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A Silhouette of Service


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Sacramento, California






Editor, Mrs. Katherine W. Noonan

Co-ordinating Editor, Mrs. Irene Mills

Circulating Chairman, Mrs. Ethel Buerger

Directory Chairman, Mrs. Max Bollman








At the beginning of the fiftieth year of Woman's Council the seven elected officers met with the president and it was decided to compile a history of the achievements of Woman's Council.


It was the desire to have the book a chronicle of the actual work of a large group of women working for their fellowman as best they knew how.


This book is a record of hopes, dreams, desires and missions accomplished – some requiring years to reach fulfillment and some a continuous relentless effort for what is the best for the greatest number of people.


It is hoped that the coming generations will receive inspiration and courage by glancing back at the first half of the twentieth century and in so doing continue to place their stone in this great structure called Woman's Council.


This book is unique like Woman's Council in that it had been authored by many women.


The Sacramento Civic Improvement Club under their President, Mrs. G. E. Mulholland, and Mrs. Viola Brooks as General Chairman for Woman's Council accepted the great task of reading the minutes and to these women Woman's Council is grateful for their many hours of time in reading, research and writing.


In so far as possible, the biographical sketches have been prepared by the Past Presidents and the years of their administrations have been edited by them. They added pertinent information not always found in the minutes but nonetheless authentic of important events happening in their administrations.


This book is truly our mirror of the history of Sacramento for fifty years. These years are filled with many of the fine things of life which are now accepted as normal and natural but which years ago were courageous undertakings of great forward looking women planning for the future and preserving their heritage without fanfare or publicity, but quietly and with dignity accomplishing many projects for all people to enjoy a better life.


This proves why we are the greatest nation and that we are all for one and one for all.


The Sacramento Woman's Council gratefully acknowledges the assistance given by the following in preparing the material for this book.


Kee Coleman, Photographer

Sacramento City Library

California State Library

Sacramento Women's Civic Improvement Club

Mrs. Mary Ellen Allen

Mrs. Viola Brooks

Mrs. Mignon Burke

Mrs. Thelma Ballard

Mrs. Lucille Copeland

Mrs. Marguerite Euell

Mrs. Ruth Johnson

Mrs. Grace Morgan Jones

Mrs. Marie Jackson

Miss Carol King

Mrs. Thelma Leonard


Miss Susie Linder

Mrs. Irene Mills

Mrs. Indianola Mulholland

Mrs. Novelyn Sims

Miss Audrey Townsend

Mrs. Alvernon Tripp

Mrs. May Viau

Miss Caroline Wenzel


The contents of this book were compiled under the supervision and direction of Evelyn Crenshaw.








The committee appointed from the Tuesday Club for the purpose of effecting an organization of women on the plan of the Woman's Council for the improvement of the City and County of Sacramento met at the Y. M. C. A. Hall Friday afternoon, February nineteenth, nineteen hundred and 4.


The following ladies constituted the committee: Mrs. A. J. Johnston, Chairman, Mrs. H. B. Breckenfeld, Mrs. A. A. Goddard, Mrs. F. R. Dray, Mrs. H. Weinstock, Mrs. A. G. Folger, Mrs. E. P. Colgan, Miss M. M. Cronemiller, Miss Eliza Wittenbrock, Mrs. J. G. Storch, Mrs. Job Wood, Jr., Mrs. W. G. Hoskinson, Mrs. G. W. Lorenz, Mrs. Louis H. Breuner, Mrs. J. J. C. Fitzgerald, Mrs. W. H. Prouty, Mrs. Geo. M. Purnell, Miss Anna M. Gerber, Mrs. E. C. Atkinson, Mrs. Talbot H. Wallis, Miss Jennie McConnell, Miss M. Belle Johnston, Mrs. F. A. Edinger, Mrs. L. W. Nickell, Mrs. W. H. Govan, Mrs. W. J. Hassett, Mrs. Chauncy H. Dunn, Mrs. F. M. Bennett, Mrs. E. E. Condo, Mrs. L. C. Farrar, Mrs. Geo. H. McLaughlin, Mrs. Emil Steinman, Mrs. Clinton L. White, Mrs. H. E. Yardley.


Mrs. A. J. Johnston, the chairman of the committee, called the meeting to order and in a few words explained the purpose of the call. Nominations for temporary chairman was called for and Mrs. A. J. Johnston was nominated and unanimously elected. Nominations for temporary secretary were called for and Mrs. H. B. Breckenfeld received the nomination and was elected. It was moved and carried that the ladies proceed to organize a society.


The following ladies were appointed to act as a credential committee:


Mrs. Alice Stocker

Mrs. G. W. Lorenz

Mrs. W. A. Gett



A recess was declared to allow the invited delegates to report.


The Credential Committee reported forty-six delegates representing twenty-three organizations.


Daughters of the King

Miss Jennie Govan

Ladies Aid Cong'l. Church

Mrs. G. Stoddard, Mrs. J. A. Chamberlin

The Courtland Farmers Club

Mrs. S. McKeehan, Mrs. Ollie M. Greene

Oak Park W.C.T.U.

Mrs. Zeruah Buckminster, Mrs. Mary J. Davis

Reorganized Church Latter Day Saints

Mrs. Lizzie Day, Mrs. Pauline Napier

Ladies Hebrew Benevolent Society

Mrs. L. Cahen

Ladies Auxiliary Y.M.C.A.

Mrs. R. A. Lang, Mrs. W. B. Hackley

Silvan Lodge, I.O.G.T.

Mrs. A. A. ManBaker, Miss Lillian Dickinson

Ladies Aid English Lutheran

Mrs. W. L. Jones, Mrs. Sadie Burns

La Bandera Parlor N.D.G.W.

Mrs. Laura Fox, Miss May Burgess

Califia Parlor N.D.G.W.

Miss Bessie G. Urquhart, Mrs. Emma Gett

Foundling Home

Mrs. J. H. Roberts, Mrs. John Stevens

Ladies Museum Association

Bessie C. Crouch, Mary C. Crouch

Saturday Club

Mrs. Albert Elkus, Miss Maude Blue

The Tuesday Club

Mrs. A. A. Goddard, Mrs. A. J. Johnson

Sacramento W.C.T.U.

Mrs. E. V. Hunter, Mrs. Alice Stalker

Kingsley Art Club

Mrs. H. Weinstock, Mrs. Clinton White

Ladies Auxiliary Synagogue

Mrs. Louis Heilborn, Mrs. Aaron Nathan

The Ladies Choral Society

Miss Jean Stoval, Mrs. David Barnes

Ladies Aid Society Sixth St. M. E. Church

Mrs. B. H. Covell, Mrs. C. H. Dunn

Catholic Ladies Relief Society

Mrs. D. J. Desmond, Miss Eliza Wittenbrock

Women's Foreign Mission Society Sixth M. E. Church

Mrs. R. E. McMullin, Mrs. J. J. Handlin

Woman's Home Mission Society Sixth M.E. Church

Mrs. N. D. Hulse, Mrs. A. J. Gardner



A proposed constitution and by-laws for the Woman's Council was read by the Secretary and afterward taken up section by section.












Article I



This association shall be called the Woman's Council for the Improvement of the City and County of Sacramento.


Article II



The aim of this council is to bring the various associations of women of the City and County of Sacramento into closer relations through an organic union; but no society entering the Council shall thereby lose its independence in aim or method, or be committed to any principle or method of any other society in the Council, the object of which is to serve as a medium of communication and a means of prosecuting any work of common interest.


Article III



Section I – The officers shall be a President, Vice President at large ex-officio Vice President, (as indicated in the second section of this article), a Corresponding Secretary, a Recording Secretary, a Treasurer, and the Chairman of Departments.


Section II – The President of each society entering the Council shall be an ex-officio Vice President.


Section III – These officers (including Vice Presidents and Chairmen of Departments) shall compose the Executive Committee whose business it shall be to control and provide for the general interests of the Council. They shall meet at least once a month. Nine members shall constitute a quorum of the Committee.


Section IV – The Executive Committee shall have the right to fill vacancies in the offices of President, Vice President-at-large, Recording Secretary, Corresponding Secretary and Treasurer.


Section V – The officers (excluding Vice Presidents and Chairmen of Departments) shall be elected by the committee of Arrangements at a special session, called for that purpose during the annual meeting of the Council, or prior thereto.


Section VI – The five general officers shall hold office for one year from the date of their election or until their successors shall be duly elected.


Article IV



Section I – Any society of women in Sacramento City or County, the nature of whose work is satisfactory to the Executive Committee of the Council, may become a member of the Council by its own vote and by the payment annually of five cents per capita for its membership, into the treasury of the Council.


Section II – Any organization composed of both men and women may join the Council by electing women to represent them on the Executive Committee, women delegates to Quarterly meetings and by the payment of the regular fee into the treasury.


Section III – Individuals may become related to the Council as Patrons. Any person nominated by one of the general officers, upon payment of two dollars annually may become a Patron with the following privileges: A Patron may attend all meetings of the Council, including executive sessions; may introduce motions and resolutions, may join in all discussions and may serve on all committees, standing and special, but may not have a vote. Both men and women may become Patrons.


Article V



Section I – The Council shall hold Quarterly Meetings, one of which shall be its Annual Meeting. The exact dates for these meetings shall be determined by the Executive Committee. The Committee of Arrangements to make preparations for these meetings shall be composed of the Executive Committee together with one delegate from each society belonging to the Council.


Section II – At the Quarterly Meetings every society belonging to the Council shall have two votes. One of these votes shall be cast by the President of each society, (or in her absence by the Vice President of her society,) the other delegate or alternate elected to represent the society on the Committee of Arrangements. Neither of these representatives shall cast the vote of the other, nor shall the power of voting be delegated to any other member of the society.


Section III – All members of any society belonging to the Council may have the privilege of proposing questions and participating in all discussions that may arise at the Quarterly Meetings.


Article VII



Section I – The Council shall have Departments for study and work along different lines. These Departments shall meet at least once a month, the time of meetings to be a few days prior to the meeting of the Executive Committee.


Section II – The chairman of a Department shall be required to report in writing at each Quarterly Meeting of the Council the work accomplished under consideration.


Section III – Any public work that a Department desires to undertake on which there may be well defined differences of opinion, must first receive the sanction of the Executive Committee.


Section IV – The Departments at present shall be as follows:

1.      The Improvement League, whose work shall include city forestry, road improvement, and all work for the betterment of the City and County not specified in the work of the other Departments.

2.      Public School Department

3.      Department of Organized Charities

4.      Department of Moral Reform


Section V – The Departments shall hold their election of officers before the annual meeting of the Council.


Section VI – Each Department shall elect its own chairman and secretary, and may elect such other officers and make such rules for its government as do not conflict with the Constitution of the Council.


Article VIII



The Constitution may be altered or amended by a majority vote of the Council, printed notice of the proposed change having been sent to each Society belonging to the Council at least one month prior to such meeting.


Article IX



The rules contained in Parliamentary Usage by Emma A. Fox shall govern the Council subject to the special rules which have been or may be adopted.


Article X



Any article of this Constitution and By-Laws, by unanimous consent may be suspended for not more than one meeting except this article which shall not be suspended.


It was moved that the word “local” be inserted before the word “Woman's” in Article I “and for the improvement” be stricken out. The motion lost.


It was moved to amend by inserting the word “nine” before the word members in Article III Section III. The motion carried.


It was moved that the words “Parliamentary Usage by Emma A. Fox” be inserted in Article IX. The motion carried.


It was moved and carried that the words “who shall be a member of a society belonging to the Council” be inserted after the words Secretary.


Further action upon the proposed constitution was postponed until after the election of officers.


It was moved that a nominating committee of five be appointed by the chair to select a list of officers after the plan outlined in the proposed constitution. The chair appointed the following committee: Mrs. H. Weinstock, Mrs. H. E. Yardley, Miss Eliza Wittenbrock, Mrs. A. J. Gardner, Mrs. D. E. Fox.


Mrs. H. Weinstock for the nominating committee reported the list of nominees as follows: President, Mrs. Robert T. Devlin, Vice-President-at-large Mrs. W. A. Gett, Recording Secretary, Miss Nellie S. Dunlap, Corresponding Secretary, Mrs. J. J. C. Fitzgerald, Treasurer, Mrs. O. F. Washburn, nominations from the floor were then called for – Mrs. G. A. Stoddard and Mrs. A. J. Johnston were nominated for President – each declined.


It was moved and seconded that the report of the nominating committee be accepted and the officers be elected for the ensuing year. The motion was carried.


It was moved and carried that the Constitution and By-Laws be adopted as read.


Mary A. Breckenfeld

Secretary, Pro Tem.


Mrs. A. J. Johnston invited the newly elected officers to come forward. With a few happy remarks Mrs. Robert T. Devlin was installed President. The President then called the Council to order and thanked the delegates for the honor conferred.


The President announced the following: Mrs. H. E. Wright, Chairman, Improvement League; Miss Ella McCleery, Chairman of the Public School Department; Mrs. A. J. Woodsen, Chairman of Department of Organized Charities; Mrs. Chauncey H. Dunn, Chairman of Department of Moral Reform.


The President suggested that the delegates consult with the different chairmen in regard to the Department they wish to join.


On the motion of Mrs. A. J. Johnston, papers were passed among all present to give them an opportunity to join different departments.


There being no further business the Council adjourned to meet Wednesday afternoon, February 24th at 2:30 o'clock in the Y.M.C.A. Hall.


Nellie S. Dunlap






The first ten years of the life of the Woman's Council, as reflected in their minutes, is an inspiration and challenge to all women of Sacramento who are interested in the growth and welfare of their city.


The Council was founded on February 19, 1904 with Mrs. A. J. Johnston acting as chairman. At that meeting there were forty-six delegates representing twenty-three women's organizations. It's name was The Woman's Council for the Improvement of the City and County of Sacramento. The purpose of this new organization was to bring together the various women's groups in Sacramento County into a closer union. The Council would serve as a medium of communication and a means of carrying out the work of common interest to these women's clubs.


The Council had both a monthly Executive Committee meeting and a quarterly meeting. There were departments of interest set up which studied and reported their findings to the body. These departments were:


I.                    Improvement League – Roads, beautification of City and County and Water, Sewage, Forestry, etc.

II.                 Public Schools – Concerned itself with all matters relating to schools.

III.              Moral Reform – Concerned itself with all matters of conduct and morals.


The first three years were under the presidency of Mrs. Robert T. Devlin. The Woman's Council was very active, and its program a full one. No attempt will be made to include in this book all of the work which the Council did but rather to highlight that portion of the Council's work made possible many of the benefits which those of us living in Sacramento today are enjoying.


FIRST OFFICERS (1904-1907): President, Mrs. Robert T. Devlin; Vice-President, Mrs. W. A. Gett; Recording Secretary, Miss Nellie S. Dunlap; Corresponding Secretary, Mrs. J. J. C. Fitzgerald; Treasurer, Mrs. O. F. Washburn.


I.                    IMPROVEMENT LEAGUE – 1904-1907: In 1904 the Council wrote to the City Board of Trustees and asked that ornamental trees be planted on the main streets of Sacramento. N Street was suggested as a starting street. One year later the Council again requested that the City provide $600.00 to purchase trees to plant along the streets and that a uniformity in planting be carried out. No action was taken by the Board of Trustees so the Council wrote to the National Nursery at Washington, D. C., and hundreds of trees were sent. The City then approved a plan for planting them. In 1907 the Council requested that the City assume responsibility for the care of the trees. This request was complied with.


The Council joined with a federation of local improvement clubs in a resolution to the Board of Trustees of Sacramento condemning the Helvetia Cemetery and urging that no new cemeteries be approved between thirty-first street and East levee.


The Woman's Council was instrumental in organizing all charity groups in the City to form an associated charities.


It joined with other organizations in giving support to initiative and referendum amendments to the City Charter.


In 1905 it supported the Y.W.C.A. in securing a lot upon which to build a boarding home for girls. That same year it gave a book shower to the Y.W.C.A. It, in cooperation with Y.W.C.A. helped to operate the Traveler's Aid by paying one-half the cost of a salaried person and planning with the Y.W.C.A. for Traveler's Aid programming.


They made a request to the Board of Trustees, that a matron be placed at the City Jail and several months later this request was granted.


A committee was set up to see if any law was violated by mutilators of the trees along the streets of Sacramento. It was found that such a City ordinance had been repealed. The Board of Trustees was urged to re-establish this ordinance.


In 1905 a resolution was sent to the Board of Trustees of Sacramento urging that a matron be on duty at the receiving hospital. Some months later this request was complied with.


In May of 1905 a fund for a Foundling Home was started by the Sacramento Union. The Council gave both financial as well as moral support to this effort.


In that same year the Council went on record as supporting a plan for a Union Station to be provided for all railroads entering the City. The Council met with representatives of the Western Pacific urging them to reconsider their proposed routing through the City.


In 1906 the Council urged that name plates be provided for the City streets. In the Fall of that same year the street naming and numbering began.


The efforts of the Council were so successful in securing improvements for the City that the State Board of Health requested them to serve as a supporting group to study and inform the City of the need of extermination of mosquitoes.


Following the earthquake and fire in April 1906, the Woman's Council gave assistance to the refugees from San Francisco. People who had lost everything and families that had become separated were placed on trains and sent to Sacramento.


The City rolled up its sleeves and opened its hearts to these people. Woman's Council kept a very accurate record of these people, their needs, and where they were eventually sent.


A register was kept so that inquiries from all over the United States could be answered as relatives were anxious about their loved ones.


Special places were provided for refugees in the Old Pavilion (6th & M Streets), Mansion House (7th & J Streets), and Sutter Fort. Many basements of business firms were used as well as many private homes.


A private record of the location in San Francisco where the refugees came from was kept as this also helped in locating the lost and separated people.


An effort to keep families together was made and if they had relatives anywhere that could be located, they were given transportation to them and their destinations were all over the United States.


Employment was provided for those that could work and many single men were sent to neighboring communities to work on farms. No doubt this was the start of the great agriculture labor market as we know it today.


Medical care was provided by the Doctors and nurses working long hours after their regular work was completed.


Woman's Council co-ordinated all these activities.


In 1906 McKinley Park was started through the efforts of a group of private citizens. The Council was very interested in it but felt that it was the responsibility of the City to take care of Parks. The Council requested that the Board of Trustees give $1.00 per year to each child under seventeen years of age living in Sacramento. At that time there were 8077 such children. This dollar per capita to be used as a maintenance and development fund.


A committee was appointed to meet with City Officials to see what plans had been made for City sewage, water and parking.


II.                 SCHOOL DEPARTMENT – 1904-1907: The School Department, as its first project, sent a resolution to the City Board of Trustees requesting that it study the need for a High School in Sacramento, and that a bond issue for not more than $100,000.00 be set up. The City placed a bond issue on the ballots, and in July 1904 it passed well over the necessary votes. The Woman's Council provided thirty carriages to bring people to the polls to vote for the high school.


In October 1905 a resolution was sent to the Board of Education asking that in the new high school plans accommodations for Manual Training and Domestic Science Departments be included. It further requested that competitive bids be secured for the high school.


III.              MORAL REFORM – 1904-107: The Committee on Moral Reform requested that a resolution be sent to the City officials urging a law forbidding children under eighteen from being on the streets alone at night and making it illegal to sell liquor to minors.


In 1905 the Council concerned itself with prisoners. They, along with the Chamber of Commerce, supported a plan for forming a California Prison Association. The Council secured a $250.00 membership in that association. The Council also passed a resolution that individually and collectively they agreed to report any vacancy or prospective employment to that association.


OFFICERS (1907-1909): President, Mrs. A. J. Johnston; Vice President, Mrs. George Sevan (later resigned and replaced by Mrs. A. W. McCoy); Corresponding Secretary, Mrs. J. J. C. Fitzgerald; Recording Secretary, Miss Nellie S. Dunlap; Treasurer, Mrs. O. F. Washburn.


I IMPROVEMENT LEAGUE – 1907-1909: Under the improvement league department in 1907 a request was made to the State Fair Committee asking that a separate department of women's work with a secretary be set up. The State Fair approved the plan and provided a Secretary of the Women's Department with supplies and further provided a plan to have a paid staff at a later date.


The Council felt that there was a need for a Traveler's Aid to meet the night trains. They met with the Y.W.C.A., and voted an increase in salary for the worker.


The care of trees on the streets of Sacramento was not adequate and the Council met with the Board of Supervisors and asked that they be placed under the control of one person. This request was complied with.


A request was sent to the City Board of Trustees asking that mailboxes be placed on houses to facilitate mail delivery. It was referred to the Post Office Department. The latter heartily approved the plan, and the Woman's Council campaigned to get public support.


The Council was desirous of having drinking fountains placed at strategic spots throughout the City. This request was made to the Board of Trustees.


In 1908 the Council furnished a room in the new Y.W.C.A. Building.


The Council was interested in securing free beds in the hospitals of Sacramento. The Hospital Wentworth offered such a bed for $400.00 per year and the Sister's Hospital for $500.00 per year. No action was taken.


Again and again throughout the records of the Woman's Council requests were made by other civic groups asking them to plan and promote campaigns for City improvements.


In 1908 the Realty Board asked the Council to cooperate with them in securing electroliers along the main business streets.


The Council cooperated with the East Sacramento Improvement Club concerning the thirty-first street canal.


They gave support to a plan for a public swimming project.


The Council was informed that no tree was named for Sacramento in the Mariposa Big Tree Grove. The Council pointed this out to the proper authorities, and the Chamber of Commerce provided the plaque. It was placed on the tree.


The Council met with the County Board of Supervisors and asked that plans of the new courthouse include facilities for a matron at the county jail, this was done.


II SCHOOL DEPARTMENT – 1907-1909: The Board of Education approved Manual Training in the City schools in 1908. The Council set up a committee to make plans for beautifying and improving the school grounds.


III MORAL REFORM – 1907-1909: I907 the Council appeared before the Prison and Reform Committee of the State Senate and Assembly to see of (sic) something could be done to furnish clothing to prisoners being discharged from prison.


The proposed ordinance that saloons be regulated and that there be no saloons in residential districts was given full support of the Council. They distributed circulars to its total membership.


OFFICERS – 1909 – 1911: President, Mrs. George E. Swan; Vice President, Mrs. J. J. Handlin; Recording Secretary, Miss Nellie S. Dunlap; Corresponding Secretary, Mrs. J. J. C. Fitzgerald; Treasurer, Mrs. C. V. Watson.


I IMPROVEMENT LEAGUE – 1909-1911: In 1910 the Council formed an auxiliary to the White Crusaders known as the Woman's Council Auxiliary to the White Crusaders.


In 1909 the Council went on record against obnoxious billboards. It was informed by persons responsible for such billboards that if the Council took no public action nothing objectionable would be posted. Because the practice of obnoxious billboards continued, the Council began a study of ordinances in other cities relating to this matter with the intention of framing a similar one to be presented to the City Board of Trustees.


In 1909 the Council conferred with the City Park Committee and City Board of Trustees asking that the City secure the block 15-16, C and D streets for a playground.


This same year the Council began plans for giving prizes for the best gardens in Sacramento.


Fire prevention was also a concern of the Council. It was called to their attention that no exit was provided for the gallery of the Clunie Theatre. They relayed this information to the Fire Chief with a request that when the theatre was remodeled provisions for such an exit be included. He gave his full support to this matter.


In 1910 the Water Filtration Plant Bond issue was a major project of the Council. They urged the Board of Trustees to eliminate any plan for water meters as it might result in a loss of votes for the bond issue. The Council sponsored public meetings with slides and asked the theatres to publicize in support of the bond issue. They sent posters throughout the City and carried on a person to person campaign.


II SCHOOL DEPARTMENT- 1909-1911: In 1910 the City Board of Trustees was interviewed by the Council concerning a Carnegie Library in Sacramento. The Board gave full support to the project.


III MORAL REFORM – 1909-1911: In 1909 the Council urged the Chief of Police to enforce more effectively the anti-expectorations ordinance through instruction to his officers as to its health value.


In 1910 it was called to the attention of the Council that the San Francisco Musical Club had refused membership to applicants because of their racial background. A resolution was sent to the club and to all members of the Council to the effect that such racial prejudice on the part of such a club was an anachronism and unworthy of a body of enlightened and progressive women.


OFFICERS – 1911-1912: President, Mrs. John T. Greene; Vice-President, Mrs. J. L. Harbough; Recording Secretary, Miss Nellie S. Dunlap; Corresponding Secretary, Mrs. M. L. Winkelman; Treasurer, Mrs. G. V. Watson.


I. IMPROVEMENT LEAGUE – 1911-1912: (In this period of the Council's history its major work was in the area of Political Action.)


In 1911 after the granting of Woman Suffrage the Council met with the Charter Freeholders asking that three other persons be appointed. They also urged that both men and women be equally represented on the School Board.


A. VOTING: In 1911 the Council was most active in securing votes for women's suffrage. When this was achieved the Council then began a campaign to urge every woman to register for voting. The Council asked that women be appointed as County Deputy Registrars with pay. This plan was approved by the County Board of Supervisors and three women were appointed. They asked that at least one of the election officers be a woman and that a woman be placed at each polling place.


In 1911 the Council went on record as endorsing one of its members, Mrs. A. J. Johnston, a Past President, as a candidate for City Commissioner of Education. The Council took an active part in her campaign; she was elected to this office.


II. SCHOOL DEPARTMENT – 1911-1912: In 1911 the Council gave support to the school bond issue. They purchased 20,000 tags for school children and parents and made a house to house canvass. The ministers were asked to support the issue on the Sunday before election in each church.


The Council joined with the Chamber of Commerce in trying to secure Harriman College for Sacramento.


The Council met with the School Board and asked that the high school auditorium be used for mass meetings. It was approved. After the passage of the school bond issue the Board of Education asked the Council to appoint an advisory committee to help in making suggestions as to the best methods of expenditures of the $800,000.00 for school sites and buildings.


A committee was appointed to study films and urge film companies to make films specifically for children.


III. MORAL REFORM- 1911-1912: It was primarily through the work of Woman's Council that all saloons in a newly annexed residential area were closed.


OFFICERS – 1912-1913: President, Mrs. J. L. Harbough; Vice President, Mrs. Shannahan (Mrs. Shannahan resigned and was succeeded by Mrs. Victor Short.) In 1913 Mrs. Frank Duffy was elected to this office.); Corresponding Secretary, Mrs. F. A. Turner (Mrs. Louis Colton was elected for 1913); Recording Secretary, Miss Nellie S. Dunlap; Treasurer, Mrs. G. V. Watson.


I. IMPROVEMENT LEAGUE – 1912-1913: In 1912 plans were formulated to secure a Women's Building at the State Fair.


In 1913 the Council set up a committee of sanitary housing and asked that a house to house inspection be made. A committee on county road flower and tree planting was also appointed. These committees cooperated with other civic groups in improvement of the City.


II. SCHOOL DEPARTMENT- 1912-1913: The Council was interested in a plan for scholarship in the public schools. Mr. and Mrs. C. H. Goethe offered $100.00 for same.


The playground movement was well supported by the community.


A committee was appointed to plan ways of introducing information on sex hygiene to women in the community.


III. MORAL REFORM – 1912-1913: In 1912 the Council favored the appointment of a police woman and gave this matter its support.


In 1913 the Council urged that the City pass an ordinance regulating dance halls. This proposed ordinance was submitted to the Council for their approval.


At a meeting on January 21, 1914 of the Woman's Council, Governor Hiram W. Johnson was invited to address their meeting on January 29th at the Tuesday Club. Governor Johnson's subject will be “Citizenship.”


Mrs. Harbaugh the President of Woman's Council appointed a committee at this meeting to investigate dance halls and make other recommendations to Commissioner Charles A. Bliss. The committee members were: Mesdames Frank Gillett, Frank Duffy, Walther Longbothorn, Egbert A. Brown and Miss Edna Grace Davis. This investigation was prompted by a request from Commissioner Bliss.


The Council requested the Commissioner to make the school houses of Sacramento, civic centers. Also requested the registrar of voters, Conrad W. Haub, to appoint deputies to register voters in the school houses. This is to encourage more women to register to vote.


Governor Hiram Johnson said in part, “The attainment of the ballot by women has added to the government function in California, not only a great reservoir of moral energy, but also a progressive force, unhampered by the traditions of party, which sometimes make men slow to move out to new things.” He continued, “One half cannot be deprived of the ballot, but all must be set free, and must have a part in government.” Thus it came about that the right of both sexes was recognized. The Governor appointed an all woman board of directors for the training school for girls. The women were given credit for their vigorous work for the passage of the Workmen's Compensation Act, the Immigration Commission Act, eight hour law for women, passage of the teacher's pension act, extension of the juvenile court act, and the Mother's Pension act.


Following the Governor's address a reception was held, and there were two deputies who registered the women to vote.


The Council at their March 18, 1914 meeting decided they would stimulate the registration of women voters in Sacramento at the following places East Sacramento Grocery, 38th and J; Mrs. Engles Grocery, 29th and U; R. C. Mack, 28th and O Sts.; Clifton Furniture Store, 35th Street, Oak Park Radcliffe's Grocery, Curtis Oaks; Highland Park Grocery, 24th and San Benito Ave.


On April 14th a most successful executive board meeting was held at the Chamber of Commerce Building with 21 members present. Delegate elected: Mrs. J. L. Harbaugh and Mrs. Frank Duffy, alternates were Mrs. Louis Breuner and Mrs. W. S. Kendall, to the Convention of Woman's Clubs to be held at Riverside, California.


At the request of the State Federation of Woman's Clubs the Council endorsed a plan to appoint a committee of five women to make a study of waterways, and to take cognizance of the legislation on that important subject as assistance to the State Waterway Club Committee.


Plans were made to interest the women of the State in the $750,000 State Fair Bonds which involve the Woman's Building on the State Fair Grounds which the club women of Sacramento area are so desirous of seeing erected.


Mrs. Charles H. Adams had a very busy time while in office and the following are the highlights:


December 16, 1914, Woman's Council urged the City Health Department to denounce the throwing of dodgers that cluttered the streets, also that monthly reports be printed regarding sanitary conditions in the stores. Later a committee was appointed to call upon the City Commissioner and request that the law which prohibits the throwing of advertising matter on the streets of the residential section of the city be enforced.


Mrs. W. H. Prouty reported for Mrs. A. C. Harton on the committee for City beautification was progressing with its work. The women endorsed the ordinance drafted by the Chamber of Commerce for the establishing of a Public Welfare League in this City. The Rev. E. Guy Talbott explained the ordinance to the women.


January 20, 1915 THE COMMITTEE ON SANITATION reported that the local merchants had cleaned up their stores in the interest of sanitation. The Bill regarding employment of school children had been presented to the legislation.


March 17, 1916, endorsement was given to the Lubin marketing project as embodied in the Goodman resolution now pending in congress. The plan aims to bring about a general system of marketing throughout the United States, with a view to lowering the cost of living. A rising vote was given to the following for their part in helping beautify the City: The Press, The Theatres, Commissions of Education, E. J. Carragher, Supt. Of Schools, C. C. Hughes, E. P. Cornell, Supt. Of Nature Study, Children of the City Schools East Lawn Nursery, Union Nursery, and many others who donated flowers. S. Glenn Andruss, Secretary and Manager of the Chamber of Commerce is in receipt of a letter which suggested that flags be unfurled during the day light hours to help beautify the City even more.


On April 22, 1915, the Woman's Council endorsed Senator P. C. Cohn's bill providing for a State Planning Commission to confer with a City Planning Commission of Sacramento. A vote of thanks was given Assemblyman Lee Gebhart, for his services in reference to the passage of the compulsory Education Bill. Voted not to go in favor of the Bill to have the Bible read in schools. Endorsed a bill to have a trail built through the Yosemite Valley in honor of the late John Muir.


Mrs. John T. Greene, and Mrs. O. V. Watson were appointed a committee to appear before the city commission and protest against any raise in the gas rates. The Woman's Council will send Mrs. C. H. Adams, President and one other member to the Convention of the California Federation of Woman's Clubs in San Francisco, May 1915.


At the May meeting Mrs. C. H. Adams was nominated as President for the year 1916, the election was held in June, other nominated were: Mrs. W. H. Prouty, Vice-President, Mrs. H. F. Miles, Recording Secretary, Mrs. B. F. Parsons, Corresponding Secretary and Mrs. G. V. Watson, Treasurer.


Wednesday, September 29, 1915, the Council had quite a discussion as to the location of the Poor Farm, which Robert Callahon wanted to place next to Del Paso Park. The women felt the City should not have a poor farm anywhere near the park, as the City grew in years to come the Park would become a very beautiful spot for our City. Recreational places should be kept separate.


A Special Call sent out by the President to all Woman's clubs for a special meeting January 17, 1916, brought together a number of Local Club women who will arrange a luncheon, in honor of the wives and daughters of the legislators during the second half of the session. March 8th was the date set at 12:30; the luncheon would be served in Hotel Sacramento. The tickets are limited to three hundred and fifty.


The following are the Committees in charge: Reception, Mrs. C. B. Bills, Chairman, Mrs. F. R. Dray, Vice-Chairman, and Mesdames John T. Greene, J. A. McKee, P. C. Cohn, Archibald Yell, L. F. Bontz, M. Fried, Emmett Phillips, Gus Turner, C. K. McClatchy, G. C. Simmons, O. W. Kennedy, E. J. Carragher, V. S. McClatchy, Thomas Coulter, M. J. Burke, H. F. Miles, R. T. Devlin, Frank O'Brien, C. O. Busick, Walter Chenoweth, M. R. Beard, Charles Bliss, Miss Winnifred Waite.


INVITATIONS: Mrs. D. A. Lindley, and Mrs. E. A. Earles.


RESERVATIONS AND TICKETS: Mrs. C. E. V. Saunders, Chairman, Mrs. A. E. Coolot and Mrs. A. M. Seymour; Mrs. John S. Chambers to interest State Officials; Mrs. George M. Purnell to interest Club Women; Mrs. Hugh B. Bradford to interest County Officials; Mrs. William Beckman in charge of menu and to be the Toast Mistress; Miss Diepenbrock, Chairman of the Reception Committee for Young Women; Mrs. J. H. McDonald, Chairman of table arrangements, helped by Mesdames O. W. Kennedy, F. B. McKevitt, M. R. Beard and A. A. Goddard; Press Committee Mrs. O. W. Kennedy, Chairman, Mesdames C. K. McClatchy, H. G. Dowdall, L. E. Bontz, Emmet Phillips. Entertainment: Mrs. Charles Mering, Chairman, Mrs. C. B. Dewees is treasurer of the affair.


January 19, 1916: Women Workers for Preparedness – Getting many recruits. Mrs. C. H. Adams stated the signatures of women only are being secured, and the petitions are being signed rapidly, asking for preparedness, which will make the United States secure from foreign power. The members of Council will wear preparedness buttons.


Dr. G. C. Simmons reported to the City Board of Health last night. February 16, 1916, that the Woman's Council has asked him to have an ordinance adopted requiring all bread sold by bakers to be wrapped in glazed paper. They also asked for cement floors in bake shops. Dr. C. L. Megown said this request would work no hardship, as most shops now have cement floors, especially when below street level.


March 21st, the Council voted to endorse the efforts of Mrs. Alice Bailey to have a Psychopathic Ward added to the County Hospital with a nurse in charge. New Officers installed were: Mrs. H. W. Adams, President, Mrs. W. H. Prouty, Vice-President, Mrs. G. V. Watson, Treasurer. Mrs. George Winslow, Recording Secretary and Mrs. M. S. Wahrhaftig, Corresponding Secretary.


By unanimous vote the Council, under the leadership of Mrs. Harry W. Adams, April 19, 1916, decided against the restoration of the poll tax which was abolished by a vote of the people of the State at an election in 1914. Woman's Council felt the tax unjust. The Woman's Council decided to enter a float in the Causeway parade. Mrs. William Beckman, Chairman, Mrs. A. C. Hart and Mrs. Fred Johns were appointed to this Committee. The delegate to the Federation of Women's Clubs Convention, meeting in Del Monte April 25th to 30th was Mrs. Miles.


Work was laid aside May 17, 1916, for the good cause, the Opening of the Causeway. The Woman's Council entered heart and soul into the Spirit of the Carnival, under the leadership of Mrs. William Beckman and Mrs. A. C. Hart, assisted by others. The float itself made up of flowers growing in Sacramento symbolized the satisfaction felt by all loyal Californians in the completion of the Causeway.


June 21, 1916: Woman's Council refused to enter the Wet and Dry Argument; the vote was seventeen for and thirteen against the consideration of the liquor question. The By-Laws of the Council provide that no political question shall be considered within the body. Leaders in favor of the question were: Mrs. Mary M. Bowen, Mrs. Lucy Stoddard, Mrs. J. L. Harbaugh. Mrs. John T. Greene led the fight against the efforts to bring the liquor question before the Council.


On September 20, 1916 the President of Woman's Council, Mrs. H. W. Adams, presided over a Good Roads Rally in the Tuesday Club House. The meeting was open to the public so they might hear why they should vote on October 3rd for the $1,700,000 Good Road Bond. The following were speakers on the program: George W. Peltier, Banker; Dr. J. B. Bullitt, President of the Tourist Association, The Honorable M. B. Johnson and the Honorable C. E. McLaughlin.


When the Agricultural Society, asks the next Legislature for an appropriation to be expended in improving the State Fair Grounds, it will have the full support of the Woman's Council of this City. This was decided upon at the October 18th meeting. The Council also has decided to request the Railroads running into the City to change their week-end schedule from Friday to Sunday instead of from Saturday to Monday. It is asserted this will be of direct benefit to out-of-town visitors and those who would come from other sections to points in Superior California, particularly to Teachers and those attending school. Mrs. H. W. Adams, President of the Council declared Sacramento was one of the few cities of its size in the country that is without a system permitting the transfer of one company to the lines of all other companies. The Council will endeavor to have the various companies evolve a complete transfer system.


November 15th the women voted to meet with Governor Hiram Johnson to probe the cost of living. Mrs. H. W. Adams, and Mrs. H. F. Miles were asked to meet with the Executives. Mrs. M. F. Wahrhaftig has been asked to write to Mayor Thompson of Chicago, who is conducting a similar campaign in his own city, to lower the cost of living.


Because the Pacific Gas & Electric Company turned down the proposal submitted by the Woman's Council for a universal transfer system between the lines of the P. G. & E., the Northern Electric and the Central California Traction Company, a complaint against the first named Company was filed with the State Railroad Commission by Woman's Council. All three companies were named parties to the complaint. If the companies finally agree to the universal transfer system, a passenger will be permitted to transfer at any convenient point to any street railway line in the city.


On May 15, 1917, a protest against the fraternities and sororities existing in the local high schools under the guise of “Clubs” was voiced by Woman's Council, which has pledged itself to wipe out these un-American and undemocratic “Clubs” and the determination to abolish them came in the form of a resolution which reads. “The Woman's Council for the betterment of Sacramento City and County Schools, believing that such work can only be accomplished by the making of good citizens and further believing that upon the public school rests the future welfare of our County.”


Officers nominated to be elected in June for the ensuing year are: President, Mrs. H. F. Miles, Vice-President, Mrs. F. B. Gillett, Corresponding Secretary, Mrs. B. F. Walton, Recording Secretary, Mrs. E. A. Stickney, Treasurer, Mrs. George R. Winslow. The Woman's Council contributed $25.00 from its funds to the local Red Cross. The Woman's Council called the attention of the City Commissioner to the “Garbage Question.” As the Council had urged the City Officials to sell the garbage instead of giving it away, and now that conservation of all resources is urged, the women thought it time for the commission to be installing a system of economy in conduct of City affairs.


During Mrs. Miles administration, June 20th, 1917, Farm advisor L.O. Williams addressed the Woman's Council on the subject of “Farm Labor Shortage.” He urged that boys of sufficient age be allowed to work on the farms this vacation. The women agreed with the plan, but desire that some sanitary safety and social regulations be imposed so as to assure the youth of decent treatment. It was also suggested that some sort of supervision be arranged.





Transcribed by: Jeanne Sturgis Taylor. 

© 2011 Jeanne Sturgis Taylor. 





Golden Nugget Library's Sacramento County

Golden Nugget Library