Womens Clubs in Lyon County, Kansas
From: History of Emporia and Lyon County Kansas
By: Laura M. French
Emporia Gazette Print
Emporia, Kansas 1929


The Women's City Club of Emporia, with a membership of 1250 women listed in its Year Book for 1929-1930, has demonstrated more conclusively than any other one group or organization of this town, that so large an assemblage can work together harmoniously and effectively, without duplication, without dissension, as a collective body or in small gatherings, when actuated by the spirit of unselfish cooperation which makes possible the activities and the continued growth of this club.

According to the announcements of the Year Book, general meetings are held, as usual, the fourth Tuesday afternoon of each month, and departmental meetings on Mondays, all at the Broadview Hotel, from September until May. Entertaining programs and exhibits are offered by the departments of Art, American Home, and Citizenship. A regular line of study is carried on by the Bible department, which meets the second and fourth Friday afternoons of each month.

A new feature of the club this year is Extension Class Day. It provides a study section for the entire club and is open to all members. Beginning at 10 o'clock in the morning, there are almost continuous one hour classes, and the member may take her choice or attend as many as she wishes. Music Appreciation, Legislation and International Relations, Child Health and Welfare, Sociology and Applied Psychology, Book Reviews and Literature, Current Topics Forum, Drama, and Travel and History, are featured.

The City Club sponsored, during 1928-1929, its art collection, community programs, maternity loan fund, high school loan fund, milk project, garment making for needy children, purchase of playground equipment, Christmas seal sale, better homes exposition, distribution of magazines, dental clinic, legislative activities, Americanization work, the city beautiful, and many social activities. More than one hundred meetings were held by its various departments in 1928-1929. Five hundred dollars' worth of milk was provided for under nourished school children the second term of the city schools, February to June, 1929.

The City Club was organized in 1918. Mrs. J. H. Wiggam was its first president. Following her were Mrs. H. G. Lull, Miss Laura French, Mrs. W. A. White, Mrs. R. L. Hershberger, Mrs. J. W. Mayberry, Mrs. E. A. Mitchell and Mrs. Harrison Parkman.

The Federation Magazine, authorized organ of the Kansas State Federation of Women's Clubs, is edited, printed and published in Emporia. It reaches every one of the 13,000 to 14,000 federated club women of Kansas, keeping them informed of club work over the entire state. Seven of the study clubs of Emporia are federated and one of the clubs of the Rural Association - Rinker Community Club - is a member of the State and District Federations.


Eighteen individual clubs make up the Lyon County Association of Rural Clubs, with a membership of four hundred thirty. Many of these individual clubs hold a part, or all, if they wish, of their meetings in the Welfare Association Club rooms, and all of the meetings of the directors of the rural clubs are held there. These women have purchased a piano for this room, and extra chairs for seating it. Besides these clubs of the Rural Association are as many others, or more, in Lyon County which are not affiliated with the association, chiefly because of the distance from the place of meeting. A committee from the Rural Association the autumn of 1929 made a survey of these unaffiliated clubs, with a view to securing their membership and arranging for meetings in different parts of the county, which might make for the convenience of clubs at a considerable distance from Emporia.

Officers of the Rural Association, elected in 1929 are Mrs. Walter Ulm, president; Mrs. Homer Wamser, vice president; Miss Alice Watts, secretary; Mrs. William James, treasurer. Representatives from each club meet at the Welfare Club rooms once in two months for a directors' meeting. The 1929 representatives to the meetings of the Board of Directors are Mrs. William Brough, Grandview; Mrs. J. W. Newman, Lakeside Homemakers; Mrs. Edna Nicklin, Central Community; Mrs. Harry Phillips, Badger Creek Sewing Club; Mrs. W. P. Stanley, Swastika; Mrs. Charles Skinner, Rinker Community; Mrs. Martha Mackey, East Sixth Avenue; Mrs. John Butler, Ruggles; Mrs. Ray Hess, Sunshine; Mrs. B. F. Timmerman, Logan Avenue; Mrs. Ira Jones, Sardis; Mrs. S. S. Jenkins, Rosean; Miss Alice Watts, Salem; Mrs. Ed Sielert, Plymouth; Mrs. Charles Yost, Happy Hour; Mrs. J. W. Jenkins, Lyndon Valley; Mrs. John Gilbert, Zion Community; Mrs. Charles Loomis, Lang.

Seven clubs of the Association meet once each month, the others twice a month. The presidents of the clubs for 1929 are: Mrs. Ray Cooley, Grandview; Mrs. Tom Price, Lakeside Homemakers; Mrs. Earl DeLong, Central Community; Mrs. T. H. Rush, Badger Creek; Mrs. A. B. Whipple, Swastika; Mrs. Earl Hollingsworth, Rinker Community; Mrs. T. E. Maddern, East Sixth Avenue; Mrs. John Butler, Ruggles; Mrs. Floyd Curry, Sunshine; Mrs. Susie Higbee, Plymouth; Mrs. W. R. Rowhuff, Happy Hour; Mrs. George Witteman, Lyndon Valley; Mrs. E. L. Dreasher, Zion Community; Mrs. Harry Phillips, Lang; Mrs. Loren Morgan, Logan Avenue; Mrs. W. H. Thomas, Sardis; Mrs. C. G. Carr, Rosean; Mrs. J. Calvin Rees, Salem.

The rural club women have done much for the betterment of conditions in their neighborhoods. They got the first results in the protest against the lack of modern facilities in the old buildings at the County Farm, and installed electricity for the weak and trembling old people whose only home is this farm, and in whose hands the kerosene lamps were a positive menace. Now, handsome modern buildings house the dwellers at the County Farm.

The rural club women are the social leaders in their communities, and the remarkable progress of these neighborhoods is due in large part to their efforts. They look after the unfortunate, they care for the sick, they teach in the Sunday Schools and many of them are Sunday School superintendents. Whatever need arises, the club women are expected to meet it, they do meet it, and carry it to a successful conclusion. The Rural Clubs Association holds three big meetings each year - a Thanksgiving party, in which their entire families participate, a midsummer picnic and a luncheon in February. These serve to bring about a general acquaintance.

Mrs. Carl Knouse, a member of the Rinker Community Club, was chosen as the outstanding rural club woman in Kansas, in the contest conducted by the Capper publications, the summer of 1929. She was a guest of the Jayhawker tour of the Northwest for two weeks, with all expenses paid. Mrs. Knouse is president of the Farm Bureau Unit in her neighborhood, and a leader in the County Association of Clubs. Mrs. Thomas Marks, also of the Rinker Club, was chosen by the Capper publications as one of the master farm home makers of Kansas, early in 1929.

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