Mary Johnson Bland (1892-1977) Papers (KC0139)
Mary Johnson Bland, the daughter of William T. and Agnes Harris Johnson, was born in Kansas City, Missouri. She had a brother, Robert, and a sister, Margaret. In September of 1917, just prior to World War I, Miss Johnson married William J. Bland. Major Bland was reported missing in action in France in 1918, and after the war, Mrs. Bland searched for and eventually located her husband's body. She also assisted other persons not able to travel to Europe in locating relatives missing during the war. Mary Johnson Bland never remarried. Mrs. Bland was an avid supporter of the Red Cross. In Kansas City, she taught safety courses and oversaw the preparations of surgical dressings during World War II. Also during the war, she traveled to Europe at her own expense in order to direct the operations of American Red Cross Service Clubs in England and France.
Expressing a lifelong interest in historical and genealogical matters, Mrs. Bland was very active in several ancestral-related organizations. The papers consist of a photocopy of a volume compiled by Mrs. Helen Faye Smither in 1983 entitled, Bits and Pieces from the Mary Johnson Bland Files on The Cox, Harris and Johnson Families of St. Clair County, Missouri, 1700-1925. The volume has a general index and an additional index to blacks mentioned in the materials. Other genealogical materials and family photographs are also included. Mrs. Bland also researched her husband's family, which resulted in the volume entitled, On the Bland Side, 1700-1950, which contains compiled letters, memorabilia and notes. The papers also include a photocopied transcript of the journal Mrs. Bland kept while in England and France with the Red Cross in 1944 and other materials concerning her work with the Red Cross. Much of the collection consists of publications, printed materials, and notes concerning Missouri and Civil War history. The business records of the Morley and Bland firm's final years may also be found in the papers. 1700-1950.
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updated: Monday, February 07, 2011
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