Catherine Sargent Huntington
(1887 - 1987)
In 1919, when Catherine was thirty two years old she moved to France to work for Croix Rouge Francaise (Red Cross) in the Union de Femmes de France a division of the YMCA. Below is her journal from her time in France and some of the contents.
Below is a letter from a friend of Catherine's in Paris, Jean Michel. He writes an apology of not being home when she called on him a few days earlier. Between their last correspondence Catherine was transferred from Paris to Cannes, France.
While serving in the Union de Femmes de France, she was considered a military personnel. Her certification card indicates she was a member of the "Amer. E.F. Y.M.C.A". This may have been the American Expeditionary Forces, a division of the US military serving in France during World War I. The YMCA organized the majority of the welfare programs for rehabilitating this soldiers. It is possible that Catherine was part of this organization. She was not trained as a nurse, but may have been doing office work, or teaching as many of the YMCA programs were lecture series for the soldiers waiting to be brought back home.
Catherine, never married, was another lifelong traveler. Below are three of her passports from her adult years. Each reveal something unique about women traveling alone in the 20th century.