Friday, January 3, 2014
Nearly 150 women met on Friday, November 16, 1894 in Union Hall, Orange, New Jersey in response to an invitation issued by the Woman's Club of Orange. The 65 delegates and others represented 36 clubs and had traveled from as far south as Bridgeton, Haddonfield & Merchantville. Think of how difficult a journey this would have been for women in 1894. Many traveled by trolley, train and carriage and had to leave before day break to arrive by 10am.
One of the speakers, Florence Howe Hall advocated the formation of a state society or federation as a means of bringing women together for an interchange of ideas and methods and for the cultivation of good fellowship.
Before the meeting adjourned that day, a constitution and bylaws were written and adopted and officers were elected. THe New Jersey State Federation of Women's Clubs was established!
Mrs. Charles B. Yardley of Orange was elected as the first President and the official charter number of clubs was listed as 36.
In the spring of 1895 the Lily of the Valley was voted on as the Federation flower and buff & blue were favored for Federation colors and the theme at the first Annual Meeting held in Newark on October 24-25, 1895. 175 women attended the annual meeting and 13 chairman reported on various committees that had been established.
Annual meetings continued to be held in the fall until 1966, when the month was changed to May, which still stands today. Since 1947, almost all conventions have been held in Atlantic City.
In 1902 there were 100 clubs.
Stay tuned for more Federation information!