This Club has been the social life of our community.~Mrs. Frances Sparrow, Piatt County, Illinois
Hello, again History Lovers!
Club membership provided rural farm women social and enrichment opportunities. Today’s post consists of letters written to The Farmer’s Wife–A Magazine For Farm Women in February 1922 regarding various club activities and volunteer work.
Letters From Club Members
Dear FARMER’S WIFE: We organized our Women’s Club over a year ago and call it the South Prairie Women’s Club. It is composed of wives of the men of the threshing ring and their daughters over fifteen years old. We meet every month, discuss all problems which bother us, school work, current events, have music of some kind, have a wiener roast in October for the young folks, a picnic in June for the kiddies, and a regular banquet in February for our husbands and, last but not least, we have a big feast with ice cream some evening when we finish threshing. This year we had our farm advisor as a guest at this supper who gave us a talk on grain marketing. This club has been the social life of our community. –Mrs. Frances Sparrow, Piatt County, Illinois
Dear FARMER’S WIFE: The people of Stony Point school district, Dickinson County, Kansas, last year realized the need of having something to bring the people together at the schoolhouse and so organized a community club. The motto is For the Good of Home and School and we met every two weeks last winter and had programs, having an outside speaker occasionally but mostly the members taking part. Two events were given for the purpose of making money: a pie social, with a spelling and ciphering match for entertainment and a play. With the money we bought gasoline lamps for the schoolhouse, cups, spoons, and plates, to be used for hot lunches by the school children and on club nights. Some books and folding chairs have been purchased. For our study work this year we are going to take topics on the United States. We find teachers and superintendents of nearby towns always willing to help with our programs –Florence Knight Killian, Dickinson County, Kansas.
Dear FARMER’S WIFE: Our Mother’s Club was first organized at the small schoolhouse Dist. 8 of Otoe County, Nebraska in the fall of 1916 with 22 members. Later the club was taken into the Federation in the spring of 1919. We meet alternately at the schoolhouse and at a home twice a month. Hot lunches were started in school for the winter months. Cupboard and dishes were bought to help with these.
Two home-talent plays have been given to make money. We also have had numerous parties including farewell surprise parties for those who leave the district and we give them some token of remembrance.
This summer we had a wiener roast picnic at Antelope Park, Lincoln. Besides these, we have our regular club banquet or open meeting to which each member’s family is invited. The object of our club is to cooperate with teachers and pupils for the betterment of school and community. –Jessie Lanning
Dear FARMER’S WIFE: A few years ago our people of the community met at a vacant house and organized a Farmers’ Union Local which took in all the members voted upon from sixteen years up. They have continued to meet from house to house every two weeks, with attendance from twenty-five to one hundred and twenty-five. While the men are holding a business meeting, the women are busy with fancy work or clearing up the tables after an appetizing lunch. A program is sometimes given. Usually, our largest gatherings are in vacation time when the young folk can enjoy a good ball game.
At one meeting a barrel of vinegar was distributed at thirty cents a gallon, so a little was saved that way. Other supplies are ordered in season. A general good time is enjoyed and everyone goes home satisfied. Nothing but urgent duty will keep one away from “the next meeting”. –Ellen B. Fleming
The above article was originally published in The Farmer’s Wife–A Magazine For Farm Women, February 1922, Page 716; Webb Publishing Company, St. Paul, Minnesota. Articles may be edited for length and clarity.