London Women’s Clubs: Gathering for culture, service & fellowship

The Coover Memorial Club House, 134 N. Main St., London, is home to the London Federation of Women’s Clubs. The federation’s eight clubs hold meetings at the home, built in 1875 and purchased by the federation in 1915.

(Posted Jan. 2, 2017)

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

For women in the London area, the London Federation of Women’s Clubs offers opportunities for cultural enrichment, community service, and fellowship.

Founded in 1913, the federation is made up of eight clubs. Four are what once was referred to as “literary societies.” Today, those groups meet for lunch, programs on a wide array of educational and/or entertaining topics, and to socialize. Two clubs meet to play bridge. One club for career-oriented women focuses on local philanthropy. The eighth group, Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), is all about history and patriotism.

All of the clubs, with the exception of the DAR, are open to the public without membership restrictions. All meet at the Coover Memorial Club House, a grand brick structure located at 134 N. Main St., London. The federation purchased the house in 1915 with funds willed by the Coover sisters, Bertha Coover and Esta Coover Harvey.

Club members pay dues, part of which goes to the upkeep of the club house. Each club also provides volunteers to work the federation’s major fundraiser, the annual Christmas candy sale.

Some clubs have large member rosters; other are more intimate. Some meet quarterly; others meet monthly or even twice a month. All include some type of community service component.

The Federation board of trustees oversees the upkeep of the club house. Its 17 members serve three-year terms. Current officers are: Deeann Blake, president; Julianne Phillips, first vice president; Barbara Lynch, second vice president; Diane Yoakum, recording secretary; Barbara Amling, corresponding secretary; and Liz Lassel, treasurer.

The following is a run-down of each of the eight member clubs, including contact information for anyone interested in learning more.

• Career Women’s Community Club

Purpose: To pursue local philanthropic activities and programs.

Date established: June 2002 by former members of the London Business and Professional Women’s Club

Membership: Open to community-minded, career-oriented individuals. Dues are $50/year; meals are $12/meeting.

Current number of members: 13

Meetings: 6:30 p.m. the fourth Monday of each month, September-May, unless the Monday is a holiday in which case the meeting date is changed.

Officers: Michelle Lindsey, president; Tina Pace, vice president; Harriet Dana, secretary; Gloria Penwell, corresponding secretary; and Marti Schmidt, treasurer.

Community service: The club donates to a different charity or organization each month, in addition to donating regularly to A Friend’s House, a local domestic violence shelter.

Fundraisers: The club’s holds a Trophy Nut Co. nut sale each September. Members also sell American flags and other flags year-round.

Contact information: Tina Pace, (740) 852-2323. The club also is on Facebook.

• The Coover Society

Purpose: To promote social culture, the development and pursuit of literary taste, and the study of general history, art and science.

Date established: October 1984, when two of the oldest women’s organizations in London—the East High Street Club and the Women’s Club—merged. Formed in 1887, the East High Street Club was the second literary club to form in Ohio. Formed in 1892, the Women’s Club was instrumental in founding the London Public Library and London High School’s home economics department.

Membership: Dues are $30/year; meals are $12/meeting.

Current number of members: 50 members and 20 associate members

Meetings: Second Monday of each month, October-May with no January meeting.

Officers: Pat Baynes, president; Marci Bogenrife, vice president; Bonnie Hamilton, treasurer; Joan Hedges, corresponding secretary; Denise Worthington, parliamentarian; and Nancy Smith, historian.

Community service: Each year, the group chooses charities to sponsor, such as food pantries and outreach services for local people in need.

Contact information: Pat Baynes, (937) 269-3605.

Daughters of the American Revolution

Purpose: Historic preservation, education and the promotion of patriotism.

Date established: The London chapter of this national society was formed in 1908.

Membership: Membership is restricted to individuals who can prove their direct lineal descent from a patriot who supported the American Revolution. Dues are $85.50/year and include Federation Club dues and DAR state and national dues; meals are $12/meeting.

Current number of members: 43

Meetings: 10 a.m. the third Saturday of each month except January/February.

Officers: Vicki Carner, regent; Sharon Dillion, vice regent; Norma Dunkle, chaplain; Bonnie Stout, recording secretary; Elizabeth Roby, treasurer; Yvonne Hiteshue, registrar; Grace Yerian, historian.

Community service: The chapter sponsors a Good Citizenship Award, presented annually to seniors at London, Madison-Plains and West Jefferson high schools. They recognize local citizens for patriotism shown by flying the American flag. Among the club’s other projects are participation in Memorial Day services and help with the Madison County Genealogical Society’s obituary records.

Contact information: Yvonne Hiteshue, (740) 852-0994, yyhiteshue@gmail.com. For general information, go to dar.org.

Delphian Literary Society

Purpose: A relaxed approach to self-improvement that includes programs based on members’ varied talents and interests.

Date established: April 1925 for individuals dedicated to “intellectual growth, culture and mutual helpfulness.”

Membership: Dues are $30/year; meals are $12/meeting.

Current number of members: 17

Meetings: 12:30 p.m. the third Monday of each month, except January, February, July and August.

Officers: Marilyn Stewart, president; Beverly Miller, vice president; and Nancy Dever, secretary-treasurer.

Community service: The club donates canned goods and money to area food pantries.

Contact information: Diane Yoakum, (740) 852-9278.

Happy Hour Needle Club

Purpose: When first formed, the club met for “sewing, mending and visiting.” The club’s sewing days are long gone. Instead, they schedule guest speakers on a variety of topics. Recently, an expert from the gardens at Gantz Farm in Grove City talked about plants and made a meal for members featuring a variety of herbs.

Date established: 1911

Membership: Dues are $30/year; meals are $12/meeting.

Current number of members: 18

Meetings: 12:30 p.m. the third Wednesday of October, December, April and June.

Officers: Karen Streit, president; Julianne Phillips, secretary/treasurer; Claudia Justice, courtesy.

Community service: The group donates to local causes, including food pantries and summer lunch programs for children.

Contact information: Barb Lynch, (740) 837-0681.

London Bridge Club

Purpose: To play bridge and socialize.

Date established: Early 1980s

Membership: Dues are $25/year; meals are $12/meeting. Anyone who plays bridge or wants to learn the game is welcome.

Current number of members: 20

Meetings: 12 noon every other Thursday. The first meeting of 2017 is Jan. 5.

Officers: Virginia Edwards and Barb Tope, co-chairs

Community service: The group takes up a monetary collection from members once a year to donate to local food pantries.

Contact information: Barb Tope, (740) 874-3114.

TAC (Tuesday Afternoon Club)

Purpose: To play bridge and socialize.

Date established: Approximately 100 years ago.

Membership: Dues are $25/year; meals are $12/meeting. Anyone who plays bridge is welcome.

Current number of members: 20

Meetings: 12 noon the first and third Tuesday of the month.

Officer: Nancy Robinson, chair

Community service: Individuals pursue charitable efforts of their own choosing.

Contact information: Nancy Robinson, ntrobinson@sbcglobal.net, (740) 852-1409, (614) 314-7518.

Twentieth Century Club

Purpose: Continued learning and discovery through programs presented by members and guest speakers on a wide range of topics. Recent programs have covered such subjects as Honor Flights for World War II veterans, Civil War-themed skits, and health and nutrition. The topic for the first program of 2017 is identity theft.

Date established: Sept. 1, 1891

Membership: Dues are $35/year; meals are $12/meeting.

Current number of members: 35

Meetings: 12:30 p.m. the second Friday of each month, February-May and September-December.

Officers: Ruth Peters, president; Liz Lassel, first vice president; Becky Call, second vice president; Millie Newman, recording secretary; Maryann Emrick, corresponding secretary; Vicijean Geer, treasurer; Carol Waggoner, reporter.

Community service: The club donates to London area food pantries each month.

Contact information: Ruth Peters, (740) 852-1694.

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