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This sewing kit belonged to Albert Setzer, a member of the Amana Colonies in Iowa County. Setzer was one of about 30 Amana Society members who served in the United States Military during World War I. Due to their pacifist beliefs, Setzer and the other Amana Society members served in non-combat roles during the war. Content can be used with the following standards: SS-Gov. 9-12.28 Iowa Issues and Policy and SS-US 9-12.23 Iowans Influence US History in a lesson on religious communities in Iowa and their interactions with state and national government. For any use other than instructional resources, please check with the organization that owns this item regarding copyright restrictions.
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Object is related to the following library resources, which can be found by searching the catalog number in the advanced search section: Catalog #: 2018.045.072- The Story of Iowa: A Children's History 2018.045.075- One Hundred Topics in Iowa History 2018.045.083- A History of the People of Iowa 2018.045.096- History of Iowa County, Iowa and Its People 2018.045.191- Iowa: The Home for Immigrants
The members of Amana believed strongly in pacifist views, where they stayed out of European affairs before immigrating to the United States and continued after settling in New York and Iowa. Amana was excused from fighting during the Spanish American and Civil War by paying commutation fees to support Iowan soldiers in their place. The pacifist belief was met with disagreement by Iowa County residents as Amana men were sent home from Marengo in July of 1917 after being orginally chosen for the draft in WWI. In January of 1918, the classification status of Amana residents was changed from 1 to 4, mean that they were deferred from fighting. Their place would be taken by other Iowa County men. Believing this was an act of disloyalty, angry Marengo residents marched to South Amana in protest, however the mob was stopped one mile outside of South Amana. After WWI, the exemption of Amana residents from being drafted was rescinded. Despite their pacifist beliefs, the colonies supported the troops by donating to the Red Cross, using Liberty Bonds and War Savings Stamps. The Amana Woolen Mill also produced 35,000 blankets for troops. In total, Amana gave approximately $2,000 per resident to the war effort.