Friday, June 3, 2016

First Person to Serve Donuts in WWI was Helen Purviance from Huntington, IN

As today is National Donut Day, I thought I would post a bit of probably unknown trivia about Donuts.

Helen Purviance of Huntington, Indiana (a small town where I went to high school) was the first person to serve donuts in France during WW1 while fighting the war in France and she helped to make the donut, originally a Dutch treat,  famous to American Servicemen and the reason for National Donut Day per an article at Salvation Army San Francisco site

From an article in the Indy Star:

"Behind a World War I Salvation Army hut in France, within earshot of battlefield machine guns, Huntington native Helen Purviance decided to comfort American troops with fresh doughnuts.
The Salvation Army ensign and her female comrades prepared dough from ingredients they found in the ammunition train's commissary. Villagers living nearby provided eggs.
Purviance knelt by a squat, wood-fired, potbelly stove, its burner just 18 inches across. In a small skillet, she fried hand-shaped pieces of dough, seven doughnuts at a time, while feeding the fire. She insisted the team work hidden behind a blanket. Purviance wanted to surprise the soldiers with 150 doughnuts.
"And you should have seen their faces," she recalled.

As everyone in Huntington County seems to be related (not kidding) explains my love of all things donut and will have  to figure out which cousin and how far removed.

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