Margaret McLeod papers, 1942-1946

Overview of the Collection

Creator
McLeod, Margaret, 1902-1989
Title
Margaret McLeod papers
Dates
1942-1946 (inclusive)
Quantity
.5 cubic feet, (1 document case and 1 flat box)
Collection Number
Mss 2960
Summary
Ranging in date from 1942 to 1946, the Margaret McLeod Papers consist of .5 cubic feet of correspondence, brochures, photographs, certificates, reports, newspaper clippings, and ephemera created and collected by McLeod during her service with the American National Red Cross. During World War II, McLeod worked in the European Theater with the group's Club Service, a program that provided soldiers with food, recreation, and entertainment. McLeod's collection provides a vivid portrait of life for Club Service workers, documenting not only the achievements of the Red Cross's Clubmobiles and clubs in England, France and Germany, but also the personal frustrations and triumphs of the women who ran them.
Repository
Oregon Historical Society Research Library
1200 SW Park Avenue
Portland, OR
97205
Telephone: 503-306-5240
Fax: 503-219-2040
libreference@ohs.org
Access Restrictions

The collection is open to the public.

Languages
English, German
Sponsor
Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Biographical NoteReturn to Top

Margaret S. McLeod lived an adventurous life atypical of women of her time. The youngest of Murdock and Elizabeth McLeod's seven children, she was born February 1, 1902, in Kingsley, Oregon. Raised in The Dalles, Oregon, she attended Oregon Agricultural College (now Oregon State University), receiving a B.S. in vocational education in 1926. For the next twenty years, McLeod traveled extensively in Europe, South America, and the Pacific; she worked in Hawaii as a secretary for Livingston Brothers, taught physical education at a high school in San Jose, California, and spent two years in Balboa, Panama, as an exchange teacher and Red Cross worker.

In January 1943, McLeod traveled to England with the Club Service, an American National Red Cross program that provided soldiers with recreational opportunities during World War II. Her first post was on a Red Cross Clubmobile, a mobile unit that distributed coffee and doughnuts to troops and screened films on military bases. Later in the war, she served as program director for a Red Cross Club, a stationary unit that arranged dances, meals, games, performances, and other events for soldiers. After the invasion of Normandy, McLeod was transferred to France, where she helped establish a new club. She concluded her work with the Club Service in Germany and returned to the United States in October 1945.

After the war's end, McLeod settled in San Francisco, California, where she was employed as a social worker. She was married twice, first to Fred Moritz in 1949, then to Gustav Horwege in 1964. She returned to Europe with Horwege, visiting his native country, Germany. Late in life, she left Walnut Creek, California, to return to Oregon, living in Milwaukie until her death in March 1989.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

Ranging in date from 1942 to 1946, the Margaret McLeod Papers consist of .5 cubic feet of correspondence, brochures, photographs, certificates, reports, newspaper clippings, and ephemera created and collected by McLeod during her employment with the American National Red Cross's Club Service during World War II. McLeod's collection provides a vivid portrait of life for Club Service workers, documenting not only the achievements of the group's Clubmobiles and clubs in England, France and Germany, but also the personal frustrations and triumphs of the women who ran them.

McLeod's collection of correspondence begins during her pre-deployment and continues until after her return to Oregon. Most correspondence was penned by McLeod and addressed to her sister, Olive McLeod, or her mother; however, a small assortment of letters from friends and former coworkers are included. Additionally, the collection contains three unidentified letters written in German. Although many of the letters deal with routine aspects of McLeod's wartime life such as her uniform, financial accounting, and requests for supplies, a handful serve as powerful historical documents; examples include a postcard from a friend serving as a German prisoner of war and letters in which McLeod declares her sentiments about the war, expresses the gaiety of the recreation provided by the Red Cross Club, and recounts her struggles with her coworkers.

The collection's printed material consists of two narrative reports written by McLeod to describe the activities of her Red Cross Clubmobile and Club and a certificate she received for her service with the group. The collection additionally includes a scrapbook complied by McLeod containing correspondence, photographs, newspaper clippings, tickets, programs, newsletters, and assorted artifacts. The scrapbook features several items of note such as lyrics to songs sung by Red Cross workers during their ocean voyage to Europe, photographs of Red Cross Clubmobiles and Clubs, and a Red Cross Club brochure.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

The Oregon Historical Society is the owner of the materials in the Research Library and makes available reproductions for research, publication, and other uses. Written permission must be obtained from the Research Library before any publication use. The Society does not necessarily hold copyright to all of the materials in the collections. In some cases, permission for use may require seeking additional authorization from the copyright owners.

Preferred Citation

Margaret McLeod papers, Mss 2960, Oregon Historical Society Research Library

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Arrangement

The Margaret McLeod Papers are arranged alphabetically by material type.

Acquisition Information

Library Accession no. 19903

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
1/3 Certificate 1946
1/1 Correspondence 1942-1943
1/2 Correspondence 1944-1946
1/4 Program reports, Red Cross Clubmobile 1943
1/5 Program reports, Red Cross Club 1944
2/1 Scrapbook 1942-1946

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • World War, 1939-1945--Participation, Female.
  • World War, 1939-1945--Women--Oregon--Photographs.
  • World War, 1939-1945--War work--England--Red Cross.
  • World War, 1939-1945--War work--France--Red Cross.
  • World War, 1939-1945--War work--Germany--Red Cross.
  • World War, 1939-1945--War work--Great Britain--Red Cross.

Personal Names

  • MacLeod, Margaret, 1902-1989.

Corporate Names

  • American National Red Cross.

Form or Genre Terms

  • Correspondence.
  • Newspaper clippings.
  • Photographic prints.
  • Reports.
  • Scrapbooks.