The Union Veterans of the Civil War formed the Grand Army of the Republic. Requirement for membership was simply evidence of service in the armed forces. In Oregon there were several GAR posts, the first being established on September 28, 1882. The Meade Corps #18 of the Women’s Relief Corps was associated with Oregon City post #2.
In the early stages of the Grand Army of the Republic, the organization was largely known for its political power. After the turn of the 20th century, membership began to decline as did the organization’s influence. During this time, the GAR served largely as an organization for the promotion of patriotism and the commemoration of Memorial Day.
The Women’s Relief Corps was recognized as an auxiliary in 1881 by the Grand Army of the Republic. The Women’s Relief Corps was referred to as a sister organization of the Grand Army of the Republic. Membership in the WRC was determined by vote of the members, and the women were either related to or married to a member of the GAR. The WRC’s main purpose appeared to be a service organization dedicated to helping the GAR. They often served refreshments, sewed flags for the post halls, and raised charity funds that the GAR distributed
The Grand Army of the Republic, Department of Oregon, Women’s Relief Corps, Meade Corps # 18 collection consists of meeting minutes, a cashbook, and a ledger. The minutes are bound in three separate volumes, arranged chronologically, beginning in 1889 and continuing through 1916. The minutes largely contain raw outlines of the meetings. The cashbook contains the group’s financial records kept by the treasurer from 1905 to 1916. The ledger contains attendance records and some financial records from 1903 to 1914.
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[Identification of item], Grand Army of the Republic, Department of Oregon, Women's Relief Corps, Meade Corps #18 records, B 071, Special Collections & University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, Eugene, Oregon.