Montana Federation Of Colored Women's Clubs Records>, 1921-1978  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Creator
Montana Federation of Colored Women's Clubs
Title
Montana Federation Of Colored Women's Clubs Records>
Dates
1921-1978 (inclusive)
Quantity
1.5 linear feet of shelf space.
Collection Number
MC 281
Summary
The Montana Federation of Colored Women's Clubs (originally the Montana Federation of Negro Women's Clubs) was a coordinating organization for local clubs of African American women around Montana. Records include minute books (1936-1952), correspondence, and reports of the Dunbar Art and Study Club, Great Falls; and miscellany reports and correspondence of the Phyllis Wheatley Club, Billings; Pearl Club, Butte; and the Pleasant Hour Club, Helena. Materials of the state federation include Legislative Committee reports, correspondence, clippings, bills concerned with civil rights state legislation; Claudia Bivens Scholarship material; state convention programs (1921-1978); constitution and bylaws; notes; clippings; and miscellany. [OVERSIZE MATERIAL: Map Case]
Repository
Montana Historical Society, Research Center Archives
Montana Historical Society Research Center Archives
225 North Roberts
PO Box 201201
Helena MT
59620-1201
Telephone: 406-444-2681
Fax: 406-444-5297
mhslibrary@mt.gov
Languages
English
Sponsor
Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.


Historical NoteReturn to Top

When the Montana Federation of Negro Women's Clubs first met in Butte on August 3, 1921, at least nine African American women's clubs were active in communities throughout the state. Representatives from seven of the local clubs attended the meeting called by Mary B. Chappell to organize the state federation as an affiliate of the National Association of Colored Women's Clubs, which organized in 1896. The representatives attending the Butte meeting elected Chappell as the state federation's first president. Women living in Kalispell formed Montana's first African American women's group, the Mutual Improvement Club, in August 1913. Three years later in 1916 twelve Helena women met as the Pleasant Hour Club. The Pearl Club formed in Butte in 1918, and two groups, the Phyllis Wheatley Club in Billings and the Dunbar Art and Study Club in Great Falls, organized in 1920. Four local clubs that formed in 1921 prior to the state federation's first meeting were the Bozeman Sweet Pea Study Club organized on January 5, Mary B. Talbert Art Club organized in Helena on January 7, Clover Leaf Club formed in Butte on February 4, and the Anaconda Good Word Literary Club, whose first meeting was in May.

The Montana Federation participated in meetings and activities of the National Association of Colored Women's Clubs and the National Association's Northwest Region with offices in Seattle. In addition to offering social activities for black women, the local clubs and the state federation supported the Claudia Bivens Scholarship Fund to help black high school students attend college, lobbied for civil rights legislation in the state legislature, and worked through a variety of programs to improve racial relations at the state and local level. At its annual meeting in 1948 the Montana Federation voted to change its name to the Montana State Federation of Colored Women's Clubs (MSFCWC).

After World War II membership in the state's local clubs dwindled as the black population in the state dropped. During the 1920s and 1930s as many as fifteen local groups were active in Montana, but by the 1970s only four clubs remained active, and on June 17, 1972, the state federation's executive board voted to disband. Federation assets and monies in the Claudia Bivens Scholarship Fund were given to the University of Montana, Missoula, to provide for a scholarship commemorating the MSFCWC.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

Collection includes correspondence (1924-1971); minutes (1951-1972); convention reports (1922-1972); Claudia Bivens Scholarship records (1951-1972) including reports, correspondence, and clippings regarding scholarship recipients; legislative committee records (1938-1968) including reports, legislative bills, correspondence regarding state civil rights legislation. In addition to state federation records, the collection contains National Association of Colored Women's Clubs; Northwest Region Colored Women's Clubs material (1923-1970) including clippings, minutes, correspondence, and convention programs and reports; and records of the Phyllis Wheatley club of Billings, the Pearl Club of Butte, the Dunbar Art and Study Club of Great Falls and the Pleasant Hour Club of Helena. [OVERSIZE MATERIAL: Map Case]

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection

Statewide Organization Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
General Correspondence
Box/Folder
1 / 1
Correspondence re annual meetings
1958-1971
Miscellaneous Correspondence
Box/Folder
1 / 2
Letter to Joseph M. Dixon thanking him for donation to National Association for the Advancement of Colored People; letter from Floyd C. Miles to Robert Schuster re black servicemen attending Great Falls social club
1924, 1968
Minutes
Box/Folder
1 / 3-5
Annual state convention minutes and miscellany
1936-1971
1 / 6
Executive board
1950-1972
Organization
Box/Folder
1 / 7
Constitution and bylaws
1921-1964
1 / 8
Membership lists
1921-1968
Printed Material
Box/Folder
1 / 9-10
Annual convention programs and clippings
1921-1971
1 / 11
Newsletters (scattered)
1952-1957
Reports
Box/Folder
1 / 12
State President Mamie Lee Lacey's report
1971
1 / 13
Reports re state annual conventions (includes delegate credentials)
1953-1972
1 / 14
Historians' reports to State Convention (includes reports of state club historian and historians of local clubs including Pleasant Hour Club of Helena, Phyllis Wheatley Club of Billings, Dunbar Art and Study Club of Great Falls, Pearl Club of Butte)
1922-1971
Subject Files
Box/Folder
2 / 1
Claudia Bivens Scholarship Fund: Education Committee reports
1951-1970
2 / 2
Claudia Bivens Scholarship Fund: correspondence, and reports
1962-1972
2 / 3
Claudia Bivens Scholarship Fund: clippings re scholarship recipients
1970-1971
2 / 4
Legislative Committee: includes reports, legislative bills, clippings, and correspondence from black residents of the state re a wide variety of issues of concern including civil rights bill of 1938; also includes report of Community Council Inter-Racial Committee)
1938-1968
2 / 5
National Association of Colored Women's Clubs, Inc. (includes clippings, national publications, etc.; OVERSIZE MATERIAL in Map Case)
1923-1972
2 / 6-7
National Association of Colored Women's Clubs, Inc.: Northwest Region (includes convention programs, minutes, correspondence, and reports re conventions)
1947-1970
Miscellany
Box/Folder
2 / 8
Club songs, letterhead, inspirational reading
n.d.
2 / 9
Montana Federation of Women's Clubs material
1968-1978
Clippings
Box/Folder
2 / 10
Miscellaneous (re state federation)
1948-1972
2 / 11
Miscellaneous (re African American people in Montana; Julian Anderson; and others)
1938-1992

Phyllis Wheatley Club (Billings, Mont.) Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Miscellany
Box/Folder
3 / 1
Membership and activity reports, meeting programs, convention correspondence
1957-1971

Pearl Club (Butte, Mont.) Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Miscellany
Box/Folder
3 / 2
Reports and correspondence (also includes clipping re Armeta Duncan)
1957-1976

Dunbar Art and Study Club (Great Falls, Mont.) Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Incoming Correspondence
Box/Folder
3 / 3
Miscellaneous (correspondents include Taylor Gordon, Montana Federation of Women's Clubs, Pleasant Hour Club, Northwest Chapter)
1961-1971
Minutes
Box/Folder
3 / 4-8
Minute books (also include treasurers' reports, membership lists)
1918-1924, 1936-1971
3 / 9
Minutes removed from minute book
1952-1971
Organization
Box/Folder
3 / 10
Constitutions
1950, 1953
Reports
Box/Folder
3 / 11
Annual and statistical reports
1951-1971
Miscellany
Box/Folder
3 / 12
Club programs, year book, newspaper clippings
1936-1978

Pleasant Hour Club (Helena, Mont.) Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
General Correspondence
Box/Folder
4 / 1
Correspondence to Pleasant Hour Club from membership and national leadership of Federation of Women' s Clubs
1968
Financial Records
Box/Folder
4 / 2
Treasurer's book, scattered receipts
1956-1971
Reports
Box/Folder
4 / 3
Annual reports
1960-1971
Miscellany
Box/Folder
4 / 4
Pamphlets, handouts, music lyrics [includes list of materials separated to Museum and Photograph Archives]
1971, n.d.

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • African American women--Montana.
  • African Americans--Montana.
  • Civil rights--Montana.
  • Clubs--Montana.
  • Scholarships--Montana.
  • Women--Societies and clubs--Montana.
  • Geographical Names :
  • Great Falls (Mont.)--Social life and customs