Elias Cook, 1918

Elias Cook, 191The clock struck 3 a.m.. After seventeen hours of debate, the House passed the resolution entering the United States into World War 1.

The citizens of Edmonds immediately organized to meet the challenges of the coming months. Those citizens who knew they would not be eligible to join one of the armed services formed a citizens group: the Home Guard Association. The petition for this group stated, “…to safeguard the lives and property of the citizens of our community from those who would jeopardize it;…and to lend moral support to those who are called to the front to defend Old Glory and our National Honor.” Along with Edmonds residents, residents from Curry, Richmond and Allen precincts were invited to join the group. Col. S.F. Street served as President, F.R. Beeson as Secretary, L.W. Lewis as Treasurer and Oscar Grace, Dr. David S. Shellabarger, William H. Waters, H.H. Guth, J.E. Clark and Dr. J.W. Johnson represented the various districts.


Colonel S.F. Street, President of Edmonds’ Home Guard Assoc.

The Home Guard’s first order of business was to form a committee with the purpose of locating and listing all available land suitable for gardening. They hoped the owners would give permission for the land to be cultivated and used for vegetable crops. Mr. David Whitcomb, owner of Westwold Farm, sent a letter to the Edmonds-Tribune Review offering to help the townspeople plant “suitable crops on all available land.” He also offered to “sell at moderate cost” 1 ton of seed potatoes; the proceeds of the sale was to be donated to the Red Cross or another patriotic movement.


World War I Red Cross Poster

Wanting to show community appreciation, the Home Guard, when time allowed, arranged appropriate send-offs for the young men heading to Camp Lewis. Parties were in order – complete with entertainment, food, patriotic speeches, and of course, some rousing choruses of patriotic songs.

Not to be out done, the women of Edmonds formed a branch formed a branch of the American Red Cross Association. The first meeting resulted in the enrollment of 30 members. The group met once a week to make surgical aprons, bandages, washcloths, socks and sheets for government hospitals. In order to finance their activities the group held many small fund-raisers.

Liberty Bonds and War Fund Drives also supported the war effort financially. The Knights of Pythias and the I.O.O.F. lent their support by investing some of their funds in Liberty Bonds . The Edmonds Tribune-Review announced, in the May 24, 1918 issue, that almost $2,000 was contributed in the Second War Fund Drive, including those from local businesses: Quality Shingle Mill, Proctor Shingle Mill and Standard Oil Company. Some employees, such as those from Standard Oil Company, contributed one day’s pay to the cause.

Edmonds did its part during the war.