Ramsey County History Spring 2023 – Welfare Workers in the Great War
Volume 58, Number 1: Spring 2023
Faith, Advocacy, & Service
A Snapshot of Ramsey County’s Welfare Workers in the Great War
Author: Johannes R. Allert
In the throes of war, sometimes, it’s the simplest hymn, a whispered prayer, or help writing a letter that can restore hope to a weary warrior. Or, in the case of Chaplain William L. Hart, assigned to the 140th infantry in the forests of the Meuse-Argonne, it was his determined efforts to gather injured stragglers and encourage embattled troops to keep moving forward that saved lives. Hart is one of six Ramsey County residents who volunteered under the auspices of the US Army Chaplain Corps, the Knights of Columbus, the YMCA, and the Salvation Army. These men and women manned canteens, offered respite through afternoon concerts, buried the dead, and even shared tough-love conversations with discouraged veterans returning stateside. Their actions through faith made a positive difference to many.
Image: Fr. William Hart, courtesy of University of St. Michael’s College Archives.