Our history of service to the St. Matthews community (club presidents listed for each term):
1938-40 Mrs. E. V. Bazzell (Agnes)
The Woman’s Club of St. Matthews was formed on April 7, 1938. Fifteen Charter Members met at the home of Mrs. Ray Wilson. Mrs. John Heil, Governor of the Third District of the Kentucky Federation of Women’s Clubs, assisted in organizing the club. It was agreed to call the club “The Woman’s Club of St. Matthews.” Social and cultural advancement, along with civic improvements of the community were the goals of the club. The first branch library for St. Matthews was established under this administration. The club joined the KFWC on May 16, 1938. The new Highway 60 was opened and dedicated by Governor Chandler on July 16, 1938. Our club hosted the luncheon for this event. A chorus was organized and the first practice session was held in October 0f 1939.
1940-42 Mrs. Robbert Dickman (Mary)
The first book review group was organized by the Library Committee on October 1940, with eighteen members attending. The Junior Woman’s Club and the Sub Junior Department were organized on September 10, 1940. Twenty-six members were present at the first meeting of the sub Juniors. The “pet project” of this administration was a kindergarten which opened at Greathouse School. Forty children attended.
1942-44 Mrs. Herbert Hincks (Gyn)
The administration worked in many areas of war service. Community Booths staffed by club members were set up in St. Matthews for the sale of war bonds. over $11,000 in bonds and war stamps were sold during the months of June, July and August, 1942. A large day room for soldiers was equipped at Bowman Field; the club participated in the county-wide scrap metal drive; every members was engaged in the war effort.
Our spirits were lifted the first time we sang our beautiful club song “Monday,” written by our Mrs. John C. Carroll.
1944-46 Mrs. Leland Wilson (Billie)
Club members concentrated on all phases of “war service” and sold over one million dollars in war bonds. The property on which our clubhouse stood on Shelbyville Road in St. Matthews, was purchased in 1945. A building fund was established and the building committee started working with the architect on plans for the building. We were instrumental in obtaining the land for the memorial shaft honoring the boys of our community who lost their lives in the war. The shaft stands on the triangle in St. Matthews.
1946-48 Mrs. John E. Carroll (Hazel)
The club held large fundraising projects. Two automobiles were raffled and card parties were held in hotel ballrooms. A contract was signed with the builder. The cost of the clubhouse was $38,700. A St. Matthews bank loaned the club $28,700. Ground breaking ceremonies for the clubhouse took place September 20, 1947 and the building was completed in the summer of 1948.
1948-50 Mrs. Arthur F. Wolpert (Nancy)
During the summer of 1948, the building committee spent many hours purchasing the necessary equipment for the clubhouse. Under this administration many new committees were set up to take care of the added responsibilities of the clubhouse and grounds. A mountain school we sponsored in Powell County, Kentucky was enthusiastically supported by all members as we supplied food, clothing, school supplies and playground equipment.
1950-52 Mrs. E. H. Webb (Justine)
At this time, it seemed our nation might be drawn into the Korean conflict and people began to hoard food. Our club launched a ‘[curb hoarding” campaign. The Courier-Journal liked the idea and provided pledge slips which were mailed over the entire country. Every member of our club signed a pledge. This program was so effective that we received a letter of commendation for the White House. Several caravans a year were made to “Nada,” our Eastern Kentucky school. We helped with their many needs. Members worked with hospital units at Fort Knox. The Garden Department flower shows were recognized statewide. Membership in the club had grown to 400 with a waiting list.
1952-54 Mrs. C. Sherman Lodewick (Nancy)
Nancy was the first of our presidents to attend a national convention of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs. The goal of this administration was friendliness and a congenial atmosphere.
The club joined with twenty-eight local organizations in making the St. Matthews Charity Bazaar a success. Our booth served hot cakes, coffee and milk. Club members did volunteer work at the old folks home at Jeffersontown and two wards at Lakeland Hospital; our club and the Buechel Woman’s Club served a Sunday night buffet supper at the USO Club for 500 soldiers and the dates. Club members did volunteer work with the Red Cross.
We enjoyed the beautiful programs given by our club chorus. We were proud of the chorus as it performed at Many state meetings of the Kentucky Federation of Women’s Clubs.
1954-56 Mrs. W.C. Cruse, Jr. (Marge)
The Youth Conservation and Civic Committees started the “Junior Student Service Center.” This was a joint community program shared with the Lyndon Woman’s Club. It provided summer jobs for boys twelve to sixteen years of age; many business places were contacted and the response was great. over 300 boys were placed in jobs the first year. The second year proved to be very successful. We received much publicity from the local press. Our “Youth Employment Program” won the highest national award in youth conservation at the General Federation of Women’s Club Convention. All of Kentucky was proud of the St. Matthews Club.
The Gold Leaf Shadow Box, a memorial to our club presidents, was placed in the foyer in January 1956. Miniature pictures of the club presidents are placed in the box.
We BURNED our MORTGAGE on the building in April 1956. The $28,700 loan was paid off in seven years. All our past club presidents were given honorary memberships.
1956-58 Mrs. Paul A Clark (Lucille)
A special project was adopted during this administration, i.e., the club paid the expenses incurred, up to a stipulated amount, for corrective dental work for a little girl from the Kentucky Children’s Home; through the efforts of the club and the Board of Trustees, a Baldwin grand piano was presented to the club. Installation services were held for the officers of Meadow Heights Woman’s Club on September 17, 1957, This was the largest club ever formed in the state federation. The St. Matthews club was the sponsor of the new club.
The Junior Student Service Center was brought to the attention of all federated clubs throughout the United States in a bulletin sent out from the GFWC Headquarters in Washington.
1958-60 Mrs. Robert C. Fritz (Leola)
The National Convention of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs was held in Detroit in June 1958. We joined with many Kentucky club women in arranging a reception for Miss Chloe Gifford, a Kentucky woman, who was elected President of the GFWC; Mrs. Arthur Wolpert, our club’s floral authority, was flown to Detroit to design flower arrangements for the ballroom and other areas.
The club voted to adopt the Sidney Eline Library as a sustaining project and a contribution of $500 was made. A three-day Home Preparedness Workshop for the St. Matthews Community was sponsored by the Civil Defense Department.
1960-62 Mrs. C.B. Stone (Clara)
During this administration our impressive flower shows continued to draw state-wide attention. The Garden Department won top awards in flower shows at the 1960-61-62 Kentucky State Fairs. Two of our members demonstrated flower arranging for the public at the fair.
A seat belt chairman was appointed with our club being the first in the district to promote this safety measure; the Sub Junior Department grew to thirty-one members; monthly parties for the patients of Ft. Knox and Veteran’s Hospitals continued with many club members providing food and entertainment; weekly visits to two wards at Lakeland Hospital were continued.
1962-64 Mrs. J.R. Rodahaffer (Lucille)
At the beginning of this administration the president suggested listing first names of all members in the year book so that everyone could be better acquainted; chartered bus trips to Brown County, Indiana for lunch and sight-seeing were enjoyed during this regime; the Sidney Eline Library continued to be the club’s project; members gave many volunteer hours working in the library; card parties provided the necessary financial support.
In April of 1963, the club celebrated its 25th anniversary. The chorus gave a beautiful Spring Birthday Program; the interior of the club was a flower garden complete with a fountain, a wishing well, evergreen trees and a gravel walk. A beautifully decorated cake with a silver number “25” rounded out the party atmosphere; this celebration completed the history of our club’s first 25 years and all members looked ahead with confidence to the next 25 years.
1964-66 Mrs. Richard H. Hall (Katherine)
Different committees in the club were put in charge of fund raising instead of having one chairman responsible for all projects. This plan was also applied to the dining room with a different chairman in charge each month.
The big social event was the Charity Ball held at the Capitol in Frankfort, Kentucky on December 3, 1965. This was given by the Kentucky Federation of Women’s Clubs to raise funds to build a Rehabilitation Center for Girls, later to be known as Jewel Manor. Governor Ned Breathitt and our own State President, Mrs. Jewel Hamilton, presided as the club presidents from all over Kentucky marched down the marble staircase with their escorts. Bill Gladden, of Station WAVE, announced the names of the presidents and the clubs they represented. Dancing followed the march.
1966-68 Mrs. Harold T. Hotopp (Betty)
During this term of office the Sub Junior Department, the Adelphions, collected clothing and other items for girls at Jewel manor. One girl was completely outfitted. The Sub juniors raised money to purchase a washing machine, which was badly needed by a local orphanage. They also collected seven hundred books for a school library; a bridge marathon was launched in October 1967 and continued into the next century. Much improvement was made to the interior of the clubhouse and grounds.
In November of 1967, Marge Cruse, a member of our club, was elected State Representative from the 47th Legislative District of Jefferson County by the largest number of votes ever cast in this district. The club emerged from this administration as an Honor Club after winning many awards at the Kentucky Federation of Women’s Clubs state convention.
1968-70 Mrs. Julian Sapp (Hilda)
Katherine Hall established a $300 scholarship at Transylvania College in Lexington, Kentucky. This provided assistance to a worthy student; in March of 1969 the Agnes Bazzell Memorial Fund was raised. Money came from former club members who remembered the first two years of the Woman’s Club of St. Matthews.
The club made contributions in the name of our Community Improvement Program to the Sidney Eline Library, Maria Products, Inc., and Jewel Manor. The club voted to adopt “Maria Products, Inc.” as a sustaining project. This worthy project helped retarded children find their places in society. “Junque and Jewels” was started during this administration.
1970-72 Mrs. Charles Metzger (Jessie)
Maria Products, Inc., 149 Vernon Avenue, Louisville, was a very special undertaking for the club. Mentally handicapped young adults were employed by this newly formed company which was headed by the daughter of one of our club members. Under the supervision of trained people, their hand-made items found a market in this city. The club provided funds for decorating the interior of the large building and many hours of volunteer service was given by club members. Our club supported the Jewel Manor Treatment Center. The first dishwasher was installed. A big drainage problem was solved as we connected to the St. Matthews Sanitation Sewer at this time.
1972-74 Mrs. Howard L. Blair (Nettie Lee)
The club sponsored a voter registration program in the fall of 1972. An authorized notary was present at the club to lawfully register citizens who had never registered or who had missed voting in the last two general elections. Club members dressed twenty-0ne dolls for the Salvation Army to be sold a the 1972 Kentucky State Fair. The new stage curtains and back drops were installed in 1973. The Younger Woman’s Department had the first Valentine Dinner Dance at the River Road Country Club in February 1974. The City of St. Matthews obtained a right-of-way for our club for a left turn off Shelbyville Road in the club driveway. Birthday tables were decorated in keeping with holidays of each month and members enjoyed the fellowship at their special tables.
1974-76 Mrs. Alvin W. Graef (Erna)
In the summer of 1974 the Community Improvement Committee sponsored the Potato Queen contest for the St. Matthews Jaycees. The purpose of reviving the old Potato Festival was to raise funds with which to purchase the St. Matthews Community Center. The next year the same committee, with $500 from the Lions Club, and over $500 from our club members, decorated and furnished carpeting and furniture for the Senior Citizens lounge in Harvey Browne Church.
The Education Committee sponsored a defensive driving course and an estate planning seminar. At the Matt Watkins benefit, a check for $1500 was presented to Matt Watkins to defray medical expenses of his critically ill daughter. A Bicentennial Dinner on April 13, 1976 featured “The Story of the Stars and Stripes.” Total money given to charity during this administration was $3,962. This included $1000 given to Cedar Lake Lodge.
1976-77 Mrs. Bradley O. Turner (Sophie)
In the summer of 1976, a business meeting was called to determine how to finance a new roof, lights and ceiling for the auditorium. In order to finance these projects, members were asked to lend the club $25 or $50 each. At the business meeting each month two names were drawn. Members were reimbursed in this manner; a new furnace was installed and members were asked to make contributions. Members responded very well to this need.
Due to personal problems the president served one year in this office, making this the shortest administration.
1977-80 Mrs. Lucas Floyd (Mary Ann)
A benefit card party was given in the summer of 1978 by the board of directors to make money for a public address system which was installed in time to be used at the September opening meeting of the club. During the march 1978 meeting of the Hall Reviewers it was unanimously voted to give a book each month to the club library in memory of Katherine Hall, a former club president. The club was presented with an original painting of an iris which is the club;’s chosen flower. Mrs. Clarice Poynter painted the iris and Mrs. Evelyn Krebs donated it in memory of her son, whose favorite flower was the iris.
1980-82 Mrs. Stuart Harlowe (Elizabeth)
The September 1981 convention of the Kentucky Federation of Women’s Clubs offered many important events. A very informative seminar on the prevention of shop lifting was conducted by Juli Rogers of Atlanta; a parliamentary work shop and a legislative debate was of great interest. A delightful cruise on the Bonnie Bell was enjoyed by 150 ladies. Contributions of $2,297.83 were made to charities during 1980-81. Twenty-five hundred dollars was cleared in a fund-raising event for Matt Watkins and family to help restore their fire-damaged home. Hazel Carroll, a past president, supervised the job and provided funds for repairing over 100 of the auditorium chairs. An Endowment Fund was established for the benefit of the physical structure of the clubhouse.
The Community Improvement Department, in cooperation with the Jefferson County Board of Health, visited a number of local schools in the interest of a mosquito control program. The club received an award for this work. A scholarship in the amount of $500 was given the winner of the Junior Miss Contest.
1982-84 Mrs. Oliver Harriman (Minnie)
Fourteen committees planned an International Luncheon in November 1982. Many interesting exhibits, representing various countries, were set up in the clubhouse and food for which each country was famous was enjoyed by members and guests. The Internationals told how they came to be in Louisville and were dressed in clothing representing their native country.
Volunteer work at Maryhurst School for delinquent girls began during this administration. At the April 1983 state convention of the Kentucky Federation of Women’s Clubs, we were proud as the president of our club accepted ten awards. Included in these was the one hundred dollar Johnson Award given to the club doing outstanding work with juvenile delinquents. We also brought home the one hundred dollar check given by the Federation for selling the most Kentucky Hospitality Cookbooks.
1984-86 Mrs. Katherine P Goodman
During this administration, we changed our program of charity contributions. Instead of giving small donations to many agencies, we programmed a good portion of our money into education. Tuition was paid for two girls from Doss High School to attend the University of Louisville.
There was a need to look into and change our purchasing methods used for many years in buying necessary items for operating the clubhouse. A lot of shopping had to be done to find better prices. A commercial sweeper and an extractor were purchased so that our custodian could keep the large floor areas in good condition.
1986-88 Mrs. William B. Eubanks (Mary Alice)
This administration stressed the importance of using program material offered by the General Federation of Women’s Clubs, and changes were made in the set-up of our departments and divisions in order to tie in closer with the national organization. Involvement in community activities was of importance to our president. A large town meeting was planned with County Judge Elect Harvey Sloan and St. Matthews Mayor Arthur Draut as speakers. A very large enthusiastic crowd attended.
Square dancers from many Kentucky towns joined local groups for an evening of dancing in our clubhouse as we participated in the 1986 St. Matthews Indian Summer Fall Festival. Again, in the fall of 1987, the Fine Arts Department of our club was involved in the Festival.
A flag that had been flown over the United States Capitol Building was sent to us by Congressman Ron Mazzoli. On November 23, 1987, an impressive patriotic program was held in memory of veterans of the St. Matthews area. The flag was raised at this time on a new flag pole and dedicated to Petty Officer First Class Matt E. Watkins, United States Navy and a veteran of World War II.
We owe a debt of gratitude to the club women who worked many hours building and developing the Woman’s Club of St. Matthews. The accomplishments and outstanding service to the community of the first fifty years are looked upon with pride .
2000-2002 Alma Talbott
An Open House was held on September 24, 2000 for members and guests to see our clubhouse renovation consisting of new flooring, new paint, new carpeting in the foyer, new upholstery on the love seats, and new blinds and valance. Caroline Francis, Executive Director of the New Opportunity School for Women (KFWC’s President’s Special Project) was the guest speaker on October 30, 2000. Seven club members attended the graduation ceremony of the NOSW at Boone Tavern in Berea on
February 17, 2001. Club members donated gently used clothing to be given to the women attending the NOSW’S three-week course.
Empty pill bottles were collected for Haiti for their hospital to use to dispense pills. At the request of KFWC President, Donna Short, our club members along with other federated clubs, donated Easter candy to be used to fill Easter baskets for the boys at the Cardinal Treatment Center. At the club’s 64th birthday party a $500 scholarship was presented to a high school senior.
2002-2004 Mrs. Harry Embry (Sally)
A Junque & Jewels fund-raiser was held in the summer of 2002. Items that remained after the sale were boxed and donated to Wayside Christian Mission. It was decided to hold a Holiday Boutique in November 2002 and rent tables to vendors to raise funds for our club. The club sent 64 bottles containing 6,480 vitamins to the Catholic Medical Foundation which then sends them on to clinics in Third World countries. Quilts and gowns made by our members were sent to Operation Smile. Empty pill bottles were collected for the Northwest Haiti Mission. Paper goods were collected and delivered to the Hospital Hospitality House in 2003 and books from the club library were presented to Atria Senior Home. In April 2004, a Fashion Show was held with fashions from Coldwater Creek. June, July, and August luncheon/card parties were held in this president’s term.
2004-2007 Mrs. David Brooks (Jackie)
Eight women from WCSM attended the annual state KFWC convention held in Louisville at the Galt House Hotel. During the convention, our club was presented a certificate in recognition of our efforts regarding “Violence towards Women” Seminar held at our clubhouse on Friday, April 22, 2005, On January 21, 2006, the Third District Luncheon and Style Show was held at the WCSM clubhouse. This district-wide event raised $500 toward the district scholarship fund.
On May 8, 2006, the club voted to sell our building and property as we no longer wished to maintain and operate such a large property. An auction of the furniture and equipment of the club was held at the clubhouse on July 20, 2006.
At the 112th Annual State Convention of GFWC/Kentucky Federation, April 19, 2007, Past President Nettie Lee Blair and Virginia Guinn received their 50 year Gold Cards and certificates. On May 21, 2007, the club presented Ella Cline, Nettie Lee Blair, and Virginia Guinn with their 50 year pins.
On May 22, 2007, forty-seven pounds of items consisting of coloring books, activity books, boxes of crayons and colored pencils were mailed to Iraq to be distributed at a place where Iraqi adults can come to see a doctor and U.S. soldiers can volunteer to help entertain the children.
2007-2009 Pat Lynes Kiser
The club’s past President Jackie Brooks was installed as GFWC/Kentucky Federation Secretary on May 17, 2008 and served during two administrations. The club celebrated our 70th birthday on May 25, 2008 at St. Matthews Episcopal Church. In October 2008 and 2009, the club participated in “Shop & Share” at Kroger’s to benefit violence victims throughout Kentucky and the Center for Women and Families (our local shelter). It was decided to hold future meetings of our club at Eden Terrace. Eight club members either knitted or crocheted 141 6”X9” rectangles for The Handmade Afghans to ThankJto Our Armed Forces Project (HAP). These rectangles will be joined with rectangles made by others to produce twin bed size afghans.
2009-2011 Fran Evola (Mrs. John McGinnis)
The crowning achievement of this administration was the final settlement of the sale of the property and investment of the proceeds. The focus of the club changed somewhat, due to now being able to give to the community and really make a difference. Meetings were moved to The Bistro at the Masonic Home property on Frankfort Avenue. In February 2011, the club again participated in “Shop & Share” at Kroger’s. On March 28, 2011, Peggy Barnes, GFWC/KFWC President-Elect, was the guest speaker at our Federation Day celebration. The club joined The St. Matthews Area Business Association and had a booth at the St. Matthews Community Festival on June 11, 2011 in Brown Park to promote membership in our club. Two $5,000 scholarships were awarded in 2011.
2011 – 2012 Mrs. Robert Potts (Bev)
The club voted to donate $500 a month to St. Matthews Area Ministries to help with their outreach program through the food pantry and diapers for babies. Five WCSM members presented a $500 check to GFWC/Kentucky Federation at the KFWC Board of Directors Summer meeting held at the Okolona Woman’s Club to help with the expense of painting the exterior of Headquarters at 1228 Cherokee Road. We took part in Shop & Share again, to benefit the local domestic abuse shelter. To support the KFWC Juniors Special Project, we planted a pinwheel garden on a highly visible area in St. Matthews, the lawn at Bethel-St. Paul Church. We placed 200 blue and white pinwheels with a banner on the lawn for the month of April 2011 to remind everyone to help prevent child abuse. Four $ 5,000 scholarships were awarded in May 2012.
2013 – present Fran Evola
We supported the St. Matthews Fire Department by donating the funds to purchase a defibrillator, a flat-screen TV for the Training Room and a device to measure the oxygen in the blood. We purchased stuffed animals/blankets for the St. Matthews Police Department so the officers could have them in the vehicles when need to comfort children. We upped our support for St. MAM to $750 per month. We awarded four $5000 scholarships in May of 2013 and again in May of 2014. We have seen our membership grow by 13 new members so far since August 2014.