Evangelyn H. Mosher, nurse.

Evangelyn H. Mosher, from her 1917 passport application

Born in South Dakota, Evangelyn Hope Mosher (1893–1989) grew up in the Black Hills as one of five children of E. H. and Lena Mosher (as described in Longhorns Bring Culture). Her family eventually moved to California. She earned her RN credentials in 1916 from the School of Nursing of Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago and served in the Visiting Nurse Assn. In fall 1917, she sailed for France to take up Red Cross work. She wrote a letter in June 1918 to Camp Fire Girls who had sent her Christmas gifts; it was published in the 27 July 1918 Custer [SD] Weekly Chronicle:

Since coming to France my work has been with the Children’s Bureau of the American Red Cross. I was first stationed at Evian les Bains, a beautiful little town on the Swiss border, where the returning refugees from German territory are first welcomed back to France. Here we opened a hospital for children and it was very interesting work to receive the poor mistreated and hungry little waifs which came to us. Some 900 or 1,000 people a day pass through here so we were not lacking a chance to be useful.

From Evian I was transferred to Paris where I was one of the first nurses to give home nursing care. It is not quite well under way and the Americans are having courses for the French, teaching them our methods and trying to improve sanitary conditions.

I am now in Blois, one of the oldest cities of France. It is a town of 20,000 people and one that has suffered more than its share from war conditions. I came here four months ago with a lady doctor. We have opened a dispensary and seen and given care to 1,000 children. Our staff has now increased to five—another American nurse, a French nurse and two social workers besides a good deal of volunteer help. Besides our work in the city, which consists of the dispensary, home nursing, and a great deal of relief in food and clothing, we have now opened a summer home in an adjoining town where we are sending our sick babies for convalescence. It is a beautiful spot with a large garden and play space and well supplied with toys and good things to eat and we expect to have wonderful results from it. Practically all the children of France show the effects of the war and suffering in their faces and by being thin and undernourished. . . . [I]t is well worth seeing the sparks of fun and life bubble up in them and also to note their change in appetite. They have become so used to living on a piece of bread and a piece of chocolate or something of the sort that they didn’t know how to sit down and eat a meal. But they surely put the food out of sight after being there a few days. (1)

In Jan 1919, she returned to the United States. From Sept 1919 to early 1921, Mosher served as the traveling school nurse for the Sterling and Rock Falls [IL] chapter of the Red Cross. In March 1921, she married Montana resident Charles A. Disney, whom she had met in France. They had three children.

1918-19 flu pandemic lecture, Aug 18.

Russell Johnson, curator of the History of Medicine and Sciences at UCLA Special Collections, will give a virtual presentation on Building a Collection: Personal Narratives from the 1918-1919 Influenza Pandemic,” which will cover firsthand accounts of the flu pandemic and its impact on life and death in the military and at home and discuss collecting, writing styles, handwriting, genealogy, digitization, and other topics.

The presentation is scheduled for August 18, 6-7 pm ET. This free event is sponsored by the New York Academy of Medicine Library, but a $10 donation is suggested. To register: https://www.nyam.org/events/event/building-collection-personal-narratives-1918-1919-influenza-pandemic/

25 Sept. 1918 diary entry by nurse Ethel Anderson (Base Hospital no. 44, Evacuation Hospital no. 5) about patients with influenza. NYPL