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Progressive Mothers' Club Records

Identifier: MS-349

Scope and Content

The Progressive Mothers' Club Records document the establishment and functions of a women's social club in Dayton, Ohio. Through these papers, researchers may gain insight into women's clubs in the Dayton area, as well as historical events and social changes as documented by the club members.

Subgroup 1: The Progressive Mothers' Club

Series I: Yearly Event Books The yearly event books contain meeting and event information, officers, committees, and by-laws that pertain to members. The series consists of sixty-seven event books spanning from 1923 to 2003. There is a significant gap in the series from 1924 to 1940 and again from 1942 to 1960, but the majority of the books from 1960 to 2003 are present. The series also contains the Chairman's binder, which catalogs the cost and publication information for each booklet from 1975 through 2000.

Series II: Presidents' Files The Presidents' Files were originally binders created by the presidents of the Progressive Mothers' Club for their respective year. The contents of the binders was removed and stored in folders for conservation purposes, but the folders are still labeled as binders for preservation of provenance. Many of the binders contained an introductory letter from the president that addresses their term in office for the Club; these can be found in the first folder of each president's group of files. The majority of the documents contained in this series are meeting minutes and financial records, but valuable information pertaining to the Club's activities can be found within the files. The files date from 1986 through 2003. Also included in the files are the Dayton Federation of Women's Clubs' monthly newsletters received by the Progressive Mothers' Club. The files dating from 1993 to 1996 lack a President's Report or officer listing, making the presidents for those years indecipherable.

Series III: Membership The Membership series contains attendance records, membership cards, and membership updates. The membership cards include the Club's most recent members, as well as associate, honorary, and resigned members. Included in the collection is a roll book that contains attendance records from 1926 to 1929.

Series IV: Minutes This series contains the minutes recorded from the board meetings of the Progressive Mothers' Club, as well as the minutes of the general meetings. The series contains documents from November 20, 1987 to February 21, 2003.

Series V: Reports The Reports series contains monthly and yearly reports from every officer and committee maintained within the Progressive Mothers' Club. The documents in the series date from 1983 to 1996.

Series VI: Financial Records The Financial Records series contains treasurers' binders, IRS statements, budgets, membership due spreadsheets, and several other financially focused documents. The series contains annual reports from 1960 through 1997, as well as a report from 1948. Contained within the series is a set of three ledgers that contain treasurers' information from 1948 up through 1983.

Series VII: Benefit Day The Benefit Day series contains information regarding the yearly charitable event sponsored by the Progressive Mothers' Club. The series includes the recipients of the proceeds, as well as letters of acceptance from the various organizations. Many of the files include detailed explanations of the location of the event and the activities that occurred there. This series includes information pertaining to Benefit Days that took place between 1995 and 2003.

Series VIII: Memorabilia The Memorabilia series contains three items: the President's gavel, a guest book from numerous social events, and a stamp depicting the Progressive Mothers' Club official logo.

Subgroup 2: The Progressive Mothers' Alumnae

Series I: Scrapbooks The first series of the Progressive Mothers' Alumnae contains 5 scrapbooks ranging from the group's establishment in 1946 through 1975. Each scrapbook contains photographs of the respective year's president, newspaper clippings of local and world events, meeting and event locations, and obituaries of members and/or spouses. The scrapbooks are a fantastic resource for group related events, as well as vintage fashion and social changes that occurred in the Dayton area.

Series II: Roll Books The roll books catalog the attendance and membership of the Progressive Mothers' Alumnae continuously from 1949 to 1997 in three bound volumes.

Series III: Minutes The bound volumes containing the minutes from the meetings of the Progressive Mothers' Alumnae span from March 8, 1946 through June 6, 1977. The minutes give detailed information on events and general club business. The minutes recorded from March though May of 1946 pre-date the official establishment of the Alumnae group, which occurred on May 31, 1946.


  • Creation: 1923-2003
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1985-2003


Restrictions on Access

There are no restrictions on accessing materials in this collection.

Restrictions on Use

Copyright restrictions may apply. Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. Permission to publish, quote or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder.

History of The Progressive Mothers' Club

The Progressive Mothers' Club was founded in March, 1918 in Dayton, Ohio. The purpose of the Club was to bring together local mothers for social and educational functions that were meant to nurture and enhance their role as mothers. The Progressive Mothers sought to provide opportunities for mothers to learn about child development, nurturing family environments, and the stresses associated with youth and families. The non-profit group prided itself on providing "welfare and advocacy for all children." Every March the Progressive Mothers sponsored a charitable event called "Benefit Day," from which all the proceeds would go to an area-elect charity. The Progressive Mothers' Club joined the Dayton Federation of Women's Clubs in 1921, as well as later joining the Ohio Federation of Women's Clubs and the General (National) Federation of Women's Clubs. The club met one Friday a month from September through May in order to accommodate the school schedules of their children.

On May 31, 1946, seventy-two former members of the Progressive Mothers' Club signed a charter to establish the Progressive Mothers' Alumnae. The group was founded by Mrs. Gordon Harris who saw the need for a club that catered to mothers of grown children. The Alumnae group was meant to be an extension of the Progressive Mothers' Club by creating a social club for mothers with adult children living outside of the family home for five years or more. The mission statement of the Progressive Mothers' Alumnae indicates the purpose of the club is to "continue old friendships and to keep alert to the ever changing world in current fields of interest."

The Progressive Mothers' Club disbanded in May, 2003 due to low membership, but the Progressive Mothers' Alumnae is still an active and functioning club in the Dayton Federation of Women's Clubs.


15.5 linear feet (19 boxes)

Language of Materials



The mission of the Progressive Mothers' Club was to promote the role and education of mothers within the setting of a social group. The collection illustrates the Club's purpose through yearly event books, financial records, membership records, scrapbooks, meeting minutes, the president's gavel, photographs, and newspaper clippings. Most of the items relate directly to the Progressive Mothers' Club, but the collection also consists of a subgroup containing records from the Progressive Mothers' Alumnae. The subgroup contains scrapbooks, attendance records, and meeting minutes from the Progressive Mothers' Alumnae.

Statement of Arrangement

The collection is arranged as follows:

  1. Subgroup 1: The Progressive Mothers' Club Records are organized into 8 series:
  2. Series I: Yearly Event Books
  3. Series II: Presidents' Files
  4. Series III: Membership
  5. Series IV: Minutes
  6. Series V: Reports
  7. Series VI: Financial Records
  8. Series VII: Benefit Day
  9. Series VIII: Memorabilia
  10. Subgroup 2: The Progressive Mothers' Alumnae Records are organized into 3 series:
  11. Series I: Scrapbooks
  12. Series II: Roll Books
  13. Series III: Minutes

Acquisition Information

The Progressive Mothers' Club Records were given to Wright State University Special Collections and Archives by Nancy Bauman, a former president of Progressive Mothers' Club, in December, 2006.

Guide to the Progressive Mothers' Club Records (MS-349)
Finding aid prepared by Caitlin M. Wissler, March 2007.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

Wright State University Libraries
Special Collections and Archives
3640 Colonel Glenn Hwy
Dayton OH 45435-0001 USA