Children of Wilmette and World War I
Babies on the Fourth of July Details
The Library’s Local History Collection contains several pamphlets, pictures and newspaper articles from the World War I era that illustrate how the children of Wilmette contributed to the war effort 1917-1919.
A child's part in the Great War Details
Pamphlets explained how the purchase of “4th Liberty Loan” savings bonds would help the United States pay the debt for the cost of the war. Children were encouraged to buy bonds with whatever money they had.
Sometimes children went to extraordinary lengths to make a contribution to the Liberty Loan fund.
Gordon Buck, wants to sell pony to buy Liberty Bonds Details
In April 1918, Gordon Buck, age 10, made the front page of the Lake Shore News. An article titled "HE BUYS TILL IT HURTS" explained that Gordon wanted to sell his Shetland pony and cart for $150 cash to buy Liberty Loan Bonds as his contribution to the war effort.
As members of the Wilmette Guard, a civilian war work organization of the period, children also prepared materials for the Jr. Red Cross and knit warm clothing for soldiers.
Dickey Betts, 939 Ninth St., youngest [Red Cross] knitter, age 6, also a boy Details
Even very young children, like Richard Betts, age 6, wanted to help. The newspaper included an article about the sweater he knitted, finished according to Red Cross standards, to be sent to Europe with other items to keep a soldier warm.