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Greene County Room Digital Collections

WomansClub

About this collection

Organized in March 1867, The Woman’s Club of Xenia began with a membership of twelve. As one of the forerunners of women’s clubs, it met mistrust and ridicule.  Many people felt it was a “wicked waste of time and energy, for women to meet with no other aim than the study of literature and no other object than self-improvement.”  The Club is recognized as the oldest Women's Club in Ohio and one of if not the oldest women’s literary clubs in the United States.

After organizing, the Club held meetings every two weeks with breaks during the summers. In the beginning, each member, in alphabetical order, gave an essay or paper on a topic of their choosing.  Three literary exercises per year were given by each member.  Even corresponding members, who had moved away from Xenia, contributed three literary exercises per year.  The Club eventually appointed a program committee that planned the year’s study and assigned subjects to the members.  The Club began printing yearly program booklets in 1897.  In addition to essays and papers, members presented plays, music, and poetry.  In 1974, the Club began meeting only once a month on the first Thursday of each month with a summer break in July and August.  A program committee plans the year’s study and assigns topics and months to members with each member being responsible for one paper and/or service on the Luncheon or Christmas Tea Committee per year.

Although many members have been, and continue to be, active participants in many community and national concerns, The Club has kept the study of literature as its sole purpose.

 
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