When Red Cross is mentioned most of us automatically think of it as assistance to victims in far away places. Scott County’s Chapter is staffed by tireless volunteers who stand ready to be called to action on a moment’s notice when Scott Countians are in need of help. The Red Cross is not just an organization that helps other people. This article will help to give credit where credit is due insofar as Scott County Red Cross volunteers are concerned.
This year, 1992, the Scott County Chapter of the American Red Cross completes 75 years of service to victims of floods, explosions, tornadoes, aid iii locating servicemen during family crisis, sewing and knitting garments during war-time, providing training in first aid, providing assistance to servicemen upon return from war and campaigning for funds.
The Scott County Chapter was organized February 2, 1918 and with World War I raging in Europe. A War Fund Drive to raise $3,000 in Scott County was the first major campaign embarked upon by the organizers. The Campaign Executive Committee was composed of F. G. NORCROSS , WILLARD KEEN , VICTOR C. DETTY , JOHN TOOMEY , B. L. SADLER , G. R. TODD , C. A. PHILLIPS and E. G. FOSTER .
Each community in 1918 had War Fund Committees:
ONEIDA — LELAND CARSON , Chm., B. L. SADLER , BERRY DANIEL , C. CROSS , J. B. CARSON , E. HEMBREE , Dr. FRED PHILLIPS , Dr. M. E. THOMPSON , OVIA CROSS , J. R. GOAD , J. E. BELL , R. S. BARNES , H. F. COOPER , JOHN D. DAVIS , OSCAR CARSON , O. C. CONATSER , ALEX BALES , W. E. SMITH , R. S. MARCUM , G. K. YOUNG , SHIRLEY CHRISTIAN , J. T. ANDERS , Mrs. B. L. SADLER , Mrs. J. B. CARSON , Mrs. D. R. CASE and A. C. TERRY .
ROBERTA—Mrs. L.E. BRYAN, Chm., M.F. NEWPORT, GEORGE STRUNK and FINLEY REED.
NORCROSS — W.M. INGLES, Chm., F.G. NORCROSS, W.T. NEWPORT, FRED WEBB, W.M. LAXTON, M.H. PHILLIPS, LEE KING, H.E. FULLER, GEORGE HATFIELD, E.G. SETLES, WILLIAM SHANNON, MRS. F.G. NORCROSS, and Mrs. W.M. INGLES.
HELENWOOD — C.C. PEMBERTON, Chm., R.H. CECIL, T.J. PETREE, E. RYAN, R.A. MARCUM, J.W. FOSTER, PATRICK FOSTER, A.J. JONES, H.S. PHILLIPS, W.O. LIPSCOMB, E. MCDONALD, J.C. STONECIPHER, F.B. DUNCAN, Miss VIOLA TOOMEY and Mrs. C.C. PEMBERTON.
HUNTSVILLE — WILLARD KEEN, Chm., R.J. BAKER, E.G. FOSTER, H.K. PEMBERTON, M.L. MCDONALD, W.H. SPRADLIN JR., E.E. GRIFFITH, WILLIAM YORK, E.S. BOSHEARS, W.H. BUTTRAM, A.H. DOISEY, J.C.J. WILLIAMS, W.H. POTTER, AL. FOSTER, Mr. BENSON, J.M. BUTTRAM, J.A. GRIFFITH, J.M. GRIFFITH, G.W. BYRD, W.W. WALKER, Miss FLORA KEEN, Mrs. J.T. FOSTER, Mrs. W.H. BUTTRAM and Mrs. A.H. DOISEY.
NEW RIVER — A. X. KEEN, Chm., B.W. BUTTRAM, B. Cecil, I.M. BUTTRAM, J.F. BUTTRAM, MITCHEL PHILLIPS, DILMAN BAGLEY, J.H. JEFFERS, J. RED NEWPORT, M.F. HURT, WILLIAM KEATHLEY, WILLIAM GIBSON, JAMES KEATHLEY, THOMAS BAGLEY, J.S. DUNCAN, ALVIN JEFFERS and NELSON REED.
ROBBINS — G.R. TODD, Chm., M.J. ROBBINS, JASPER HUGHETT, J.C. MADDEN, C.C. NEWPORT, J.F. HARGROVE, JOHN OTT, REV. DAVENPORT, E.T. STRINGER, L. MINOR, R.V. NOBLE, Mrs. J.S. HARGROVE, Mrs. JOHN OTT, Miss ETHEL HUGHETT, Mrs. V.J. JUSTICE, Mrs. G.R. TODD, Mrs. JAMES BRYANT, Mrs. J.C. ROBBINS, Mr. E.G. STRINGER, Miss NELL NEWPORT and Miss HESTER ROSS.
GLENMARY — A.S. AVERELL, Chm., MAX FRITZSCHE, DAVE WEBB, H.C. LEWALLEN, W.M. TODD, HUGH GERNT, W.H. SMITH, GUY BABCOCK, BARTLETT HAGEMEYER, Dr. PITNEY PHILLIPS, W.R. BOW, RILEY VOILES, DILLARD PEMBERTON, ROBERT BURTON, Mrs. HUGHO GERNT, Mrs. GUY BABCOCK and GATEWOOD PEMBERTON.
ELGIN — C.A. PHELP, Chm., A.L. PHILLIPS, C.R. LEWALLEN, S.J. NORRIS, A.J. LOW, REV. BAKER, JOHN YORK, F.H. LAWHORN, Mrs. S.J. NORRIS, Mrs. C.A. PHELPS, Mrs. C.R. LEWALLEN, and Miss MYRTLE ROBINSON.
The Red Cross was founded in 1863 and today over 100 countries are involved with the movement to provide service to those in need. It was originally formed to provide war-time services, but has for the past 100 years branched into such areas as programs for water safety, first aid, general health care, blood collection and distribution, disaster-relief programs, and bringing family members together who have been separated due to wars or other disasters.
The United States Red Cross is a private voluntary organization supported mostly by contributions from the public. It was founded in 1881 largely through the efforts of a former New England school teacher, Clara Barton, who had worked voluntarily among the Civil War wounded.
The Scott County Chapter of the Red Cross has been active since 1918, but few records exist for the years prior to World War II. On April 5,1935 a terrific dynamite explosion wrecked fifteen homes and hardly left a single windowpane intact in the entire community of Helenwood. Miraculously, there were no fatalities, but scores of folk were homeless. The Scott County Red Cross activated immediately and the national Red Cross representatives, who were in Knoxville at the time, were on the scene in Scott County by 4:00 in the afternoon of the explosion providing medical attention to those bruised, cut and suffering from shock. Food and clothing were made available to the victims and repair to homes began immediately.
Citizens volunteered labor, businesses donated materials and civic clubs such as the Kiwanis Club of Oneida and the Legion Auxiliary assisted relief
By May 1, the displaced families were able to return to their homes and their emergency needs during the crisis had been met, due to the cooperation of the Red Cross and community volunteers.
Miss EDITH SMITH served as Production Chairman beginning September 23, 1942 and held various chair positions during the many years she served the local chapter. Due to her expert record keeping, valuable records for the chapter during her term reflect the extent to which the local community volunteers were able to assist with needs brought on by World War II.
World War II records from the collection of Miss EDITH have been donated to the Scott County Historical Society by ANITA SEXTON, current Scott County Red Cross Chapter Director. These records have been assembled by the Historical Society volunteers into four volumes.
During World War II, volunteers met the “sewing room” and knitted scarves,
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mufflers, sweaters and sewed clothing for babies on up to adults. Hospital bed shirts, robes and slippers were also sewn. Articles were handmade not only for soldiers, but also for the European citizens who were victims of the war being waged on their soil. “Kit bags” were assembled for distribution to American soldiers as they embarked on their journey to war. Everyone was involved with the war effort either by volunteering their service or by conserving valuable commodities that had to be earmarked for the war effort.
Another notable disaster in Scott County was the tornado in April, 1974 which inflicted extensive damage, especially in the Black Oak Community west of Oneida. Seventy-five families suffered property damage and 21 people were injured, 12 having to be hospitalized. The tornado struck at 1:00 a.m. and by noon the following day the American Red Cross had sent an eight member team into the county to assist local volunteers and law officials in providing emergency relief.
JOHNNY WARNER, Chairman of the Scott County Chapter during this time commended the local volunteers who unselfishly gave untold hours of service. Specifically, he commended Anita Sexton, the local chapter’s service to military families contact, MAGGIE BILLINGSLEY, NORMAN J. STEPHENS, BETTY LETNER, WILLARD TERRY, DEE PARNELL, MARJORIE TIBBALS, MARGARET FAILOR, GERRY MCDONALD, JEAN T. WARNER. NORMA COFFEY, WILLIE E. ELLIS, DEBBIE PHILLIPS, ZORA MARLOW, EUNICE BROWN, CAROLYN MCNEW, WAYMON SUMMERS, ROY MCNEW, ROSEMARY SUMMERS, KAREN TERRY, RAY SEXTON, ALLEN SEXTON, GARY LEE JONES, CECIL STRUNK, NORMA SAULS and 17-year chapter treasurer DONNA JEFFERS.
Early in September, 1982 torrential rains caused creeks to overflow and low-lying areas of Scott County were flooded. It was cited as the worst flood damage since the Great Flood of 1929. Red Cross volunteers in Scott County, headed by ANITA SEXTON, Director, were immediately called to action. Regional officials of the American Red Cross joined the effort and set up “headquarters” in the Oneida City Park building. Vouchers for food, clothing, bedding and other goods were distributed. Scott County was termed “a major disaster area” by Red Cross officials. Some of the local volunteers who assisted the flood victims were DENZIL PENNINGTON, CLAUDE TERRY Jr. and FAYRENE TERRY.
ANITA SEXTON celebrates her 25th anniversary of service to the Scott County Chapter of the American Red Cross on May 27, 1992. During these 25 years she has received numerous awards and commendations from The American Red cross for her volunteer efforts to the organization. She has helped untold numbers of military families contact soldiers during times of family crisis. Families are referred to ANITA by doctors, funeral home managers, and law enforcement officials so she can make the necessary contacts to locate the soldier. She delivers good news, too.., she has been able to locate a soldier to inform him that he is a father, for example. ANITA is one of many who unselfishly give of their time and energy to help their time and energy to help their fellowman during a time of need, and never seek, nor receive, adequate thanks or the recognition they so richly deserve.
The American Red Cross depends on contributions and is one of the most worthy charities anyone could support. One good way to show your appreciation for what this organization does internationally, nationally and locally, is to contribute to the local chapter by contacting ANITA SEXTON at 569-8468. One-half of all locally raised Red Cross funds stay here in Scott County to assist with local needs. Another good way to show your support is to volunteer your time. Just call Anita and become part of her volunteer team which is ready on a moment’s notice to spring to action helping those in need. The expression “charity begins at home” takes on a whole new meaning when you know how the Scott County Chapter of the American Red Cross has assisted us in our times of need. True friends, indeed.
FNB Chronicle, Vol. 3, No. 3 – Spring 1991
First National Bank
P.O. Box 4699
Oneida, TN 37841
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