Women's Clubs.In Kansas Women's clubs have an aggregate membership of about 10,000 women, half of whom are affiliated through their city, county or district federations, or through their individual clubs, with the Kansas Federation of Women's clubs. The movement began with the organization of the Social Science club of Kansas and Western Missouri at a convention held in Leavenworth in 1881. The object was to raise the standard of women's education and attainments, enlarge her opportunities and promote the intellectual growth of the members. The meetings were held semi-annually. There were seven departments, philanthropy and reform, education, sanitary science, natural science, domestic economy, history and civil government, including literature and art and archaeology. There were 100 members representing the following towns: Leavenworth, Lawrence, Atchison, Paola, Topeka, Wyandotte, Manhattan, Ottawa, Olathe, Emporia, Osawatomie, Parsons, Kansas City, Mo., and St. Joseph, Mo., and individual members from ten other towns.
Mary Tenney Gray was the first president, Mrs. C. H. Cushing was elected to the office in 1883, and the other presidents who held office while Kansas and western Missouri belonged to the same organization were: Mrs. E. H. Allen, of Kansas City, Mo.; Miss Sarah Brown, of Lawrence, and Mrs. Noble Prentis, of Topeka. During the '80s individual clubs were formed all over Kansas for study, philanthropy, reform, civic improvement and similar objects. In 1890 the general federation invited the Social Science club to become affiliated with the general club work and this was done. In 1893, at its convention at Newton, this club expanded into the Social Science Federation and opened its doors to clubs as well as to individual members. Nine clubs affiliated at once, viz: Quenemo, Emporia, Kansas City, Mo., Burlington, Fort Scott, Ottawa, Kingman, Kansas City, Kan., and Olathe. Yearly study courses were offered by the federation, but their use was optional. The bureau of reciprocity was established, whereby the best papers in each club were sent in to the bureau, the best one in each department being selected for the next year's program at the federation annual meeting, the remainder becoming the property of the bureau to be loaned to other clubs wishing information on the subjects treated in the papers. In 1895 Kansas separated from western Missouri and Mrs. L. B. Kellogg was the first president of the state organization. The other presidents of the Kansas Social Science Federation were in their order, Mrs. Laura E. Scammon. Mrs. Willis Lord Moore, Mrs. J. C. McClintock, Mrs. S. K. Peters, Mrs. James Humphrey, Mrs. W. A. Johnston and Mrs. J. M. Lewis, of Kingsley, during whose administration the name was changed to the Kansas Federation of Women's Clubs.
The decade from 1895 to 1905 was a period of rapid growth in federation matters. Clubs were formed all over the state, and in the larger towns and cities the number of individual clubs being anywhere from 6 to 30, they began to form into city federations, and the clubs in the small towns into district federations. The state federation had a vice-president for each Congressional district, who looked after the club interests in the districts until they were organized. The Kansas City, Kan., federation was one of the first city organizations. It is called the council of clubs and in 1896 it secured an ordinance to turn all the dog taxes and pound fees for stray animals over to a public library fund. Other clubs followed the example and a number of new libraries were founded in the state by this and other methods. The federation established the traveling library, which today is an important institution in the state, and also the traveling art gallery. In 1896 there were 30 clubs in the state federation, in 1897 there were 62, the next year, 81, with a membership of 3,000 women representing 52 cities, in 1899 there were 103 clubs representing 60 cities and a membership of 3,600, and in 1900 the membership of the federated clubs had reached 4,500.
The First district federation was organized in 1901, the Second in 1902, the Third in 1898, the Fourth in 1902, the Fifth in 1900, the Sixth in 1902, the Seventh in 1896, the Eighth in 1907, and the Osage county federation in 1899.
In 1902 a conference committee of state charities and corrections was added to the standing committees of the federation. The membership that year was 6,000. A legislative department was established in 1903. The next year saw the high tide of the interest in federation matters. A membership of 7,500 had been attained and the number of affiliated clubs was 326. The name was changed to the Kansas State Federation of Women's Clubs. The department of education secured scholarships in all the leading colleges of the state and started a loan fund to assist young women to gain a higher education. Mrs. May Belleville Brown, of Salina, was the first president to be elected under the new name; Mrs. Eustice Brown, of Olathe, was elected in 1907; Mrs. C. C. Goddard, of Leavenworth, in 1909, and Mrs. A. D. Atkinson, of Parsons, in 1911. An industrial and child labor, and a civil service reform department were added in 1907. The federation maintains a tent at each Chautauqua in the state and provides daily programs. There are standing committees for each of the following departments: Art, music, literature, education, library extension, forestry, waterways, civil service reform, industrial, child labor, legislative, household economics, civics and health.Pages 931-932 from volume II of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed July 2002 by Carolyn Ward.
TITLE PAGE / LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I
TITLE PAGE / LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
J | K | L | Mc | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z
Background and KSGenWeb logo were designed and are copyrighted by
Tom & Carolyn Ward
for the limited use of the KSGenWeb Project.
Permission is granted for use only on an official KSGenWeb page.
Home Page for Kansas
Search all of Blue Skyways
The KSGenWeb Project