When the present administration came into power, on June 7, 1918, our nation was in the midst of war and the club women had consecrated themselves and the entire machinery of their organization to the service of their country. The very next day, the City Federation’s particular piece of war work was launched, when, under the auspices of the Social Service Department, the New Outside Inn was opened to receive as guests the relatives of boys who were ill at Letterman Hospital. With autumn came the influenza epidemic, and the closing of all public places. By order of the Board of Health no meetings could be held; our first Convention had been called for October thirtieth, but was thus postponed; and for weeks, the club women ministered faithfully wherever they could as best they could, until the scourge of death was ended.
The Armistice was signed in November, and by the time the first few hours of rejoicing were over, the fight for victory had been translated into an interpretation of the problems of peace, of reconstruction, of readjustment, and with this as the keynote our Victory Convention was held on January 29, 1919, at the Fairmont Hotel.
The appeal to the club women to assist in housing in an inexpensive but homelike and congenial environment, the thousands of young women who had come to San Francisco from the rural sections and from small towns lured buy a combination of the call for war service, the opportunity for higher wages, and the freedom of city life, laid before us a problem upon which the Federation has, through its Social Service Department, worked untiringly and unceasingly, for a year and a half, and now passes on as unfinished to the next administration. The need for a large house was immediate, for investigation proved that all places where the girl of low salary could find a proper home, had long waiting lists. It is not known outside the committee how faithfully and how arduously the group of women under the chairmanship of Mrs. Henry SAHLEIN worked to find a place where a group of possibly one hundred girls could be happily and inexpensively housed, given the atmosphere of home life with its character-building influences, where the girl would be encouraged to study and prepare herself to command higher wages, but where in the meantime, she could find a happy dwelling place.
The problem has been one of finance. The Federation
had insufficient finds to do the work unaided. The uncertainty of the real
estate market and the constantly increasing cost of building made us cautious
and careful. But, after our long service in hope of doing this work,
we are unanimous in believing that the solution is in the immediate future,
with the organization of a stock company, and the raising of sufficient
funds to provide a building which will be the home and headquarters of
the Federation, and the center of club activities in San Francisco, as well as our home for girls. There are many friends waiting to assist in this worthy project. It is interesting to note that one club reports in this Year Book that it is now engaged in raising funds in order to be able to furnish a room when the home is ready. The pioneer work has been done; the need is recognized; successful development of the project is in the months just before us.
The 1919 session of the State Legislature gave the City and County Federation an opportunity, in addition to lending its influence and strength to many deserving measures relating to education and to child welfare, to bring to fruition the hope of a number of interested women who believe that the State of California should provide a farm for its delinquent women, a place away from the lights and temptation of the city, where in the midst of quiet and healthful surroundings these erring ones might be redeemed if there be the possibility of redemption within them, and if not, where they might be removed from the possibility of corrupting the youth of our city. Mrs. MacMASTER, the founder of the City Federation, was vitally interested in this measure; we inherited the task with our office, and in accounting for our stewardship, it is fitting that proper tribute be paid to the chairman of the Woman’s Court Department, and the chairman of the Civics department, both of whom worked in season and out of season in the interest of the measure, and to Assemblyman Albert ROSENSHINE, who sponsored the bill and demonstrated his faith in worthy legislation.
Through the channels of the City and County Federation the work of club women has been given the recognition which it has long deserved. On local committees concerned with city, national or international affairs, the president in representing the club women of San Francisco, has always been conscious of her responsibility. She is grateful for the honor conferred in this opportunity of service, and has always endeavored to adequately represent the club woman’s point of view.
The close of the club year of 1918-1919 was a fitting time to emphasize the importance of Children’s Year, and, accordingly, the theme of our Third Annual Convention, held June 2, 1919, was “The Child in Our Midst.”
In the early autumn of 1919, post war problems
with national and international relationships involved in the establishment
and interpretation of the peace that the world hoped would be permanent,
brought before the club women of San Francisco a rapid series of important
events. The arrival of the Pacific Fleet in the harbor of the Golden Gate
was the occasion for several large social affairs for the boys in blue.
Two weeks later, President and Mrs. Woodrow WILSON were
guests of the women of San Francisco at a memorable luncheon, on September seventeenth, at the Palace Hotel.
Elizabeth, Queen of the Belgians, was the guest of the womanhood of San Francisco at a luncheon on October fourteenth, and the St. Francis Hotel. The Federation was honored on this distinctive occasion by an invitation to participate through the courtesy of the San Francisco Center and the former San Francisco Committee of the Commission for Relief in Belgium, who were in charge. Indeed, one of the happy and immeasurable achievements of the administration has been the spirit of work-together-ness among all groups which has been discovered possible in the interest of great and vital questions.
The theme of the Eighth Convention, on October 29, 1919, was, naturally enough, "Americanization.”
One of the methods by which the club work of
San Francisco was brought to the attention of the public was our City Federation
Fete, held on the afternoon and evening of November 8, 1919, at the Fairmont
Hotel. An oft recurring idea in the minds of a small group that some sort
of a tangible demonstration of what club women’s work in San Francisco
really means, came to an issue in the suggestion of Mrs. Edwin J. HANSEN,
president of the Utile Dulci Club, that the various
organizations in the City Federation be invited to participate, and in any way deemed best, typify the spirit of the organization, the story of its work and the reason for its existence. It was a happy as well as a most successful experience. The invitation itself was a challenge to the various constituent organizations now well adjusted after war service to original or modified lines of endeavor, to crystallize the chief purpose of their being. A spirit of most friendly rivalry and sustained mystery
prevailed during the weeks of preparation under the able chairmanship of Mrs. D. E. F. EASTON. The entire floor space of the great white and gold hall and the red room of the Fairmont Hotel was divided into booths, and one of the happy memories of the administration will be the spirit of
willingness and ready cooperation on the part of the committees in charge who made such effective use of inadequate time and space to demonstrate objectively the avenues through which we, as club women, serve. A delightful program of music and esthetic dancing was furnished during the afternoon and evening, and general dancing followed the program.
It required hours to visit all the booths, and after examining the exhibits in Americanization through Home Teacher Service, domestic art, including basketry, philanthropy, baby welfare, care and protection of girls in need or distress, higher education for the women of the west, art, music, literature, law, homekeeping, social service, historical associations both state and national, one was reminded by the puritanical dress of the members of the Colony of new England Women, and even by the old-fashioned garb of Pioneer Days in California, that women’s work has moved forward with a stride faster than the years, and that today there is no angle of life that is not touched by some branch of the service rendered through the organization of women’s clubs. The financial returns for the Fete were approximately five hundred dollars.
The thought about which the program of the Ninth Convention revolved was civic.
It has always seemed that the City Federation
provided the necessary machinery, not only for accomplishing civic tasks
of magnitude too great for the individual club, but also for making possible
the presentation to the club women of men and women in literature, music,
and allied fields who could not be obtained unless adequately remunerated.
There is no question about the desire of the club women to hear and meet
such individuals; it is only a problem of the Federation getting its message
concerning such gatherings properly before its entire membership. Two such
meetings have been held, both of the highest literary merit; Dr. Ian Stoughton
of Oxford University lectured at an evening meeting, and Granville BARKER,
the English dramatist, was our guest at a
most distinctive literary tea.
During this administration there has ever been
a definite policy around which the executive work has centered. (1) By
work and deed and consistent service there has been an attempt to interpret
worthily the work of women’s organizations; in this the press has been
our kindest friend and constant helper. (2) There has been an effort to
give a broad and modern conception of civic duty, so that, realizing the
importance of mind and soul development in those whom we would serve, our
departmental efforts might be evenly balanced, and to our good work in Social Service, Civics, and the Woman’s Court, be added our eminently successful and wholesome efforts to develop citizenship through culture. The best examples of this are the proposed Scholarships of the Education Department, and the splendid series of Young People’s Concerts arranged by the Department of Music. (3) The administration has aimed to reach out to the women of other nationalities and make them feel that it is for them and us to both give and receive, and in so doing, both be the happier and more efficient. It was in this spirit that the Foreign Clubs Department was created, and it was to the development of this thought that the Fourth Annual, the last, Convention of the Administration was dedicated. The theme in mind was “Mutual Appreciation Among "Nationalities,” and the points emphasized were folk craft and music.
With our office, we inherited no traditions for the Federation was yet too new, but the first administration had selected a motto: “Civic pride, cooperation, progress.” We have endeavored to exemplify the spirit of that watchword. In all service that related to better education, better environment, better housing facilities, better laws, better enforcement of existing laws, better courts, better provision for the unfortunate and needy, the Federation has been conscious of a deep sense of civic pride. The work of the administration in cooperating with other organizations and agencies for the development of a worthy purpose might be illustrated by a multiplicity of instances.
The record of our progress is easily written.
On June 7, 1918, there were fifty-six clubs in the Federation and
$156.86 in the Treasury. The New Outside Inn was ready for occupancy.
When the gavel was relinquished, on June 2, 1920, there were seventy-eight
clubs and the Treasury reports that if the money advanced to the year Book
Committee be considered a loan, which it really is, we have $1,036.68 in
our general fund, $4,260.34 in the Social Service Department, $75.00 in
Education Department and $113.00 in the Department of Music. So have we grown in numbers, in finances, but most of all, have we progressed in what might well be called “the things of the spirit.” As women’s organizations we have learned to work together and to think constructively concerning the big pieces of work that challenge the service of women, and we have given to our work a dignified importance which elicits recognition and cooperation from men’s organizations and
from all established city agencies.
Our City Federation has demonstrated the ability of organizations of widely varying types and interests to work together for the general good. The State and General Federations must learn to extend their membership regulations if women’s work is to grow in the larger organizations as it has in the various City Federations throughout the United States.
Out of the experience of these two happy years of arduous service, there arises the consciousness of certain needs for the future of the Federation. These are suggested as follows:
1. The need for a permanent headquarters, with Federation telephone,
and a salaried business secretary. This might easily be arranged in connection
with our Home for Girls.
2. The carrying out of the proposed scholarships as outlined by Mrs. Jesse STEINHART in her report for the Department of Education.
3. The continuation of the Federation class in Parliamentary Law, supplementary courses of inestimable value to club women in their work would be News Writing and Public Speaking.
4. In order that the Year Book may be financially possible in the future, the Year Book Committee must be permanent, and efficient in carrying on an educational campaign regarding patronage of our
advertisers. The Federation Year Book has the endorsement of the Chamber of Commerce and the Better Business Bureau of the Advertising Club. Our work is known to the business firms of the city. They are happy to patronize our publication, but they have a right to expect returns on their investment. Our advertising has been carefully selected; there is no doubt of the cooperation of the club women. The significant thing which relates to the success of the future is that a note be written to the advertising manager of the firm, or a statement made, to the effect that patronage is given in appreciation of the firm’s advertisement in our publication.
5. For some months the first vice-president, Mrs. E. A. CRAUPNER, and the president of the Federation have been serving with Dr. RESENTIRN, representing the Civic League of Improvement Clubs, Dr. HASSLER of the City Board of Health, Mrs. Norman LIVERMORE of the Baby Hygiene Committee of the Collegiate Alumnae, and Dr. Adelaide BROWN, as a sub-committee of the Citizen’s Milk Committee, the particular aspect under investigation being the San Francisco Milk Supply and its Relation to Health. The work outlined by the chairman, Dr. BROWN, and not yet completed, covers an inspection of the dairies of Marin, Alameda, Santa Clara and San Francisco Counties as well as the newest source of supply at Soledad.
6. Now that the State Federation has removed certain membership limitations, it is right that our City and County Federation adjust itself properly into the club machinery of the State.
7. Perhaps the greatest and most immediate need is for some effective but inexpensive or self-supporting method of circularizing our entire membership. The Federation works only upon big and worthy problems. It calls upon the services of able women whose time is valuable. Their efforts should not be handicapped by ineffective publicity. The press has been most generous, but there is information of value to members in regard to Federation work that has no news value to the daily paper. The present administration seriously considered the publication of a small monthly bulletin, but fearing the solicitation of advertising might interfere with the success of our Year Book, and being unable to finance it in the face of constantly increasing prices of printing in any other manner, the plan was abandoned. The constituent clubs are in touch with vital problems of the city’s work as it is considered in our nine departments, to which they are invited to send official representatives. But that the general membership should be made familiar with this same work by proper notification of all matters of importance. There is no need more urgent than this.
At the close of our administration we feel a deep sense of appreciation for the opportunity of serving so intimately with the band of women who comprised the Executive Board. The club presidents have shown a splendid spirit of cooperation and without the atmosphere of harmony created by them, no work could have been done. The Federation officers have been faithful, responsive and loyal and most resourceful in meeting emergencies. It has been a joy and a satisfaction to plan and work with the nine splendid women who have led our departments. The work of all committees, both regular and special, is appreciated as contributing much to the success of the Federation. Especial thanks is due the chairman of the Arrangements Committee and her pages, for their unfailing promptness and reliability in arranging the details of our many affairs.
The management and attaches of the Fairmont
Hotel have been unfailingly generous, patient and kind in connection with
the many Federation meetings that have been held in these two years. The
Federation is grateful for courtesies extended in connection with the publication of this Year Book by W.R. Grace and Company, the San Francisco Savings and Loan Society, the Savings Union Bank and Trust Company, and I. Magnin and Company.
I have planted; Apollos watered; God giveth
the increase,” wrote the Apostle Paul of his work in the early church at
Corinth. Mrs. D. J. MacMASTER, with her deep love for the city’s
welfare, her broad knowledge of the work of San Francisco club women, and
her genius for organization, brought the Federation into being. She planted
the seed. The work of the second administration has been that of
Apollos. Fruition will come in the future. It is even now impossible to
ramifications and purposes of the City and County Federation to the confines of definition. It will be as far reaching as the vision of those who control its destiny.
REPORT OF YEAR BOOK COMMITTEE, 1916-1918
Mrs. D. J. MacMASTER
To full and partial payments for advertisements............................................$1874.60
To sale of year book sent to New York............................................................. 3.00
To balance due members from engraver’s cuts, and which were donated
to the yearbook treasury by Mrs. A. L. HART, Mrs. Wade WILLIAMS,
Miss Helen BROWN, Mrs. H. K. MOULTHROP................ .34 each ......... 1.36
Total Receipts.............................................................................................. 1878.96
By solicitors of advertisements.................................................................... 184.43
Total Disbursements .....................................................................................1834.43
Balance in treasury......................................................................................... $44.53