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Smith, Toni; Wedemeyer, Martha (ed.) / Tea and service : 100 year history of the Port Washington Woman's Club

History of Woman's Club

In 1911 and 1912 the Club got into closer touch with its
neighbors. The Port Washington Woman's Club entertained the
Cedarburg and West Bend clubs and were also entertained by them.
In 1911, women's right to vote was a hot topic in the local
newspaper. Most articles stressed the need to protect women and since
the rearing and education of children was a woman's role, the vote
might distract women from fulfilling their primary job.
In 1912, the Woman's Club sponsored the first community
forum for the discussion of this important topic. A vote was taken
within the club itself and was against the women's right to vote, a vote
that reflected the overall open minded but conservative nature of
women of the new century.
Soon thereafter, for the second time in the Club's short
existence, the country was at war. The First World War greatly
influenced the programs and work of the Club. Contributions were
made to the YMCA, and 72 boxes of candy was sent to Port
Washington boys in the army. A $300.00 Liberty Bond was purchased
out of the Fountain Fund. A war orphan was adopted. No meetings
were held for two months on account of the influenza epidemic.
Meetings were again held in homes and no refreshments served.
Average attendance was 16. (Question: Any relation between
refreshments and low attendance?)
After the war, meetings were again held in church parlors,
and refreshments were again served. The influence of the war was still
apparent. Programs related to the Red Cross, public health, sanitation,
Americanization, immigration, social welfare, etc.

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