Woman's Club of Bloomington Collection

 





Table of Contents

Collection Information
Volume of Collection:
Two Boxes
Collection Dates:
1897-1997.
Restrictions:
None.
Reproduction Rights:
Permission to reproduce or publish material in this collection must be obtained in writing from the McLean County Museum of History.
Alternative Formats:
None.
Other Finding Aids: None.
Location: Archives.
Notes:
See also Photo Index under Woman's Club of Bloomington-Normal.

Historical Sketch

The Woman's Club of Bloomington-Normal met for the first time on March 22, 1897, at the high school in Bloomington, Illinois, under the leadership of Sarah Williams Lillard. Letitia Green Stevenson served as the club's first president. The club joined the Illinois Federation of Women's Clubs on May 11, 1898, and the General Federation of Women's Clubs on February 10, 1899. The club discontinued its membership with the latter before rejoining on January 1, 1937, and again dropped out of the federation during World War II before rejoining it in 1946. The club also belonged to the McLean County Federation and Seventeenth District Federation of Women's Clubs. Meetings were held in many venues, including Cooper Hall, the YWCA, Odd Fellows Hall, the Illinois State University Student Union, the Ranch House, Williams Towne Hall, and the Illinois State University Bone Student Center. The club met every month from October through April.

The Woman's Club was created with the purpose of community service and civic reform. Membership fluctuated between 250 and 400 women. Soon after its creation, the club established a housekeeping school for girls aged nine to fifteen, earning it recognition in an 1899 edition of Harper's Bazaar. As a result of this endeavor, the Board of Education made domestic science a part of the public school curriculum. Additionally, the club successfully lobbied for the placement of manual training in the schools. Its Mothers' Club became the Parent-Teacher Association. The club helped organize the Associated Charities in 1900, later called the Bureau of Social Services, which became the United Way of McLean County. The club also created a social center that year which evolved into the Day Care Center of McLean County.

The Woman's Club had many other accomplishments. They convinced the builders of what is now the Old Courthouse to build a women's restroom. In order to help women prisoners, the club was instrumental in convincing the city to hire a police matron. Other projects included the removal of common drinking cups from city fountains, sponsoring city ordinances prohibiting food displays on sidewalks as well as spitting in public, and demanding that all garbage receptacle have lids. The club helped arrange for garbage collection, printed and distributed information on city ordinances, endorsed a county tuberculosis sanitarium, donated time to the Red Cross during both world wars, created the Civic League, financed the Community Players, and organized the Junior Woman's Club. After World War II, the club focused more on donating money to charities and awarding scholarships to students.

 
Scope and Contents Note

The Woman's Club of Bloomington-Normal collection consists of two boxes. The dates of the material range from 1897 to 1997, and the club is still in existence. The collection contains three roster list books, numerous newspaper articles, and magazine articles, including the May 5, 1899, Harper's Bazaar article featuring the club. The miscellaneous material includes the Bloomington Band schedule of concerts, a jewelry store receipt, handwritten notes, invitations to the first meeting, the constitution and by-laws, contents of the club's safety deposit box, city ordinances, a Bloomington Health Department certificate, club histories, a proposed budget, and a report on the Seventy-fifth Jubilee Year.

Most of the Woman's Club's yearly programs are in the collection. Information in the programs includes the date the club was formed, which federations it belonged to, the names and addresses of the federation's presidents, the names and telephone numbers of the officers, department chairmen, and standing committee chairmen, the year's budget and calendar of events, members' names and addresses, names of honorary and recently deceased members, the constitution and by-laws, and a list of past club presidents.

The collection also contains information on the Seventeenth District of the Illinois Federation of Women's Clubs. The bulk of the material consists of the district's ledgers and minutes of their annual convention and executive committee and board meetings. The minutes reveal the date, time, and location of the meetings, who presided over them, the roll call, announcements of upcoming meetings, and other district business. Other documents include deposit slips, treasurer's reports, yearly budgets, letters, handwritten notes, a code of ethics and district history, constitution and by-laws, proposed amendments and changes to the standing rules, meeting programs, roll calls, yearbooks, a directory, and a list of speakers. There are a few items about the state and international federations as well.

 

Box and Folder Inventory

 

Box 1: Documents, Correspondence, & Ledgers

Loose Items:
Roster Lists (1928-29 - 1957-1958)
17th District ledgers (1942-1944)
17th District minute book (April 16, 1961-April 4, 1974)

 

Folder 1:
Newspaper Clippings
1.1.1
Approximately 47 pages of newspaper clippings & magazine articles (1899) related to Woman's Club of Bloomington-Normal dating from 1897-1997.

 

Folder 2:
Woman's Club Opening Luncheon Invitations
1.2.1
Opening luncheon letter every year from 1933-1970

 

Folder 3:
17th District Financial Records
1.3.1
Farmers State Bank Deposit Slips 1959-1960
1.3.2
First National Bank receipt from 1973
1.3.3
Notes regarding finances to "Madam Treasurer" dated October 1959
1.3.4
Notes regarding finances to "Madam Treasurer" dated January & March 1960
1.3.5
Letter to Mrs. Doyle from Amy Claggett re-budget
1.3.6
67 district budget balance sheets

 

Folder 4:
17th District Letters
1.4.1
January 21, 1933. Unknown to Mrs. Anderson re-Standing Rules
1.4.2
March 21, 1933. Unknown to Mrs. Anderson re-revisions of By-Laws and President Expenses
1.4.3
April 13, 1933. Unknown to Mrs. Anderson re-Junior advisor,
1.4.4
June 18. 1933. Unknown to Mrs. Anderson re-department and committee's organization
1.4.5
January 16, 1935. Unknown to Mrs. Anderson re-selection of a nominating committee
1.4.6
January 31, 1935. Unknown to Mrs. Anderson re-suggestion of changing limitation of appointive service as revisions chairman
1.4.7
February 12, 1935. Unknown to Mrs. Anderson re- Mrs. Given as first choice as nomination for president
1.4.8
Unknown to Mrs. Anderson re-acceptances for vice president, secretary, and treasurer.
1.4.9
February 7, 1935. Mrs. N. D. to Mrs. Given re-informing of unanimous choice for her as candidate for president.
1.4.10
February 15, 1935. Mrs. N.D. to Mrs. Given re-accepted nomination
1.4.11
February 1, 1933. Mrs. Edna Ross Anderson to Mrs. McKinney re-resolutions
1.4.12
June 16, 1933. Letter from Edna Ross Anderson to Mrs. McKinney re-organization of departments
1.4.13
July 8, 1933. Letter from Edna Ross Anderson to Mrs. McKinney re-discarding the reorganization of departments
1.4.14
February 26, 1934. Letter from Edna Ross Anderson to Mrs. McKinney re-disappointed that Mrs. Givens is to be the next president
1.4.15
January 15, 1935. Letter from Edna Ross Anderson to Mrs. McKinney
1.4.16
January 30, 1935. Letter from Edna Ross Anderson to Mrs. McKinney re-enclosed circular letters mailed to all county presidents.
1.4.17
January 31, 1935. Letter from M. T. Yoder to Ruth Given regarding
1.4.18
February 9, 1935. Letter from Ruth Macauley Given to Mrs. McKinney regarding feeling honored to be given the opportunity to be president, and accepting the nomination.
1.4.19
February 15, 1935. Letter from Edna Ross Anderson to Mrs. McKinney
1.4.20
February 20, 1935. Letter from Mrs. Blanche B. Wait to Mrs. McKinney regarding accepting nomination for Vice President
1.4.21
March 10, 1935. Letter from Edna Ross Anderson to Mrs. McKinney regarding illness
1.4.22
March 21, 1935. Letter from Yoder to Mrs. McKinney
1.4.23
May 2, 1935. Letter from Edna Ross Anderson to Mrs. McKinney thanking her for being the chairman and for all the nice things she has done.
1.4.24
February 14, 1935. Letter from unknown to Mrs. Wait regarding the unanimous decision to nominate her for Vice President
1.4.25
February 22, 1935. Letter from Unknown to Mrs. Wait thanking her for acceptance of the position
1.4.26
January 28, 1935. Letter from Jean H. McKinney to Mrs. Yoder regarding election as the Board's member of the nominating committee
1.4.27
February 7, 1935. Letter from Unknown to Mrs. Yoder regarding selections for nominations
1.4.28
February 15, 1935. Letter from unknown to Mrs. Yoder regarding nominations
1.4.29
March 15, 1935. Letter from Mary Palmer to Mrs. Yoder regarding Mrs. McKinney's illness

 

Folder 5:
State & International Women's Clubs Federations
1.5.1
Constitution, 1897
1.5.2
Illinois Federation of Women's Clubs Sixth Annual Meeting, 1900
1.5.3
Illinois Federation of Women's Clubs Legislative Program for 1926-1927
1.5.4
Brochure to encourage IFWC members to be involved in departments
1.5.5
General Federation of Women's Clubs Report of Treasurer at Biennial Convention 1928
1.5.6
This is Your Federation handout to be read at meetings
1.5.7
November 1930 Ladies Home Journal article regarding the currents state of women's rights
1.5.8
Department of International Co-operation clippings
1.5.9
Article titled "Fighting Opium"

 

Folder 6:
17th District Miscellaneous
1.6.1
Miscellaneous notes
1.6.2
1968-1969 "Let's Make a Deal" for "What's in the Box" game rules
1.6.3
Code of Ethics adopted October 27, 1926
1.6.4
Notes on club history
1.6.5
Constitution and By-Laws for the Illinois Seventeenth District Federation of Women's Clubs, 1932 (2 copies)
1.6.6
By Laws and Standing Rules for 17th district
1.6.7
Notes on proposed amendments to constitution and by-laws of 17th district
1.6.8
Proposed changes in standing rules, 1968
1.6.9
Proposed changes in standing rules, 1970
1.6.10
October 1927 meeting flier
1.6.11
Mid-winter convention of Illinois 17th district, 1933 list of speakers
1.6.12
1974 17th district convention
1.6.13
List of groups in the 17th district c.1975
1.6.14
October 5, 1976 meeting notes
1.6.15
Attendance for 1978-79
1.6.16
Attendance for 1979-80
1.6.17
Attendance for 1980-81
1.6.18
Attendance for 1891-82
1.6.19
17th district directory, 1934-5
1.6.20
17th district yearbook, 1980-82

 

Folder 7:
Woman's Club Miscellaneous
1.7.1
The Bloomington Band 1939 Schedule of Concerts at Miller Park
1.7.2
Notes
1.7.3
List of people and officers in an envelope named "Mrs. Whitman
1.7.4
Notes
1.7.5
List of names & addresses
1.7.6
Notes
1.7.7
Proposed budget for Woman's Club of Bloomington-Normal 1970-71
1.7.8
Ordinance regarding sale of contaminated food 1923-25 and Bloomington Health Department certificate (July 1927)
1.7.9
Letter regarding the organization of a Woman's club
1.7.10
April 25, 1908 meeting minutes of board of directors
1.7.11
Woman's club constitution and by-laws, booklet and hand-written
1.7.12
list of contents of Woman's Club safety deposit box
1.7.13
Woman's Club of Bloomington, Illinois history
1.7.14
orientation meeting minutes (October 1964)
1.7.15
Report on Preparation for the 75th Jubilee Year 1897-1972

 

Box 2: Programs, Membership Cards, and Highlights

Loose items:
101 yearly programs, 1898-99-1987-88
Woman's Club of Bloomington-Normal High Lights booklets, 1897-1935 (2) and 1897-1972 (3)
Membership cards
1 catalog- exhibition of paintings and architectural works from the Art Institute of Chicago at the new high school building

 

McLean County Museum of History Collections and Research