Price Hill Woman’s Club: Celebrating 50 Years of Service - by Diane Clark, May 2022
In 1936, in the midst of the Great Depression a new resident of Price Hill, Ruth Booth, saw poverty, pain and need around her. The desire to do something to help consumed her and she invited some of her Price Hill friends to her home with the purpose of establishing a woman’s club to help the community in ways that the government and religious charitable organizations couldn’t. The idea caught on quickly and by 1937 they had a growing membership and were incorporated as the Price Hill Woman’s Club. The first president was Lelia Squires. Ruth’s position was listed as Organizer. In 1939 she assumed the presidency for one year.
Their third article of incorporation states the purpose of the club to be “ aiding and assisting welfare movements, charitable and civic undertakings and enterprises affecting the citizens of Price Hill and doing other necessary things” It covered just about anything good they wanted to accomplish.
The Price Hill Woman’s Club, provided a way for these devoted women to make a difference. They worked quietly behind the scene, offering a sense of dignity and worth to those in distress, providing financial aid and counseling. They met needs large and small making no allowance for race or religion.
Newspapers, a vital means of communication, helped promote the club, their meetings and fundraising activities. The Price Hill Historical Society has a stash of newspaper clippings announcing their meetings and fundraisers. They met at various places through the years, Peggy’s Grill, Sunny Hollow Inn, a local church, The Woodlawn Hall, and later the Colonial Room of the United Savings Association.
The club used social activities as fun and profitable, fundraising events. Activities such as card parties (lots of card parties!), dances, bake sales, luncheons and fashion shows, allowed them to help individuals and financially support other non-profit organizations. They solicited donations from local merchants. During the first five years, they assisted the Mt Alverno Boys Home, Mt. St. Mary’s Training School for Girls, the Jewish Convalescent Home and the children at the Hamilton County TB Hospital (later known as Dunham TB Sanitarium) and others. They raised enough funds to completely furnish a two-bed room at Saint Francis Hospital. They visited hospital patients throughout the city bringing treats. The Sunshine Group, a choral and dramatic group performed at hospitals and children’s homes. And, they were just getting started!
During World War 11, they sold nearly $200,000 in War bonds and mailed 2200 cards and gifts to servicemen and women. They also dealt with individual and personal needs. When a child was released from the hospital in Winter without shoes, they bought him boots. They provided coal for families without heat, purchased wheelchairs, medical instruments and bed trays for community hospitals, bought a jungle gym for an agency for children from broken homes. In addition to the money earned and donated, thousands of hours of time were donated by the members . The number of non-profits they helped increased. There was the Little Sisters of the Poor, St Rita’s School for the Deaf, The Hamilton County Welfare Department, The Salvation Army, Price Hill YMCA, the Polio Foundation, Associated Catholic Charities, and many servicemen’s organizations. They gave out college scholarships for local high school seniors. The list of those helped was lengthy.
In 1961 they celebrated 25 years of service. By this time the membership had grown to over one hundred. The president was Ann Thieman, Vice President, Frankie Vogel. Ruth Booth was still a member. The good they did continued for another 25 years. The group turned 50 in 1986 and then disbanded. The reasons for disbanding included new government programs that lessened the need for their help. Some programs even caused their donations to be refused for fear of losing benefits such as food stamps and social aid. With more women joining the workforce, it was becoming harder to find members willing to take on the club’s responsibilities and, very likely, membership was declining. Their time had come to an end, but the Price Hill Women’s Club will be remembered and celebrated as a hard- working, fun loving, socially conscious group that made a difference in the lives of so many. In 1939 one of the members wrote the following song to express their mission:
We’re marching along to help out our neighbor
We’re here to see him through
We’ll share all his heartaches, his troubles and care
His cross will be lighter to bear
Our dear old mother said “love one another”
That rule we’ll apply with a will
Just remember our aim is to help others
We’re the Woman’s Club of old Price Hill