Cornelia Young of Hillsboro purchased these candlesticks from peasants in Sorochinskoye, Russia, after World War I. They were cherished possessions, yet the peasants were desperate to raise money in order to buy warm clothing and food.
Young worked as a maid in Decatur before volunteering to go to France with the Red Cross during World War I. After the war, she returned to the United States briefly and then went to Russia to help those suffering in the wake of the war. She traveled as a volunteer with the American Friends Service Relief Committee, a Quaker organization dedicated to providing pacifists and conscientious objectors opportunities to serve during the Great War and its aftermath.