Ashville Area Heritage Society
34 Long Street
Ashville, Ohio 43103
Saturday: 9am -
Sunday and Monday: Closed
Closed Saturdays -
WOMEN’S CIVIC CLUB OF ASHVILLE
Special Thanks to the late Barbara Hopper for submitting this information!
Organized May 1946
One day while playing cards a group of ladies were discussing the needs of the village. A friend of Jo Cameron’s, Helen Scothorn, was visiting from Columbus. She told the group of the many different things that her woman’s club had done. The group thought that possibly they could do the same things.
The Women’s Civic Club of Ashville was organized May 2, 1946 and met in the community club rooms of the Odd Fellows Building at the corner of Long and Wright streets. In 1951 it was decided to have the meeting in the homes of members. Occasionally churches and the refurbished train depot have been used for meetings. After the Floyd Younkin Branch Library was dedicated in December 1999, the meetings were held in the Robert Mabe Meeting Room. The first regular meeting was held June 6, 1946 when the Constitution was presented by the Constitution Committee chairman, Ruth Allison Bowers and it was later adopted. The object of the Club was “to promote the intellectual, civic, and social interests of the members and the community.”
The first board consisted of Gretchen Plum Featheringham, president; Virginia Casteel Courtright, vice-
Programs for the first year were presented by different club members. The topics were ”Post-
Johnda Davis of the Monday Club in Circleville was instrumental in assisting the Club becoming a part of the General Federated Women’s Clubs (GFWC) and the Ohio Federation of Women’s Clubs (OFWC). The local Club received its membership to this organization January 21, 1947. The Club remained active in these organizations until the fall of 1983. Later Davis served as the president of OFWC from 1956-
Over the years members attended various district and state meetings. Some members served as committee chairman. At the 1963 OFWC convention, held at the Deshler-
During the first year the members worked to obtain better health service, a community library and garbage collection for the Village of Ashville. Their fund raising projects consisted of a benefit card party, a Stanley Products demonstration, the serving of an Ashville Community Club dinner, assisting at the fish stand at the July 4th celebration and the placing of tax stamp boxes in several businesses.
The Club donated to the Memorial Forest near Loundenville, sent a Christmas box to the Boys’ Industrial School at Lancaster and Christmas baskets for local needy families.
The Club had three social events that year: a Valentine Tea for members and their guests, a dinner with the Ashville Community Club bad a Club dinner held in May at the Wardell Party Home.
A Library Committee composed of Nelle Oesterle, Chairman; Gretchen Featheringham, Virginia Courtright and Zelma Gardner succeeded with the help of the Circleville Library, in having a branch placed in the Barth Variety Store on Main Street. Three hundred books were loaned and many donations were made by local citizens. Clara Lou Stewart served as part-
The Club was instrumental in establishing a tennis court at the southeast corner of the Village Park. In 1992-
In 1949 another project was to have supervised skating, with refreshments, at the Open Shelter House, once a week for six weeks during the summer. A Girl Scout Troop helped to clean the shelter house each week. The project continued until August 1959.
Through the joint efforts of the Ashville Community Club, Women’s Civic Club of Ashville and the Village Council ways to improve traffic conditions of the Village were investigated. This collaboration resulted in many new traffic signs around the Village.
During the early 50’s the Club had an Air Defense Committee. Gretchen Featheringham, Betty Margulis and Isabel Fischer were the members of the committee. In cooperation with the village firemen and the Civil Defense, members served as watchers for aircraft.
For many years the Club has participated in the July 4th Festival by helping at the fish stand, hosting the Little Miss – Mister Fourth parade and pageant, selling souvenirs, assisting with the Art and Craft, Baked Goods and Flower Show, selling tickets for the amusement company and entering a float in the July 4th Parade. In the beginning the floats were designed and made by club members in Roger and Helen Hedges’ barn and the TVHS vocational lab. In later years they have been made by a professional float firm in Williamsport, Ohio.
The Club has had a program and social hour for the senior citizens in the area. For several years these were well attended. But as our mobile society has changed so has the attendance of these gatherings. The Club also had a program and refreshments for the senior girls at the high school and later the entire senior class. This project was discontinued in 1972 due to conflict of interests.
In 1958, a scholarship was funded for a graduating senior who would be attending college in the fields of education. It started as a scholarship of $200 over the four years. It is now $2000 over the four years of college. A bronze plaque has been placed at TVHS with each recipients name engraves. The scholarship was named for a charter member, who was also a teacher, Louise Miller Cromley. In the early 90’s the named was changed to the Women’s Civic Club of Ashville Memorial Scholarship Fund. In the mid 90’s, the scholarship ceased to be limited to the field of education. Those that received a scholarship are: Charles A. Moss – 1958, Sharon Stephenson – 1959, Patricia Frazier Southward – 1960, Marty Ann Dore’ – 1961, Kathryn Stout Ohlin – 1962, Ellen Snyder Langham – 1963, Betty Thomas Meyers – 1964, Carol Balthaser – 1965, Jody Butt, Jill Butt Mundy – 1967, Donna Berry Noecker – 1968, Elaine Campbell Horn – 1969, Sandy Scothorn Petty – 1970, Karen Epps Williams – 1971, Jeff Sheets – 1972, Diane Pobst Ett – 1973, Deborah Kay Biller – 1974, Kim Martin – 1975, Brad Sherman – 1976, Michele Brown Barrios – 1977, Jan Deal Mulhern – 1978, Kathy Foreman Efaw – 1979, Scott Bartholomew – 1980, Beth Solt Cottrell – 1981, Donna Felty Davis – 1982, Vicki Leatherwood Moss – 1983, Rhonda Peters Duncan – 1984, Cathy Hoover – 1985, Brent Sherman – 1986, Angela Masters Curlette – 1987, Laura Solt Steele – 1988, Barbara Jo Mc Kinney – 1990, Lisa Hickman – 1991, Melinda Willeford Tussing – 1992, Toni Watson – 1993, Pamela Dixon – 1994, Jeff Hurt – 1995, Karen Noecker – 1996, William D. Rogers – 1997, Brea Jervis Wolfe – 1998, Kimberly Dixon – 1999, Pearl Fortner – 2000, Angela Simpkins – 2001, Andrea Underwood – 2002 and Brian Douglas McFarland -
Over the years the Club has had many fund raisers such as: sales tax stamp collections, talent show “Fun For You’ in conjunction with the Ashville Community Club, Fourth of July Festival, bake sales, white elephant sales, Big Bear Luncheons, pecan sales, Christmas Bazaars, Tour of Homes, Christmas Cookie (each member has to bake 12 dozen cookies), style shows and luncheons, selling tickets for Nolan Amusements Company at the July Fourth Festival and the selling of a small banner –type Village flag..
The first Tour of Homes was held the spring of 1959. Fifty members and guests toured the homes of Mrs. W.J. Whitehead, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Messick, Mr. and Mrs. Warren Brown and Mr. and Mrs. Roger Hedges. Tea and cookies were served at the Hedges’ home. After the tour the regular business meeting was held at the home of Ann Cromley. In the late 80’s the Tour of Homes was held again for profit in December. The first style show was held in March 1949 at the First English Lutheran Church. According to the historian’s records over the years, it appears that the style shows have been held both in the spring and the fall, at the Ashville E.S. or at Teays Valley H.S. For the most part the clothing that was modeled by members and their families was from local stores in Circleville. The one exception was when Sears, Roebuck and Co. at Eastland Mall provided their own models. This show was not accepted as well as others. Currently Sharf’s provide fashions for juniors, misses and young men while Wal-
In September 1959, Georgia Dore’, chairman of the Welcoming Committee shared a booklet that the committee had completed to give families new in this area a listing of businesses, churches, medical services, etc. that were available in the community. In the early 90’s the Club donated monies to a non-
Over the years the programs for the Club has been many and varied. In the early years and until 1983 the programs were around a theme of OFWC. Members have also visited various places such as the DuPont plant at Circleville, the Reynolds plant at Ashville, the Home and Garden Show at German Village, the Art Museum, the Center of Science and Industry, Columbia Gas of Ohio demonstrations, the County Children’s Home, Clarke-
In 1970 the Club voted to select an outstanding woman in the community to be honored at the July Fourth Festival. Those that have received this honor were: Nelle Oesterle – 1970, Helen Hedges – 1971, Gretchen Featheringham – 1972, Georgia Dore’ – 1973, Ethel Seigle -
In 1999 it was decided to give two awards to women. The original Woman of the Year would now be awarded to a woman who had done something heroic or outstanding for the community in the past year with no age limit. Nominations for this award can be submitted by the community. The other award would be named Distinguished Service Award. The award would be given to a woman at least 50 years of age who had contributed to the community over her lifetime and nominations would come from club members. Recipients of the new category Woman of the Year have been: Shanon Bumgartner – 1999, Mary Irene Younkin – 2000, and Karah McNeeley – 2001.
Recipients of the Distinguished Service Award have been: Carol Ramsay – 1999, Alice Woolever, -
In 1973 the Club purchased American flags to be displayed from the utility poles during the July Fourth Festival and other holidays. Due to vandalism and thief the Club stopped this project. In October 1973 the Club voted to contribute $500 to save Stage’s Pond, a kettle pond formed by a glacier. The Club also participated saving the Scioto Railroad Station.
In August 1973 invitations were sent to 30 prospective members that might be interested in forming a Junior Club, to an evening tea. The CORD District Junior Membership Chairman, Jean Holycross spoke to those gathered about “Junior Club work and its challenge to a community.” At the first meeting there were nine women who showed interest. Five of the group was asked to write a constitution and by-
“What the Federation Means to Me”. This venture was not successful as only five guests attended and one elected to join the Club.
In the fall of 1973 the first joint Christmas Bazaar was held with the Ashville Junior Women’s Club. Each profited over $400.
In October 1974, officers for the newly formed GFWC-
During the club year 1974-
On October 28, 1975, the Club was recognized at the Columbus Dispatch’s Ninth Annual Women’s Club Contest in category B (21-
In 1982 the Club donated $1000 to the Centennial Committee to make a small park area in front of the Ashville Area Heritage Society Museum.
In the fall of 1998 the Club was approached to donated money for start a library in Ashville. The Club’s pledge and donation of $5000 spearheaded the campaign to raise funds for the library branch which is now known at the Floyd E. Younkin Branch Library of the Pickaway County District Library which was dedicated December 16, 1999.
The following is a partial list of projects or organization with which the Club has been affiliated: Girl Scouts, Boy Scout Valley Forge trip, March of Dimes, American Heart Association, Berger Hospital Guild, sponsored a blood bank, sold articles for the blind, various funds and projects of OFWC, Ohioana Library, American Legion Auxiliary – Girl’s State, Pickaway County Historical Society, Ashville Area Heritage Society, Christmas, Home Decorating Contest (in conjunction with the Ashville Community Club, Kiwanis, Ashville Food Pantry, Creative Living, Meals on Wheels, Haven House for abused women, Hands for Disabled and many more.
Our 25th anniversary was held at the Pickaway Country Club. The 40th and 50th anniversaries were celebrated at JR Hooks Cafe in Circleville.
The Women’s Civic Club of Ashville meet at the Younkin Branch Library Meeting Room, September through June on the first Thursday of the month at 7:00 p.m.
All women in the Ashville area are welcome to join us. Contact us for more information at:
Women's Civic Club
P.O. Box 310
Ashville, Ohio 43103