MS 221 Women’s Christian Temperance Union Records

Summary Information

Repository
San Diego History Center Document Collection
Creator
Women’s Christian Temperance Union.
Title
Women’s Christian Temperance Union Records
ID
MS 221
Date [inclusive]
1866-1960
Extent
0.25 Linear feet (1 box)
Language
English
Abstract
These records of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) consist of documents including membership books, roll calls and reports of meetings and activities.

Preferred Citation

Women’s Christian Temperance Union Records, MS 221, San Diego History Center Document Collection, San Diego, CA.

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Biographical / Historical Notes

The National Woman’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) was founded in Cleveland, Ohio in 1874. The WCTU rallied support for temperance and was active in many other social issues including woman’s suffrage, women’s economic and religious rights, as well as prison, education and labor reforms.

A report included, “Report of the First WCTU of San Diego since 1889,” recounts the early history of the First WCTU of San Diego, stating it was initiated by Frances Willard in 1883. Frances Willard was the second National WCTU President (1879-1898), organized the Prohibition Party in 1882 and during the same year was elected president of the National Council of Women. She was also the first dean of women and professor of aesthetics at Northwestern University. The First WCTU of San Diego received a certificate of incorporation in 1890. No account of its first six years of activity can be found and it is speculated that that the Union may have disbanded for a period of time. Initially, the group met weekly on Mondays, though this changed to primarily monthly or bi-monthly meetings by 1904. Women were required to wear a bow of white ribbon as a badge at all times. At one time woman were fined five cents if they did not wear the ribbon which “brought quite an increase to the treasury.” The trysting hour at noon was observed and was a time when “every heart lifted to God in prayer for a blessing of [their] work.”

The First WCTU of San Diego was active in the community and made visits to inmates within the prison system; at one time they created at library at a penitentiary. They also delivered temperance literature to school libraries, providing information on the movement to students and teachers. The “Report of the First WCTU of San Diego since 1889” also reports that the first presidents included Mrs. Johnson, Mrs. Hinkle, Mrs. House, Mrs. Waugh, Mrs. Todd, Dr. Park, Dr. Strausser and Dr. Crandall. Initially meetings were principally held at the Methodist and Congregational churches.

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Scope and Content

This collection of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) includes official records such as the original 1890 Certificate of Incorporation, 1942 amendment to the Articles, membership books, roll calls, meeting minutes and various reports. Reports include President and Secretary annual reports, financial reports by the Treasurer, as well as reports on activities from national and regional levels of the organization. There is also correspondence to and from the First Women’s Christian Temperance Union of San Diego, event announcements and pamphlets encompassing annual conventions, and announcements of meetings and programs. A book entitled “New Temperance Reciter, New Band of Hope Reciter, and Temperance Melodies and Hymns,” circa 1866, provides historical information on the Temperance Movement as well as collection of recitations and hymns.

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Arrangement

The collection is arranged by subject.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

San Diego History Center Document Collection October 4, 2011

1649 El Prado, Suite 3
San Diego, CA, 92101
619-232-6203

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The San Diego History Center (SDHC) holds the copyright to any unpublished materials. SDHC Library regulations do apply.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession number 950727A.

Processing Information

Collection processed by Jody Valente on October 4, 2011.

Collection processed as part of grant project supported by the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) with generous funding from The Andrew Mellon Foundation.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • First Women’s Christian Temperance Union of San Diego.
  • Women’s Christian Temperance Union of California.
  • Women’s Christian Temperance Union.

Geographic Name(s)

  • San Diego (Calif.)

Personal Name(s)

  • Girard, Ruth E.
  • Willard, Frances E.

Subject(s)

  • Temperance
  • Temperance — Societies, etc.
  • Women — Societies and clubs

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Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

Some notebooks contain loose pages and one has mold on the front and back covers. Several documents are frayed and deteriorating at the edges. Binding of the “New Temperance Reciter…” book is loose and a few pages are detached. (October 4, 2011)

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Collection Inventory

Box-folder
Administration, 1890 April 14, 1935–1942 April 16

Includes:

Certificate of Incorporation, April 14, 1890 (in Oversize Collections D6)

Certificate of amendment of articles of incorporation, April 16, 1942

Brochure issued from the National WCTU, Department of Soldiers and Sailors

1:1
Membership, 1922-1932 and undated

Includes:

Membership log books

1:2
Annual roll calls, 1925–19331:3
Meeting minutes, 1901 April 1–1905 March1:4
Annual reports, 1895–1957

Includes:

Annual President and Secretary reports

“Report of the First WCTU of San Diego since 1889,” author unknown, possibly circa 1901

1:5
Reports – miscellanea, 1918–1950

Includes:

Report of Investigative Committee at Camp Kearny, noting creation of the Southern California WCTU Home Center, May 28-29, 1918

Report from the Home Center for Service Men, March 5, 1935

Reports from the Flower Mission Department

1:6
Finances, 1930–1945

Includes:

Treasurer reports

1:7
Annual conventions, 1949–19591:8
Correspondence, 1935-19571:9
Events, 1897, 1942-1960

Includes:

“‘Matron’s Contest’ of the Oneonta(?) WCTU” (program), July 14, 1897

Topical Programs brochure issued 1942 from National WCTU

Workshop Schedule for WCTU of Southern California, July 1957

Open House announcement, April 22, 1958

Agenda for WCTU Installation Ceremonies, August 19, 1960

1:10
“New Temperance Reciter, New Band of Hope Reciter, and Temperance Melodies and Hymns” (book), 1866

Scope and Content:

Book of three parts (New Temperance Reciter; New Band of Hope Reciter; and Temperance Melodies and Hymns), each part containing a preface with historical background on the Temperance Movement followed by a collection of recitations and hymns.

1:11

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