The home front was passionately involved in supporting their soldiers Over There during the Great War, as World War I was called until 1939. The Slater Area Historical Association now has on exhibit “The Great War — Slater and Story County in World War I,” in which Slater and Story County are described and their experiences displayed during the war years of 1917 and 1918. SAHA used soldiers’ letters, mementos from Slater residents, and newspaper clippings of the era to recount life at home with its tragedies and its patriotism.
Women (and men) did whatever they could to help the cause. They gathered to knit socks, scarves and blankets for the men. In 1918 in one week, the local chapter of the Red Cross stitched and sent 20 hospital bed jackets and 25 hospital bed shirts to the division chapter.
World War I saw many women taking traditional men’s jobs. Many worked on the assembly lines of factories, producing munitions and machinery and helped with farm work. The morale of the women remained high as millions joined the Red Cross as volunteers to help soldiers and their families. The Slater Red Cross had a membership of 371.
The Great War is on exhibit through 2017 and into 2018. Heritage Hall Museum is open 10-2 on Thursdays, and 6-8 on Wednesday evenings through summer and early fall. Or you can call 515-480-9789 or 515-228-3293 for an appointment to view. Docent tours are available. Heritage Hall Museum is at 318 First Ave., Slater.