Montgomery County Elk City, Kansas

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          A group of former Home Demonstration Unit Ladies met during the late winter months of 1942 to discuss changing their current club from the County unit under the direction of the County Extension Agent to a Community Civic Club. This change was prompted by the shortages of gasoline and tires due to WWII. The formal organizational meeting was held in the home of Nelle Moore on January 1, 1943. The name Coterie was selected as befitting the purpose for which they organized.

Officers elected were as follows:
President - Vada Wright
Vice President - Helen Marr
Secretary/Treasurer - Catherine Warner
Reporter - Myrtle Cox

At that time a library board was appointed to be in charge of a varied collection of books which had been stored in a room over the Marr Drug Store, it being composed of Helen Marr, Sophia Reynolds, and Maude Clingan.

Charter members, other than those above mentioned were Emma Batman, Bernice Lessman, Clarece Morse and Treva Vaughn making a total of eleven.

The first regular meeting was in the home of Myrtle Cox, January 21, 1943. At that time the following members were voted into the club and became members by their acceptance; Anella Bird, Stella Bryant, Clara McCord, Zoe Hare, Leola Davidson, Virginia Newkirk, Louise Pendarvis, Hazel Wilson, Hattie Davidson, and Gladys Lewis.

One can tell by roll calls that we were war conscious. Some of them were meat saving ideas, feed sack ideas, study of vitamins, refinishing furniture. A lesson presented by Treva; sewing machine lessons - Helen Marr taking a machine apart and with the help of Treva and Bernice cleaning each part and putting it together again.

Several civic projects were attributable to the Coterie such as serving Athletic banquets, fixing the memorial plot at the cemetery, buying dishes to be used by the community in the serving of a big crowd. In the early times of our serving dinners we would take our wash tubs to the churches to collect their dishes, silverware, and necissaries to take to the high school, unload them and keep them separated. Dick Lessman built a cabinet to house the new dishes. Later they were moved to the Community Building where they are today.

For years we made cancer pads to be kept in the County stock pile. In our younger days we have canvassed the town for different projects including cancer fund drive. We would send gift boxes overseas at times, also to patients in hospitals here in the States.

History written by Myrtle Cox

Personal Note from Sharron Vance; After 56 years Myrtle Cox had the meeting in January and is the reporter again. She has held all the offices at one time or aother and has served on every committee faithfully. History repeats itself.


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May 15, 1999 / Sandy Faler, Elk City, Kansas /

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