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Delta Woman's Club Records - MS 206 mf
The records of the Delta Woman's Club date from 1895 to 1982. They consist of 1.5 linear feet of minutes, correspondence, treasury account records, and annual programs.
The records of the club were donated to the Center for Archival Collections (CAC) Women's Studies Archives Project (WSAP) in late 1981 through the cooperation of Carol Scherer, Delta Public Library, and Jill Gates Smith, Field Specialist (WSAP). Literary and property rights have been dedicated to the public and duplication is permitted for the purpose of scholarly research. The entire collection is on microfilm for patron use and for preservation. An additional microfilm copy is available at the Delta Public Library, Delta, Ohio. The register was prepared by Paulette Weiser, Graduate Assistant for the WSAP.
The Delta Woman's Club of Delta, Ohio (Fulton County), was formed in 1956 with the merger of The Investigators Club and The Criterion Literary Club. The Investigators Club was organized in 1892 and federated in 1899 with its stated purpose "to provide Popular Education for the citizens of Delta, to increase the facilities for education in our community and to promote good fellowship among its members." The club met weekly until about 1911, when they changed to twice-monthly meetings, usually in members' homes.
The Criterion Literary Club was founded in 1905, federated in 1911, and set its goal to be "the free discussion of any subjects coming before the meeting for the purpose of diffusing knowledge among its members." It met twice monthly, also primarily in members' homes, before merging with The Investigators Club, when monthly meetings were scheduled. Upon merger as the Delta Woman's Club, the objective became that of promoting "educational, philanthropic, and social interests among its members."
The size of membership of The Investigators was limited to 35 and 50 in The Criterion Club. For both clubs membership was decided by ballot with three or more negative votes denying membership. The Delta Woman's Club follows the same procedure for approving new members and limits its membership to 100.
Both original clubs exacted small fines for un-excused absences and for failing to carry through one's program assignment. The Delta Woman's Club still fines members the same five cent sum for un-excused absences.
Club concerns were handled by a number of internal committees, including calendar, philanthropic, bylaws, membership, and ways and means. Community activities ranged from contributions to building funds for a public library, hospital and city park; health care associations such as Red Cross, tuberculosis, polio, and cancer drives, and a home for crippled children; and sponsorship of a variety of groups from a Brownie troop to a Girls' State representative.
Prior to their merger in 1956, The Investigators and Criterion Clubs entertained each other at least once a year, with spouses and guests invited to an additional meeting or two each year.
The records of the Delta Woman's Club document the history and activities from 1895 to 1982 of this social and civic organization, which evolved from the merger of the Investigators and Criterion Literary Clubs. The records, consisting primarily of minutes, annual programs, and a few financial records, reflect the national, local, and personal interests of club members through program topics, civic and charitable work, and contributions. Many of the annual programs focus on a year-long study of one subject or country, while others cover miscellaneous topics. The focus of topics changes from a strongly literary and artistic emphasis in the early and middle years to more practical presentations on health, education, fashion, and decorating in more recent years. An increase in political or nationalistic programs is evident during period of war. Presentations include book reviews, travelogues, melodramas, debates, tours, guest speakers, and musical performances by members or guests.
One of the biggest civic projects the clubs were involved in was the development of the Delta Public Library, which is reflected in minutes, financial records, and a history of the library written by a club member.
Changes from weekly to twice-monthly to monthly meetings may reflect the increase of women in the work force and other outside activities, leaving less time for and interest in membership in social and civic groups.
A fire in the Delta City Hall on March 4, 1949, destroyed the early minutes of The Investigators Club and a history of the group. No information is available on the missing Criterion Club minutes form 1939 to 1952. Minutes for the Delta Woman's Club are missing for the years 1956 to 1975 and attempts are being made to locate them for inclusion in the collection.
MINUTES OF THE INVESTIGATORS CLUB
October 8, 1946-April 24, 1956
Contains records of the meetings of the club, meeting dates and places, numbers of persons present, program notes, entertainment, treasurer's report, correspondence received, absentees and fines, club contributions to civic and charitable organizations, elections of officers, and annual reports.
MINUTES OF THE CRITERION LITERARY CLUB
April 3, 1911-October 23, 1939; October 14, 1952-May 8, 1956.
Contains records of the meetings of the club, meeting dates and places, numbers of members present, guests, treasurer's report, correspondence, announcements, approvals of new members, program notes, committee appointments and reports, elections of officers, absentees, fines, civic and charitable contributions, flowers sent to members, and annual reports.
MINUTES AND MEMBERSHIP ROSTERS OF THE DELTA WOMAN'S CLUB
September 23, 1975-April 24, 1979.
Contains records of the meetings of the club, meeting dates and places, numbers of persons present, program notes and entertainment, treasurer's report, correspondence, approvals of new members, committee appointments and reports, announcements, flowers and cards sent to members, civic and charitable contributions, and annual reports.
MISCELLANEOUS PROGRAM AND MEETING NOTES
1913-1914, 1942-1943, 1971-1972, n.d.
Contains program notes of Investigators Club and program notes, prayer, and motion for change of bylaws of Delta Woman's Club.
INCOMING CORRESPONDENCE OF CRITERION CLUB
Contains three letters, two of which are resignations from the club and one a thank you for condolence flowers.
HISTORY OF DELTA PUBLIC LIBRARY
Single item written chronologically.
Contains a history of the development of the public library in Delta by Elizabeth C. Mack with quotes from the minutes of the Investigators and Criterion Clubs regarding contributions and efforts of members to establish the library.
RECEIPT OF INVESTIGATORS CLUB
April 10, 1940.
Contains receipt from Adrian College, Adrian, Michigan for donation of $2.50 to sustaining fund.
CRITERION CLUB FINANCIAL RECORDS
May 1922-October 1923, June 1929.
Contains two treasurer's account reports, eight treasurer's receipts for money received from members, and one bill for printing.
LEDGER PAGES OF DELTA WOMAN'S CLUB
October 1956-March 1979.
Contains photocopies of treasurer's account ledger sheets of receipts and disbursements.
INVESTIGATORS CLUB ANNUAL PROGRAMS
1895-1896; 1904-1905; 1907-1908-1917-1918; 1919-1920-1955-1956.
Contains names of members, honorary members, officers and committee members, hostesses, meeting dates, special topics for each year, program listings and members responsible for each presentation, reference books, club colors, flower and motto, constitution and bylaws, memorials to deceased members, list of annual program subjects, and presidents since 1899, poetry, and quotations.
CRITERION CLUB ANNUAL PROGRAMS
Contains names of members, honorary members, officers, committee members, memorials to deceased members, meeting hostesses, dates, special topic for each year, outline for book reviews, order of business, program listings and members responsible for each presentation, list of annual program subjects and presidents since 1905, club collect, song and commandments, constitution, bylaws, additional rules, club colors and motto, poetry and quotations.
DELTA WOMAN'S CLUB ANNUAL PROGRAMS
Contains names of members, honorary members, officers, committee members, past presidents, meetings hostesses, meeting dates, order of business, program listings and members responsible for each presentation, collect, bylaws, poetry and quotations.
TOLEDO FEDERATION OF WOMEN'S CLUBS PROGRAMS
Contains one annual program and one single meeting program with names of members, honorary members, state and local officers and committee members, club collect, colors, motto, objective and slogan, meeting dates, locations and hostesses, order of business, program topics and entertainment and persons responsible for each presentation, and list of name and president of each member club in the federation.
- Minutes of the Investigators Club, October 8, 1946-November 8, 1955
- Minutes of the Investigators Club, November 15, 1955-April 24, 1956
- Minutes of the Criterion Club, April 3, 1911-May 8, 1916
- Minutes of the Criterion Club, June 12, 1916-June 5, 1923
- Minutes of the Criterion Club, October 9, 1923-April 8, 1930
- Minutes of the Criterion Club, April 22, 1930-May 28, 1935
- Minutes of the Criterion Club, October 27, 1936-October 23, 1939; October 14, 1952-May 8, 1956
- Minutes and membership rosters of the Delta Woman's Club, September 23, 1975-April 24, 1979
- Manuscript history of Delta Public Library, n.d.
- Investigators' Club Annual Programs, 1895/96; 1904/05; 1907/08-1909/10; 1911/12-1917/18; 1919/20-1955/56
- Delta Woman's Club Annual Programs, 1956-1982
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