Our History

History of The Woman’s Club of Lake City

The Woman’s Club of Lake City has valiant past history in our community, state and nation.

Did you know that a Sewing Club provided the inspiration for the forming of the Literary Club – namely, “The Current Topics Club” which subsequently became the Lake City Woman’s Club on September 15, 1905?

It was federated in February 1906 with State Woman’s Clubs as Current Topic Club of Lake City.

In 1912, the City of Lake City deeded land to the Club on which they were to build a clubhouse.

The Woman’s Club is the oldest of our civic organizations for women, and it might well be designated as the parent or Mother Club. The PTA was organized in 1913 by the Educational Group of the Current Topic Club – namely the Home and Social Association. The Book Club and Creative Arts Club were the outgrowth or offspring of a Woman’s Club Committee. On May 27, 1915, the Club’s name was changed to The Woman’s Club of Lake City. On October 21, 1916, a charter was granted to the Woman’s Club of Lake City to build the clubhouse (the Club has a 99-year lease with the City). In 1916 the Woman’s Club sponsored the City’s first Christmas tree. In 1917, the Woman’s Club was instrumental in getting the first Boy Scout Troop organized. The same year, a playground and two bath houses were built at a cost of $30 as a youth project on the Woman’s Club lots. A tennis court also occupied the west end of the lot.

Isabelle Park was a favorite campground for Florida’s first tourists. The City’s water works were also located on Lake Isabelle. Later the playground was moved to Olustee Park. A traveling library for boys was started in 1918 and a paid librarian was secured. On July 4, 1919, the Woman’s Club presented the City of Lake City with a large American flag. Also in 1919, Lake City boasted two gas stations. The Woman’s Club succeeded in getting them to install restrooms for public use.

Next, they influenced the County to have a restroom put in the Courthouse. They then worked to get ladies restrooms installed on the second floor of the First National Bank.

They also worked to get a train station and were successful. No other restrooms were built. The St. Cecelia Music Club and the Lake City Garden Club were both organized in 1928 as Woman’s Club projects. The Junior Woman’s Club was organized in 1928 as a project of the Club also.

The Woman’s Club of Lake City has been honored with two state presidents, Mrs. J.L. Gray, State President of the Florida Federation of Woman’s Clubs and Mrs. A.W. Bloodworth, State President of the Junior Woman’s Clubs. By 1940, the Library held over 3,000 select volumes from which to choose. During the war years in 1943, the Woman’s Club building was given to the City for USO, and government funds were used to set up and organize programs for our servicemen with a paid hostess. The Club gave of themselves for all needed war  service activities. They sold $8,612.50 of War Bonds and purchased a $1,500 bond. They helped organize Grey ladies and served as needed in the hospital.

In the 1947 flood, the lake overflowed and the basement where the library was located was flooded. The WPA came to the rescue and the books were repaired and the library was moved upstairs.

The Woman’s Club has been a social and civic center for the City and County. Schools, Girl Scouts, 4-H Clubs and visiting dignitaries have all been entertained at the clubhouse. “Service to our fellow man” has been the watchword of the Woman’s Club of Lake City. (This was written many years ago by an active member of the Woman’s Club of Lake City and has been reprinted, as written, year after year, in the Club’s annual yearbook. The author is unknown.) In the early years of the new millennium, the Woman’s Club contracted with the Garden Club to share the use of the Woman’s Club building, now known as the Clubhouse.

Being that the Clubhouse was built in 1923, many repairs have been done to refurbish the building to keep its personality and charm intact. The process is ongoing. The Woman’s Club and the Clubhouse suffered a blow in August 2004 after Lake City was crisscrossed by two hurricanes (Charley and Frances) doing tremendous damage by wind and rain. The old library books and all documented history of the Woman’s Club stored in the basement was destroyed by flood.

Today, the Woman’s Club is consistently holding luncheons and other fundraisers to raise money for further refurbishment. The Woman’s Club is inspired by told and written stories handed down generation by generation of the many bake sales, teas and luncheons held to raise funds to build the original clubhouse in the 1920’s.

Past Presidents

  • Miss Janie Brown  :   1905-06
  • Miss Sadie Young  :   1907-08
  • Mrs. Walter Belk  :   1909-10
  • Mrs. W.H. Anthony  :  1911
  • Miss Maude Moseley  :  1911
  • Mrs. Ozzie Fisher  :   1912-13
  • Mrs. Charles J. Ryan  :  1913-15
  • Mrs. I.S. Jones  :   1915-16
  • Mrs. Estelle Tribble  :  1916-18
  • Mrs. C.J. Ryan  :   1918-19
  • Mrs. Roy E. Chalker  :  1919-20
  • Mrs. Grace Peck  :   1920-21
  • Mrs. H.M. Parrish  :   1921-23
  • Mrs. Julia L. Owens  :  1923-25
  • Miss Maude Birley (Gray)  :  1925-27
  • Mrs. J.E. Mathis  :   1927-29
  • Mrs. H.A. Wilson, Sr.   :  1929-30
  • Mrs. Joseph Gray  :   1930-31
  • Mrs. L.R. Ward  :   1931-33
  • Mrs. Jack P. Cone  :   1933-35
  • Mrs. E.A. McColskey  :  1935-37
  • Mrs. W.R. Ogden  :   1937-39
  • Miss Wilma Spence  :  1940
  • Mrs. Wayne Miller  :   1941
  • Mrs. L.J. Arnold, Jr.  :  1941-42
  • Mrs. W.H. Wilson. Jr.  :  1942-44
  • Mrs. I.L. Murphree  :   1944-46
  • Mrs. W.L. Maxwell  :   1946-48
  • Miss Jessie Gleason  :  1948-50
  • Mrs. O.B. Bradley  :   1950-52
  • Mrs. S.D. Summers  :  1952
  • Mrs. E.A. McColskey 1952-53
  • Mrs. John Marcello  :  1953-55
  • Mrs. A.B. Clark  :  1959-61
  • Mrs. Phillip Pickens 1961-62
  • Mrs. E.M. Mills  :  1962-63
  • Mrs. B.A. Parker, Jr. 1964-65
  • Mrs. R.F. Philbeck  :  1965-67
  • Mrs. John J. Myers  :  1967-68
  • Mrs. J.L. McMullan, Sr. 1967-68
  • Mrs. G.A. Buie  :  1968-70
  • Mrs. L.H. Mathis, Jr. 1970-72
  • Mrs. H.E. Mills  :  1972-74
  • Mrs. Grant W. Eighmey 1974-76
  • Mrs. R.B. Eadie  :  1976-78
  • Mrs. L.H. Mathis, Jr.  :  1978-79
  • Mrs. E.R. Kurtz  :  1979-81
  • Mrs. Phillip Pickens  :  1981-82
  • Mrs. James Johnson  :  1982-84
  • Mrs. Louis Gay  :  1984-86
  • Mrs. Muriel Riddle  :  1986-88
  • Mrs. Leonard Masters  :  1988-90
  • Mrs. Jay S. Danter  :  1990-92
  • Mrs. Marilyn Hamm  :  1992
  • Mrs. Arabelle Wright  :  1992-94
  • Mrs. Wilma Nobles  :  1994-96
  • Mrs. Ruth Patruno  :  1996-97
  • Mrs. Marilyn Hamm  :  1997-98
  • Mrs. Nancy Fields  :  1998-2000
  • Mrs. John C. Davis, Sr. 2000-02
  • Mrs. Jill Hunter  :  2002-06
  • Mrs. Gloria Masters 2006-08
  • Mrs. Kay Poltorak  :  2008-15
  • Mrs. Jan Smithey  :  2016-20
  • Mrs. Carol Feagle  :  2020 –