Name of the Collection
American Legion Auxiliary Post #170 Records, 1932-2004
Accession # 2018.001
.20 cubic feet
Provenance of the Collection
The contents were created by the members and officers of the American Legion Post #170 Woman's Auxiliary. The Deed of Gift was signed on April 16, 2018 by Ray Paynter, Post Commander but the records were donated at an earlier date.
The American Legion Auxiliary is an adjunct organization of wives, widows and daughters of American Legion servicemen. The Mineral Point American Legion Auxiliary was founded in January, 1921. It bears the same name and post number as the men's post – the Homer and Lee Parkinson Post #170. Homer and Lee Parkinson were brothers from Mineral Point who were killed during the early days of World War I. The Auxiliary functioned for 3 years and then disbanded for 9 years before being re-organized in 1933. It has continued since then. As with the American Legion in the 1940's, the Auxiliary opened its membership to women related to servicemen of all wars beginning with World War I.
The Auxiliary's focus was on serving returning veterans and raising money for any veteran's family in need. They paid particular attention to visiting and corresponding with veterans confined to the Veterans hospitals. The Auxiliary also conducted the “woman's work” of the American Legion post, such as preparing and serving special dinners.
Later years found the women hosting Badger Girls State, the female equivalent of the American Legion’s annual civics event, Badger Boys State. Another program of the Auxiliary is distributing paper poppies to commemorate World War I veterans. The Auxiliary compiled and maintained the “Gold Star Mothers” list, honoring women who had lost sons (and later, daughters) to combat.
Scope and Contents
The collection consists of: Series I, Administrative Files; Series II, Program Files; and Series III, Publicity Files.
Series I contains annual reports of the auxiliary to the State American Legion Auxiliary. These reports describe the Post #170 Auxiliary's history, the year's accomplishments and, in some cases, a list of officers. The current collection covers 38 years but it is incomplete. An interesting group of membership applications forms are included in this Series. The forms give the name and address of the applicant as well as the woman's relationship to a male American Legion serviceman, his name, military unit and branch of service. The application also notes if the woman is a widow and where and when her husband died. Series I includes a 1955 version of the Auxiliary's constitution and by-laws but only one year's worth of minutes (1986). The Series contains a number of awards and honors, principally from the State and Federal level American Legion Auxiliary, that point to an active and well run local Auxiliary. A limited amount of correspondence is in this Series, mostly thank you cards to the Auxiliary from Girls' State participants and Gold Star Mother recipients.
Series II contains 5 files on programs of the Auxiliary. The files are not complete. The Series contains: the Athletic awards list; the Badger Girls' State participants lists; the Gold Star Mothers' lists; background information on the Poppy Memorial annual project; and programs with agendas for the Auxiliary's regularly scheduled meetings.
The publicity files in Series III are press clippings on scrapbook pages.
A small number of photographs have been moved to the MPLA Photograph Collection. Please see the Archives Curator for assistance.
Box Inventory of the Collection
|Box #||Contents of Folders||Date Span|
|Series I. Administrative Files|
|1||Annual Reports with Auxiliary Histories||1934-1972 (incomplete)|
|1||Applications for Membership||1932-1962|
|1||Awards & Honors||1946-2002|
|1||Constitution & By-laws||1955, 1993|
|1||Minutes||1986, no date|
|Series II. Program Files|
|1||Athletic Awards List||1969-1984|
|1||Badger Girls State List||1942-1991|
|1||Gold Star Mothers List||1945-2001|
|1||Poppy Memorial||no date|
|1||Programs||1941-1979, no date|
|Series III. Publicity Files|
|1||Press Clippings/Tear Sheets||1950-2003|
Collection Arranged by Shan Thomas, 2016
Finding Guide Written by Shan Thomas, 2018