The Shelbyville News
So synonymous has the name "Eva Randolph" become with local Red
Cross work, I was a little surprised when reminded that Mrs. Randolph had
been affiliated with the Shelby county chapter as executive secretary for only
Saturday April 3, 1948
By Ave Lewis
And in writing of her itís a little hard to "separate" her from
her jobóand harder still to get her to talk of herself instead of her job.
Office work and meeting the public was nothing new to Mrs. Randolph since she
had been employed with the Davis Birely Table Company for 22 years before
the plant closed in 1939. "But," she says, "that work was
nothing like this of course." She doubts if she would have taken the
Red Cross job back in 1941 had she known all it would entail. But now so
thoroughly steeped in it she wonders what she would "do with herself"
if she were to quit.
Eva, who was one of a family of eight children, is a Kentuckian by birth, but
her parents, the late Mr. and Mrs. R. L. Jones, came to Shelbyville when
she was small. She attended the local schools and after beginning to work,
took extensive travel vacations each year. The trips took her through most
sections of the United States and to Mexico and Canada. But she and her
husband, Dr. B. F. Randolph, have had only one trip together
since their marriage in 1935. "Those still were depression times you
know, and not much traveling was being done," she says. And since she
has been working again coinciding their vacation schedules has been a major
factor in keeping them from "going places."
Mrs. Randolph has served as Red Cross executive secretary since February 5,
1941, and she opened the present office in the city hall on a full-time basis in
December 3 of that year. She was appointed by the county board following the
resignation of Mrs. Don Monfort, who had conducted the work in the school
administration building. The job was without remuneration until the latter part
of 1941. Then Eva was granted a salary of $15 per month. "I really wasnít
as well off financially as the service men," she laughs, "they were given
their clothing!" Since that time however, her salary has been increased.
Although the Pearl Harbor attack and war still were some 11 months away when
she took the job, the overseas turmoil already was creating increased activity
for Red Cross headquarters throughout the nation. And with this countryís
entrance into hostilities, the local office was plunged deep into work and Mrs.
Randolph and members of the board soon realized that Red Cross personnel is
subject to 24-hour duty during a state of emergency.
Evaís first major project was launching a $10,000 War Fund drive one week
after the Japanese attack. And soon afterward came the volume of case work
involving innumerable services to families of servicemen, and servicemen
themselves. As the poignant records of casualties began to grow, Mrs. Randolph
remembers that Mrs. Matilda Pool, whose son Elmer Leo Pool, was
killed at Pearl Harbor, was the first mother she aided with necessary official
details when the sonís body was brought back to the United States.
The voluminous records kept by Mrs. Randolph and her assistant Miss
Mary Alice Cord, reveal an enormous amount of work, travel; detail and
investigation. The office attempted to keep a record of each service man from
the county and the secretary says a little grimly, "If I hadnít always
had such splendid co-operation and help from all members of the board, the work would have been almost impossible."
Much of her work is of a strict confidential nature and fingering a huge
book, Eva muses that one of her biggest jobs now is keeping abreast of national
Red Cross laws. As an example of the varying types of cases with which she
copes, she now is confronted with establishing the death in 1904 of the wife of
a war veteran. Official establishment of her death is necessary in order that an
elderly and destitute member of the veteranís family may be entitled to
pension benefits. Thus far this has necessitated investigation with authorities
in Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky. To a layman it would seem an insurmountable
task, but not to Mrs. Randolph. Nothing pleases her quite so much as to have
gathered in all loose ends of a case so that it may be closed as a job well
Following the hectic war time program and the subsequent activities, Mrs.
Randolph feels that she just now is getting back to being a "sociable
member of society." And sheís taken up her hobby of collecting vases and
figurines (not necessarily antiques but preferably those with histories), and
she and Dr. Randolph are getting back to the card games which they both enjoy at
their two clubs.
Mrs. Randolph was quite a "joiner" at one time and her name still
is on the membership roll of the Y.W.C.A. Business Womenís Club, the O.E.S.,
the Legion auxiliary (of which she is a charter member and past president) and
Business and Professional Womenís Club. This in addition to membership in the
First Methodist church. She doesnít have time for active memberships and says
about the only time she realizes she belongs is when she is presented with a
bill for dues. But she does appreciate the acquaintances and friendships she has
in the various groups. And thatís one of the main things she liked about her
job. Meeting people and forming new friendships.
Contributed by Barb Huff