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Sandusky County Red Cross - MS 48

Introduction | Agency History | Scope and Content | Series Description | Inventory


The records of the Sandusky County Chapter, American Red Cross, span from 1917 to 1939. Included in the collection is general correspondence from the formation of the Chapter through 1939. This correspondence reflects the general internal functions of the Sandusky Chapter as well as its relationship with the National Red Cross and Veterans' Service organizations. Other materials found in the collection are reports, radio talk show transcripts, news clippings and printed Red Cross publications and posters. A 1921 survey of disabled men in Sandusky County gives names, addresses and the nature of their disability.

Half of the collection consists of case files of individuals seeking the aid of the Sandusky County Red Cross. Because of the confidential nature of these records, the Center for Archival Collections' Policy on Confidential Materials must be followed in order to gain access.

The records were transferred to the Center for Archival Collections in 1976, with the papers of the Sandusky County Courthouse. The register was prepared by Susan M. Hughes in March 1988.

Agency History

The Sandusky County Chapter, American Red Cross, was organized under the name of the Fremont Chapter on March 30, 1917. The geographical limits of the chapter include all of Sandusky County, located in the northwestern part of Ohio. There are fifteen branches and one Auxiliary: Vickery, Clyde, Green Spring, Vandersall, Burgoon, Helena, Scott, Trinity, Rollersville, Gibsonburg, Woodville, Hessville, Lindsey, Fairdale, Ballville and Girton.

The first officers were prominent citizens within the county. They served until October 1917, when the first regular election was held.

Sandusky County Chapter first participated in a Red Cross War Fund Drive in June 1918, collecting $39,385.66 by May 1919. Membership drives also seem to have been successful. In the first six months of organization, they enrolled over 600 new members. The following year, over 4,300 new members enrolled. In its first active membership drive during the Christmas season of 1918, over 6,700 new members joined the organization.

Chapter and Branch workrooms shipped out many different types of supplies to the needy during the early years of the organization. Bandages, pajamas, robes, dresses, handkerchiefs, children's clothing, socks, mufflers and helmets went to civilians and enlisted men.

Like many Red Cross Chapters, Sandusky Chapter instituted a Home Service to provide help and support to families of servicemen and assist in the solution of personal problems and family difficulties. The Civilian Relief Department carried on similar services abroad. Besides the great amount of work done in the interest of the soldiers and sailors and their families, the department helped alleviate much of the distress during the influenza epidemic in the Fall of 1918, providing nurses and supplies.

Throughout the early years of the Sandusky County Red Cross, the staff was made up entirely of volunteer officials and workers. Because of the American National Red Cross semigovernmental status, this Chapter occupied an important part in the public welfare of the community and was looked upon for aid especially by Veterans of World War I.

Scope and Content

The purpose and function of the Sandusky County Chapter, American Red Cross, is most clearly illustrated in the general correspondence. These files contain copies of letters from the Sandusky Chapter to various agencies and veterans relief organizations. A large majority of the correspondence is with the Red Cross National Headquarters in Washington, D.C. As the correspondence is complete for the years 1918 through 1939, much information can be obtained concerning the role of the Red Cross in the two decades following World War I.

Another important series of files are the case files. Many of the veteran's problems and concerns discussed in the general correspondence are seen in more detail in these files. Also, the semi-governmental status of the Red Cross following World War I is apparent.

Other materials found in the collection include membership forms, various reports to the Red Cross National Headquarters, news clippings, and Red Cross posters and pamphlets. None of these series are complete for the years which the entire collection spans. The War Service Reports cover the greatest number of years and consist of printed reports issued from Red Cross National Headquarters for the purpose of keeping the various Chapters updated with current information and handbook revisions.

The greatest research potential of this collection lies in the general correspondence and case files. These provide an in-depth view of the function of the Sandusky County Chapter following World War I. They illustrate the health problems and other concerns which plagued the veterans and their families. Furthermore, the role of the Red Cross from 1918 to 1939 can be compared to its role in today's society.

Series Description


Arranged alphabetically by title, and within chronologically.
Contains enrollment information for 1929, 1936 and 1937 and "Roll Call" supply allotment forms for membership drives. Supplies included badges, posters and flags.


Arranged chronologically
Includes correspondence with the American National Red Cross relating to membership drives, fund-raising and information and form letters concerning veterans services, relief and general assistance. A few letters involve exchanges of information between other local chapters and service organizations. Some correspondence also relates to internal functions such as organizing classes, service activities and resignations.


Arranged alphabetically by title, and within chronologically.
Reports include some daily logs of the Chapter secretary and Home Service Section monthly reports for 1918-1920. Some financial reports are included as well as War Service Reports. A 1921 survey of disabled men in Sandusky County includes lists of men, their addresses and disabilities.


Text of radio talks used for membership drive.


1918-1921, 1924, 1927
Arranged chronologically
Personal loan forms from Sandusky County Civilian Relief ranging from $1.50 to $25.00.


1918, 1923
Arranged chronologically
Coverage of various Red Cross reports, relief and membership drives.


Arranged alphabetically by title, and within chronologically.
Included are a small group of Red Cross publications: printed disaster reports, membership drive strategy, accident prevention, brochures and posters on swimming safety, first aid and hygiene. News releases for 1936 and 1938 cover a variety of subjects promoting the Red Cross image. The Handbook for Home Service outlines procedures for obtaining disability payments, pensions and financial relief. A Red Cross rally poster for the Eleventh Annual Roll Call is located in the flat file drawer.

Arranged alphabetically by subject, and within chronologically.
Cases related to civilian relief and veterans' affairs. Files contain information about subjects in the form of correspondence, pension and disability claim forms and family interview reports. A few reports on migrant individuals were received from the National Red Cross in bulletin form.


Box 1

  1. Membership Drive Supply Allotments, 1929, 1936-1937
  2. Membership Enrollment Forms, 1925-1929, 1931-1937
  3. Correspondence, 1918-1919
  4. Correspondence, 1920
  5. Correspondence, 1921
  6. Correspondence, 1922
  7. Correspondence, 1923-1924
  8. Correspondence, 1925
  9. Correspondence, 1926
  10. Correspondence, 1927-1928
  11. Correspondence, 1929
  12. Correspondence, 1930
  13. Correspondence, 1931

Box 2

  1. Correspondence, 1932
  2. Correspondence, 1933
  3. Correspondence, 1934
  4. Correspondence, 1935
  5. Correspondence, 1936-1937
  6. Correspondence, 1938-1939
  7. Community Chest Budget Questionnaire, 1936, 1938, 1939
  8. Daily Record of School Nursing, January & February 1922
  9. Directories of Field Directors and Liaison Representatives, 1933, 1935, 1936
  10. Disaster Relief - Audit Reports, Financial Records, 1933, 1935, 1937
  11. Guardianship Service - Reports of Children's Benefits, 1926, n.d.
  12. History of Red Cross and Sandusky Chapter, 1931
  13. Home Service Director Monthly Reports, 1918-1920
  14. Home Service Secretaries Meeting Reports, 1919, 1932

Box 3

  1. Red Cross Monthly Chapter Reports, January - August, December 1922
  2. Sandusky Chapter Cash Summaries, 1921-1922
  3. Sandusky Chapter Daily Reports, December 1922 - May 1924
  4. Survey of Disabled Men of Sandusky County, 1921
  5. Volunteer Service Information and Reports, 1927-1938
  6. War Risk Insurance Records, 1918-1920
  7. War Service Reports, June 1920, June 1926, 1931-1933
  8. War Service Reports, 1934-1935
  9. War Service Reports, 1936-1939
  10. Roll Call Radio Talk Transcripts, 1931
  11. Loan Contracts, 1918-1921, 1924, 1927
  12. Newspaper Clippings, 1918, 1923

Box 4

  1. Applications for Adjusted Compensation - State of Ohio, 1921
  2. Home Service Handbooks and Revision, 1933-1937
  3. Red Cross Accident Prevention Booklets, 1937-1938
  4. Red Cross Booklets, 1922-1939
  5. Red Cross National News Releases, May 11, 1936
  6. Red Cross National News Releases, May 12, 1936
  7. Red Cross National News Releases, May 13-14, 1936
  8. Red Cross National News Releases, 1936-1938
  9. Red Cross Posters and Brochures, 1926, 1935, 1937

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