Evanston women were active in war efforts from the earliest days of the community. During the American Civil War, Evanston women supported the Union war effort through their churches and the sanitary fairs that raised funds to support Union troops. Jane Blaikie Hoge was a key organizer for the U.S. Sanitary Commission, along with her good friend Mary Livermore – more about her can be found here.
In the 20th century, women were able to join units that provided more direct support, including nursing units and the Women’s Land Army where Ruth Anderson Erikson served. Evanstonian Helen Wood was trained as a nurse at Evanston Hospital Nurses Training School and was one of the first U.S. casualties in WWI. Her story and a recent effort to remember her can be found here.
In WWII, women had an even more active role. Several Evanston women received training to serve in the Women’s Air Service Pilot (WASP) program at Northwestern University. Recent research has uncovered the stories of Anne Noggle, Maurine Miller and Constance Llewellyn all who served as WASPs.
The story of Evanston women in the military is being highlighted this month by Evanston VFW Post 7186 with an exhibit at the Evanston Public Library and a talk on Saturday, March 26th at 1pm. More information can be found on their website – https://www.vfw7186.org/ – or by emailing Info@vfw7186.org.