Friday, May 30, 2003

Ohio Moments


Daughters of Union veterans founded group

On May 30, 1885, five teen-age girls from Massillon founded the Daughters of Veterans, a group for descendants of Union combatants in the Civil War. (The name was later changed to Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War.)

On that day, Olive Howald, 15; Harriet Knapp, Eva and Frances Merwin, all 16; and Bertha Martin, 17, were spectators at a Memorial Day ceremony in Massillon. They decided to form an organization for women after watching their brothers, members of the Sons of Veterans, assist their fathers, who had fought for the Union.

The girls held their first meeting June 3, 1885. They determined they would devote themselves to patriotic, educational and charitable activities. They developed a charter, and the group was incorporated in Ohio on Dec. 12. By 1890, the group had chapters in Ohio, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas. Today, it is a federally chartered national organization, headquartered in Springfield, Ill.

- Rebecca Goodman

E-mail rgoodman@enquirer.com or call 768-8361.




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