Knitting for the Navy League During World War I

For Women’s History Month 2017, I’ve tried to highlight the service of sorority women during World War I. For the women who could not go abroad, there were things to do here at home, as this picture illustrates. The headline to the article is “Knitting for the Navy League.”

The accompanying article stated:

An organization, one of many which are knitting for the Navy league, Des Moines division, is the one composed of past presidents of Chapter Q, P.E.O.  As the name implies the members have all served the chapter as president….It is the intention of the organization to meet once each month for a knitting and a picnic luncheon, the next meeting to be at the home of Mrs. Bertha D. Smith. Many of the members are expert knitters and some have already completed the three articles asked by the Navy league – the sleeveless sweater, the wristlet and the muffler. Mrs. Walter McHenry, who knitted when a girl, has completed the three articles and acts as an instructor to the beginners.

Mrs. Walter McHenry was Louisa Carolina Cummins McHenry, better known as Lou C. McHenry. She served as Iowa State Chapter President of P.E.O.  from 1913-14.  Her son, Captain Harrison Cummins McHenry, of Company B 168th US Infantry, was killed on March 5,  1918, in France. He was Iowa’s first commissioned officer to die in the war. The city of Des Moines named a park in his memory.

Courtesy of Des Moines Parks Department


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