Arcadia Woman's Club History


Our History - In May 1914, Alice Billings invited several women to her home on South Santa Anita Drive for the express purpose of organizing a woman's club. Dues were set at 25 cents a month and Alice Billings was elected as their first President. One of the organization's first efforts to promote Arcadia was to enter a float in the Tournament of Roses Parade.

The Library was also one of the organization's early civic projects. Mrs. Billings wished to establish a library in Arcadia and the County approved the proposal and the new library opened in a small building at the southeast corner of First Avenue and Indiana (Wheeler) Street. The Arcadia City Council paid the rental fee of $10.00 a month. The library's expenses, including housing, buying new books and hiring the librarian were paid by the Woman' s Club. Olive Palmer also served as the librarian in the early years. To better serve the students of Arcadia, the library hours were 3:00 pm to 5: 30 pm.

In 1920, Arcadia's first city librarian was Mrs. George Grimes. In 1924 the library moved again to a small house adjacent to the city hall and fire department. This older building had several small rooms and a bathroom, but no funds were available to modernize the building. The fire department had no bathing facilities; the firemen would sometimes drop into the library"….to have a good bath". In 1930 the City constructed a new library at 25 North First Avenue.

When the United States entered World War I, the Woman's Club became involved in the war effort. Red Cross supplies were obtained from Los Angeles and used for the soldiers stationed at the Balloon School at Ross Field. At Ross Field a canteen was set up and dances were occasionally held at City Hall. Frequently, box suppers, coffee and other foods were served to the soldiers and their partners. The government may have furnished the money for these events but it was the women who did all the work. There was no U.S.O. during the First World War, but during WWII, it was the Woman's Club that opened up their club house and housed the organization in Arcadia. (Read More)