University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The State of Wisconsin Collection

Page View

Town of Frankfort centennial

Organizations,   pp. 43-50

Page 43

The history of Homemaker's clubs in the state of Wisconsin
have deep roots in Marathon County where some of the first
clubs were organized.
In the early 1900's teen years, the farm organization called
the American Society of Equity was gaining membership in
Wisconsin which also included the women's Auxiliary. Several
of these groups were organized in Marathon County. One of
the first to be organized was the Women's Auxiliary in
Cherokee on July 15, 1915.
They celebrated their 60th anniversary on March 26, 1975
by honoring their first president Mrs. Hulda Heintz, who had
just passed her 89th birthday. She and her husband Otto were
both teachers in the Cherokee area. They had one daughter,
Mrs. John (Irma) Coates.
The club was organized with 28 charter members, two of
which were still living in 1975.
In 1928 the club affiliation with Equity was dropped and the
name was changed to the Cherokee Women's Association and
now are part of the Homemaker's Extension Group. Some of
these members were from the Town of Frankfort. The follow-
ing have served as presidents of the club during the sixty
Hulda Heintz                           Rochelle Fricke
Lena Brehm                             Bernice Miller
Laura Carr                             Georgette Ganz
Hildegarde Eggebrecht                  Maxine Hass
Florence Smart                         Irma Coates
Viola Rein                             Sarah Olson
Helen Brehm                            Jone Dallman
Marion Fricke                          Alice Bender
Edna Olson                             Jean Mielke
It was during the First World War of 1917-18 when the need
for conserving food and making bandages for the Red Cross
that many of the early women's clubs were organized to help
in these emergencies. Fifteen emergency home demonstration
agents were hired by the Wisconsin extension department to
help out with problems created by the war.
With the influence of the women's groups and county agent,
Frank Swoboda, they convinced the county board to hire one
of these home agents.
Mary Brady was the first home demonstration agent to
serve in Marathon County. She started work on April 6, 1918.
Her first job was to teach housewives how to use wheat and
meat substitutes during the war period.
She lost no time in organizing the first Homemaker's Club in
the Town of Maine under the county extension supervision.
The club was already organized as a Mother's Club since early
1918, but was reorganized at the home of Mrs. Edward
Gensman on May 9, 1919 with Mary Brady's help. Mrs.
Gertrude Witter was their first president.
The organization of other clubs followed in rapid suc-
cession throughout the county. Many other problems faced
the county such as poor roads, long distances for medical and
nurses care and hot lunches in schools.
The first gathering of the county homemaker's women's
clubs was held in Wausau at the Universalist Church in
Wausau on April 26, 1919. The County Federation of
Women's Clubs was organized on September 22, 1920, at the
City Hall in Wausau. At the third meeting held at St. Mary's
Church of Wausau, the County Federation of Women elected
Mrs. A. F. Schultz as their first County President.
After the war ended, out of the 15 home agents the state
hired, all were laid off except Mary Brady. At a special
meeting of the county board on June 10, 1919 they voted to re
tain her on a permanent basis. She became Wisconsin's first
and only home agent for 10 years. She served under the strong
and personable direction of the state home economic leader,
Mrs. Nellie Kedzie Jones. It was two years before the county
board furnished Miss Brady with a car. Up until April 20th
she was transported around the county by horse and buggy.
Mary Brady resigned on December 31 after serving three
years and 9 months. During her stay here she organized 26
homemaker's clubs with 663 members, seven community
clubs with 700 members, and fourteen 4-H Clubs. Mary Brady
and Frank Swoboda, the county agent, were co-editors of the
magazine called the Marathon County Farm Journal.
Some of the other home agents to serve Marathon County in
the following years were:
Mary Brady
Vangel Russell
Regina Feeney
Ruth Feeney
Edith Bangham
Helen Pearson
Merle Ramer
Ann Nugaard
Eileen Niedermeier
Ardith Murphy
Bonnie Williams Silverstein
Kathy Deml Goetz
Mary Crave
The initials stand for Cleveland, Frankfort, and Wien
townships. This club was organized in April 1927, at the home
of Mrs. Frank Wanke Route 4 Stratford and a teacher at the
Briggs School at the time. Regina Fenny County Home Agent
helped organize the club. Members were from all thr
townships. The first officers elected were: President - Mrs
Frank Wanke, Vice-President - Mrs. Otto Lueschow,
Secretary - Mrs. Charles Hinitz, and Treasurer - Mrs
Herman Leffel.
Charter members of the club were: Mrs. Frank Wanke, Mrs
Otto Lueschow, Mrs. Charles Hintz, Mrs. Herman Leffel, Mr
Albert Crothers, Mrs. Art Lueschow, Anne Fandre, Mrs. Ricl
ard Bahr, Mrs. Robert Syring, Mrs. Fred Hannemann, Mr
Walter Viegut, Mrs. Elizabeth Dehn, Mrs. William Petrick, ar
Mrs. Adolph Bornowski. The dues were set at five cents pe

Go up to Top of Page