18 July 2013

I'm Raising Capons this Summer

There is a lovely letter from Veta B. Markley in her American Red Cross File from 1942 which I originally mentioned yesterday.

There are other letters from Veta in the file, but this is one that provides the most details about her life outside of her employment and it mentions her mother.

The letter is dated 28 April 1942 in Loraine, Illinois. The notation of "Peoria Com." is likely a reference to the Peoria [Illinois] Committee, which appears to have been part of the Red Cross organization structure at the time.

Veta indicates that she is "planning to raise capons this summer and may do private duty this winter. My Mother is too old and her health too frail to stay alone any longer, and that is why I resigned from United States Veterans Administration. I do not feel I could accept any position that would take me from from home."

The material in Veta's file only documents her work with the American Red Cross, but it does provide a glimpse into her life and does help track her movement around the United States. Information on her employment with the Veteran's Administration is provided mainly as it relates to Veta's residence and ability to serve the Red Cross should the need arise. There may be additional records on her employment with the Veteran's Administration elsewhere. If I think those records will be useful in my search, my search will begin with the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis and go from there.

Assuming that Veta mailed the letter the day she wrote it, it only took two days for mail to get from Loraine, Illinois, to Washington, DC. Pretty good for wartime mail service.

This image came from Ancestry.com as a part of their database "U.S., American Red Cross Nurse Files, 1916-1959"

Ancestry.com includes the following source information for these records:

Original data: Historical Nurse Files, Compiled ca. 1916–ca. 1959. Series number A1 27140, textual materials, 101 boxes. Records of the American National Red Cross, 1881–2008. National Archives at College Park, College Park, Maryland.

Veta Markley was a first cousin to my grandfather Cecil Neill (1903-1968). Their mothers, Laura (Rampley) Markley and Fannie (Rampley) Neill were sisters.