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Woman-Power Advocate Recruits War Volunteers

During World War I, women's clubs in Oregon went from planning parade floats and clean-up days to recruiting women to register for war work.

The president of the Federation of Women’s Clubs in Oregon, Therese Castner of Hood River, became a tireless advocate of what she called "woman power."  She visited clubs throughout the state urging women to register with the government should they be called upon to replace men going to war. Women in most cities agreed to participate and to handle the registration after she visited each one and made a personal plea. She said women had evolved to do more.

“The increase in our activities has not lowered our efficiency at home," she said, while boasting that she still baked her own bread and devoted the proper amount of time to her children.

She must have done a good job of getting women into the labor force. In 1919, as the country moved toward Armistice Day, she told a club in Grants Pass she was now on tour to convince women to surrender their war-time jobs to returning soldiers and sailors.


Sources: The Morning Oregonian 17 July 1917 [Portland] : 6. Historic Oregon Newspapers. Web. 10 Oct. 2015. http://oregonnews.uoregon.edu/lccn/sn83025138/1917-07-17/ed-1/seq-6/#date1=1846&index=1&date2=2013&words=17+1917+JULY&searchType=advanced&sequence=0&lccn=sn83025138&proxdistance=5&rows=20&ortext=&prox; Grants Pass Daily Courier 3 Mar. 1919, no. 104 ed.: 1. Historic Oregon Newspapers. Web. 10 Oct. 2015. http://oregonnews.uoregon.edu/lccn/sn96088181/1919-03-03/ed-1/seq-1/;   Knight, Jeanine. "Charles H. Castner MI/OR." Genealogy.com. N.p., 30 Aug. 2004. Web. 10 Oct. 2015. http://www.genealogy.com/forum/surnames/topics/castner/100/;  Clark, Ida Clyde. "American Women and the World War." Brigham Young University, 1918. byu.edu. Web. 10 Oct. 2015. .

Lynda Demsher has been editor of a small-town weekly newspaper, a radio reporter, a daily newspaper reporter and columnist for the Redding Record Searchlight, Redding California. She is a former teacher and contributed to various non-profit organizations in Redding in the realm of public relations, ads, marketing, grant writing and photography.