Rogers Park Woman's Club

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The Rogers Park Woman's Club History

by Evelyn Page

From: Summer 1986 RPHS Newsletter, pp.2-3

Written by Evelyn Page from a suggestion of Eleanor Mars.

The Rogers Park Woman's Club (RPWC) was founded in October 1891 at the home of Mrs. Edward D. Coxe with an initial membership of ten persons. In later years, at its height, there were 900 members. At its inception, the Club was mainly literary. Later, the concerns of the members were devoted to Civics, Public Welfare, and the Arts.

RPWC had a long record of service to the community beginning with the first project, which was the establishment of a public library and reading room in Rogers Park. It was achieved with considerable effort and a very creditable library resulted with members serving as librarians and even janitors. A traveling library was also provided by members who drove around the community with a horse and buggy bringing books to those who were unable to go to the library.

Many of the members assisted at Northwestern University's Settlement House, particularly in Americanization courses and in teaching English to immigrants. They also arranged summer outings in Rogers Park for women and children from the tenements.

In the community, the RPWC was instrumental in placing Domestic Science in the schools and campaigned vigorously for a kindergarten. The members fought for pure food legislation and insisted that the regional dairy put milk in bottles and that the bakeries sell bread in paper covers.

In 1905, the idea for a club house took form when $300 was set aside for the start of a building fund.

In 1910, the lot on the southeast corner of Estes Avenue and Ashland Avenue was purchased. The cornerstone was laid at 7077 N. Ashland Avenue on either June 4, or June 14, 1916.

Club members started the first school lunchroom at Nicholas Senn High School in 1913 to raise money and 27 members maintained it for many years to build the clubhouse and to pay off the mortgage.

On June 14, 1916, the cornerstone was laid and on the following January 1, 1917, the RPWC members and friends celebrated the 25th Anniversary of the club with a New Year's Reception and Open House in their own clubhouse. On January 1, 1927, at another New Year's Reception, the mortgage was burned.

During World War I, the RPWC was headquarters for all Rogers Park Red Cross work. Upon our entry into World War II, RPWC Red Cross workers set an excellent record of supplies delivered. All possible help was given to service men and women, to discharged veterans, and to those in hospitals.

A quarter of a million dollars in War Bonds were sold by RPWC members during the years of 1943-1945 and the club was awarded a Citation of Merit.

In addition to all the assistance extended to our country and to our community during the Depression and during the war years, all of the regular services and philanthropy of the RPWC were still provided.

The 90th birthday of the Rogers Park Woman's Club was celebrated in the clubhouse in 1981. However, 1983 was a very traumatic time for the members because heavy Cook County real estate taxes, coupled with higher cost in maintenance and a smaller membership, finally necessitated the sale of the clubhouse.

After investigating several possible quarters for the club, the Board of Directors decided on Banner Hall in the parish house of St. Paul's Church by the Lake located right across the street at 7100 N. Ashland Avenue.

In the Fall of 1996, after 105 years of work by dedicated women in Rogers Park, the club closed forever.

Kindergarten

The Rogers Park Woman's Club opened a kindergarten at 4849 N. Clark Street, (address now in the 7000's) on April 5, 1895.

The kindergarten established by the Rogers Park Woman's Club was incorporated into the Chicago Public Schools system on February 14, 1896.

1902--

Officers

Pres., Mrs. C.H. Thompson (Clara B. Thompson);

V. Pres., Mrs. C. D. Hill;

Cor. Sec., Mrs. Alexander Savage, 726 Farwell Avenue;

Rec. Sec., Mrs. Charles D. Bradley;

Treas., Mrs. Edward D. Coxe.

1903--

Officers

Pres., Mrs. L. H. Jennings (Phillipina Jennings);

Cor. Sec., Mrs. Charles D. Bradley;

Rec. Sec., Mrs. Joseph Cummins;

Treas., Mrs. Paul Hullhorst.

1904--

Officers

Pres., Mrs. Albert D. Lowell (Nellie E. Lowell);

Cor. Sec., Mrs. M. H. Cazier;

Rec. Sec., Miss Amy Beckler;

Treas., Mrs. Charles H. Johnson.

1905--

Officers

Pres., Mrs. Albert D. Lowell; (Nellie E. Lowell)

Cor. Sec., Mrs. Edward M. Gallup;

Rec.Sec., Mrs. Alfred R. Heckman; Treas.,

Mrs. Charles H. Johnson.

1906--

Officers

Pres., Mrs. Charles A. Winston; (Nina Wright Winston)

Cor. Sec., Mrs. Edward B. Gullup, 4142 Newgard Avenue;

Rec. Sec., Mrs. Jervis Newton;

Treas., Mrs. Edmund S. Graf (Anne W. Graf).

1907--

Officers

Pres., Mrs. Horace Rounds (Harriet N. Rounds);

Cor. Sec., Mrs. Robert L. Scoles, 907 Farwell Avenue;

Treas., Mrs. Edmund S. Graf (Anne W. Graf).

1908--

Officers

Pres., Mrs. Horace Rounds (Harriet N. Rounds);

Cor. Sec., Mrs. Robert T. Hamilton, 925 Greenleaf Avenue;

Treas., Mrs. Frank R. McKinstry.

1909--

Officers

Pres., Mrs. Charles D. Bradley (Clara MacB. Bradley);

Res. Sec., Mrs. M. C. Black;

Cor. Sec., Mrs. Robert E. Hamilton, 925 Greenleaf Avenue;

Treas., Mrs. Frank R. McKinstry.

1910--

Officers

Pres., Mrs. Edmund S. Graf; (Anne W. Graf)

Rec. Sec., Mrs. Charles Ford;

Cor. Sec., Mrs. Charles H. Johnson, 1618 Sherwin Avenue;

Treas., Mrs. George L. Wilkins.

1911--

Officers

Pres., Mrs. Edmund S. Graf; (Anne W. Graf)

Rec. Sec., Mrs. Charles Ford;

Cor. Sec., Mrs. A. P. C. Matson, (Meta H. Matson) 1521 Sherwin Avenue

Treas., Mrs. W. A. Shaw.

1912--

Officers:

Pres., Mrs. Charles Ford (Luanna H. Ford);

Rec. Sec., Mrs. D.J. McCammon;

Cor. Sec., Mrs. A. P. C. Matson (Meta H. Matson), 1521 Sherwin Avenue

Treas. Mrs. W. A. Shaw.

1913--

Officers:

Pres., Mrs. Charles Ford (Luanna H. Ford);

Cor. Sec., Mrs. A. P. C. Matson (Meta H. Matson), 1521 Sherwin Avenue

Treas.. Mrs. W. A. Shaw.

1914--

Officers:

Pres., Mrs. A. P. C. Matson (Meta H. Matson), 1521 Sherwin Avenue;

Rec. Sec., Mrs. Joseph W. Hayes;

Cor. Sec., Mrs. J. T. Caldwell; 1649 Juniata;

Treas., Mrs. N. C. Safford.

1915--

Officers--

Pres., Mrs. Edward A. King (Mabel Barnett King);

Rec. Sec., Mrs. W.C. Yeatman;

Cor. Sec., Mrs. L.W. Walter, 1414 W. Jarvis Avenue

Treas., Mrs. William Graham

Past Presidents

  • = Deceased t = Honorary

tMarjorie Ennis Mueller 1945·1947

tLeela V. Swanish 1947-1949

Joel Quintus White 1959-1961

tNelle Badke 1967-1969

Edith Bucke 1975-1977

Helen Sheffieck 1977-1979

Joel Quintus White 1979-1982, 2nd Term

Helen Sheffieck 1982-1984, 2nd Term

Evelyn L. Page 1984-1986

Joel Quintus White 1987-? , 3rd Term

Honorary Members

j; = Past Presidents
j;Badke, Nelle 1947

Clayton, Margaret S. 1929

Corporon, Wilma 1940

Fithian, Irene 1948

Fox, Elsie 1939

Freeman, Florence 1948

Groenwald, Nelle 1948

Hammitt, Bernice 1949

Holden, Bernice 1948

Keiser, Ann Hungerford 1930

Larson, Emily L.S. 1934

j;Mueller, Marjorie Ennis 1933
j;Swanish, Leela V. 1935

Teich, Louise B. 1935

Thom, Helen 1947

Van Degens, Edna 1944

Wadsworth, Ruth 1946

Watson, Jean 1936

Webb, Florence 1942

"j;White, Joel Quintus 1949

Wilson, Loucile 1942

Wood, Enid 1933

Outstanding Accomplishments In the History of the Rogers Park Woman's Club

(Researched and gathered by the 1984-86 Past President.)

• A traveling library was provided by members going around the community with a horse and buggy.

• Later, the club provided a library and reading room in Rogers Park with members serving as librarians and janitors.

• The Board of Education was persuaded to put a kindergarten in the school.

• The members assisted at the Northwestern University Settlement House.

• Summer outings were provided in Rogers Park for women and children from the tenements.

• They were instrumental in placing a Domestic Science course in the schools.

• Women from the club started the school lunchroom at Senn High School and 27 members maintained it for 27 years to raise money to build a club house and to payoff the mortgage. Their successful performance in managing a school lunchroom served as a model to school systems throughout the nation.

• The members fought for pure food legislation and. insisted that the regional dairy put milk in bottles, and the bakeries sell bread in paper covers.

• In World War I, the Central Committee and Central Shop for all Rogers Park Red Cross work were housed in their club house.

• Americanization of immigrants was one of the club projects and English classes were taught at the Rogers Park Woman's Club and at Pulaski Center.

• Their club was headquarters for receiving and distributing supplies for Red Cross and French Relief.

• Exhibits of work of Chicago artists were held in their club house to encourage an interest in art.

• A Shoe Fund for School Children's Aid was established.

• In World War II, the U.S.O. on Howard Street was founded by the club.

• Over a quarter of a million dollars in War Bonds were sold by the members 1943-1945.

• Rogers Park Women's Club initiated the system of having school crossing guards with badges.

Chicago Landmarks Historic Resources Survey

Architect: Somers, Elbert S.

Historic Name: Rogers Park Woman's Club

Community: Rogers Park (01)

Address: 7077 N. Ashland Avenue

Constructed: Started in 07/01/1916

Classification: Building

Style:

Type: Club

Color Code: Possesses potentially significant architectural or historical features (OR)

Landmark? N

National Register? N

Major Tenant:

Building Details: Classical, Prarie

Pin: 1131208010

Photos

RPWRHS photo C034-0101 shows the Rogers Park Woman's Club at 7077 N. Ashland Avenue as taken on July 13, 1982.

RPWRHS photo M012-3401 shows the laying of the cornerstone for the Rogers Park Woman's Club.

RPWRHS photo R011-0102 shows the groundbreaking. However, this appears to be the identical image as RPWRHS photo M012-3401. Address 7077 N. Ashland Avenue. Circa 1916.

RPWRHS photo R011-0201 shows an Americanization class conducted by the Rogers Park Woman's Club for Polish women in 1924 which was held in Pulaski Park.

RPWRHS photo R011-P1943 shows the 1943 Rogers Park Woman's Club president, Elamaye M.Kerr. Photo-1943. Location: 7077 N. Ashland Avenue.

RPWRHS photo R011-P1947 shows the 1947 Rogers Park Woman's Club president, Leela V. Swanish. Photo-1947. Location: 7077 N. Ashland Avenue.

RPWRHS photo R011-P1949 shows the 1949 Rogers Park Woman's Club president, Erba G.Pankow. Photo-1949. Location: 7077 N. Ashland Avenue.

RPWRHS photo R011-P1951 shows the 1951 Rogers Park Woman's Club president, Beulah B. Doty. Photo-1951. Location: 7077 N. Ashland Avenue.

RPWRHS photo R011-P1953 shows the 1953 Rogers Park Woman's Club president, Pearl Morse Barbee. Photo-1953. Location: 7077 N. Ashland Avenue.

RPWRHS photo R011-P1955 shows the 1955 Rogers Park Woman's Club president, Mary Turnbull Catton. Photo-1955. Location: 7077 N. Ashland Avenue.

RPWRHS photo R011-P1957 shows the 1957 Rogers Park Woman's Club president, Herma K. Kaiser. Photo-1957. Location: 7077 N. Ashland Avenue.

RPWRHS photo R011-P1959 shows the 1959 Rogers Park Woman's Club president, Joel Quintus White. Photo-1959. Location: 7077 N. Ashland Avenue.

RPWRHS photo R011-P1961 shows the 1961 Rogers Park Woman's Club president, Alice Danielson Collar. Photo-1961. Location: 7077 N. Ashland Avenue.

RPWRHS photo R011-P1963 shows the 1963 Rogers Park Woman's Club president, Louise Jardine. Photo-1963. Location: 7077 N. Ashland Avenue.

RPWRHS photo R011-P1965 shows the 1965 Rogers Park Woman's Club president, Edith G. Broms. Photo-1965. Location: 7077 N. Ashland Avenue.

RPWRHS photo R011-P1967 shows the 1967 Rogers Park Woman's Club president, Dorothy Swanberg. Photo-1967. Location: 7077 N. Ashland Avenue.

RPWRHS photo R011-P1971 shows the 1971 Rogers Park Woman's Club president, Emma R. Wood. Photo-1971. Location: 7077 N. Ashland Avenue.

RPWRHS photo R011-P1975 shows the 1975 Rogers Park Woman's Club president, Edith Bucke. Photo-1975. Location: 7077 N. Ashland Avenue.

RPWRHS photo R011-P1977 shows the 1977 Rogers Park Woman's Club president, Helen Sheffieck. Photo-1977. Location: 7077 N. Ashland Avenue.

RPWRHS photo R011-P1979 shows the 1979 Rogers Park Woman's Club president to be Evelyn L. Page. Photo-1979. Location: 7077 N. Ashland Avenue. This is out of sequence. Page was president 1984-1986. The 1979 president was the second term for Joel Quintus White. Her photo says Page was president 1979-1981. But, White was president from 1979-1982. Two lists from the 7077 N. Ashland Avenue agree with this version.

RPWRHS photo R011-93681 shows: The Rogers Park Library, shown here in 1915, was located at 6957 N. Clark Street and remained here until 1922. Library service in Rogers Park was established by the Rogers Park Woman's Club in 1894. Club members acted as librarians and books were donated. Location: 6957 N. Clark Street.

RPWRHS photo R037-93682 shows Rogers Park Library at 6957 N. Clark Street in 1915.

RPWRHS photo S013-0382 shows the Rogers Park Woman's Club building, 7077 N. Ashland Avenue in September of 1972.