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Henrietta Anna Wiltzius: World War I Materials


Held at: University of Pennsylvania: Barbara Bates Center for the Study of The History of Nursing [Contact Us]Claire Fagin Hall, 418 Curie Boulevard, Floor 2U, Philadelphia, PA, 19104-4217

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania: Barbara Bates Center for the Study of The History of Nursing. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

Henrietta Anna Wiltzius was born September 7, 1889, in Appleton, Wisconsin. She graduated from the Academy of Our Lady, Longwood, Chicago, Illinois, in 1908 and from Mercy Hospital School for Nurses, Chicago, Illinois, in 1915.

Miss Wiltzius joined the American National Red Cross as a registered nurse in 1918 and during World War I was stationed at Base Hospital #41, St. Denis, France. The France assignment was followed by ten months in a relief unit in the Balkans, where she was assigned to Montenegro. For her service in Montenegro she received the Cross of Queen Marie from the Queen in Bucharest in recognition of her post-war service in fighting small pox and typhus, as well as the Serbian War Medal for services in the Kolachine Unit.

At the completion of her tour with the American National Red Cross, she received the Foreign Service Certificate. It stated: "The American National Red Cross tenders this expression of sincere appreciation for the faithful and efficient services rendered by you to this organization in its work overseas connected with the great European War, when you served in the French and Montenegro commissions from September 1918 to November 1919". The Certificate was signed by President Woodrow Wilson. She left Montenegro in 1919 and was assigned to Santo Domingo in the West Indies for 20 months. Her personal experiences are detailed in the History of American Red Cross Nursing, 1922, pages 1199-1200.

Miss Wiltzius was appointed to the rank of Reserve Nurse in the United States Navy in 1923. Her initial tour of duty was at the United States Naval Hospital, Washington, D.C. She served in Washington until 1925, earned the rank of Nurse and was transferred to the United States Naval Hospital, Great Lakes, Illinois. She served at Great Lakes until 1926.

Her subsequent, successive tours of duty with the United States Navy included: 1926-1929 United States Naval Hospital, Norfolk, Virginia; 1929-1931 United States Naval Hospital, League Island, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; 1931-1932 United States Naval Hospital, San Diego, California; 1932-1934 United States Naval Hospital, Guam; 1934-1935 United States Naval Hospital, Mare Island, California; 1935-1937 United States Naval Hospital and the Hospital Corps Training School, Portsmouth, Virginia; 1937-1939 United States Naval Hospital, San Diego, California; 1939-1940 Dispensary, Twelfth Naval District, San Francisco, California; 1940-1941 United States Naval Hospital, Mare Island, California; 1941-1942 United States Naval Hospital, Washington, DC; 1942 National Naval Hospital, Bethesda, Washington, DC; 1942-1944 United States Naval Hospital, Quantico, Virginia; 1944-1946 United States Naval Hospital, Pensacola, Florida; 1946-1951 (approximate) United States Naval Hospital, San Margarita Beach, Oceanside, California Lt. Commander Wiltzius was promoted to the grade of Chief Nurse in 1940. As Chief Nurse she was responsible for the Nursing Departments in Quantico, Virginia; Pensacola, Florida; San Diego, California; and Bethesda, Washington, DC. After retiring from the Navy as Lieutenant Commander, Miss Wiltzius lived in San Diego until her death in 1970.

Sketch provided by niece Suzanne Whitehead.

The materials in this collection primarily consist of official American Red Cross (ARC) Photographs, scrapbook pages, and memorabilla. Photographs document the region where Henrietta Anna Wiltzius was station in the Balkans, primarily Montenegro. All of them are labeled with official ARC information with some annotated by Henrietta. Photographs also document the awarding of the Serbian War Metal to her unit in 1919 (found in Series 3). Scrapbook pages follow her time during World War I from Paris, France to the Balkins as well as stops and trips she made during the war. Pages include booklets, travel documents and receipts, photographs, and notes. This collection also contains numerous medals and pins she received and earned during her time in the Army as well as an American Red Cross flag and the book Official: History of American Red Cross, 1922.

All scrapbook pages were disassembled prior to the Center's accession. Inventory (which the folder information is based on) performed by donor Suzanne Whitehead.

Gift from Suzanne F. Whitehead

University of Pennsylvania: Barbara Bates Center for the Study of The History of Nursing
Finding Aid Author
Finding aid prepared by Jessica Clark
Access Restrictions

This collection has no restrictions.

Use Restrictions

Copyright restrictions may apply. Please contact the Center with requests for copying and for authorization to publish, quote or reproduce the material.

Collection Inventory

Scope and Contents note

According to family research, none of these pictures are available through the ARC Archive-in boxes.

Training the Relief (Cettinje), # N3/2702, Condition Poor.
Montenegrin Sick (Kolchin), # N111802, Condition Fair.
Only Hospital within 60 Miles (Nicsic), # N12784, Condition Fair.
Nicsic Hospital , # 09076, Condition Good.
Down from the Hills (Kolachin), # N12954, Condition Fair.
Calling to See their Sick (Podgoritza), # N112156, Condition Fair.
Conserving Health instead of Flowers, # 12/1203, Condition Fair.
A Retreat in the Black Mountains, # 12/1156, Condition Fair.
World's Record Medical Practice (Nicsic), # 12112877, Condition Fair.
Montenegro's Smoothest Highway (Lake Scutari), # 111929, Condition Fair.
Montenegro's Mountains by the Shore (Cettinji), # 111436, Condition Fair.
The Water Bay of Kolachin, # 111843, Condition Good.
The Flower of Flours, # 12/1232, Condition Good.
Way up in Montenegro's Mountains (Kolachin-may be HAW in background, labeled "my hospital), # 1/1804, Condition Good.
Promoting Serbo-American Friendship (Niksic), # 1211153, Condition Fair.
The Call of the Sick (Kolachin), # 12/1261, Condition Fair.
How Daddy Won the War (Kolachin) Podgaritza Hospital), # 111822, Condition Fair.
Group of Native Montenegrins (Kolachin) Podgaritza Hospital, # 09316, Condition Fair.
The Interpreter with Native Student Nurse (Kolachin), # 09300, Condition Fair.
Four ARC outside Truck, # 06771, Condition Fair.
Sanitary Plumbing in Montenegro (Kolachin), # 111983, Condition Fair.
Scope and Contents note

Hemietta Wiltzius is in these pictures. According to family research, none of these pictures are available through the ARC Archive-in boxes.

New American Flying Squadron: Personal note on the back: "Horse back and a truck like this was the only means of travel.", # RC 107, Condition Good.
Making Montenegro Fit to Live in (HAW in profile), # 2/2458, Condition Fair.
When a Feller Needs a Friend, # 09347, Condition Fair.

Front Cover of Scrapbook: Picture, We Shall Not Sleep.
Picture of Henrietta A. Wiltzius, Dec 1919 .
On back of picture: Letter from ARC, National Headquarters, Washington, D.C., requesting information for the proposed History of Nursing book, Mar 10, 1920.
Letter of Appointment from the ARC, June 14, 1918.
Letter from ARC regarding eligibility for foreign service, Aug 6, 1918.
Telegram: The Call (to ARC service), Aug 24, 1918.
Scrapbook Page: Arm Band, Picture of Jane Delano.
Five letters to Henrietta Wiltzius from L.M. Johnson, chief nurse Letter 1: 5/18/19 - good condition, on ARC letterhead Letter 2: 7/26- good condition Letter 3: No date, good condition, on ARC letterhead Letter 4: 8/28, good condition Letter 5: 10/13/19 in good condition, on ARC letterhead, May-Oct 1919.
Scrapbook pictures: At the base hospital at St. Denis before going to the Balkans.
Scrapbook pictures: Kolachine pictures.
Scrapbook pictures: More Kolachine pictures.
Booklet: Information for Personnel en Route for Foreign Service in the Red Cross, Aug 1918.
Booklet: Plan of Insurance for Red Cross Workers Abroad, Aug 1918.
Letter of Appreciation on ARC letterhead from the Commissioner for France about deployment to the Balkans, Feb 4, 1919.
Title: Headquarters American Expeditionary Forces, London From: London To: Paris Signed: Commissioner of the ARC for Great Britain, Oct, 20 1918.
Title: Headquarters America Expeditionary Forces, Paris From: Paris To: Montenegro Signed: U.S. Reserve Corps, Jan 2, 1919.
Title: ARC, Commission to the Balkan States, Order of Mission (on Letterhead) From: Podgoritza, Montenegro To: Paris via Belgrade, Serbia Signed: ARC Personnel Officer, Oct 10, 1919.
Title: Headquarters American Expeditionary Forces. Paris From: Paris To: Italy Signed: U.S. Reserve Corps, Nov 1, 1919.
Title: Headquarters American Expeditionary Forces From: Paris To: Chicago, Illinois via Boulegne, Liverpool, New York City Signed: Commissioner of the ARC for France, Dec 2, 1919.
Scrapbook: Sample Monthly Report on Hospitals, ARC, Balkan Commission.
Scrapbook: General Order #2, To: Members of Personnel of Montenegrin Unit, Balkan Commission, ARC, Subject: Restrictions about written personal correspondence, hospitality, and the wearing of the ARC uniform.
Letter 6: good condition, on ARC letterhead, about the awarding of service certificate, Sept 1, 1919.
Scrapbook page: the Foreign Service Certificate.
Letter 7: good condition, on ARC letterhead, a thank you from Helen Scott Hay, Nov 29, 1919.
Scrapbook pictures: President Wilson's trip to Paris. Lawrence was her younger brother., Dec 14, 1918.
Scrapbook page: returning to the US via Cunard Line.
Cunard Line Program, Oct 6, 1908.
Letter, ARC Letterhead, service in Santo Domingo, Feb 20, 1923.
Christmas Dinner Program, Paris, Base Hospital #41, Dec 25, 1918.
Scrapbook pictures, both sides, Cetinje.
Scrapbook pictures, one side: ARC Headquarters, Paris.
Scrapbook pictures (2), Hoover Food Commission dispensing flour.
Scrapbook Program, Armistice Day, Etoile Service Club, Paris, Nov 11, 1919.
Scrapbook clipping, 3 Chicago girls get war medals.
Paper receipt, ARC, blanket roll, Jan 2, 1918.
Scrapbook, traveling expenses. Also includes deployment permission from Paris to Belgium and back (Wiltzius relatives lived in Luxemburg), Nov 10, 1918.
Scrapbook, entertainment program in Cetinje, Mar 1, 1919.
Scrapbook, pictures Cetinjo and Podgoritza.
Scrapbook, Orient Express from Belgrade to Paris, 1919.
Scrapbook, 3 pages, Cunard Line, returning to New York, 1919.
Scrapbook, telegram from home.
Certificate, needs translating.

Scrapbook page: Unit receiving decoration, July 4, 1919.
Picture of the Medals, 1919.
Picture of the Unit Receiving the Medals, July 4, 1919.
Picture of the Awarding of the Medals, July 4, 1919.
Picture of the ARC personnel at dinner following the awarding of the medals, Official ARC picture of the awardees of the medals, July 4, 1919.
The Medals (2): The enamel from one of the medals has worn off; otherwise the two medals are in good condition.
File 9
ARC Foreign Service Pin.
American National Red Cross Nurse Pin #21062.
3 US uniform pins.
1 large, 1 small button with cross on it.
4 Red Cross caduceus uniform pins.
1 red, 1 blue ribbon.
1 dark two bar ribbon.
1 unknown red, white, blue pin.
1 unknown small pin on red and gold ribbon.
School for Nurses, Mercy Hospital, Chicago, Program, 1915.
Scrapbook Page: Roll of Honor, Alumni of Mercy Hospital.
Two Mercy Hospital School of Nurses Graduation Pins, 1915.
File 11

Biography and Collection Information.
Folder 1
American Red Cross Flag, labeled 5x9 with a small emblem. The material may be muslin and there is an inch mended patch, slightly stained (aged).
File 12
Book: Official: History of American Red Cross, 1922. inscribed Henrietta Wiltzius Located in Reading Room.
Letters and American Red Cross papers, 1918-1930.
File 13
Passport, allowing for travel from Belgrade, Yugoslavia to Yugoslavia, Italy Switzerland, France, Belgium, and England., 1919.
File 14
American Red Cross Bulletin, Insular and Foreign Division, Mar 1919.
File 15
Hospital Progress, July 1920.
File 16
Red Cross Magazine, Oct 1920.
File 17
Certification, Illinois State Board of Nurse Examiners, Registered Nurse, June 30, 1913.
File 18

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