Organizations and Social Welfare
VARIOUS ORGANIZATIONS were established as soon as Oklahoma was settled. Farmers organized unions and granges. Business and professional men joined in creating commercial clubs, chambers of commerce, and associations. Women, especially in the towns, followed the examples set for them, or set the examples, and had sewing circles, study clubs, and other group meetings. The men ate at luncheons where the women served refreshments.
An Historical Sketch of the Federation of Women's Clubs of Oklahoma and Indian Territories, which covers the period 1898-1908, is filled with information. "The pathway to civilization and culture has always been marked by the footprints of the woman pioneer." Certainly this was true in Oklahoma. The clubs formed by these pioneer women gave opportunity "for companionship and for intellectual and spiritual uplift."
Philomathea of Oklahoma City is the pioneer federated club of Oklahoma. It was formed in October, 1891, by twenty-two women representing seventeen different states; two members were from Nova Scotia. A more cosmopolitan group would have been difficult to find. This club founded the first humane society in Oklahoma City; this was doubtless the first in Oklahoma.
On May 24 and 25, 1898, twenty-four delegates representing eleven women's clubs met in Oklahoma City, upon a call of Philomathea, to organize the Women's Federation of Clubs.