MS 221 Women’s Christian Temperance Union Records
Table of Contents
- San Diego History Center Document Collection
- Women’s Christian Temperance Union.
- Women’s Christian Temperance Union Records
- MS 221
- Date [inclusive]
- 0.25 Linear feet (1 box)
- These records of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) consist of documents including membership books, roll calls and reports of meetings and activities.
Women’s Christian Temperance Union Records, MS 221, San Diego History Center Document Collection, San Diego, CA.
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.
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.
The collection is arranged by subject.
San Diego History Center Document Collection October 4, 2011
1649 El Prado, Suite 3
San Diego, CA, 92101
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.
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.
Controlled Access Headings
- First Women’s Christian Temperance Union of San Diego.
- Women’s Christian Temperance Union of California.
- Women’s Christian Temperance Union.
- San Diego (Calif.)
- Girard, Ruth E.
- Willard, Frances E.
- Temperance — Societies, etc.
- Women — Societies and clubs
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)
|Administration, 1890 April 14, 1935–1942 April 16
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
|Membership, 1922-1932 and undated
Membership log books
|Annual roll calls, 1925–1933||1:3|
|Meeting minutes, 1901 April 1–1905 March||1:4|
|Annual reports, 1895–1957
Annual President and Secretary reports
“Report of the First WCTU of San Diego since 1889,” author unknown, possibly circa 1901
|Reports – miscellanea, 1918–1950
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
|Annual conventions, 1949–1959||1:8|
|Events, 1897, 1942-1960
“‘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
|“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.
Return to Archival Collections.