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West End Fortnightly Club records

Identifier: IWA0963

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Scope and Contents

The West End Fortnightly Club records date from 1891 to 2000 and measures approximately 10”. The records include one scrapbook and papers organized under one series, called General.

The General series of the West End Fortnightly Club records includes two copies of individual yearbooks for almost every year of the club’s existence. Each yearbook lists the club’s officers, active members, honorary members, details about events, and an “in memoriam section.” This collection includes yearbooks from the club’s 50th, 75th, 90th, and 100th anniversary years (1941, 1966, 1981, and 1991). Also in the General series is journal of essays written by early members over the course of three years, called “Fortnightly essays.” The club’s “secretary book” includes handwritten accounts of various presentations over the course of fifty-five years. A book entitled “Laughter and Tears,” written by Eva Vanek, includes a message from the author inside, indicating the book was given as a gift to the club for their 100th anniversary.

This series also includes a folder of presentation research, which includes notes, clippings, and research for a presentation given by Ann Frances (Stein) Parks on November 13th, 1992, entitled “The Queen’s Jewels.” In addition, there is a member list from 1998-1999, event programs from 1999-2000, a clipping about speaker Mrs. Anna Opel, a program script about S.G. Stein’s 90-day trip around the world, a program script about George Grey Barnard the sculptor, a Musicale Program from 1922, and speaker bios for Gladys Evelyn Stein and Mrs. Cora Weed (the founder of the club). There is also a collection of photos both undated and dated with one of several dates: 1906, 1892, or 1991.

Finally, the General series includes the club’s scrapbook, which contains yearbooks from each year since its founding in 1891 until its centennial celebration in 1991. The scrapbook also includes a number of newspaper clippings, member memorials, correspondence, and photographs.


  • Creation: 1892-2000

Conditions Governing Access

The papers are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright held by the donor has been transferred to the University of Iowa.

However, copyright status for some collection materials may be unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owner. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility and potential liability based on copyright infringement for any use rests exclusively and solely with the user. Users must properly acknowledge the Iowa Women’s Archives, The University of Iowa Libraries, as the source of the material. For further information, visit

Biographical / Historical

West End Fortnightly, Muscatine, Iowa’s oldest women’s club, was organized on September 19th, 1891 at “Eyrie,” then the home of Mrs. Core Chaplin Weed. The purpose of West End Fortnightly was “a higher culture in the Literature of Art and Aesthetics,” or, the study of literature and art.

Original club membership was twenty-one ladies, all residing on West Hill: Nellie Bliven, Anna Burnett, Gertie Bishop, Aldean Chaplin, Emma Clapp, Helen Green, Mary Magill, Mira Hershey, Frances Hawley, Anna Johnson, Eva Johnson, Senny Cook, Emma Mahin, Cora Weed, Aura Sawyer, Clara Sawyer, Josie Sawyer, Emma Underwood, Hattie Van Horn, Cad Varner, and Ida Sawyer.

Meetings were held on alternate Friday afternoons and every January, the Executive Committee (President, Treasurer, and Secretary) was elected. The Executive Committee was responsible for selecting programs, managing funds, and maintaining records of the Club. Membership was originally limited to twenty ladies and a one dollar yearly fee. Members also had to pay a fee for “failure to perform tasks assigned” and for each absence “not occasioned by illness or absence from the city.”


10.00 linear inches

Language of Materials



The oldest women’s culture club of Muscatine, Iowa.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The West End Fortnightly Club of Muscatine, IA records (donor no. 1458) were donated by Cynthia Kautz in 2016.

Finding Aid created by Katie Gandhi, 2016
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Iowa Women's Archives Repository

100 Main Library
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City IA 52242 IaU
319-335-5900 (Fax)