HISTORY

OF

THE MONTGOMERY CITY FEDERATION OF WOMEN’S CLUBS, INC

Motto: "Lifting As We Climb"

 

TEN TIMES ONE IS  TEN 1888 ANNA M. DUNCAN CLUB 1897 CRUSADERS 1927
PHILLIS WHEATLEY ART AND LITERARY CLUB 1928 AGNES J. LEWIS CLUB 1939 DORA BEVERLY CLUB 1939
LES COMRADES 1939 SOJOURNER TRUTH CLUB 1946 EXCELSIOR 1947

 

The original group consisted of twenty-three adult clubs and five youth clubs

 several other clubs were added through the years

1939 - 2004

 

Adult Clubs:

Agnes J. Lewis, Anna M. Duncan, Bona Fada, Cosmopolites, C0-workers Professional Women, Crusaders, Damas Leales, Dora Beverly, Excelsior, Home Makers, Las Amigas, Les Comarades, Lillian Dungee, Merry Needles, Odessey Garden, Omega, Phillis Wheatley, Sojourner Truth, Susie B. Whetstone Club, Ten Times One is Ten, United Ministers Wives, Kizzy Federated Club, Nancy Jones Gray-Arms, RCW Federated Social & Saving, Still I Rise, String of Pearls Club and Voguette.

 

Youth Clubs

Anna M. Duncan, Dora Beverly, Les Comarades, Nancy Jones Gray and Sojourner Truth.

Past Presidents of the Montgomery City Federation of Women’s Clubs, Inc.

 

Formally

Montgomery Federation of Colored Women’s Clubs

 

1939 – 1941  

Mrs. Hattie Alexander

1941 – 1943

Mrs. Janie Lowe Clayton

1943 – 1953

Mrs. Zenobia Johnson          (1943-1945)   (1945-1947)   (1947-1949)   (1949-1951)   (1951-1953)

1953 – 1955

Mrs. Sadie Brooks

1955 – 1959

Mrs. Bertha McClain

1959 – 1961

Mrs. Sadie Lee

1961 – 1963  

Mrs. Helen Martin

1963 – 1965  

Mrs. Maggie Forte

1965 – 1967  

Mrs. Evelyn Wheeler

1967 – 1970

Mrs. Susie Whetstone

1970 – 1973

Mrs. Hattie Moseley

1973 – 1979

Dr. Zelia Evans          (1973-1975)   (1975-1977)   (1977-1979)

1979 – 1983

Mrs. Mabel Whisenhunt          (1979-1981)   (1981-1983)

1983 – 1985

Mrs. Hester Sparks Lovejoy

1985 – 1996

Mrs. Cornell Scott          (1985-1987)   (1987-1989)  (1989 –1991)   (1991-1993)  (1993-1995 - 1996)

1996 – 2001  

Mrs. Jamesie Boswell         (1996-1998)   (1998-2001)

2001 – 2002   

Mrs. Lillie W. Hall

2002 – 2004

Ms. Kimwana Robinson

2004 – Present

Mrs. Patricia Rich Bell


 

The Federation represents unity, a source of communication to the public through the remain­ing 11 clubs continuing the legacy of service to the community.  Through service projects from the different clubs of the federation the goal of community services continues.

 

Tens Times One Is Ten Club, 1888- the oldest clubs in the state, founder Ms Laura Coleman whose idea was "to promote the intellectual and moral improvement of its members and to do the good it can".  The club's projects are to sponsor workshops on social and economic problem with inmates at Mt Meigs youth facility, participate with the public school system reading program by volunteering to go to schools and read to the children.  Tutoring is also provided in area of need.  2004, under the presidency of Mrs. Mary Chames this legacy continues to service the community.

 

Club Officers

 

President – Mrs. Mary Chames

1st Vice President – Mrs. Gloria Julius

Secretary – Mrs. Cynthia Sankey

Asst. Secretary – Ms. Belinsia Johnson

Corresponding Secretary – Ms. Joyce Brown

Financial Secretary - Ms. Myria Lowe

Treasurer – Mrs. Mary B. Bullard

Parliamentarian – Mrs. Saralyn Williams

Chaplain – Mrs. Martha Storrs

 

Anna M. Duncan Club, 1897.  The Anna M. Duncan Club in Montgomery reflected and promoted the astoundingly rich organizational past of African American women during the late nineteenth century.  Like scores of other local units in the country, it was the muscle for the National Association of Colored Women, founded in 1896.  Club organizer Anna M. Duncan, an attractive Swayne Schoolteacher, was "a woman of rare ability and wonderful personality, loved and admired by all that knew her”.  In September 1897, in her home at 418 Montgomery Street, she began the organization, called during her life the Twentieth Century Club.  Its objectives were to stimulate cultural programs, civic pride and charity.

 

As a by-product of working together to implement such goals, a sense of esprit de corps developed among members, which extends down to the present.  For a century, the club has counted up to twenty-five members.  Typically, most have joined as young professionals or homemakers and have remained loyal throughout their lives.

 

Members, such as Albertine Moore Campbell (1907-1994), a Duncan sister for almost sixty years have glowingly related highlights of service of this club.  These have included sponsorship of the annual scholarship to the School of Nursing, first at St. Jude and then at Trenholm State Technical College; supplies and services to the Father Purcell Memorial Center for the Exceptional Children; Anna M. Duncan Junior Club and The Anna M. Duncan Youth Cultural Club, a joint venture with the youth club for the Sunshine Center; An African American Women’s Forum in Health and Journalism, The Mt. Meigs Project, Capital Hill Healthcare (Mother’s Day Program) ushering for the Fredrick Douglas Hall Community Choir Concert, furniture and accessories for the reception room (Anna M. Duncan Room) at The Jackson- Community House, headquarters of the Montgomery City Federation of Women's Clubs;  fellowship twice a year at the Shakespeare Theater and in December 1899, leader­ship in bringing together in the capital city four or five other clubs to create the Alabama Association of Colored Women's Clubs.

 

The Duncan Club has supported the Alabama Association and has had three members to lead it.  Anna M. Duncan, president in 1899-1901, helped to commit the organization to build boys reformatory school.  Cornelia Bowen, president in 1905-1918, saw it constructed in Mt. Meigs and after three years facilitated its transfer to the state of Alabama.  H.M. Gibbs, president in 1936-1943, established a library at the Association's Girls Home, which had been erected in 1920 adjacent to the boy’s reformatory.  Of Duncan luminaries, Cornelia Bowen earned a national reputation because of her activity in the National Association of Colored Women and distinguished tenure as principal of the _ Mt. Meigs Institute in Waugh and Sangernetta Gilbert Bush, president in 2002-2004 served as historian for the Alabama Association and authored the book “Preserving our History 1899-2004.” 

 

Moreover, the Duncan Club has participated in augmented local service through the Montgomery City Federation, founded in 1939.  In this respect, three Duncan women stand out as federation presidents.  Zenobia M. Johnson, 1943-1953, guided the membership in acquiring Community House and launching its early programs.  Decades later, when some failed to appreciate the value of the facility in light of desegregated public accommodations, Cornell Scott, 1985-1996 promoted its use among a variety of groups.  In 2004, as workmen engage in the restoration of the Jackson-Community House chaired by Sangernetta Gilbert Bush, all are ask to join the endeavor to preserve this one hundred fifty one year old antebellum attraction.

 

The five Duncan members who were federated state or city presidents were among the twenty-five presidents of the Duncan Club.  Past Presidents of this club include Miss Anna M. Duncan, Mmes. Sallie Wright, Lizzie Ford, Lula Watkins Demoines, Cornelia Bowen, A.C. Dungee, Sr., H.M. Gibbs, S.J. Govan, E.M. Arrington, G.J. Brogsdale, Zenobia Johnson, M. Hill, Etta M. Alexander, E. M. Gillard, Zenobia Johnson, Miss Bernice Hollinger, Geraldine Preston, Cornell Scott, Mary Manning, Helen Kennedy, Mary Parks, Patricia Rich Bell, Pauline Hill, Elaine M. Smith and Sangernetta Gilbert Bush.  In the year of 2004, Mary Parks again embraced the honor of president of this club.

 

Anchored in one hundred and seven unbroken years of caring and sharing, the pattern of club life, which the revered Anna M. Duncan personified, the members of her namesake organization look forward.  They are determined to retain the best in the past while exhibiting flexibility in confronting the needs of today and tomorrow.

 

Club Officers

 

President – Mrs. Mary Parks

1st Vice President – Mrs. Jessie M. Cooley

2nd Vice President – Mrs. Elaine Smith

3rd Vice President – Mrs. Janeen S. Bush

Secretary – Mrs. Janeen S. Bush

Financial Secretary – Mrs. Annie Gantt

Treasurer – Mrs. Gwendolynne Bush-Todd

 Historian – Mrs. Patricia R. Bell

Parliamentarian – Mrs. Gwendolyn Garner

Chaplain – Mrs. Cynthia Ashley

Cultural Youth Supervisors

Mmes. Janeen S. Bush, Elaine M. Smith, Cynthia Ashley, Alma Rogers-Dawkins, Atty. Thomasina Rogers

 

 

Crusaders Club: 1927,He who lights a candle so high that others may find their way has performed a kindly service; but he who is able to furnish wick and tallow that the light may burn has performed a miracle, and such is the history of the CRUSADER FEDERATED CLUB.  This was also the sincere belief of the organizer and first president Mrs. Willie B. Shelley.

 

In April 1927, she called together a Group of women at the home of Mrs. Callie Chisholm, namely Mrs. Mary Berkley, Mrs. Minnie Ross, Mrs. Callie Robinson and Mrs. Dennie Lewis, whose purpose was to organize into a club these God-fearing women.  Officers were: Mrs. Willie B. Shelley, President, and Mrs. Minnie Ross, Vice President, Mrs. Callie Robinson, Secretary, and Mrs. Callie Chisholm, Treasurer.

 

The club took the challenge of meeting the needs of the community living through social and literary services.  The club provides baskets for the needy during Holidays.  In the past, the club provided entertainment for servicemen at the USO Club, which included preparing and serving food at the lounge of Union Station.  The club started the first adult school in the city, where classes were held at Hilliard's Chapel AME Zion Church.  There are many other accomplishments that could be mentioned in our history that have been made under the leadership of presidents; namely, Mrs. Maggie Lindsey, Mrs. Alice Carson, Mrs. Louise Streety, Mrs. Katie Evans, Mrs. Naomi Moore, Mrs. Essie Smart, Mrs. Lou Willa Murrell, Mrs. Odessa Wilson, Mrs. Barbara M. Thomas Mrs. Dorothy P. Jones, Mrs. Maggie T. Duncan, Mrs. Lucy Thomas and Mrs. Jean Pendarvis.

 

Club Officers

 

President- Mrs. Carolyn Holmes

1st Vice President – Ms. Kimwana Robinson

Secretary – Ms. Danica Taylor

Asst. Secretary – Ms. Mary Smith

Financial Secretary –Mrs. Dorothy J. Lee

Treasurer – Ms. Andrea Siler

Chaplain­ – Mrs. Evelyn Flowers

Assistant Chaplain - Mrs. Claudine Davis

Parliamentarian – Mrs. Curlie Bibb

 

 

Phillis Wheatley Art and Literary Club: 1928 Mrs. Callie H. Chisholm and a small contingent of young women, having mutual concern for the personal development and improvement of women in literary activities, met on march 9, 1928, and organized the Phillis Wheatley Art & Literary Club.  Their objective included the following:

 

1        To provide its membership with cultural activities and an awareness of current issues;

2        To cooperate with and actively support organizations that work toward building a better community and;

3        To consider questions and problems of mutual concern to its members.

 

Phillis Wheatley is the third oldest feder­ated club in Montgomery, Alabama.  Its motto “We rise by the structure we build” has been evidenced by the contributions made to the United Appeal, United Fund, NAACP, Mental Health Organization, National Council of Negro Women, Emancipation Celebration, March of Dimes, and other organizations and individuals for the general development of humankind.

 

The success of an organization is highly dependent on its leadership. The ladies chosen to serve in this capacity had a keen sense of community pride and civic responsibility.  Accepting the helm of responsibility were the following: Mmes. Callie H. Chisholm, Almeta Bibb, Bertha McClain, Alice Martin, Mattie P. Johnson, Frances Duncan, Wilhelmina Walker, Maude Williams, Sadie G. Penn, Cora McHaney, Alma T. Rowser, Beatrice S. Bell, Carolyn Jackson, Josephine Martin, Virginetta Cannon, Almedia M. Stickney, Myrtle Jones, Lucy Jenkins, Susie Harris, Thelma Burton-Henry and Gloria Ingram.

 

Club Officers

 

President – Mrs. Gloria H. Ingram

1st Vice President – Mrs. Alice Gooden

2nd Vice President – Mrs. Jacqueline V. Barnett

Secretary – Mrs. Irma Cole

Assistant Secretary – Mrs. Minnie Stringer

Corresponding Secretary – Mrs. Judy Johnson

Treasurer – Mrs. Thelma Burton

Chaplain – Mrs. Dorothy Jackson

Assistant Chaplain – Mrs. Dorothy Long

Parliamentarian – Mrs. Irma Murray

Assistant Parliamentarian – Mrs. Ida Early

Historians – Mrs. Susie Harris and Mrs. Wynell Jackson

Musicians – Mrs. Minnie Stringer, Mrs. Jacqueline Barnett and Mrs. Annie Grove

Reporters – Mrs. Jacqueline Moncrief, Mrs. Lucy Jenkins and Mrs. Annie Grove

 

 

Agnes.  Lewis Federated Club -1939, the first meeting of this organization was held at the St. John AME Zion Church.  It was named for the Graduate of State Normal School, which later became Alabama State University.  Lewis served as club faculty member during her years at the school.  Under the past presidency of Dr. Eunice Moore, 2000-2003 and now Mrs. Coatest Carter, 2004, their projects include providing concerts for area's young artist, story hours for children at the ASU library, Art Exhibits and public forms.  They support the urban League, ASU Foundation, the boys clubs and the Mental Health association in Montgomery.

 

Club Officers

 

President – Mrs. Betty Zachary

1st Vice President – Dr. Charlotte P. Morris

Secretary – Dr. Thelma Ivery

Assistant Secretary – Mrs. Lorine Grant

Corresponding Secretary – Mrs. Johnnie Royster

Financial Secretary – Mrs. Juanita Duncombe

Assistant Financial Secretary – Mrs. Betty Johnson

Treasurer – Mrs. Lillie W. Hall

Parliamentarian – Mrs. Thelma Glass

Chaplain – Mrs. Blanche Bonner

 

Dora Beverly Club: 1939, “How far that little candle throws its beam, so shines a good deed in a naughty world.”  Of the many things for which we are genuinely thankful is the fact we had a chance to come within the close range of the revitalizing influence of the life that was Dora D. Beverly as an instructor at Alabama State Teachers College.  She had encroached in her life all the noble qualities that have made her a projected personality.

 

It is in appreciate of this worthy charter that the club was organized in 1939 by the late Mrs. W. B. Shelly, who was State Organizer of the Alabama Federation of Colored Women’s Clubs

 

Mrs. Janie Lowe Clayton served very efficiently as our first president with the following charter members: Mmes. Willola T. Brown, Dorothy F. Gibbs, Louvenia W. Herring, Jewette L. Anderson, Jimmie L. Lowe, Irene H. Lewis, Thelma S. Morris, Elizabeth M. Thomas, Victoria L. Vickers, and Willie M. Stone.

 

To each of our presidents we owe a debt of thanks for their invaluable service.

The CLUB is founded on the principle for which the late Dora D. Beverly stood; having as its aim: Mrs. Beverly was honored for her interest in:

 

1                    Child Welfare

2                    Beautification

3                    Literary attainments Beverly

 

Effort has been made to develop these aims through the varied activities engaged in during the past years.  Our sin under the presidency of Ms Joanne Richardson, the club's projects include working with Nursing homes, providing services for elderly members of the community and preparing baskets for the needy during holidays.  Our sincere wish is that the projected personality of Miss Beverly bespeaking her love and service for God and her fellowmen maybe inspiring to all in helping us make life a joy and benediction forever.

 

Past Presidents:   Mmes. Janie Lowe Clayton, Dorothy Gibbs, Victoria Vickers, Josie Lawrence, Clarinda Mitchell, Emma Williams, Willie Stone, Susie Parks, Ruth Frazier, Jewette Anderson, Catherine Johnson, Narvel Lowe, Bessie Moss, Ruby Byrd, Floy Bonner, Olivia Green, Myrtis Ramsey, Thelma S. Morris, Gloria R. Lawrence, Lois Jenkins, Melva C. Irwin, Fannie Thomas, Pamela Smith, Corrie Brown, and Ms. Joanne Richardson.

 

Club Officers

 

President – Ms. Joanne Richardson

1st Vice President – Mrs. Gloria Lawrence

Secretary – Mrs. Ann Cook

 

Les Comarades Club: 1939 organized one afternoon at the home of Mrs. Rebecca Nesbitt, elected secre­tary of the group, when officers were elected.  The group chose Mrs. Olivia Houston as president and the dues was 15 cents.  The idea was to help the community by having volunteers to provide services like hot meals for sick people in the community, furnish baskets for needy families during holidays, distributed clothing to nursing home areas and donated clothing to the Sunshine Center.  2004, under the presidency of Ms. Gwendolyn Bell, the members continue the clearinghouse project, Father Purcell, sickle cell, Read-thorn and the Sunshine center for abused women.

 

Club Officers

 

President – Ms. Gwendolyn P. Bell

 1st Vice President- Mrs. Janice Laneaux

Secretary- Mrs. Christine Calloway

Corresponding Secretary - Ms. Annetta Hudson

Financial Secretary- Mrs. Theresa Armstrong

Treasurer- Mrs. Bobbie Lamb

Chaplain- Mrs. Emma Adams

Contact Person  - Mrs. Hazel March

 

 

 

Sojourner Truth Club: 1946, the members of this club decided to named this club after Sojourner Truth, a religious black women who dedicated her life to help and push for freedom of her people during the existence of slavery.  The club's projects are to support community organizations such as YMCA, United Appeal, the March of Dimes and the president's council.  Under the presidency of Mrs. Zella Wad­sworth, the club continues dedicated it is service to the community with their time, and talents.

 

Past Presidents: Mrs. Laura M. Brewington, Mrs. Mary Franklin, Mrs. Gussie H. Belser, Mrs. Mabel Gibbs and Mrs. Zella Wadsworth

Other Past officers: Mrs. Johnnie Dale, Mrs. Pencola Stanford, Mrs. Ludell P. Crenshaw Mrs. Mae Ocie Poole, Mrs. Hester Sparks, Mrs. Johnnie Carr.

 

 

Club Officers

 

President- Mrs. Minnie McCants

1st Vice President – Mrs. Myra Drake

2nd Vice President – Mrs. Zella Wadsworth

Secretary – Mrs. Queen Green

Assistant Secretary – Mrs. Naomi Maryland

Financial Secretary – Mrs. lnella Campbell

Treasurer – Mrs. Flossie Clemons

Chaplain – Mrs. Bertha Glenn

Assistant.  Chaplain – Mrs. Johnnie Carr

 

Excelsior Club, 1947, organized by Edna Doak King, a group whose objective would be how to provide civic, social, literary activities for their communities.  Provide membership for boys and girls at the YMCA.  Father Purcell Center.  The Nellie Burge Center.  Adopt a family during holidays and donate to the under privilege families.  This club has flourish under the leadership and presidency of Mrs. Mattie King Pinkston, Mrs. Minnie Everett, Mrs. Jean Montgomery Johnson, Mrs. Mattie Gary, Mrs. Arcadia Tate, Mrs. Irene Anthony Williams, Mrs. Lydia Wheeler, Mrs. Jamesie Boswell, Mrs. Odell Graham, Mrs. Jessie Bryson, Mrs. Romay Davis, and Mrs. Irene C. Williams.  Mrs. Jamesie Boswell was a chartered member, who later became the president of Montgomery City Federation during 1996.  Under the presidency of Mrs. Irene Williams, the plan is to continue to focus on children by helping the Nellie Burge Center and Father Purcell Center.

 

Club Officers

 

President - Mrs. Irene C. Williams

1st Vice President - Mrs. Brenda Steele

Secretary - Mrs. Lois McWhorter

Assistant Secretary - Mrs. Odell Graham

Financial Secretary - Mrs. Mabel Smith

Treasurer - Mrs. Arcadia Tate

Corresponding Secretary  - Mrs. Martha Pettiway

Chaplain - Mrs. Rachel Thorn

Parliamentarian - Mrs. Jamesie Boswell

 

Mrs. Jamesie Boswell a chartered member, of this organization later became president of The Montgomery City Federation of Women' s clubs during the years of 1996-2001.

 

Theme: Sharing Our Gifts; Love, Service and Influence

Color: Crimson

Flower: American Beauty Rose

 

Odessy M.E.D.W. Garden Club: 1968 organized by Mrs. Odessa Knight in Deatsville, Alabama, with 13 members from Elmore, Wetumpka and Montgomery counties and Mrs. Knight serve as President since it is beginning.  Their idea was to provide community service, including an annual spring program for high school students.  To serve it's community they have the garden club spring contest where they award to contestant prizes for winning plants entered in the contest, and participate in Teacher Appreciation Day in their counties.

 

 


 

The Montgomery City Federation of Women’s Clubs, Inc., is associated with the Alabama Association of Women’s Clubs, Southeastern Region Association and The National Associa­tion of Colored Women Clubs and Youth Affiliates.

 

.

Montgomery City Federation Officers

2000-2004

Executive Chairperson – Mrs. Gloria Ingram

President- Mrs. Patricia Rich Bell

1st Vice President- Mrs. Mary B.. Bullard

2nd Vice President- Mrs. Mrs. Thelma Burton

3rd Vice President – Mrs. Gloria Lawrence

Assistant Secretary – Mrs. Cheryl Hightower

Corresponding Secretary- Mrs. Jessie Cooley

Financial Secretary- Mrs. Lillie Hall

Treasurer- Mrs. Judy Johnson

Historian – Mrs. Ann cook

Chaplain- Mrs. Martha Storrs

Parliamentarian – Mrs. Bertha Glenn

Pianist – Mrs. Jacqueline Barnett

Jackson Community House Chairperson – Mrs. Sangernetta G. Bush

 

Advisory Board

To

Montgomery City Federation of Women’s Clubs, Inc.

 

Major Larry Armstead

Mr. Fletcher Cooley

Dr. C.C. Baker

Mr. Fredrick Burks

Mr. Lawrence Cole

Rev Ferrell Duncombe

Mr. Richard Jordan

Rep. John Knight

Mr. Chester Mallory

Mr. Richard Nelson

Atty. Charles Langford

Mr. Tracy Larkin

Mr. J.G. Pendarvis

Mr. Elbert Powell

Mr. Simuel Sippial

Mr. Henry Spears

Mr. George Thompson

Mr. Leo William

 

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