This is a group photo of the Viola Women’s Christian Temperance Union, early 1880’s. The white ribbon was a sign that a person supported temperance, and each of these women is wearing a white ribbon, some large, some small. The WCTU provided an opportunity for women to gain leadership skills, and many women also used these skills to further the cause of women’s suffrage.
Back row, left to right: Harriet Rogers, Angie Cushman, Eliza Richards, ____ Waggoner, ____ Smith, ____ Darrow
2nd row, sitting: ____ Paff, Mary Simmens, Rosella Lawton, ____ Guess, Belle Rogers, ____ Taylor
3rd row, sitting: Kate West, ____ Treseder, Mary Cushman, ____ Gorsuch, Rosella Loveless, ____ Harrington
Front row: Lib Richmond, Bertha Loveless
Downtown Viroqua in 1919, after the armistice ending the Great War (WWI). The big Vernon County flag waving across Main Street is emblazoned with a gold star representing the 50 people from Vernon County who died in military service, a silver star representing the 65 who were wounded, and a blue star representing the 968 who served in the military without injury. The flag also bears a red cross for the three who served with the Red Cross, and a triangle for the two who served with the YMCA. Behind the flag you can see the Fortney Hotel, which still stands at the corner of Main and Court. The building on the far right is the Opera Block, which also still stands, at the corner of Main and Decker.
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