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A Silhouette of Service


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Sacramento, California



President's Photos




Pages 47-50


Officers – 1944 – 1945:

President, Mrs. Charles Walker

1st Vice President, Mrs. B. E. Eastburn

2nd Vice President, Mrs. J. L. Hemmert

Recording Secretary, Mrs. J. V. Cullivan

Corresponding Secretary, Mrs. E. A. Schwing

Treasurer, Mrs. Marie Kneeland

Custodian, Mrs. Blanche Ambrose


Mrs. B. E. Eastburn was President of the Woman's Council for the years 1945-1947. Included in the projects for the year were the resolutions presented by the Health Committee; viz, that we continue cooperation with the county health officers; a well baby clinic be established in the West End; that a preventive medical service director be appointed; a full time physician at the Municipal Clinic on venereal diseases be appointed with a competent staff; and addition be made to the staff of nurses in the public health nursing division, with salaries commensurate with duties and qualifications.


The Council recommended a hospital for Veterans be located near Sacramento; the investigation of taxicab companies; voted unanimously to approve the signing of petitions to place the Fair Practice Employment Act initiative on the November ballot.


The Council forwarded protests to Senators Downey and Knowland condemning the Robertson Bill S744, allowing Bars on airlines, and Senate Bills Nos. 599 and 623, also on the liquor question be voted against. A letter was sent disapproving radio stations broadcasting liquor programs on Sunday afternoons. Some stations canceled these programs.


The vigorous protests entered to the City Lines against the Victory Stops failed to meet approval of the City Lines officers and it appears that for economical reasons the Victory Stops are here to stay.


During a three month period, 3.250 service men's families were interviewed for housing and 20% were placed. Mrs. H. H. Johnson, Chairman of Committee for procuring workers for fruit and vegetable processing and what seemed to be the impossible, proved to be a successful venture with the cooperation of the Chamber of Commerce. This was a war measure.


Mrs. Jenkins, legislative chairman; Mrs. John Welsh, active in Educational campaign against venereal diseases; Mrs. Sponmore, cripple children's work; Mrs. F. J. Brorsen, on Police Court; Mrs. M. Schall, as editor of “Woman's Council Speaks.”


Aside from other civic interests and activities, Woman's Council assisted Red Cross in preparing Christmas packages and in conducting home nursing courses. Contributed $17.50 to the Hard of Hearing Society to sponsor a vacation for a child at the Society's Children's Camp, known as the Blue Bird Camp, in memory of Mrs. Berryford for her faithful work at the U.S.O. Housing Desk. Sold bonds and stamps at Breuner's Booth to the amount of $656,818.10


Among the correspondence will be found “Thank You” notes from “Youth Activity Group” for cooperation in making their Forums a success.


In August 1946 Mrs. Eastburn, President, called a Special Board Meeting, at which time the project sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce in the interest of the proposed “Deep Water Channel” from the coast to this area was presented. The Council circulated the petitions instrumental in securing signatures to place the proposition before the voters of Yolo and Sacramento Counties. So successful was the project, that the Woman's Council received high commendation from the Chamber of Commerce for the excellent work accomplished.


Mesdames Marshall, Collins, and Sullivan continued their efforts to have the new park in Tahoe School District named for Francis Bellamy, the school boy who wrote the words for our “Pledge to the Flag.” This failed.


The influence of the Woman's Council as a factor in Civic Life may be noted by correspondence received from organizations throughout the community; the Junior League, concerning its first “Pop Concert” with the Philharmonic Orchestra; the Saturday Club, its celebrity series; the California Congress of the Parent Teachers Association, on its Parent Education Planning Committee; the Sacramento Hard of Hearing Society; the Red Cross for its “Gifts to Men at Sea.”


Woman's Council gave sponsorship to the conference of industrial managers and Women Leaders.


Mrs. Dan Kilroy, Press Agent, secured radio space for the Woman's Council interviews and announcements over Stations KFBK and KCRA.


It was during this year that Sacramento was introduced to the Neighborhood Councils. Mrs. Florence Parker presented one of her first pleas for furtherance of this Youth Program to the Woman's Council.


The Council recommended and proposed to the City Council an ordinance to prohibit smoking in buses. This was passed and became Ordinance 1056. The Council worked sedulously on unsanitary conditions in bus stations, which resulted in improved conditions.


Commendations were received from the Community Chest for high quality of service rendered during the campaign; from Miss Helen McGregor, Secretary to Governor Warren for the part Woman's Council plays in the great and complicated government of our state.


The Woman's Council endorsed the City Council's action in opposing an increase in city bus fares.


The President appeared before the state special session of legislature endorsing and presenting Woman's Council policy on education and the need for a four year college.


The Woman's Council endorsed the Sacramento Business & Professional Women's Club Lamplighter program to have all homes put their porch light on after dark during the winter months to light the working woman's way home.


National recognition invaded the Woman's Council ranks when Mrs. Gerald Rifkin was named representative on the Executive Council of the National Fund for Infantile Paralysis, Inc.


Outstanding in expenditures to worthy causes for the year was the contribution made to the Junior Chamber of Commerce toward its Summer Camp for Underprivileged Children. Acknowledgment was in the form of an insurance policy which stated: This policy is an investment in our boys and girls of today and insures a stable society tomorrow.


Dr. James F. Bursch, Superintendent of Schools was guest speaker at the closing May Luncheon. Dr. Bursch had served as U. S. Army Chief Officer of Educational and Religious Affairs in Greater Hesse, Germany. He said, “To reorient Germany's thinking and set her on a high moral road is a great undertaking, but great hope may be held for the future Democracy of Germany.”


Officers 1945 – 46, 1947

President, Mrs. B. E. Eastburn, Mrs. B. E. Eastburn

1st Vice President, Mrs. H. H. Johnson, Mrs. H. H. Johnson

2nd Vice President, Mrs. B. W. Viau, Mrs. B. W. Viau

Recording Secretary, Mrs. Glenn Hiatt, Mrs. E. A. Schwing

Corresponding Secretary, Mrs. E. A. Schwing, Mrs. Chester Agner

Treasurer, Mrs. Marie Kneeland, Mrs. Charles Theyson

Custodian, Mrs. A. J. Beakey, Mrs. A. L. Beakey


The Woman's Council launched another year of action under the guidance of Mrs. Gerald Rifkin, President during the years 1947-1949 assisted by Mrs. E. A. Swing, First Vice President. For two years other persons serving as officers were: Second Vice President Mesdames Laurie Radar and Charles Theyson; Recording Secretaries, Mesdames Richard Walls and Chester Agner; Corresponding Secretaries, Mesdames V. L. Rodda and Chester Agner; Treasurer, Mesdames Charles R. Theyson and Marie Kneeland; Custodian, Mrs. T. J. Clark.


One of the outstanding accomplishments for Woman's Council was the addition of two policewomen to the police force of Sacramento. Mrs. Sarah Brown, Reno Policewomen was invited by Mrs. Rifkin, President, to outline the policewomen's activities in Reno. Invited and attending this meeting were City Manager Bart Cavanaugh, Police Chief Hicks and Captain Frank Gessner of the Juvenile Probation Department. The City Council, at its next meeting voted in favor of this recommendation and later appointed Mrs. Dolora Sutter and Miss Frances Strothers to the staff.


Another achievement on the ledger after many unsuccessful attempts was the passing of the Ordinance on “Comic Books.” This law became effective March 21, 1949. A police officer was responsible for surveying newsstands periodically to check the Comics. Violation of the Ordinance as set forth carried a fine of $500.00 or six months in jail or both.


The Youth Guidance Center sponsored by Y.M.C.A. Received hearty approval.


The Council disapproved the changing of Plaza Park into an underground Plaza Garage. The recommendation that street signs be made white with black lettering to improve visibility day and night, was accepted by the City Council. It was also recommended that there be definite days for trash collecting in the City.


The “Meals for Millions” project received sufficient funds through donations from organizations to provide over 400 meals to the needy. The Council endorsed a mental clinic in Sacramento, also a swimming pool at South Side Park.


The Woman's Council took an active interest in the “Freedom Train's” exhibit in Sacramento.


The President attended the UNESCO Conference in San Francisco and found it to be one of the most enlightening conferences she had been privileged to attend.


The Woman's Council recommended that “controls be placed on rents with reasonable consideration for the landlords.”


President Rifkin served as General Chairman of the March of Dimes. The first year of the “President's Birthday Ball” for this same project, found Mrs. Rifkin chairing the program committee.


The Council received citizens complaints about the County Hospital treatment to patients, asking for an investigation. This matter was referred to Mr. Deterding, County Executive, who made it a matter of immediate business at County Meeting.


Mrs. Rawlie Vandegrift, legislative chairman, arranged for the Woman's Council to attend the legislature. Sixty-two women attended in a group and were introduced to the Assembly by Assemblyman Gordon Fleury. Later they were presented to Lt. Governor Goodwin J. Knight, and as a fitting climax were presented to His Honor, Governor Earl Warren, who gave the women a most cordial message of welcome. This was all printed in the business of the Assembly Activities for the day.


The Woman's Day luncheon at the California State Fair, with Mrs. Charles Theyson as general chairman, was an overwhelming success and received commendation from the President of the State Fair and Committee. The Woman's Council advanced the idea of Women on the Fair “Board of Directors.” Requested and succeeded in having the Woman's Building at State Fair Grounds returned for Domestic Arts only. Sponsored erection of bathing and park areas along the American and Sacramento Rivers. Proposed smoking ban in stores and elevators without success. Endorsed off street parking which has become a reality.


Many interesting and informative speakers were brought to the Council during this term. The list included our own Belle Coolidge, Sacramento's first and only woman Mayor to date; Dr. Guy West, the new President at Sacramento State College reporting 231 registered students; Mrs. P. D. Bevil, Vice President of the local Board of Education, “Citizen’s Stake in the Public Schools.”


The City Health Department was notified of our interest in handling foods with the following recommendation resulting: “That we endorse an ordinance providing that food handlers must have physical check-ups periodically for the protection of the public; and that letters be sent to City Council, Culinary Union and Restaurant Owners' Association.


The annual May luncheon was largely attended by representatives and friends of Woman's Council. Outgoing Julie Rifkin initiated the idea of installing the incoming President Leah Schwing. She expressed deep appreciation for the wonderful attendance and cooperation during her two years, very gracefully becoming Junior Past President.


“Building Together for Civic Improvement and Community Betterment” year 1949 – 1950, Mrs. E. A. Schwing, President, at which time 78 organizations composed the Woman's Council.



Pages 51-53


The President officially represented Woman's Council at the dedication of the Yolo Port Channel.


Woman's Council initiated a “Hostess Program” in the Woman's Building at the California State Fair. During every hour the building is open, representatives of at least two member organizations are present to extend hospitality to all visitors. Mrs. Leonard D'Ooge helped to make this a very admirable project.


During this regime an official Tea was sponsored by the State Fair Board and Woman's Council. This manner of welcoming all women attending the Fair on Woman's Day took the place of the luncheon that year, but did not seem to warrant repeating. However as attendance increases, it may again seem advisable.


The President attended a four day conference on “Community Leadership” on the Stanford University Campus in August. There she received a wonderful impetus and inspiration for her year of leadership in the Council.


The Food-Handlers Program was introduced and techniques worked out in the administration. In conjunction with the City Schools and City Health Department a forward step was taken in the sanitary handling and serving of all food products in Sacramento area. Mrs. Evelyn Crenshaw of Woman's Council and Mr. Tyler Blake of the City Health Department worked diligently on the details of this very important program.


Because the President considered it far more effective to see rather than hear about projects, and because of our keen sense of responsibility to women and girls, a caravan was arranged to visit the State Hospital at Napa, Mrs. Mervin Shaw was Chairman. Dr. Frank Tallman, the newly appointed State Director of Mental Health, conducted the tour in cooperation with Dr. Teo. Miller, Superintendent, his gracious wife and associates at the Hospital. It was gratifying to our women to see and better understand what was being done for that sick and often-forgotten segment of our society.


In line with our avowed interest in Park and River recreation, another caravan was arranged: this time to the site of Folsom Dam, under the leadership of Mr. Bert Geisreiter of the City Council and Mrs. Perry Simpson, Chairman of Parks and Highway Beautification of Woman's Council. Mr. E. M. Hallauer, Landscape Architect and Recreation Planner, Corps of Engineers, U. S. Army Engineers and Mr. Everett A. Pesonen, Conservationist U. S. Bureau of Reclamation, gave the women a breath-taking preview of the wonderful possibilities for recreation soon to be developed in the Folsom Dam and Folsom Lake areas, as well as along the banks of the American River.


Many committee meetings and long hours of research into the costs of establishing and maintaining a bathing beach on the American River near the H Street Bridge were made at this time but did not bring the desired result. However, the long awaited Supervised Bathing Beach seemed a little nearer. We know recreational facilities along our beautiful rivers will one day become a reality.


The May Luncheon was held in the Tuesday Club House with Mrs. Belle Eastburn as Chairman. Mr. Richard McGee, Director of the Department of Corrections, was the guest speaker. As always this was a very gay and colorful event.


The Friendship Tea was changed from the Spring time to Fall in order to introduce the new officers and committee chairmen to the member organizations of Woman's Council. The beautiful ballroom of Crocker Art Gallery furnished a regal setting. Mrs. Marie Kneeland was official chairman.


Woman's Council threw its weight against the proposed conversion of the Plaza Park into an underground parking lot, which would have meant the sacrifice of many magnificent trees. And we were still following through on our policy of preserving the parks for all the people to enjoy.


Also at this time a letter was sent to the City Council recommending that better lighting in William Land Park be provided. However, the cost was deemed prohibitive.


Another policewoman seemed advisable on the police force since one of the two women on the force had resigned. Mrs. Virginia Wilson was appointed and we were happy to introduce her to Woman's Council.


Woman's Council recommended a letter be sent to Tavern Owner's Association requesting them to see that the lighting in bars and taverns be in accordance with the standard used by the Oakland and Pasadena City ordinances. It was felt that the lighting in the bars was inadequate.


A panel discussion on the “Federal Aid to School Lunch Program” was held by Mrs. Ruth Long and Mrs. Georgia Jesperson; Sacramento Junior College students; Dr. Jesse Young of the College staff conducted the discussion which was timely and informative.


During this year the question of continuing the Child Care Centers was brought into focus. They had been on a yearly basis and it seemed wise to make a permanent provision for them in the State Legislature program. Governor Earl Warren, in answer to Woman's Council recommendation, assured us that it would be taken up in Special Session. Later, of course, this program was written into the Statutes of our State Legislature.



President, Mrs. E. A. Schwing

1st Vice President, Mrs. Charles Theyson

2nd Vice President, Mrs. Patrick Behrens

Recording Secretary, Mrs. Chester Agner

Corresponding Secretary, Mrs. Ellsworth Frank

Treasurer, Mrs. Marie Kneeland

Custodian, Mrs. Myron Schall


“Planning Today for a Better Tomorrow” started Mrs. Chas. (Lillian) Theyson's administration in the years 1950-1951 and found an open field of accomplishments to be attained by the Woman's Council.


The President presented information regarding the Metropolitan Sewerage Treatment Plant and the tentative plans for its installation on property purchased by the City of Sacramento located south of the city and west of the Municipal Airport near Freeport Boulevard. Assistant Engineer E. A. Fairbairn was called in to explain the purchase of the property and to give a clear picture of the necessity of installation at this time. Mr. Fairbairn stated that this plant would be city owned, however, the adjacent towns and districts would have access by paying a proportionate share of the cost. A committee consisting of five members of the Council: Mesdames D. H. McMillan, Perry Crenshaw, E. A. Schwing, Henrietta Horton, and Frank Todd, was formed to obtain further information and to take action to educate the people. Upon receiving additional information and with the aid of colored slides illustrating the facts about the plant and in view of the fact that the plant would be self-supporting from the sale of fertilizer, the Council went on record as endorsing the bond issue for the Sewerage Plant.


For the United Nations Celebration which was held at the Memorial Auditorium in October, Mrs. B. E. Eastburn assisted by Mrs. Frank Todd and Mrs. A. E. McCullough were appointed to work with the Planning Committee; Mrs. H. H. Johnson was appointed as captain to serve on the Community Chest Drive with Mrs. B. E. Eastburn and Mrs. P. J. Brorsen serving as colonels; Mrs. J. S. Fantages was appointed as General Chairman of T. B. Christmas Seal Sale; the Council acted as hostess during the Crocker Art Gallery Tea held in honor of Julia Howard's Exhibit of Fine Water Colors; and Mrs. Orville Buerger was elected to work with the Red Cross in their drive for funds. Mrs. Buerger's plan of organizing and manning booths in the various banks and department stores resulted in one of the most successful drives. Mrs. Sadie Daley was Chairman of the Annual Campaign of the “March of Dimes”; and Mrs. Ollie Woodstock was enrolled in courses in Home Nuring (sic) for the Red Cross.


The office of Custodian was changed to Registrar with the duties being to keep record of the attendance of the Board Members and Organization Delegates to the General Meetings.


Letter were sent to the City Council and the County Board of Supervisors endorsing Dr. Herbert Bauer as the permanent City and County Health Officer; Mr. Dain Domich of the Junior Chamber of Commerce requested the support of the members of the Council in making contributions to the “Crusade for Freedom” the money was to go toward sending radios overseas and to further the appeal for peace; an appeal was made to the City Council to place a guard at the intersection of Vallejo Way and Freeport Boulevard for the safety of California Junior High and McClatchy students enroute to and from school.


The Woman's Council endorsed the Mercy Hospital Expansion Fund Program and pledged their efforts toward its successful conclusion; action was inaugurated to send an observer to the Chamber of Commerce. An appeal from Mr. Albert G. Driggs, County Service Officer, to secure two hundred and fifty beds for the General Medical Hospital for veterans in the Sacramento area was endorsed and letters were sent to Senator W. F. Knowland and Representative LeRoy Johnson asking their support.


Opposed the removal of trees from Capitol Park for the purpose of parking facilities, and a letter was sent to Governor Warren, with copies sent to Senator Earl Desmond, State Finance Director James S. Dean, Assemblymen John Moss and Gordon Fleury registering this opposition. The Council also went on record as opposing Proposition No. 6 which was favoring the legalization of gambling.


Efforts were continued under the guidance of Mrs. Leah Schwing for the beautification of the American River Banks and a proposal was drafted by the Parks and Highway Beautification Committee for submission to the Mayor and Council members urging the speeding of the development of the river banks for recreation.



Pages 54-56


Letters were again sent out to Tavern Owners Association requesting that lighting in bars and taverns be in accordance with standards used by the Oakland and Pasadena Ordinances.


Speakers included Dr. Harold Graves who presented the pros and cons on the November Election ballot; Mrs. Pat Clark, Chairman of the Lincoln Neighborhood Council, spoke about her recent trip to Europe as a member of a special civic and educational seminar sponsored by the San Francisco State College; and Mr. Mendenhall of the United Nations on “What we might, as one, try for greater courage and achievement by sacrifice.”


Thus, the administration of Mrs. Lillian Theyson, with 81 organizational memberships, was culminated by a beautiful spring luncheon served in the Mirror Room of the Elks Temple under the direction of the chairman Mrs. Myron Schall, assisted by Mesdames T. J. Clark, O. E. Dimmick, Chester Agner, Walter Moe, Leonard D'Ooge, and L. H. Gage. The guest speaker was Senator Jack B. Tenney who gave a very dynamic lecture and said, “No organization is free of communistic invasion with 600 communistic organizations in operation in the United States.”


Supporting officers serving Mrs. Theyson's administration were as follows:

First Vice President, Mrs. Marie Kneeland

Second Vice President, Mrs. A. E. McCollough

Recording Secretary, Mrs. Mervin Schaw

Corresponding Secretary, Mrs. D. H. McMillan

Treasurer, Mrs. Chester Agner

Custodian, Mrs. Myron Schall


The Food Handlers program continued to function in a most efficient manner under the leadership of Chairman Mrs. A. E. Schwing. We of the Council are proud that we spearheaded this most important project.


An Historian was added on the Standing Committees.


Now there were 86 organizations “Working together for the community we want.”


A panel study on Mrs. Thelma McCollough's administration, during years 1951-1952, to be considered was the Fluoridation of Sacramento City water supply. In seeking information about this important issue the Community Welfare Council Chairman, Mrs. Ruth Keller brought guest speakers for a panel discussion on “Fluoridation”. With Dr. Ruth Thomas, Vice President of Junior College acting as moderator, the speakers were Dr. A. E. Berman of Sacramento, Pediatrician and Chairman of the Fluoridation committee for the Sacramento Society for Medical Improvement; Dr. Frederick M. Kreite of San Francisco, Pediatrician and Assistant Chief of the Division of Preventive Medical Service in the Department of Public Health; Dr. John Benedixson of Oakland, State and National Authority on Fluoridation and President-elect of the California State Dental Society; Dr. Harry Carlson; and Mr. Jack Hicock, State Fluoridation Chairman for the Junior Chamber of Commerce. The Woman's Council went on record endorsing the fluoridation of the water supply and voted that a letter to the City Council urging their favorable action in the adoption of this project.


A committee was appointed to study organizational programs for conferences and camps for children and youth and from this study a recommendation was made and accepted that the Budget Committee pro-rate the Woman's Council gifts. As a further outgrowth of this study, one teen-age Campership was given to the Y.W.C.A.


Upon receipt of a communication from Mrs. Myra West, Chairman of the Committee on Negro segregation in Housing Projects, requesting the support of the Council in eliminating this discrimination, a committee was appointed consisting of Mrs. H. H. Johnson, Chairman, assisted by Mrs. Gerald Rifkin and Mrs. May Viau, to study Negro segregation in Housing Projects. A communication was received from Mr. Nathaniel S. Colley, Attorney for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, expressing satisfaction as action had been taken to integrate sixteen Negro families in the New River Oaks Project and requesting the continued support of the Council to stamp out this undemocratic policy.


The Woman's Council sent another request to the City Council calling their attention to inadequate lighting in bars and taverns; Mrs. Evelyn Crenshaw, Public Relations Chairman, asked that the Council support the need for more policewomen for the city; the committee on Highway and Beautification reported the present status of the American River Beach Plans; that residents of the area are against the establishment of a public beach in the area and further, the City Council is not prepared to carry out such a project this year.


At the request of the City Health Officer, Dr. Ira B. Church, Woman's Council assisted in the reactivation of the Food Handlers Classes, under the direction of Mr. Tyler Blake of the City Health Department.


Mrs. Evelyn Crenshaw of the Food Handlers Committee reported that there has seemed to be a lack of interest in this project and in order to stimulate this interest the committee had cooperated in arranging courses in Food Handling, and certificates had been issued to those persons successfully completing the course. Mrs. Crenshaw further requested that all members of the Council be cognizant as to whether these certificates were on display in the various stores where food was handled.


The Soroptimist Club of Sacramento asked the Woman's Council to submit the nomination of a candidate for an outstanding Sacramento woman regardless of age, color, race or creed to be given an award of honor as the “Woman of the Year.”


Mr. O. H. Close representing the California Youth Authority spoke on drug addiction; the Junior Museum located at the State Fair Grounds was discussed and Mr. W. A. Hicks, Public Relations Chairman for the Community Chest spoke in their behalf; County Manager Charles Deterding presented the Folsom Dam Project; Mrs. Delores Sutter, Sacramento Policewoman; Colonel E. J. Plato, Civil Defense Leader, assisted by Miss Ennos, who spoke on first aid training of citizens needed in case of atomic air attack; Mrs. W. G. Stone, Past President of the Woman's Council and also the President of the Sacramento Visiting Nurses Association.


Mrs. Amer C. Stolp, speaking on the topic “A Better World is Our Job” was the guest speaker at the Spring Installation Luncheon, which ended the administration of Mrs. McCollough, and was held in the Mirror Room of the Elks Temple. Mrs. Stolp declared, “our heritage is a job we must live up to and make it worth the while.”


The Woman's Council also sent the President to attend the conference for the five western states on “Civil Defense” at St. Mary's College, presented by the Federal Civil Defense Administration.


After due consideration the Woman's Council recommended the study of the feasibility of combining the City and County Health Departments in order to serve our community more efficiently and economically. Letters of recommendation were sent to the City Council, County Board of Supervisors and Community Welfare Council. In February 1952 the Woman's Council was the first organization to make such a recommendation. At the present writing tentative plans are being considered by the City and County for such a plan in the future.


The President served as Chairman of Women's Division of U. S. Defense Bond Drive and the city became a “Flag City.”


Woman's Council gave an address of welcome at the opening ceremonies of KGMS in April 1952.


The President was appointed by the City Manager Bartley W. Cavanaugh as chairman of a citizens committee to study the problems and operations of the Oak Park Baby Clinic with satisfactory conclusions along with recommendations of the Community Welfare Council.


A project to promote the River Parks was endorsed with a three-point program, i.e., 1. Promotion and development of presently city owned land. 2- Development of levee parkways. 3-Acquisition of adjacent properties for parks along the rivers.


The supporting officers during this administration were:

First Vice President, Mrs. Marie Kneeland

Second Vice President, Mrs. Rawlie Vandergrift

Recording Secretary, Mrs. Muriel Moe

Corresponding Secretary, Mrs. D. H. McMillan

Treasurer, Mrs. Chester Agner

Registrar, Mrs. Viola Brooks


Woman's Council began the years 1952-1953, Mrs. Rawlie Vandergrift, President, with a call of the Executive Board for a Continental Breakfast at the Y.W.C.A. August 22, 1952.


Many familiar names through the years are again active in the Woman's Council as officers and committee chairmen. Mrs. Evelyn Crenshaw, chairing the now annual Fall Tea and the Fair Committee and Program with able and close assistants Mrs. Pearl Agner and Mrs. Dorothy D'Ooge; giving much support to the U.S.O. Program, Mrs. H. R. O'Neil; Mrs. J. R. Pembroke on Membership Committee; Mrs. E. Hellinge, Public Relations; Mrs. P. J. Brorsen, Municipal Court; Constitution and By-Laws, Mrs. Rene Rothschild; Community Welfare Council, Mrs. Philip Keller and Mrs. A. E. McCollough. Mrs. Keller also served as representative to the Health Section of the Welfare Council and on the Citizens' Committee for the Unification of City and County Health Department, and presented the reasons Woman's Council had asked that a study be made. Mrs. Mary Viau was especially interested in the “Well Baby Clinic.”


****Missing Pages 57-60


The Woman's Council entered strong protests against the admission of children to questionable movies. In this interest, the Chairman, Mrs. Helen Gilky, of Movies, Radio and Television presented Dr. Kenneth Norberg's proposed criteria for evaluating this medium for younger members of the family.


At the request of the P.T.A., Mrs. Dorothy Danel was appointed to attend as an observer the meetings of the Board of Education and report to the Executive Board. One report was especially interesting as it was in regard to the teaching techniques for retarded children. As this had become a community topic of the day, Woman's Council was interested in the discussions held by the Board of Education.


As an observer, Miss Henrietta Horton was appointed to attend the Board of Equalization when it met as a liquor board.


On receipt of many communications concerning the proposed use of McKinley Park as the site for a school, Woman's Council called a special meeting of the Executive Board to discuss this proposal. The Executive Board of Woman's Council went on record opposing the proposed plan of the School Board and in so doing were continuing their policy which has always been to keep and maintain the present parks. Woman's Council also went on record as favoring a new school for Sutter Junior High, realizing its urgent need in the community.


The outstanding program of the Woman's Council for the year 1953 was the “Local Government Institute”. The Chairman, Mrs. May Viau, together with other associate committee women were: Mesdames Frank Todd, O. E. Dimmick, P. J. Brorsen, Henry Sebak, Maude Prior, Max Bollman, Charles Gilmore, Pearl Agner, Elvera Hellinge and Evelyn Crenshaw.


The Theme for the Institute was: The Development of Sacramento – How is Sacramento Affected by Natural Growth, Redevelopment and Annexation.


The Institute was divided into nine sections with a moderator for each section.


Section 1. Legislative and Executive, Mrs. W. G. Stone.

Section 2. City Planning and Traffic, Mrs. Perry Crenshaw.

Section 3. Recreation and Library, Mrs. James L. Christian.

Section 4. Protection, Prevention, Law Enforcement and Municipal Court, Mrs. Gerald Rifkin.

Section 5. Water, Drainage, Sewers and Waste Disposal, Mrs. Ralph S. Dow.

Section 6. Taxation and Budget, Mrs. A. E. McCollough.

Section 7. Redevelopment, Dr. Dorothy Patterson.

Section 8. Education, Dr. Ruth Thomas.

Section 9. Health and Welfare, Mrs. M. D. Macmillan.


The institute included a long list of very able speakers who were city officials and experts on each topic presenting facts and answers on all phases of Sacramento's City Government. The two day session was well attended and much interest was shown in the functions of City Government as indicated by the many questions asked in the panel discussion.


Some of the city officials who participated in the Institute were: Mayor Leslie Wood, City Manager Bartley W. Cavanaugh, City Clerk Harry G. Denton, City Engineer, A. Edwin Fairbairn; City Attorney, Everett M. Glenn; Traffic Engineer, D. Jackson Faustman; Planning Engineer, Glenn Hall; Planning Commissioner, Mrs. Arnold Waybur; Traffic Division, Capt. Kenneth C. Johnson; Councilman Herbert E. Geisreiter; City Librarian, Mrs. Grace Taylor Dean; Recreation Superintendent, Reginald Renfree; Assistant Superintendent of Parks, Harry Culbertson; Judge of Municipal Court, James M. McDonnell; Chief of Police, James V. Hicks; Fire Chief, Terrence Mulligan; Policewoman, Mrs. Dolora Sutter; Councilman N. G. Culjis; Superintendent of Water and Sewer Division, Carl M. Hoskinson; Superintendent of Waste Removal, J. E. Cronan; Councilman H. H. Hendren; Controller, Arch O. Hoover; Assessor-Collector, Gerald C. McKinley; Director Redevelopment Agency, Joseph T. Bill; Secretary to Governor, Miss Helen McGregor; President of Board of Education, Wilbur H. Haines; Health Officer, Ira O. Church, M. D.; Councilman James Hicks.


The Council also was privileged to hear during the Institute, Mrs. Alan Charles, Instructor in Community Service, Mills College. Her topic was “A Challenge to Women.”


A spark from the President's message taken from “The Woman's Council Speaks”: “Woman's Council has the responsibility to carry out its aim of bringing to all women's organizations an awareness of what we have, what we need and what we must plan for in order to create and preserve better conditions in our city and county.”


Mrs. Vandergrift's other officers were:

First Vice President, Mrs. Evelyn Crenshaw

Second Vice President, Mrs. Grace Pembroke

Recording Secretary, Mrs. Herbert Deardorf

Corresponding Secretary, Mrs. Phillip Keller

Treasurer, Mrs. Muriel Moe

Registrar, Mrs. Viola Brooks

Circulation Manager, Mrs. Ethel Buerger.



With 82 affiliated organizations, the Woman's Council can truly say, “With the strength of many, we are as one in the service of our community.”




The Golden Jubilee Years 1953-1954 had as its President Mrs. Perry Crenshaw. Her affiliation was the Sacramento Business & Professional Women's Club.


The first project for the Woman's Council was the unanimous decision to compile a fifty year history and it was decided that the Sacramento Civic Improvement Club would undertake the reading of minutes, research and writing. This Committee was under the Chairmanship of Mrs. Viola Brooks. Two years of intensive work brought this project to a successful conclusion.


It was decided that the Council, in order to avoid overlapping, would not act as an organization with regard to the U.S.O., but would urge the affiliating clubs to act individually.


Mrs. Leah Schwing, as Chairman, reported in full about the Park Districts of Berkeley and the assistance given to young people by way of recreation and employment during the summer months.


The Parks and Beautification Committee also had reported the formation of the Sacramento Area Planning Association and our representative Mrs. Leah Schwing has been named to the Board of Directors. We also interested the membership in the program of Assemblywoman Pauline Davis for roadside rest and picnic areas.


This year Woman's Council was again granted the use of Governor's Hall at the California State Fair for a Woman's Day Luncheon and had an attendance of 600. The new Golden Bear design recently adopted by the California Legislature was used as a theme in the decorations. The Woman's Council was again official hostess in the Women's Building.


The Woman's Council also submitted to the Board of Directors of the State Fair several suggestions to be considered if and when a new building is to be built. The Council also suggested that the Domestic Arts become a separate department with a qualified woman in charge on the policy making level.


This year the Woman's Council endorsed the general objectives of the Redevelopment Agency and considerable information was made available to the membership for their study. The problems of this program were carefully outlined and it was decided the membership is now well aware of this need in the West End.


The Committee on Movies, Radio & Television has completed a comprehensive program. An evaluation of motion pictures was prepared and published in the Sacramento Union. However, due to pressure from advertisers, it was discontinued by the newspaper and we are still searching for a way to reach the public with this evaluation. We omitted any mention of poor pictures, only rating the better ones. Two delegates were sent to San Francisco to the Motion Picture work shop.


A study was made on the present policy of providing no sidewalks in new subdivisions and a decision was reached that this should not be continued; the proper authorities were so notified.


A motion carried that the Woman's Council become a member of the North-Central California Association for Educational Television, Inc., and the Woman's Council was appointed a member of the Board of Governors.


Woman's Council endorsed the request of the Sacramento Crippled Children's Society for a grant from the Rosenberg Foundation.


The Council had an active part in the Welfare Council and this year we endorsed and sent letters to the Legislature in special session, recommending the Alcoholic Rehabilitation Commission. This action was taken after a very careful study of the statistics and data from thirty-eight other states having such a commission. This was passed by the Legislature and was signed by Governor Goodwin J. Knight.


In January 1954, we endorsed Miss Caroline Wenzel's nomination to the Historical Land Mark Committee.


This year a mimeograph machine was purchased. A need for this has been realized because of our great growth.


A special committee made a survey of police forces in 16 cities throughout the country and their requirements – the objective being to recommend that more policewomen be added to the present force in Sacramento now consisting of only two women in a force of 262. This has been presented to the City Council without result.


A motion was passed to have the Council study the problem of fraudulent collectors for charitable organizations.


The Council went on record as favoring a Planning Engineer be appointed to the County Planning Commission and so informed the Board of Supervisors.


A cross-file index was prepared this year giving all the vital statistics of the affiliating organizations, a special form was sent to the Presidents for their annual reports and several charges were made in the by-laws; two being the addition of a third Vice President and an auditor and making five special committees standing committees. A new method of recording attendance was started this year.


A Past Presidents' Club was organized with the objective being to assist the Council. Mrs. Leah Schwing was elected its first President.


Six new organizations joined the Woman's Council this year and one withdrew.


The Council endorsed Edward Sweeney for fellowship from the Public Awards Rockefellow Foundation at the request of the Zonta Club.


The Golden Jubilee Luncheon was held in the Elks Temple on May 19, 1954. There were 410 reservations. Thirty organizations made floral center pieces using a golden theme for decorations.


An exhibit table was arranged with many scrap books from Past Presidents, note books of the 1954 chairmen showing their year's work and seventy-three annual reports from member organizations were mounted and on display.


The speaker was Mr. Stewart Ward of the Commonwealth Club of San Francisco and his topic was “How Communists Gain Control of American Organizations.” Norma MacIvor Bailey sang, accompanied by Mrs. Theodora Black Alexander. An original monologue “Sad Sack” by Miss Henrietta Toothaker of Woodland.


Honored were the two oldest living Presidents, Mrs. A. J. Johnston, 93 years of age, President in 1907, and Mrs. John T. Greene, 83 years of age, President in 1911. A special table honoring the Past Presidents had 14 present.


The installing officer was Mrs. D. B. Baratini, Mrs. Frank Wright gave the invocation, Pledge to the Flag, Mrs. Ray Hawtrey and collect read by Mrs. Helen Reichle. The General Chairman was Mrs. Philip Thorburn.


The Jr. Past President of the Tuesday Club, Mrs. Arthur L. Enger and the President Mrs. F. Ellsworth Frank were honored as the Tuesday Club is the Mother Organization of the Woman's Council.



President, Mrs. Perry Crenshaw

1st Vice President, Mrs. J. R. Pembroke

2nd Vice President, Mrs. B. W. Viau

Recording Secretary, Mrs. Philip Thorburn

Corresponding Secretary, Mrs. Philip Keller

Treasurer, Mrs. Chester Agner

Registrar, Mrs. Max Bollman

Officers installed for the coming year were:

President, Mrs. J. R. Pembroke

1st Vice President, Mrs. B. W. Viau

2nd Vice President, Mrs. Philip Keller

3rd Vice President, Mrs. Ray Hawtrey

Recording Secretary, Mrs. Philip Thorburn

Corresponding Secretary, Mrs. F. P. Brorsen

Treasurer, Mrs. Elmo Hellenge

Registrar, Mrs. Max Bollman

Auditor, Mrs. Viola Brooks







APRIL, 1954




Aldergate Methodist Church W.S.C.S.

Mrs. Orville Quigley


Miss Marjorie Ludwigsen

American Gold Star Mothers, Inc.

Mrs. Dolores V. Hemphill

American Society of Women Accountants

Queene B. Leithead

American War Mothers, Inc.

Mrs. Neva I. Thayer

Bethany Presbyterian Association Women

Mrs. Fred Hartman

Business & Professional Women, Inc., of Sacramento

Miss Wilma Wilson

California Ass'n. Of Nursing Homes

Mrs. Myrtle Ann Desmond

Campfire Girls

Mrs. C. Mort Bromagem

Canadian Legion Auxiliary No. 19

Mrs. Katherine Richards

Capital Grandmothers' Club No. 97

Mrs. Nellie Scanlon

Carmichael Business & Professional Women's Club

Mrs. Ida Ball

Catholic Daughters of America

Mrs. Marie Wallace

Catholic Parents Council

Mrs. C. B. Erbacker

Central Methodist W.S.C.S.

Mrs. J. E. Irvine

Clara Barton Circle No. 2, Ladies of G.A.R.

Mrs. Freda Pates

Daughters of Penelope

Mrs. Demo Givas

Daughters of Scotia, Kilwinning Lodge No. 203

Mrs. Bertha Powell

Democratic Women's Club

Mrs. Ruth Sauze

Disabled American Veterans Aux. No. 6

Mrs. Mary E. Johnson

Ecclesia Christian Women's Fellowship, 1st Christian Church

Mrs. Paul Bulatovich

Elmhurst Methodist Church, W.S.C.S.

Mrs. Clara Pratt

Ergatan Sunday School Class

Mrs. Naomi Ott

Exchangette Club

Mrs. Allan Thomas

First Baptist Women's Society

Mrs. E. B. Turner

First English Lutheran Ladies Aid Aux.

Mrs. Frederick Rust

First Methodist Church W.S.C.S., Sacramento

Mrs. Chester Agner

Fremont Presbyterian Women's Council

Mrs. Frank Smith

Fruitridge Literary Club

Mrs. Juanita Marx

General John Sutter Chapter D.A.R.

Mrs. C. A. R. Safbom

Girl Scouts Council

Mrs. Hi Hendren

Goodwill Industries

Mrs. Harry Richards

Grace Institute No. 17, Y.L.I.

Mrs. Douglas Bell

Greek American Progressive Ass'n, Terpsichore Chapter

Mrs. Helen Caperis

Greek Ladies Society, Greek Church

Mrs. Vassiliki Manolis

Idola Club, Reorganized Church of Latter Day Saints

Mrs. Cora J. Bridges

J. Holland Laidler Aux. No. 9, U.S.W.V.

Mrs. Ethel Remington

Junior League of Sacramento, Inc.

Mrs. Lawrence Blucher

Ladies Aid, Pioneer Congregation Church

Mrs. G. A. Thomas

Ladies Auxiliary Painting & Decorating Contractors Ass'n.

Mrs. Henry Sebak

Loyal Daughters, First Methodist E. Church

Mrs. Ethel Cheek

Marine Corps League Auxiliary of Sacramento

Mrs. R. G. Fithian

Mayflower Club, Pioneer Congregational Church

Mrs. Frank Todd

Mosaic Law Women's League

Mrs. Meyer Goldberg

Music Teachers Ass'n.

Mrs. Irene Manning Pendergast

New Helvetia Women's Club

Mrs. Floyd Stroing

Native Daughters of the Golden West, Rio Rita Parlor

Mrs. Vivian Powers

Oak Park Methodist W.S.C.S., Woman's Society of Christian Service

Mrs. Gilbert Steinhaus

Priscilla Club, Pioneer Congregational Church

Mrs. Anna Stuke

Quota Club

Mrs. Kenneth Keyes

Railway Business Women's Ass'n

Mrs. Virginia L. Jordan

Recreational Department of Sacramento

Mrs. Bertha Enz

Republican Women's Club

Mrs. Robt. Todd

Sacramento County Nurses Ass'n.

Mrs. Irene Reuter

Sacramento Auxiliary Post 1660 Veterans of Foreign Wars

Mrs. Cleo Felton

Sacramento Chapter, Muscular Dystrophy Ass'n. Of America, Inc.

Mrs. Murle C. Shreck

Sacramento Hearing Society

Mrs. Robert Larson

Sacramento Kiwani Annes

Mrs. Alfred W. Wagner

Sacramento Navy Mothers Club

Mrs. Willa Cook

Sacramento Saturday Club

Mrs. Reed Burn

Sacramento Sr. High Faculty Wives

Mrs. M. E. Benedetti

Sacramento Society for Medical Improvement, Women's Auxiliary

Mrs. Erle Blunden

Sacramento Tuberculosis & Health Ass'n.

Mrs. Fontaine Johnson

Sacramento Yolo Deanery Council

Mrs. Edward J. Clark

Sierra Oaks Vista Garden Club

Mrs. Marie Carter

Soroptimist Club of Sacramento

Mrs. Edwin Wilmunder

St. Joseph's High School Guild

Mrs. Oliver Cook

St. Francis Institute No. 48, YLI

Mrs. John Foley

St. Paul's Guild Auxiliary St. Paul's Episcopal Church

Mrs. Jane Murray

Stanford Home Auxiliary

Mrs. Eva Espindle

State Women's Club, Inc.

Mrs. Dorothy Haight

Summer Relief Corps Auxiliary of G.A.R.

Mrs. Louise Reddick

Temple B'Nai Israel Sisterhood

Mrs. Frank Applebaum

Trinity Ladies Guild, Trinity Episcopal Church

Mrs. Thos. W. Racey

Tuesday Club

Mrs. Arthur Enger

Unitarian Women's Alliance

Mrs. B. J. Rea

United Council of Church Women

Mrs. Mary Wright

Volunteers of America

Mrs. Richard Briggs

Westminster Presbyterian, Loyal Daughters

Mrs. Maude McBride

Westminster Presbyterian, Women's Council

Mrs. W. G. Stone

Women's Christian Temperance Union

Mrs. Cordelia Hudson

Women's Civic Improvement Club

Mrs. G. E. Mullholland

Women of the Moose

Mrs. Grace McCrary

World Friendship Guild, Pioneer Congregational Church

Mrs. Nellie Rice


Mrs. Tom Weems

Zonta Club of Sacramento

Mrs. Mary R. Mulchay





PRESIDENT 1904-1907




Born Mary Ellen Dwyer in Sacramento on April 1871. She was the only daughter of Thomas E. and Ellen Dwyer. Two brothers, William and Thomas also were born here.


Her father and mother settled here from Ireland first at Colusa and then at Sacramento.


Thomas Dwyer was one of the early day river captains when navigating the Sacramento required great skill. He was the founder of River Lines. The Dwyer home at 6th and N Streets was an early day show place.


Mrs. Devlin attended local schools and graduated from St. Joseph's Academy.


She married Robert Devlin, an attorney. There were no children.


Always interested in service to others, she was very active in the Red Cross. She was an early golf player and played at the first golf club in Sacramento on the site of McClatchy Park. It consisted of 6 holes. This was new for women.


The first Community Chest drive was under her direction. Mrs. Devlin was one of the original sponsors of the San Francisco Opera Company and the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra. She was a member of the Francesca Club and the Women's Athletic Club of San Francisco.


She was instrumental in establishing the Well Baby Clinic here.


A major interest was the uniform planting of trees in the Capitol City and she was opposed to any plan that would destroy trees.


She and her husband traveled extensively and in 1924 were presented to the King and Queen of England.


As the first President of Woman's Council, she carefully laid a solid foundation for a clearing house of many services of all women's organizations. For fifty years Woman's Council has carried on her work and she set standards and traditions which each President following has had her inspiration, courage and creative work as a guiding light.


She was very active in church work and was a member of St. Francis Parish.


Her nephews, Father Richard C. Dwyer, William P. Dwyer, Jr., Thomas R. Dwyer of San Francisco, Peter G. Dwyer of Colusa, and Arthur C. Devlin, local attorney.


(Deceased Oct. 11, 1951)





PRESIDENT 1907-1909




Born Luella Buckminster in New Hampshire in 1861. Her father was in the 9th New Hampshire Regiment and was killed in the Civil War.


She came to California in 1869 and lived the greater part of her life in Sacramento.


Mrs. Johnston taught school in San Francisco and in November of 1884 she married Alfred J. Johnston in Sacramento. Five children blessed this family; Dave, Alva, Markham, Robert and Luella. Her son Alva received the Pulitzer prize for his newspaper work.


She lived for many years at 603 11th Street. This home was first owned by the McConnell family. All the lumber and hardware was brought around the horn. (Old sailing ships went around the tip of South America.)


Her father was a Land Lawyer and practiced here.


Mr. Johnston was Superintendent of the State Printing Plant for several years.


She believes in a strong two party system of government and her interests have always been for the betterment of the community and her faith in women has ever been a beacon of lights.


It was as the chairman of Home and Education Department of the Tuesday Club that she conceived the idea of a Woman's Council where all women could form a civic body for the “Betterment of the City and County of Sacramento.” Her suggestion was acted upon and she was made chairman to formulate and organize the Plan. This action was in November of 1903. By February 19, 1904 the Woman's Council was born. Her interest in the community has continued and today she still follows the events of her city avidly.


In 1911 the Woman's Council sponsored and promoted Mrs. A. J. Johnston as a City Commissioner of Education and she was elected to this office.


The interviewer upon mentioning that the Woman's Council is now 50 years old, she replied, “If a project is right and good for the people, it will live. If it is wrong it dies.”



PRESIDENT 1909-1910




Born Marian Elizabeth Chittenden in the Virgin Islands.  At three years of age moved to Danbury, Conn., where her father was Rector of the Episcopal Church. She graduated from St. Mary's Hall, Burlington, N. J., and taught in the Public Schools of Brainerd, Minn. 1880-1885.


Married Reverend George Edward Swan, B. A., of the Pro-Cathedral in Indianapolis. Children born of this marriage, John Fletcher Swan, Marion Hart Swan, Edward Chittenden Swan (died at birth), Florence Fuller Swan, Clarissa Canfield Swan.


President of Woman's Council and also a city park commissioner. Member of the Saturday Club; later became member of D.A.R., State Chairman of the California Federation of Women's Clubs. With Mrs. Katherine Phillips Edson presented the first bill for the Federation requiring Health certificates for marriage and helped all Legislation benefiting women and children. Organized and chairman of the Woman's Legislative Council of California.


Because of Reverend Swan's ill health it became necessary for him to resign and so they moved from Sacramento. Her interest in community service continued throughout her life.


(Deceased January 29, 1951.)





Transcribed by: Jeanne Sturgis Taylor. 

© 2011 Jeanne Sturgis Taylor. 





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