Guide to the Woman's Building of Houston- Milford House papers, 1894-1976
In 1925, seventeen Houston women gathered to discuss the creation of a special building that would serve as a cultural and social center for Houston women. After years of planning, they announced a drive for the necessary $300,000 in 1928. "Men have their clubs, gathering places and organizations. Certainly the woman in this day need similar institutions," wrote a journalist in a April, 1928 Houston Chronicle article. The funds grew steadily, but the drive lost momentum over following two decades. In 1949, 39 of the 330 official members met to discuss the possibility of dissolving the organization. The members voted to continue the drive, and on Wednesday, November 11, 1953, Milford House was officially opened with a musicale and a tea. Milford House, officially operated by the Woman's Building of Houston, hosted many cultural and social events for women over the next two decades. The club membership dwindled in the 1980's, and Milford House, located at 1101 Milford, was sold to the Italian Cultural and Community Center of Houston in 1988. The club was disbanded shortly after.
The collection consists of the Woman's Building of Houston membership documents, including five membership registries, organizational notes such as meeting notes, administrative papers and election results, correspondence regarding membership, Certificates of Membership, and Certificates with letters concerning the transfer of memberships. Also present is memorabilia from Milford House and the Woman's Building of Houston, including programs and clippings relating to women's musical groups, operas and musicals, newspaper clippings concerning the history of the Woman's Building of Houston and events hosted at Milford House, a diary with notes on Milford House and other organizations, and a notebook containing listings of donations to Milford House.
This material is open for research.
Permission to publish material from the Woman's Building of Houston- Milford House papers must be obtained from the Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library.
Woman's Building of Houston- Milford House papers, 1894-1976, MS 388, Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University.
The collection was a gift from Miss Mayola F. Patton, Rice 1922, via her sister and brother-in-law, Mr. And Mrs. Haylett O'Neill, Jr, on October 2, 1984.
Detailed Description of the Collection