B. Hayes Presidential Center
G. Eaton Woman’s Relief Corps.
Charles Grant Eaton Woman’s Relief Corps No. 188 records were donated to the Rutherford
B. Hayes Presidential Center in 1967.
Woman’s Relief Corps (WRC), an auxiliary to the Grand Army of the Republic
(GAR), was first organized nationally at their request on July 25, 1883 in
Denver, Colorado. The purpose of the
organization is to perpetuate the memory of the GAR, assist veterans of all
wars of the United States of America, extend care to members’ widows and
children, and maintain true allegiance to the United States of America. The first Sandusky County, Ohio post of the
GAR was formed in Clyde soon after the Civil War and experienced reorganization
in 1881 under its previously chartered number of 55. Honoring a local Civil War veteran, the post
was named after Charles Grant Eaton, M.D.
Grant Eaton was born at Lowell, Massachusetts on 27 September 1825 to Abel and
Julia Eaton. The family moved to Ohio in
1828 where Charles worked on a farm and attended the local schools around
Licking County. As a young man he moved
on to study medicine in Granville, Ohio before graduating from the Cincinnati
College of Medicine in 1847. Eaton
opened his first medical practice in Savannah, Athens County, Ohio. Charles married Mary H. Conant on 15 May
1849. The couple had three children;
Charles Henry, Mary Julia and Frederick C.
In 1853 Charles and his family moved to Clyde, Sandusky County, Ohio
where he opened his second medical practice.
it became clear that the United States would be engaging in a civil war, Dr.
Eaton abandoned his practice and began recruiting troops for the 72nd
Ohio Volunteer Infantry (OVI). Because
of his recruiting efforts Charles was awarded the captaincy of Company A. In September 1861 he was promoted to Major
for gallantry at the Battles of Shiloh and Corinth. He also participated in the campaign of Vicksburg,
Mower’s Raid and several other independent expeditions. While he was ambitious to honor his regiment,
he at the same time protected them so far as possible from rash and hazardous
undertakings. Eaton was mustered out at
Columbus, Ohio on 26 September 1865 as a Brevet Brigadier General. Returning to Clyde after the war, he resumed
his medical practice until his death on 13 October 1875.
Charles G. Eaton Woman’s Relief Corps No. 188 held their first meeting on 8
August 1887 in Clyde, Ohio. Nellie B.
Brigham was elected the group’s first president, along with Mrs. Frances A.
Little serving as secretary. The
organization boasted over fifty members during its inaugural year. Formal meetings were held on the first and
third Tuesday of every month. To help
raise money towards the WRC’s purpose, they held a yearly “Campfire”; which
included a play, entertainment and food.
Additional fundraisers included dinners, socials, dances and the selling
of quilts. The women also bought
groceries and clothes for veterans’ families, visited the sick and placed
veteran markers at soldiers’ graves.
When a specific event or cause arose, a sub-committee would be formed
within the organization to handle the details.
In the 1940s and 1950s the WRC No. 188 began purchasing Christmas gifts
for veterans’ families, making donations to charitable organizations and
holding annual picnics. Records for the
Eaton WRC conclude in the late 1950s.
WRC still exists at the national level today (2012). Along with the organization’s original
purpose; they now provide college scholarship assistance, send care packages to
active duty soldiers, participate in community service projects and hold
patriotic essay competitions. A remaining symbol of the WRC continues to be a
badge in the shape of a Maltese cross attached to a bar pin with a red, white
and blue ribbon. The center holds the
American flag, encircled in a wreath of stars depicting five outstanding
features; the goddess of liberty, a soldier, a boy, a woman and a child. The bar pin is engraved with the letters FCL
to signify fraternity, charity and loyalty.
This collection spans the years from 1877 – 1958,
with the bulk of the materials dating from the early 1900s. There are fourteen ledger books containing
meeting minutes from 1877 – 1952. The
collection also includes sixteen accounting and attendance ledgers for the
1. Minutes Ledger; Aug. 8, 1877 - Jan. 6,
Roll of Members to Oct.
2. Minutes Ledger; Jan. 20, 1891 – May 7,
3. Minutes Ledger; May 21, 1895 – Oct. 7,
4. Minutes Ledger; 1897 – 1899
5. Minutes Ledger; Oct. 18, 1898 – Jan. 14,
6. Minutes Ledger; Jan. 21, 1902 – Jan. 2, 1906
7. Minutes Ledger; Jan. 16, 1906 – Dec. 18,
1. Minutes Ledger; Jan. 3, 1911 - Aug. 3,
2. Minutes Ledger; Aug. 17, 1915 - June 1,
3. Minutes Ledger; June 15, 1920 - April 6,
4. Minutes Ledger; April 20, 1926 - Jan. 5,
5. Minutes Ledger; Jan. 19, 1932 - Aug. 2,
6. Minutes Ledger; Sept. 25, 1938 - Dec. 18,
7. Minutes Ledger; Jan. 15, 1946 - Oct. 21,
1. Cash Book; Aug. 23, 1887 - Aug. 20,
Cash Book; Sept. 3, 1895 - June 20, 1899
Cash Book; Oct. 7, 1902 - March 6, 1906
4. Cash Book; March 20, 1906 - March 15, 1910
5. Cash Book; April 5, 1910 - March 17, 1914
6. Cash Book; Oct. 2, 1917 - Jan. 18, 1921
1. Cash Book; Nov. 1, 1921 - Oct. 16, 1928
2. Cash Book; Nov. 6, 1928 - April 15, 1939
3. Cash Book; Jan. 4, 1949 - May 7, 1957
4. Dues Book; 1887 - 1895
5. Dues Book; 1896 - 1900
Dues Book; 1901 - 1906
1. Dues Book; 1906 - 1912
2. Dues Book; 1917 - 1928
3. Dues Book; 1923 - 1937
4. Dues Book; 1937 - 1962
5. Roll of Members, Attendance; 1887 - 1897
6. Roll of Members, Attendance; 1896 - 1919
7. Roll of Members, Attendance; 1919 - 1958