The MAYOR'S ADVISORY WAR COMMITTEE (1917-19) was formed on 7 Apr. 1917, soon after the declaration of war by Congress. This cooperative effort—designed to increase efficiency of money, time, and effort—gained national recognition. Mayor HARRY L. DAVIS appointed the committee of 50 religious, civic, and business leaders to plan ways in which Cleveland could assist the war effort (WORLD WAR I). Officers included MYRON T. HERRICK, chair; HARRY L. VAIL, executive secretary; FREDERICK H. GOFF, treasurer; and Warren S. Hayden, secretary. In addition, the mayor appointed an executive committee, including the mayor's committee's officers and men such as CHARLES A. OTIS and ANDREW SQUIRE.

A meeting of the Mayor
Members of the Mayor's Advisory War Committee meet at a large table in City Hall, ca. 1917. WRHS.

The mayor's committee and a network of subcommittees coordinated, financed, and supervised almost all of the city's war-relief work, including fundraising projects of public and private institutions. It directed distribution of food and clothing; sponsored Americanization classes for immigrants; organized a speakers' bureau; supervised draft boards; and subsequently supervised rent control. During the early months of 1919, the Mayor's Advisory War Committee held homecoming celebrations, opened neighborhood centers for returning soldiers, lobbied for veterans' compensation pay, and funded a city employment service. Efforts focused on soldiers reentering civilian life. During the summer of 1919, the committee slowly disbanded the subcommittees, and in Dec. 1919 it ceased to exist.

Mayor's Advisory War Committee Records, WRHS.

Article Categories