The Hood River News, Hood River, OR., September 3, 1913, page 1


     Next month is to be an important one for the local Woman's Club, as it is to entertain the state federation. Writing of this event in Sunday's Oregonian, Mrs. Sarah A. Evans outlines some of the programs and also takes the opportunity to give the local club favorable mention as follows:
     Club interests of the state for the next month will center around Hood River, where extensive preparations are going forward for the annual convention of the state federation, which will convene there on the evening of October 6, and be in session until noon of the 9th.
     Already letters have gone out to the clubs asking that they appoint the delegates at once, and report the names as soon as possible to the proper officials. During the coming week the official call, with credential cards and program, will be sent out and it is hoped that soon thereafter a comparatively full list of the delegates will be ready for publication.
     Taking time by the forelock, the Hood River club has gotten well along with its local arrangements, and it announces the following committees, who will have in charge the various departments of entertainment and business for the convention: Hospitality -- Mrs. A.L. Page, Mrs. H.F. Davidson; trains and baggage -- Mrs. Bert Stranahan, Mrs. G.W. Thomson; credentials -- Mrs. G. F. Stranahan; reception -- Mrs. William Stewart, Mrs. J.P. Lucas, Mrs. R.R. Bartlett, Mrs. Ralph Root, Mrs. W.F. Laraway, Miss Mary McClaren; music -- Mrs. Ralph Root; refreshments -- Mrs. R.D. Gould, Mrs. T.J. Kinnaird, pages and ushers -- Mrs. W.E. Imholz; press -- Mrs. J.O. McLoughlin, Mrs. H.L. Fording; decorations -- Mrs. J.S. Booth, Mrs. Truman Butler, Mrs. J.H. Heilbronner; bureau of information -- Mrs. C.H. Castner.
     All the business sessions will be held in the Congregational church. The midday luncheon will be served in the Unitarian church.
     Some of the best talent in the state has been secured to address the convention on the various lines of club activity. Several exhibits are also being arranged.
     As well as being in the forefront in arranging for the state convention, the year book of the Woman's Club of Hood River is the first of the season to make its appearance. It comes in an neat binding of mottled green on white paper, thus carrying out the club colors.
     A handsome monogram with dates is the only cover design. The announcement leaf shows that the club was organized in 1908 and joined the state federation of the same year, and allied itself with the general federation in 1909.
     The Oregonian account goes into some detail in describing the work of the club as outlined in the year book and says: Another unique feature of the Hood River book is the brief resume of the work be done by the committees, which may be found in the back. If any one should doubt the efficiency of this club, or the influence it exerts in the neighborhood, all they need do to dispel the doubt is to read this record.

The Hood River News, Hood River, OR., October 8, 1913, page 1


     Hood River on Monday opened wide her portals to welcome the club women of Oregon assembled here in their annual convention.
     Delegates began to arrive early in the day and every train brought more until those who arrived yesterday morning brought the total number up to more than 150. Representatives of the local club, including Mrs. Chas. Castner, president, Mrs. A.L. Page, chairman of the hospitality committee and Mrs. H.F. Davidson, recording secretary of the Federation, have met and personally welcomed the delegates at the station. Autos have then taken them to the homes where they were all being entertained during the four-days' session.
     On Monday evening the opening reception was held at the Commercial Club. The rooms were profusely decorated in the colors of the Hood River club -- green and white. This reception continued from about 8:30 until 11 o'clock. Many beautiful gowns added to the interest of the occasion from the feminine standpoint.
     Mrs. Sarah A. Evans, president of the State Federation, presided. Rev. W.B. Young, pastor of the Asbury M.E. Church, pronounced the invocation, after which Mayor Blanchar gave the delegates a cordial welcome to the city. He was followed by Mrs. Charles Castner, who extended the welcome in behalf of the local club. A fitting response was made by Mrs. Viola Godfrey. One of the features of the evening was the address given by Mrs. Abigail Scott Duniway, first honorary president of the Federation. Mrs. Duniway spoke at some length in a reminiscent vein. She reviewed the early history of the woman suffrage movement in this state and in doing so paid tribute to the late Mrs. E.L. Smith of this place, of whom she said:
     "It is most appropriate that this meeting of our State Federation should convene in this world-renowned young city of Hood River, the home of our late beloved co-worker, Mrs. E.L. Smith. Mrs. Smith identified herself at that time with the equal suffrage movement at Olympia in 1871 as a co-worker with Mrs. Abbey H.H. Stuart and myself, beginning an intimacy that never ceased, though I, as the eldest of the trio, am today the only earthly survivor."
     There were musical numbers by Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Root and Mrs. Clarence E. Coffin, while an orchestra played at intervals during the evening. Light refreshments were served.
     Yesterday the delegates assembled for business at the Congregational Church, this session being followed by a "Made in Oregon" dinner at the Unitarian Church. A number of interesting addresses, interspersed with musical numbers, constituted the program in the afternoon. Last evening the feature was the address of the president, Mrs. Evans, with music by O.T. Wedemeyer.
     The skies cleared on Monday night and beautiful weather now appears to be assured for the convention.
     The sessions continued today and end tomorrow morning with the election of the officers, delegates to the national convention to be held at Chicago next year, and arrangements for the next convention of the Oregon Federation.
     Under the auspices of the Commercial Club and Merchants' Association, the business streets have been illuminated with festoons of lights, while the club colors -- red, white and blue -- adorn many business places. A royal welcome is being extended the visit-club women. An auto trip through the valley is planned for tomorrow.

The Hood River Glacier, Hood River, OR., April 27, 1916, page 6


     At a recent meeting of the Woman's club Mrs. J.W. Ingalls, a charter member, read a paper giving the history of the organization. At the request of the club members, Mrs. Ingalls has submitted the paper to the Glacier for publication.
     Of those who were present when the infant that has developed into this well grown club, drew its first breath, but few remain in Hood River.
     It was on the afternoon of October 9, 1907, that a few women assembled in the congregation parsonage, then the home of Rev. and Mrs. W.C. Gilmore. This gathering was in response to a telephone call, which call, which was an invitation to come and talk over the possibilities of organizing a club, in which we might devise ways and means of improving civic conditions in our valley and town, and, incidentally, do a little mental improving of our own.
     It is the unanimous verdict of the founders of the club that the honor of being the real mother and originator of this club of ours belongs to Mrs. A.W. Noble, a gave freely of for time and experience to help model the little club members signatures attached to the original constitution would not exceed 18 in number.
     The meetings were held at the homes of the members and it was at one of these, the home of Mrs. F.W. Bradford, that the original constitution was presented and signed. Of this, if there is any official record and existence, I have not been able to find it. At the initial meeting with Mrs. Gilmore a study course was arranged, including home economics, pictures, music, literature and parliamentary law. This was carried out as nearly as could be done under existing conditions, for then we had no public library, and books of reference and aides to study were not easily accessible.
     On March 5, 1908, the first public meeting was held in Odd Fellows hall. The original plan was to have a membership limit of 52, but the interest grew and deepened and applications for membership came in so rapidly that it was soon evident that the infant club must cast aside some of its earlier plans and prepare for a broader organization.
     It was then that some daring soul ventured to suggest that we make a women's club, a real Women's club, of it, later to federate. It is stated that the credit of this brave deed is due to Mrs. E.E. Goff, now of Newberg, Ore., our first president and a most efficient leader and loyal supporter.
     When the shock had somewhat subsided and the consideration due the idea had been given it, a motion to that effect was approved. This, you will remember, was before Women's clubs had acquired a column, not to mention a full page, in the daily papers and woman suffrage was only a dream, in Oregon.
     On January 15, 1908, the first regular election was held in which Mrs. E.E. Goff was named as president, Mrs. F.H. Button, first vice president, Mrs. J.F. Batchelder, second vice-president, Mrs. H.S. Richmond, recording secretary, Mrs. T.J. Cunning, financial secretary, and Mrs. G.R. Castner, treasurer. Of these, the first officers, of ours club, we still have Mrs. Button and Mrs. Batchelder with us. The others have found homes in different localities and other clubs have their living presence, but the work they have done still lives in hours.
     On the 18th day of the following March, the first step toward doing civic work was taken. Two committees were appointed, one to act with the cemetery association, the object being to care for and beautify the cemetery, and one to confer with the mayor regarding a clean-up day.
     In connection with this it is rather amusing to look back and recall the numerous and varied excuses many of the members of the young club gave for joining a "woman's club." At the initial meeting one woman said, when the object of the gathering became apparent, "Well, I never yet belonged to any sort of a club and let my children roam the streets, and I don't believe I can begin now." And I believe she didn't begin.
     Another who has since gone far afield in the work, said, "I should not have joined the club had it not been for the proposed plan of improving and beautifying the cemetery."
     Others who were no among us, were lonely, or missed the social life and mental stimulus their home clubs had given them. However, that club that movement soon became so strong that excuses for joining were no longer given. They did it just because they wanted to. On the first of April we moved again; this time to the Unitarian church. The civic committee then reported the first work actually done, consisting of much needed improvements in the cemetery, and on the 29th of April , 1908, the question of a public library and rest rooms as objects for the club to work toward was brought up.
     On May 18 the constitution was amended and adopted by Mrs. Goff was reelected president.
     In October the club became a member of the state federation, and the first delegates sent to a convention were Mrs. AA. Jayne, Mrs. W.F. Laraway and Mrs. H.F. Davidson. The convention was held at La Grande that year. This winter the first Red Cross seal work was done, and the first scholarship loan fund day was observed.
     In March, at the suggestion of the state federation a hostess was appointed in the Oregon building at the Seattle fair, Mrs. E.L. Smith being chosen. Once again we moved, taking of our quarters in the Knights of Pythias hall. Still arguing, you see.
     In April it was reported to the club that that the county court house grounds had been plowed, graded and seeded, two flower beds made and the band stand painted. Also another lot of cemetery improvements.
     In May a committee was appointed to give an entertainment to raise money for a public library. This committee later reported about $175 as a beginning. Mrs. J.F. Batchelder was chosen president for the term of 1908-09.
     Our next library money was a gift of $150 from the ministerial association, this sum being left over for a revival.
     On February 2, of we became a part of the national federation. In March the club held a joint entertainment with the Commercial club in which the women of our club lined up against the men of the Commercial club in an old fashioned spelling match. I am glad to be able to state that the homekeepers wrestled the honors from their opponents, who counted in their ranks lawyers, bankers, merchants and many others whose occupants require a thorough knowledge of spelling. This was followed by an old time auction sale of baskets of lunch, some of the most wanted baskets selling as high as $80 dollars each.
     In 1910 Mrs. A.A Jayne was elected president. During this administration we moved into the Commercial club rooms, did much civic work and the library committee began to cast about for a place to open a city library. We also made our first visit to White Salmon to meet with their club.
     The fifth year of our existence was an eventful one in the club's history, and we were most fortunate in having the leadership of Miss McLaren during and the following year. The city council had now begun to recognize our existence as a club and had allowed us, through the civic committee, 40 feet of land for a park and library site, and had established a park commission, giving two of our members places thereon, Mrs. C.H. Castner and Mrs. R.D. Gould.
     Our present custom of entertaining the club husbands once a year was established; also the days that we entertained the valley clubs and our neighbor clouds across the Columbia. The need of a philanthropic committee seen and one was appointed.
     In May, 1912, the city granted the privilege of starting a library and two members from the Women's club were appointed on the board, Miss McLaren and Mrs. Stewart.
     In November an invitation was extended to the state federation to meet us in October, 1913. In December it was stated that the Carnegie commission had granted us $17,500 for a county library building, and on the 29th of August, 1913, the first shovelful of dirt for the housing of our long dreamed of public library, was turned by our president Miss McLaren.
     The club year beginning in 1913, when Mrs. C.H. Castner was president, was another eventful year. This year is usually referred to as "the year we had the federation." The 2nd of October the cornerstone of the library building was laid with the appropriate ceremonies, and from the sixth to the ninth the club and city entertained the federated Women's clubs of Oregon. On 29th of this month a piano was purchased, and on the 25th of March, 1914, we held our first meeting in Library hall.
     During the term of 1914-15, when Mrs. J.O. McLaughlin with president, the philanthropic committee outdid all others in the excellence of its work. During this time the Tuesday evening club, composed of the business women of the city, federated with us, and is now the evening department of our club.
     The National federation held its biennial convention in June, 1915, and many of our members took advantage of the occasion of its meeting in Portland, and received much inspiration from the speeches delivered there by gifted women from all parts of the union.
     Since the building of the library there has been no demand in the club for any big things, but the work of the different departments and committees has gone quietly on. We have in the last year added to our club the music department, which now has enrolled 62 active and 27 associate members. What they have been doing, you have been attending, know; if you have not attended, you do not deserve to know.
     The evening department has 25 members enrolled and a study club is being organized. Altogether now we are 220 strong in membership. From the small beginning I have told you of the club has grown so rapidly that I think the members themselves do not realize how much work is being accomplished along its different lines. Who can measure the good that the good that has been done by the philanthropic committee. Perhaps they can, but I wonder, too, if even they know how much cheer and comfort they have brought to the friendless and destitute during the long, stormy months that have just passed by. And the music department; the hours of work and practice they have given over to preparing the programs that it has been such a pleasure to listen to. We have needed no lecture course in our little city this winter; we have something far better. I wonder, too, if they can ever know how much true enjoyment they have given many music hungry souls, who have been enabled here at home to listen to the music of the world's greatest composers. And so, on and on, the same applies to each and every part of the club. And will it not be on and on, what we have done, added to what we may yet be enabled to do, making a still better history, until when roll call of Woman's clubs shall be given, the Hood River Women's club still not be numbered among the last or the least?

©  Jeffrey L. Elmer