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American Women's Voluntary Service


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#1 Yellow Rose

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Posted 21 February 2007 - 03:14 PM

Forgive me if I missed any mention of this organization, but I thought I would bring attention to it since my great-grandmother was active in the local chapter here (in Galveston).

The American Women's Voluntary Service -AWVS- was an organization based on a British program that was formed to support the armed forces and civilians on the homefront. Volunteers drove ambulances, organized mobile kitchens, and sold war bonds and stamps. AWVS workshops produced over one million articles of clothing for servicemen and civilians. Members also provided meals and babysitting services to women war workers, many of whom worked six days a week in defense factories and had to manage the demands of work and home life for the first time in their lives.

Just a little footnote: Mrs. Doris Nixon, Captain Lewis Nixon's mother, was the founder of the California chapter of the AWVS. The daughter of a California pioneer family who amassed a fortune in asparagus in the Sacramento River delta lands, Mrs. Nixon was a civic and social leader in the San Francisco Bay Area. During WWII, she worked tirelessly to promote and raise funds for the AWVS. As California state AWVS preisent, she gave a speech in August of 1945 to the Berkeley City Club on compulsory military training, in which she expressed her opinion that Germany and Italy took advantage of a belief in American weakness in formenting a war against the Allies, and that maintaining a strong military was one way to prevent future attacks.

Sarah

#2 appell8

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Posted 21 February 2007 - 06:49 PM

Sarah, most interesting! The only hint I had that Lewis Nixon's family had a California presence was in an early BOB script. Were Mr. and Mrs. Nixon living apart at the time? Or trying to run Nixon Nitrates from a distance?

It also suggests that, even though the BOB Lewis Nixon affected a cynical, couldn't-be-bothered attitude, there was a family element of commitment that is also suggested by the BOB Lewis Nixon. After all, he could have taken the lottery ticket trip back to the States, but "I've been there."

The BOB Lewis Nixon was a Jordan family favorite, so I'm grateful for whatever additional info you have on Mrs. Nixon.

#3 Yellow Rose

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Posted 21 February 2007 - 07:01 PM

I believe that Mr. and Mrs. Nixon were living apart for quite some time, based on items in the society pages. Stanhope Nixon was only mentioned in the early 1930's, and Mrs. Nixon was mentioned often (with at least one or both of her children) until her death on June 24, 1948.

Mrs. Nixon, by all accounts, was very well-liked, kind and generous.

She was the daughter of Fletcher (an attorney who died when she was young) and Blanche Ryer. The family owned a 6600 acre ranch on Ryer Island in California. Her 1917 marriage to Stanhope Nixon in New York was a society event; she was given away by the governor of New York. They divorced in Florida in 1945.

Sarah

Edited by Yellow Rose, 21 February 2007 - 07:11 PM.


#4 appell8

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Posted 21 February 2007 - 07:03 PM

Sarah, thank you for nailing down some loose ends. Sounds as if there's much more to be told.

LarryA, interested? Sarah, thanks again.

#5 Yellow Rose

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Posted 21 February 2007 - 07:05 PM

Much, much more on the Nixon family... send me a PM if interested!

Sarah

#6 jtag

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Posted 22 February 2007 - 02:49 AM

Just a little footnote: Mrs. Doris Nixon, Captain Lewis Nixon's mother, was the founder of the California chapter of the AWVS. The daughter of a California pioneer family who amassed a fortune in asparagus in the Sacramento River delta lands, Mrs. Nixon was a civic and social leader in the San Francisco Bay Area. During WWII, she worked tirelessly to promote and raise funds for the AWVS. As California state AWVS preisent, she gave a speech in August of 1945 to the Berkeley City Club on compulsory military training, in which she expressed her opinion that Germany and Italy took advantage of a belief in American weakness in formenting a war against the Allies, and that maintaining a strong military was one way to prevent future attacks.

Sarah


Sounds like an awesome lady. No wonder she left Stanhope. :D

I for one would love to know the family dramas of the House of Nixon. If this is his mother, and that ... was his father, wow. You can definitely see it.

Ryer Island ... an asparagus fortune in the Delta ... wed to the son of a Northeast industrial fortune with political connections ... God, it sounds like an American Epic.

#7 Yellow Rose

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Posted 22 February 2007 - 05:38 PM

By all accounts, Mrs. Nixon was an awesome lady.

I remembered reading somewhere on here that she sent her son fur-lined slippers, or some such frivolity, while he was at war, which could easily be surmised that she was under the impression that he was on vacation in Europe. Not true. While she may have indulged her son, she was keenly aware of what the allies were fighting for and against, and she did more than her share in helping that cause.

Sarah

#8 joan

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Posted 24 February 2007 - 04:47 AM

hy, i've made some research about nixon's family and i really believe that mrs Nixon was a great person.she studied in France and loved Europe, she had a villa near Monte carlo where she apparently spent much time whith her children Lewis and Blanche...
Stanhope Nixon seemed to be a very funny person but had problem with alcohol and : he was arrested for having figth a man in new haven during his 3rd year at Yale where he was one of the most popular student and a menber of berzelius society,during the trial his father withdrew him from Yale.He was finally fined aroun10,000 dollars!
After that he ran into business as an engineer until ww1.
He entered the navy as a 1st lieutnant because of his fathrer'spast in the navy architecture...
bye

#9 jtag

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Posted 11 March 2008 - 08:37 AM

Here is the text of the wedding notice for Stanhope Nixon and Doris Ryer, from the Times, January 24, 1917:

GOV. WHITMAN HER SPONSOR
Miss Doris F. Ryer Weds S. W. Nixon in Heavenly Rest

Governor Whitman officiated as sponsor of the bride yesterday at the wedding of Stanhope Wood Nixon, son of Mr. and Mrs. Lewis Nixon, and Miss Doris Fletcher Ryer, the daughter of Mrs. Fletcher Ryer of San Francisco. The ceremony was solemnized in the Church of the Heavenly Rest, Fifth Avenue and Forty-Fifth Street, by the Rev. Herbert Shipman, the rector, assisted by the Rev. Edward Mathews, curate. The church was decorated with Australian tree ferns and Easter lilies, the galleries being draped in garlands of green, and boxes of growing lilies being placed each side the chancel, with lilies on the altar.

The bride, who walked with Governor Whitman, wore a short gown of white satin having looped side draperies and a panel of pearls and lace down the front. The corsage was draped with old point lace, and the narrow train was cloth of silver, half concealed by a point lace veil worn by her grandmother at her wedding. The veil was held with a fillet of diamonds. She wore a necklace of diamonds with a pear-shaped pendant, the gift of the bridegroom, and carried white orchids and lilies of the valley. (New York Times, January 24, 1917).


Just noting two things: one, the presence of Governor Charles S. Whitman, a Republican who prosecuted against Tammany Hall, as the bride's sponsor at her wedding to the son of the man who was once (according to Wikipedia) leader of Tammany Hall; and two, that dress. Silver. Satin. Lace. Diamond filet. And the bridegroom's "present" -- that necklace.

#10 AQuaker

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Posted 11 March 2008 - 08:58 AM

The Nixons lived in California in 1930 because you can see the entire family on the 1930 census. They had almost as many servants as they did family members. It is really neat to look up these guys on www.ancestry.com and see them listed as children. Bill Guarnere had a huge family, and Lip's father was from my home state, North Carolina.

If you read the Biggest Brother, Major Winters describes how volatile Stanhope Nixon could be. By that time, he was on wife number 2, but it sounded like he always had a roving eye and hand and foot, etc. If I remember correctly, and someone correct me if I am wrong, Winters met Mrs. Nixon while she was in hospital.

Shelia

#11 Yellow Rose

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Posted 11 March 2008 - 09:40 AM

Lewis Nixon's stint as leader of Tammany Hall was a brief one; he resigned after six months. He had been appointed chief after a scandal involving bribes, and vowed to clean up the corruption that had plagued the organization for years. However, he soon found out that he was the leader in name only, as many were still loyal to the former chief, Richard Croker. He declared himself out of politics at the time of his resignation, but a year later, in 1903, he launched a failed bid to become Governor of New York.

Sarah

#12 JsmakBkr

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Posted 16 March 2008 - 09:11 PM

From reviewing all the news articles about Stanhope and Doris Nixon, from the hug he received (as an 11-year-old) from Pope Pius in 1906 while the family accompanied his dad on a business trip to Czarist Russia, to a line is a gossip column in 1951 (after their divorce and her death) whispering that Stanhope's second divorce was in the works, one major question remains: what in the world could an angel like Doris see in someone like Stanhope? Of all the suitors that she undoubtedly had as a wealthy debutante, why a hothead with a criminal record (for a nationally-publicized drunken attack on a passerby) would rise to the top is a complete mystery.

#13 AQuaker

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Posted 17 March 2008 - 03:55 PM

Some women, and I am not one of them, like men who have an air of danger about them. Some women are attracted to great wealth because with that comes a certain amount of power. (Pullease, spare me.) There are also women, and I am not one of them either, who think they can change or save a man if he has serious character flaws. Then there are women, and I am definitely not one of them, who, as my mama use to say when it comes to men, have a taste for !#$*. :)

Love is blind. Love is a disease. In Doris Nixon's case, I imagine she was young, blinded by love, and thought she can could make him happy as well as save him from being the drunken bully that he was. :D


From reviewing all the news articles about Stanhope and Doris Nixon, from the hug he received (as an 11-year-old) from Pope Pius in 1906 while the family accompanied his dad on a business trip to Czarist Russia, to a line is a gossip column in 1951 (after their divorce and her death) whispering that Stanhope's second divorce was in the works, one major question remains: what in the world could an angel like Doris see in someone like Stanhope? Of all the suitors that she undoubtedly had as a wealthy debutante, why a hothead with a criminal record (for a nationally-publicized drunken attack on a passerby) would rise to the top is a complete mystery.



#14 JsmakBkr

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Posted 17 March 2008 - 04:19 PM

They seem like a real-life pair out of The Great Gatsby - Stanhope was Tom Buchanan to Doris's Daisy. I wonder if Fitzgerald had a few lines that provide the most fitting answer to the mystery of their initial attraction.

#15 Yellow Rose

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Posted 17 March 2008 - 06:17 PM

Opposites attract, perhaps? :D

In defense of Stanhope Nixon, I haven't read enough about him to really get a clear picture of what he was like at the time he met and married Doris Ryer. Lewis Nixon owned a vineyard in Solano County; perhaps it was some sort of business arrangement? Did people- especially wealthy people- truly marry for love in 1917? It was an interesting match from their parents' perspective; Blanche Ryer obviously wanted an East Coast presence, and perhaps Lewis Nixon wanted to expand his west coast one?

Sarah




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