American Cancer Society, Virginia Division, Inc.

A Guide to the American Cancer Society, Virginia Division, Inc., Records, 1941-1996.
Call Number Mss3 Am354a FA2

Administrative Information

Collection is open to all researchers.

Preferred Citation

American Cancer Society, Virginia Division, Inc. Records, 1941-1996 (Mss3 Am354a FA2), Virginia Historical Society, Richmond, Va.

Acquisition Information

Gift of the American Cancer Society, South Atlantic Division, Inc., Atlanta, Ga., through the courtesy of Jack Shipkoski, Chief Executive Officer, 22 February 2005. Accessioned 9 January 2007.


Descriptive Summary

Collection Number: Mss3 Am354 a FA2
Collection Name: American Cancer Society, Virginia Division, Inc. Records, 1941-1996.
Size: 5 linear feet (136 folders plus 5 v.)
Language: English
Abstract: Included in this collection are historical and administrative materials of the Virginia Division of the American Cancer Society and its predecessor, the Virginia Cancer Foundation.

Scope and Content Information

The collection includes annual reports and organizational charts; biographical files concerning officers and volunteers; advertising and other materials concerning programs and events, especially educational and fund-raising activities; publications; photography; scrapbooks and other information concerning the Richmond Area Chapter (the first local chapter established in the Commonwealth) and other local units, as well as the Virginia Women’s Field Army of the American Society for the Control of Cancer; and published histories and loose historical materials concerning the American Cancer Society in general and the Virginia Division in particular.

Biographical/Historical Information

The American Society for the Control of Cancer (now the American Cancer Society) was established in 1913 chiefly by and for medical professionals as an educational organization. The Society’s mission was to combat the spread of cancer through the spread of information about its prevention and treatment. To this end, in 1937 the Society established the Women’s Field Army as a means to disseminate its message to the public. The ASCC and WFA worked through the state medical societies to establish organizations at that level.

The Virginia Cancer Foundation was established in 1934 (chartered 1937) as an outgrowth of the Petersburg Tumor Clinic founded in 1924 by Dr. Wright Clarkson. The Foundation’s mission was to raise funds to provide cancer treatment for the medically indigent of Virginia and to encourage research concerning cancer treatment and prevention at state medical schools and hospitals.

The Virginia Cancer Foundation became loosely affiliated with the Virginia Division of the American Society for the Control of Cancer in 1940. It adopted the official name of the Virginia Division, American Cancer Society, Inc., in 1947, and changed to the American Cancer Society, Virginia Division, Inc., in 1953.

Almost since their inception, both the American Society for the Control of Cancer and the Virginia Cancer Foundation have relied heavily on the voluntary services of members of the medical and business communities and of a large number of women from all walks of life. The Women’s Field Army grew out of a joint project between the ASCC and the National Council of Women, which includes the General Federation of Women’s Clubs with which the Virginia Federation is connected. This militant organization was established to wage war against cancer through education.


Arranged into three series: Series 1. Virginia Cancer Foundation; Series 2. American Cancer Society, Virginia Division, Inc.; Series 3. Historical materials. Series 2 is further subdivided into Series 2.1. Organization and administration; Series 2.2. Biographical files; Series 2.3. Programs, projects and events; Series 2.4. Publications; Series 2.5. Photographs; and Series 2.6. Local units. Series 3 is further subdivided into Series 3.1. American Cancer Society; and Series 3.2. American Cancer Society, Virginia Division, Inc. Within series materials are arranged alphabetically or chronologically as appropriate.

Index Terms

American Cancer Society. Virginia Division – History
American Society for the Control of Cancer – History
Cancer – Societies – History, organization, etc.
Cancer – Treatment – History
Virginia Cancer Foundation
Women in charitable work – Virginia – History – 20th century
Women in volunteer social services – Virginia – History – 20th century

Container List

Series 1. Virginia Cancer Foundation records, 1941-1947.

The Virginia Cancer Foundation grew out of the work of Dr. Wright Clarkson of Petersburg, Va., to provide cancer treatment to medically indigent patients. Founded in 1924, his Petersburg Tumor Clinic treated a number of indigent patients, often with the assistance of donated funds from the local community. Beginning in 1934, with the assistance of philanthropist Mrs. William Washington Hines, also of Petersburg, Dr. Clarkson’s work expanded, turning into the first patient service program in the country. Using a state-wide list of names of public-spirited citizens, dedicated volunteers would arrange for funds to cover medical care and transportation of individual patients. The organization received its official state charter in 1937.

Concurrent with the development of the Virginia Cancer Foundation was the establishment of the Virginia Division of the American Society for the Control of Cancer (1927) and its field agency, the Virginia Division of the Women’s Field Army (1935). For several years the two organizations competed for funding until, in 1940 the Virginia Cancer Foundation and the Virginia division of the Women’s Field Army merged, retaining the name Virginia Cancer Foundation. With this merger the Virginia Cancer Foundation became affiliated with the American Cancer Society; by 1947 the Foundation had become the Virginia Division of the Society.

The Women’s Field Army was absorbed by the American Cancer Society in 1951.

Folder 1. Annual Reports, 1941-1947
Folder 2. Messenger, The (newsletter), 1944-1947, of the Women’s Field Army
Folder 3. History of the Virginia Cancer Foundation and the Virginia Division of the Women’s Field Army of the American Society for the Control of Cancer.

Series 2. American Cancer Society, Virginia Division, Inc., records, 1947-1996.

Series 2.1. Organization and Administration

Folder 4. Charters, 1971-1988
Folder 5. Organizational Structure/Officers
Folder 6. Annual Meeting Programs, 1972-1993
Folder 7. Annual Reports, 1947-1953 [report for 1954 is missing]
Folder 8. Annual Reports, 1955-1979
Folder 9. Annual Reports, 1980-1996
Folder 10. Financial statements, 1995-1996

Series 2.2. Biographical files

These files include information on Virginia Division officers, volunteers, and cancer survivors. In addition to basic biographical information, the files often include resumes, photographs, news releases, newspaper articles, and scattered correspondence.

Folder 11. Banks, William L., Jr. Co-director, MCV Cancer Center
Folder 12. Batten, Frank, Cancer survivor
Folder 13. Berry, Robert E., President, Virginia Division, ca. 1980
Folder 14. Brandt, Richard
Folder 15. Bryant, Beverley Alvin
Folder 16. Burke, Lloyd B., Jr., Medical Vice-President, Virginia Division, 1970-1971
Folder 17. Cooper, George, Jr., Director, Virginia Cancer Foundation, 1944
Folder 18. de Paredes, Ellen Shaw
Folder 19. De Vocht, Ludovic J.
Folder 20. Dean, Lou
Folder 21. Elzay, Richard P., President, Virginia Division, 1975-1974
Folder 22. Faulconer, Robert J., President, Virginia Division, 1964-1966
Folder 23a. Frazier, Arthur B.
Folder 23b. Glass, Anne Elizabeth Cleghorn, President, Virginia Division (3 terms); Vice-President, American Cancer Society (2 terms)
Folder 24. Goldstein, Gerald
Folder 25. Hall, R. Garnett, Jr.
Folder 26. Holt, Winston, III
Folder 27. Horsley, J. Shelton, Jr. (1870-1946), First Chairman, Virginia Section of the American Society for the Control of Cancer; President, Virginia Cancer Foundation
Folder 28. Horsley, J. Shelton, III (b. 1927), President, Virginia Division, 1972-1973
Folder 29. Janaske, Virginia Lightner
Folder 30. Kight, John R. (1913-1993), President, Virginia Division, 1959-1961
Folder 31. King, Cecil S., Jr. (b. 1917), Chair, Crusade for Cancer, 1978
Folder 32-33. Lawrence, Walter, Jr. (2 folders), Director, MCV Cancer Center; early recipient of J. Shelton Horsely award
Folder 34. Mars, Audrey Meyer (b. 1910), Elected to American Cancer Society Board of Directors, 1964
Folder 35. McElhinney, Melanie I., Childhood cancer survivor
Folder 36. Morgan, Ernest A. (b. 1913)
Folder 37. Neal, Gail F. (b. 1938)
Folder 38. Northington, O. F., Jr., Mrs., President, Virginia Federation of Women’s Clubs, author of history of Virginia Cancer Foundation
Folder 39. Parker, Mary Emily (d. 1991)
Folder 40. Peebles, Anne Dobie
Folder 41. Perkinson, Patricia Royal
Folder 42. Phillips, Eddy Dalton
Folder 43. Poppell, James B. (b. 1937), Executive Vice-President, Virginia Division, 1962-1963
Folder 44. Quante, M. Virginia, Recipient of Horsley Award, 1992
Folder 45. Rawles, James W., President, Virginia Division, 1962-1963; member American Cancer Society Board of Directors, 1964
Folder 46. Rosenthal, A. June
Folder 47. Shertz, Gerhald Lee
Folder 48. Snow, John W. (B. 1939)
Folder 49. Train, Harry, II
Folder 50. Van der Sommen, Lyn Diane
Folder 51. Waymack, Adice M., Cancer survivor; instrumental in introducing Reach for Recovery program to Virginia
Folder 52. Welborne, Grace M.
Folder 53. Wilhelm, Morton C. (b. 1923), President, Virginia Division, 1976-1977
Folder 54. Woodahl, Bernard W. (1915-1996), Executive Director, Virginia Division, 1954-1980; author of Cancer Control through the Years, 1913-1980

Series 2.3. Programs, Projects and Events.

The purpose of the American Cancer Society is to “eliminate cancer as a major health problem by preventing cancer, saving lives, and diminishing suffering from cancer, through research, education, advocacy, and service” (ACS mission statement). For the most part, programming materials were developed at the national level and disseminated through divisions and local units. The majority of the programs represented here are educational (such as the Reach for Recovery program) or fund-raising (such as the annual Crusade for Cancer). Events and projects specific to Virginia include the Cancermobile (folders 60-61), J. Shelton Horsely Award (folder 70), Miss Hope of Virginia program (folder 77), Reach to Recovery program (folders 85-96), and Tumor Clinics in Virginia (folder 100).

Folder 55. Anniversary Celebration, 50th (April 1987)
Folder 56. Cancer and the Disadvantaged
Folder 57. Cancer Prevention Study I (1959-1965) & II (1971)
Folder 58. Cancer Research Grant Awards
Folder 59. Cancer Response System
Folder 60-61. Cancermobile (1952-1957) (2 folders)
Folder 62. Care-A-Van Screening Project
Folder 63. Childhood Cancer Advisory Committee (1976)
Folder 64. Clean Indoor Air Act- Public Issues
Folder 65. Crusade Leadership Conference (1962-1963)
Folder 66. Crusade Projects
Folder 67. Crusade Volunteers
Folder 68. Dalton Oncology Clinic Dedication, Massey Cancer Center, MCV (1989)
Folder 69. Great American Smoke Out
Folder 70. Horsley (J. Shelton) Award
Folder 71. Important Occasions Gift Program
Folder 72. Jewels of the World (Fund raising event)
Folder 73. Luray Caverns, Wishing Well, 1958
Folder 74. Mammography Screening Program
Folder 75. Maxitron Dedication, MCV (1959)
Folder 76. Memorial Program
Folder 77. Miss Hope of Virginia Program
Folder 78. National Cancer Act 20th Anniversary (1991)
Folder 79. Naval Nutritional Study (1987)
Folder 80. Nursing Home Workshop, Roanoke, Va. (1967) (Photographs)
Folder 81. Oral Cancer Screening Program
Folder 82. Professors of Clinical Oncology
Folder 83. Public Education Programs
Folder 84. Public Education Workskops (Photographs)
Reach to Recovery: Breast Cancer Rehabilitation Program
  Folder 85. Organization, Training & Procedures manual
  Folder 86. Handbook for Volunteers
  Folder 87. Program materials
  Folder 88. Published articles
  Folder 89. Photographs
  Folder 90. Scrapbook, 1976-1985 (p.1-46)
  Folder 91. Scrapbook, 1976-1985 (p.47-75)
  Folder 92. Scrapbook, 1981-1984 (see oversized materials)
  Folder 93. Scrapbook, 1985-1988 (p.1-46)
  Folder 94. Scrapbook, 1985-1988 (p.47-94)
  Folder 95. Scrapbook, 1989-1995 (p.1-60)
  Folder 96. Scrapbook, 1989-1995 (p.61-110)
Folder 97. Service and Rehabilitation Programs
Folder 98. Smoke-free Class of 2000 Program
Folder 99. Smoking Restrictions in Va. Survey (April 1988)
Folder 100. Tumor Clinics in Virginia
Folder 101. Uterine Cancer Projects
Folder 102. Virginia Colorectal Cancer Control Project
Folder 103. Virginia Volunteer Center Dedication (1985)

Series 2.4. Publications.

These are chiefly the product of the national American Cancer Society, with some strictly Virginia materials mixed in. The Virginia Medical file (folder 119) contains single issues of the journal published by the Medical Society of Virginia that pertain to cancer-related topics.

Folder 104. Brochures
Folder 105. Cancer Control Through the Years, 1913-1980
Folder 106-107. Cancer Courier (newsletter, 1958-1969) (2 folders)
Folder 108-112. Crusade Campaign Analysis, 1953-1978; 1980-1996 (5 folders)
Folder 113 Crusader (newsletter), 1981-1984 (See oversized materials)
Folder 114. Research (newsletter), 1988-1991
Folder 115. Research Grants to Virginia Institutions, 1960-1995
Folder 116. Virginia CORrespondent (newsletter), April/Dec 1995
Folder 117-118. Virginia Crusader (newsletter), 1969-1980 (2 folders; see also oversized materials)
Folder 119. Virginia Medical, 1872, 1985 and 1987 issues
Folder 120. Virginia Volunteer (newsletter), 1985-1993

Series 2.5. Publicity Photographs

The photographs, most identified by individuals, location, event and date, document volunteer appreciation events, volunteer training conference, and other volunteer-oriented programs.

Folder 121. Photographs, 1930s & 1940s
Folder 122. Photographs, 1950s
Folder 123. Photographs, 1960s
Folder 124. Photographs, 1970s
Folder 125. Photographs, 1980s
Folder 126. Photographs, Virginia Governors and ACS Volunteers
Folder 127. Photographs, Miscellaneous

Series 2.6. Local Units.

These materials document the work of local chapters reporting to the Virginia Division. The Richmond Area Chapter, the first local chapter formed, is prominently featured.

Folder 128. Local Virginia Chapters
Folder 129. Richmond Area Chapter
Folder 130. Scrapbooks, 1956-1957 (3 v.; see oversized materials)

Series 3. Histories and Miscellaneous materials

Series 3.1. American Cancer Society

Folder 131. History of the American Society for the Control of Cancer, 1913-1943 (See oversized materials)
Folder 132. Shaughnessy, Donald F. History of the American Cancer Society (Ph.D. thesis, Columbia University, 1957)
Folder 133. Miscellaneous ACS materials

Series 3.2. American Cancer Society, Virginia Division

This series consists primarily of the manuscript of “Events in Review, 1937-1962,” by Mrs. O.F. Northington, Jr., the first attempt at writing a history of the development of the Virginia Division.

Folder 134. Events in Review, 1937-1962 (published version)
Folder 135. Events in Review, 1937-1962 (manuscript)
Folder 136. Miscellaneous Virginia Division materials

Processed by Dawn K. Tinnell, February 2006
Guide drafted by L. Eileen Parris, January 2007
© 2007 By the Virginia Historical Society. All rights reserved.