Social clubs and service organizations have a storied place in history. Some like the Men's Civic Clubs, VFW or Junior Women's League are steeped in traditions and part of local mindsets. Others like the Masons or Daughters of the American Revolution share long histories but are often not fully understood by all. Today we look at a local Lake County society that had its origins early in the fall of 1862. This is their story.
In the fall of 1862 the Civil War was underway and its impact had reached into Lake County. It was at this juncture of history that twenty five young ladies of Painesville formed their society which was dubbed the 'Sisterhood' - afterwards shortened to the 'Hoods'. Officers were elected, offices created for all and a mission formulated. Miss Eliza Wilcox became the first chief executive. The group convened once a week in the members homes and their object was to carry on correspondence with the absent soldiers as well as knit socks. Their social setting ensured that no item of news escaped the pen and paper. No mention was made that the soldiers found the letters unacceptable.
Copies of their letters appear in The Historical Society Quarterly Vol. 3 July 1961 No.3 Their story also appears in the 1976 Bicentennial Lake County History Book and The Painesville Telegraph, December 28, 1898. For now, here is a list of married names of the twenty-two charter members.
Eliza Wilcox Libbie Lines Lockwood
Sarah Wilcox Hitchcock Hetty Sanford Ganter
Mary Lockwood Casement Juliet Marshall Smith
Leora Brown Sears Sarah Doolittle Wilkerson
Jennie Potter King Mary Perkins Morley
Gussie Avery Stockwell Lucy Perkins
Mary Everett Post Emma Morley
Mary Sterling Steele Mary Tinan Osborne
Carrie Mathews Reynolds Anna Tracy
Mary Rockwell Pike Cornelia Gray
Lizzie Hitchcock Morley Kate Chesney Hover