Business and Professional Women's Club of Austin Records
An Inventory of the Collection
In March of 1915 Leffler Corbitt, president of the Texas Women Bankers' Association, called a meeting of Austin women to discuss organizing business women's club. On April 6, 1915 the group was formally organized as the Business and Professional Woman's Club of Austin (B&PWC) and Corbett was elected President. The objectives of the club were to promote fraternalism among the members as a basis for mutual service; to recognize the worthiness and dignity of any and all legitimate occupations and professions, and the responsibilities of women as economic and social factors; to encourage and assist the development of the maximum efficiency of each member, and mutually promote the business advancement of a fellow member whenever possible; to provide material assistance in so far as may be possible in cases of illness, or other misfortune on the part of a member. The organization had eighty-nine original members and an additional fifty-seven members signed up by the end of 1916. The club met on the second Tuesday of every month and participated in social and civic activities. Through the early years the club also sponsored several children that needed financial assistance.
The Club built the Club House at 2307 Foster Avenue (Deep Eddy) in 1917 and eventually purchased the land the Club House was located on in 1919. Also in 1919 the Club voted to join the State Federation of Business and Professional Woman's Clubs and set two delegates to a meeting in Dallas for the purpose of organizing such a federation. This membership would only last for one year before it was voted to withdraw from the State Federation. The Club decided to incorporate and received its Charter from the Secretary of State on October 6, 1919. In the late 1920s the organization reconsidered membership in both the State and National Federations. In 1929 a new Club House was designed by Page Brothers and the first meeting was held in the new building on July 15, 1930. Because of financial concerns the Club once again voted to withdraw from the State and National Federations in 1931. During the Depression the Club struggled to pay the mortgage on the new Club House requiring them to rent out the building. In 1941 the Club made the final payment on the club building. The Club House was eventually sold to the City of Austin in 1957.
A handwritten note added to the Business and Professional Women's Club of Austin History: 1915 Through 1950 states that the Club was disbanded in October of 1969.
The collection consists of three scrapbooks spanning the years 1915-1951, one 1940 photograph album, a compiled history of the organization from 1915 to 1950 as well as the original 1919 Club Charter and certificate of federation in the National Federation of Business and Professional Women's Clubs dated 1928. The Business and Professional Women's Club of Austin History: 1915 Through 1950 contains a narrative history of the organization year by year as well as lists of the members that were voted in each year. The photo album contains portraits of the members taken in 1940 by Stewart Photo Co.
The first scrapbook was created in May of 1929 and spans the years 1915 to 1929. Included in the scrapbook are photographs of members and the Club House, including a group photograph of charter members in 1915; newspaper clipping about Club events and meetings; programs and cast photographs of performances by the B&PWC Choral Club; convention programs, newsletters, photographs, correspondence and newspaper clippings related to the State and National Federations; and yearbooks. The second scrapbook spans the years 1929-1930 and contains photographs of members, yearbooks, the Club newsletter "The Bulletin Board", newspaper clippings, Club party favors, programs for Club events, State Federation convention programs and a Proclamation from both the State of Texas and the City of Austin referencing "National Business Women's Week." The third scrapbook spans 1951-1959 and contains similar materials to the previous scrapbook including photographs, yearbooks, newspaper clippings, correspondence and press releases. The fourth scrapbook spans 1953-1966 and contains similar materials to the previous scrapbook including photographs, correspondence, newspaper clippings and yearbooks.
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Open to all users.
Restrictions on Use
Business and Professional Women's Club of Austin Records (AR.1991.075). Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, Texas.
Donor #: DO/1977/096
Donation Date: 1988, 2014
Finding aid created and encoded by Molly Hults/2011.
Detailed Description of the Collection