itinerary but it appears to have been flexible – what was first planned, and announced ahead of time, was changed and was reported on after each event.

Newspaper woman Leonel was always ahead of the game, as far as the Press was concerned.  It was probably her who arranged for the following publicity articles to appear on the day Anna arrived in Salt Lake City (5 April) [sic]:

Madam E. Guerin to Speak to L’Alliance Francaise

L’Alliance Francaise has arranged for a special meeting Tuesday night at 8 o’clock on the mezzanine floor of the Hotel Utah, when Madam E. Guerin, sometimes called the Bernhardt of the rostrum, will speak for the children of devastated France.  A general invitation is extended to the public to be present.”  [The Deseret Evening News, 5 April 1920, page 7]

Will Sell Poppies For Relief Of War Waifs. 

Next Saturday Salt Lakers will be wearing bright red poppies patterned after the little flower commonly seen in French meadows.  The little paper emblems will show that they have contributed to the fund being gathered here for children in the war zone who have been in towns behind the German lines.  One hundred pretty girls of the city will be delegated to wage the poppy war for funds. Donations of whatever denomination the buyer wishes to give will be accepted for the flower.  To interest Salt Lakers in the campaign, Madame E. Guerin, noted French lecturer, will arrive in the city today …  The American and French Children’s League is directing the collection of $10,000 in this country for the French youngsters.  The local collection will be placed with a local bank and forwarded direct to General Legrand-Girarde of the Credit Foncier d’Algerie of Tulsie, Paris.”   [Deseret News, 5 April 1920]

DRIVE IN AID OF FRENCH KIDDIES. 

Salt Lake City to Be Canvassed for Sum of Ten Thousand Dollars.

Under the auspices of the American and French Children’s league, a campaign for $10,000 to be canvassed in Salt Lake to aid French kiddies, started yesterday.

Mme. E. Guerin, noted French lecturer, delegated by the French government to tour the United States in behalf of the campaign, will arrive today. She is scheduled to deliver an address Monday afternoon at the University of Utah.  Tuesday evening, Mme. Guerin will speak in French before the “Alliance Francaise” at the Hotel Utah.  Wednesday she will lecture to the high school students. Thursday evening she will speak in the assembly hall before the Mormon church conference.

Following the Thursday talk Prof. J. J. McClellan will render an organ recitial.

The canvass of Salt Lake for money will take place Saturday.  Poppies will be sold then on downtown streets and proceeds of the sales will be turned over to the league treasurer, General Legrand-Girarde. Of the Credit Foncier d’Algerie et Tuisie, Paris, by the local representatives.

More than one hundred of Salt Lake’s prettiest girls will be delegated to wage the poppy war for funds.  Donations will be accepted in whatever amount the buyer of the flower wishes to give.”  [The Salt Lake Herald Republican, 5 April 1920, page 12]

Madame Anna Guérin stayed at the Hotel Utah and, upon her arrival, she was interviewed by the Salt Lake Telegram [sic]:

FRENCH WOMAN TO START DRIVE HERE. 

Madame Guerin Appeals in Behalf of Children. 

Madame E. Guerin, who is speaking in the leading cities of the country in behalf of the French children’s league, arrived in Salt Lake today.  A week’s campaign in Salt Lake will be started tomorrow.  Madame Guerin is an officer of education in France and wears many medals for work done during the war.  She has made nine trips to America in the interests of the Alliance Francaise.

When interviewed at the Hotel Utah the distinguished Frenchwoman said:  “This past war has been more than battles.  It is an epoch in the history of humanity for which we have had the martyrs of the great cause of civilization.  Our Yankee boys are now sleeping in Flanders’ fields where the poppies will ever bloom in springtime.  The poppy day we shall never forget.  We must not forget.  And next Saturday some of the prominent of Salt Lake women will aid our cause by selling these flowers, symbolic of our hero dead.

“It is in April, the day America declared war on the Huns in the splendid cause of humanity.  The days in which American mothers were making in their hearts the supreme sacrifice.  The day on which every boy in this country was prepared to give up everything in the noble cause.  In memory of those boys who were chosen for the sacrifice, the French Children’s league will offer these poppies for sale.”

“The aim of the Alliance Francaise,” continued Madame Guerin, “is to promulgate and encourage the affection and friendship between the two sister republics.  But the immediate aim and purpose of the organization is to aid the 450,000 homeless orphans in the devastated regions of northern France.  And for that cause I have come to Salt Lake.”

Tomorrow Madame Guerin will speak to the students of the University of Utah at 11:30 a.m. and to the students of the East and West High schools in the afternoon.  In the evening she will speak in French at the Hotel Utah and all who speak French are urged to attend.  In the Assembly hall on the Tabernacle grounds, Thursday night, a general meeting will be addressed.”

The next day (06th), Anna Guérin spoke to the students of the University of Utah at 11.30 a.m.

At 8 o’clock in the evening, Anna spoke in French before l’Alliance Française members and a general audience, on the mezzanine floor of the Hotel Utah.   The members agreed to assist Anna in her ‘Poppy Day’ venture.

The Hotel Utah stood on South Temple and Main Streets, which was across the street from ‘Temple Square’ – where the Mormon/Latter Day Saints Church Office Building stood in one direction; and the Mormon Temple and Tabernacle stood in another.  In April 1920, the Hotel Utah was less than 9 years old.  The Mormon Church was a major stockholder in the Hotel. The hotel shut its doors in 1987 and is now known as the ‘Joseph Smith Memorial Building’ – after being converted, it is now a “multi-purpose building” for the Church.  Anna was staying at the Hotel Utah during her visit to Salt Lake City.

Several articles appeared in Salt Lake newspapers on 6 April 1920:

1)     The Salt Lake Telegram [sic]:

FRENCHWOMAN RELATES WAR OUTRAGES. 

Madame Guerin Addresses University Folk in Behalf of Starving Tots;

Tells of Devastation.

Before a large crowd of University of Utah students, Madame E. Guerin, French lecturer and representative of the French government’s organization for the protection of the children of devastated regions, delivered her first lecture in Salt Lake today.

“For four and a half years the little children of my home country have lived in undescribable conditions. Hundreds have died, some have been taken care of by the government, but there are more than a million and a half fatherless and in some cases motherless children living in caves, cellars and dugouts.  Many are paralyzed by rheumatism and scores are victims of tuberculosis.

THOUSANDS OF OUTRAGES.

“To add to the misery and horror of the homeless children, there are no less than 200,000 French girls that have been forced to bear unlawful German children.  Never in the history of the world has such an outrage been forced upon any nation as has been forced upon the people of my country.

“The people of France fully appreciate to the very bottom of their hearts what the Americans have done for them.  If any of you students ever hear the remark of ‘America did not win the war,’ then you can say ‘America might not have won the war, but at any rate she finished it.’  I could never in a lifetime tell you what your boys have done to help upbuild my country.  In one year the Yankees built more factories, hospitals, buildings and promoted industry further and better than my people could have done in an entire generation.

PAY DEBT OF LAFAYETTE.

“America has more than paid the debt she owed to Lafayette, yes paid it with heavy interest.  There is not a person in the entire country that does not look up to the Yankee soldier and to the entire American nation for its help in France’s darkest hour.

 “Surely France will be on her feet much more quickly with help.  We are the last nation to beg.  Now that we have asked for help, we are only asking for help that is needed, and will be appreciated.  Every cent of money that is raised in this country for the starving children of France will be sent direct to the French government to be spent in making the lives of the poor motherless children just a little sweeter.  The people of France cannot do much to help these conditions.  At present 45 per cent of all the properties and earnings of the people are taxed to help remedy conditions.  The aid of American, France’s worshiped friend, has been asked.”

UTAH ASKED FOR $10,000.

Utah has been asked to raise $10,000 to help in the protection of the French fatherless children.

Saturday has been set aside as the campaign day to raise the fund, and young girls of the city, from the university and all of the local high schools, will canvass the business district asking for donations.  If arrangements can be made the girls will also invade Bonneville park during the afternoon.

SMALL AMOUNT FROM EACH.

The amount of money asked from each individual will be very small, the amounts ranging from 25 cents to $1, or whatever the citizens may feel like giving to such a noble cause.

Madame Guerin will address the members of the L’Alliance Francaise this evening on the mezzanine floor of the Hotel Utah.  She will talk in French, and the meeting will start promptly at 8 o’clock.  Tomorrow she will visit the local high schools.  Friday evening she will talk to the citizens in a public meeting to be held in the Assembly hall.  No money will be collected at any of these meetings, but the drive will last all day Saturday.

Either late Saturday evening or early Sunday morning Madame Guerin and her secretary, Mrs. Harry O’Brien, known in literary circles as “Polly Pry,” will leave for Provo, where they will make a drive for funds.  Later they will hold a campaign in Ogden, and then in Logan.

NOTABLE SPONSORS.

All the money collected in Utah will be turned over to W. W. Armstrong, who has been appointed to send the money directly to the French government.  The following committee has also been selected to aid in the drive: Governor and Mrs. Simon Bamberger, Presidents Heber J. Grant, Anthon H. Lund and Charles E. Penrose of the L.D.S. church, Dr. T. b. Beatty, G. N. Child, Mrs. R. C. Gemmell, Mrs. Solomon Stegel, Mrs. G. Y. Wallace, Mrs. James Hogle, Miss Evelyn I. Mayer, Dr. John A, Widisoe, E. F. Colborn and the members of the L’Alliance Francaise.”

2)     The Salt Lake Tribune [sic]:

FRENCH CHILDREN LIVE IN CELLARS. 

Madame E. Guerin, Lecturer, Here to Plead Cause of War Unfortunates.

“If France had received its first war indemnity, the nation would have been proud to take care of its own people, but, not having received it, America is being called upon to assist, especially in helping care for thousands of French “orphans,” said Madame E. Guerin, French lecturer and representative of the French government’s organization for the protection of the children of devasted regions, who arrived in Salt Lake yesterday.

“Surely France will be on her feet much more quickly with help.  The people of America must not judge conditions in France by what they read, for there is suffering.  Although perhaps France made a mistake in not keeping the poor refugees elsewhere, the desire to see their former homes in the devastated regions caused them to return.  With railroad facilities hampered, and with conditions so unsettled, the people are greatly hampered in making their new start in life, and need assistance.”

Madame Guerin is visiting in Utah to ask for immediate relief for the children of the devasted regions.  For four years and a half they have lived in indescribable conditions, she said.  Hundreds have died, some have been taken care of by the government, but 450,000, she said, remain, living in caves, cellars and homes in the ground, paralysed by rheumatism and victims of tuberculosis, Madame Guerin continued.  The $10,000 asked for in the state of Utah is to be used in housing, feeding and giving the children a new lease on life, she said.

Saturday has been set apart as the single campaign day to raise the fund, and young girls of Salt Lake and other cities will be on the streets giving out poppies, symbolizing “Flanders,” to contributors, who are asked to give whatever they can.

Another purpose of Madame Guerin’s visit is to form the American and French children’s league to promote, through mutual understanding, the continuation of friendship.  In every state in which the quota is raised each school, club and organization assisting will receive a certificate that will entitle the community to free lectures by Frenchmen who will be sent annually to America.  When the immediate need of France is met, the plan is to make a permanent endowment of free French lectureships in America.

Madame Guerin will speak today at the University of Utah assembly and tonight, at 8 o’clock, in French to the Salt Lake branch of L’Alliance Francaise at the Hotel Utah.  Wednesday she will address public meeting in the Assembly hall. No collections will be taken at these meetings.

Mrs. Harry O’Brien, known in literary circles as “Poppy Pry,” is assisting Madame Guerin, and will tell of her two years’ work with the Red Cross in the Balkans.

W. W. Armstrong* has been appointed to take care of the money raised in Utah, and the following committee has been named, which includes Governor and Mrs. Simon Bamberger, Presidents Heber J. Grant, Anthon H. Lund and Charles W. Penrose of the L. D. S. church, Dr. T. B. Beatty, G. N. Child, Mrs. R. C. Gernmell, Mrs. Solomon Siegel, Mrs. G. Y. Wallace, Mrs. James Hogle, Miss Evelyn I. Mayer, Dr. John A. Widtsoe, E. F. Colborn and members of L’Alliance Francaise.”   [*William Wright Armstrong (Wisconsin-born): Banker / President, National Co-op Bakeries]

3)     The Deseret Evening News – it printed two articles mentioning Madame Guérin [sic]:

Page 9:French Woman Says America Has Paid Her Debt to France.

Experiences in devastated France were recounted by Madame E. Guerin, of Paris, delegate to the American and French Children’s League, who is making a lecture tour of the country, in an address before the students and faculty members of the University of Utah, this morning.

Madame Guerin declared that there are today more than 1,000,000 disabled men in France, and one and one-half million of fatherless children.  She described the part of France which was under the yoke of the Germans for four and a half years, and said that no human mind could conceive of the destruction and misery left behind by the Germans.  She declared that in this section there occurred the greatest crimes against womanhood that humanity has recorded in all history.

In speaking of the fighting qualities of the American soldiers, she declared that the armistice was possible so soon because of the efforts of the Americans.

“Americans may not have won the war, but they finished it.  The French were lost when the Americans came.  The Americans have paid their debt to France and have earned the gratitude of the French forever.”

Madame Guerin has been in this country during the winters since October, 1914.  In the summers she made visits each year in France, going over the country and aiding in the patriotic work.  She has lectured in every state in the Union and her present tour is extending from coast to coast.”

Page 13:APPEALS FOR FUNDS FOR FRENCH CHILDREN.

“The French government may have made a mistake in allowing its refugees to return to their ruined home villages, but the natural longing for home was the thing which took them back,” said Madam E. Guerin yesterday upon her arrival in Salt Lake to plead the cause of refugee French children.  “And there they have stayed,” she declared, “living in caves, cellars and with homes on the ground, half paralysed, and tubercular.  If France had received its first war indemnity it would not have been necessary to have sought the financial aid in America for caring for 450,000 children, but France will get on her feet much more quickly with help.”

Madam Guerin has not only come here to ask Utah citizens to give $10,000 for the care of these children, but to organize branches of the American and French children’s league to promote mutual understanding and continued friendship between the two nations.  She spoke at the University this morning and will appear before L’Alliance Francaise this evening, besides before other audiences later in the week.

For the money to be raised on Saturday, “Poppy Day,” W. W. Armstrong has been appointed trustee.  He will turn the sum directly over to the French government.  Members of his committee are: Governor and Mrs. Simon Bamberger, Presidents Heber J. Grant, Anthon H. Lund and Charles W. Penrose of the L. D. S. Church, Dr. T. B. Beatty, G. N. Child, Mrs. R. C. Gemmell, Mrs. Solomon Siegel, Mrs. G. Y. Wallace, Mrs. James Hogle, Miss Evelyn I. Mayer, Dr. John A. Widtsoe, E. F. Colborn and members of L’Alliance Francaise.”

On Wednesday 07 April, there was a committee meeting to decide on arrangements for the Poppy Drive.  Anna also spoke at West high school and Roland Hall academy on that day.

Madame Guérin’s Hotel Utah, centre; Assembly Hall, in front of Hotel Utah; Mormon Temple, left of Hotel Utah; Mormon Tabernacle in front of Mormon Temple. Courtesy of Heather Anne Johnson.

Madame Guérin’s Hotel Utah, centre; Assembly Hall, in front of Hotel Utah; Mormon Temple, left of Hotel Utah; Mormon Tabernacle in front of Mormon Temple.  Courtesy of Heather Anne Johnson.

Several newspapers on the 7 April, enlightened their readers:

1)     Salt Lake Telegram [sic]:

POPPIES BADGE IN FRENCH DRIVE

Girls Will Distribute Blooms in the Business District Saturday in Aid of the Orphans.

“A RED poppy for every citizen of Salt Lake,” was the slogan adopted this morning by the committee in charge of the drive which will take place Saturday for the purpose of raising money for the orphan children of France.  Over 200 society girls of the city have volunteered to canvass the business district Saturday and everyone that donates his offering to the cause will receive a red poppy to wear. 

According to plans made this morning the girls will carry sealed cigar boxes, with a slot cut just large enough for a dollar coin.  The citizens will drop their offerings in the box and then at the close of the day the boxes will be opened by the committee and the money sent directly to France by W. W. Armstrong, who has been appointed to handle the matter.

GIVE AS YOU CAN.

Utah has been asked to raise $10,000 for the cause.  No certain amount has been set for the individual to give.  This will be left entirely up to the donator.  Mrs. Harry O’Brien, who is assisting Madame E. Guerin in the campaign throughout the country, stated this morning that a large donation for the individual will not be necessary if everyone that is approached during the day will give something.  In the recent drive for funds in Denver, she stated, it was the smaller donations that the girls raised from school children that brought the sum into large figures. 

Miss Helen Hanchett, with twenty or more University of Utah girls, will invade Bonneville park during the afternoon and will extract the money from the baseball fans.

Madame Guerin visited the West High school and the Roland Hall academy this morning and addressed the members of the student body and faculties of both schools.

SECONDARY PURPOSE.

While Madame Guerin is visiting Utah to ask for immediate relief for the children of the devastated regions of France, she is also here for another purpose—the forming of an American and French children’s league to promote, through mutual understanding, the continuation of national friendship.  In every state in which the quota is raised each school, club and organization assisting will receive a certificate that will entitle the community to free lectures by Frenchmen who will be sent annually to America.  When the immediate need of France is met, the plan is to make a permanent endowment of free French lectureship in America.

Tomorrow evening Madame Guerin will address a public meeting to be held in the Assembly hall.  A large crowd is expected at this meeting, as already a number of church and club leaders are urging their members to attend.  Yesterday, at one of the sessions of conference, President Grant requested that the members of the church who could possibly attend the lecture to do so.

LEGION INTERESTED.

Madame Guerin has a big message for the American people and audiences that she has addressed while her in the city have fully appreciated the great work she is doing.

To wind up the drive Saturday, the American legion will give a French “poppy Dance” and the public will be invited.  The proceeds from the dance will be turned over to the fund.  The place of the dance has not been definitely decided upon, but the state capitol looms up as a probably choice of the committee.”

2)     Salt Lake Tribune’s edition carried two articles on two separate pages:

Page 7 [sic]: “FRENCH LECTURER APPEALS FOR FUND.

Mrs. Jeannette A. Hyde has been appointed chairman of the Salt Lake committee to assist Madame E. Guerin, French lecturer and representative of the French government’s organization for the protection of the children in the devastated regions. Mrs. Hyde will have charge of the city campaign and will be assisted by Salt Lake girls Saturday in the drive for funds.

Madame Guerin spoke at several gatherings yesterday.  At the meeting of the Woman’s Leonard Wood league at the Hotel Utah she said that France for years had been guardian of civilization and wished to go hand in hand with America.  In behalf of the suffering children of France she thanked her hearers for their interest.  At the University of Utah she vividly pictured actual conditions, and declared the people of France fully appreciate what Americans have already done.  Madame Guerin also addressed l’Alliance Francaise last night.”

On page 10, within an article headed “SEVEN NOMINATED TO HEAD ROTARY.” mention was made of Madame Guérin [sic]:

Wesley E. King, B. F. Redman, C. B. Hawley, F. C. Richmond, Dr. A. C. Wherry, W. B. McCarthy and A. D. McMullen were nominated last night for president of the Salt Lake Rotary club … Madame E. Guerin, French lecturer , spoke in behalf of the orphaned children of France. …” 

3)     The Deseret Evening News also printed two articles on its pages 8 and 20 [sic]:

Page 8: “Mrs. Hyde Heads Drive For French Children.

The appointment of Mrs. Janette A. Hyde as chairman of the Salt Lake committee to aid in the protection of French children in the devastated region, has been announced.   Mrs. Hyde will have charge of the city campaign for funds, to be waged Saturday.

Madame E. Guerin spoke before the Leonard Wood league yesterday afternoon.  She vividly pictured conditions in France before students of the U. of U yesterday morning, and also spoke before L’Alliance Francaise last night.”

Page 20:  The article noted business of the Salt Lake Rotary club at a meeting at “Seven Would Serve Rotary President. … Madame E. Guerin, who is touring America in the interest of a French orphan fund, spoke in behalf of the orphans of France.”

On Thursday 08 April 1920, Anna Guérin spoke at the East side high school in the morning and at St. Mary’s academy in the afternoon.  In the evening, she spoke at a public meeting at the Assembly hall – all in Salt Lake City.   On 08 April, again the Deseret News and its evening edition confirmed Anna’s engagements for that Thursday [sic]: “Madame spoke at the East Side high school in the morning; at St. Mary’s academy in the afternoon; and at the Assembly Hall in the evening. Big ball at the State Capitol on Saturday, 10 April – Poppy Day. 

Speaks For French Children.

In behalf of little French children in the war zone, Madame E. Guerin will speak this evening in the Assembly hall.   Madame Guerin is a noted French lecturer and has come here not only to raise funds for these children but also to organize a branch here of the American and French Children’s League.   … 

Mrs. Emmeline B. Wells was yesterday named honorary president of the local branch of the American and French Children’s League, and Pres. Heber J. Grant was asked to serve on the honorary committee.  Mrs. Jeanette A. Hyde, local chairman of the league, announced other officers as follows Miss Lucy Cann Cott, first vice chairman; Mrs. C.H. McMahon, second vice chairman. 

Some 500 U. of U. and high school girls will on Saturday wage the Poppy Day fund campaign in the city.  On Friday a preliminary campaign will be waged when twenty girls, members of “The Passing Show,” will be stationed at Main street corners for twenty minutes at noon to sell the poppies.  Saturday at noon a parade will be held by school girls and Boy Scouts, the Boy Scout band leading the line of march.  The same day 30 girls under the leadership of Helen Hanchett will invade Bonneville park.  … 

This morning plans were made for a big ball at the State Capitol Saturday evening as a wind up affair of “Poppy Day.”  Mayor and Mrs. Bock will lead the grand march.  A French artists will give several recitations and sing the “Marseillaise” to open the affair and Mrs. Bock will also be official chaperone for the occasion.”

The Salt Lake Telegram printed an article too, on the same day [sic]:

BOY SCOUTS WILL AID IN CAMPAIGN. 

Final Arrangements for Drive for French Orphans.

Boy Scouts have been called out to help in the drive for funds for the French orphans of the devastated regions, which will take place here Saturday.  According to present plans made by Jeanette Hyde, chairman of the committee in charge of the drive, the Boy Scouts will open the drive early Saturday morning, when they will parade the downtown streets.

A local box manufacturer has agreed to furnish gratis the 500 boxes that will be used for collecting the donations.

Mrs. Lucy Van Cott, dean of women of the University of Utah, will see that at least a hundred university girls are on hand Saturday to help extract the money from the local citizens.

This evening Madame E. Guerin will address a public meeting in Assembly hall.  No admission will be charged, and no collection taken.  Madame Guerin has been addressing schools and clubs since her arrival Monday.  This morning she visited the East high school, and this afternoon she will make an address at St. Mary’s academy.

It has been decided to hold the dance that will wind up the drive Saturday night at the capitol.  Mrs. E. A. Bock is chairman of the dance committee.  The grand march will be led by the mayor and Mrs. Bock.

An admission charge of 50 cents a couple will be made.”

Madame Anna Guérin spoke at the Salt Lake Assembly Hall on 08 April 1920. Courtesy of Heather Anne Johnson.

Madame Anna Guérin spoke at the Salt Lake Assembly Hall on 08 April 1920. Courtesy of Heather Anne Johnson.

The Salt Lake Herald Republican (8 April 1920) also promoted the Poppy Day – seemingly assuming they would be native yellow poppies and not Madame Guérin’s red ones [sic]:

GOLDEN POPPIES TO START FUND FOR FRENCH KIDDIES. 

Co-ed and School Girls Will Sell Flowers for League.

Golden poppies, as a symbol of sacrifice, will be offered for sale as a means of raising funds for the American and French Childrens’ league.  The Poppy day drive will begin Saturday with 500 University of Utah coeds, under the direction of Dean Lucy Cott, and high school girls under Martha Jennings.  The girls will dispose of the boutonnieres in shops, banks and business houses.

Mme. E. Guerin, who represents the French people, is organizing and lecturing for the American and French Childrens’ league.  Mrs. Emmeline B. Wells and President Heber J. Grant have been asked to serve on the honorary committee for this movement.

Mrs. Jeannette Hyde was yesterday made chairman of the local committee of the league, Mrs. McMahon, second vice-chairman, and Miss Lucy Van Cott, first vice-chairman, The Alliance Francaise will also act.

Friday a preliminary campaign will be made when twenty girls, members of the Passing Show, will be stationed on the corners of Main street for twenty minutes at noon with baskets of poppies.

Saturday a parade of the school girls and Boy Scouts will take place at noon.  The Boy Scout band in a poppy float will lead the parade.

Students and faculty of Rowland Hall and the West Side High school heard Madame Guerin talk of the French children yesterday.

Thirty girls from the University of Utah under the leadership of Helen Hanchett will invade Bonneville park Saturday.”

Not to be out-done on the 8th April 1920, The Salt Lake Tribune printed this article on page 19 [sic]:

MADAME E. GUERIN TO SPEAK TONIGHT.

Madame E. Guerin, French lecturer, will speak at a public meeting in the Assembly hall tonight in behalf of a fund for the French children of devastated regions.  Mrs. Harry O’Brien, newspaper woman, will also made an address.  Professor John J. McClellan will play the organ.

Mrs. Emmeline B. Wells was named yesterday by Mme. Guerin an honorary president of the American and French Children’s league.

The lecturer spoke at the West high school yesterday and will address an assembly at the East high school this morning at 9 o’clock.”

… and this on page 20 [sic]:

WOMEN ORGANIZE WESTERN CLUB.

Intermountain and Coast Federation Is Formed and Officers Elected. 

Delegates Are Luncheon Guest of Manufacturers at Noon Meeting.

Organization of the intermountain and coast federated club women was affected yesterday at the Commercial club and the two days’ conference of representatives of women’s clubs of the intermountain and coast sections to Salt Lake was brought to a close.  Officers were elected and a constitution and by-laws were adopted. … …

The object of the organization, as outlined in the constitution and by-laws, is for the purpose of promoting good fellowship among intermountain club women and to promote whatever may be for the welfare of intermountain and coast states. The annual meeting of the federation will be held in April in some one of the states represented in the federation and will be by invitation.

A conference of presidents of the federated clubs of Utah and chairmen of departments and committees opened a session at the Commercial club yesterday. 

Guests at Luncheon.           

Delegates to the Intermountain and state conference were guests of the Utah Manufacturers’ association at luncheon at the Commercial club at 12:15 o’clock yesterday.  The menu consisted of Utah products as a boost to western consumers’ week. … … …

Brief talks were made by Mrs. J. E. Gayer at Boseman, Mont., who said that instead of the term “new women,” she thought that that of “new men,” woud be more appropriate, since the up-to-date woman was coming into her own through a change in the mental attitude of men, Mrs. M. H. Flynn of Grand Junction, Colorado, also spoke and Madam E. Guerin, who is here in the interest of French orphans, paid a pretty tribute to America’s part in the great world war.”

On 9 April 1920, Madame Guérin gave a lecture at the Bryant school in Salt Lake City.  Also on that day, there was a “preliminary” event to Saturday’s “Poppy Day” – where some girls sold poppies for 20 minutes at noon for the benefit of the Children’s League – so she would have probably been involved with that.  Additionally, it is logical that she would have been making last minute preparations ahead of next day’s full Poppy Day.

On that day (9 April 1920), four articles have been found printed in local newspapers:

1)     Deseret Evening News ran this article [sic]:

FRENCH CHILDREN IN PITIABLE CONDITION AS RESULT OF WAR. 

Madame Guerin says Four Million Lack Homes and Proper Food. 

Picturing the “hope of France” as pitiful little children who have lost their minds, forgotten how to read and write, forgotten how to smile, children with hacking coughs and rheumatic limbs, Madame E. Guerin told of one outcome of the war last evening in the Assembly hall.   She stated that France has 4,000,000 children without homes, without proper food and that 600,000 of these are in a dreadful condition of health.   Forty per cent, she stated tubercular and a large majority have lost their identity, their very names being lost in the chaos of war.  The sight of these pitiful little creatures has broken the hearts of many observers, the speaker declared.   

Mrs. Harry O’Brien, Denver Newspaper woman who has done overseas service in the Balkans, declared that she hoped the people of Utah would appreciate the good that the money that they had contributed to the Red Cross was doing.  She told how children were being picked from the very gutters dying from starvation and disease and were being cared for by the Red Cross.  Prof. J.J. McClellan played the “Marseillaise” preceding the lecture. 

Dr. James E. Talmage introduced the two ladies and A.W. Ivins gave a brief address. 

Campaign for Funds. 

As a preliminary to “Poppy Day” Saturday, girls of the Passing Show began a campaign on the down town streets of the city to gather funds for the French children.  They sold poppies for 20 minutes at noon for the benefit of the fund.  

The following hostesses have been named for the ball to be given Saturday night at the State Capitol: Mrs. Torild Arnoldson, Miss M. Domenge, Mrs. W. Mont Ferry, Mrs. M.C. Jennings, Mrs. Lafayette Hanchett, Mrs. R.C. Gemmell and Mrs. J.A. Hogie, Jnr.  Tickets for the ball may be obtained from the women who are to act as hostesses, Madame Guerin at the Hotel Utah, and will also be sold by the girls who are to sell poppies on Saturday. Fifty cents a couple will be charged.  Refreshments will be served free and a band of 10 pieces will furnish the music.  It is expected that the young people of the university and high school will attend in large numbers.”

2)     The Salt Lake Herald Republican [sic]:

CHILDREN’S LEAGUE IS GIVEN IMPETUS. 

Organize to Succor Youthful War Victims; Plea of Mme. Guerin.

“Children under their ‘teens have lost their minds, children a little older have forgotten how to read and write, how to speak, how to smile and these are ‘the hope of France,’” emphatically snapped Mme. E. Guerin last night to an audience in the Assembly hall.

“Most horrible is the plight of these children.  For four and a half years in cellars and holes; now paralyzed by rheumatism, succumbing by the thousand to tuberculosis, many maimed by wounds, ruined by poisonous gas, and a multitude with tense, unsmiling faces that have broken the hearts of so many observers.” 

The purpose of the spirited talk was not just to raise funds for French children, but to organize a branch here of the American and French Children’s league.  The lecturer told of plans for selling poppies by members of the “Passing Show” today at noon.

Mme. Guerin spoke at the East Side High school and St. Mary’s academy yesterday.  She will address the Bryant school today.

Mrs. Harry O’Brien talked on Red Cross methods of spending money for war sufferers in the company she was with in the Balkan states.  She praised Utah and the middle west states for good work done in raising funds for the Red Cross.

The State Capitol building was chosen for a dance to be given Saturday night to mark the close of “Poppy day.”  Mayor and Mrs. Bock will lead the grand march.  Funds from the dance will swell the French orphans’ fund.”

3)     The Ogden Standard Examiner (page 6) [sic]:

PLAN DRIVE FOR ORPHAN FRENCH. 

Mme. E. Guerin Will Speak in This City Next Week in Children’s Behalf.

On behalf of the suffering children of France, Madam E, Guerin will be in Ogden during the coming week to give lectures to women’s clubs and school children on the conditions of France.  Professor L. Barker of the department of languages at the University of Utah was in Ogden yesterday and gave an address in which he pleaded for the children of that country.  He said that Madame Guerin, who had given a series of lectures at the university, had portrayed the condition of that country vividly in Salt Lake addresses.

Mrs. Philip Warren Knisely of Ogden has been appointed chairman of the arrangement committee to assist Madame Guerin while in Ogden.  Madame Guerin is a representative of the French government and is lecturing throughout the United States.  Mrs. Knisely will be assisted by Miss Eva Erb, chairman of the Ogden committee of the French destitute orphans, Mrs. Royal Eccles and Mrs. James De Vine.

Madame Guerin will speak in Ogden next Tuesday and Wednesday, Tuesday at 10 a. m., at the Ogden high school, later at the Weber Normal college and at the Sacred Heart academy.  Plans are being made for the poppy drive, which will offer an opportunity of raising funds for the American and French children league.  Hundreds of Ogden high school students, Weber Normal college students and Sacred Heart students under the direction of the alumni associations of the school.  For the Ogden high school there will be Mrs. John Spargo, chairman; Mrs. Marriner Browning, Mrs. Hugh M. Rowe, and Mrs. Donald H. Rhivers; for Weber Normal college, there will be Mrs. E. A. Larkin, chairman, Mrs. Louie H. Perry, Mrs. W. L. Paine, Mrs. Joseph Eccles, Mrs. John Franklin Ellis.  The students will dispose of bouttonieres in shops and business houses.

Mayor Frank Francis, Rev. John E. Carver, Superintendent W. Karl Hopkins and President H. A. Dixon have been named on the honorary committee.”

4)     The Salt Lake Tribune (page 2) [sic]:

NEEEDS OF FRENCH CHILDREN TOLD. 

Appeal is Made for Little Ones Suffering in Devastated Regions.

“We have 4,000,000 children without homes and without proper food, and among them there are about 600,000 in a dreadful condition of health, undersized and emaciated,” said Madam E. Guerin is an appeal at the Assembly hall last night in behalf of the suffering childen of the devastated region of France.

“Forty per cent of these children are suffering from tubercolosis and some of them are so destitute that they have even lost their names.”

Mrs. Harry O’Brien, Denver newspaper woman who has seen two years of war work service overseas, spoke of the need of a continuance of Red Cross work in the Balkans.  She said she wished to make the people of Utah realize how much good every cent that they contributed to the Red Cross had done in these devastated countries, where it was no uncommon thing to pick children out of the gutters, dying from starvation and disease.

Professor J. J. McClellan played the “Marseillaise” on the organ proceding the lectures.

The preliminary campaign to raise £10,000 for the child martyrs of France will start today, when twenty girls of the “Passing Show,” playing at the Salt Lake theatre, will be stationed at Main street corners for twenty minutes at noon, to sell poppies.

Saturday 500 girls of the University of Utah and the high schools will do their part is making the “Poppy day” fund a success.

A ball will be given at the capitol Saturday evening, commencing at 8:30 o’clock, under the direction of Madam Guerin.  A band of ten pieces will furnish music.  Refreshments will be free and fifty cents per couple will be charged for admission.  It is hoped by those in charge that the young people of the University of Utah and the high schools will attend in large numbers.  Mayor E. A. Bock and wife will lead the grand march.

The following will act as hostesses: Mrs. Torild Arnoldson, Miss M. Domenge, Mrs. W. Mont Ferry, Mrs. M. C. Jennings, Mrs. M. Lafayette Hanchett, Mrs. R. C. Gemmell and Mrs. J. A. Hogle, Jr.  Tickets for the ball may be obtained from the women who are to act as hostesses, Madam Guerin, at the Hotel Utah, and they will also be sold by the girls who are to sell poppies on Saturday.”

And so … 10 April 1920 arrived … Salt Lake City’s ‘Poppy Day’.

However, the bad weather arrived too (as Anna recounted in her 1921 speech/report in Paris) and that ‘Poppy Day’ collection was cut short – but all was not lost … because Salt Lake City residents were generous and the city would have another.  As usual, newspapers recorded the events of that day – the six found appear below, in no particular order.

1)     The Salt Lake Herald Republican printed one long article over two pages:

Page 9 [sic]: The Salt Lake Herald Republican (pages 9 & 10, 10 April 1920) [sic]:

POPPIES ARE TO BE TRUMPS IN DRIVE TO HELP FRANCE. 

Flaming Flowers Tempt All to Aid Cause of Humanity.  By Phyllis Brown.

THE big drive is on.  An army of charming young girls is going over the top in the Poppy day drive to be launched in Salt Lake today for the benefit of the war orphans of France.  Like scarlet banners of victory the poppies will flame at every street corner from the arms of the fair vendors and the dainty baskets made by the girls under the direction of Mrs. Eleanor Sears.  Poppies and smiles greet Salt Lakers at every turn.  They seem an irresistible combination, for Salt Lakers who are giving to the French league fund with a philanthropic work.

The University of Utah has contributed $126.24 as a result of the Poppy drive on the campus Friday.

Show Girls to Help

Friday the Boy scouts gathered at the Civic center to paste labels over the cash boxes that they might be perfectly sealed.  Today they will assist in displaying a huge poppy as a symbol of Poppy day.

The campaign will begin at 9 o’clock this morning, when 500 school girls and debutantes assemble at the Civic center ready to carry the Poppy day message into the shops and business houses.  A feature of the drive will be street corner speeches by Mme. E. Guerin, representing the French league, who will ride in an automobile truck amid garlands of poppies.

The Marion Morgan dancers from the Orpheum and the “Passing Show” girls from the Salt Lake theatre will assist in the sale during the afternoon.

Girls from the East and West High schools will work under the direction of the following teachers: Misses Gladys Thomas, Minnie L. Cunningham, Florence Morrow, Laberta Dysart, Marion Van Pelt, May Kyle, Persa Higginbothan, Dorothy Day, Matilda Hedquist.

Flower Girls Named.

The high school girls are Dorothy Wilson, Ruth Hanchfield, Leona Smith, Phyliss Reeder, AdelGustin, Lorna Garrett, Grace Winkleman, Jane Hankton, Angela Dunyon, Helen Leggat, Helen Findling, Morell Melton, Margaret McKenzie, Julia Shores, Lucile Parkinson, Kathleen Harms, Josephine Rite, Elizabeth Pler, Laura Wilson, Pearl Bradley, Helen Knight, Isabel Westerdahl, Jane Booth, Louise Covey, Caroline Cannon, Marjorie Billings, Beatrice Lambourne, Golda Butler, Beth McIntosh, Dorothy Anderson, Margaret Fisher, Margaret Dunn.

Eleanor Van Cott, Dorothy Chamberlain, Ina Anson, Angeline Martell, Carolyn Rosenberg, Helen Schwelkart, Maurine Brown, Charlotte Primrose, Fera Peterson, Mary Siddoway, Nanna Wolfe, Dorothy Vogeler, Elsie Gandring, Virginia Reany, Helen Brown, Janet Reid, Virginia Foley, Dahrl Evans, Virginia Hull, Isabel Morgan, Mildred Brown, Elizabeth Johnson, Mary Winder, Leigh Nord, Emilie Sweet, Frances Brown, Theodora Hand, Retha Abrahamson, Elna Taylor, Clara Neibaur, Neva Clegg, Josephine Smith, Laura Wilson, Miriam Lamrs, Grace Derrick, Barbara Bacon, Eleanor Landenberger, Kathryn McGee, Dorothy Gaylord, Katherine Hoppaugh, Ruth Jennings, Grace Sheriff, Barbara Borse, Halleen Ivy, Gladys Griffin, Lois Bacon, June Harwood, Katherine Chandler, Louise Tinge.

Afton Madson, Beatrice Reilly, Josephine Hall, Ora Sharp, Maxine Wilde, Elizabeth Donnell, Helen Oswald, Erina Gibson, Isabel Gates, Audrey Cook, Maurine Worlton, Muriel Gayford, Florence Ray, Mary Cannon, Florence Nelson, Marion Ashton, Nellie Taylor, Thelma Marsh, Margaret French, Elizabeth Lundberg, Annie Abbot, Afton Brown, Louisa Strickley, Eva Clegg, Belvar Geen, Lene Kempe, Anne Merrill, Jean Jones, Leone Fehr, Rhea Parke, Ruth Kirer.

Chairmen Selected.

All who serve today will meet at the Civic center under the direction of Mrs. Jeanette A. Hyde, chairman; Mrs. C. H. McMahon, Mrs. Murray Schick, Mrs. Clara E. Beebe, Mrs. Eleanor Sears and Mrs. Laura Tanner.  The following women will serve at the different places of business: Walker Bros., Women’s Democratic club—Mrs. Gould C. Blakely, Mrs. R. E. L. Collier, Mrs. E. A. Bock, Mrs. E. A. Woolfe, Mrs. George H. Islaub and Mrs. James H. Mays: Keith-O’Brien Women’s Republican club—Mrs. T. B. Lewis, Mrs. George Mueller, Mrs. Genevieve Wright, Mrs. leo Bachle, Mrs. E. A. Rogers, Mrs. Justine R. Davis and Miss Sarah Eddington; Commercial club, Mrs. Eleanor Sears, Mrs. Stanley Keith Sears and Mrs. Albert Daly; Hotel Utah, Mrs. Idell Kuhre, Mrs. Ed Shields, Mrs. Clela Sears, Miss Ruth Sears; Newhouse hotel, Miss Zella Gallacher, Miss Maud Cushing, Miss Eleanor Taylor and Mrs. John E. Douley Jr.; Church offices, Mrs. O. W. Beebe, Miss Ruth Wood, Miss Dorothy Parker, Miss Margaret Beebe, (Continued on Following Page)

Page 10 [sic]:  POPPIES TO BE TRUMPS IN DRIVE FOR FRANCE. (Continued From Preceding Page)

Miss Marion McCune, Miss Louise Sims, Miss Afton Romney, Miss Bessie Scholfield, Miss Lois Cannon, Miss Geraldine Smith, Miss Caroline Rosenberg, Miss Grace Young, Miss Virginia Greenwall and Miss Tressa Tingey; Baseball grounds, Miss Helen Hanchett, Vivian Williams, Frances Hitchcock, Mabel Ekart, Doris Jones, June Slater, Ruth Johnson, Louise Starbuck, Helen Fox, Mena Bithell, Eva Robinson, Marvell Tanner, Pearl Bridge, Garnel Brown, Hazel O’Brien, Louise Maguire, Ethel Whitlock, Lilian Mitchell, La? Von Hammond, Theon Worsencroft, Janet McKinley, Ethel Williams, Leonora Welker, Frances Barton, Harriet McCurdy, Lilian Godbe, Grce Mulloy, Marie Grow, Maybella Davis, Lillian Lutzkn, Gertrude Lutham, Virginia Rives and Pheobe Slater; Auerbach, Mrs. Murray Schick, Miss Ruth Bradley and Miss Jennie Brown; Z. C. M. I., Misses Fulvia Ivans, Anns Widtsoc, Marie Covey, Gelda Hyde, Helen Midgley, Edna Williams, Louise Hill and Victoria Howell.

Mme. E. Guerin and her secretary, Mrs. Harry O’Brien, will leave Sunday morning for Ogden to speak in several of the churches for the benefit of the French war sufferers.  They will return to Salt Lake to speak at the Tabernacle at 2 o’clock.”

2)     Salt Lake Telegram [sic]:

“CITY GIVES FREELY TO SWELL FUND FOR ORPHANS OF FRANCE. 

Poppy Girls Make Canvass of Buildings in Downtown District.

More than a hundred school and society girls went through the business district this morning, carrying red poppies and asking for financial help for French orphans.  As planned by the committee in charge of the drive, every local firm, office, building and store was canvassed by the girls.

Utah has been asked to raise $10,000, and from the way the girls started out this morning it is believed the full quota will be raised.

To wind up the campaign, a dance will be given in the halls of the state capitol this evening. All the local high schools and the university, besides the American legion and several local clubs, have pledge their support to the affair.  The dance will be known as the “Tricolor Ball”.

Mrs. E. A. Book has been acting as chairman of the entertainment committee, and has been assisted by Miss Lucy Van Cott, Mrs. Jeanette Hyde, Mrs. W. Mont Ferry, Mrs. William C. Jennings, Mrs. R. C. Gemmell, Mrs. J. A. Hogle, Mrs. Lafayette Hanchett, Mrs. Torild Arnoldson and Mlle. M. Domenge in making the arrangements.

The Civic Center is the headquarters for the canvassing campaign.  Mrs. Jeanette Hyde has charge of the drive, assisted by a committee.

The local Boy Scouts paraded the downtown streets this morning, carrying a large red poppy.  Yesterday they sealed more than 500 boxes, which carry the contributions today.

Madame Guerin and Mrs. Harry O’Brien will visit Ogden tomorrow morning and will address church congregations there.  During the afternoon they will return to Salt Lake to lecture in the Tabernacle.”

3)     The Salt Lake Herald Republican (page 10) [sic]: 

Red Poppies Should Be Popular Today.

Madame E. Guerin, who is the head of the French benefit drive in Utah, spoke at the Bryant Junior High school yesterday on devastated and destitute parts of France.  She expects to go back to France soon, but will return to America in September, she said.  The drive starts today, in which it is expected $10,000 will be raised.  Some 200 society women of this city, several hundred students of the East High school and the Bryant Junior High school will give their services, according to the plans announced at the school.  Madame Guerin said she hoped to see a red poppy indicative of co-operation on every person in Salt Lake before she leaves.”

N.B. “She expects to go back to France soon, but will return to America in September”: Madame Guérin did not return to France as was thought – instead, she continued her Children’s League Poppy Day campaign in the U.S.A. Then, she continued with her ‘Inter-Allied Poppy Day’ idea within the U.S.A., Canada and Great Britain.  She did not return to France until September 1921, after her idea was accepted by Earl Haig and British Legion.

4)     The Salt Lake Tribune page1 [sic]: 

Poppy Emblem of Charity to Destitute Tots.

TODAY is Poppy day.  A campaign will be waged all day in the interest of the destitute regions of France.  A list of women and young girls who will assist in the drive has been announced by Mrs. Jeannette A. Hyde, chairman.  The fund gatherers will invade the hotels, department stores, banks, business houses, railroad depots and ball park, and contributors will be given poppies in exchange for whatever sum the purchaser wishes to pay.

Tonight a ball will be given at the Capitol under the direction of Madam E. Guerin.  A band of ten pieces will furnish the music.  Refreshments will be free and fifty cents will be charged for admission. Mayor E. A. Bock and Mrs. Bock will lead the grand march.  Tickets may be obtained at Hotel Utah or from women and girls who will be selling poppies today.”

5)     The Deseret Evening News, page 5 [sic]:

SELL THOUSANDS OF POPPIES FOR BENEFIT OF FRENCH CHILDREN. 

Maids and Matrons of Salt Lake Conduct Drive For War Sufferers.

Pretty maids and matrons of Salt Lake are going about the streets today selling thousands of bright red paper poppies emblematic of France, for the benefit of thousands of little human war wrecks living in the war zone.  The University of Utah began the campaign yesterday by raising the sum of $126.24.  Boy Scouts worked busily all day yesterday at the civic center preparing a huge poppy day banner, which is being displayed about the city today.

Early this morning several hundred girls invaded the down town district, carrying their bags of poppies, and Madame E. Guerin, representing the American and French Children’s league, made street corner speeches to arouse enthusiasm for the campaign.  The services of the Marion Morgan dangers and the girls from the “Passing Show” were enlisted as well as the following young women in addition to those whose names have been previously announced: … [3 paragraphs of names followed]

The drive closes this evening with a grand ball at the state capitol, with prominent local women as patronesses.  Madame E. Guerin and her secretary, Mrs. Harry O’Brien, leave tomorrow for Ogden, where they will speak for the war sufferers in several of the churches.  They will return to speak at the Sunday afternoon service in the tabernacle.”

6)     The Salt Lake Tribune, page 22 [sic]:

SALT LAKE TO AID FRENCH ORPHANS.

Girls to Distribute Poppies to Contributors Today; Plan Dance Tonight.

Salt Lakers will today have an opportunity to repay the debt of gratitude due Lafayette and France, by contributing whatever they can afford to help care for the suffering orphans in the devastated regions of France.  Hundreds of Salt Lake girls, from the schools, universities and clubs, will assist in helping to fill Utah’s quota of $10,000 for the American-French Children’s league.  Every contributor will receive a red poppy, symbolizing the fields of Flanders.

W. W. Armstrong of Salt Lake will act as trustee for the money obtained in Utah. Sherman Armstrong was appointed treasurer of the fund yesterday.

The money raised, Madame E. Guerin, who is in Salt Lake for the drive, says, will be used to assist French children, and send annually French lecturers to tour American cities.  A lectureship system between the United States and France will also be established.

Tonight at the state capitol a “tricolor” ball for the American-French Children’s league will be given, commencing at 8:30 o’clock.  The public is invited. The charge for each couple will be fifty cents for dancing and refreshments.  Mayor and Mrs. E. A. Bock will lead the grand march.  Mrs. Bock will be assisted in the arrangements by Miss Lucy Van Cott, Mrs. Jeannette A. Hyde, Mrs. W. Mont Ferry. Mrs. William C. Jennings, Mrs. R. C. Gemmell, Mrs. J. A. Hogle. Mrs. Lafayette Hanchett, Mrs. Torild Arnoldson, president of the Salt Lake branch of the L’Alliance Francaise, and Mlle M. Demenge.  Madame Jane Benedict, a French artist, who is in Salt Lake, will sing as a solo number “Marseillaise.”  A ten-piece orchestra will play for the dancing.

The Civic Center will be the headquarters for the drive today.  Special features will be given on the streets.  There will be girls’ choruses, speeches by Madame Guerin, and a parade at 9 o’clock of Boy Scouts down Main street bearing a six-foot poppy as an emblem of “Poppy day.”  Last night Boy Scouts sealed the many boxes in which the contributions will be taken.  Tiny paper French baskets, containing 45,000 red poppies will be distributed by the young women of the city on the streets, in the stores, theatres and residence districts.

Madame Guerin and Mrs. Harry O’Brien, newspaper woman who served two years with the Red Cross in France, and the Balkans, will speak at the tabernacle meeting Sunday afternoon, upon invitation of officials of the L. D. S. church.” 

Poppy Lady Madame Guérin’s Salt Lake City Society Belles. The Salt Lake Herald Republican, 11 April 1920.

Poppy Lady Madame Guérin’s Salt Lake City Society Belles, on 10 April 1920.
The Salt Lake Herald Republican, 11 April 1920.

Also, that day (10 April 1920), Madame Guérin attended a Service Star Legion meeting at the Hotel Utah in Salt Lake City, and addressed members – probably in the evening.   The ‘Service Star Legion’ had originally been the ‘War Mothers’ organisation, that had begun supporting Madame Guérin in October 1919.  Three articles reported on the meeting:

The Deseret Evening News (of Salt Lake City) page 3, 11 April 1920 [sic]:

Enjoyable Program at Service Star Meeting.

The completed program for the gathering of the Salt Lake county chapter of the Service Star Legion this afternoon at the Hotel Utah, has been announced.  John E. Holden, state adjutant of the American legion, Mrs. John Q. Cannon, formerly president of the War Mothers, and Madame E. Guerin, will all be speakers.  Symbolical flag ceremonies will be conducted by Mrs. Raynor J. Mackey and Miss Elsie Mackey and a musical program arranged by Mrs. George A. Snow and including a solo by Miss Nan Butterfield, will be given. …”

The Salt Lake Herald Republican page 13, Sunday 11 April 1920 page [sic]:

MEMORIAL PARK IS STAR LEGION PLAN. 

Will Ask City Commission to Dedicate Tract to War Heroes.

Plans to establish a memorial park in honor of Salt Lake’s war heroes were discussed at a meeting of the Salt Lake chapter of the Service Star Legion held at the Hotel Utah Saturday.  A resolution was passed to ask city commissioners for this purpose.  The land, at the mouth of City Creek canyon, is the tract in mind, and if set apart for this purpose, will be planted with hardwood trees of the flowering variety.  The co-operation of the city park and water departments will also be asked.

Mr. John E. Holden, state adjutant of the American Legion, gave a talk on the needs and purposes of the American Legion and the Service Star Legion.  Mrs. Annie Wells Cannon, former president, spoke on the “Proper Respect for the Flag.”

Mme. E. Guerin also addressed the meeting.

Mrs. R. W. Fisher presided and nineteen new members were received.

A musical program under the direction of Mrs. George A. Snow consisted of vocal selections by Miss Nan Butterfield. Miss Anitje Poelman and Harry Lewis.”

Salt Lake Telegram Page 2, Monday 12 April 1920 [sic]:  

PLANTING POSTPONED BY SERVICE STAR.

At a meeting of the Salt Lake county chapter of the Service Star legion at the Hotel Utah Saturday, arrangements were made looking to the planting of a “memory grave” at the mouth of City Creek canyon in honor of the men and women who gave their lives during the world war.  Due to the fact that the city water-works has not completed laying a pipe-line in the canyon and the general inclement weather, it was decided to post-pone the planting of the trees from Arbor day to Memorial day.  Mrs. C. S. Kinney, chairman of the committee on arrangements, said in an address that the commission had promised to contribute enough blue spruce to make a back-ground for the hardwood trees which will compose the grove.

The speakers of the meeting included Mrs. Robert Fisher, who presided; Madame E. Guerin, French Lecturer; John E. Holden, state adjutant for the American Legion; Captain P. Flood of the Salt Lake army recruiting station, and Mrs. Annie Wells Cannon, first president of the association.”

A ‘French Poppy Dance’ had been due to be held in the evening, at the State Capitol building, but had to be postponed.

State Capitol building, Salt Lake City. Courtesy of Heather Anne Johnson.

State Capitol building, Salt Lake City. Courtesy of Heather Anne Johnson.

There had been another Poppy Day held on 10 April 1920 – in Greeley, Colorado.  The Greeley Daily Tribune stated:  “Today Greeley has been turned into a poppy field.  Every citizen wears a scarlet flower, on every street corner Greeley girls are selling poppies for the orphans of France.   Under the direction of Mme Celeste Oliver Dixon and Mlle. Lucienne LeFraper, who are representing the American and French Children’s League today was made poppy day in Greeley.   Mrs. Howard Price, instructor in French and Latin at the Greeley high school has been on the street all day chaperoning the fair poppy sellers.   The poppy sellers will be on the streets until 10 o’clock tonight. …”  It looks as though Anna had left Celeste and Lucienne to make sure all ran smoothly on the day.

Both Celeste and Lucienne were French. Celeste was a widow, born c1879 and living in Denver, in the 1920 US census.  Her late husband had been one Oliver Dixon.

Lucienne Le Frapper was single – her occupation was a teacher, when she arrived in the USA in 1919.  She was born c1895 in Pontivy, Brittany.   “Mrs. Howard Price” was High School Teacher Mrs. Mary M. Price (nee McCutcheon).   She was born 02 September 1879, in Illinois, and died 02 July 1965 in Greeley.

The Daily Tribune (10 April) described how girls in Greeley, were selling poppies [sic]:

GREELEY BUYS POPPIES FOR WAR VICTIMS

Today Greeley citizen wears a scarlet flower, on every street corner Greeley girls are selling poppies for the orphans in France.  Under the direction of Mme. Celeste Oliver Dixon and Mlle. Lucienne LeFraper, who are representing the American and French Children’s league today was made poppy day in Greeley.  Mrs. Howard Price, instructor in French and Latin at the Greeley highschool, has been on the street all day chaperoning the fair poppy sellers.  The poppy sellers will be on the streets until 10 o’clock tonight.

The girls who gave their services today for the cause of the French orphans are from the Teachers college, the Sigma Upsilon sorority girls, Misses Gladys Poole, Alice Clavert, Marguerite Morris, Stella Williams, Dorothy Mraz, Irene Geizer, Velma Meyers, Eleanor Kearnes.  The following girls of Greeley high school were poppy sellers:  Elise Clark, Kathleen Kingsbury, Bessie Schenck, Nona Domks, Ada French, Mildred Dambach, Anna Wood, Fern Campbell, Blanche Schutz, Margaret Peyton, Arline Challgren, Noel Pegus, Elizabeth Jones, Frances Igo, Marion Kindred, Mary M. Brown, Agnes O’Connell, Mary Robb, Elizabeth Brown, Beulah Marks, Martha Garnsey, Mary Sue Claywell, Lucille Early, Ellen McClellan, Gwendolyn Garland, Katherine Kittle, Bertha Palmer, Kathleen Conner, Loreda Sears, Inez Boyd, Laura Lauty, Ethel Campbell, Clara Cox, Mary Dedrick, Viola Otoupalik, Mildred Neill, Sibyl Chestnut, Edith Almgren, Emma Hopkins, Gertrude Shanley, Adeline Fiala, Marjorie Scott, Jessie Hibbard, Esther Behrens.”

The Greeley Daily Tribune updated its readers on 17 April [sic]:

Highschool Raises Children’s Fund.

Twelve dollars and seventy cents [?] has been raised at the Greeley Children’s league.  This was done by the selling of membership tickets to the league by the students, especially in the French classes.

Thru the efforts of Mrs. Howard Price, instructor in French and Latin at the highschool, the work for the orphans is being carried on while the two women, Mme. Celeste Oliver Dixon and Mlle. Lucienne Le Fraper, representatives of the league in Colorado, are working in the other districts.

Together with the $645 raised “poppy day” here and the $12.70 raised at the highschool Greeley has contributed $657.70 toward relieving the suffering of the war orphans in France.”

On Sunday 11 April 1920, The Salt Lake Herald Republican wrote about local woman Miss Lucy Van Cott on page 19 [sic]:

Miss Lucy Van Cott. 11 April 1920. The Salt Lake Herald Republican.

Miss Lucy Van Cott. 11 April 1920.
The Salt Lake Herald Republican.

French Children’s League Offers Local Woman Position.

MISS LUCY VAN COTT, dean of women at the University of Utah, has been offered a position as organizer of cafeterias in the devastated regions of France, following a visit to the University of Utah cafeteria by Mme. E Guerin and her party.  The offer comes from the American and French Children’s league, which plans to establish a string of cafeterias throughout northern France for the benefit of war orphans.  The university cafeteria under the able management of Miss Van Cott has become a paying investment.  The excellent quality of the food, as well as the low prices, excited the wonder and admiration of the visitors.  Miss Van Cott is seriously considering the proposition.  If she accepts she will leave about the 1st of October for France.”

On the same page 19, the following article praised Salt Lake City’s generosity – high praise, considering the Poppy Day was cut short because of the terrible weather [sic]:

Thousands Buy Flowers to Aid Fatherless French Children.

“POPPY DAY” put another star in Salt Lake’s crown yesterday.  Thousands bought poppies from girls on downtown streets and in so doing contributed their mite to aid stricken war orphans of France.

When the tiny cash boxes were emptied and the contents counted last night it was found Salt Lake had contributed $3500, Mrs. Janette Hyde, chairman in charge of the affair, reported last night. Mme. Guerin enthusiastically praised Salt Lake as the most generous city of all.

In spite of the rain, there were few buttonholes without a poppy.

Appeal is General.

The recital of the conditions among the children of France has appealed to the hearts of the public with liberal results.  One cent buys a loaf of bread in France, and since 1 cent of United States coin equals ten in French money, the thousands of dollars will be the means of saving thousands of lives.

The money taken in yesterday has been deposited at the National Copper bank and will be sent to France direct.  W. W. Armstrong is acting as trustee for the money obtained in Utah and Sherman Armstrong has been appointed treasurer.

Dance Postponed Week.

The committee in charge of the drive announces that the girls will continue the drive for a few hours next Saturday, in order to reach the shoppers who, on account of the rain, were not on the streets yesterday.

Due also to the weather, the dance at the Capitol building, which was scheduled for last night, did not take place, but will be given next Saturday evening.  Mayor and Mrs. Bock are scheduled to lead the grand march.

Mme. Guerin and her companion, Mrs. Harry O’Brien, will speak at the Tabernacle meeting this afternoon at the invitation of the L. D. S. church officials.”

[N.B. 3,500 US$ is worth 44,500US$ in 2017 = 445,000 “in French money”]

The Salt Lake Herald Republican followed through on the Lucy Van Cott story:

Sunday 11 April 1920 [sic]: Undecided.  Whether to go to France to organize cafeterias in regions devastated by war or to remain in charge of the University of Utah eating establishment is the question now puzzling Lucy Van Cott, dean of women at the U.  The offer was made (to) Miss Van Cott yesterday.”

… and … Tuesday 13 April 1920 [sic]: “Miss Lucy Van Cott, dean of women at the University of Utah, is said to be in a quandary as to whether to go to France to organize cafeterias in devastated regions or to continue her management of the university eating establishment.  If Miss Van Cott will submit the question to a solemn referendum of the students she will stay at home.”

Also on the 11th April 1920, The Salt Lake Tribune alerted its readers to the tabernacle speakers for that day [sic]:

Madame Guerin Tabernacle Speaker.

Madame E. Guerin, French lecturer, and Mrs. Harry O’Brien, known in newspaper circles as “Polly Pry,” will be among the speakers today at the tabernacle services of the L.D.S. church.  The tabernacle choir, under the direction of Professor Anthony C. Lund, with Professor McClellan at the organ, will give a musical program.”

Again, on 11 April 1920, The Salt Lake Tribune reviewed the Poppy Day on page 19 [sic]:

FRENCH ORPHANS ARE GIVEN $2000. 

Street Canvassers Find a Ready Response Despite Inclement Weather.

Approximately $2000 was raised yesterday by the many school and society girls of Salt Lake, in their canvass for contributions for orphans in the devastated regions of France.  This estimate was given by Mrs. Jeannette A. Hyde, chairman of the committee in charge, who said that considering the inclement weather the drive was successful.  Madame E. Guerin, French lecturer, and Mrs. Harry J. O’Brien, who represent the American-French Children’s league, expressed appreciation of the efforts of the workers.

Owing to the storm, the public ball, which was to have been held last night at the state capitol, was postponed until next Saturday night at 8:30 o’clock.  The tickets sold for last night will be honored at that time.

In a 174 boxes for contributions were taken out yesterday by the young women of the University of Utah, L. D. S. university, East and West high schools, Bryant Junior high school and Irving and Sugar House schools.  The St. Mary’s academy turned in $10, and the East high school $27.

Among the women who assisted Mrs. Hyde yesterday were:  Miss Lucy Van Cott, vice-chairman; Mrs. C. H. McMahon, secretary; Mrs. Eleanore Sears. Mrs. Justin R. Davis, Mrs. Murray Schick, Mrs. Louise P. Arnoldson and Madame Jane Benedict.  Headquarters for the drive were at the Civic Center.

It had been planned to have the girls distribute the little “red poppies of Flanders” at the baseball game, but as the game was postponed on account of rain, the canvass at the ball park will be made next Saturday afternoon, commencing at 2 o’clock.  Fifty girls, under the direction of Miss Helen Hanchett, will be on duty at the baseball grounds, and workers will also seek contributions on the main streets Saturday afternoon.

Two interesting incidents were related by the canvassers.  A foreigner who had just been released from St. Mark’s hospital, came up to one of the workers and said that though he had only a few cents in the world, had no work and had just recovered from a severe illness, he wished to give what he could to aid the French orphans.  The children at the Neighbourhood house sent in a baby bond.  This represented a real sacrifice, as the bond was purchased from pennies donated from time to time.

The Boy Scouts assisted yesterday, acting as errand boys.  They kept the girls supplied with red poppies.

Madame Guerin and Mrs. O’Brien will go to Ogden tonight.  During the week drives will be conducted at Logan and Provo.”

On that Sunday morning (11 April), Madame Anna Guérin spoke at the Third Ward meeting house in Ogden, Utah, “on the condition of French orphaned children” – ahead of a Poppy Day there on 17 April.   She was accompanied by Leonel O’Bryan (“Polly Pry”).

In the afternoon of the 11th, Anna Guérin and Leonel O’Bryan addressed “the regular afternoon meeting” at the Salt Lake City tabernacle.   It is reported that Madame Guérin spoke at Ogden’s Third Ward meeting house in the evening too.

The next day (12 April),  the Deseret News gave an account of the Salt Lake City tabernacle event [sic].  Here are extracts:

1)     PROPHECY FULFILLED IS THEME AT TABERNACLE. Elder Joseph Fielding Smith Discusses Mission of phet—Appeal Made For Children of France.

GOSPEL doctrine and mercy appeals were mingled in the tabernacle services Sunday afternoon.  President Anthon H. Lund presided and the speakers were Elders Joseph Fielding Smith and two visitors who are here in the interest of the homeless children of France, and Mrs. Leonel Ross O’Brien. Best known by her nom de plume “Polly Pry. 

… [There followed five paragraphs documenting the religious service] …

Elder James E. Talmage introduced Madame E. Guerin and Mrs. Leonel Ross O’Bryan representing the American and French Children’s league, for the relief of the unfortunate children in northern France, and the Red Cross.

Mrs. O’Bryan spoke first.  She, it was said, was interested especially in the Red Cross.  She said she had been in Europe and had there heard the fame of Utah, the state that led in the intermountain region of America in contributions to the Red Cross during the war.  She had been in the Balkans and elsewhere and had seen what was done with those contributions.  She had travelled on tramp steamers, torpedo boats, battleships, any way to get from one place to another.  She described the suffering she had seen among the people in devastated Europe, In Bulgaria, she said, the aged and the children were held in detention camps as prisoners of war.  There were scarcely any young men or young women.  The young women had been taken by the soldiers, to do with as they pleased, and the young men had been deported to work in the mines, under taskmasters.  She described various journeys she had made among the sufferers, the hungry and starving. The naked and freezing.  She herself had read the burial service over many who had died of the terrible hardships.  The destitution was so great that it has not been righted even yet.  In America, said Mrs. O’Bryan, peace is being talked of, but in devastated Europe there is no peace, no rest.  The people have gone back to the sites of their homes and they have found only desolation and ruin.  It is for those people who have gone back, she said, and who are struggling against such terrible odds, that the organization she represents is seeking help.  They need bread, they need clothing, they need medicine, they need the care of the peoples of the earth.

Madame E. Guerin.

Madame Guerin said she desired to express the gratitude of her own France to brave America, to the boys, the splendid boys, who came over and turned the tide of war.  When General Pershing said at the tomb of the man who espoused the cause of America: “Lafayette, we have come,” he won for America, if possible, even more of the love of France than it had yet had.  She paid a touching tribute to the American boys who fought, to those who died and to those at home who gave them support.  She paid eloquent tribute to the spirit of America and said America will not abandon its noble principles of right and justice. Even now, she said, France needs the help and support of generous America; the children of France have every confidence that this great country that sent its best and bravest men across the sea to fight for a just cause, will give out of the generosity of the great American heart, the sustenance that will give them life while they struggle to rebuild their homes.  Madame Guerin reated specific instances of suffering among the children of France; of blighted childhood; of the hope in little hearts that the great America will help.  She spoke of the graves of American boys in Flanders fields.  She had been to Chateau Thierry, she had been over the ground where the brave Americans turned the Germans back.  One American boy told her, as he was dying, that if she should go to America, to tell his people the boys over there did their best, and he told her she could depend on American for the right.

Speaking of the drive for funds, Madame Guerin said it is not alms France is asking; France is not begging, France is a proud nation, proud of the part she took to rid the world of a terrible menace; France gave all she had, she could not give more.  The speaker said it is not flattery when she says frankly America is known today as the first nation of the earth and O, how proud! she said, France is of the friendship of America!  She appealed eloquently for the little children and toldwhat $2,000 given by the good citizens of Salt Lake would do over there.

Madame Guerin spoke earnestly, fervently.  He manner of expression was sincere, unfeigned and straight-forward.  Her speech was clear English, phrased with precision, but given with an unmistakable French accent.

President Anthon H. Lund, at the conclusion of the services, said he desired to assure the visitors, in behalf of the people whom they had addressed, that the cause they espoused is heartily indorsed by this people and he recommended an earnest and helpful response to their appeal.” 

2)     The Deseret News reported:

“ANOTHER POPPY DAY HAS BEEN ANNOUNCED FOR NEXT SATURDAY.

Because the weather stopped the street campaign for funds for French children of the war zone Saturday it was stated this morning that the campaign would be taken up again at 2 o’clock next Saturday and a second half of Poppy day will be enacted in this city.  Mme. Guerin stated that banks and business houses would not be visited again, but that an opportunity would be given the passersby usually on the business streets in good weather, to buy a poppy.

She said that after her talk on Sunday afternoon in the tabernacle several persons in the audience offered her donations but she is not authorized by the society which she is representing to receive the money.  She asks the donors kindly to send the amounts to the local committee appointed to receive them with Mrs. Jeanette Hyde, chairman, in the Bishops building.

Up to noon today the sum of $2.760 had been received through the Poppy campaign.  As 25 cents in America money means 3.75 in France the committee are making the plea on local citizens to send in amounts, however small.

They are most hearty in their thanks to matrons, maids and schools of the city who helped in Saturday’s drive and especially mentioned the tiny children from Rowland hall who participated.  These, some of them mere babies, collected $37 in their school and then assisted in the drive down town.  Mrs. Eleanor Sears has been named chairman for the dance to take place at the state capitol next Saturday evening and she announces that tickets can be purchased down-town.”

3)     The Salt Lake Tribune updated its readers along the same lines [sic]:

WORKERS THANKED BY MADAME GUERIN.

“Americans, you answered the call of liberty, and by the greatness of your country you have saved the world,” said Madame E. Guerin, French lecturer, in speaking at the tabernacle services yesterday afternoon.  Madame Guerin said she expressed the gratitude of the thousands in the devastated regions of France for the response to the “Poppy day” drive Saturday.

Mrs. Harry O’Brien, newspaper woman, who served two years with the Red Cross in the Balkans, paid tribute to the Red Cross workers in Utah.

“To the women of Utah,” Mrs. O’Brien said, “much credit is due for winning the war, as they led the states of the union in the percentage of Red Cross work done per capita.  We of the Red Cross on the other side saw how the work in this state helped in alleviating suffering over there.”

James E. Taimage of the council of the twelve introduced the speakers.  Joseph Fielding Smith of the council of the twelve gave spiritual discourse.

President Anthon H. Lund presided.  The tabernacle choir, under the direction of Professor Anthony C. Lund, with Professor Tracy Y. Cannon at the organ, furnished music.  The invocation was offered by Charles H. Hyde and the benediction by President Rudger Clawson.”

Anna reminisced about Salt Lake City, in 1921: “where again the weather was against us”.   Anna’s Synopsis (from 1941) personally enlightens us further: “In Salt Lake City the President of the Mormon delegated one of the President of the Women’s club, Mrs. Marriot of Ogden, to accompagn me in every town , until the $10.000 would be  made … … The Poppies forwarded to us from Chicago were made in papers , and however they were making a touching sight in a town when in the evening every man , woman and child was wearing one of those poppy , as it was very often the case in the small towns.”

In a congratulatory letter to Madame Guérin dated 22 May 1920, from Madame Lebon (American and French Children’s League’s Chairman in France), more is learnt about the money donated during the Salt Lake City Poppy Drive:  “… With the money received from Salt Lake City we are opening a dairy to give milk to the wasted children of Verdun.  The dairy is called Utah. …”

Soon after speaking at the Tabernacle, Anna Guérin left Salt Lake City to travel north to Ogden again. That evening, she spoke at Ogden’s Third Ward meeting house again – as she had done in the morning.   Anna Guérin remained in Ogden for quite a while.

Between the 12th and 20th of April 1920, both the Lincoln Journal Star and the Lincoln Evening Journal printed identical advertisements to promote a Benefit being held on the evenings of the 19th and 20th: “The Isle of Dreams” at The Orpheum in Lincoln:

Benefit for American-French Children’s League. Lincoln Evening Journal, 12 April 1920.

Benefit for American-French Children’s League.
Lincoln Evening Journal, 12 April 1920.

On Monday 12 April 1920, Salt Lake Telegram mentioned Anna Guérin and Leonel O’Bryan giving an address at the Tabernacle [sic]:

FRENCH GRATITUDE EXPRESSED.

In an address given Sunday afternoon at the Tabernacle, Madame Guerin, French lecturer, who is in Salt Lake in the interests of the drive for funds for French war orphans, thanked the people for the generous support they gave the movement conducted Saturday.  Mrs. Harry O’Brien, newspaper woman, who is travelling with Madame Guerin, lauded Utah for the work performed for the Red Cross during the past war.  Mrs. O’Brien served two years with the American Red Cross in the Balkan states.”

Also on Monday 12 April 1920, The Ogden Standard Examiner (page 5) reported on Leonel O’Bryan and Anna Guérin again [sic]:

Open Campaign to Aid French Orphans.

Mrs. Georgiana Marriott presided over a series of meetings of the North Weber stake Relief societies yesterday, held in the meeting house of the Third ward, when at the morning and evening sessions speeches on the condition of French orphaned children were delivered by Madame Guerin and Mrs. Harry O’Brien of Denver, Colo., who are touring the west of the aid of the French and American children’s league.

At the evening meeting the building was crowded and people had to be turned away, and Mrs. O’Brien and Madame Guerin aroused the deepest interest in the case which they represent and a sum of $75 was collected as a first contribution to the needy work.

Mrs. O’Brien is well known as a newspaper writer, who writes over the signature of “Polly Pry,” and who has spent two years in France as a Red Cross worker.

The speakers also addressed the regular afternoon meeting in the Salt Lake tabernacle yesterday.”

The Salt Lake Herald Republican (12 April 1920) wrote more about the event [sic]:

WOMEN SOLICIT AID FOR ORPHANS. 

Appeal for Victims of German Invasion Heard at Tabernacle.

Mrs. Harru O’Brien of Denver, known nationally as “Polly Pry,” and Madame E. Guerin, lecturer of the French and American Children’s league, during the regular services Sunday afternoon in the Tabernacle, appealed to the assembled worshipers for aid in the French war orphan campaign.  Anton H. Lund, first councillor to the residency, was in charge of the services, and Joseph F. Smith delivered the sermon.

As a newspaper correspondent, Mrs. O’Brien spent two years in the war zones of Europe.  To the Tabernacle audience she pictured the deplorable condition of the children n the war-devastated regions of France and the Balkans.

Mme. Guerin emphasized the need for children’s relief.  She thanked America for what has been done to aid France, declaring: “France and her people love American, not because of America’s wealth or strength, but because of American’s heart and ideals.”

In his sermon Apostle Joseph F. Smith traced the prophets and their teachings, from Moses to modern times.

“I rejoice that the same principles which were taught by the Lord and Master and the apostles are now revealed to men as they were in that day,” he said

Opening and closing prayers were offered by Apostle Rudger Clawson and Charles Hyde of the Pioneer stake presidency.”

On 13 April 1920, Madame Guérin spoke at the Ogden High School at 10 a.m.; the Weber Normal College at 11.15 a.m.; and the Sacred Heart Academy in aid of the ‘American and French Children’s League.  She was accompanied by Professor James Barker of the French department of the University of Utah.

Anna Guérin was also recruiting sellers for the Poppy Day, which was to be held on 17 April – they would dispose of poppy “boutonnières” in shops and business houses. Cadets and scouts would also help in the Drive.  

Ogden High School. Courtesy of Heather Anne Johnson.

Ogden High School. Courtesy of Heather Anne Johnson.

In a flashback to Monday 13 April 1920, the edition of 11 April 1988 of The Signpost (of Ogden, Utah) looked back and noted [sic]: Flashback.  As part of the celebration of the WSC Centennial, the Signpost will be highlighting events and notable dates that have occurred on campus throughout the years. … Wednesday, April 13, 1920 Madame Guerin makes a plea for French War orphans.”

On the same day, 13 April 1920, The Salt Lake Telegram printed a short article on page 6.  Some words, down the article’s left hand side, are not visible on the online scan but they have been calculated (accurately, it is believed) [sic]:

POPPY DAY” DRIVE IN OGDEN SATURDAY.

The “Poppy day” scheduled for next Saturday in Ogden, the Utah campaign for the aid of the American and French Children’s league is progressing very successfully according to Mrs. Jeannette A. Hyde, state chairman.  The Relief society at Ogden raised $67.50 Sunday and inter-allied poppy movement was kindled by talks by Madame E. Guerin and Mrs. Leonel Ross O’Bryan at several public gatherings.

Scores of school girls, society girls of the city will sell poppies on the streets of Ogden Saturday under the supervision of Mrs. Georgina Marriott.  Plans for the tricolor ball to be held in the State Capitol, which was postponed on account of the storm Saturday, are being formulated by Mrs. E. A. Bock, chairman of the committee.  Girls will sell tickets for the event at the ball game in Salt Lake and on the streets Saturday.

As a result of the five hours’ drive totalled $1755.99, was cabled to Paris by Sherman Armstrong, treasurer of the state fund.”

The Salt Lake Tribune, also on 13 April 1920, printed the following on page 9 [sic]:

MANY GIVE FOR FRENCH RELIEF.

“Poppy Day” to Be Held in Ogden Saturday; Postponed Ball Arranged.

“Poppy day” will be held in Ogden Saturday, according to announcement made yesterday by Mrs. Jeannette A. Hyde, state chairman of the American and French Children’s league.  Madame E. Guerin and Mrs. Leonel Ross O’Bryan returned from Ogden yesterday, after speaking Sunday morning and evening at Ogden gatherings and meeting with hearty responses.  The Relief society at Ogden in a meeting raised $67.50.  Mrs. Georgina Marriott will have charge of the campaign in Ogden Saturday, assisted by hundreds of school girls, society girls and matrons.

 The “tricolor” ball, postponed on account of the storm Saturday, to be held at the state capitol, is being arranged for by Mrs. E. A. Bock, chairman of the committee.  Tickets can be obtained from Mrs. Eleanor Sears, Room 29, Bishop’s building, and girls also will have them for sale Saturday afternoon at the ball game in Salt Lake and on the streets.

Sherman Armstrong, treasurer of the state fund, cabled to Paris yesterday $1755.99 as the result of the five hours drive held Saturday.  The fund was further enlarged yesterday when $168.26 was turned in by the girls of the Irving Junior High school, who under the direction of Miss W. M. Learned canvassed the Sugarhouse district.  The girls of Rowland hall also turned in $31, representing a personal canvass of their homes and friends.  Miss Imogene Wilhelmsen and Miss Vera Egan of Bountiful also turned in donations.

Madame Guerin said yesterday many had desired to contribute to her personally.  She requests that donations be sent to Mrs. J. Hyde, at the Bishop’s building, who with Mr. Armstrong will have charge of all the finances.  Madame Guerin speaks in the schools of Ogden today, and will go to Logan Wednesday, and Provo Friday.

Mrs. J. A. Hyde announced yesterday the following state committee, whose members will act as officers of the league in Utah: Mrs. Emmeline B. Wells and Mrs. Simon Bamberger, honorary state presidents; Miss Lucy Van Cott, Mrs. C. H. McMahon, Mrs. Eleanor Sears, Mrs. John A. Widtsoe and Mrs. Annie Wells Cannon of Salt Lake, and Mrs. Georgina Marriott of Ogden and Mrs. Inwz Knight Allen of Provo, vice-state chairman; Mrs. Louise P. Arnoldson, state secretary; Sherman Armstrong, state treasurer.

State committee: Governor Bamberger, Secretary of State Harden Bennion, H. N. Child, Dr. T. A. Beatty, Mayor Bock, C. Clarence Neslen of the city commission, Professor James A. Barker, E. F. Colborn and John Groesbeck, and Mrs. R. C. Gemmell, Mrs. Solomon Siegel, Mrs. W. C. Jennings, Mrs. J. A. Hogle, Mrs. Justin R. Davis, Mrs. Gould B. Blakeley, Mrs. T. B. Lewis, Mrs. Clara W. Beebe, Mrs. Melvin J. Ballard, Mlle. M. Domenge, Miss Evelyn S. Mayer and Miss Helen Kirk.”

On Wednesday 14 April 1920, The Ogden Standard Examiner reminded readers about the forthcoming Poppy Day in the city [sic]:

PRETTY GIRLS TO SELL POPPIES. 

Funds for Relief of French Children in Devastated Regions.

Pretty Ogden girls Saturday will sell poppies upon the streets of the city to assist in raising funds for the relief of children in the devastated regions of France.

The poppy sale is to be conducted as one feature of the local drive to raise funds for the American and French Children’s league.

Mme. E. Guerin of Paris, delegate and lecturer for the United States is here in connection with the drive.  Mrs. Georgina Marriott is head of the local committee which is taking up the work.

Governor Bamberger is resident of the state organization and the movement has been indorsed by leading officials generally, including G. N Cihld state superintendent of public instruction, Mayor Frank Francis and Carl W. Hopkins, superintendent of the Ogden public schools.

Madame Guerin addressed the students of the Weber academy and Ogden high school yesterday.  She is addressing the students of other schools today.

The French woman declares the children rescued from the devastated regions of France after the Germans were pushed back were in a pitiable condition.  France, she declares, can look after the children of the other sections of the nation, but there is so much to be done to relieve conditions in the districts which were occupied by the Germans that help from outside sources is invited.

School children are given an opportunity to contribute and certificates will be issued to schools which provide funds.”

The Deseret Evening News (of Salt Lake City, Utah) printed the following on 14 April [sic]:

Poppy Day Saturday.  OGDEN, April 14.—“Poppy day” will be observed in this city next Saturday, when fund will be solicited for the aid of the American and French children’s league.  Madame Guerin spoke in aid of the society at the Weber college and Ogden high school to the students yesterday morning.”

A press release came out of Ogden on 14 April (printed 15 April 1920, The Salt Lake Tribune) [sic]:

GIRLS WILL SELL POPPIES SATURDAY.

OGDEN, April 14.—Poppies will be sold on the streets of Ogden Saturday by a bevy of pretty girls to assist in raising a fund for the relief of children in the devastated regions of France.  The sale is a feature of the drive which is being conducted in Ogden.

Madame E, Guerin of Paris, who is touring the country as the representative of the French government, addressed the students of the various schools today.  Yesterday she addressed the students of the high school, Weber college and Sacred Heart academy.”

On 15 April 1920, Madame Guérin spoke at the City Hall in Ogden, Mrs. Georgina Marriott accompanied her.   The Ogden standard-examiner (16 April) reported [sic], under the heading of Davis Speaks on Gen. Leonard Wood”:                    

Making it perfectly clear that he was not advocating the candidacy of General Leonard Wood as the only Republican possibility as a candidate for the presidency, J.C. Davis gave an interesting biographical address on the military man with presidential ambitions at the meeting of the Weber county women’s Republican committee meeting at the city hall last night. 

Mrs. Georgina Marriott presided over the meeting. 

Madame E. Guerin, representing the American and French Children’s League, spoke on the aims of the society and asked for the support of the women on poppy Day, which is to be celebrated here tomorrow, when the population will be tagged in behalf of the work of the society. 

The meeting went on record as favoring federal laws for maternity insurance and child labor, and amending of the state law so as to provide school teachers with a living wage.  Paul Wheeler gave two violin solos.”

The following article appeared on page 6 in the last edition (4 p.m.) of The Ogden Standard-Examiner, Utah, April 15, 1920 [sic]:

NAME DIRECTORS FOR ‘POPPY DAY’. 

Drive For French Children Relief to be Launched Saturday.

Committees who will assist in the drive to raise funds in Ogden for the relief of children in the devastated regions of France were announced today.

The money is to be raised for the American and French Children’s league.  Charles Barton, cashier of the Ogden Savings bank, is the local treasurer designated here.

The drive will be launched Saturday with 200 pretty girls selling souvenir poppies of France for any amount the citizen desires to pay for them.

Mrs. Georgina Marriott, chairman, says cadets and boy scouts are invited to be present at the headquarters in the city hall Saturday to assist in the drive.

Each of the schools will be represented by girl poppy sellers and by teachers as well.

Mrs. Marriott says the funds collected go directly into the hands of Mr. Barton, who will either send it to state banker of the league or cable it directly to Paris, as he may choose.  Madame Guerin does not herself handle the money.  There are no overhead expenses of offices or salaries in connection with the drive, Mrs. Marriott says.  [Names of committee members followed] …”

On Friday 16 April 1920, the Ogden Standard-Examiner printed an article headed “Three hundred school girls to sell poppies tomorrow for youth of devastated France”.   It noted that “The funds raised by voluntary contributions of any amount desired will be taken in charge by Charles H. Barton, cashier of the Ogden Savings Bank and by him cabled to the Premier Millerand of France, not being handled by visiting representatives of the movement”.   Anna (and  volunteers for the League) did receive a nominal amount for expenses from a League account called the ‘National Expenses Fund’ – it is assumed that monies within this came from League membership fees.

On the same day, The Box Elder News (of Brigham City, Utah) detailed arrangements made regarding Madame Guérin’s meeting the day before [sic]:

“A special assembly was held at the high school, Thursday afternoon in order to hear Madame E. Guerin of France who came to speak in behalf of the French and American children of the French and American Children’s League.  A most interesting address was delivered by Madame Guerin and it was decided that a Poppy Day should be held in Brigham City next Saturday for the purpose of raising funds for the orphans of France.  This money will be used in building orphanages, sanitariums and supplying food and clothing for the children in need. 

The following committee was named to take charge of this campaign Miss Olive Jensen, chairman; Mrs. E. M. Tyson and Mrs. Lydia Forsgren.  The junior and senior girls pledged themselves to assist in the selling of poppies on Saturday.  These poppies will be sold at whatever price the buyer wishes to donate to the cause.  It is especially desired that the children given their pennies.”

On Saturday 17 April 1920, the second half of Salt Lake City’s Poppy Day took place.   The first half had been the morning of the 10th but rain had brought it to a close.  On the 17, poppies began to be distributed at 2 p.m.   The Capitol building in the Salt Lake was due to be the location of the Poppy Ball that evening, having had to be postponed from the 10th too.  The Salt Lake Herald Republican printed a small paragraph the day before [sic]:

POPPY DAY GIRLS MEET

Young girls who worked in the Poppy day drive last Saturday for the benefit of French war orphans will meet in room 28 at the Bishops’ building next  Saturday morning, to sell tickets for the ball in the Capitol on Saturday night.  Mrs. Eleanor Sears, chairman of the committee, is in charge of the affair, and prominent women of the city will be patronesses.”

But the “best laid plans of mice and men often go awry” and the Poppy Ball had to be postponed again – The Salt Lake Herald Republican explained fully in its edition of the 20th [sic]:

 “Storm Changes Plans Made For Poppy Day Ball.

“‘Tis an ill wind, etc.—might be said of the ordinary gale, but when it comes to a cyclone—

Last Saturday’s windstorm, that blew the date for the Poppy Day ball one week farther ahead, whisked away all the plans previously made for the big entertainment at the state capitol, and substituted a brand new set of arrangements.

Instead of the Tricolor ball, it’s to be the Poppy Cyclone ball.

The affair will be given under the direction of the American and French orphan committee, with Mrs. Janette Hyde, Miss Lucy M. Van Cott, dean of women of the University of Utah, and Mrs. C. H. McMahor as high priestesses of the dance.

The Poppy Cyclone ball is to be held in the corridors of the state capitol April 24.  Everybody is invited and a whirlwind of jazz, interpreted in terms of fastest orchestration and gayest dance steps, has been promised.”

The 17th April 1920 was Ogden’s Poppy Day, Ogden Standard-Examiner updated readers:

OGDEN GENEROUS TO PRETTY GIRLS IN POPPY DRIVE. 

With hundreds of pretty girls busy and enthusiastic, the sale of poppies for the children of devastated France went on apace here today.   The general committee reported a generous response from the citizens of Ogden. 

Madame E. Guerin, who is in Ogden as the representative of France for the American an French Children’s league declared she was highly pleased by the enthusuastic manner in which Ogden has responded to the appeal from the needy French children.”

Reportedly, $2000 was raised in that Ogden Poppy Drive.  Anna was reported as being “highly pleased by the enthusiastic manner” in which Ogden responded.   Anna also recalled, in 1921: “Ogden did splendidly, as did Binghamton, Provo, Logan and other towns.”

Anna spent most of April 1920 in Utah – she spoke on the aims of the ‘American and French Children’s League; asked for the support of the women and girls; and then set about organising the Poppy Days/Drives in places such as Brigham City; Logan; and Provo. The aforementioned are all found along Utah’s Highway 15 but Anna would have been travelling on The Denver and Rio Grande Western Railway, more often than not, branching off east to Park City.   Then it was over the State border into Idaho to Preston.   Numerous other towns took part in the Drives, apart from those mentioned.

On Sunday 18 April 1920, The Ogden Standard-Examiner reported on the success of the Ogden Poppy Day in a couple of articles.  Transcribing both articles serves to illustrate just how many girls helped and how successful the day was [sic]:

FOR THE CHILDREN OF FRANCE.

Yesterday was a day of love and affection in Ogden.  Children, from early morning until late in the evening, went about with poppies and for each poppy received in return a contribution from the men and women of this city.

When the total offerings were counted, Ogden had yielded up an estimated $2,000. 

This was one of the most pleasing events of the many war services performed by the people of Ogden.  The money was generously, ungrudgingly given in pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters and dollars. The sentiment back of the stream of wealth was the extending of helping hands to the women and children of the devastated regions of France, where, for four years, the inhabitants endured the horrors of a war more terrible than history had ever recorded up to that time.

Ogden’s youngsters have done much for their less fortunate allies across the ocean, but nothing more delightfully satisfying than the poppy drive of Saturday.

The women who guided the children proved to be quite as clever in leadership as the youngsters were tactful in extracting a wealth of small change.”

POPPY DAY IN OGDEN SUCCESS. 

Nearly $2000 Realized in One Day Drive for French Children.

Nearly $2000 was realized in Ogden yesterday by Ogden school children who sold poppies on the streets for the fund that will go toward alleviating the conditions of the children of war-ridden sections of France.

Mme. E. Guerin, who has been lecturing throughout the country in the interest of the drive, spoke at Ogden theatres last night.

Names of additional school children who aided during the drive include:

Committee arranging booths and tables in stores and hotels, Miss Vera Tracy, chairman.  Members of the committee are as follows; Benice Harris, Theresa Pring, Sherma Hendershot, Lottie Baker, Mary Ann Conier, Louise Fisher, Bessier Larkin.

Madison—Erica Berne, Dorothy Matson, Blanche Scowcroft, Marion Ure, Mollie Brett, Margaret Jongsina.

Quincy—Lorna Jones, Grace Poorman, Alice Humsaker, Edytne Ashton, Mariana Ellis, Doris Wilcox, Lois Childs, Mellwyn Emmett, Lucile Stevenson, Dorothy Young.

Central Junior High—Leda Wilson, Joyce Reeder, Leah Welch, Gladys Mumford, Nellie Taylor, Marjorie Perrins, Ruth Goddard, Virginia Green, Loujean McKay, Norma Mattson, Vera Purdie, Madeline Reeder, Marjorie Minnoch, Elva King, Glorus Mortensen, Lea Anderson, Marguerite Dinsdale, Elma Taylor, Katherine Wheelewright, Marguerite Selbold, Illa Willie, Eleanor Shorten, Florella Cramer, Blanch Johnson, Bonita Scowcroft, Luella McCamant, Twila Mason, Dorothy Anderson, Ruth Brewer, Ruth Jensen, Hortense Kirkland, Pauline Sipprelle, Catherine Kelley, Mary Rienks, Sarah Holmes, Ethel Calvin, Lavina Ekins, Myrtle Summerill, Ethel Burnette, Dorothy Hyslop, Dorothy, Carlson, Stella Thomas, Katherine Cahill, Mary DeBry, Lucile Silver, Virginia Bingham, Dorothy Scowcroft, Ireta Taylor, Helen Boyd, Cora Wangagnard.

Sacred Heart Academy—Mrs. Geo. H. Matson, chairman; Mrs. D. L. Boyle, vice-chairman; Hazel Matchinsky, Ethel Thinnes, Agnes Carney, Sarah Miller, Florence Dunn, Monida Brown, Winifred Stillwell, Kathryn Shufflebarger, Helen Conroy, Ethel Always, Marie Clifford, Mary Mack, Madeline Kelliher, Genevive McKenna, Eileen Hanley, Beatrice Bletcher, Virginia Kaplan, Mary Luxen, Dorothy Kaplan, Lillian Davis, Sadie Carr, Phyllis Reed, MDary Louise Maginnis, Lillian De Graeff, Brent Dermody, Barbara Dermody, Mary Clements, Edunes Whitney, Grace Byrne, Gladys Kowski, Geraldine O’Neill, Winifred Carr, Catherine Boyle, Kathryn Krauss, Mary Matson, Genevive McCarty, Madelyn Toy, Margaret Wright, Margaret McCarthy, Agnes Thinnes, Margery Mullen, Catherine Carr, Mae Fife, Loretta McCormick, Eleanor McMullen, Pauline Storey, Marie Glenn, Catherine McCool, Nova Kelliher.”

The Ogden Standard Examiner (on 25 April) enlightened readers about who had brought in the most funds during Ogden’s Poppy Day [sic]: “… The students of the Central Junior High claimed first place, in contributing the largest sum with other schools following Ogden High school, second, and Sacred Heart academy, third.  Lewis Junior High school and North Junior High school were about equal. …”

Referring back to Mormon Heber J. Grant’s Mrs. Marriott, she was Mrs. Georgina B. Moroni Marriott.   She became an “accredited representative of Madame E. Guerin, French director of the movement” – she was sent further along Highway 91, to Caldwell in Idaho.   Numerous other towns took part in the Drives, apart from those mentioned.   Georgina Marriott was the chairman of Anna’s committee that was raised in Ogden. Georgina (or Georgiana) Petrina Geertsen was born in Huntsville, Utah on 29 June 1865, to Danish parents Louis C. and his wife Marie/Mariane Pederson Gjoderum – she married Moroni Stewart Marriott.   The couple had three daughters and one son.

A very short biography about Georgina (‘Women of  the West, 1928) reported that she was a teacher for 15 years; a member of the State Fair Board for 6 years; a member of the Child Culture Club & State Federal Women’s Clubs; and  known for writing articles for newspapers and magazines.  Georgina sounds just the sort of woman that Anna would have sought out to help her in her quest.   She died 07 August 1946.

Mrs. Georgina Marriott. Edited from the Ogden Standard (Utah), 30 November 1916.

Mrs. Georgina Marriott.  Ogden Standard, 30 November 1916.

The Salt Lake Herald Republican (on 18 April 1920), wrote about the Ogden and Brigham City Poppy Days [sic]:

Poppy Drives Over State Are Success.

Poppy drives staged for the benefit of French war orphans at Ogden and Brigham City yesterday were successful.  Poppies were sold at the Salt Lake-Seattle ball game Saturday afternoon with gratifying results.

Girls who have worked in the drive were hostesses at a dancing party in the Capitol last night.  The affair was reported a delightful success.”

Reference the Ogden Poppy Drive, The Weekly Reflex (of Bountiful, Utah} printed on 29 April [sic]:  “The “poppy drive” recently held in Ogden netted $2000 for the fund for the relief of the children of the devastated regions of France.”

Also on 18 April 1920, The Salt Lake Tribune reported [sic]:

Poppy Sale Successful.  Special to The Tribune.  BRIGHAM CITY, April 17.—

Thursday afternoon at the high school auditorium Madame E. Guerin gave a descriptive talk on conditions in France and made an appeal for the French babies.  As a result of the visit today was designated “Poppy” day and the various ladies’ clubs of the city sod poppies on the streets for the benefit of the French baby fund.  The sale was a success.”

Brigham City’s ‘Box Elder News’, on Tuesday 20 April 1920, reported on the city’s Poppy Day [sic]:  “Poppies bloomed brightly in Brigham Saturday in spite of the frigid weather.  Everyone wore them, men, women, and children.  This accounts for the fact that Brigham City went over the top in her Poppy Drive and the war orphans of France will receive a good bit of help from our contributions.

On Monday 19 April 1920, Madame Anna Guérin addressed a meeting in Provo. Lionel O’Bryan accompanied her.  The Salt Lake Herald Republican printed a short paragraph the next day [sic]:

HEAR ADDRESSES ON ‘POPPY’ DRIVE.  Herald Special.

Provo, April 19.—Madam E. Guerin, Mrs. Lionel R. O’Brien, “Polly-Pry,’ and Mrs. Jeanette A. Hyde, state chairman of the American and French Children’s league, addressed a meeting in the First ward chapel last night on the “Poppy Day” drive here Saturday net. Mrs. Hyde will be here Friday and Saturday to assist with the drive.”

Two more articles have been found on the 19th, mentioning Madame Guérin:

1)     The Journal (of Logan, Utah) [sic]:

“Madame E. Gurin will talk in chapel at the Utah Agricultural College tomorrow at 11 o’clock on “The Devastated Regions of France” Madame Guerin is an official representative of the French Government and will give a first hand picture of the French battlefields.  The general public is invited.”

2)     The Salt Lake Tribune [sic]:

OGDEN WOMEN TO HEAR MME. GUERIN.  Special to The Tribune, OGDEN, April 18.—

Madame E. Guerin, representing the French government in the drive for funds for the relief of the children of the devastated regions of France, will address the members of the Service Star Legion tomorrow night at the Elks’ club rooms.

Women of the city, whether members of the legion or not, are urged to be present.”

On Tuesday 20 April 1920, Brigham City’s ‘Box Elder News’ reported on the city’s Poppy Day [sic]:  “Poppies bloomed brightly in Brigham Saturday in spite of the frigid weather.  Everyone wore them, men, women, and children.  This accounts for the fact that Brigham City went over the top in her Poppy Drive and the war orphans of France will receive a good bit of help from our contributions.

The Salt Lake Tribune’s page 11, on 20 April, wrote about one of Salt lake American Legion post arranging a Poppy Day dance [sic]:

“Madame E. Guerin of the American and French Children’s league, with the assistance of Wasatch post No. 16 of the American Legion, is arranging a poppy day dance to be held in the near future in one of the large auditoriums of this city.  The proceeds of this dance will be applied to the ever-increasing fund that is being raised in this country for the benefit of destitute French children.  This fund is also to be applied toward the movement of nationalizing the many French-German children left in France.

Madame Guerin is also laying the foundation for a permanent French-American Legion alliance, and Wasatch post No. 16 is enthusiastically cooperating in this movement.”

On 20 April 1920, Madame Guérin was in Logan, Utah – with Georgina Marriott.  The two women attended a gathering at the Chapel – Madame Guérin addressed an audience of students and a “short story explanation” was given at the end by Georgina Marriott.  An article printed in Logan’s ‘The Student Life’ publication, on 30 April, reviewed it [sic]:

Mme. Guerin Addresses Chapel Gathering. 

Is Touring America in Interests of The French Orphan Children.

An exceptional chapel program took place on April 20, when Madame Guerin of France addressed the students in the interest of Poppy Day in Logan.

The subject of Madam Guerin’s address was America, what she did, what she is, and what she will do.

Although a native Frenchwoman, the speaker exhibited a spirit of sincere American patriotism and appreciation of all that she found here.  Especially did she commend the Yankee fighting men, many of whom she grew to know personally whole doing relief work during the later months of the war.

Even if our country could not be said to have won the war, she said that no one can deny that we ended the war.  The place we hold in commercial power, in peace and prosperity and comparative happiness was explained in contrast to the conditions now existent in Europe.  Our duty as a nation, and as individual Americans was outlined forcefully and directly.

In the beginning, Madam Guerin spoke lightly and humorously, delighting her audience with quaint stories of our boys in France.  Before her conclusion, however, she had touched the deepest tragedy, and her personal reminiscences of French suffering produced one of the really vivid impressions the war has sent to us.

Music by the choir and a short story explanation by Mrs. Marriott of Ogden completed the program.”

The Logan Republican and The Journal (both of Logan, Utah) (22 April) ran a long article about her and the Poppy Day, to be held on 24 April [sic]:

“POPPY DAY” IN LOGAN.                    

Next Saturday all Logan will blossom out with poppies and each poppy will represent a contribution to help the orphan children of France.  Like all things that come from France, Poppy day is a little more distinguished than tag day, the American article, but in reality it is the same thing.   Every one would rather wear a poppy of red silk than an ordinary tag and the object is one that is wakening sympathy and interest all through the state.  This feeling is due largely to the ardent way in which Madame Guerin, a French lecturer from France has been telling us of the needs of French children.  On Tuesday morning she spoke before an interested body of A.C. students and in the evening she addressed a body of Logan people in the high school auditorium, presided over by Mayor Howell and Supt. Henry Peterson.   These two talks, so dramatically given won many friends in Logan for Madame Guerin and the cause for which she is working so nobly.   She made the horrors of the German invasion seem very real to us all.   She was accompanied in her visit to Logan by Mrs. Marriot of Ogden and her tour throughout the state is being admirably managed by Mrs. Jeanette Hyde. 

The plan for Saturday is for the school children to bestow the poppies on everyone and each in return is to make some contribution, no matter how small.   It will be a flowery day for Logan and it is to be hoped that Logan will welcome this opportunity to help the children of France made orphans by the war. 

The committee for the Poppy day are as follows: … …”  [*Agricultural College students]

The Salt Lake Herald Republican (25 April, page 10) mentioned the visit to Logan [sic]: Logan.  Logan, April 24.—… … Madame Guerin of France was Tuesday here in the interest of American and French Children’s league.  Madame Guerin talked at the Utah Agricultural college and at the Logan high school hall on the conditions in France.”

Utah State Agricultural College, Logan. Courtesy of Heather Anne Johnson.

Utah State Agricultural College, Logan. Courtesy of Heather Anne Johnson.

The Logan Republican (22 April 1920) enlightened its readers about Madame Guérin’s visit to Logan and the conditions in France [sic]:

“Mme. E. Guerin of France, accompanied by Georgina G. Marriott, chairman of the “poppy day” in Ogden and Weber county were in Logan this week.  Mme. Guerin is making an appeal to the people of the United States for a little help to feed not the children of France but the devastated sections.  In this section the women and children are living in cellars and caves and mines, in fact any hole that will provide a little shelter.  There are four million people there, but 450,000 of these are children, 250,000 have lost their fathers and mothers by the Germans taking the mothers and older children and scattering them in Germany for work.  They made no record of names of smaller children and they have lost even their names.  There are many of them crippled by rheumatism through sleeping on the ground and many are tubercular through exposure and all are starving.  It is a pitable condition and we must help.  Mme. Guerin is a properly accredited agent of the French government and has the endorsement of the governor of Utah as well as the endorsement of our town.  She does not handle one cent of the money, our own committee does that, so we know the money shall reach the proper destination.”

On both the 21st and 22nd April 1920, The Salt Lake Tribune printed the following [sic]:

TRICOLOR DANCE IS SET FOR SATURDAY.

Governor and Mrs. Bamberger, Secretary of State and Mrs. Harden Bennion, Attorney General and Mrs. Dan B. Shields, Mayor and Mrs. Bock, and members of the city commission and their wives have been named as patrons and patronesses for the “tricolor” ball to be given at the capitol Saturday night by the American and French Children’s league.

The funds raised will be used to help take care of French orphans in the devastated regions of France.

The “Poppy drives” at Provo, Logan, and Preston, Ida., will be held Saturday.  Madame E. Guerin, French lecturer, has made addresses at these cities.”

On Thursday 22 April 1920, Madame Guérin was in Brigham City and Park City.  The Salt Lake Herald Republican (25 April 1920) reported on her activities in the columns for those cities [sic]:

Brigham City.  A special assembly was held at the high school on Thursday afternoon of last week, in order to hear Madame E. Guerin of France, who spoke of the French and American Children’s league.  As a result of the meeting, Saturday was designated as Poppy day in Brigham.  Poppies were sold by the high school girls, the money going to aid the orphans in France.”

The Ogden Standard Examiner (on 25 April, page 22) updated readers on Brigham’s Poppy Day [sic]:

“The Poppy Drive, held in Brigham last Saturday for the benefit of the war orphans of France, was heartily supported and proved a great success.  About twenty young ladies from the High school started on their campaign early in the morning and few people during the day escaped their attack.  A house to house canvass was made, besides a thorough canvass of the business section.  The children especially were enthusiastic and eagerly gave up their spending money and extra pennies for the cause.  All the districts have not yet been heard from, but, it is assured that Box Elder county will go over the top and pass her quota of $350.”

Park City.  Madame E. Guerin, the French lecturer, was in the Park between trains Thursday.  She spoke at the high school on behalf of the French orphans.”

The Park Record (of Park City, Utah) printed an article the next day [sic]:

A Distinguished Visitor.

Madame E. Guerin of Paris, accompanied by Mrs Marriott of Ogden, dropped into Park City yesterday, the former coming direct from the scarred and devastated battle fields of France.  They bore with them all kinds of recommendations and credentials from prominent citizens and public officials from Governor Bamberger down, and their mission was to effect an organization here, as elsewhere is being done, to intensify and promote that spirit of love and friendship that already exists between the peoples of France and America.

Madam Guerin has made nine voyages across the Atlantic in the interest of this cause and is practically spending her life for the salvation of the suffering and homeless people of her country.  She is a splendid public speaker and made an impassioned appeal to the students of the High School for just the pennies they could spare from the luxuries of life, that the orphans of devastated France may know again the pleasure of a full meal.

As a result of the visit of these ladies the Atheneum ladies, a good representation of whom were hurriedly assembled to meet them, took the matter in hand, appointed suitable committees and proceeded, with the aid of the high school girls, to offer to every citizen a small insignia to be worn on the lapel of the coat as an evidence that the suffering of French children have not been forgotten.

This small emblem is in the form of an artificial poppy, the little wild flower of Flanders, that grows everywhere over, between and around the graves of our American heroes over there.

So, when approached tomorrow by these young ladies, accept the little token, contribute whatsoever you can afford to the worthy cause, pin the poppy on your bosom as an evidence that you have not forgotten the sufferings of the people of Lafayette, the people that held the great beast back till our boys could appear to help save the world for democracy.”

Also on 22 April 1920, The Deseret Evening News (of Salt Lake City) printed [sic]:

Poppy Day Announced.  LOGAN, April 21.—

Next Saturday will be Poppy day in Logan as the result of the visit of Madame Guerin of France, who is soliciting aid for French children. The aid of all the school children has been secured and they will distribute the poppies and take collections for the French children.”

On 23 April 1920, Madame Guérin was in Provo – speaking on the Poppy Drive there. The Salt Lake Herald Republican printed a paragraph to that effect on the 25th April [sic]:

POPPY DRIVE NETS $500.  Provo, April 24.—A poppy drive similar to that conducted in other cities to aid children of devastated France was carried on today on downtown streets.  It netted $500, according to a count made at 4 p.m.  Madame Guerin, lecturer in the interests of the fund, spoke to a meeting of the Ladies Municipal council at the Commercial club last night, to emphasize the need of the drive.”

The Daily Herald, of Provo, reviewed the lecture on 26 April [sic]:

WOMANS MUNICIPAL COUNCIL HEAR MADAM GUERIN.

The regular monthly meeting of the Women’s Municipal Council was held Friday evening.

A short business session occupied the first part of the evening.  The constitution of the organization was read and the by-laws voted upon.  The Commercial club rooms were crowded by an unusually large attendance, which gave the speaker of the evening, the most absorbed attention.

The lady proved most eloquent upon the subject of the need of the French children and an informal discussion of the contrasting customs of the two nations, America and France, closed a very interesting evening.

Many new names were added to the roll of membership.

The Poppy drive on the following day was very successful.  Provo ranking well with other cities in the state in the amount collected for the American and French Children’s league,

The next regular meeting of the club will be held the third Thursday in May.”

Also on 23 April 1920, The Journal (of Logan, Utah) wrote Logan’s Poppy Day [sic]:

Logan’s Saturday Blooming.

Logan’s “Poppy Day” which is to be featured Saturday should put a poppy on every person in the city.  The movement as it has been inaugurated by Mme. Guerin is the appeal of the starving children of France.  Thousands of children in the devastated villages of France have never once had all they wanted to eat.  Many of them are so badly emaciated that they cannot move about.  Once instance cited by Mme. Guerin, in her chapel talk at the U. A. C. Tuesday was of a little boy five years of age who has never walked.  He hasn’t tasted milk in his life.  He is only one among hundreds who are in need of America’s assistance.  Young girls have even gone insane because of malnutrition accompanied by the barbarious treatment which many of them received in German prison camps.

The poppy which grows well on Flanders field is the emblem of Flanders and was chosen in remembrance of the poppy covered graves there.  Poppy day is struggling for existence in America and should be supported by every citizen of our country.  Mothers of sons now sleeping in Flanders field can appreciate the need of contributing to the poppy fund in order that their sons lives may not have been spent in vain.  The giving of their lives saved the children of France from bondage to Germany, but it will not save them from starvation.  France must be built up by the children of today.  If the nation is to continue, it must have strong minds to keep up the development.  Since there is not food enough in France to feed her starving population, American must help.  French chidren who have never known what it means to leave the table with their appetites appeased must be brought up to normal condition.  During the four and half years of war children in the north of France merely hibernated, in a sense, as there was not food enough to permit the normal growth. While these children were dying of hunger our children were only asked to sacrifice a little white bread and use the more wholesome grains for a time but none of them were permitted to suffer.  Now it is the privilege of these children to partially repay what France has done for them.  Have your contribution all ready to put in the box when the poppy is pinned on your manly breast or womanly bossom.”

On 24 April 1920, Madame Guérin’s ‘Poppy Drive’s took place in Logan, Brigham City and Park City.

The Park Record, on 30 April, printed a short paragraph about Park City’s Poppy Day [sic]:  “The “poppy drive,” managed by the Woman’s Atheneaum last Saturday, netted the sum of $152.50 for the orphan children of France.  Scores of school girls were out arrayed in pleasant smiles and sashes and were active in their solicitations for the unfortunate children “over there.”  Good work, ladies.”

With reference to Logan’s Poppy Drive, an article appeared in ‘The Student Life’ publication (of Logan) on 30 April [sic]:

POPPY DAY” NETS NEAT SUM.

The results of our “Poppy Day” campaign, Saturday, April 24 must have passed even the expectation of an exacting Logan public.  Aside from the money contributed last Friday by the students of the college which amounted to about one hundred sixty-five dollars, a sum of one thousand sixteen dollars was collected from the townspeople.  Much credit is due the members of the French circle and the carious sororities who took charge of the campaign.  The town was divided into sections and the girls who visited each respective division reported an enthusiastic response.”

It was reported that Anna greeted Democrat Wm. Jennings Bryan (Congressman for Lincoln, Nebraska) when he visited Ogden on the 24th.

In the evening of the 24th, Madame Guérin was at the State Capitol building in Salt Lake City.  After being postponed twice, the ‘French Poppy Dance’ (also referred to as ‘The Tricolor Ball’ and ‘The Poppy Cyclone Ball’) finally took place – finally called ‘The Hurricane Ball’. Local American Legion members organised it but Madame Guérin and Leonel O’Bryan had charge of the entertainment.

The Deseret Evening News (of Salt Lake City) reminded readers of its taking place [sic]:

Hurricane Ball at State Capitol Tonight.

The tricolor ball which has now changed its name to “the hurricane” because of the last Saturday’s storm which caused its second postponement, will take place this evening in the state capitol as a benefit for the American and French children’s league.  Mayor and Mrs. Bock will lead the grand march.

Madam E. Guerin and Mrs. Harry O’Brien, who have been here working in the interest of the lague and who have recently been touring the larger towns of Utah, leave Monday for Seattle.  Madame Guerin says there is no doubt that the $10,000 quota given to Utah will be raised and that even more would have been donated had weather conditions been better for the drive.  Each state is asked to raise a similar sum.  Madame Guerin leaves for France in July and states that she will have much to tell her countrymen in praise of the wonderful America which she has so thoroughly visited.”

The Deseret Evening News (of Salt Lake City) wrote a little about the ball on the 26th [sic]:

Big Crowd Attends “Poppy Cyclone” Ball.

More than 500 people attended the “Poppy Cyclone” Ball given Saturday night in the state capitol, under the auspices of the American and French Children’s league.  A sum of £150 was realized.  The grand march was led by Mayor and Mrs. E. A. Bock.  In charge of the affair were Mrs. Janette A. Hyde, Mrs. C. H. McMahon, Miss Lucy Van Cott, Mme. E, Guerin and Mrs. Harry O’Brien.

The sum of $3,000 was raised in Salt Lake during the Poppy drive, $1,500 in Ogden, $500 in Brigham City and Logan, Preston and Provo were also reported successful in raising big subscriptions.”

On 25 April 1920, The Salt Lake Tribune wrote a little about Provo’s Poppy Drive, [sic]:

POPPY” DRIVE IN PROVO IS SUCCESS.  Special to The Tribune.  PROVO, April 24.—

Nearly $600 was collected in the “poppy day” drive in this city, inaugurated by Mme. E. Guerin for the war orphans of France.  The drive was under the auspices of the Women’s Municipal council, Mrs. C. E. Maw, president, who also acted as chairman of the local committee.

About seventy-five young women acted as collectors, being volunteers from the B. Y. university, the Provo High school and Procter academy.  The activities of the drive centered in the Provo Commercial club.”

On 27 April 1920, Madame Guérin left Salt Lake City, to go north into the states of Idaho, Washington and Oregon.  Georgina Marriott continued campaigning in Idaho and Utah.

On Wednesday 28 April 1920, The Salt Lake Tribune announced [sic]:  “Mrs. Georgina Marriott of Ogden has been appointed to take charge of the drive for funds in Idaho to aid children in the devastated regions of France.  This announcement was made yesterday by Madame E. Guerin, French lecturer, who left yesterday for Portland, Ore., to conduct the drive there.” 

On Thursday 6 May 1920, The News Advocate (of Price, Utah) reminded its readers about the forthcoming Poppy Day in Price [sic]:

POPPY DAY TO AID FRENCH CHILDREN

Saturday, May 8, will be “Poppy Day,” in Price when all citizens will be asked to contribute to the children of the devastated sections of France.  Mrs Georgina Marriot was in Price the first of the week and Mrs J M Whitmore was appointed chairman of the drive.  Miss Ruby Bryner and Miss Jessie Ballinger will have charge of the work and they will have the assistance of fifty girls from the high school who will sell poppy tags Saturday afternoon.  The workers have the co-operation of the schools of the county and of the churches.  The “American Star,” a league composed of American and French children is being formed in Utah and has the endorsement of the state department of education.  Successful poppy drives have been carried out in Salt Lake City, Provo, Ogden, Park City and other towns of the state and Price will do her share willingly.”

Washington State appears to have possessed empathy towards the Poppy, a while before Anna arrived: for instance, the year before, on May 6th, 1919, the Poppy Planting Day was supported; on May 25th, 1920, the American Legion held a Poppy Day in Spokane; and, of course, the Edward B. Rhodes American Legion Post, Tacoma, had recommended the poppy as an emblem.  Looking back to 1919, The Semi-Weekly Spokesman Review (of Spokane, Washington) printed this piece on May 7th, about Poppy Planting Day [sic]:

OBSERVE RED POPPY DAY.  Sons of Veterans Honor Men Who Fell in France.

In commemoration for the American soldiers who gave up their lives in the world’s war. The Sons of Veterans have designated April 6 as “Poppy Planting day.”  All members of the Sons of Veterans planted red poppies in their gardens yesterday.  It is their plan to make April 6 a national poppy planting day and all patriotic and religious societies are to be asked to join with them in the movement.

April 6 was the day chosen because it was the date the United States declared war on Germany.  The red poppy was chosen as the flower because in the poem “Flanders Fields” it was referred to and because the flower is symbolical of the American blood shed on European battlefields.”

On 7 May 1920, Georgina Marriott of Ogden was in Price, Utah, finalising arrangements for a Poppy Day being held the next day.  Whenever Anna could not personally accommodate a location, there always seems to have been women willing to represent her in the poppy quest.  A piece in Ogden’s ‘The Sun’ quoted Georgina [sic]:-

POPPY DAY HERE TOMORROW.  Drive For Funds For the Children of France.

Mrs. G. Marriott of Ogden has been in Price this week arranging for Poppy Day here tomorrow, Saturday, May 8th.  We have helped to free France from the iron fist. We must help to free her from disease and death – desert and devastation.  The lifting of the German veil from the devastated sections of France has revealed a sad plight.  For four years and a half living in cellars and caves has paralyzed the children by rheumatism, thousands are succumbing to tuberculosis each year, many are maimed by shot and shell and poisoned by the German gas.  

There are children under their teens who have lost their minds through the terrible scenes they have been compelled to witness. Children have been separated from their parents and have forgotten their names and can never be reunited with their families. All are starving and must be fed. There is only one hope and that is to appeal to the splendid generosity of the American people. Two million men of the flower of the young manhood of France have been sacrificed.  One million more are blind and maimed. Thousands and thousands of children are living in the devastated sections without father and without homes and are using any kind of a hole for shelter that they can find.”   Anna had obviously briefed Georgina very well, with regards the French orphans’ plight.

Anna Guérin was visiting the states of  Washington Oregon, whilst Georgina Marriott continued acting as her representative in Idaho and, also, still giving a few lectures in Utah.

On 09 May 1920, the Billings Gazette (Montana) printed a short piece which captures again the empathy for the poppy: Landscape Gardening.” Mrs. Caukins … … urged the planting of more asters because of its being the city flower as established by the Woman’s club, and said “This year let us also have poppies everywhere in memory of our boys who made the supreme sacrifice in France.”  She finished by reading, “In Flanders Field.””  Perhaps Madame Guérin had been recently lecturing in Billings?

On 10 May 1920, The Seattle Star (of Washington State) alerted its readers about Seattle’s Poppy Day being “May 22nd” [sic]:

POPPY DAY FOR WAR ORPHANS. Ask Aid for Little French Martyrs.

Saturday. May 22nd, will be “Poppy Day” in Seattle.  Mayor Hugh M. Caldwell has granted the permit and issued a proclamation to that effect, and Governor Hart and a group of men and women in Seattle, have taken over the organization and the execution of the work which will be under the supervision of Madame Guerin, who is here from France asking aid for the little martyrs of the devastated regions of her country.

Hundreds of pretty girls wearing the badges of the American and French Children’s league and carrying baskets of flaming poppies, will smilingly hold their money-boxes out to you and you are asked to do the rest.”

It was reported that a “Poppy Day” was held on the 22nd May, conducted by the Service Star Legion but was this connected to Anna? The Spokesman Review (of Spokane, Washington) printed a couple of sentences, on Friday 28th May [sic]: “Proceeds of the Poppy day campaign Saturday were $153. The sale was conducted by the Service Star legion.”  

In the letter written in Boise, Anna wrote “… Mrs. Buckmaster came again to help me in Seattle.   We had $4700 not half enough girls …”.   The main Seattle Poppy Day may have been held on the 29th May, like Tacoma and Spokane.    

On Monday 17 May 1920, in Idaho, Georgina Marriott spoke in Caldwell.  On its front page, the next day, The Caldwell Tribune wrote of Caldwell’s Poppy Day [sic]:

WILL HOLD POPPY DAY IN CALDWELL SATURDAY.

One hundred fifty high school girls will put on a tag day Saturday for the benefit of French children in the devastated sections of France, according to an announcement made Saturday by Mrs. G. B. Marriott, accredited representative of Madam E. Guerin, French director of the movement.  The day is officially designated as “Poppy Day.”

Caldwell is assigned no quota.  What ever funds are raised that day will go to alleviate suffering and provide for needs of French children residing in the war stricken areas.  Mrs. Amelia Anderson has charge of the campaign here.

Mrs. Marriot spoke Monday morning on her work at the local high school.  She was assured hearty co-operation in putting on the drive here.  Tags to be sold are in the form of a poppy.”

On Tuesday 18 May 1920, The Seattle Star printed an article at the top of its “Society” column, about the Seattle Poppy Day.  This is the first mention of Madame/Mrs. Isabella Mack … who would become one of Anna Guérin’s stalwart supporters [sic]:

POPPY SALE FOR DESTITUTE CHILDREN OF FRANCE

BY BEULAH MITCHELL COUTTS  Society Editor of The Star.

ON SATURDAY THE STREETS OF SEATTLE will assume the provincial atmosphere of France, with gaily dressed mademoiselles canvassing thoroughly the business districts, in the efforts to raise funds for the children of bleeding France.  The L’Alliance Francaise and L’Alliance Alsace Lorraine, under the direction of Mme. Isabella Mack, have planned an artistic parade, which, with the addition of the petite French war brides, will present vividly the brave spirit of these wonderful people, and enlist our aid for the infants of their country.  Fifteen hundred girls, wearing caps and streamers, will remind us that “In Flanders fields the poppies grow,” and gratefully receive our donations.  Mrs. E. Guerin, at the Washington Annex, will be glad to answer inquiries regarding the sale and all war brides who will assist are asked to telephone Mrs. Mack, North 1795.”  

The Hotel Washington Annex, Seattle, Washington – where Madame E. Guérin stayed. Courtesy/© of Heather Anne Johnson.

The Hotel Washington Annex, Seattle, Washington – where Madame E. Guérin stayed.
Courtesy/© of Heather Anne Johnson.

On Wednesday 19 May 1920, The Seattle Star wrote about the city’s Poppy Day “Saturday” [sic]:

Seattle Will Bloom With Red Poppies.

Symbolical of the flowering fields of Flanders, thousands of bright red poppies will bloom on the streets of Seattle Saturday.

But, unlike the modest prairie flower, they will bloom not only to be seen but to be sold, as well.
For Saturday is “Poppy Day.”

Under the direction of Mme. Guerin, representative here of the Franco-American Children’s Relief society, the flowers will be sold to all who will buy for the relief of the war-robbed little folks of France.

Come on, mister, buy a poppy for Pierre.” 

On 21 May 1920, The Seattle Star (of Seattle, Washington) printed the following [sic]:

Buy a Poppy Will Be Saturday Plea. “Buy a poppy” will be the slogan of dozens of young women In Seattle Saturday to aid the destitute children of France.  lsabelle Mach, of l’Union Francaise, is state and city secretary of the Poppy day movement, while Mme. E. Guerin and Mrs. Leonel Ross O’Bryan are handling details.”

On 22 May 1920, a Poppy Day was held in Caldwell, Idaho.  Georgina Marriott addressed an audience there on 15 May – and recruited the girls.   The Caldwell Tribune (18 May) printed this article [sic]:

“WILL HOLD POPPY DAY IN CALDWELL SATURDAY. 

One hundred fifty high school girls will put on a tag day Saturday for the benefit of French children in the devastated sections of France, according to an announcement made Saturday by Mrs. G. B. Marrio Marriott, accredited representative of Madam E. Guerin, French director of the movement. The day is officially designated as “Poppy Day.”

Caldwell is assigned no quota. Whatever funds are raised that day will go to alleviate suffering and provide for needs of French children residing in the war stricken areas. Mrs. Amelia Anderson has charge of the campaign here.

Mrs. Marriot spoke Monday morning on her work at the local high school. She was assured hearty cooperation in putting on the drive here. Tags to he sold are in the form of a poppy.”

On that very same day (a Saturday), Anna and Georgina Marriott were in Preston, Idaho.   The Ogden Standard Examiner Wednesday edition (26 May), reported that the two ladies had just returned to Ogden from Preston – after a “Poppy Day campaign” for “destitute children in France”.

On 23 May 1920, Madame Guérin was in Spokane, Washington State.  She gave a lecture at the Central Methodist Episcopal church in Spokane.

The Spokane Chronicle (of Spokane, Washington) alerted its readers the day before [sic]:  Lecture on France.  A lecture on the children of France will be given by Madame Guerin at the Central Methodist Episcopal church tomorrow evening.  In the morning the Rev.  J. M. Walters will take as his subject, “A Day of Remembrance.”  Special music will be given at both services.”

On 24 May 1920, a “Poppy Week” in Milwaukee commenced – 24-31 May.  It has been suggested the event was at the suggestion of Mary Hanecy (ref 06 June 1919).  She was a member of the Milwaukee American Legion Post 1 Auxiliary & President of the 32nd Division Women’s Corp.  http://www.legionpost1.org/history/  – it was the Milwaukee American Legion Post No. 1 who organised the Poppy Drive and it led up to Memorial Day.

The Daily Tribune, of Wisconsin Rapids in Wisconsin, alerted readers of Milwaukee’s forthcoming Poppy Week (run by the American Legion) in its edition of 21 May [sic]:

DEDICATE WEEK TO HONOR DEAD LEFT IN FRANCE.  ASK EVERYONE TO WEAR POPPIES NEXT WEEK IN MEMORY OF VETERANS WHO FELL ABROAD

The week of May 24th to 31st has been designated as Poppy Week, and in Milwaukee, thru the efforts of the Legion and the Auxiliary, May 31st has been set as tag day for the poppy movement.  The Milwaukee Journal says the following of the plans which will be carried out there:

“In Flanders fields the poppies blow

Between the crosses, row on row,

That mark our place; and in the sky

The larks, still bravely singing, fly,

Scarce heard amidst the guns below,

We are the dead.  Short days ago

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,

Loved and were loved, and now we lie

In Flanders fields.—Lieut. John D. McCrae.

“Poppies and Flanders fields!  Regardless of past associations, the World war has crowned that flower with a sanctity all its own, and from now on, thanks to the efforts of the Sergt. Arthur Kroepfel Post. No. 1, American legion, and the girls’ unit, Red Arrow division, the red poppy will be known as the “memory” flower and the official flower of the A. E. F.

No doubt it was Lieut. John D. McCrae’s tribute poem, In Flanders Fields, that gave the poppy its new significance.  Lieut. McCrae, a doctor from Montreal, Canada, wrote the poem during the second battle of Ypres April, 1915.  Today Lieut. McCrae is also “sleeping in the poppy fields,” that he immortalized in his poem, having been killed in action in Flanders, Jan. 28, 1918. 

Poppy Day May 31

“If ye break faith with those who die,  We shall not sleep though poppies grow

In Flanders fields.” Says the second verse of the poem and it is to remind us of this faith of our dead heroes that Monday, May 31, this year, has officially been set aside in Milwaukee as Poppy day.

This day will be heralded by what will be known as Poppy week beginning May 24.  Hundreds of girls from the Red Arrow division and the Sergt. Arthur Kroepfel post No. 1, dressed in white and carrying ornate baskets filled with the flowers, will make the city theirs that week, and pin a poppy on everyone in silent token of those boys who have gone “west.” To announce Poppy week, a poppy parade will be held in the afternoon of Saturday, May 22. The Elks’ band will serenade all business houses and Milwaukee newspaper offices where magnificent poppy decorations will be on display. 

Stores Asked to Aid.

A drive will be made on all the retail stores of the city asking them to arrange for poppy decorations during poppy week, and urging manufacturers to buy poppies and give them to their employes.  Poppy headquarters have been established in room 210, Plankinton arcade, with a force in charge to take care of the poppy orders.”

Staying with early Poppy Days where the American Legion were involved, again in Wisconsin, an American Legion Post distributed poppies on Memorial Day.  On Saturday 5 June 1920, The Tampa Times (of Florida) printed a sentence about it [sic]: Poppies for Vets on Memorial Day.  Superior, Wis., June 5.—Members of the woman’s auxiliary, America Legion, here distributed poppy boutonnieres to veterans in the parade on Memorial day.”

Around the time that Anna Guérin’s Washington State Poppy Days (22 & 29 May 1920), the Spokane American Legion Auxiliary held a Poppy Day on 25 May, to benefit veteran soldiers.  The Day raised “more than $2000” which was not as much, it has to be noted, as Anna Guérin’s in the city four days later.  It appears that Mary Hanecy’s Poppy Drive was not thefirst”, nor only, American Legion-run Poppy Drive organised then.

Probably, around May 27th, Anna Guérin arrived in Portland, Oregon, from Spokane.  On that day, she wrote to Hartley Burr Alexander from the ‘Portland Hotel’ there.  She wrote she would: be in Boise, Idaho, the next day (Friday, 28th); Pocatello, Idaho, on Monday (the 31st); and she planned to return to Portland on Wednesday (2nd June).

While Anna was spending those few days in Idaho, The Oregon Daily Journal (of Portland, Oregon) printed the following short notice, on 30 May 1920 [sic]:

Poppy Drive Not Indorsed

Madame Guerin’s “poppy drive” to provide funds for relief work in France does not have the approval of the National Indorsement league, and funds should not be contributed to this organization until it has been thoroughly investigated, according to a message received by the Chamber 0f Commerce Saturday.”

Anna returned to Portland to address the Portland Parent-Teacher Council, in room A in the Central Library, about her Children’s League, on the Friday (4th).  The Oregon Daily Journal of Portland (6 June 1920), mentioned her as having spoken on her Children’s League (albeit with the error of “first” instead of “final” and a mis-spelling of her name) [sic]:

Parent-Teacher Council Holds Final Meeting.

 The Portland Parent-Teacher council held its first meeting for the season afternoon at Central library with a large and enthusiastic attendance.  The annual reports of associations were continued, the following giving a resume of the excellent work done during the past year: … … Madame Garin spoke on behalf of the French-American Children’s league. …”

On occasion, suspicions were raised about the legitimacy of Anna Guérin’s charity … but these were very rare and fears were soon allayed.  But, in this case, the State was not “organised” during this 1920 tour.

When Anna wrote to Hartley Burr Alexander from Portland, Oregon, she wrote she would: be in Boise, Idaho, the next day (Friday); and Pocatello, Idaho, on Monday (31st). She planned to return to Portland on Wednesday (2nd June).  Here is the transcript:      

Written at right angles, down the left hand margin of this page:  “Please do excuse this business letter    I am absolutely worn out   You guess all the questions I wish to ask about the health of Mrs. Alexander and about the Home. Please, my dear Professor, rush the money to France – They knew that it was to be sent, every $500 gathered”

My dear, dear Friends, I do not know really if I have acknowledged the receiving of your beautiful letter of invitation, my dear Professor, the next day I had sent my night-letter.   The letter was perfect I shall just change, with your permission, the orders of the names.   But it is beautifully worded.    If I tell you I am speaking on average of 6 to 8 times a day in order to obtain from the schools girls for our poppy days – you will, all of you, excuse me.   I am very tired.   But I do wish to send the million of frs before to go to France in order to be able to obtain what I like and for that we must have successful days and they are always successful if we have enough girls. 

Did those ladies give you their $2000 or what they have, please, please?   I am so crossed with them because you would have been able to send it the exchange was above 16 now it is hardly 13 – that means we are losing 3000 frs on each thousand or 6000 frs — it is a crime – enough to take care of 6 children a year.   For what!  For nothing – only carelessness.  I have written a word to Mrs. Holden as if I thought the money had been sent long time ago asking her how much?   Miss Epperson has several “Poppy Days this week – the money of course is to be sent to you from all those towns, please, will you see it is done straight away and will you cable it right away to General Legrand Bank Crédit Foncier d’Algérie et de Tunisie 43 rue Cambar, Paris less all expenses and salaries of course and less the 5% sent in a check thus: American and French Children’s League. Continental and Commercial National Bank of Chicago. addressed in an envelope to Mrs. F. Masters 2057 Kenilworth Avenue, Chicago, Ill.  

Then I am also seeing that as the National Expenses fund owes me money if you had been able to send 2 weeks ago those $2000 in France and $100 for those 5% of the National Expenses fund I shall not be once the looser – Mrs. F. Masters could have credited me for those $100 2 weeks ago when they were worth 1600fr today they are worth 1280frs   It is too bad, when I am working so hard!  I thought those women had made the accounts right away.   I am sure that Miss Epperson* had her money right away.  She looks to be a business woman – I hope she knows that all the checks are to be sent to you.    Write to her a word, please c/o Fontenelle Hotel, Omaha.   I am in Boise – tomorrow we have our Poppy day Monday I shall be in Pocatello next Wednesday to Portland probably for two weeks.   Please write me there.    Say to Mrs. Griggs that all the family of Mrs. Buckmaster is splendid that she does not show at all the marks of her bad fall and that they have been charming.  Mrs. Buckmaster came again to help me in Seattle.   We had $4700 not half enough girls – I hope to see you in Colorado beginning of July      Until then best affections for all from   E. Guerin”   [*Miss Epperson of Kansas]

Madame Guérin stayed at The Portland Hotel in Portland, Oregon. Courtesy/© Heather Anne Johnson.

Madame Guérin stayed at The Portland Hotel in Portland, Oregon.
Courtesy/© Heather Anne Johnson.

On Thursday 27 May 1920, The Spokane Chronicle reminded its readers about the impending Poppy Day in the city [sic]:

FOUR HUNDRED MAIDENS IN “POPPY DAY” RANKS. Will Canvass Streets Saturday to Boost Fund for Flanders Heroes.

About 400 girls recruited from the high schools and grade schools of the city will form Spokane’s “poppy day” army Saturday.

Wearing red caps, symbolic of the republic of France, and red and white banners inscribed with the words “Poppies grow in Flanders field,” girl captains will marshal corps of 10 girls each on the down-town business corners at 8:30 Saturday morning and continue their campaign throughout the day.

Each girl will carry a basket and a large supply of red poppies to be offered to the public in memorial to dead French and American soldiers who fell in France, and contributions will be accepted for the relief of 450,000 French children who are suffering cold, hunger and disease in the devastated regions of France swept by the invaders.

Mrs. Donna E. Baker of Seattle, who was largely responsible for the success of “Poppy Day” in Seattle, is actively engaged in arrangements for “Poppy Day” here, as Madame Guerin, official representative of the American and French Children’s league in the United States, has left for Boise after an energetic speaking campaign here.

She is being assisted by Mrs. A. M. Craven, Miss Ann Duport and Miss Dutton of the French Alliance club, and Mrs. P. D. McCormack, Mrs. C. E. Shipman and Miss Jessie Gibson.

To Relieve Hunger.

Headquarters for “Poppy Day” activities will be located in the basement of the Fidelity National bank.  The girls will assemble there Saturday morning, receive their caps, banners and poppies, and the campaign will be directed from there.

“There are many people in Spokane who realize the necessity for the relief of destitute children in France,” said Mrs. Baker today.  “France is doing her best to care for them, but that best is pitifully inadequate, so we have come to the people of Spokane, as we have sought the aid of the people of every other large city in this country, to ask their help.

“We know that you have given much and that you are tired.  I wonder if you realize how tired the millions of Europe must be of the gnawing pangs of hunger!  However, we are not going to invade any one’s office or home; we are not asking large subscriptions, or donations, although naturally we would like them.  All we ask is that you do your part on ‘Poppy day.’   Every penny helps every dollar means today 15½ francs and 15½ francs buys a lot of bread and milk, so Saturday morning when you see a pretty girl smiling above her basket of flowers at you, remember your own laughing little ones, the lovely, healthy children you cuddle in your arms, and cherish in your homes—and then give a thought to the hundreds of thousands of children just as sweet, just as tenderly loved, whose shrinking little souls have been dragged through a chaos that even you can not bear to think of—remember them—and do your part.  Every penny, every dime counts.””

On Friday 28 May 1920, the day before the Spokane Poppy Day, The Spokane Chronicle alerted its readers [sic]:  MARINES TO AID SALE OF POPPIES.

A detachment of 25 marines from the local recruiting station will assist the 400 Spokane maids who will be on the downtown streets all day tomorrow selling the “poppies from Flanders field.”  The marine detachment was offered by Lieutenant Charles Baylis, commander of the local station.

The “poppy day” sae will start from the Fidelity National bank building at 9 o’clock and will be conducted under the direction of Mrs. Donna E. Baker of Seattle, who is largely responsible for success of the recent “poppy day” at Seattle.”

Post Office, Boise, Idaho. Courtesy of Heather Anne Johnson.

On 28 May 1920, Madame Guérin was in Boise, Idaho for the Poppy day.

On Saturday 29 May 1920, Plattsmouth (in Nebraska) had a “Poppy Day”.  A Mrs. R.P. Westover was appointed as the chairman of the committee running the Day.   Ladies and campfire girls* distributed the poppies. *’Camp Fire Girls of America’ – was the first organisation for girls in America which was multicultural and non-sectarian.  Activities concentrated on the outdoors – camping etc.

Five days before the event (24 May), the Plattsmouth Journal wrote that Anna Guérin “was in charge of the efforts made to provide funds for the relief of the sufferers among the children of the war swept areas of France” but she was not there to oversee the proceedings on the actual Poppy Day.  Here is the article [sic]:

 “POPPY DAY FOR A MOST WORTHY CAUSE. 

Ladies of the City to Sell Poppies on May 29th for Relief of French Children Left Homeless.

On next Saturday the young ladies of the various campfires and other of the public spirited ladies of the community will sell poppies upon the streets of the city and in the various stores to assist in raising funds for the relief of the French children of the war devastated regions.

The poppy sale is to be conducted as one feature of the local drive to raise funds for the American and French Children’s league.

The movement has been taken up all over the United States by the public officials and the leaders in the ladies organizations to lend their aid in the badly needed relief work to which the funds will be devoted.  Mrs. R. P. Westover has been designated as the chairman for Plattsmouth and has secured the co-operation of a number of the ladies of the city as well as the campfire girls, who are to have the sale in charge.

Mme. E. Guerin, of Paris, delegate to the United States, is in charge of the efforts made to provide funds for the relief of the sufferers among the children of the war swept areas of France and is operating in connection with the American men and women who have recognized the dire need of some immediate relief.

Those who are familiar with the situation in France have declared that the children of that portion of the country are indeed in pitable circumstances owing to the impossibility of the French people in their present situation to properly care for them.”

The Plattsmouth Journal printed Mrs. R. P. Westover’s report on the Plattsmouth Poppy Day on Thursday 3 June 1920 [sic]: REPORT OF POPPY COMMITTEE

The following is the report of the sale of poppies for the benefit of the French children:

Paid out:

Poppies _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ $7.50

Streamers and badges _ _ _ _ _  1.20

Postage _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _   __.35

                                                    $9.05

Received:

Sale of poppies _ _ _ _ _ _ _  $192.86

Less $9.05 expense, leaves

   balance of  _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 183.81

The committee desires to thank all those who gave their time and assistance in the sale of the poppies and for the generous people of the city who contributed so liberally to the cause.  Mrs. R. P. Westover, chairman.”

Saturday 29 May 1920 was Madame Guérin’s Poppy Day in Spokane. Washington State.  It raised nearly $4,000 for her American and French Children’s League. Madame Guérin had been in Spokane on 23 May 1920.  The Spokane Chronicle promoted the Poppy Day well on the day itself:

29 May 1920: Madame Guérin’s Spokane Poppy Day took place. Sellers wore the trademark “In Flanders Fields The Poppies Grow” sashes and red caps. The Spokane Chronicle, 29 May 1920: front page.

29 May 1920: Madame Guérin’s Spokane Poppy Day took place.
Sellers wore the trademark “In Flanders Fields The Poppies Grow” sashes and red caps.
The Spokane Chronicle, 29 May 1920: front page.

Saturday 29 May 1920 was Madame Guérin’s Poppy Day in Spokane. Washington State.  It raised nearly $4,000 for her American and French Children’s League. Madame Guérin had been in Spokane on 23 May 1920.  The Spokane Chronicle promoted the Poppy Day well:

On the front page, the image above was printed, with this text [sic]:  PINS POPPY ON “DEVIL DOG”

Even the uniformed soldiers, sailors and marines of Uncle Sam were not immune from the Spokane offensive of the “Poppy Day” army of girls.  Sergeant L. G. Howland of the United States marines recruiting station was “captured” by two pretty captains of the “Poppy Day” army.  From left to right they are “Captain” Clara Graves, Lewis and Clark high school; Sergeant L. G. Howland, United States marines, and “Captain” Mary Garwood, Lewis and Clark high school.”

The following text followed the image [sic]:

ALL SPOKANE WEARING POPPIES IN MEMORY OF HEROES WHO PASSED ON. 

Bigger Success Than Was Looked For in Drive to Aid French Orphans.

Spokane surrendered en masse today to the army of school girls who are conducting a “Poppy Day” drive in memory of the French and American heroes who fell in France and for the benefit of the hundreds of thousands of poverty-stricken children of France.  All Spokane is wearing red poppies today and giving generously to the fund being collected by the American and French Children’s league.

“Our success will exceed expectations,” said Mrs. Donna Baker of Seattle, who has charge of the campaign here.  “We hoped to obtain at least $2500, but returns of the morning indicate that generous Spokane will give more than $3000.”

“A telegram from Madame Guerin, French representative in America of the American and French Children’s league, wishes us all success and expresses the hope that we will receive at least $2500.  Madame Guerin is now in Pocatello. Idaho, arranging for “Poppy day’ there.”

Success Is Big.

The enthusiastic school girls of the city who are patrolling the streets today and invading stores and office buildings, are gleeful over their success.  They are averaging a return of $10 for every package of poppies.  One girl turned in $23 after two hours of work this morning.

Evelyn A. Halverson probably made the largest individual sale of any of the girls this morning.  She received a check from C. E. Alexander, president of the Whitehouse company, in payment for a poppy for every employe in the store who had not already bought a flower.  Mr. Alexander accompanied the “poppy girl” through the store.  Less than 60 of the store employes had not already bought poppies.  These were served and Mr. Alexander gave a check for $10.

Several of the girls have reported high prices obtained for their flowers.  Numerous contributions of $5 have been received and one generous man paid $10 for a single poppy.

More than 400 girls will have been enlisted into the ranks of the “army” late this afternoon.  Several hundred were working early this morning.  The ranks were swelled hourly by the arrival of recruits.  Practically every school in the city is represented in the various divisions.

Get More Poppies.

The campaign is being directed by Mrs. Donna Baker from headquarters in the basement of the Fidelity National Bank building.  The girls receive their red caps, banners and poppy supplies there and report back for more flowers as soon as they have sold out their first issue.

A committee of Spokane women was kept busy segregating and counting coins of all denominations rapidly turned in by members of the “poppy army.”  This committee is composed of Mrs. Max Neumann, Mrs. S. E. Flannigan, Mrs. Robert Bowers and Miss Helen Honefenger.”

29 May 1920: Madame Guérin’s Spokane Poppy Day took place. SURRENDERING TO POPPY GIRL. The Spokane Chronicle, 29 May 1920: page 2. ““Private” Gladys Crawford, North Central division, Army of Poppy Girls, occupied a “front line trench” on Riverside today. She is here shown pinning a poppy on C. F. Soderberg, who surrendered at the first charge.”

29 May 1920: Madame Guérin’s Spokane Poppy Day took place.
SURRENDERING TO POPPY GIRL“. The Spokane Chronicle, 29 May 1920: page 2.
““Private” Gladys Crawford, North Central division, Army of Poppy Girls,
occupied a “front line trench” on Riverside today. She is here shown
pinning a poppy on C. F. Soderberg, who surrendered at the first charge.”

“HOLD WALL STREET IN POPPY DRIVE” – The Spokane Chronicle, 29 May 1920: page 3. “Captain” Bernice Shaw (at the left) and “Private” Ruby Brannan of the Garfield school division, who held down the Wall and First salient during the drive of the “Poppy Day” army today.”

HOLD WALL STREET IN POPPY DRIVE” – The Spokane Chronicle, 29 May 1920: page 3.
“Captain” Bernice Shaw (at the left) and “Private” Ruby Brannan of the
Garfield school division, who held down the Wall and First salient
during the drive of the “Poppy Day” army today.”

In the same edition of The Spokane Choronicle, page 6 held this article [sic]:

POPPY DRIVE TO SECURE $5000 FOR DESTITUTE. 

Spokane Citizens Show Right Spirit—Returns Large.

Spokane will go $5000 or better for the American and French Children’s league drive for the destitute children of France.

This estimation was made late this afternoon and is based on the splendid returns of the morning and early afternoon hours.  More than 500 school girls are conducting the drive on the city streets and they are averaging $10 each on sales.  The original figure was set at $2500, but early today it was shown that Spokane would go way above that figure.

“This is the most successful drive of the kind ever held in Spokane,” said Mrs. S. E. Flannigan, an officer of the Service Star legion, this afternoon.  “Spokane is certainly showing the proper spirit for this splendid cause.”

May Trim Coast.

Mrs. Donna E. Baker of Seattle, who is an official of the league and aided in the Seattle and Tacoma campaign, said Spokane probably would eclipse all Coast records.

Uniformed marines gave an official air to the campaign today.  They acted as guards for the headquarters and as aids to the various groups of girls about the city.

Late this afternoon 12 women are busy counting and rolling the money contributed, and they can not keep up with the amount of money rolling in.”

Also on 29 May 1920, The Salt Lake Telegram printed the following short paragraph [sic]:

Who are the officers of the American and French Children’s league?  MRS. J. H.  The officers of the league are:  Mme. A. Millerand, wife of the premier of France, president; Mme. Andre Lebon, Paris, vice-president;  Mme. du Vivier de Streel, Paris, vice-president; General Legrand-Girarde, Paris, general secretary; Mme. E. Guerin, delegate and lecturer to the United States.  Mme. Guerin visited Salt Lake, Ogden and Provo recently.”

Another article about Madame Guérin’s Spokane Poppy Day appeared in The Spokane Chronicle on 31 May 1920 [sic]:

POPPY DAY COIN TO LAUD SPOKANE. 

Will Work Out Plan to Have City Recognized for Generous Giving.

A fund of $3882 generously given by Spokane Saturday in the “Poppy Day” drive by school girls under the auspices of the American and French Children’s league, will be invested for the relief of destitute French children in a way that will direct credit and attention to Spokane.

Mrs. Donna Baker of Seattle, an officer of the league, will confer with Madame Guerrin, official French representative of the league in America, to see if some such plan can not be carried out.

Spokane gave within $1000 as much as Seattle and almost three times as much as Tacoma.  Mrs. Baker, who arranged the drive here with the Service Star league, is extremely proud of the record established.

Some idea of the large number of money turned in can be gained from the denominations of the coins received.  They are as follows: Checks, $17; currency, $73; silver dollars, $215; half dollars, $567.50; quarters, $1069.50; dimes, $1337.20; nickels, $513.45; pennies, $84.35.

Among the coins were found several counterfeits, a lead trade check, a Canadian penny and one other foreign coin.”

The Semi-Weekly Spokesman Review of Spokane, concluded the reporting on the city’s Poppy Day – by announcing figures raised on the 1st June [sic]:  Poppy Day” Nets Total of $3882.

“Poppy” day resulted in $3882 raised in cash Saturday for the little children in the devastated districts in France, Spokane receipts went away head of Tacoma and came within $1000 of Seattle.  If the taggers met with a gruff answer or the statement, “No money,” they turned the tables completely by asking, “Haven’t you even got a penny?”  A total of 8935 pennies was reported by Fidelity National bank officials, who counted the money Saturday.”

Anna Guérin’s Poppy Days were happening elsewhere in the U.S.A. in order for them to be worn on lapels on Memorial Day.   On Saturday 29 May 1920, The Des Moines Tribune (Des Moines, Iowa) wrote about them although she wasn’t mentioned by name [sic]:

SELL POPPIES FOR CHILDREN OF FRANCE.

In Flanders field The poppies blow Between the crosses Row on row.

In many cities today “poppy day” is observed.  It is merely another tag day, the proceeds to go to the fund for the protection and rescue of the children of the devastated regions of France.

PretPt girls, their arms laden with bright hued poppies, pin the flowers on the coat lapels and, of course, expect a generous contribution.

Each state is expected to raise a minimum of $10,000 for this fund.

The date for poppy day in Des Moines has not been set.”

The 30th May 1920 was Decoration Day, or Memorial Day, in the United States of America.  Great Britain remembered that country’s day too, as a tribute:

‘The Gloucestershire Echo’ (15 May 1920) alerted readers to the fact that MEMORIAL DAY IN ENGLAND would be observed in Gt. Britain as a TRIBUTE TO FALLEN AMERICANS [sic]:

“Memorial Day, May 30, which has been set apart in America since the Civil War as the day on which to hold ceremonies in honour of fallen soldiers and sailors, will be observed in England this year.

The American Legion, London Post, No. 1, has undertaken the decoration on that occasion of the graves of United States soldiers, sailors, and marines, and of all Americans who served in the British Army and were buried in the British Isles.  In this work the Legion has the co=operation of the English Speaking Union, by whom the arrangements were made last year, and the American Society, the American Women’s Club, the American University Union, and the American Club.

On Sunday, May 30, a memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. in St. Margaret’s, Westminister, as the official church of the House of Commons.  Each of the graves of the 2,000 American soldiers and sailors who are buried in the United Kingdom will be decorated with American flags and wreaths, and although these graves are scattered over 108 cemeteries in 91 towns, every one will be reached.  Local committees are being formed in the various places, and grave-side services will be held in the larger cemeteries at Manchester, Liverpool, Glasgow, Winchester, and on the Island of Islay, where the graves of those lost in the Tuscania and Otranto troopship disasters.”

Likewise, The Western Daily Press (19 May 1920) enlightened readers [sic]:

LOCAL NOTES.  THE U.S. MEMORIAL DAY.   

May 30 (which this year falls on Sunday) is observed by Americans as Memorial Day.  Those who fell in the American war are then remembered, and flowers are placed on their graves. The participation of the United States in the great European struggle has given a new phase to the anniversary, and although our friends on the other side of the ocean had not to make the awful sacrifices suffered in the Old World, the war has given an added impressiveness to Memorial Day to many an American family.  In Bristol the anniversary will not be over-looked.  The citizens had opportunities of welcoming American soldiers as Allies in a great cause, sufferers belonging to the United States were sent to this city for medical treatment, and in the soldiers’ cemetery there are graves of some who made the ultimate sacrifice.  Memorial Day will be referred to at the Lord Mayor’s Chapel and possibly at other places of worship on Sunday, the 30th, and it has been arranged that the Lord Mayor and the American Consul (Major Robertson Honey) in the afternoon shall visit the cemetery and place wreaths on the graves of those there.”

… as did other British newspapers, including The Lincolnshire Standard and Boston Guardian on the eve of Memorial Day (29 May 1920) [sic]:

A MEMORIAL DAY.

Many Americans who fell in the great war were buried in England.  Their graves are to be decorated with flowers on Sunday next, May 30, and a special memorial services will be held at St. Margaret’s, Westminster, the Church of the House of Commons.  Later on, the bodies of these American heroes are to be conveyed to the States, but this arrangement will take some time to carry out, and, meanwhile, we are all glad that the decision should have arrived at to set apart a memorial day, on which we can indicate our respect for the memory of those useful lives cut short in the struggle for the world’s freedom.  At a time when the American Press—or a certain portion of it—is inclined to criticise us, and when some of our journals are very ready to grumble at recent developments of American policy, it is well that we should turn aside from topics that contain material for friction and think for a few moments of the debt that we owe to the men who came from the West to aid us, and have now gone “west” after doing their duty manfully.”

Returning to Madame Anna Guérin:

On 31 May 1920, the day after Memorial/Decoration Day, Anna was in Pocatello, Idaho – continuing her mission.

Poppies were often mentioned in newspaper articles and personal stories were often recounted.  On Tuesday 1 June 1920, The Chicago Tribune printed the following [sic]:

PEASANTS TOSS BELLEAU POPPIES ON YANK GRAVES.

Men Who Saved Paris Are Remembered.  BY HENRY WALES.

[Chicago Tribune Foreign News Service]

[By Special Cable.]  [Copyright: 1920 : By the Tribune Company]

CHATEAU THIERRY, May 30, by Courier to Paris, May 31.—Scarlet poppies bloomed beside the cemetery in Bois Belleau today just as they blazed blood red two years ago when the 2d division rushed up from the rear, detrained from motor trucks, and entered the line astride the Paris road, barring the German advance on the capital.

The “Leathernecks” of the 5th and 6th marines and the “doughboys” of the 9th and 23d infantry plucked the poppies from the fields and thrust the poppies from the fields and thrust the flowers into their steel hats an gun barrels as they jumped, gray with dust and dog tired after many hours of motor-trucking, into their battle position against the deadly German machine guns lurking in every copse of the hollow thicket.

Today the country folk, simple French peasants, who have crept back to their shell shattered homes in Torcy, Bouresches, Belleau, and Vaux, picked the poppies and cast them on the graves of the men who stemmed the German advance when it menaced Paris at the most critical hour of the great war. 

We automobile through Montreuill-aux-Lions, where Gen. Bundy had 2d division headquarters until the Germans located it and began shelling the locality.  Then there is the lonely farmhouse farther on from where Gen. Harbord commanded the marine brigade and where one approached on foot under direct observation of the Germans on Hill 204.”

On Friday 4 June 1920, a meeting took place at the Hotel Fontenelle in Omaha, Nebraska – relating to the Omaha’s Poppy Day on 29 May.  The Omaha Daily Bee, on that day, enlightened its readers [sic]:

POPPY SQUABBLE WILL BE AIRED AT CONFERENCE TODAY.

Detailed Report of How Money Was Spent Will Be Made By Committee.

A meeting to air accusations made against the American and French Children’s league by a clique of local social workers regarding the Poppy day drive for funds last Saturday will be held at the Hotel Fontenelle at 1:30 p. m. today.

Calling of the meeting by Miss Patsy Epperson and Miss Helene Bixby, local executives of the league, was the culmination of alleged efforts made by associates of the Fatherless Children of France league, a rival organization, to frustrate the Poppy day drive.

A letter characterizing Madame E. Guerin, French lecturer in the interests of the league, as an “imposter,” was received by Mayor Smith several days before the drive.  The letter was signed by a prominent social worker.

State executives of the league will attend the meeting to make public a report of the disposal of the funds gathered in the sale of poppies.”

Linked to Madame Guérin: The Fontenelle Hotel in Omaha, Nebraska. Courtesy/© Heather Anne Johnson.

Linked to Madame Guérin: The Fontenelle Hotel in Omaha, Nebraska.
Courtesy/© Heather Anne Johnson.

The Omaha Daily Bee updated its readers the next day [sic]:

RIVAL FACTION IN POPPY DAY FIGHT NOT AT MEETING.

Madame E. Guerin Is Praised By Local Association While “Antis” Fail to Attend.

Letters recommending the good work done throughout France and the United States during and after the world war by Madame E. Guerin, French lecturer and delegate to this country, were read at a protest meeting held yesterday in the ball room of the Hotel Fontenelle.

“The meeting was attended by numbers of the local and state directors of the American-French Children’s league.

None of the clique of social workers who are said to have written a letter to Mayor Smith before the recent Poppy day drive condemning the policy of the American-French Childrens’ league and characterizing Madame Guerin as an “impostor,” was present.

Madame Guerin Praised:

Miss Helene Bixby, local chairman of the league, presided at the meeting. She related attempts made by a group of rival social workers to “undermine, the policy of the American-French Children’s league.”  Professor H. B. Alexander of Lincoln, state treasurer of the league, made a special trip to Omaha to take a hand in the affair.   He read letters from French officials and mayors of cities in this country, which praised “the phenomenal work done by Madame Guerin in raising funds for the relief of the children of devastated regions of France.”  

Mrs. George H. Holden, state chairman of the league, was present and recited instances of Madame Guerin’s charitable work done in France and in the United States.

Movement Is Endowed.

The following persons were among the attendants at the meeting: Mrs. Fred Hamilton, Mrs. W. A. Pixley, Mrs. E. H. Sprague, Mrs. William Taylor, Mrs. F. A. Brogan and Mrs. Florence Steunenberg.

The meeting was adjourned with hearty approbation, of the work being done in this country by Madame Guerin and the American-French Children’s league.”

On Sunday 6 June 1920, Mrs. Maw of Provo was in American Fork, Utah – she was explaining all about American Fork’s forthcoming Poppy Day at an evening meeting.   The solo ‘In Flanders Field’ was “beautifully rendered”.

On 8 June 1920, Madame Guérin was in Blackfoot, Idaho.  She was the guest of honour at the Rotarians monthly dinner.  Madame Guérin, together with Georgina Marriott, left to travel to Montana.  The Idaho Republican (of Blackfoot) kept its readers informed [sic]:

1)     7 June:POPPY DAY IS ANOTHER DRIVE.

An organization in America under the leadership of Madam Guerrin, acting under and by consent and encouragement of Premier Millerand of France, is organizing the cities and towns of the United States to have tag days during which people give whatever they wish, for the destitute children of the devastated regions of France.

The drive, or poppy day work in Blackfoot is in the hands of Mrs. Cecil Clark, and she turns the money over to her banker, who transmits it to the bank chosen by the state organization at Boise; they in turn transmit it direct to the bank of the government of France, and it is used under direction of Premier Millerand.

In the devastated regions the people have nothing to work with and no means of putting in crops, no place to live until it is provided from outside, and nothing to eat until they get it from elsewhere.  They are underfed, much exposed and by reason of their weakened condition, fall an easy prey to many diseases.

The people of America will give whatever they choose.  None are asked for any specific amount but merely asked to consider making a gift and then give as much or as little as they wish.

June 12 is the day at Blackfoot.  Tags will be furnished and those wearing tags will not be asked.”

2)     9 June – two articles appeared in the same edition:

Page 1 [sic]:  “SATURDAY IS POPPY DAY.  Madame Guerrin of France assisted by Mrs. G. G. Marriott of Ogden will hold a “poppy day” in Blackfoot Saturday.  Funds raised Saturday will be used to aid the children of devastated France.

Page 5 [sic]:  ROTARIANS MEET.  Rotarians held their monthly dinner last night with Madame Guerrin of France as the guest of honor.  Madame Guerrin spoke on the work she is doing for the children of devastated France.  She was accompanied at the dinner by Mesdames C. S. Beebe and Cecil Clarke.”

2)    11 June [sic]: MAYOR URGES POPPY PURCHASE.  Issues Proclamation Setting Saturday as “Poppy Day”.

Mayor N. J. Thorstenberg has issued a proclamation urging the citizens of Blackfoot to purchase red poppy tags tomorrow to aid the children suffers in the devasted regions of France.

The campaign for the day will be under the direct charge of Madame Guerin of France, who will be assisted by Mesdames Howard Henderson, J. B. DeHart, A. C. McDonald, B. H. Hudson, H. B. Daniels, Cecil Clarke and the Camp Fire and Bee Hive girls.  Headquarters for the campaign will be at the city hall.

The proclamation of the mayor follows:

“Whereas, there were hundreds of thousands of French children unable to get proper nourishment and care because of the devastation of their homes and loss of parents by the world war, and

“Whereas, our country’s women and children were spared all those war hardships primarily because of the valor and sacrifice of the French nation;

“Now, therefore, I, N. J. Thorstenberg, mayor of Blackfoot, Idaho, do hereby proclaim and name Saturday, June 12, 1920, as ‘Poppy day’ in honor of the heroism and sacrifices of the ‘little people’ of devastated France, and I do most earnestly urge the people of our city to buy poppies liberally and thus help the little suffers of our great and generous ally to attain their full measure of health and hapiness.

“In witness whereof, I have hereunto caused the seal of the city to be affixed, and this proclamation attested and issued this 28th day of May, 1920.”

3)     16 June 1920 [sic]: Poppy Day” Drive Nets Good Sum for Children of France.

The drive for funds for children in the devastated regions of France held Saturday netted the sum of $195.79, according to a report made by Mrs. Cecil Clarke, one of the directors of the drive.  Madame Guerin of France personally took charge of the work.  The committee in charge of the drive wishes to thank the ladies who assisted and especially the girls who took part in the work.  Little Robinette Totty sold the most “popies” during the day.”

On 12 June 1920, four Poppy Days are known to have occurred – that is not to say that they were the only ones on that day …

American Fork, Utah – There was a Poppy Day in American Fork – ‘The American Fork Citizen’ (19 June) reported on its ‘Poppy Day’ [sic]:

POPPY DAY IN AMERICAN FORK

Today is poppy day in American Fork.   A campaign will be waged all day in the interest of the destitute little children who live in the devastated regions of France.  Contributors will be given poppies in exchange for whatever sum the purchaser wishes to pay.

The people are appealed to, to aid liberally in the upbuilding of the devasted part of France and the care of her thousands of diseased children.

Hundreds of children are insane, as well as thousands of adults. Asylums must be built, sanitariums must be erected for the hundreds of tubercular children.   France cannot do it.  She is ruined financially. The children are orphans of the world war.   Give freely to aid a country whose only hope lies in our generosity.

Mrs. Charles Pankratz has been appointed the local chairman of the French and American Children’s League.  She will select a Captain from each ward of the city, who in turn will select ten girls who will do the soliciting.”

Kansas City, Kansas – there was a Poppy Day/Tag Day in Kansas City (Kansas) – under the direction of a “Mr. and Mrs. M.H. Gray of Denver”.  There was controversy just before this event took place because someone must have discovered that the American and French Children’s League was not yet on the National Information Bureau’s approved list and this proved a concern – not that it had for any other location.  But the Poppy Day went ahead, under the proviso that funds collected would be held and not passed on to the League until after an investigation.  Mr. and Mrs. Gray had produced letters from the Governor and others, as credentials, but to no avail.   In 1921, the League applied for, and was granted, a formal endorsement by The National Information Bureau – after a change of name and structure.

Rexburg, Idaho – a Poppy Day was held in Rexburg, Idaho.  On 14 June:

1)    ‘The Ogden Standard Examiner’ noted the fact, in their edition on Monday 14 June, that Madame Guérin and Ogden’s Georgina Marriott had “conducted” the Poppy Day.

2)     The Salt Lake Tribune, page 11 [sic]: POPPY DAY OBSERVED.  REXBURG, Idaho, June 13.—Yesterday was observed as poppy day, every person on the street being tagged by pretty girls.  The proceeds are to be sent to the devastated sections of France.  Madam Guerin of Paris and Mrs. Mariott of Ogden planned the day, and the Rexburg committee was in charge of Mrs. Dr. P. F. Smith of the Red Cross.”  

Blackfoot, Idaho – Madame Guérin left the Poppy Day in the hands of Mrs. Cecil Clark.

Madame Anna Guérin and Georgina Marriott were visiting Butte now – the “World’s Greatest Mining Camp” – to propose Anna’s State-widePoppy Day’ in Montana.  The women had arrived during the morning of Saturday the 12th, secure in the knowledge that they had left good women in charge of that day’s Poppy Days.  The ‘Poppy Day’ campaign that Anna Guérin ran in Butte, and neighbouring Anaconda, is one of the best (if not the best) documented within local newspapers.

A View of the Mining District of Butte, Montana. Courtesy/© Heather Anne Johnson.

A View of the Mining District of Butte, Montana.
Courtesy/© Heather Anne Johnson.

The two women were guests of Mayor Stodden, at a luncheon at the Thornton Hotel, Butte.  After lunch, the Mayor took Madame Guérin on an “auto trip over the city, viewing the mines and other points of interest.”

‘The Anaconda Standard’ enlightened its readers the next day (13 June) [sic]:

FRENCH DELEGATE VISITS MONTANA. 

Making Tour to Interest America in the Children of France.

Madame E. Guerin, organizing the work of the American and French Children’s league in America, arrived in Butte Saturday morning to make preparations for starting a campaign in Montana.  She is accompanied on her trip by Mrs. G. G. Marriott of Ogden, Utah.  Madame Guerin will leave for Helena this morning to secure the co-operation of the governor in her work and will return to Butte Monday to inaugurate a campaign here.

Madame Guerin is the wife of the president of a French court, and has been three times decorated by the French government for her services during the war.  During her tour of this country she has spoken more than 4,000 times in 42 states.

The work of the relief committee of the children’s league is supervised by the French government, having for president the wife of Premier Millerand and for active chairman Premier Millerand himself.  The American and French Children’s league is organized to complete the work begun by the American government.  Its first purpose is to aid French children, and its final purpose is friendship through understanding between the two nations.

After lunch at the Thornton hotel Madame Guerin, at the invitation of Mayor Stodden, took an auto trip over the city, viewing the mines and other points of interest.

Leaving Butte on 13 June, Madame Guérin visited Helena for two days.  She “conferred” with State Governor Stewart and received his “indorsement” for her state-wide “Poppy Day” idea, together with that of the State Superintendent of Instruction (Schools) and the Commander of the American Legion in Montana … these three, together with the Governor’s wife, Mrs. Stewart, became part of her American & French Children’s League committee for Montana.

On 15 June 1920, ‘The Butte Miner’ (Montana Standard) alerted readers to a lecture to be given by Madame Guérin in Butte that evening – at the American Legion Club Rooms [sic]:

POPPY DAY” SUBJECT OF LECTURE TONIGHT.

“Poppy day”, a day to raise money to help save and protect the children of the devastated regions of war swept France, will be the subject of a talk by Madame E. Guerin of France, at the American Legion club rooms tonight.  Madame Guerin will arrive from Helena, where she has been promoting “Poppy day.”

The French lecturer is the wife of a president of a federal court in France and is travelling all over the United States in quest of help for the needy children of France.  During the war Madame Guerin spoke for the Red Cross and all the Liberty loan drives.  The lecture at the legion hall tonight will be free to the public.”

However, Madame Guérin’s “train from Helena was a few hours late, so that it was impossible for her to reach the Legion hall until a late hour” so Georgina Marriott had to get the meeting under-way and ‘hold the fort’ until she arrived.

The edition of ‘The Butte Miner’ next day (16th) brought its readers up-to-date with events [sic]:

POPPY TAG DAY NEXT TUESDAY. 

Governor Indorses Movement After Consultation With Madame E. Guerin,

Who Has Charge of Relief Work.

“Poppy day,” a tag day to collect money to relieve the conditions existing among the children of the devastated regions of France and to preserve and promote the link of affection and relations between the United States and France, will be held in Butte next Tuesday.  The citizens of Butte will be tagged with poppies by those in charge of the drive.  The tag day was decided upon at a meeting held at the American club room Wednesday night.

Mme. E. Guerin of Paris and Mrs. G. G. Marriott of Ogden, Utah, addressed the meeting and explained the purpose of “Poppy day,” which is being held in many states.  Mme. Guerin, who arrived from Helena Wednesday night, said that Governor Sam V. Stewart had fully endorsed the movement, as had the state commander of the American Legion.  Mrs. Stewart has been made honorary president of the American and French Children’s league and the governor a member of the honorary committee.

“What France has suffered and for what France has suffered we should never forget.” Said Mrs. Marriott in opening the meeting.  The people of the United States do not realize the condition of the children of France in the war swept regions, she said.  Thousands are in dire need of assistance, and to provide this aid “Poppy day” has been held in various states, explained Mrs. Marriott.

The American and French Children’s league is to provide relief for the motherless children of France and to promote harmony between France and America.  The plan of the organization is to exchange a speaker between the two countries each year, but this year the children’s needs demand all the attention, said Mme. Guerin, in addressing the meeting.  Her train from Helena was a few hours late, so that it was impossible for her to reach the Legion hall until a late hour.  Besides explaining the relief movement, she gave personal reminiscences of her war work and a French view of American politics.

The committee appointed to have charge of “Poppy day” is: Mrs. F. B. Smith, commander of the ladies’ auxiliary of the American Legion, and Mrs. C. H. Smith, who had charge of the fund for free milk for French children during the war.  The local committee will handle all the money collected and will send it to the French government through a Butte bank.  The French government has supervision of the relief committee work and has charge of all funds collected in the United States.”

Mrs. F. B. Smith” was born Eloise M. Kingsley on 8 March 1879, at Le Sueur, Minnesota.  She was the daughter of Wisconsin or Ohio-born Superintendent of Transportation (Butte, Anaconda & Pacific Railway) father Morgan Kingsley Minesota or Ohio-born Martha Mathild (nee Horst) of Anaconda.  Father Morgan Kingsley enlisted in the Civil War in 1862 – he was only 14years old.  He was a musician for Company K, Minnesota Volunteers – an infantry regiment, that fought for the Union. In 1865, Morgan was medically discharged after being ill in the hospital.  (Renée Ellis credited)

Eloise married Minnesota-born “Fred” Frederick Baxter Smith on 17 March 1905, Minneapolis – they had one daughter.  Widowed, Eloise married Nathan Leffingwell on 18 August 1924, in Santa Ana, California.  Eloise died 22 September 1955, in Long Beach, Los Angeles, California.

Also on Wednesday 16 June 1920, neighbouring Anaconda’s newspaper, ‘The Anaconda Standard’, was keeping its readers abreast of the news in Butte [sic]:

MME GUERIN HAS PROMISE OF HELP.

Returns from Helena After Interviewing Governor and Legion.

 Mme. E. Guerin arrived in Butte yesterday from Helena, where she has been for the last two days securing the aid of state officials in her campaign for the relief of the destitute children of France.  Mme. Guerin returned with the indorsement of Governor Stewart and the co-operation of the state superintendent of instruction and of the commander of the American Legion.

Mme. Guerin wishes to enlist interest of the public in “poppy day,” which will be held June 22.  Poppies will be sold on the streets of Butte by girls enlisted.  The money from the sale of the poppies goes to aid the children of the devastated region of France, of whom there are more than 500,000, some of them maimed during the German occupation of France.

The fact that France still has to maintain her standing armies on the frontier, and that she lost more than 3,000,000 men, killed or maimed for life, makes it necessary to seek the aid of the American people in behalf of these unfortunates, Mme. Guerin says.

Mme. Guerin will be in Butte the entire week and will deliver several addresses.”

The Capitol Building, Helena, Montana. Courtesy/© Heather Anne Johnson.

The Capitol Building, Helena, Montana. Courtesy/© Heather Anne Johnson.

Also on 16 June 1920, The Independent Record (of Helena) on page 8 wrote about Madame Guérin’s visit to Helena, to receive permission for a Poppy Day campaign [sic]:

“”POPPY DAY” HERE SATURDAY, BENEFIT FRENCH ORPHANS.

Mme. E. Guerin, delegate and lecturer in the United States for the American and French Children’s league, accompanied by Miss Genevieve Parke, are in the city organizing a committee among the women of Helena to carry out a Poppy Day next Saturday.  Small silk poppies will be sold as tags during the day.  The proceeds will be used to help French children in devastated areas.

Mme. Guerin was in this country every winter of the war lecturing for the Liberty loan and Red Cross drives.  She has delivered about 4,000 lectures in 42 states.  Her husband, president of federal court in France, was decorated three times during the war for service to his country.

Mme. Guerin says she is much impressed by what she calls the “atmosphere of Montana.”  She is confident that Helena people will help her “young martyrs of the war.”  She says that the object of the league is to bring about a better understanding in the schools and clubs of this country of conditions in France, and to help relieve the awful conditions existing among the children of the devastated regions of France.

“Your boys are sleeping in Flanders fields where the poppies are growing once more on their graves,” said Mme. Guerin yesterday.  “They gave their lives for the country of those children.  Can’t you give a nickel, a dime, or a dollar to help France revive and save them?”

She obtained the endorsement of Governor S. V. Stewart and Mayor John Dryburgh, whom she saw concerning her mission here.”

On the same day (16th), Madame Guérin spoke to the American Legion members – she explained the object of her “Poppy Day” and asked for “hearty co-operation” from the local American Legion men and its women’s Auxiliary.  The Anaconda Standard (18 June) printed: At the meeting of the American Legion on Wednesday evening many natives of France attended to hear Mme. Guerin’s story, and following the session a reception took place.”

On Thursday 17 June 1920, several articles appeared in the local newspapers:

1)     ‘The Anaconda Standard’ printed a photograph of Madame Guérin, accompanied by a very long and informative article about how Anna happened to be in Montana.  It enlightens us further into how she came to continue her fund-raising, beyond the First World War years [sic]:

Madame E. Guérin. ‘The Anaconda Standard’, 17 June 1920.

Madame E. Guérin. ‘The Anaconda Standard’, 17 June 1920.

MME. GUERIN WORKER FOR FRANCE SINCE WAR STARTED.  Wife of French Court Official in Butte in Interests of the Movement to Aid Children of Devastated Portions of Her Country.  “Poppy Day” to Be Observed in Butte Next Tuesday.  Talk of Conditions as She Saw them.

Mme. E. Guerin, who is in Butte to inaugurate a campaign for the children of the devastated parts of France, is in America for the fifth time since the great war began in 1914.  When asked why she came to America at once after the outbreak of the war, she said, “I wanted to help my country.  I wanted to educate your people about France.  But,” she said, with a smile, “I found that I was the one who need education.  When I came to America all I knew about your country was from the Indian stories of your Fenimore Cooper, and from the cowboy stories of your Bret Harte.  I was not prepared to find the wonderful people that I now know you to be.  I was not prepared to find so great an education all over the West, as you have, especially here in Montana. 

“Was I ever at the front?  Indeed yes.  Every summer I went back to France, and as my two daughters were in school, and my husband was in government service in Africa, I spent all the time in the base hospitals.  You know, we were all just brothers and sisters while the war was on.  Such misery, such courage, and such fortitude could not but make all of us do our utmost.”

Five Days With Family.

Mme. Guerin spent several months each year in the United States, and when the armistice was at last signed, she returned home and made her report, thinking that her work was at last finished.  She had been with her family just five days, when she was called back to Paris and told she was to have entire supervision of the work in America of cementing the friendship of the two nations.  She has plans, she says, which, when worked out, will put the French and American people on an even more friendly basis.  But that, she said, is all in the future.

“What I am supremely interested in now,” said Mme. Guerin, “is the poor children of the devastated regions.  I do not ask aid for the other portion.  They are able to help themselves.  But I do ask help for the children of the part of France that was overrun by the invading Germans.  There, thanks to the aid of the Americans, the land is reclaimed.   There, thanks to the aid of the Americans, the land is reclaimed.  What was once shell hole and crater has been filled in by the Americans with their big tractors and scrapers.  But there are no homes.  Our people are destitute.  And all the time those children are undernourished.  If you were able to visualize 11 cities the size of Butt filled only with children, and all of them maimed, underfed, or diseased, then you could realize the situation in the northern part of France.”

Husband in Africa.

Mr. Guerin, of Alsatian birth, is president of a French federal court but since the war began he has had charge of the French colonial affairs in Africa.  Mme. Guerin at once offered to do the thing for which she was best fitted and was sent to this country as lecturer.  So great have her services been that the French government has decorated her three times.  So modest is she, though, that when she is urged to talk about herself she deftly turns the conversation to things she has seen in France, and in the United States.

When asked if she ever met over here any of the American boys she had seen in France.  Mme. Guerin smiled, and said “yes, indeed.  One time while I was going back to Paris on an important mission from the front I was in a box car so full of soldiers that there was no room for any one.  We were packed as so many sardines.  To get in at all, I had to beg and plead with the men to let me come along.  I do not know how they did it, but they made room for me.  Finally, just as the train was pulling out, along came three American marines.  They wanted to go along, but we could make no more room.  Finally they jumped through the window and landed on our shoulders, and somehow wriggled down till their feet touched the floor.  Well, I was in Minnesota, and there I met a young man who smiled at me, and said, “do not you remember me.  I was one of three who jumped through the window of the car and nearly smothered you.”

Observe Poppy Day.

“Poppy day” is to be observed in Butt and throughout the state next Tuesday.

On that date, a corps of volunteers will sell poppies on the street, the proceeds to be used for the purchase of food for the starving French children.

Governor Stewart and Mrs. Stewart have been awarded honorary positions in the American and French children’s league in recognition of aid which they have given the “poppy day” movement.”

N.B.* At this point in time, Anna’s husband Eugene Guerin was in Cameroon (la République du Cameroun), central/west Africa.  On page 93 of the French publication ‘Journal Officiel des Territoires occupies de l’Ancien Cameroun’, the following decrees were printed.  The English translation is given below, with the original French following, under the heading of DECISIONS  TRANSFERS/DÉCISIONS  MUTATIONS” [sic]:

By ministerial decree dated February 17, 1920:

“Mr. Guérin (Constant-Charles-Eugene), judge-president of the Court of 1st instance of Conakry, was placed at the disposal of the Commissioner of the French Republic in Cameroon, to exercise the functions of justice of the peace with extended jurisdiction in Douala and placed on secondment under the conditions of article 33 of the law of December 30, 1913 on pensions, from the day before the day of his embarkation for Cameroon.”

 “As of June 23, 1920:  Mr. Guérin, President of the Douala Tribunal took office on June 28, 1920, with the functions he holds. ”

Par arrêté ministériel en date du 17 février 1920 :

“M. Guérin (Constant-Charles-Eugene), juge-president du Tribunal de 1re instance de Conakry, a été mis à la disposition du Commissaire de la République française au Cameroun, pour exercer les fonctions dé juge de paix à compétence étendue à Douala et placé en service détaché dans les conditions de l’article 33 de la loi du 30 décembre 1913 sur les pensions, à compter de la veille du jour de son embarquement pour le Cameroun.”

“En date du 23 juin 1920:  M. Guérin,Président du Tribunal de Douala prend à Ia date du 28 juin 1920 les fonctions dont il est titulaire.”

2)     The Butte Miner named the ladies’ “Poppy day” committee in Butte [sic]:

LADIES’ COMMITTEE FOR “POPPY DAY” DRIVE.

All young girls who care to assist in the “Poppy Day” drive which will be held next Tuesday, are requested to register at the American Legion rooms,  Mrs. F. B. Smith, who has charge of the arrangements announced Wednesday.  Madame E. Guerin will address the young ladies who will take part in the relief work, Monday afternoon in the legion rooms.

The following ladies’ committee has been appointed to take charge of “Poppy day”.

Mrs. F. B. Smith, chairman: Mrs. N. J. Lloyd, president, Misses Alice Jackson, Mollie Jackson and Eva Smith, secretaries; Mrs. C. H. Smith, treasurer.  The vice chairmen are: Misses Margaret Comba, Ruth Carlson, W. F. Naddell and the Mesdames Charlotte Grimes, Harvey Ayers and Fred Oates.”

3)     The Independent Record (of Helena, Montana) page 7 [sic]:

HIGH SCHOOL AND CAMP FIRE GIRLS SELL ON POPPY DAY.

The plans for the Poppy day for the benefit of the French children in the war-devastated regions of France have been completed.  Miss Genevieve Parke, who is carrying out the arrangements made by Mme. E. Guerin, has announced the leaders for tag day, Saturday.

Girls Sell Poppies.

Miss Rosealie Spaulding will have charge of the High School and Camp Fire girls, who are to sell the tags.  About 200 are expected to help sell them.  Jack Barker will be captain of the Boy Scouts who will make bicycle trips to keep the girls supplied with poppies.

Mme. Guerin is endeavouring to establish branches of the French and American Children’s league in every state.  She has been very successful in her work so far.  Her plea for help in behalf of the children, who will be the future citizens of France, has been answered in many cities.

“France is doing what she can,” says Mme. Guerin, “but France is already hugely burdened.  America must aid now, for each passing week sees many a child laid under the poppies who might have been saved to France.”

Miss Parke is to finish the work started by Mme. Guerin in this state.  She is making the Placer hotel her headquarters, although part of the work is being done in the war risk insurance office, through the courtesy of Miss Frisbee.  Miss Parke was a Red Cross nurse during the war, and is familiar with conditions in France.  Her father, Gen. Hamilton Parke, recently retired from the army after nearly 40 years of service.  Miss Parke was with him when he was the military attache to the American council in Belgium.  They were forced to flee from Brussels when the Germans invaded that country.

From here Miss Parke will visit Butte, Great Falls, Livingston and Billings, to arrange for Poppy days in those places.”

The next day, 18 June 1920, Madame Guérin addressed the women of Anaconda in the afternoon.  She and Georgina Marriott were at the Montana Hotel – to promote her Poppy Days.   That same day, The Anaconda Standard was informing readers of Butte’s plans [sic]:

VOLUNTEERS TO SELL POPPIES ARE SOUGHT.

As a preliminary to the work of observing “Poppy day” to aid destitute children in the devastated portions of France, Mme. E, Guerin, who is in Butte in the interests of the movement, will deliver an address to young women and girls at the American Legion rooms next Monday afternoon.  “Poppy day” is next Tuesday and Mme. Guerin is planning to enlist the services of as many young women as possible to sell poppies on the streets of Butte.  It is her plan to have at least 300 engaged in the work and it is expected that that number will volunteer following the meeting Monday afternoon.  A general invitation to all young women to attend the meeting has been sent out by Mme. Guerin.  At the meeting of the American Legion on Wednesday evening many natives of France attended to hear Mme. Guerin’s story, and following the session a reception took place.”

Mrs. Georgina G. Marriott of Ogden. ‘The Anaconda Standard’, 19 June 1920.

Mrs. Georgina G. Marriott of Ogden. ‘The Anaconda Standard’, 19 June 1920.

The next day, ‘The Anaconda Standard’ (19 June) reported [sic]:

A STRIKING CONTEST.

Comparing what she saw at Columbia gardens with conditions among the children of France, Mme. E. Guerin, who is in Butte in the interests of the little ones of her country, told her companions on the trip yesterday they should be thankful that there was such a place near the city.

“You certainly should appreciate such a beautiful place and such beautiful flowers,” Mme. Guerin said.  She very much enjoyed visiting the children.  “How happy they are, how I wish the children of my country were as carefree as these children are.

“In the devastated sections of France children are living in cellars and caves with absolutely no comforts of life, emaciated an undersized through systematic starvation.  They are nervous wrecks from fear of shot and shell.  My hope is some day to see them revived from their miseries, their disease and sickness.”

Mme. Guerin and Mrs. Marriott, who is accompanying her in her work, went to Anaconda yesterday to complete their arrangements for “Poppy day” at that place.

More than 100 girls from the playgrounds of Butte volunteered to act as poppy girls next Tuesday when Butte, through our local committee, shall put on its “day”.

All those interested are invited to call at American Legion club rooms on Monday at 3:30 p.m.”

Columbia Gardens, Butte, Montana. Courtesy/© Heather Anne Johnson.

Columbia Gardens, Butte, Montana. Courtesy/© Heather Anne Johnson.

‘The Butte Miner’ (19 June) also described (in great detail) that address to the women of Anaconda by Madame Anna Guérin, the day before at the Montana Hotel [sic]:

MADAME GUERIN OF PARIS MAKES STIRRING APPEAL FOR CHILDREN. Tells Anaconda Women o Suffering of French “Kiddies” in Country Formerly Occupied by the Germans.

Anaconda Bureau. “France needs all of her children.  How else can she be revived and re-built?  France has stood as a guardian of civilization and by no other means than her children can she be replaced,” said Madame E. Guerin of Paris, who was in the city making arrangements for “Poppy day,”  the tag day on which money will be collected to relieve the condition of the children in the devastated areas of France.

“If really you do believe that this was a world war, as you say, and as your congress said three months ago, then these martyrs, the little children of France, are literally the martyrs of the world and you should consider it a privilege to contribute to what may in all reality be called their resurrection,” she continued.  In making her pleas to the women of Anaconda, whom she addressed Friday afternoon at the Montana hotel. 

“The French soldiers came home from the war with hope in their hearts.  They thought the war indemnity would soon be paid, but it has not and there is no immediate prospect that it will be paid,” she said, and explained to her hearers conditions found in the French territory back of the lines, which, for three years previous to the signing of the armistice, had been occupied by the Germans.  There were 4,000,000 French people in this part of France, and half a million of them, she said were children who are now suffering and dying from the effects of three years of malnutrition. 

“The country shows in every aspect the effect of the years of systematic Prussianizing.  The land has been ruined, but the American tractors are rapidly restoring it.  And the children—there is a difference between the child that one usually hears called a war orphan and that one who lived back of the German lines.  He is a mental and nervous wreck and two or three years undersize.  Towns have been totally destroyed and women and children are still living in cellars and hovels without hope of escaping diseases which accompany such conditions.  The flower of the manhood of the country has been maimed or killed,” she said.

Madame Guerin went through the devastated areas of France within a week after the armistice was signed.  She gave her audience many personal reminiscences of the trip and of the horrors found there.  She told of the affection of the French for America.  “The whole of France loves you because we were absolutely lost when you came to us,” she said.  She had also a splendid tribute for the American soldier.  “The American soldier was a wonderful fighter.  It was only through him that the French were saved.  We had but one criticism of him.  He rushed too swiftly to victory and death.  He had the bearing and dash of the Canadian soldier, the courage of the best French and the tenacity of the best English.”

Mrs. G. G. Marion of Ogden, Utah, accompanied Madame Guerin.  She explained the purpose of the tag day.  She said: “Our plan is to give a three months’ vacation to all the French children who need it.  To send them to sanitariums where they will have the care, food and fresh air necessary to give them their delayed start in life.  After this has been done it will be easier for France and America to continue their arrangements to exchange speakers once a year to cement the existing bonds of friendship.”  She emphasized that all sums contributed to the cause will be welcomed, from the smallest up.  All finances are handled by the local committee and not by Madame Guerin, she said.  The drive has the sanction of state officials and Premier Millerand is chairman of the movement in France.  It will be definitely decided today whether next Tuesday or next Wednesday will be designation “Poppy day.”

The committee in charge is composed of Mrs. Rene Engel, chairman; Mrs. S. S. Adams, treasurer; Mrs. C. B. Quinland, secretary.  Mayor James B. McCavitt has promised to issue a proclamation sanctioning the sale of the “Poppy” tags.”

Montana Hotel - Madame Guérin’s Anaconda’s Poppy Day Headquarters. Courtesy of Heather Anne Johnson.

Montana Hotel – Madame Guérin’s Anaconda’s Poppy Day Headquarters.
Courtesy of Heather Anne Johnson.

The 19th of June 1920 was Poppy Day in Helena, Montana.  Miss Genevieve Parke, of the American and French Children’s League, had been placed in charge of the arrangements.  She was playing a major part in Montana’s state-wide Poppy Day campaign.  Genevieve had 200 girls to call upon to distribute poppies.

The day before (18 June), Helena’s ‘Independent Record’ alerted its readers to the fact that the next day (19th) was the city’s Poppy Day [sic]:

POPPY DAY IS PROCLAIMED BY MAYOR JOHN DRYBURGH.

Mayor John Dryburg issued a proclamation yesterday, naming Saturday “Poppy Day” when small red poppies will be sold for the benefit of French children who are destitute as a result of the war.  The proclamation follows:

Proclamation.

“In recognition of the effort being put forth by France, our sister republic, to create a fund to be applied for the care and protection of the hundreds of thousands of French children left destitute and homeless as the result of the world war, recently closed, and relying on the bond of friendship and affection that has existed for years between the peoples of the two greatest republics, which has been more closely bound as a result of that war: I trust their appeal for aid will meet with most liberal response.

“I, John Dryburg, mayor of Helena, do proclaim and name Saturday, June 19, 1920, as ‘Poppy Day’ and urgently request our people to show their interest in the welfare of the unfortunate little ones of France by being as liberal as possible in the purchase of poppies and thus contribute to the fund so greatly needed in their behalf, and, by so doing, possibly save thousands of lives, that may be lost without such assistance.  “JOHN DRYBURG, Mayor.”

Chairmen.

Mrs. R. R. Purcell and Mrs. C. E. Pew are honorary president of the committee that will assist in the arrangements for the Poppy Day, it was announced by Miss Genevieve Parke, who has charge of the work of the American and French Children’s League in this state.

Mrs. Hal B. Ives is chairman, Mrs. S. McKennan, vice-chairman, Mrs. H. Fingelman, treasurer and Miss Bessie Little, secretary.”

Genevieve was Genevieve H. Parke, born 15 October 1885 at Fort Sidney, Nebraska.   In the US 1920 census entry (taken 01 January), she was found living in Hartford, Connecticut – her occupation was a Lecturer in Women’s Suffrage.  On 25 March 1927, Genevieve married Ferdinand E. Prochnow in Dillon, Beaverhead, Montana. Genevieve and Ferdinand do not appear to have had any children.   She died 15 July 1977 in Montana. 

On 20 June 1920, The Butte Miner printed two articles [sic]:

Page 11 [sic]: “PRETTY GIRLS TO SELL POPPIES FOR ORPHANS.

Scarlet poppies sold by scores of pretty girls are expected to net hundreds of dollars for orphan children of the devastated regions of France when Butte observes “Poppy Day” next Tuesday.

Dimes, quarters and dollars given to these little war sufferers will be held in cigar boxes until the end of the day and a special assignment of securing enough of these boxes has been given the Boy Scouts.  Stores with surplus cigar boxes are asked to call 1206, scout headquarters.

Girls who will take part in the Poppy Day drive are asked to meet in the Legion rooms Monday afternoon to perfect arrangements for the campaign. 

Page 22 [sic]: TO SECURE FUNDS FOR RELIEF OF CHILDREN. “Poppy Day” Wednesday: Sale of Tags to Help War Stricken.

Anaconda Bureau.  Arrangements for holding a “Poppy” tag day next Wednesday were completed Saturday by Madame E. Guerin and Mrs. G. G. Marriott, who organized a committee for the relief of French children in the devastated areas of France, Friday.

The general committee appointed to conduct the sale of the poppy tags follows Mesdames J. C. Harrington, W. H. Nutting, V. J. Applegate, A. J. Willits, J. A. Hasley, C. A. Lemmon, D. R. Roach, S. G. Spelman, F. S. Adams.

Mrs. Rene Engel, who was appointed chairman of the committee Friday, was forced to tender her resignation because called to Butte on important business.

Mrs. Marriott expressed the desire to voice an appeal to the girls of the city will be doing something wonderfully worth while they will feel, when they comprehend what they are doing for helpless little children, she stated.

Headquarters have been established at the Montana hotel.”

Also on 20 June 1920, The Anaconda Standard printed this [sic]:

BOY SCOUTS WILL ASSIST IN DRIVE.

The Boy Scouts of Butte will assist the girls in their sale of poppies for the children of the devastated region of France.  The Scouts are collecting empty cigar boxes from the various stores, in which the money collected will be kept until the final count Tuesday night.

Three hundred girls, assisted by the Scouts, will sell poppies on the streets.  The girls will meet with Mme. Guerin Monday afternoon at the American Legion post rooms to hear about work that is being carried on and about conditions in Northern France.”

On 21 June 1920, Madame Guérin had yet another busy day in Butte: in the afternoon, she met with 15 women involved with Butte’s ‘Poppy Day’ at Gamer’s Tea Shop; at 3.30, she met with 150 women and girls at the American Legion club rooms.  Plans were laid out: “… transportation on all car lines of the city will be free to all women who are selling.  These will be known by a scarlet and white badge, worn across the breast, bearing the quotation from Lieut. John McCrea’s famous poem, “In Flanders’ Field, the Poppies Grow.” … and … “the girls will wear chic red caps”; in the evening, she addressed a large crowd at the American Legion dance; afterwards, she “… made the round of the picture houses, making five-minute speeches in all of them.”  N.B. there were at least 12 (twelve) picture/play houses in Butte.

The Anaconda Standard printed two articles on two separate pages (21 June 1920), about Madame Guérin and her “Poppy Day” idea.  This was one of the pieces on page 9, under Anaconda News In Brief [sic]:

“The local committee has begun arrangements for the observance in Anaconda Wednesday of Poppy day, which has been set aside as a time to obtain contributions for the aid of needy children in France, and which was arranged by the visit Friday of Mme. E. Guerin, who then was in Anaconda.  Headquarters in Anaconda for this purpose will be at the Montana hotel, and the local committee consists of Mesdames J.C. Harrington, W. H. Nutting, V. J. Applegate, A. J. Willits, J. A. Hasley, C. A. Lemmon, S. G. Spellman, D. R. Roach and F. S. Adams.

… this is the second article, on page 12 [sic]:

THREE HUNDRED GIRLS ASKED TO SELL POPPIES.

Three hundred girls are wanted to sell poppies upon the streets of Butte Tuesday.  All girls who can sell poppies are asked to meet Mme. Guerin at the rooms of the American Legion today at 3:30.  Mme. Guerin will speak to the girls at that time about the children of the battlefields of France and about the girls of that region especially.

Mme. Guerin spent several months of each year during the war just back of the battle lines and after the armistice was signed travelled over the devastate regions.  She is well qualified to tell about the conditions there, and will deliver an interesting lecture to the girls.

The drive will begin at 9:30 and will continue throughout the day.  The Boy Scouts will aid in the sale of the poppies.”

Poppy Lady Madame Guérin, with women and girls of Butte, Montana. Butte ‘Poppy Day’ : ‘The Anaconda Standard’, 22 June 1920.

Poppy Lady Madame Guérin, with women and girls of Butte, Montana.
Butte ‘Poppy Day’ : ‘The Anaconda Standard’, 22 June 1920.

On 22 June 1920, Butte’s ‘Poppy Day’, The Anaconda Standard printed the photograph shown above.  It depicts Poppy Lady Madame Guérin (centre), wearing her trademark fund-raising ‘uniform’ and hat – she stands with women and girls of Butte in Montana, U.S.A.  They are all standing on the steps of a building housing the American Legion club rooms in Butte – although, in this image, the background is not visible.  It is deduced that the photo was taken the day before (21 June), when Madame Guérin met (at 3.30) 150 women and girls at the American Legion club rooms in Butte.

Possibly, Madame Guérin’s stalwart companion Mrs. Georgina Marriott (from Ogden, Utah) is somewhere in the group.  To Madame Guérin’s left, may be Mrs. F. B. Smith (Butte Poppy Day Committee Chairman).  Mrs. F. B. Smith was the Commander of the local American Legion’s Auxiliary.  Additionally, she was the Vice-Chairman of Madame Guérin’s Montana State Committee and in charge of the State Poppy Campaign – Mrs. B. E. Lapeyre, being the Chairman.

The photograph accompanied a long two-part article about Madame Guérin’s plans on pages 1 and 2 [sic]:

POPPY DAY WILL BE OBSERVED BY BUTTE CITIZENS GENERALLY. 

Young Women in Attractive Costumes Will Sell Flowers to Aid Children of France. 

Mme. Guerin Organizes Corps for Duty on Street Today.

Although no bells or shrill whistles will tell of the dawn of Poppy day in Butte today, 350 young girls and women will leave the headquarters at the Montana Power building at 9:30 and the slogan, “Buy a poppy” will have its first utterance.  Last night everything was in readiness for the drive and from promises and enlistments for the day, the money turned in this evening should add another laurel to the city’s collection of war duties.

Yesterday afternoon 15 of the women met with Mme. Guerin, who is in charge of Poppy day, at a tea at Gamer’s and there the leader out-lined briefly the necessity and origin of the day in the United States.

Mrs. Millie Smith is chairman, Mrs. N. J. Lloyd is president and Mrs. C. H. Smith is secretary of funds collected from the drive.

Following the tea at the legion clubrooms, Mme. Guerin addressed about 150 women and girls who will sell the red flowers today.  At this time, brief plans were made known and it was announced that through the courtesy of J. R. Wharton, transportation on all car lines of the city will be free to all women who are selling.  These will be known by a scarlet and white badge, worn across the breast, bearing the quotation from Lieut. John McCrea’s famous poem, “In Flanders’ Field, the Poppies Grow.”

“IN FLANDERS FIELDS THE POPPIES GROW” Sash. Edited from New Zealand ‘Quick March’ – 10 April 1923, page 18. © Our boys, our families (29th Sep 2014). Quick March April 1923. In Website Our boys, our families. http://ourboys.recollect.co.nz/nodes/view/5170#idx13846

“IN FLANDERS FIELDS THE POPPIES GROW” Sash.
Edited from New Zealand ‘Quick March’ – 10 April 1923, page 18.
© Our boys, our families (29th Sep 2014). Quick March April 1923.
In Website Our boys, our families. http://ourboys.recollect.co.nz/nodes/view/5170#idx13846

Will Be Generous.

In speaking of the importance of the day and the relief it will bring to thousands of French war orphans, Mme. Guerin declared:

“From my brief visit in your city, I am positively convinced that the population of Butte will indeed be kind and generous to us in our drive.  We chose the red poppy because in Flanders’ field, a barren, desert sort of a place, nothing could possibly grow, it was thought by many.  So the silent graves of more than 3,000,000 soldiers were dug as they were needed and left there, many without care.  Suddenly, one springtime, when the birds came back and the skies were bluest, one of the strangest sights imaginable confronted the people of France.  There on Flanders field, where once rocks and white sand and stones were seen, millions of the reddest of poppies were blowing to and fro in the wind.  All that could be seen, besides these scarlet blossoms were the white crosses, rising up and silent witnesses; the rest was all red poppies.”

Last night Mme. Guerin addressed a large crowd at the legion dance and later made the round of the picture houses, making five-minute speeches in all of them.  Some of the older girls were stationed at the doors of the playhouses, and it was reported that a neat sum was collected last night.

In Red Caps.

This morning the girls will wear chic red caps and will carry wicker baskets that will hold the red blossoms.  Instead of the tags used on tag days, the blossoms will serve as tags, and with the corps of willing workers who will be on duty from 9:30 until 9:30 not a lapel or coat will be without a poppy this evening.

Proclamation.

Today has been set aside as “Poppy day” by a proclamation issued by Mayor Stodden yesterday.  The proclamation reads:

“As mayor of the city of Butte I have issued a permit to Mme. E. Guerin for the sale of poppies on the streets of Bute for June 22.

“This sale is a part of a campaign being made throughout the United States to raise funds for the alleviation of the suffering children in the regions devastated by the war.

“I have investigated this movement and feel that it is worthy of the indorsement and support of the people of the city of Butte.  All money raised will be used for the above-mentioned purpose.

“A. Millerand is president of the ‘Organization for the Protection of Children in Devastated Regions.’ and it is officially indorsed.”

The girls selling the poppies will meet at the Montana Power company building at 9:30 for their assignments, and the sale will begin promptly at 9:30, continuing throughout the day.  After the sale the money will be taken to the First National bank and checked.”

Also on 22 June 1920, ‘The Butte Miner’ printed the image below.  It is identical to the previous photograph but the building housing the American Legion club rooms, in Butte, is visible in the background here.

Poppy Lady Madame Guérin, with women and girls of Butte, Montana. Butte ‘Poppy Day’ : ‘The Butte Miner’, 22 June 1920.

Poppy Lady Madame Guérin, with women and girls of Butte, Montana.
Butte ‘Poppy Day’ : ‘The Butte Miner’, 22 June 1920.

With the help of the Facebook page ‘Lost Butte, Montana’, members Richard Gibson; Jim Shea; and Kathy Carlson helped identify the building housing the American Legion club rooms as the Butte Public Library on West Broadway – this was just across the road from ‘The Butte Miner’ newspaper offices.

The old Public Library building in Butte, Montana.Courtesy of Heather Anne Johnson.

The old Public Library building in Butte, Montana.
Courtesy of Heather Anne Johnson.

The group image accompanied another long article, transcript of which follows.  Another photograph, showing Mrs. F. B. Smith pinning a poppy on the “first poppy purchaser” (American Legion’s Montana State Commander John Troup), can be found at the end of the transcribed article [sic]:

WAR ORPHAN DAY OPENS IN BUTTE.  Hundreds of Young Ladies to Canvass City Selling Poppies for Relief of Children of Devastated Regions of France.

“Poppy day,” a day devoted to the collecting of money to relieve the conditions existing among the children of the devastated regions of France, was inaugurated Monday afternoon.  John Troup of the American Legion purchased the first poppy from Mrs. F. B. Smith, chairman of the “Poppy day” committee.  This morning at 9 o’clock hundreds of young ladies will sell poppies on the streets of Butte.  The campaign will close this evening at 6 o’clock.

A ribbon with “In Flanders Fields the Poppies Grow” will be worn by the young ladies, who are assisting in the local campaign.  Manager Wharton of the Butte Electric railway announces that all ladies wearing the ribbon will be given free transportation during the day.  Those who have signified their intention to assist in poppy day are requested to meet at the Montana Power company office on East Broadway at 9 o’clock this morning.

Madame E. Guerin of France has charge of the American and French Children’s League and inaugurated the day here.  The movement has been indorsed by Gov. Sam. V. Stewart, who has proclaimed today as “Poppy day,” as has Mayor W. T. Stodden.  Mrs. G. G. Marriott will take charge of “Poppy day” in Anaconda, Wednesday.  Madame Guerin will leave Wednesday evening for San Francisco, where Mrs. Marriott will join her later.

The money collected today will be turned over to the First National bank by Mrs. C. H. Smith.  The money collected in Anaconda will also be turned over to the First National bank of this city.  The local bank will forward the relief money to Acting President M. A. Millerand, premier and minister of foreign affairs of France.

The mayor’s proclamation, designating June 22 as official poppy day, follows:

“To the People of the City of Butte:

“As mayor of the city of Butte, I have issued a permit to Madame E. Guerin for the sale of poppies on the streets of Butte Tuesday, June 22.

“This sale is a part of a campaign being made throughout the United States to raise funds for the alleviation of suffering children in the regions devastated by the war.

“I have investigated this movement and feel that it is worthy of the indorsement and support of the people of the city of Butte.  All money raised will be used for the above mentioned purpose.

“A. Millerand, premier of France, is president of the organization for the Protection of the Children in Devastated Regions and it is officially indorsed.

“W. T. STODDEN, Mayor.”

The Ladies Auxiliary of the American Legion has charge of poppy day here.  The committee appointed to handle the affair is: Mrs. Smith, chairman; Miss Mary Combia, Miss Ruth Carison, Mrs. W. H. Stodden, Mrs.Grimes and Mrs. Fred Oates.

The secretaries are Miss Alice Jackson, Mrs. Mollie Jackson and Miss Eva Smith.  Mrs. C. H. Smith will act as treasurer with the assistance of Chauncey Berrien.

In Floral park the poppy drive will be in charge of Mrs. Crane, whose headquarters will be at Hayes’ store.  Mrs. John Carbis and Mrs. John Brown will direct the work on Harrison avenue, with headquarters at Bennetts’ store.

John Troup (American Legion’s State Commander for Montana) purchasing the first poppy from Mrs. F. B. Smith, Chairman of Poppy Day Committee. The Butte Miner’ newspaper, 22 June 1920.

John Troup (American Legion’s State Commander for Montana) purchasing
the first poppy from Mrs. F. B. Smith, Chairman of Poppy Day Committee.
The Butte Miner’ newspaper, 22 June 1920.

Butte Poppy Headquarters: Montana Power Company building. Courtesy of Richard Gibson.

Butte Poppy Headquarters: Montana Power Company building.
Courtesy of Richard Gibson.

Poppy Lady Madame Guérin, with women and girls, outside the Montana Power Company building, Butte. Front Page of ‘The Anaconda Standard’, 23 June 1920.

Poppy Lady Madame Guérin, with women and girls,
outside the Montana Power Company building, Butte.
Front Page of ‘The Anaconda Standard’, 23 June 1920.

The next day (23 June), two articles enlightened local people about the success of Butte’s ‘Poppy Day’:

‘The Anaconda Standard’ printed the following article on page 12, together with Front Page photographs: Madame Guérin with “Little Saleswomen” (above) and Madame Guérin with “A Pair From City Hall” after this article text [sic]:

POPPY DAY IN BUTTE IS COMPLETE SUCCESS.

“Poppy day in Butte was most successful.  Considering financial conditions of the country in general, our collections turned in today have exceeded what we had anticipated.”  Thus Mme. Guerin of France expressed herself last night at the headquarters of the Poppy day committee in the Montana Power building, as the boxes were being turned in and the money checked.

Yesterday morning at 9 o’clock the young taggers began their work, and by noon the business districts and their occupants were freely sprinkled with the scarlet blossoms.  Every one wore them.  Business men and bankers were stopped on their way to work.  Stenographers and clerks bought them and messengers and errand boys proudly displayed a poppy in their lapel.  No one was allowed to escape.  The alibi that “it’s at home on my other coat,” didn’t work at all.  If there was no poppy in a lapel the pedestrian was not allowed to continue his way until one had been placed there.

The hundred-odd workers who so carefully canvassed Butte yesterday deserve the very highest praise for their efforts and results.  They were of a varied size and age; some were grown women and still others were tots who had to be lifted up to pin the poppies on the purchaser. But all were faithful and the hot sun with the frequent summer showers did not daunt their spirits. 

To Mrs. F. B. Smith, chairman of the day; Mrs. Nat J. Lloyd, president of the drive, and Mrs. C. H. Smith, treasurer, go high praise for the organization and system under which the girls worked the many districts.  Their corps of assistants of the ladies’ auxiliary of the American Legion are deserving of credit also, for no one in any way connected with the drive shirked their bit.

Stick to the Job.

Some of the smaller tots grew tired and uncomfortable toward noon, with the sun beating down and burning the pavements, and these, after they reported at headquarters, were sent home for a rest, but without exception, reported “on duty” in the afternoon.

The hotel lobbies reaped rich harvests in a number of cases.  A point was made to be at the register as the train arrivals came in, and one little miss insisted upon following the bellboy to the guest’s room and stationing herself at the door until the guest arrived. Furthermore, nothing could move her until a scarlet blossom reported in that gentleman’s coat and the sound of tinkling coin dropped in her “cash register” had reached her ears.

The pay offices and the theatres gave forth attractive sums of money, and at 10, when the banks were opened, those carrying loose change, after making their deposits, were soon relieved of it.

Some of the workers who also served on tag-day committees expressed the opinion last night that fewer refused this time than on any of the war drives heretofore in this city.

There were striking and pathetic incidents connected with the day as well as the more pleasant ones.  In the morning, as the group were swarming out of the Montana Power company building, the majority of them went up Broadway to Main street on the same side of the street.  Across from the Power company, by the stock market, stood a middle-aged man, badly crippled, his left arm in a sling and walking with the aid of a crutch.  Catching the attention of one of the little girls, the man slowly hobbled across the street and placed a new silver dollar in the palm of the little poppy girl.  Afterward it was learned that the man was a former German soldier in the German artillery in the last war, receiving serious injuries there.  He was not content to wait for some one to ask him, so eager was he to “help the little ones in Flanders and Belgium.”

Poppy Lady Madame Guérin and Miss Alice Jackson in Butte. 22 June 1920 With City Hall men John S. Wulf and Jacob Oliver. Front Page of ‘The Anaconda Standard’, 23 June 1920.

Poppy Lady Madame Guérin and Miss Alice Jackson in Butte. 22 June 1920
With City Hall men John S. Wulf and Jacob Oliver.
Front Page of ‘The Anaconda Standard’, 23 June 1920.

Additionally, ‘The Butte Miner’ printed an article on its Front Page about the Poppy Day success, which continued on page 7 [sic]:

SALE OF POPPIES GRAND SUCCESS.  Drive for Funds for French War Orphans Pleases Paris Representative and Local Executive Committee

According to incomplete returns at a late hour Tuesday night, the total receipts of “Poppy Day” in Butte will reach approximately $1,500.  All day long and a part of Tuesday night women and girls of Butte, numbering more than 200, solicited funds for the war orphans in France under the direction of Madame E. Guerin, of Paris, selling tissue paper poppies.

Madame Guerin was pleased Tuesday night and stated that she was surprised at the number of large coins found in the boxes.  “I thought that everyone would give five or ten cents,” said Madame Guerin, “but I really did not expect so many dollars and half dollars.  Of course, I know it does not mean much to the grand men of Butte but it means so much to us.  You can say for me through the columns of the Miner that I always heard that Montana and Butte were wonderful places, but I never expected to meet such grand men and so generous.  I have spent six winters in America and I never met any such men as those in your state and city.  I am deeply grateful to the men who so kindly donated to our most worthy cause, and also very thankful to the Ladies of the American Legion, who made our campaign a success.  I do not know what we would have done without the help of these women.  The press has also been very good to us, far better than in any town we have visited, and I am going to take clippings from all your papers and show the other cities where I will soon visit that Butte was anxious to help us in our work.

“Words cannot express my gratitude to all the willing workers who assisted in the drive, and I know that the little orphans of France who have benefited by the generosity of Butte and its people will pray for you every day, I leave Butte reluctantly, as I think it is the best city I have every visited.”

Mrs. F. B. Smith, chairman of the drive committee, also spoke very highly of all the men and women who assisted in the drive and stated that the little children, as well as the grownups, were deserving of much credit.  Mrs. Smith was also pleased with the amount collected, saying that it showed the spirit of Butte.  “No matter whether conditions in Butte are good or bad,” said Mrs. Smith, “a worthy charity is always recognized, and while I did not expect such a large amount, it proves that Butte will willingly assist when called upon.”

Mayor Stodden was praised for his patronage of the cause, and Edward Rouleau, John Troup, Horace Casey, Harry Reif and Chauncey Berrien received the thanks of the ladies for their able assistance in checking and counting the receipts Tuesday night, and also for their aid during the drive.

Following are the names of the local women who were in charge of the drive and the captains:

President, Mrs. N. J. Lloyd; chairman, Mrs. F. B. Smith; vice chairman, Margaret Comba and Mrs. W. F. Waddell; secretaries, Alice Jackson, Mollie Jackson and Bess Stone; treasurer, Mrs. C. H. Smith; assistants, Mrs. M. C. Medhurst and Mrs. J. W. Gunn; captains, Ruth Carlson, Mrs. Edith Carlson, Mrs. Margaret LaForrest, Mrs. Steve Arnold, Mrs. Fred Oates, Mrs. Cobb, Mrs. W. H. Reif, Mrs. Ray E. Wilson, Mrs. Charles Hopkins, Mrs. Walsh, Mrs. Lena Neyman, Mrs. Decker, Mrs. Ayers, Mrs. Burbee, Mrs. Hanson, Miss Amelia Rose, Miss Margaret Cameron, Mrs. Grigg, Mrs. Patterson and Mrs. Grimes.

Special mention for exceptionally good work is due Mrs. Fred Oates, who turned in $67.52; Miss Amelia Rose, who reported $59.11; Mrs. LaForrest, who turned in $33.95, and Mrs. Chuloz, who reported $35.51.

Three little girls who were in Mrs. Patterson’s team, turned in more than $70, which was considered a good record, and Marie Patric and Gladys Stebbins averaged $30 for their day’s collections.  The south side had a committee composed of Mrs. Jack Carbis, chairman, and Captains Mrs. Frank Brown, Mrs. C. N. Crane of Floral Park, Miss Harriet O’Donnell and Margaret Young.  Nearly $83 was collected on the south side.

The executive committee of the drive desires to extend thanks to the Auerback Advertising agency for the donations of the slides which were used at all theatres; to Mr. J. R. Wharton for allowing free transportation to all wearing banners “In Flanders Field the Poppies Grow;” to the newspapers for the publicity they gave the drive; to the women and girls who assisted in collecting the money, and the people of Butte who responded to the call for funds.”

A modern American tissue paper poppy. Did Madame Guérin’s Montana poppies look like this? Courtesy/© Heather Anne Johnson.

A modern American tissue paper poppy.
Did Madame Guérin’s Montana poppies look like this?
Courtesy/© Heather Anne Johnson.

The 23 June 1920 was Anaconda’s Poppy Day, Georgina Marriott was in charge of arrangements. The Anaconda Standard printed the following article (page 8) on the day [sic]:

 “ANACONDA NEWS.  GIVE FUNDS FOR FRENCH CHILDREN. 

Mayor Issues Proclamation Designating This as A Poppy Day.

Under the auspices of the American Children’s league, today was observed as “Poppy day” in Anaconda.   Starting at 9:30 o’clock the gathering bevy of young ladies will meet at the Montana hotel to tag all they meet on the street.  All those tagged will be solicited to give to the fund being raised for the maintenance of the children who have suffered for more than three years of untold horror in the devastated areas of France, during the German occupancy.  Headquarters will be established at the Montana hotel.

The movement is one of the most worthy started in Anaconda in some time and has received the sanction of the county and municipal authorities.  Mayor McCavitt has taken an active part in the work and, yesterday issued the following proclamation designating today as “Poppy day.” 

His proclamation follows:

“To the Public of the City of Anaconda:

“America saved France from the iron fist of Kaiserdom.  The German is gone; the veil is lifted from the battlefield.  This has revealed to the world a picture of suffering innocence; children who lived in cellars and holes; who suffered the tortures of fear and hunger; many maimed by wounds and ruined by poisonous gas.  Many have forgotten how to read and all have long since lost the ability to smile or laugh.

His proclamation follows:

“Madame E. Guerin of France comes to us in behalf of these children.  To her and to her assistants in this city, therefore, I have issued a permit for the sale of poppies on the streets of the city, Wednesday, June 23, so that all desiring to aid this cause may do so by contributing through the purchase of poppies or otherwise.

“The official indorsement of President A. Millerand of France and the officials of this country gives assurance that all donations will reach those for whom they are intended, under the auspices of the organization for the protection of the children of the devastate regions of France.   “JAMES B. McCAVITT, “Mayor of Anaconda.”

Additionally, ‘The Butte Miner’ (page 8) promoted its neighbour’s Poppy Day by printing the identical article under the header SALE OF POPPIES TO AID CHILDREN.  Paper Flower Tags to Be Sold by Little Girls for Benefit of Suffering French Children in Devastated Regions.  Anaconda Bureau.” 

Elsewhere in Montana, on 23 June 1920, American Legion Auxiliary ladies in Great Falls, Montana heard about plans for a Poppy Day there.  The Great Falls Tribune alerted readers the next day [sic]:

Poppy Day Planned to Raise Funds to Aid French Children

The needs of the children of the devastated regions of France were presented by Miss Genevieve Hamilton Parker of the American and French Children league to the members of the Ursuline auxiliary, Wednesday afternoon, when they met at the home of Mrs. Thomas Daly.

Miss Parke said: “What is left of 4,000,000 enslaved French haunt the ruins of the plundered and devastated homes.  Their misery is appalling.  The American and French Children’s league is organized to help them in saving and protecting their children—the real martyrs of the war.

“They must have healthful surroundings, nursing, schools—these are their only medicines.  France is doing all that she can, but France is heavily burdened.  If we are to aid at all, as we should, we must do it now—for each week sees many a child which might have been saved to France, laid under the poppies and France needs her children.”

The league is planning through a “poppy day” to raise funds in different states in the union for the aid of the children.  On this day poppies will be sold on the streets.  Poppie day in Great Falls will take place in about two weeks.”

Another reference was made to Genevieve’s talk on 27 June (Great Falls Tribune), within the “Women’s Corner” column [sic]:

 “URSULINE AUXILIARY FINISHES PROSPEROUS YEAR

… Miss Genevieve Hamilton Parke of the American and French Children’s League gave a short talk explaining the needs of the fatherless children in the devastated regions of France for whom no indemnity has been provided and who are in a pitiable condition.   The members of the auxiliary expressed themselves willing to assist in whatever way they may with the poppy day which the league expects soon to put on through Montana,    At this time, poppies, reminders of poppies of “Flanders Field” immortalized by Col. McCrae, will be sold on the streets. …”

On 24 June 1920, The Anaconda Standard printed two articles – the first, on page 5, was on the Butte Poppy Day [sic]:

THANKS TO BUTTE FOR CONTRIBUTION. 

Mme. Guerin Declares That She Will Never Forget Treatment Here.

“I am very sorry to have to leave Butte so soon; I believe it is the best city I have so far visited and I shall never forget your city nor your big-hearted people, no matter where I go.  One does not want to forget a city such as Butte has proved to be,” declared Mme. Guerin at the Thornton hotel yesterday afternoon, as she was making ready to leave on the evening train for Ogden, Utah.  From there, she will go to San Francisco, where she hopes to enlist the aid of some of the financial figures in that city, in order to push Poppy day and its work ahead a little faster. 

Final figures show that the amount collected in Butte on Poppy day by the score of workers amounted to $1,537.10, an amount well worthy of praise, according to the women in charge, and especially from Mme. Guerin, who was delighted with the returns.

Mrs. F. B. Smith, chairman, expressed herself as being well satisfied with the day’s results.  “It is just another case of showing that Butte always comes to the front in behalf of anything she is called upon to respond to.”

The names of the local women who were in charge of the drive and the captains follow:

President, Mrs. N. J. Lloyd; chairman, Mrs. F. B. Smith; vice-chairman, Margaret Comba and Mrs. W. F. Waddell; secretaries, Alice Jackson, Mollie Jackson and Bess Stone; treasurer, Mrs. C. H. Smith; assistants, Mrs. M. C. Medhurst and Mrs. J. W. Gunn; captains, Ruth Carlson, Mrs. Edith Carlson, Mrs. Margaret La Forrest, Mrs. Steve Arnold, Mrs. Fred Oates, Mrs. Cobb. Mrs. W. H. Reif, Mrs. Ray E. Wilson, Mrs. Charles Hopkins, Mrs. Walsh, Mrs. Lena Neyman, Mrs. Decker, Mrs. Ayers, Mrs. Burbee, Mrs. Hanson, Miss Amelia Rose, Miss Margeret Cameron, Mrs. Grigg, Mrs. Patterson and Mrs. Grimes.

Yesterday afternoon, Mrs. C. H. Smith, state treasurer of the poppy day drive, announced that the Pythian Sisters made a splendid donation to the figure already named, which will increase the sum total considerably.”

The second article appeared on page 9 and it referred to the Poppy Day in Anaconda, the day before [sic]:

CHILDREN’S CAUSE SUPPORTED NOBLY. 

Rain No Handicap to Poppy Day Subscriptions in Anaconda

Although poppies are supposed to thrive best in the sunshine, yesterday’s cold downpour proved no handicap to their growth in Anaconda.  True, those in evidence were only an imitation of the ones that bloom in Flanders fields, but the willingness with which they were purchased and the pride shown by the purchasers in wearing them, proved beyond a doubt that the sympathy and sentiment of the community was with the little French children who had suffered untold tortures in those self-same Flanders fields.

Possibly there were some who demurred in contributing to the fund when solicited to buy one of the flowers, but this number was so much in the minority as to be unnoticeable.  The response appears to be almost unanimous and the bright red blossoms were in evidence on all sides.  In fact, the man who failed to wear one felt lonesome.

While the exact amount raised in Anaconda could not be ascertained last evening, a conservative estimate placed it at $400, which, considering the weather and the handicap under which the young ladies worked, seems exceptionally good and compares favourably with the results attained in other cities where fair weather prevailed on the day of the drive.

Working in Rain.

Armed with sealed boxes in which to deposit the subscriptions and a supply of blossoms, a bevy of young lady workers sallied forth in the rain at 9:30 o’clock yesterday morning.  Within 15 minutes after they left the Montana hotel, their cry, “Buy a poppy, Mister,” was the most familiar remark heard on the streets.  At regular intervals they turned in their collections at headquarters in the hotel, which were in charge of Mrs. J. A. Hasley, Mrs. V. J. Applegate and Mrs. Kathleen Murphy.  These ladies remained at their posts all day and were detained long into the evening counting the proceeds.

The young ladies whose effort were largely responsible for the success of the drive were Helen Stephens, Margaret Kyle, Elsie Beal, Eva La France, Lillian Berry, Rose Bargo, Beth Ryan, Mary Logan, Ruth Price, Alice Nagle, Laura Evans, Margaret Brown, Ruth Miller, May Henriod, Doris Linn, Queen Logan, Katherine Gallagher, Alice Emerson, June Henault, Rose Beal, Ruth Christiansen, Helen McGrath, Virginia Willits, Eva Beal, Beatrice Roscoe, Lewanna Coleman, Zetta Clark, Margaret Moran, Mary James, Mary Dolan, Pearl Beal, Aurelia and Mary Guindon, Margaret Burnett, Doris Striker, Willis McMullen, Franey Logan and Ambrose Walsh.”

The Butte Miner also remarked on the Anaconda Poppy Day, on 24 June 1920 [sic]:

NEARLY FIVE HUNDRED SUM OF POPPY EFFORT. 

Funds to Be Forwarded to President Millerand of France.  Anaconda Bureau.

A sum which will total between $400 and $500 was the result of the sale of tags on “Poppy day,” held in Anaconda Wednesday for the benefit of the French children.

The committee in charge, consisting of Mrs. J. A. Hasley, Mrs. V. G. Applegate and Miss Catherine Murphy, stated the drive had been successful and that the public had contributed generously.  The fund will be forwarded by the local committee to the head chairman, Premier Millerand of France.

A vote of thanks was extended to the girls and boys who sold tags.”

The 24 June 1920, ‘saw’ Madame Guérin back in Ogden, Utah.   At the Union Rail Depot, she came across the gifted orator William Jennings Bryan.

In that day’s edition, The Ogden Standard Examiner mentioned her in a couple of sentences, within a long article about William Jennings Bryan, who had spent a few hours in the city that day.  Thi