Scope and Contents
The collection consists principally of Aletha Grace Hawk's letters to her family in Indianapolis, Indiana from Washington D.C. and Europe ranging from 1918 to 1919, describing her work with the American Red Cross and as a volunteer working with wounded servicemen at Walter Reed Hospital, as well as her travels through France, Switzerland, Belgium, and Germany. The collection also includes Hawk's 1921 letter describing the visit of Marshall Ferdinand Foch to Indianapolis, two letters sent to her from a French refugee describing conditions in occupied France during World War II (1940-1941) and her poetry. There are also four scrapbooks with newspaper clippings, letters, photographs, and other materials from her travels and experiences during World War I.
Conditions Governing Access
This collection is open for research.
Conditions Governing Use
Legal title, copyright, and literary rights reside with Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library, Indianapolis, IN. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Rare Books and Manuscripts.
Aletha Grace Hawk was born November 9, 1882 in Springfield, Illinois to Charles F. and Permelia (Born) Hawk. Her first job in Indianapolis was as secretary to Robert J. Corrigan, the circulation manager of the Indianapolis Star newspaper in Indiana. During World War I, Hawk became one of the first female circulation managers when she accepted the position of assistant circulation manager at the Indianapolis Times newspaper. She then went to Washington D.C. as secretary to Frederic M. Ayres, Sr. who was director of supplies for the American Red Cross. While working in Washington, Hawk also served as a volunteer at Walter Reed Hospital. After 14 months, she was selected as a member of a Red Cross unit sent to France as replacements. When Mr. Ayres arrived in Paris, Hawk again became his secretary on the staff of the European commission for the Red Cross. Before returning to Indianapolis in December, 1919, Hawk traveled through France, Switzerland, Belgium, and Germany. She was present when Ferdinand Foch, marshall of France and commander of Allied forces during World War I, visited Indianapolis in 1921. Hawk was a charter member of the Women's Overseas Service League and continued to reside in Indianapolis. She died on August 27, 1967 and was buried in Riverside Cemetery in St. Joseph, Michigan.
Ancestry.com. "Hawk, A. Grace." U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925. Accessed July 20, 2015. http://search.ancestrylibrary.com.
"St. Joseph County MI Cemetery Transcriptions." MIGenWeb Archives. Accessed July 21, 2015. http://www.usgwarchives.net/mi/stjoseph/7501cem.htm.
Stewart, Lotys Benning. "They Achieve: Minds and Hands of Indianapolis Women at Work for Others." Indianapolis Star, January 18,1942, pt. 4, p.12.
1.32 Cubic Feet (2 folders, 4 volumes )
Language of Materials