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Louis O. Eddy
McLean County, Illinois

[McLean County, Illinois, in the World War, 1917-1918; by Edward E. Pierson & Jacob Louis Hasbrouck c 1921]
(Transcribed by: Teri Moncelle Colglazier)

A very great measure of credit for his energetic and tireless part in the great war, should be given to Louis O. Eddy of Bloomington who had charge of the pub- licity department of the McLean County Council of Defense.

To him, as chairman, was entrusted the responsibility of securing the co-operation of all the newspapers, both daily and weekly in city and country, in publishing articles in relation to the great drives by the various war relief associations. These drives came in rapid succession and required a constant activity in completing one line of publicity and preparing for another. The newspapers, threw open their columns with a generosity that has never been equalled and thousands of columns of matter in relation to the war drives, were printed.

The cheerful and co-operative attitude displayed by the various publications, proved a source, of satisfaction to the chairman of the publicity department and materially lightened his labors. In addition to the newspapers, it was necessary for Chairman Eddy to secure the consent of all merchants to utilize their display windows for posters and other advertising material. Stands for posting the huge posters, bill boards, etc., also had to be secured and the various sheets, displayed. An enormous quantity of such posters and advertising material was distributed and displayed throughout the county during the war. It is certain that but for this thorough and efficient publicity campaign, the part played by McLean county in the great war, and which will always be a source of pride to every citizen, would not have been so flattering, nor the results so colossal.

When the Council of Defense came into existence, its most patent and pressing obligation, particularly imposed upon it by the creating act, seemed to be the development of a civilian morale which would ensure to the nation the full and willing co-operation of McLean county in all measures required for the successful prosecution of the war, due to the polyglot population and multitude of interests. At the outset, the war spirit was not fully aroused and essential duties and sacrifices not clearly sensed. Disloyalty and sedition was not general, but there was, to phrase it mildly, considerable indifference and hesitancy in the personal attitude toward the war.

It was the duty of the Council to arouse the people, to make known the cause of the war, the inevitability of this country's participation and the necessity for an aggressive, solidified patriotism to win. "Four minute men," "neighborhood committees" and other measures, proved wonderfully successful, in arousing dormant patriotism. The publicity department will always remain a bright page in the history of McLean county's part in the war.


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