The Wapello Republican
June 18, 1981, Section B, Page 43

Transcribed by Shirley Plumb, July 4, 2018


     The Jefferson Circle was organized as the “Social Circle” sometime during the year 1907 with 18 members. A picture of the group was taken by a Wapello photographer in the summer of 1909 at the home of Mrs. Philip Wiederrecht at an all-day farewell party given for Mrs. Jim McLaughlin before she and Jim went to the homestead Jim drew in South Dakota in the Rosebud Reservation. It was “horse and buggy days” but the ladies came with loaded basket of food and gallons of homemade ice cream.

     The purpose of the club was purely social. It served as a means of neighbors getting to know each other better. Dues were 5 cents per member. In 1915 dues were 50 cents per member. New babies were remembered with gifts, flowers sent to sick members of families and kettledrum dinners were held in homes. Usual attendance was 60 to 75 persons.

     During these early years the club work consisted of piecing quilts and knotting comforters. One comforter was sold to Hattie Foster for $ 1.05. A pink quilt was made and sold to Mary Miller for $ 2.50. Several comforters were knotted for members. Donations were made to W.C.T.U. and Christian Orphan’s Home at Council Bluffs. Various bits of homework was done for hostesses sewing, stemming gooseberries, shelling peas, mending etc.

     Entertainment included piano selections by Della Wiederrecht, Lola Kriener, and Pauline Perkins. In several homes Victrola music was presented.

     In September of 1922 the members met with Ethel Bissinger and brought garden products. They canned 60 quarts and dried corn for a family in great need because of sickness.

     In 1924 first lessons in Clothing Demonstrations were taught. Some quilting was done and some comforters knotted. The Circle was entertained at a Parent-Teachers meeting and held a wiener roast at Daisy Matthews in October. They had an oyster supper at the Fred Wiederrecht home in January.

     Through the years the ladies served lunch at neighborhood farm sales, had Farm Bureau lessons at meetings, did some quilting, planned potluck dinners, Christmas parties, picnics, and wiener roasts for families. Neighbors sorrowed at times of death. Newlyweds were welcome with tin can showers and charivaries. Moving time for some was usually in March and neighbors lent a helping hand.

     The 50th anniversary of the club was celebrated with an afternoon party in 1957 at the home of Belva Hayes, and again in 1977, same home, for 70th year with former members and neighbors attending as guests.

     In spring a plant exchange continues to be a favorite project. Officers for 1981 are: President, Eleanor Schneider, vice president, Betty Hain, Secretary Treasurer, Peggy Hunt.

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