Memorial Day: They also served . . .

Red Cross
Creator W. B. King. American Red Cross. Second War Fund. 1917
Fundraising poster for the Red Cross. 

Written by Linda Artlip Weinstein

VILLISCA GIRL IN POSTER—Effie Kelley Vliet, a Villisca girl who attended Villisca High School with the Class of 1908, was the model for one of the Red Cross’ most successful fund-raising WWI posters.

W. B. King painted the poster featuring Mrs. Vliet called “Hold Up Your End.” It depicted a nurse whose expression denoted fear that she might be hindered in doing her best for the wounded men of World War I because of a lack of funds.

In the end, the campaign exceeded its $100,000 target by 50 percent. Mrs. Vliet, a young widow who worked as a trained Red Cross nurse at the Jefferson Barracks in Missouri, had to pull back from her work after scarlet fever adversely affected her heart. Two of her brothers, Capt. W. A. Kelley and Cpl. Fred Kelley, both of Villisca, served in the Rainbow Division. Capt. Kelley also served in the Spanish-American war.

Mrs. Vliet later married an Army doctor.

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