NOTE: The numbers cited in parentheses, e.g. 1:5, refer the researcher to the Series#:Folder# in which that name/topic will be found.
This collection consists of correspondence and printed materials relating to the Greensboro branch of the Women’s Auxiliary to the Railway Mail Association (WARMA), as well as the Railway Mail Association (RMA) and the United States Post Office as a whole. Included are multiple news bulletins published by the Railway Mail Association, along with letters to and from officers and members of the Greensboro branch of the WARMA about organizational matters. Researchers interested in local women’s organizations, the Greensboro branch of the WARMA, or the Railway Mail Association may find this collection useful.
Arrangement: This collection is organized in two series and arranged within series by subject and/or document type. The series are: Correspondence, 1944-1966, n.d.; and Printed Material, 1933-1965, n.d.
Provenance: This collection was donated by Bob Robinson in September 2003 and assigned the accession number 2003.97.1. Bob Robinson’s mother, Mabel Rhymer Robinson, was a president of the Greensboro branch of the WARMA, and his father, Orville Melville Robinson, was the local secretary of the National Postal Transport Association (formerly the Railway Mail Association).
Processing: This collection was organized and the finding aid was prepared by volunteer Leah Nykamp in July 2022.
The National Women’s Auxiliary to the Railway Mail Association was first organized in Indianapolis in 1899 and sponsored by members of the Railway Mail Association. It was originally named the Women’s Auxiliary to the National Association of Railway Postal Clerks and became known as the Women’s Auxiliary to the Railway Mail Association by 1904. In January 1908, it was admitted to affiliated membership in the General Federation of Women’s Clubs. The Greensboro branch was chartered on March 31, 1933, for “promoting social enjoyment and literary advancement of the families of Railway Postal Clerks, and to assist Railway Postal Clerks in any way practicable.” The organization was open to the immediate family members of white railway mail employees, and it had approximately thirty active members in the 1940s and early 1950s.
Historical Sources: The sources for this historical note include materials in the collection, particularly the original charter and directories, and the catalog record for the Women’s auxiliary records, 1898-1964 in the Minnesota Historical Society Archives.
SCOPE & CONTENT NOTE
The type of materials in this collection include correspondence, news bulletins, newspaper clippings, directories, and several versions of the Greensboro branch’s constitution. Of note are many news bulletins published by the national Railway Mail Association and a couple informational booklets written by its members. The correspondence involves the president and secretary of the Greensboro branch of the WARMA, as well as the local secretary of the National Postal Transport Association (formerly the Railway Mail Association). Researchers interested in women’s organizations, the Greensboro branch of the WARMA, or the Railway Mail Association as a whole may find this collection useful. Since some of the correspondence and about half the news bulletins date from 1944-1945, the collection also sheds light on the home front during World War II.
1. Correspondence. 6 folders (ca. 40 items). 1944-1966, n.d.
Most of this correspondence was written by or to officers of the Greensboro branch of the WARMA. Multiple letters from Birdie Rowland Garren, a president of the branch, thank various people for helping with a benefit party (1:2). Garren also wrote a letter suggesting that the chapter hold joint meetings with the Greensboro branch of the Railway Mail Association (1:2). One letter from Emm Lee Morrow, a secretary, invites another woman to attend a luncheon meeting and join the branch, while other letters and postcards relating to her address club extension work (1:4). Also included in this series are unused letterhead envelopes (1:1), empty envelopes addressed to Kathryn Caldwell Routh, a letter thanking her for a report, and information about an upcoming convention (1:6). Other correspondence includes a brief expenses report for 1941-1945, information about a membership drive, and a retirement letter from a treasurer attached to reports from Alice Cress about branch activities during her tenure as president in 1952-1954 (1:3). Items that reference postal worker Orville Melville Robinson include a bill from Moore Music Company, an application for membership in the Postal Retreat, Inc., and a life insurance policy (1:5). A roster of supervisory positions in the Greensboro branch of the U.S. Post Office is also contained in the series (1966; 1:3).
2. Printed Material. 8 folders (ca. 70 items). 1933-1965, n.d.
The printed materials relate to both the local and national Women’s Auxiliary to the Railway Mail Association, as well as the national Railway Mail Association. Of particular note are the original charter for the Greensboro branch of the WARMA (2:1) and a couple versions of its constitution (2:2). Directories for the National Women’s Auxiliary to the Railway Mail Association provide details about its officers, committees, and branches along with its constitution and by-laws, while a few typed pages list the members of the local branch (2:3). Many news bulletins provide information about events impacting the Railway Mail Association, the U.S. Post Office, and workforces in general (2:5-6). A few newspaper clippings refer to the Greensboro branch of the WARMA in particular (2:7). The U.S. Post Office is also the focus of a document about changes in the scheme examination policy (2:8). The history of the Railway Mail Association is described in a booklet, and a second booklet provides information about the Civil Service Retirement Act and U.S. Employees Compensation Act (2:4).
|1||1||Correspondence||-- Blank Stationery (n.d.)|
|2||-- Garren, Birdie Rowland (1946-1947)|
|3||-- Miscellaneous (1945-1966)|
|4||Correspondence||-- Morrow, Emm Lee (1945-1947)|
|5||-- Robinson, Orville Melville (1958-1964)|
|6||-- Routh, Kathryn Caldwell (1944-1946)|
|2||1||Printed Material||-- Charter (1933)|
|2||-- Constitutions (1944-1945)|
|3||-- Directories (1939-1953)|
|4||-- Informational Booklets (1947)|
|5||Printed Material||-- News Bulletins (1944-1946)|
|6||-- News Bulletins (1954-1955)|
|7||-- Newspaper Clippings (1956-1957)|
|8||-- U.S. Post Office Scheme Examination Policy (1965)|