May 1st, 2009


In the autumn of 1907, a few young women from the Reformed Church decided to sew for some of the needy children in the Sabbath School classes. They had no money or oranization, but a great desire to help others. Their stock in trade was some old clothing and a great enthusiasm. Their first contribution in cash was $5 made by William Curtis Wagner. Later an appeal was made for funds through the Watsontown newspaper, The Record and Star. The response was most gratifying. Soon the demand for clothing was so great that more workers were needed and some of the young women from the Presbyterian Church were invited to join in the work. In 1908 an organization was effected and The Watsontown Guild was formed. First members were Emeline Sturgis (Mrs. W.G. Thomas), C. Mae Morgan (Mrs. Roy Beagle), Helen Hilliard (Mrs. L.G. Harrod), Anna McCormick, Edith WAgner, Bessie Wagner (Mrs. Jay H. Wagner), Sara McFarland, Reba Vincent (Mrs. Charles McDowell), Helen McClure (Mrs. Edward F. Rabe), and Belle Burr (Mrs. Percy W. Hastings). As the demand for clothing increased, members representing other churches were invited to join the organization. Membership has always been by invitation. Anything that would benefit the welfare of the community interested the Guild. It has been instrumental in placing many children in proper homes, providing glasses, crutches, wheel chairs, tonsillectomies, and milk for under-nourished children. Finally, through the TB committee, a school nurse was secured. At first the Guild helped pay her salary. Later the work of the mass X-ray was undertaken and many cases of incipient and active turberculosis were discovered in time for help. During World War I, a local Red Cross was organized through the efforts of Guild members. This later became an auxiliary of the Milton Red Cross. The Guild sponsored the Girl Scouts and raised a quota of $1,100 toward a Girl Scout Camp. Money for the work of the Guild has been raised in numerous ways ~ dues paid by the members, card parties, rummage and food sales. Each year a major effort was made to raise money ~ from this and contributions, funds were always available for anything undertaken. As the government extended its assistance in the form of unemployement compensation and social security, the Guild has had few calls of actual need, but it continues to find ways to create a more loving and beautiful community to raise a family.

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Last Modified: 05.01.09

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