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"History of Eau Claire County Wisconsin, 1914, Past and Present"


Chapter  31 - Societies and Clubs

Eau Claire Woman's Club

by Miss A. E. Kidder

(-as transcribed from pages 448 - 449)


This club was organized October 31, 1895, with the object, as stated in the articles of incorporation, "Of creating an organized center of thought and action among women and for the promotion of social, educational, literary and artistic growth, and whatever relates to the best interests of the city."  The charter members were Fannie M. D. Galloway, Elizabeth N. Day, Bessie W. Doolittle, Ida May Hill Starr, Fannie E. Buffington, Annette J. Shaw, Belle F. Cutler, Cordelia M. Allen, Augusta E. Kidder, Sara W. Holm and Mary O. M. Walmsley.  The membership the first year was fifty-four, and it has increased steadily until it numbers now in 1914 over 240.  The club was federated with the state organization in 1896 and with general organization in the same year.  There are five departments for work in special lines, viz.:  Art, literature, modern drama, public welfare and travel, each department conducted by a leader chosen annually by ballot.  In addition to its efforts from intellectual esthetic and moral development the club has proved its interest in civic improvement on many practical lines.

"The Associated Charities," organized by the club in 1896, is given financial aid each year, and its anti-tuberculosis committee, composed of men and women, has been aided by members in the club so signally as to merit special mention.  In order to secure the Eau Claire County Sanitarium for the treatment of advanced cases of tuberculosis the committee pledged itself to purchase a site.  Over twelve hundred dollars were raised by subscription, and the admirable nine-acre site at Shawtown, Mt. Washington, was bought and deeded to the county.  The committee also raised fifteen hundred dollars for furnishings and equipment.  For five yeas the club has responded to the request of the Wisconsin Anti-Tuberculosis Association, and has each year conducted a sale of the Red Cross stamp for the support of the state and city work.

A juvenile court committee is appointed by the club to assist in the work through volunteer probation service and through plans for the convention of delinquency among children.  This committee comprises also prominent men of the community who are willing to give time  and thought to the cause.

The traveling libraries owned by the club for a number of years were given in 1908 to the county of Eau Claire to form the nucleus of the county traveling library system.  A case of books is still kept at the rest rooms, and these books are loaned to visitors to the rooms.  In July, 1899, public rest rooms were established in the city under the auspices of the Woman's Club.  These rooms not only afford a pleasant place where people from out of town may rest, eat luncheon and exchange ideas, but they also tend to establish a closer relationship between the dwellers in the country and those in the city.  In addition to the circulating library in the rooms, quantities of magazines and other reading matter contributed by the women of the city are sent into the country.  The use of the rooms is free, the expense being met by the business men of the city, together with an annual appropriation from the club and occasional contributions from the country districts.  The matron's register shows the average number of daily visitors to exceed forty.  Besides these matters of vital importance to the welfare of our city, others not less urgent are receiving earnest consideration and practical aid.  The club contributes yearly a liberal sum to the salary of the visiting housekeeper, lectures, social center work in the schools and other kindred subjects, and is cordially recognized by the Civic and Commerce Association of Eau Claire as a valuable aid in its campaign for righteous living and loyalty to the best in all things, with a full recognition of human interests everywhere and a prime motive expressed in the club motto, " Come let us help one another."

The following is the list of presidents of the club since its organization:  Mrs. W. K. Galloway, Mrs. Elizabeth N. Day, Mrs. M. D. Frawley, Mrs. L. A. Doolittle, Mrs. E. S. Clark, Mrs. Mary D. FitzGerald, Mrs. D. R. Davis, Mrs. H. E. Lamb, Mrs. A. H. Shoemaker, Mrs. W. K. Coffin and Mrs. David Drummond.

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