Yearbooks recall Riverside Woman's Club

Opinion: Kosey Corner

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By Joanne Kosey

Columnist

Another bit of history and memories came across my threshold by way of Judy Finn of Riverside. 

While going through the family's home in Michigan, Judy Miller Finn, who was raised in Riverside, had come upon some yearbooks of the Riverside Woman's Club, which belonged to her mother, Mary Miller.

The oldest booklet dates back to 1967 and is done in the club's colors mahogany and ecru -- that's light beige for those who aren't familiar with that term. The club is now defunct, but the list of the club members in 1967 was quite extensive and included active members, life members, honorary and courtesy members and non-resident members. 

It almost reads as a list of "who's who" of Riverside women past and present. Organized in 1913, the Riverside Woman's Club received its certification by the Secretary of State of Illinois on May 17, 1915.

The club so organized that there was a committee for everything from hospitality to refreshments to house and decorating. The club also served as sponsors for the Riverside Junior Woman's Charity; Mrs. Frank Heidler Jr. and Mrs. Joseph Juric of the Woman's Club dutifully attended all meetings of Juniors.

Interestingly, Woman's Club members' names were listed according to their husbands' first names, while the Juniors list included the members' first name.

Early by-laws of the club detail the qualifications for membership, the duties of officers and board of directors. Under Article IV "Dues," it was stated that an initiation fee of $2 should accompany an application for membership and would be returned after being elected to the club after which the annual dues would be $7. 

Members could bring a guest to a meeting and pay 50 cents at the door. Meetings were held at the township hall at 1:30 p.m. and included a program and refreshments.

The yearbook from 1959-60 from the collection had many notes penciled in, and I hope whomever was to bring the sheet cake for guest night on March 8, 1960 did so, as that responsibility was noted by Mary Miller.

The books did bring back memories of my days as a Junior, where I held many positions, including president. I can still see Mrs. Heidler and Mrs. Juric attending the meetings, lending their advice when needed or not.

I don't know when the Riverside Woman's Club ceased to be, but that was another time not known by many today. The Juniors, of course, continue to thrive as a club and are involved in many aspects of village life.

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