On February 4, 1939, six Clintonville women met at the house of Mrs. Frank Hiatt to discuss the need for a cultural, charitable and civic group in the Clintonville community and the value of a club house as a center for those activities. From this meeting, the Clintonville Woman’s Club was founded on February 25, 1939. The founders crafted a statement of community which ends with the statement “Clintonville is our community and it is entitled to our support.” The first Interest Group was the Civic Improvement Group whose goal was to clean up and beautify Clintonville.
A jitney Carnival, held as the first financial project, was the beginning of a permanent building fund. After 25 years of dreaming, planning, and diligent work, construction of the clubhouse began in 1964, and the clubhouse was dedicated April 23, 1965. On the fifth anniversary, the mortgage was burned. In 1975, the building was enlarged due to the demands and needs for a larger meeting area upstairs, a new resident apartment, a larger kitchen, and a lower level office. In March 1981, the mortgage for the addition was burned, and the clubhouse, grounds, and furnishings were again mortgage-free.
When the mortgage was burned, Mrs. Mont Hollingsworth wrote “May the residents of Clintonville for generations to come gather in this place to encourage wholesome community life. May they find here every condition necessary to promote acquaintance among people of varied interests; and to secure cooperation in social, educational, civic and welfare work in our community. May these rooms be filled with an atmosphere of moral and social life, and may no person pass from this building without having benefited in every way inspired to a better life To this end may the blessing of God be upon this house…”
Clintonville Woman’s Club and its various Interest Groups took on many projects during World War II. Projects included baking cookies for the OSO at the old Union Station, selling war bonds at the “victory corner” at downtown Lazarus, volunteering for the Red Cross, involvement in a Victory Garden on land that is now Whetstone Park, and staffing a center for soldiers which was located at a gasoline station at Glenmont and High. CWC received a Reward of Merit from the US Treasury Department for service in selling and buying bonds and stamps in support of the war effort.
After World War II, the Clintonville Woman’s Club established Memory Lane, an alley of flowering crab apple trees and brass plaques memorializing fallen soldiers along West North Broadway to Olentangy River Road. Over the years, some trees were removed and the plaques were moved to Union Cemetery on SR315. In May 2012, the Clintonville Historical Society with donations from and support of the Clintonville Woman’s Club re-dedicated West North Broadway to a Memorial Lane with the placing of the first of three white marble monuments and gardens dedicated to the servicemen and women of Clintonville.
In 1947, the gold and blue emblem of the Club was introduced symbolizing the Ace of Clubs for the “best of clubs.” In 1951, the land adjacent to Whetstone Park was purchased jointly by the Clintonville Woman’s Club and the Kiwanis Club of Northern Columbus for the building site. The Kiwanis Club later gifted their share of the land to the Club. Ground breaking for the building was July 22, 1964; the building was officially dedicated April 23, 1965. The address of 3951 North High Street is very fitting. The Club was founded in 1939, and the land was purchased in 1951.
Throughout its history, Clintonville Woman’s Club has worked in support of the Clintonville community and the larger community. Its philanthropic efforts include support for the local food pantry, the Clintonville Beechwold Community Resources Center (CRC), the Veteran’s Hospital in Chillicothe, Ohio, and projects in support of children entering foster care and women who are in need of personal care items. Two Interest Groups in particular, Social Services and Women Helping Women, participate in these outreach efforts.
In December, the Club sponsors the Santa Breakfast where the Club is transformed into a “kid fun” zone with Santa and Mrs. Claus, crafts and games, food and a gift shop with proceeds going to the CRC for their holiday needs.
In 2014-15, Clintonville Woman’s Club celebrated itys 75 Anniversary with a series of events that included a Seminar On Human Trafficking, attended by more than 150 people, and a May Celebration attended by many community and city leaders. The report on the 75th Anniversary, below, summarizes the activities completed to celebrate this anniversary.
The members of CWC are committed through its goals to continued operation and maintenance of the Club House, serving the community and the members, continuing their reputation for caring and meeting new challenges. The Board of Trustees is responsible for the operation and maintenance of the Club House. The Board members are founders, past presidents, and four members elected yearly for four-year terms. The General Board is responsible for coordinating the efforts of the various Interest Groups and many of the Club activities.
The Founders of CWC, who are now deceased, are as follows:
Mrs. Walter H. Ives
Mrs. Herman O. Williams
Mrs. Rand P. Hollenback
Mrs. Frank W. Hiatt
Mrs. Russell Kennett
Mrs. Harry S. Mesloh