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Centennial History of Hurricane: Hurricane Area Organizations: Hurricane Women’s Club

In 1988, The Centennial History of Hurricane, WV was published to commemorate the town’s 100th anniversary. The publication included the histories of 7 Hurricane civic organization. This week’s selection is the 4th of the these histories which were published in 1988.

Submitted by Ruth Ellis

On October 18, 1930 eleven civic-minded women of the Hurricane area met at the home of Mr. J.T. Garrett for the purpose of organizing a woman’s club. Mrs. J.E. Wilkinson, Capitol District President from Montgomery, and Milton Woman’s Club President, Mrs. William Blenko, had been invited to attend the organizational meeting and explain the purpose of the club. Those voting to organize the club were: Mrs. S.K. Ramsey, Mrs. W.E. Thompson, Mrs. W.H. Miller, Mrs. A.T. Jordan, Mrs. A.M. Jordan, Mrs. A.E. Sovine, Miss Eva Chapman, Miss Ernistine McClung, Mrs. Reid Jordan, Miss Opal Leake, and Mrs. J.T. Garrett.

On October 22, 1930 the following ladies were accepted as charter members: Mrs. T.E. Jeffers, Mrs. C.W. Leake, Mrs. Nannie McCann, Mrs. W.C. McCann, Mrs. S.B. Thomas, and Miss Ruth Myers. At that meeting the Constitutions and By-Laws were read and adopted.

The Hurricane Woman’s Club was federated by State and General in 1931 to promote interest in education, philanthropy, public welfare, moral values, civics and fine arts.

The Club’s first civic work was sponsoring the Red Cross Roll Call and assisting the Town Council in providing a safe school crossing for school students.

Some projects undertaken were: School ground beautification, sponsoring welfare children, providing clothing for needy high-school seniors, making clothing for less fortunate citizens, visiting patients at Morris Memorial Nursing Home, sponsoring testing for tuberculosis in schools, initiating efforts to establish a community circulating library in the Hurricane area, and selling $88,000.00 worth of War Bonds.

The club knitted and made bandages for Red Cross distribution, maintained a clothing center for needy citizens, initiated the establishing of Hurricane Public Branch Library, participated in city-wide beautification and clean-up campaigns, promoted Christmas parades and lighting contests, annually sponsored deserving young female students for senior high school projects, served meals to Lions Club, Eastern Star, Business Men’s Civic Association and Athletic Groups, read to pre-school children, sponsored Putnam County Junior Miss Pageant, volunteered club house as a precinct polling place, participated in funding G.F.W.C. Refugee Project, contributed to Camp Galahad, and organized Mental Health Chapter for Putnam County.

Our Club helped provide personal needs and adjustment in our community for the displaced Latvian Family sponsored by the First Baptist Church.

The Woman’s Clubhouse was dedicated as a Community Service Center and provided a meeting place for Health Clinics, Farm Woman’s Club, Lions Club, Boy and Girl Scouts, Rainbow Girls, dance school, recitals, receptions and a meeting place for several religious groups.

After the close of World War II the club members voted to purchase a permanent facility for a Club House at 2812 Putnam Avenue. Under the leadership of Mrs. Roland Carricoffe, the members and their husbands established a Rum­ mage Room to raise money for repairs and renovations on this property.

In 1956-57 and Open House was held at which time the mortgage was burned, clearing the indebtedness on the Club House.

In 1959, our club collected 537 pairs of used glasses for the “New Eyes for the Needy, Inc.” and sponsored Hurricane’s first Music Festival.

There have been two Junior Departments during the fifty six years of the clubs existence. The first was organized under the leadership of Mrs. H.A. Moss; the second under Miss Lucille McCallister and Mrs. J.E. Smith in 1964-65. With the assistance of the Jr. Department, Mrs. J.O. Holliday worked with the Hurricane City Government to provide Putnam County with its first park.

The Club established the Elaine Howell Memorial Scholarship Fund in her memory. She was a devoted club member and became President of Capitol District in 1965. This fund is used to provide scholarship assistance to a deserving Senior Girl who shows promise for the future.

The Club House on Putnam Avenue was sold in 1985 when it became apparent to the Club members that the property needed extensive repairs and maintenance. A building fund was established to assure the membership of the future, an opportunity to continue with the mission of the Hurricane Woman’s Club.

Since 1984, the Club has assisted in support for the Community Cupboard and has initiated an annual Hurricane Arts and Crafts Fair.

Special tribute goes to those who have served as President of The Hurricane Woman’s Club: Miss Eva Chapman, Mrs. T.E. Jeffers, Mrs. C.H. Woodworth, Miss Reid Jordan, Mrs. J .T. Garrett, Mrs. C.E. Ellis, Mrs. W.W. Cannon, Mrs. H.A. Moss, Mrs. Fred Coleman, Mrs. William R. Bias, Mrs. W.L. Ellis, Mrs. B.L. Neeley, Mrs. Alvin Rumbaugh, Mrs. Connie Dawson, Miss Dorothy Tallman, Mrs. Ray Pullen, Mrs. Roland Carricoffe, Mrs. C.E. Ellis, Mrs. Paul Ellis, Mrs. A.E. Sovine, Mrs. Trudy Robinson, Mrs. Elaine Howell, Miss Lucile McCallister, Mrs. John E. Smith, Mrs. Flora Vaughn, Mrs. Leland Griffith, Jr., Miss Phyllis Sowards, Mrs. Kenneth Lucas, Mrs. Charles Hogsett, Mrs. Michael Fitzgerald, Mrs. Jerry Lilly, Mrs. W.R. Counts, Mrs. John Mangus, Mrs. Robert Smith, and Mrs. Clara Carmichael.

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