WTC History Reviewed

Reprinted by Debbi Young - Mechanicsburg Public Library

“WTC History Presented in Review”

Reprinted From The Telegram March 3, 1966

WTC History Presented in Review

The Woman’s Tourist Club met Monday evening at the Methodist Church with the Junior Club members as guests.

This was in celebration of the founding of the Mechanicsburg Club in 1894 and the diamond jubilee celebration of the General Federation. The local club was the fourth club in this area to be founded.

In the absence of the president, Mrs. Clyde Frost presided and welcomed members and guest, Mrs. Clair Zimmerman, JWTC president, expressed the JWTC appreciation in attending the meeting.

The pledge of allegiance was led by Miss Helen Krout, club chairman of international affairs, and the club collect by Mrs. Robert Morehart, Jr., club chairman of the home department.

During the business session, donations were voted the Crippled Children and Eastlawn School.

Mrs. Howard Violet introduced Mrs. Paul Pence of Springfield, acting for Mrs. Howard Yount, district president. She gave a short message.

A skit entitled “Pages of the Past” and the history of the club by Miss Elizabeth Hunt, club historian, was presented.

Taking part in the 3-act skit were Miss Hunt, Miss Mary Jane Mahoy, Mrs. John Kelley, Mrs. E. J. Coffey, Mrs. Robert Morehart, Jr., and Mrs. Clyde Frost. This portrayed the beginning of the WTC with 35 charter members and the choosing of the club flower, the pansy.

Between acts, Miss Rita Cushman and Miss Cindy Funderburgh modeled dresses they had made. They will model these dresses in the district sewing contest in Dayton, representing the JWTC and WTC, respectively. Each girl received a white rose corsage. Mrs. Homer Perry presented piano selections.

In a short history, Miss Hunt mentioned achievements of the club and who the presidents were at that time. Those serving more than one year were the late Mrs. E. W. Hodge, 2 years; Miss Elizabeth Hunt, 4 years, and who started the custom of placing a suitable book in the library in memory of a deceased member; Miss Helen Krout, 3 years, who received certification of the organization of the JWTC and also helped organize the Champaign County Federation of Women’s Clubs with the president of the Urbana Literary Club, the late Mrs. Karen Gaumer and president of the JWTC, Mrs. F. W. Riddle and later became president for 2 years of the county federation and secured membership in the State Federation for that group.

Many projects such as the light fixtures in the Wing Library, PTA, children’s gardens, curfew, and $500 to the school for books were sponsored by the WTC; also a chorus of club members sang for several years.

Three charter members of the first 7 of Epsilon Sigma Omicron in the state were Miss Helen Krout, Miss Elizabeth Hunt and Mrs. Brown Pitts.

Miss Krout received a citation in 1964 for highest reading and has read 275 books; also mentioned were citations received last fall by Miss Krout and Miss Hunt for having read 90 books.

Red roses were presented to Mrs. R. A. Mahoy for 50 years’ associate membership, and for 25 years’ membership to Mrs. Clyde Adams, Mrs. E. J. Coffey, Mrs. Ralph Guy, Miss Elizabeth Hunt, Mrs. John Hathaway, Mrs. Pearl Kennery, Miss Krout, Mrs. Robert Landaker, Mrs. James Moody, Mrs. Brown Pitts, Mrs. A. B. Ream, Mrs. Charles Thompson and Mrs. D. G. Wing.

Hostesses for the evening, Mrs. Robert Landaker, Mrs. Donald Gaver, Mrs. Robert McIntire and Mrs. Clyde Frost, served assorted sandwiches, nuts, mints, tea and coffee. Mrs. Zimmerman and Mrs.

Pence presided at the tea and coffee urns at a beautifully decorated table with a centerpiece of white chrysanthemums, yellow tulips, candles and a silver “72.”

Addendum from current WTC, courtesy of Phyllis Powers, Pat McElroy, Tammie Beers

The Woman’s Tourist Club of Mechanicsburg, Ohio currently has nineteen members including one member, Mrs. Howard (Thelma) Violet, who has been a member for more than 50 years and was mentioned in the article from 1966 and six other members who have been a member for at least 25 years.

The group continues to support the Mechanicsburg Public Library and other charitable projects in the community. Club members continue to be involved in the Ohio Federation of Women’s Club (OFWC) on the local as well as on the district and state level as District President, District Chairmen, and State Chairmen.

Program topics for meetings continue the tradition of “armchair tourism” as well as concerns closer to home for the members. The 2015-2016 meetings included programs on Alaska and local author Chuck Spinner spoke about his book, a factual recounting of “The Tragedy at the Loomis Street Crossing.”

Also mentioned in the article was Miss Rita Cushman – Rita Anderson who is currently a member and still has the award winning dress.

We no longer have the Junior Club but at one time there were both the Junior and Senior Clubs. A member of the Junior Club was not eligible to move to the Senior Club until they were 35 years old. They were then placed on the waiting list until there was a vacancy in the Senior Club because there was a limit of fifty members.

The Epsilon Sigma Omicron mentioned in the article is still a vital part of the OFWC meeting at every state convention. ESO encourages clubwomen to read and report – earning them recognition at the annual meeting.

For additional information about getting involved in today’s Woman’s Tourist Club contact the current President Phyllis Powers at this phone number (937-834-3317) or by e-mail at

Reprinted by Debbi Young

Mechanicsburg Public Library