Rock Springs Women’s Club – A look at the 100 year history

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Rock Springs Women’s Club scrapbook display at the Rock Springs Historical Museum. Photo by Wyo4news

Carly Eversole, [email protected]

Sweetwater County, Wyoming – On October 22, 2022, from 1 -4 p.m. the Rock Springs Women’s Club will be celebrating the 100-year anniversary of its founding. Before the celebration, a flag ceremony will take place at the American Legion then move to the Rock Springs Historical Museum where light refreshments will be served, and items from the club’s history will be displayed.

The club’s first meeting on November 11, 1922, paved the way for this local club to have a vast and rich history of community service that continues today. The idea of forming the club stemmed from a group of ladies branching off from the local Delta Meta Delphian Club and forming their own club associated with the General Federation of Women’s Clubs. At the time of the first meeting, 56 names were placed on the club role with those numbers growing above 100 in the later 20s.

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In December of 1922, elections were held and Mrs. H.H Gibson was elected as the club’s first president. One of Mrs. Gibson’s first acts as president was to write the State Federation of Women’s Clubs for Wyoming asking the State Convention be held in Rock Springs. The invitation was accepted and the newly formed club was home to the 20th annual convention for the State of Wyoming Federation.

In the written history of the club published on its website, author Helen M. Johnson states the desire to join the club was “For companionship, friendship, wisdom, inspiration, and efficiency.” The replies given are as meaningful today as they were then. Mrs. Lin Noble, state president in 1923, also said in her state address, “Let us realize deeply the great privilege it is to be a part of the womanhood of Wyoming – gathered in one body, united in purpose and spirit.”

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Since RSWC’s infancy, members have been involved in projects that are still recognized by the public today. In the year 1924-25, the club was instrumental in the development of the first maternity ward at the Sweetwater County Memorial Hospital. That same year, Bunning Park came into existence because of the club’s involvement.

According to a

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The wild times of the 1970s led to a movement by the club members to send out questionnaires to the public asking for suggestions on how to improve living conditions in a city experiencing a boom. After filtering through the suggestions, members worked with the chamber of commerce to begin a beautification process. This included a city-wide cleanup, planting of flowers, trees, and shrubs in various locations, and even an effort to remove junk cars.

The written history culminating from 1922 to 1991 details further projects and departments of the club, including garden, literature, music, short story, and physical culture. However, the club’s involvement in the community has not slowed down since then. The club still actively participates in International Days and has various fundraising yard sales over the summer. During Christmas time, the club will be making Christmas cards for enlisted military soldiers, the American Legion then helps get the cards to the intended recipient.

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Currently, 44 members are a part of the local club ranging in age from 20 to 90. Serving as President, Debra McGarvey was elected in April of this year and began her term on June 1. McGarvey stated, “The club is currently working on changing its name to Sweetwater Women’s Club because we have members from areas like Green River and Farson as well.” She went on to include details on new clubs being started in other parts of Wyoming by saying, “Marsha Vulner is traveling back and forth to Riverton to start a club up there.”

McGarvey told Wyo4news that one of her fondest memories of being in the club was raising money for Buddy, the therapy k-9. Buddy is a member of the Green River Police Department and aids in comforting victims of abuse or traumatic accidents. A sum of $800 was raised for Buddy with the intent of funds going towards buying him a protective vest. “The money was raised by making dog treats that were sold at the farmer’s markets in Green River and Rock Springs,” she explained.

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Education has always been a key focus for the Women’s Club and still is today. This year, the Women’s Club was able to give out 3 scholarships to high school seniors in their pursuit of post-secondary education. These scholarships are made possible from donations by the community at fundraising/volunteer events hosted by RSWC. McGarvey elaborated on her joy in seeing this from the community by saying, “It has really been awesome to know the community has been willing to help us in our need as we help them in their need.  Last year, there were 8 grants given out to students going to college”

The Rock Springs Women’s Club has been a vital and strong piece in the fabric that makes up the community of Sweetwater County and they invite the public to join them in celebrating 100 years of history this coming Saturday.

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