Early History

After a great deal of preliminary study, work, and planning, the Junior Service League of Oklahoma City was organized in March 1927, and in 1928 affiliated with the Association of Junior Leagues of America (A.J.L.A.).

The Charter Members were:

  • Helen Gloyd Hampton
  • Glory Huckins
  • Rebecca Lamb
  • Mrs. George Chase Lewis
  • Mrs. Harold McEwen
  • Bernice Mee
  • Mrs. Joseph F. Rumsey
  • Mrs. Stanton Thatcher
  • Mrs. Henry H. Turner
  • Mrs. Charles A. Vose

 

The Provisional Members were:

  • Mrs. Charles J. Bulkley
  • Mrs. Elizabeth Nichols Burwell
  • Mrs. L. Dudley Callahan
  • Mrs. Walker B. Comegys
  • Mrs. John B. Frederickson
  • Mrs. John C. Harrington
  • Mrs. Kent B. Hayes
  • Mrs. Wilbur E. Hightower
  • Mrs. Joseph S. Hoffman
  • Mrs. Roy Hoffman Jr.
  • Mrs. Hubert Hudson
  • Mrs. Robert K. Johnston
  • Mrs. George E. Lackey
  • Mrs. Russell Law
  • Mrs. Herbert M. Mee
  • Mrs. Clarence M. Mills
  • Mrs. Robert T. Moore
  • Mrs. Harry Newbill
  • Mrs. Phillip Pierce
  • Mrs. Kent S. Shartel
  • Mrs. Eloise Housel Shumate
  • Mrs. Thomas B. Slick
  • Mrs. Harrison M. Smith
  • Mrs. William O. Smythe
  • Mrs. Henry Snyder
  • Bland Sohlberg
  • Mrs. C. Edgar Van Cleef
  • Mrs. Francis R. Welsh
  • Vivian Cooter (Provisional Professional Member)

The Original Officers of JLOC were:

  • President, Mrs. Rumsey
  • Vice President, Mrs. Lewis
  • Recording Secretary, Bernice Mee
  • Corresponding Secretary, Glory Huckins
  • Treasurer, Rebecca Lamb.

Both Charter and Provisional members took courses in Parliamentary Law and studied the A.J.L.A. constitution, its bylaws, and history; also, a study was made of our local constitution and bylaws. After a certain amount of work credits, 26 Provisionals were admitted into Active membership.

Establishing a Community Center in Walnut Grove was our first major project. A play supervisor was employed, a library established, and two members were in attendance every afternoon to staff the much needed and soon appreciated project. The people of Oklahoma City quickly recognized that the Junior League was, in fact, truly going to add something to social and civic improvement, and that the members were willing to give personal service to worthy causes. This prompt recognition made possible a public response when the League later sought funds to carry on this work and provide them for future projects.

The first year’s work included a Motor Corps that provided transportation for children from the County Tubercular Sanitarium, Sunbeam Home, and Walnut Grove to other places for treatments and examinations.

During the first year, much effort was given to ways and means of raising money to pay off the Walnut Grove Community Center obligations, as membership dues amounted to only $330. A bridge party, a Chinese tea, selling Christmas cards, taking orders for Literary Guild books, sponsoring the Marianne Kneisel Quartette, a fashion show, and the Spanish Fiesta all took lots of real work. Our most meager results were from a rummage sale, the profits amounting to meager $5.95. However, the outgrowth of that relative hiccup turned into a successful community Thrift Store, which became The Remarkable Shop. In any event, our receipts for the year were $4,243.12, which left a surplus of $1,810.91 at the end of the first year.

During the year, the Bulletin was published three times. Of course, our greatest achievement was in being recognized and accepted by the Association of Junior Leagues of America. Junior League of Oklahoma City, as we know it, was born.

In the following year, we extended our volunteer service in the field of welfare work by establishing an Occupational Therapy Department in the Crippled Children’s Hospital and gave our first puppet shows.

In 1929-1930, a kindergarten teacher was engaged for Walnut Grove, and our cookbook was published. Beginning in the spring of 1930, and for several years thereafter, our biggest revenues came from an annual horse show in connection with the Southwest National Livestock Show and from fashion revues. Other notable dates in our early history include:

  • November of 1930 saw the opening of our well known Thrift Shop, The Remarkable Shop
  • Fall of 1931, the Junior League gave $1,000 to the Committee for Relief of Unemployed Women
  • June of 1932 started the highly successful The Health Center in Walnut Grove
  • May of 1934 was our first Regional Conference. The conference was successfully entertained in and during that year we also sponsored the “Town Hall Lecture Course”
  • Between 1934 – 1935 we had the honor of having Mex Rodman Frates serve as Regional Director

 

“From such a beginning the wonderful development of our League through the years is known to all  – may it continue its remarkable achievement of service to our community.”
– Mary B. Rumsey, President 1927 – 1928