Former President Tells History of Woman's Catholic Organization
Wilmette Life (Wilmette, Illinois), 13 May 1937, p. 27, 30

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Item Type:
Club founded about one year after Wilmette Life
Date of Publication:
13 May 1937
Corporate Name(s):
Woman's Catholic CLub
Language of Item:
Geographic Coverage:
  • Illinois, United States
    Latitude: 42.07225 Longitude: -87.72284
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1242 Wilmette Avenue
Wilmette, IL
U.S.A. Phone: 847-256-6930

Full Text

Wilmette Life had issued its first edition almost a year before the Woman's Catholic Club of Wilemtte was formed. Mrs. Frank X. Thale, 710 Linden avenue, former president of the WOman's Catholic Club of Wilmette, presents a bit of history of that organization in a most interesting manner. From its records she has taken the minutes of the meeting at which the club was formed on March 25, 1913. They read as follows: "At the solicitation of the Reverend Father Shannon, the ladies of St. Francis Xavier's church met March 25, 1913, at the Ouilmette Country Club, to perfect a permanent organization or club. "Mrs. P.J. Cunneen was appointed chairman pro tem and Mrs. Herbert Morin, secretary pro tem. "The first order of business was the naming of the club, finally it was voted by acclamation to name the organization "The Woman's Catholic Club of Wilmette, Illinois." "Next in order the following committees were appointed: Sanctuary, Social, Culture and Membership. "Next in order, the membership committee reported the following charter members of the club: Miss M. Boland, Mrs. F. J. Brahm, Mrs. G. J. Bichl, Mrs. J. D. Cross, Mrs. W. D. Colyer, Mrs. D. Carnall, Mrs. P. J. Cunneen, Mrs. W. F. Connor, Mrs. F. E. Clark, Mrs. J. F. Dempsey, Mrs. M. F. Driscoll, Mrs. Katherine Dickson, Mrs. F. B. Dolan, Miss Katherine Eden, Mrs. George English, Mrs. FitzGibbons, Mrs. G. F. Fouts, Miss Freihage, Mrs. A. P. Fouse [unclear], Mrs. John Fisher, Mrs. Frank Gallagher, Mrs. H. G. Hodgkins, Mrs. F. F. Kelley, Mrs. Joseph I. Kelly, Mrs. Edward Kirchberg, Mrs. C. H. Kavanaugh, Mrs. J. T. Kenny, Mrs. Mary Kunz, Mrs. Frank Kutten, Miss Gertrude Ketcham, Mrs. Lonnsprey, Mrs. W. D. Leary, Mrs. McKenna, Mrs. Herbert A. Morin, Mrs. J. M. Murphy, Mrs. John Millen, Mrs. J. W. May, Mrs. B. M astersen, Miss L. Mueller, Mrs. H. Meyer, Mrs. P.J. O'Sullivan, Mrs. J. J. O'Connell, Mrs. H. J. Schlacks, Mrs. Carl Schroeder, Mrs. E. F. Schoenick, Mrs. Frank J. Seng, Mrs. Agnes Seng, Mrs. James W. Sheahan, Mrs. F. Schoeppe, Mrs. E. J. Schager, Miss Gertrude Stack, Mrs. J. H. Verhalen, Mrs. H. M. Van Hoesen, Mrs. J. B. Watt, Mrs. J. F. Weidlin, Mrs. Harry Wilson, Mrs. Rightmire, Miss Katherine M. Robertson, Miss Robinson. "The instructive and entertaining features of our first meting consisted of music by Miss Dorothy Rea, vocalist, assisted by Miss Marjory Lusted, pianist. The Rev. Dr. Smith of New York delivered a lecture to the ladies on their duties in their homes and to the working girls in general "The meeting adjourned to convene at a future date subject to the pleasure of the chairman. "Social half hour followed, refreshments were served. Respectrully submitted Ella A. Morin Secretary

Aid Charities
Further information of the club is given by Mrs. Thale as follows: "Thus one year after Wilmette Life was born, the Woman's Catholic Club came into existence as shown by these minutes of the first meeting. The club became affiliated with the State Federation of Woman's Clubs in January, 1914. "Soon a Philanthropic department was added which was connected with the locah board of charities. The club became an associate member of the Evanston Day Nursery. At the second meeting a press chairman was appointed. In that first year, Miss Harriet Vittum, Rev. Father Siedenberg, S.J., and Thomas Daly, Irish-Italian poet were among the speakers at the meetings. The reading of "Pollyanna" and several talks on Woman suffrage were among the early programs. "In October, 1916, the Junior auxiliary was formed. IN February, 1917, the club was invited to send a delegate to the meeting to form a Parent-Teacher association for New Trier High School.

Red Cross Work
"In 1917 came the World War and the club cooperated with the Woman's Corps of the Wilmette Guard to do Red Cross work. The minutes of May 1917 state "Because of the appeal of (Continued on p. 30) the President of our country for conservation we will not have a luncheon at our annual meeting. As the war advanced we find a motion to limit the amount of sugar on each refreshment plate to one lump. The women worked feverishly on Red Cross projects, conservation and Liberty loans, but still managed to find tiem to help the Mary Bartleme home, the Big Sisters, the Chicago Woman's Shelter and the St. Vincent De Paul Society. In 1922 the Club sponsored a movement to build a new school building in connection with St. Francis Xavier church, and in 1927 the club organized the St. Francis Parent-Teacher's association. In 1932 a nursery in St. Vincent's Infant asylum was equipped by the club and this is still maintained by its Philanthropy department. In 1935 the Thrift shop for clothing the poor was established by the Philanthropy department of the club. At the present time Mrs. Thomas Gibbons is president of the club. The former presidents were Mrs. P.J. Cunneen, Mrs. Edward Kirchberg, Mrs. Joseph Verhalen, Mrs. Louis Crush, Mrs. Wendelin Seng, Mrs. Walter Ballard, Mrs. Charles Barton, Mrs. Frank Oelerich, Mrs. Arthur Boylston, Mrs. F. X. Thale, Mrs. George Beaudin and Mrs. Harry Barker.

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Former President Tells History of Woman's Catholic Organization

Club founded about one year after Wilmette Life