Signatories of the WLC's original constitution included: Mrs. John Nutt (President), Mrs. Charles Howard (Vice President), Mrs. H.B. Willmarth (Secretary),
Mrs. Frederick Newhall (Treasurer), Miss Jennie Wilmarth (Librarian), Mrs. S.C. Bartlett, Mrs. Henry Wilson, and Miss Sarah Uptegraph.
On April 3, 1874, a small group of ladies formed The Woman’s Library Club (WLC) to promote intellectual and social improvement in the area. Club meetings followed a similar program for years - an hour devoted to reading and discussing classic novels and history, followed by an hour for enjoying a popular book. In 1876, the group took up the study of architecture which aided them in imagining their future clubhouse. The women often sewed during meetings as well, and in 1878 they handmade clothes to give as Christmas presents for local low-income students.
In February of 1892 the WLC hired architects to draft plans for a club house, however, they were unable to take any action. Thankfully the club received generous donations from Thomas Allen, Howard Nutt (in honor of Anne Nutt, who served as WLC President for its first 20 years), and the club's treasurer, Mrs. Brewster.
With these generous contributions, the club was able to purchase a lot on the corner of Greenleaf and Hazel and the clubhouse dream became a reality.
On February 1, 1906 the WLC held a grand opening reception for its seventy five members at the new clubhouse.
With the upgraded meeting space, the club was able to expand its programming to include sessions on Russia, perennial flowers, and disease prevention. These additional activities attracted more members, which enabled the WLC to pay off its mortgage by 1913.
During the 1910s, the WLC loaned library books to the Glencoe Public Library. Interest in women’s suffrage expanded, and the Glencoe Suffrage and Civic Club merged with the WLC.
In 1916, forty-nine club members marched in a parade of 5,500 at the Republican Convention to fight for women’s right to vote.
When the USA joined WWI in 1917, the Club bolstered the War effort by holding dances for Fort Sheridan soldiers. They also sent baked goods to the Waukegan USO, rolled bandages, and assisted the Red Cross.
Membership continued to growth rapidly, reaching five hundred during the 1920s. As a result, in 1923, the organization found itself purchasing a bigger lot on Tudor Court where the well-regarded George W. Maher & Sons firm to built the impressive new clubhouse.
The mortgage payments would come from membership dues, guest usage fees, and the new Glen Cote Thrift Shop on Park Avenue. It would take years to save the money, but would be worth the wait. In the meantime, the WLC served the community by running a night school for immigrants.
325 Tudor Court
Glencoe, IL 60022
321 Park Ave
Glencoe, IL 60022
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