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Woman's Christian Temperance Union (Burgoon, Ohio) - MS 359

Introduction | Agency History | Scope and Content | Series DescriptionInventory


The records of the Burgoon Woman's Christian Temperance Union, Sandusky County, Ohio, were donated to the Center for Archival Collections by Rowena Hill in May 1984. The records consist of minutes, financial records, pamphlets, convention programs and handbooks, and date from 1935 to 1960.

No restrictions exist on the research use of this collection. The finding aid was prepared by Ann Bowers in October 2004.

Agency History

The temperance movement began in Fredonia, New York, led by Dr. Dio Lewis, in December 1873. Dr. Lewis spoke in Hillsboro and Washington Court House, Ohio, later the same month-the movement took root and flourished in Ohio. In February 1874, Columbus hosted the first state convention of the women's temperance movement. The Woman's Christian Temperance Union was officially organized at a national convention in Cleveland in November 1874. Frances Willard became its leader and remained a guiding light of the organization for many years. The group's main principles included belief in God, the Golden Rule, a living wage, eight-hour work days, justice, world peace, personal abstinence from liquor and tobacco, and education of the public about temperance and prohibition. Young people were recruited actively with the White Ribbon Recruits being members from birth to six years of age and older youth belonging to either the Loyal Temperance Legion (6-12) or the Youth Temperance Council (teens and 20s).

It is not certain when the Burgoon WCTU formed, but it developed out of the United Brethren Church in Burgoon, Ohio. This local WCTU was an active member of the Sandusky and Seneca County WCTU and also worked closely with other women's organizations within the United Brethren Church. It is not certain when this local WCTU ended.

Scope and Content

The records of the Burgoon, Ohio Woman's Christian Temperance Union consists of minutes, financial records, convention programs, pamphlets and flyers, handbooks and newspaper articles. The records date from 1935 to 1960. The most complete records series are the minutes which date comprehensively from 1935 to 1960. From 1935 to 1949, the minutes are formally written and complete, providing information on programs and discussions held, convention reports, attendance and dues records, and cooperative events with other women's groups in Burgoon. After 1949, the minutes are in the form of small spiral notebooks which include meeting and planning notes, most likely taken by the President or the Secretary.

Most of the financial information is included within the minutes, however there also is an expenditures and receipt ledger dating from 1950-1964. A few convention programs, mostly from WCTU county and state conventions, are found in the collection and date in very scattered fashion from 1929-1946. The rest of the collection includes pamphlets, news articles and handbooks from the state and national WCTU.

Series Description


October 1935-January 1960
Arranged chronologically
Includes details of programs held, membership and dues records, activities with other organizations and fundraising events. After 1949, the minutes are in note format.


Arranged chronologically
Includes lists of expenses and receipts including dues.


1929, 1938, 1941, 1946
Arranged chronologically
Includes printed programs of county and state conventions of the WCTU.

Arranged chronologically
Includes articles from The Union Signal, official paper of the National Woman's Christian Temperance Union.

Arranged chronologically
Includes printed material from the National WCTU on recruiting activities directed to young people.

1951, 1955, n.d.
Arranged chronologically
Includes handbooks outlining the mission, bylaws, organization and programs of the Ohio and National WCTU.

1944, n.d.
Includes songbooks, informational brochures, advertising flyers from the Ohio and National WCTU.


Box 1

  1. Minute Book, October 1935-June 1943
  2. Minute Book, August 1943-July 1949
  3. Notebooks (4 volumes), 1946-1951
  4. Notes (3 volumes), 1950-1960
  5. Expenditures and Receipts Ledger, 1950-1964
  6. Convention Programs, 1929, 1938, 1941, 1946
  7. Newspaper Articles, 1948
  8. White Ribbon/Youth printed material, 1940s-1950s
  9. Handbooks, 1951, 1955, n.d.
  10. Pamphlets and Flyers, 1944, n.d.

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