Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center
Woman’s Home Missionary Society of Gibsonburg, Ohio
Scope and Content
The records of this organization were donated to the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center in 2015.
The Woman’s Home Missionary of the Methodist Church was founded in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1880. Its first president was Lucy Webb Hayes. Its formation was brought about when a group of Methodist women were asked to provide help to freed African American women and their families. This Christian service was often expressed as “women helping women.” Lucy Hayes stated, “We believe that the character of a people depends mainly on its homes. Our special aim therefore is to improve home environments, home education, home industries, and home influences."
Within a few years, the society became a national organization. Chapters formed throughout the United States. Eventually other denominations formed their own Woman’s Home Missionary Society chapters. The women of the organizations raised funds through socials, auctions, donations, contributions from other organizations and through quilting bees. The organization founded and supported schools, hospitals, and homes in the South and among the Chinese, Mormons, and Native Americans.
Scope and Content
This incomplete set of records is dominated by the organization’s minutes and membership rosters, dating from 1902 to 1958. Significant gaps exist from 1908 to 1918 and 1941 to 1951. Also included are two soft-covered hymnals, a check record book dated 1918, and a single treasurer’s book dated 1892. Through the years, the membership rosters show the names of thirty to 110 women from the Gibsonburg/Scott Twp. area of Sandusky County, Ohio.
Many chapters of this society were affiliated with the Methodist Church or other Protestant denominations. However, the official name, “Woman’s Home Missionary Society of Gibsonburg,” does not indicate a denominational affiliation, nor is any mentioned in the minutes. However, meetings held weekly and occasionally monthly in members’ homes were opened with prayer, religious hymns, and sometimes reports on religious topics.
The minutes state that the organization raised funds through auctions, personal donations, contributions from other organizations, raffles, socials, and parties. At each meeting reports were given on the number of visits to the sick and hours spent “night watching” and “working.” Work included making garments, preparing meals, and packing provisions.
The society routinely provided the area’s needy and sick with assistance, consisting of toys, meals, shoes, clothing, and bushels of peaches, potatoes, apples, and pears. In several instances, the organization provided individuals with as much as a ton of coal. Occasionally, a nurse was hired to care for a sick individual. They also provided other organizations with funds to help needy children.
¼ linear ft.
Minute Membership Roster Books
1901 – 1902
1902 - 1904
1904 – 1908
1918 – 1922
1922 – 1926
1926 – 1928
1928 – 1931
1933 – 1934
1934 – 1937
1938 – 1941
1951 – 1958
Check Record Book
Familiar Hymns and Gospel Songs, dtd.1945 (2)